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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Bought my FJ in February of 2014 shortly after my birthday. Ever since living in Boone, NC around 2010 and seeing these things all over the place in the snow, I thought they were a great alternative to a Jeep and had that fun rugged look to them. Fast forward to this present time. Sweet Brown has become a full on obsession. I should've probably just taken up a drug addiction.

For those who want to quickly jump to LT pics / install / beginnings of writeup go to Page 11

Below is how she currently sits


Tube Door Mania


Hanging out on Daniel at Uwharrie National Forest


Getting the black decal put on


Older shot without light bar or awning


At Windrock for the Toyota Appalachian Roundup


What I've done so far in order:
1. Blacked out
2. All Pro Sliders
3. Sway Away 2.5" Suspension front Sold & 2.0" Suspension rear Sold
4. Camburg 1.25" UCAsSold
5. Falken Rocky Mountain 285/70/17'sSold
6. Demello single hoop front bumper
7. Engo 10,000s Winch
8. Custom Made Reinforcement Brackets
9. Metaltech Lower Links
10. Spidertrax 1.25" Spacers Sold with new wheel purchase
11. Built rear cargo drawer for FJ! Sold, needed to make room in the back for my dog when not in use
12. Baja Utility Rack
13. Rear Factor 55 receiver hitch & shackle
14. Lifetime LED high output headlights
15. PIAA LP530 lights for the demello bumper
16. PRG Snorkel
17. Metaltech Stage 3 LT Rear w/ Icon 2.5" remote res shocks
18. Outbreak Expedition RTT
19. LED Marker Upgrade
20. Outbreak Expedition 43" light bar
21. Outbreak Expedition 8'x6' awning
22. Treds added to rack
23. SCS Runner 8 Wheels
24. Hi lift extreme
25. ICON Lower shock mounts
26. Metaltech LCA mount skids
27. Bud Built 5 piece Skids (Steel - painted)
28. 285/75/17 Nitto Trail Grapplers
29. Amaesing Decal Black Graphic for Hood
30. All Pro LT
31. Fox LT Coilovers w/ Remove Res & DSC
32. TC Shock Tower Gussest
33. TC Cam Tabs
34. Icon panhard bar
35. ARB Valve Stem Covers
36. Gzila custom baja rack mounts for awning
37. 1/2" Bandi Body Lift
38. Front Runner wolf pack storage solution to replace my drawer system
39. ARB recovery bag to pack recovery equipment when on the trail
40. Factor 55 flatlink
41. Gzila custom Hi lift rack mounts for bajarack
42. Gzila treds mounts for bajarack
43. Gzila tool mounts for bajarack
44. ARB diff breather kit

Thanks for stopping by, I'll continue to keep this going as I get to more upgrades in the future.

Here is what I'd like to do:
1. Tint the front windows a bit
2. Rear Expedition One swing out bumper
3. Possibly color match the roof
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Here is a quick overview of what I've done, as well as some notes that might help out a new person (with relatively little/no mechanical abilities) getting into the hobby.

1. Blacked out
- Difficulty scale 1 out of 10: I didn't take any pictures of this process as it really isn't unique. Go get some black rattle can, sand and prime or if you want to give the look a shot without investing too much, go buy 4 cans of Plastidip and go wild.
- If you want to get the real deal parts, you can find them on Pure FJ Cruiser or TRD parts for you.

2. All Pro Sliders
- Difficulty scale 2 out of 10: There isn't much to this either, find the sliders you want and either make the purchase or wait for a group buy.



I ended up ordering the bare metal and cleaned them up in the following order:
1. metal brush to all surface rust
2. 300 grit sand paper to scuff everything up
3. mineral spirits to clean everything off
4. rustoleum self etching primer (2 coats)
5. rustoleum flat black (5 coats)

Installing isn't too bad, I had a friend hold them for me while we got the bolts lined up. Even had cold beer in the fridge :rocker:



More to come on the suspension install!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
3. Sway Away 2.5" Suspension front & 2.0" Suspension rear
- Difficulty scale 4 out of 10: With my lack of mechanics, this felt like it was going to be quite an undertaking. In reality though, this wasn't that bad. The FJ was so new that there was little to no dirt on anything, bolts were all fresh and nothing was seized.


^^ here is a quick pic of the front with the Camburg UCAs installed as well

A few tips:
- Banging on the spindle where the ball joint attaches did not work out for me, but luckily my friend had a ball joint separator that did the trick. I think they are pretty cheap and an be found at Advanced Auto or the sort.
- Write down the torque specs for everything, keep those torque specs somewhere and make sure to add this to your monthly inspection criteria.
- Make absolutely sure to disengage ABS and Brake Lines before you go crazy pushing and pulling on the rear axle and lower control arms to wedge in the rear springs!


- Its fine to have some spacing where the rear shock is bolted back in. This was an initial concern of mine, but I was calmed down here on the forums. This is how it should look.

