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The Scorpion

379523 Views 1336 Replies 184 Participants Last post by  TCao

The sword is more important than the shield and skill is more important than either.

photo courtesy of VOLHOO (thanks Vince)​

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.
--Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO

The Scorpion FJ, though unworthy of the man, has been created in honor of T. E. Lawrence (1888-1935), may he rest in peace.

When I bought the FJ, I mapped out a philosophy on which direction a build-up should take. My philosophy was built around a vehicle that could operate, removed from populated areas, and support my interest in exploration and examination of unsettled regions (increasingly difficult to find). Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.

My philosophy in modifications is simple. I wanted to create a strong, capable, sustainable rig that would BRING ME HOME at the end of the day. Everything I've done to my FJ has that particular end in mind.

My favorite FJ Cruiser Moment: I'm driving my FJ on an expedition and I can't fall asleep at night under the stars because reality is finally better than my dreams.

This is the stock FJ.

I bought my FJ Cruiser on December 23, 2006 as a Christmas present to myself since it was highly unlikely that anyone else would buy an FJ for me no matter how hard I tried to get off the naughty list.

My daughter Emilie agreed to ride shotgun with me on trail runs.

concentrated mist,

a clear jewel on a leafpoint,


the river begins!​

(Photo Courtesy of THUBUB, Holcomb Creek ford - 07)​

And I began the process of modifying the FJ


Edited and Updated Mod List
I'm going to use this partcular posting to post added mods so it will change over time to reflect those additions. Some mods will replace others so occasionally there will be deletions as well.

(photo courtesy of CRAZYHERMIT and NETTI - Kokopelli Trail - Nov. 2007)

(photo courtesy of DOMINICG - Mojave Road - Feb. 2008)

(photo courtesy of DRAGON - Kokopelli Trail - July 2008)
2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser Model 4704C
Upgrade Package 1 <ATRAC/Rear Locker>
CQ and C7 Convenience Packages
Curtain Shield Airbags
Roof Rack

Build Date: November 2006

Engine bay bulges/rips: First noticed 1/21/08 - bulged on both fenders @22K miles

Significant Mechanical Problems: None so far

  • ARB Bull Bar - Front Bumper
  • DeMello Offroad rear bumper w/swing arm[/COLOR])
  • Bud Built Front Skidplate
  • Bud Built Middle Skidplate
  • Bud Built Transmission & Transfer Case Skidplate
  • Bud Built Rear Crossmember
  • Bud Built Fuel Tank (Beefy) Skidplate
  • Bud Built ARB Spacer Armor Plate
  • Inchworm E-Locker Motor Skid (sustained trail damage, cut down in size to repair)
  • Rear Lower Shock Skid
  • Rear Trailing Link Skid
  • Rear Differential Plate (welded)
  • DeMello Hybrid Sliders
  • Manic Tail Light Guards (Real Wheels guards took 5 trail hits -saves- then gave up the ghost)

  • Walker Evans Beadlock Rims
  • Nitto Terra Grapplers - 305/70R17
  • Demello Frame Chop
  • Donahoe Racing Shocks and Front Coil-Overs
  • Old Man Emu Heavy Duty Rear Coil-Overs (OME-886)
  • Donahoe Racing Upper Control Arms
  • Light Racing Jounce Shocks (Chubbies) replacing bump-stops
  • Icon Signature Lower Control Arms
  • Gorilla Lugs

  • Lowrance Baja 540C GPS & Freedom Maps Chip F103EX-S and F104EX-W & Shadow GPS R/V Mirror Adaptor Mount
  • Man-A-Fre Auxillery (22 gal.) fuel tank
    --Providing a total capacity of 40 gallons
  • Wet Okole Seat Covers
  • Scanguage 2
  • K & N Air Filter - Replaced by OEM Air Filter
  • Aux. Optima Yellow-Top Battery
  • Dirty Parts Auxiliary Battery Kit
  • Circuit Boss 7 Circuit Fuse Block
  • 6 x REL40 40 Amp custom amber switches
  • Stebel Nautilus Compact Air Horn
  • Passenger-side arm rest
  • Fuel Can Options: 2 x Wedco Jerry Cans (gas/water)
  • Relocated Rear Differential & E-Locker Breather - Scuba Driver Mod.
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • ARB Safari Snorkel
  • I-Pod
  • Death-Stalker Scorpion transfer case shift knob

  • SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker
  • Midland 75-822 Handheld CB Radio with Vehicle Adapter
  • Antenna – 5' and 3’ Firestick/CB
  • Yaesu FT-1802 M/E 2 meter transceiver (50 watts output)/HAM
  • Comet 3D5M mobile mounting hardware/HAM
  • Antenna - Diamond NR-770HA 2M/70CM 3/5.5dB Mobile Antenna/HAM

