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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
First of all: WORDS OF WISDOM...... Think your mods through and only do them once instead of multiple times like me! :rofl:


I've had the FJ since June of 06 and have been on the forum since then as well. I saw the concept FJ as many others did and immediately wanted to have one. I honestly didn't expect it to happen but I started calling local dealers anyways. After going to many dealers with $5,000 mark ups over the listing price I finally found a dealership willing to negotiate. So, my order was finally placed at the beginning of June 06. I went with the basic CQ package only getting the rear locker, roofrack, rubber mats and that is about it. I didn't realize it at the time but im glad I didn't invest in the overpriced A-trac option that I would later add for $50. I went with my favorite color that has now been discontinued....BC baby!!!!! :rocker:



I initially had an interest in changing little things the tires, stereo and speakers. So, I upgraded to a new Pioneer HU with Polk tweeters in the dash, 6.5 Polks in the doors and infiniti 3.5's in the rear panels. I checked different online sites and realized the rear speaker covers were extremely overpriced. So, I decided to make my own speaker covers after viewing this thread: http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/stereo-electronics-electrical/15223-make-your-own-d-pillar-speaker-covers.html this was only the beginning of the constant modding to the FJ through the years!




I also added the BFG at/ko's not long after my purchase. I changed the tires out over and over and over again. :lol: Here is my first change and also shows my custom tag.......Go Skins!



Later came the remote starter that comes in very handy during the cold winters! One click of the button and the FJ is nice and warm when I get in!

I also decided to add another cosmetic change and also protect my seats at the same time. I added the wet okole seat covers front and back through a group buy:



Over time I started to frequent the site more often. I was searching one day and noticed a local ride happening in Harlan, Ky. I was a little skeptical at first so I started questiong different mods that would be best to add. I decided on a lift and sliders to start first.

I went with the Toytec lift OME springs 884's, top spacer along with rear toytec super flex coils and OME rear shocks. I eventually decided on the trail gear sliders to complete my first off road mods. ****both of these mods would eventually be changed out as well*****:lol:



So, with these mods complete I decided that I was going to attend my first off road event. Harlan, Ky April Fools day crawl 07... http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/picture-media-post/24358-harlan-ky-april-fools-toyota-crawl-pictures.html



I have to admit that I cringed every time I heard the brush scrape down the side of the FJ taking the clear coat along with it. The brush and over growth was actually terrible on this ride and is the worst I have experienced to this day. So, I definitely was broke in right with scratches. I worked for hours after this trip buffing trying to clean the scratches up but to no avail.

My next purchase was what I would consider my worst mod to date. Magnashields to the rescue!!!!!! Others may like the magnashields but to me they were terrible. In my case they were ok at first but with time I had nothing but problems out of them. Just a waste of money. Here are some pics of the first white FJ and a thread about it....:rofl: http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/interior-exterior-visual-tech/27115-my-all-white-fj.html

I also saw the need for a CB after this ride. I started with the a handheld cb and used that for a while adding a Bandi mount with 3 foot Firestik.Then surprise, surprise it was time for another change. I decided on mounting a CB in the center of the dash. My CB also has a PA so I can switch it on and hear any chatter on the CB when im out of the FJ. http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/stereo-electronics-electrical/66381-dash-cb-install.html




Not long after the Harlan ride I attended a ride in Tellico. I had heard several stories about the place so I decided my next investment would be skids. I decided to go with the allpro skids for clearance issues and to protect only the vital parts. I have been very happy with these skids throughout the years. I once again would cringe when my rock rail hit or a skid hit. The armor was doing it's job but as we all know when u hear that first impact there is nothing like it.

http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/trail-report-photo-section-gps-coordinates/29367-tellico-june-9th-4runner-jamboree-pics-video.html





So, after this ride I begin to want to add MT's. I decided on adding a 2nd set of bling wheels to put my KO's on and the stock alloys for my MT's. I decided on BFG KM's 255/75/17 for my MT's and I painted the alloys with help from this thread: http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/wheels-tires/22180-how-paint-your-wheels.html





I attended many more rides after this and there was always once common theme. The silver caps on my rear bumper would get smashed in, scratched up or knocked off. So, I decided to add a rear bumper and I went with the allpro rear bumper with hitch. I also have my magnashields on in this picture which were painted a BC like color after they begin to strip and crack.

