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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
I need some new perspective here. Have had my FJ for 6 years now, modified it heavily and did lots of offroading with it. I am now to the point where I need a change. A lot of the offroading I do is rock crawling stuff in Moab and such and the limits of the IFS have become evident.

Looked at doing the solid axle swap but financially it just makes no sense (axles, supercharger to run 37-39" tires, and the like). Plus, the FJ has relatively poor trail visibility so I don't think that will be improved with a solid axle.

The question is what to get next. I'd like something as close to a family buggy as possible while staying road legal. Solid axles of course with the option of fitting 37-39" tires without demolishing half the body of the car.

I thought of a 1st gen Taco with 4 doors, easy to supercharge, relatively easy to do an axle swap, bonus having a bed. Also thought of an 80 series Land Cruiser. Comes with good stock axles, cheap to lift, available supercharger and bonus 3rd row.

Please give me some ideas. No, getting a Rubicon is not an idea :wink
 

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There's two ways to do what you want - you could:
1) Throw money at it, buying another vehicle that will allow you to cruise over the obstacles etc. (a helicopter would be perfect)
2) Develop the required talent.

There is of course a third way - you could make a few relatively cheap mods to the FJ and take the middle road.
Do you have lockers front & rear? Have you looked at swaybar disconnects? Have you considered long travel arms up front?
That way would be my preference - The easy way isn't the fun way. I like to build my skills first, but maybe that's just me.
 

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This is what you need.
Great visibility from the driver's seat. Plenty of room for the family and camping gear, will tackle any trail obstacle with ease, and excellent for recovering lesser vehicles.
 

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I need some new perspective here. Have had my FJ for 6 years now, modified it heavily and did lots of offroading with it. I am now to the point where I need a change. A lot of the offroading I do is rock crawling stuff in Moab and such and the limits of the IFS have become evident.

Looked at doing the solid axle swap but financially it just makes no sense (axles, supercharger to run 37-39" tires, and the like). Plus, the FJ has relatively poor trail visibility so I don't think that will be improved with a solid axle.

The question is what to get next. I'd like something as close to a family buggy as possible while staying road legal. Solid axles of course with the option of fitting 37-39" tires without demolishing half the body of the car.

I thought of a 1st gen Taco with 4 doors, easy to supercharge, relatively easy to do an axle swap, bonus having a bed. Also thought of an 80 series Land Cruiser. Comes with good stock axles, cheap to lift, available supercharger and bonus 3rd row.

Please give me some ideas. No, getting a Rubicon is not an idea :wink



Why do you feel 37-39 cost more for a FJ ?

Why do you feel a Solid axle for a Tacoma would cost less than for a FJ?

Why do you think you need a Supercharger for Rock crawling ?

Have you looked at the approach and Departure angles of a 80 series . ? Tough yes . but they are a whale.

Is the FJ the best for Rock crawling ? No . but the best all around do all vehicle that you can drive thousands of miles to a trail in comfort wheel some of the hardest trails and drive home . Yes

I have 2 Tacomas 1 FJ 40 . and a FJC . For now my weapon of choice is the FJC .

A first gen 4 runner would be my suggestion if visibility is your concern . 2nd gen have the Junk 3.0 motor But a 3.4 is a pretty straight forward swap .

In the end Each will end up costing close to the same .
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Why do you feel 37-39 cost more for a FJ ?

Why do you feel a Solid axle for a Tacoma would cost less than for a FJ?

Why do you think you need a Supercharger for Rock crawling ?

Have you looked at the approach and Departure angles of a 80 series . ? Tough yes . but they are a whale.

Is the FJ the best for Rock crawling ? No . but the best all around do all vehicle that you can drive thousands of miles to a trail in comfort wheel some of the hardest trails and drive home . Yes

I have 2 Tacomas 1 FJ 40 . and a FJC . For now my weapon of choice is the FJC .

A first gen 4 runner would be my suggestion if visibility is your concern . 2nd gen have the Junk 3.0 motor But a 3.4 is a pretty straight forward swap .

In the end Each will end up costing close to the same .
Trying to fit those big tires on an FJ is a bear and involves lots of fabrication, not to mention the strain placed on the OEM components. It would make it unreliable. Heck, my 34s rub at full articulation and tilt on the trail (and that is with the icon coilovers at full height, TC UCAs, and aggressive BMC and more trimming inside the wheel well)

SAS Tacos are way cheaper to build than FJs because there are kits out there available. On the FJ the whole thing is a custom job. That is also why you see a lot more SAS Tacos than FJs.

SC just for the fun factor and to help spin those big tires. The FJ is a bit of a dog even with my 34s, granted I have not regeared it. Having the extra low end torque is nice for wheeling. New Magnuson SC for the 3.4 is 3k, for the later FJ is what, 6-7k, and is it even out?!

True, the LC80 is big, but the FJ is not nimble machine either, first gen Taco would definitely be nimbler

I agree that the FJ has excellent road manners, even more so with the 2.5 Icons, but I have other cars for that.

Other thing to consider is that my FJ has very low miles and is a garage queen. Should be able to fetch somewhere around 22k. For that much I will be able to get a 1st gen Taco with lowish miles and buy everything I need for a good quality swap.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
There's two ways to do what you want - you could:
1) Throw money at it, buying another vehicle that will allow you to cruise over the obstacles etc. (a helicopter would be perfect)
2) Develop the required talent.