4. Camburg 1.25" UCAs
- Difficulty scale 3 out of 10: These aren't really that hard to install. The directions that comes with them is great and walks you through the process. There is also a great youtube video for Total Chaos UCA installation that helps visualize the process.



A few tips:
- We removed the air filter before working on the UCA removal and install. I think this helped tremendously. There is another line to remove that helps should you need to bend the fender to get the bolt out. That video I recommended is top notch!

Last note -
If you're installing the sway away suspension, it won't give you 2.5-3" lift out of the box. I believe it will increase your rear 1.5" and your front 2" and you'll still have the natural rake. You'll need to adjust the suspension preload on the coilovers to level it out (you can see it in the last pic above). I adjusted mine roughly 5/8ths of an inch on the drivers side and 1/8th inch on the passengers side and that gave me the look I wanted.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
5. Falken Rocky Mountain 285/70/17's
- Difficulty scale 0 out of 10: I went to Discount Tire and got these installed. I would recommend Discount Tire to anyone as I think they offer a very competitive product and they have tons of service area's around the nation.

What attracted me to the Falken Rocky Mountain was the following:
1. Price Point - these are very inexpensive
2. Good Reviews - Jeepers love em, they air down well, they've been getting good mileage, they're quiet on the road, the list goes on.

There are some downsides:
1. They're a heavy tire for sure
2. They required a lot of weight to balance, more so than I've seen before


^^ There is a peak with the new shoes on.

6. Defensive Designs front winch bumper
- Difficulty scale 1 out of 10: Michael Thompson with Defensive Designs helped me install this bad mother trucker! I can't give enough positive mention to him: Defensive Designs


^^ As it was being built


^^ Complete full frontal


^^ Side profile, very very high clearance!

Communication was great, he was timely and assisted me with all my questions. We set up some time and I came out to have him install it. I'm fully intent on having him fab up some other stuff for me. Also, he builds some killer sliders!!! While we were there, he even helped me get my BMC done.



7. Engo 10,000s Winch

I ordered the winch through a local store in our area called Southeast Overland. Steve Springs is a great ambassador to the Carolinas and if you attended Overland Expo East you probably saw him break his FJ in the mud pit demonstrating proper recovery techniques :grin
--> Check out their site: Home | Southeast Overland
 

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Looking good, I like all the components used for your mods nice choices.:rocker:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Looking good, I like all the components used for your mods nice choices.


Thank you! It's tough with so many options but I guess that's not a terrible problem!
"4. rustoleum self etching primer (2 coats)
5. rustoleum flat black (5 coats)"

subscribed to your thread. got a question if you don't mind: when applying your coats, do you wait until the first coat totally dries before applying the next coat? thanks.
I started out slow and letting everything get dry to the touch. I was helping a friend with a suspension install on his 4runner that day so going back and forth gave it plenty of time. The last 2 coats were sprayed in haste though as it was getting dark. I'd say make the initial coats count at the very least when painting yours. Any runs or imperfections will remain on the following coats if you mess the first few up.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Winch is in!

I went with the Engo 10000s. Originally I was going to just go with the 9000s however they weren't in stock and the 10k was only about 36 bucks more. Why not right?

This winch was voted best value by four wheeler magazine and has received good reviews from those who use it.
 

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Looks great, :grin keep the updates flowing.
 
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Looks nice. :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks!!!

Two new items coming tomorrow, Metaltech lower links and Spidertrax spacers. Additionally I'll be getting a friend to fab up some support brackets for my bumper. Going to be a fun new update coming soon.
 

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Build is looking good so far! :cheers:
 

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Nice job - I also went with the Engo winch based on how it performed for a forum member (MadMike) - 5 winches in one day, no issues, I said sign me up!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Had fun yesterday getting some bumper reinforcement brackets made. Additionally, my bumper was coming into contact with my body when the truck flexed so I had a buddy weld on some .25" steel plates onto the mounting area so we could space it out just a touch. Everything came together in the end and I'm excited to get some more progress made on the brackets!

Additionally I got in a good mail call!!! Wife got to it before I did, "you have more expensive car parts sitting on the porch Trey..."

Reinforcement Brackets

Here are the reinforcement brackets that will butt up against the stock mounts that hold the bumper. I plan to knock out the OEM bolts and replace with grade 8 bolts that will go through the reinforcement bracket, the stock mount and the bumper itself.

.25" spacer plates on back of bumper


Metal Tech Lower Links

Very excited about putting these on this weekend! Can't wait to see/feel the difference. I've heard the beefed up lower links provide a but more of a surefooted ride on road and also are integral in helping get you home should you have an errant rock it on the trail

Spidertrax Spacers

This is one of those mods that gives you the warm and fuzzy feeling. Pushing the tires out a touch will help with both aesthetics and helping get my ride a bit tighter on the road by lowering my COG which will help on the trail as well. I've decided to hold off on wheel purchases for a little bit and I think these spacers will definitely keep me happy in the meantime.
 
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