I also begin to ponder on adding a front bumper so I changed my suspension up front to OME struts and 885 springs.....another change. :bigthumb:



My stock exhaust always seemed to get smashed so I found a solution for that.



I made another change by adding the Allpro sliders. I really like the design of the allpro sliders because of the kickout on the back. I have saw a lot of people receive body damage by not having the kickout. So, I chose to upgrade and they have saved me a lot of headaches.




I also found a great deal on some Camburg coilovers that came off of a Tacoma. So, these were added along with the Light racing Uca's. The UCA's got everything back into specs! :clap:

 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
After adding the Camburgs it seemed like I could never receive the amount of lift that I needed. I begin to rub the body mounts with any flex of the suspension. I kept cranking the coil overs up but this didn't help at all. I put in multiple calls to Camburg and they assured me the springs were the problem. I changed the springs from a 650x13 to a 700x14 but again it was no help. I began talking with Metaltech about my issue. They were happy to help even though I didn't purchase the product through them. So, with customer service like that I decided to buy some Icon's through them. Long story short the Camburgs mounts weren't long enough for the FJ. Again another change on the suspension. Extended Icons were next. So, lets count.... that is 4 suspension changes total!

Take a look at the difference between the Icon's and the Camburgs that supposed to fit the FJ, Tacoma and 4-runner:



With many more rides happening soon after I begin to look at multiple front bumpers. Well, I pondered on bumpers for a long time weighing all the options. Clearance, weight, strength etc....... and I decided to go with a custom built bumper from a local company called Tangent designs. I went with a hitch mount design to add a winch when needed. I like this design for two reasons..... 1. I'm not packing 100+ lbs on the bumper all the time and the winch is not exposed to the elements. 2. With the hitch I purchased a mount that would allow me to mount the Hi-lift on my front bumper as well. The Hi-lift is easy to get to and is mounted high enough to stay out of the way on steep descents. I also added a new set of tires and wheels..... bingo another change! :rofl: 285/75/16 Baja claws with Wheelers steelies and rock rings supplied by the Toyoutfitters.

Pic of the bumper:




Pic of the Hi-lift mounted in the bumper:




Wheels and tires:




Pics above were from a ride at the Gulches in Sc.... http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/trail-report-photo-section-gps-coordinates/80892-black-sheep-trail-report-gulches-02-21-09-a.html

During this ride I noticed a few things that needed upgrading. Numero uno would be my rear links considering I bent one @ the gulches. I replaced those with links made by the Toyoutfitters. 2ndly I had the upper links beefed up by Tangent design.

I also chose to upgrade the stock LCA mounts out and add a beefier 1/4 thick version.

LCA mount upgrades:



LCA's:



Next I ran into a good deal on some rear SAW shocks. The SAW's were even a little longer then the original OME n71e's. There is a big difference in the feel between the OME's and the SAW's. I'm definitely glad I made this upgrade.

I have since added the Icon piggyback shocks in the rear.

I made another change by ditching my Allpro shock covers for some outrider shock covers. Take a look at the difference:




I have also added the Allpro HD steering kit. The install is quite easy with the hardest part being the bending of the retaining tabs.

(Post 16 hints for install) Allpro HD steering kit pic:


Small mods:

I also added the standard black out's that everyone has done....... mirrors, bezel and door handles : http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/interior-exterior-visual-tech/61100-guide-painting-bezel-handles-front-bumper-wings-front-lower-fascia.html

2nd Horn, Warn winch wiring, A-track locker hack, fog lights, mud flaps removed, rear flares removed, hitch wiring added, interior LED light, rear tail lights LED, and the xm radio with xm antenna painted white to match the roof. :)

Red lights in the mirrors:


Next I had some custom shift knobs made by Ellis precision. I chose to have the shifter extended a little longer and also some fine cuts added to the shifter. If your interested in this style of shifter contact Ellis Precison and ask for the SKINUM shifter. http://www.ellisprecision.ca/





I have a few mods sitting in the garage as well: Budbuilt diff skid , FJ blackout hood decal and some 6" HID lights added to my bullbar.