There is of course a third way - you could make a few relatively cheap mods to the FJ and take the middle road.
Do you have lockers front & rear? Have you looked at swaybar disconnects? Have you considered long travel arms up front?
That way would be my preference - The easy way isn't the fun way. I like to build my skills first, but maybe that's just me.
Swaybars are gone, rear locker and front a-trac, LT in the rear, LT in the front is a lot of money for not a lot of gain IMO. I hear you about the skills part. But when you get to an obstacle that is as high as your headlights, not much you can do with your mad skills. Levitation did not work.
 

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Just curious what trails do you want to try ? I do understand some of your reasoning , I just think you will be pretty close cost wise in the end no matter what platform you start with .
 

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SAS Tacos are way cheaper to build than FJs because there are kits out there available. On the FJ the whole thing is a custom job. That is also why you see a lot more SAS Tacos than FJs.
Custom Job? :huh: They have the same exact front suspension as a 2nd Gen Taco. Believe me, the differences are so small, you'd never notice. Spring rates and shock valving is a bit different, and there are kits for the FJ specific too.

https://www.allprooffroad.com/truck-parts/fj-cruiser-off-road/sas-fj-cruiser/

https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/member-build-ups/40198-all-pros-ultimate-fj-sas.html

I'm not saying an FJC is going to be best suited to the type of wheeling you want to do but it is doable. Even on up to 42" tires. :bandit:
 

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Start with a JK. Even better, buy some else's JK. If you have to stay Toyota, double cab Taco on one tons. Motor doesn't matter for crawling. I have one hardcore crawler, a 78 Hilux on 40's with a 20r on propane. Probably a whopping 75hp. I also have 1 87 4Runner on 35s. My FJ is lifted on 34's and sucks to wheel compared to either truck. The big body gets into everything and the visibility is ****. I wouldn't even consider a FJ80, they are giant rock anchors.
 

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Just make sure you factor in the cost of your Tow rig and trailer
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Custom Job? :huh: They have the same exact front suspension as a 2nd Gen Taco. Believe me, the differences are so small, you'd never notice. Spring rates and shock valving is a bit different, and there are kits for the FJ specific too.

https://www.allprooffroad.com/truck-parts/fj-cruiser-off-road/sas-fj-cruiser/

https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/member-build-ups/40198-all-pros-ultimate-fj-sas.html

I'm not saying an FJC is going to be best suited to the type of wheeling you want to do but it is doable. Even on up to 42" tires. :bandit:
Saw all that. Called All Pros a while back, basically they estimated the price to do the front swap, including a diamond axle and labor, to be around 15k, not including the wheels and tires. Then you gotta beef up the rear too. Was quoted similar price by a couple local fab shops. Local guys also discouraged me, someone else local had All Pro do it and there were geometry issues and such that persisted, were not very happy with the results. Another guy who lives around me just had a shop in Cali do his, both front and rear, all in, 40K. Local fab shops quoted me about 8k for the Taco front swap, 10k with bringing the rear up to spec. And apparently electronics and such are compatible. These are the numbers I got from my research. Again, add the current value of the FJ, plus the bad visibility on the trail, and kinda makes no sense to do it.

I have been really torn about this as the FJ puts a smile on my face every time I drive it. It just is not a good platform for a crawler and, based on what I have read and lots of people I talked to, you can spend a nice chunk of change and still not have that good a crawler.

Feel free to challenge my numbers.
 

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In all honesty, if there's one thing a Jeep does well, it is crawling.
If that's your passion, perhaps it's not a bad choice?
 

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It is my understanding that the OP is looking for a dedicated trail rig. If rock crawling is your thing why not just an old CJ 5 or CJ 7. I wheel with a guy who has a CJ 5 rock crawler. It is a beast on the trail but terrible on the street. The specs on these models are ideal for the type of crawling that you want to do. No need for a super charger when you can just stuff a big block or LS motor in it. Putting 37s on a CJ would be no problem with minimal trimming and you get to do your type of crawling without doing the Rubicon thing. If you sold your FJ you would have extra money to build it to your specs and upgrade its reliability. Just an idea.
Here is one near me that I found.
https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/765089862/overview/
 

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Saw all that. Called All Pros a while back, basically they estimated the price to do the front swap, including a diamond axle and labor, to be around 15k, not including the wheels and tires. Then you gotta beef up the rear too. Was quoted similar price by a couple local fab shops. Local guys also discouraged me, someone else local had All Pro do it and there were geometry issues and such that persisted, were not very happy with the results. Another guy who lives around me just had a shop in Cali do his, both front and rear, all in, 40K. Local fab shops quoted me about 8k for the Taco front swap, 10k with bringing the rear up to spec. And apparently electronics and such are compatible. These are the numbers I got from my research. Again, add the current value of the FJ, plus the bad visibility on the trail, and kinda makes no sense to do it.

I have been really torn about this as the FJ puts a smile on my face every time I drive it. It just is not a good platform for a crawler and, based on what I have read and lots of people I talked to, you can spend a nice chunk of change and still not have that good a crawler.

Feel free to challenge my numbers.
Agreed about the FJ not being a good dedicated rock crawler. I'm building an '84 Hilux truggy for this. 5.3, 4L60E, Marlin Dual Case, Chevy Dana 60 kingpin, 14 Bolt rear, 5.38s, 40"ish, custom bed, blah blah. I've got most of the parts and the truck and have less than $3k in all of it, so it's a more logical choice. An avenue like this may be a good suggestion, I'd probably do a 4Runner if I wanted more interior space for kids/dogs/lady friends, etc.
 
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