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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I don't have photos for everything, but I figured I should document this build before it got too far.

Here she is new, just a few days off the lot.


My wife liked the color, I liked the Trail Team hardware it came with, so it was win-win.

For the FJ we wanted something to take on road trips that could still handle moderate off road situations. We plan on keeping it for quite a while.

Modification #1 – Body Armor tail light guards (my wife picked them out).


Modification #2 –Industrial Forming console covers to keep stuff out of sight. Our 40 lb dog tested it by stepping on it. So far, so good.

Modification #3 – Ditched the bling rings. They just seemed to hold mud and who needs extra unsprung rotational mass . . .

Modification #4 – Had a weathered Hi Lift jack living in our shed. Gave it a few coats of tan camo color. Used the ebay clamps to mount it to the back. The nice thing about these is that you can use cheap engine studs to mate domestic wheel locks to the clamp.


Modification #5 – We also had a Warn M8000 winch in the shed. Not really a good home for a winch, so we got it something better, a Road Armor bumper. I opted for the bull bar. The bumper is heavy, but it is possible to install yourself. I put the bumper on then installed the winch. Texas says you need a front plate, so it is zip tied over the logo cutout. If you find it on the trail somewhere try to get it back to me.


Modification #6 – One mod leads to another. The bumper exposed the washer tank. I walked around a pick n’ pull until I found an alternate that would fit up above. Drilled out the donor tank to accept the stock pumps. Total cost was something like $12.


Modification #7 – At a local FJ meet and greet my wife saw the Springtail ‘Dog Barrier’, went home and ordered it. (She was also checking out skid plates at the time, but alas, did not order any of those). I modified it slightly so that it works with the split seat down.

Modification #8 - Trail Gear Sliders. We wanted something that could be used as a step to get in and out (we knew modification #9 was soon). I put 3M grip tape on them to get decent traction. They also stick out enough to help with those parking lot dings.


Modification #9 – Baby Seat! (These things are hard to install). Our new little passenger is pretty much the reason we traded up from a Wrangler to an FJ.


Modification #10 – ARB fridge/freezer. After a few months of trying I convinced my wife we needed this for keeping baby stuff cool and road trips. We opted to put it over the rear passenger seat. It allows the dogs to have more room in back. It also allows access while in motion. Just plugged it in and strapped it down.

Modification #11 – Finally got around to putting lights on the bumper. I wanted something bright that would not block much of the radiator. I used HIDs on top. The lower holes were basically cheap $30 driving lights. I plan to replace the ones inside the bumper with something more appropriate one day, but the cheap ones allowed me to fill the space and run the wires. Everything is controlled by an OEM Toyota auxiliary light switch in the dash.


Modification #12 – A poor man's leveling kit. This is a surplus M101A2 trailer. I use this for hauling stuff. At $450 it seems to be a good value in saving wear and tear on the FJ. I probably hook it up to pull something once a month. The FJ has never complained about pulling it, even when it was loaded down with firewood.


Modification #13 – Replaced the steel cable in the Warn M8000 with synthetic winch line.

Modification #14 – We wanted a hitch box for longer trips where we take the dogs. Scored this from an REI garage sale. It was brand new, but someone returned it because there was a small scratch. I scratched it more than that putting it into the shed.


Modification #15 – More storage, this time inside. I took the cheap route and used mostly materials I had on hand. I have a ton of automotive tools, but not so many for woodworking, but it actually came out decent. I used some excess hardwood flooring for the top and drawer faces, cedar 6x6s for the sides & plywood for the drawers. A coating of clear polyurethane over everything except the cedar. Left side is for first aid & recovery gear. The right side split drawers hold my tool organizers. Longer (hidden) compartment for machete or folding stock long gun. I kept it low so the dogs can get in and out. It is bolted it to the floor at the stock tie down points.


Modification #16 – What I call the typical hot rod scenario. You change one thing and that requires something else to be modified. The rear storage box blocked the stock inverter. A new 400W two outlet inverter was installed on the wall panel next to the fridge. The position is just in reach of the driver. There is also a USB port for charging. I used 8 gauge wire with a 30 amp fuse. Runs the fridge like a champ.

Modification #17 – We had to wait for the tax refund on this one. Icon Stage 1 lift/level. After 6 months of driving around with the heavy bumper/winch on the stock suspension, this was a very nice upgrade.


I debated on doing this myself, but we decided to let Toyota of Dallas do it. The little one keeps us busy and we felt there was less of a warranty issue. This is the first time I every let anyone other than myself mod one of my vehicles. It was actually a pretty positive dealer experience.

Next - ? The scuba mod has been sitting on my bench almost since the FJ was new. My wife likes the Ricochet skid plates.
 

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Great looking FJ. could you please post pictures of the other draws open in your storage box. i'm going to build one in the next few weeks. just trying to work out the details. i had thought a hinged lid with a cut out for my power inverter. But now you got me thinking again.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Great looking FJ. could you please post pictures of the other draws open in your storage box. i'm going to build one in the next few weeks. just trying to work out the details. i had thought a hinged lid with a cut out for my power inverter. But now you got me thinking again.
I originally was going to do something similar for the inverter. I realized that wiring was easier for me than woodwork, so I just installed a second one.

I have a couple more photos of the box:



 

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Looks awesome. Looking forward to see what else you do.

Removing the bling ring changed the whole look of the wheel. First time I've seen someone remove it, looks a lot better.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I was installing a Tekonsha P3 over the weekend and realized the stock location for the trailer plug is in a crunchable position under the rear bumper.

I decided to move the trailer wiring to a more protected position.



(I painted the hitch red because some people have missed seeing it and walked into it)
 

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Just keeps getting better. Love that neat little trailer. For some reason the Warn bumper looks better here than it does in other pictures I've seen. Might just be a Sandstorm thing. :lol: I believe your hitch is an aftermarket unit (maybe dealer-installed), but it sure works nicely with that bumper where the 'tucked-in' Toyota hitch wouldn't. Also the new trailer plug location looks perfect and the red pintle is an inspired idea.
 

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Thanks for posting pictures of your build. I was very curious to see what my TT would look like with the Icon lift. Just ordered a stage 2 lift from metaltech 15% off for march, came out to just over 1700.00 with free shipping. I can't afford new tires and wanted to see what it would look like.

Can't wait to get the install done. I'll get the bumpers later. :)
 
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