Build from start to finish comparison pics:





295/75/16 hankook mt's mounted on konig countersteer offroad 16x8's


Body chop:

Lights:

Bushwackers Extend-a-fender flares:


 

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Nice write-up. Very cool to see the FJ morph.
 

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looking good man..id deff also agree about doing right the first time...great build
 

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nice write up Gary... I agree,, I have been through many different options myself.. so now my theory is do it right the first time and research the next mod carefully and read lots of thread about them.. thanks for sharing man. looking forward to riding with you soon or anytime. I am guessing in October fall crawl.. I am planning on being there..:bigthumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Nice build up thread!
Nice write-up. Very cool to see the FJ morph.
Good Write up, I like the constant progression of upgrading your mods!
Great write up. I have the same philosophy with my rig, build it right the first time, it saves time and money!
looking good man..id deff also agree about doing right the first time...great build
Thanks much to all of the above comments! :cheers:

nice write up Gary... I agree,, I have been through many different options myself.. so now my theory is do it right the first time and research the next mod carefully and read lots of thread about them.. thanks for sharing man. looking forward to riding with you soon or anytime. I am guessing in October fall crawl.. I am planning on being there..:bigthumb:
Hopefully, I can work out some future rides. My work schedule has been all over the place as of late.
 

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Nice build and write up Gary! I still run your old TG sliders from Coal Creek! I like the kickouts of the Allpro's you installed and by the looks of them schratches they must of saved you from some major carnage!

Can't wait to see all your new mods in person :rocker: I like all the armor you have installed on the bottom side so far. I will slowly get these componets that you have as I know you have trail tested them in the most extreme conditions :lol: :clap: :cheers:

Hey, Hurry up and move down so you can help me install all these parts :lol:
 

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Nice write up Garry :bigthumb: It really has changed since the first time I saw it at Harlan.

Are we the founding members of the 4th suspension club :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Nice build and write up Gary! I still run your old TG sliders from Coal Creek! I like the kickouts of the Allpro's you installed and by the looks of them schratches they must of saved you from some major carnage!

Can't wait to see all your new mods in person :rocker: I like all the armor you have installed on the bottom side so far. I will slowly get these componets that you have as I know you have trail tested them in the most extreme conditions :lol: :clap: :cheers:

Hey, Hurry up and move down so you can help me install all these parts :lol:
Oh yea, I was inches away from caving in the bottom half of my suicide door. I was in a spot where I really couldn't turn either. So, the rock that did the scratching on the rails actually pushed me around and made for a easy exit. I literally could look out my drivers side window and see the rock barely missing my door. :)

Nice write up Garry :bigthumb: It really has changed since the first time I saw it at Harlan.

Are we the founding members of the 4th suspension club :lol:
I thought I was the only one switching suspensions so often. I'd be willing to bet that we are the founding members.

Nice, good job and thread. Looks good.
Thanks!

Hell yes! Great read... Black Cherry for the winz! :D
Yea, nothing like showing some BC love. :rocker:
 

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Black Cherry pride! Mine has been proudly named "barney" by my buds!
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I added the Allpro HD steering kit this weekend. Pretty easy install the hardest part is bending the washer tabs back down after the install. Tip #1.... U only need to bend the top one back and then then turn on the inner rod end and it removes easily. Tip # 2 add black silicone to the grease nipple on the rubber boots supplied by Allpro. Tip # 3 install the clevis along with the threaded joint only. Install the rubber boot at this point and then add the threaded rod. (goes much easier this way) .:rocker:


 

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Looks great!
 
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