  • Airflow Headlight Covers
  • Hella Black Magic 6” Driving Lights (mounted to ARB Bumper)
  • N-Fab Front Light Bar/Bracket w/3 x Acro X1870M Driving Lights & 2 x 40 B/U PIAA Flood Lights
  • N-Fab Rear Light Bar/Bracket w/2 x 40 B/U PIAA Flood Lights & 1 x LEDQUAD LED Strobe Light Bar
  • 2 x Oznium Flexible Super Thin (red) LED Dome Lights
  • 2 x Puck (white) LED Dome Lights
  • LED Red dash lights replacing white instrument gauge lights

  • Fiskars Axe
  • Short Handle Shovel
  • Crowbar/Pry Bar
  • Eagle Talon (RJM Forge)
  • Husqvarna 350 18" Chain Saw
  • Jumper Cables
  • Tool Kit
  • JB Weld
  • Spool (1000 ft) OD Green Parachute (550) Cord
  • Roll(s) of 100 MPH Tape (milspec rigger's tape)
  • FJC Spare Parts Kit (on extended load-out): including 2xCV Boots, 2xCV Sway Bar Links, Serpentine Belt, rear lower control arm, front axel, spare fuses, tire valves, etc.

  • SCORPION MOUNT - An endoskeleton in the back to provide hard points and additional M-PAC storage.
  • Pelican Cases - Allow modular load out depending on the nature of the trip.
  • Fourtreks Shovel/Axe mount
  • Fourtreks HiLift Jack Mount
  • Fourtreks Dual Mount
  • Fourtreks Fuel Can Rack Mount
  • Fourtreks Modular Roll Bar Handle
  • Springtail M-PAC rack and MOLLE gear
  • Springtail M-PAC Side Rack
  • 2 x Expeditionware Jerry Can Holders (currently one mounted)
  • Power Tank Roof Rack Mount - (Custom Fab using Four Treks parts)

  • 20 lbs. CO2 Auxillery Tank (Internal Mount)
  • 10 lbs. CO2 Power Tank
  • Ingersol Rand #2135 Ti (composite titanium) pneumatic impact gun
  • Power Tank Super Coupler
  • Power Tank HD Tire Inflator Handle
  • Oasis Trailhead Deflator / Stebel Trailhead Deflator (both onboard)
  • ARB Tire Repair Kit
  • Spare valves and valve cores

  • Warn XD9000 Winch
  • Viking Kevlar Winch Line (100')
  • Winch Safety Thimble
  • Viking Delrin Fairlead Rollers
  • Warn Hitch Shackle
  • 30’ Rescue Strap
  • 100’ of braided steel cable
  • ARB Snatchblock
  • Pull Pal
  • 4 x 3/4 ton D-Rings
  • ARB Bushranger X-Jack
  • Hi-Lift Jack
  • WabFab Slider Attachment
  • Hi-Lift Jack Base
  • Hi-Lift Jack handle keeper

  • Basic Survival Kit (on standard load-out)
  • Large First Responder First-Aid Kit including an adult bag/valve mask
  • Smoke Grenades (pyro- red and green)
  • Chemlights (red and green)
  • Polish Model 78 Flare Gun (26.5 MM) with star flares
  • Lensatic Compass
  • Knive(s)
  • Firearm(s)

I have had consistently good service from these
vendors and encourage you to consider them in
your build-ups. I have not received a discount
from any of them and have no financial stake in
the outcome of your purchase.

DeMello Offroad
Springtail (MPAC)
Dirty Parts


(Courtesy of FJROD)

(Courtesy of POKER DAWG)


DeMello swing-out bumper.

Scorpion Mount

ICON lower rear control arms

(hyper-links to this thread)

















Note that NO products produced by All Pro Offroad are used on THE SCORPION.

Meet the Scorpion - Current phase of build up/build out for my FJ.


When selecting team members everyone looks for a combination of factors in their team mates. The most important is an absolute passion for the project, an ability to communicate, a diversity of proven expedition-specific skills in remote and hostile environments, physical stamina and mental toughness. FJ Cruiser expeditions are designed first and foremost to be fun. Secondly, they hone your skill sets by forcing you into new and unfamiliar situations that requires you to adapt and overcome. Thirdly, you get to make the run in a Toyota FJ Cruiser.


"Well George, we finally knocked the [email protected] off."
– Edmund Hillary's first words, to lifelong friend George Lowe, on returning from Everest's summit

(Ft. Mojave to Afton Canyon - California) October 07

MOJAVE TRAIL EXPEDITION (Afton Canyon to Ft. Mojave - California) February 08

MOJAVE TRAIL EXPEDITION (Ft. Mojave to Afton Canyon - California) April 08

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.
(Grand Junction, CO to Moab, UT) November 07

DEATH VALLEY (Death Valley - California) March 08

Kokopelli Trail Expedition (Grand Junction to Moab) July 08

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go.

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1 - 20 of 1337 Posts
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

That is a great story Larry.

I would ask though, is this obsession with the FJ her self, or where the FJ takes us and the story's she tells us on those journeys. And are the mods just gifts of thanks to her for what she has done.
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Why thanks guys. I like to surprise you all every know and again. But man I still have some grammer errors in there, glad you guys can still understand me. :lol: I have to go back and try and fix it if I can. :D
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Hope you guys are having a blast, I'm sure you are. Wish I could go with. :(
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Great report Larry. Wish I could have been there.
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Amazing stuff Larry. I like the elec. tea kettle thats is genius.

I am really looking forward to what comes of the Silk Road Expedition. Ever since you told us about it on the Mojave Road run I have been wondering about it. I can't wait till I have more free time so I can do more trips like you are doing and planning. Hopefully next year will allow me to do much more wheeling.
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

I love the rules Larry and I can't stand people how honk when the pull up to a house. :fight:

You have a good girl Larry and I feel bad for any guy who want to take her out.

What did Jason have to say about the Scorpion mount yesterday?
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

He's making it and had some good ideas for fabricating it such that it will go in and out EASILY while retaining strength. The prototype will be just that and we'll have to go out and run with it (what a sacrifice on my part) in the dirt to see what parts are good enough and what parts aren't. Jason said that he'd put it on his schedule of things to be done. I was just over at his shop with TCAO (again today).

I would have stayed, but I had to come back and get some work done on the computer because I have to pay for mods. Now I'm on the Forum goofing while I wait for a phone call.
Do you know what size tubing he is using?

Wouldn't it be nice to not have to work like Thong, then we could just go and do what we want all the time.
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

We're talking about 1" heavy wall square DOM.
nice, small and strong.

I want to be Thong when I grow up.:cowsmile:
Me to. :lol:
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Overhead Light Bar Plan:

good idea? bad idea? what do YOU think?
I'll post the results when I get them put together here. For the moment it's a plan. Within 2 weeks it will be reality.

ARB Bumper - 2 x Hella Black Magic 6" Driving Lights <already installed>

6 stations on front Light Bar=

1) PIAA 60XT Fog
2) PIAA Deno 3 LED (Strobe)
3) Acro X970 Driving Light
4) Acro X970 Driving Light
5) PIAA Deno 3 LED (Strobe)
6) PIAA 60XT Fog

4 stations on rear Light Bar=

1) PIAA Deno 1 LED (Red)
2) PIAA 60 XT Fog
3) PIAA Deno 3 LED (Strobe)
4) PIAA Deno 1 LED (Red)
I would bring the 2 fogs down lower to the ground so that they will do you some good when you use them other then that the front light bar is good

I would change the color from red to amber on the rear lights so the lights cuts through the dust a little better. (like DRs FJ)

you made me go back and look at your last picture. That is a cool light bar.
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Great pic of Emily, tell her I'm sorry to have pulled you away from her yesterday when she was having a really big day. I too use the same rules of engagement on my 16 daughter.
:jawdrop: dang thats a lot of girls to deal with. :D
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Very nice Larry it should look great on the titanium. When are you going to install?
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

The install will go down when Jason gets them in. If he had them --like now-- I'd be pushing for an install tomorrow. He said after the first of the year unless he gets more than 5 or 6 orders before and can get an early shipment -- So if you were a pal, Josh, you'd order one for yourself and one each for 4 of your friends to help me expedite my order :grinbiginvert:
I think you have a little more coin then I do my friend.:) Thats why I still have my stock bumpers front and rear and nether one is in good shape.:lol: The rear one looks like it will fall off any day. :) Plus as much as I like you Larry and think that bumper looks killer it is way to heavy for my ride and what I like to do. :(

I hope 4 or 5 more guys make an order here quick for you. I was hoping I would see it up close in Calico in a week or so.
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

What a nice early Christmas present!

We will have to put it to good use this weekend in Calico.:cowsmile:
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Very nice Larry. You can disregard my question in the other thread on the box & dam. Very functional and the rear light bar looks perfect back there.
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

I really like how you are using as much of the rack as you can instead of just ditching it. :bigthumb:
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

what a great trip. Again jealous of you and your self employment. :)
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

The new pictures are killer. The area looks amazing and has some crazy wheeling to go with it.

Death Valley is right before my birthday so I might have to make it a birthday expedition. :thinkerg:
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Very cool Larry, love the new knob. :)
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

Very nice!!! no more worrying about leaving piece of silver plastic behind on the trail. :D
Re: Meet the Scorpion (Uphill's Build-Up)

My a$$ is draggin, but the FJ is actually sitting higher because I replaced the Donahoe coils with OME heavies. Jeshua is doing back flips because I gave him my old Hoes.
After my first attempt at the back flip I stoped case my head hurt from the landing it took. :grinbiginvert:

Thanks again Larry your a good man. :)
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