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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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So after owning my FJ for just shy of 5 years I decided it was time to make a build thread. It's a work in progress, so picture and additional details will follow.

More Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/blinn2012/sets/

Factory:
2007 Black Cherry Automatic 4x4
Upgrade Package 2
TRD Cold Air Intake
TRD Exhaust (removed)
Window Tint
Roof Rack

Suspension:
ICON 2.5" Remote Reservoir Extended Travel Coilovers with CDC Valves
ICON 700 lb Springs
Camburg 1.25" Uniball UCAs
Total Chaos Race Series Stock Length LCAs
Total Chaos Spindle Gussets
Total Chaos Upper Coil Bucket Tower Gussets
Total Chaos Cam Tab Gussets
Wheeler's Off-Road SuperBump Bump Stops
Metal-Tech Long Travel Rear Suspension
ICON 2.5" Remote Reservoir LT Rear Shocks with CDC Valves
Metal-Tech Offset Rear Lower Links
RESZ Fab Offset Rear Upper Links
ICON Rear Adjustable Track Bar
Front Sway Bar Disconnects
No Rear Sway Bar
ICON 2.5" Extended Travel Coilovers (removed)
Light Racing UCAs (removed)
The TOY Outfitters Rear Lower Links (removed)
The TOY Outfitters Rear Upper Links (removed)
Red Line Land Cruisers Rear Upper Links (removed)

Engine Performance:
TRD Supercharger
URD SuperGrip Pulley
URD UCON EMS
Level10 Bulletproof Torque Converter
Level10 Bulletproof Transmission
Doug Thorley Long-Tube Headers (New December 2016)
URD Off-Road Y-Pipe (New December 2016)
URD Mark3 Exhaust (New December 2016)
SOS Performance TR.340.6TA Big Brake Kit (New November 2017)
Rear Factory E-Locker (removed)
URD Spec-U Exhaust System (removed)
TRD High Performance Brake Pads (removed)

Axles & Armor:
4.56 Gears
RockJock60 Rear Axle
Front & Rear ARB Air Lockers
Full Set of Ricochet Skids w/ Front HD Skid
Rocktek Front Link Armor
Trail-Gear Rock Sliders
Rocktek Rear Link Armor (removed)
Rocktek Rear Shock Armor (removed)
Boztec Rear Diff Skid (removed)

Bumpers:
Metal-Tech Front Winch Bumper
Titan TW12S 12,000 lb Synthetic Winch
The TOY Outfitters Rear Swingout Bumper

Wheels:
Interco Birddog 17x9 4.5" BS Wheels
Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar 315/70R17s
Spidertrax Wheel Spacers (Front Only)
Stock 17" Alloys (removed)
BFG Mud-Terrain KM2 255/80R17s (removed)
Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar 35x12.50R17s (removed)

Stereo:
Pioneer AVH-W4400NEX Radio
Infinity Reference 9633cf Door Speakers
Infinity Reference 3032cf Dash and Rear Pillar Speakers
JBL GTO804 8" Subwoofer
Stock Subwoofer Enclosure
Kenwood KAC-1502S Stereo Amp (Bridged for Subwoofer)
Metra Axxess Steering Wheel Controller

Miscellaneous:
eBay Snorkel
Volant PowerCore Filter (New December 2016)
ARB High-Output Compressor
Springtail/MPAC Side HD Rack
Boztec CB Antenna Mount
Firestick Firefly 3' Antenna
Midland 75-822 Handheld CB
BajaRack Stock Roof Rack Drop-In Basket
ARB 50 qt Fridge
Odyssey 31M-PC2150T-M Battery
FJNewb's SCUBA Mod

Near-Term/In-Progress Mods:
URD 7th Injector Kit
Smaller Supercharger Pulley
Boost & Other Gauges

Future Mods (Wish List):
PRP Seats
New Transfer Case
Upgraded Stereo





 

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Ohhh New build :bigthumb:

Looks great- good thing you started now- its a PITA to try and remember everything
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ohhh New build :bigthumb:

Looks great- good thing you started now- its a PITA to try and remember everything
Haha yeah, I had enough trouble as it was. Figured it's be good to start now before I do the next round of major mods.


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Haha yeah, I had enough trouble as it was. Figured it's be good to start now before I do the next round of major mods.


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Its hard when you have photos on different phones, folders and the dates are all screwy..:lol:

You have a great bunch of mods that will peak a lot of interest. You should definitly post a link to your rear LT pics in the LT thread- great shots

I'm waiting to hear your take on those wheels:rocker:
 

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Looks great! :cheers:
 

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Another well build cherry!

:bigthumb:

I thought about running the rear MT long travel, but for my application the standard icon rear setup was fine with me. How does it handle on road and in the higher speed sections offroad?
 

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Cherry Bomb! Looks very capable with all the mods.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Its hard when you have photos on different phones, folders and the dates are all screwy..:lol:

You have a great bunch of mods that will peak a lot of interest. You should definitly post a link to your rear LT pics in the LT thread- great shots

I'm waiting to hear your take on those wheels:rocker:
Posted up some more LT photos, along with a link in the first post to my Flickr page that has all my FJ photos. Need to add a few more to it.

Another well build cherry!

:bigthumb:

I thought about running the rear MT long travel, but for my application the standard icon rear setup was fine with me. How does it handle on road and in the higher speed sections offroad?
I run without the rear swaybar (but with the front one) and I don't have any complaints. Definitely a little more tippy on the road, but not bad or unsafe feeling at all. Off-road I haven't done a lot of high-speed stuff, but the axle does contact the bumpstops more because of the drop blocks that have to be used. In talking with MT before I bought the kit the ICON shocks are valved specifically for our FJs without the rear swaybar, so it should handle better without the swaybar than other off-the-shelf kits.

Cherry Bomb! Looks very capable with all the mods.
Thanks! :bigthumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
So I've been toying with some more advanced mods for a while now and finally believe I will have the funds to complete them. This will be the first time I've taken my FJ to a shop to have work done, scary :lol:

What's Likely Being Done:
  • Regear to 4.56s: Want to run 35s, and my current Pizza Cutters took a lot of the pep out of the FJ with the stock 3.73 gears.
  • ARB Front Locker: Was never convinced this was something I'd need/want. But after seeing Wilson climb up obstacles at WTF that I either couldn't do or were much more difficult I became convinced that a locker and 35s were my next step. Also, since they're going to have the diff opened up anyway, I figure it's best to just get the locker now.
  • Larger ARB Compressor: Not a huge deal, but it'll allow me to air up my tires without lugging around a second compressor. Also want to hook up an air tank and air fittings like what Old Cruiser has sometime in the future.
  • Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar 35x12.50R17: After much thought, research, and discussion with people who have them I'm 99% sure these are the tires I'm getting. I was considering the Trail Grapplers, but they're at least 15 lbs/tire heavier than the MT/Rs.
  • Interco Birddog 17" Wheels: These were discussed here. Basically all the major advantages of beadlock wheels without the hassle. Not the best looking wheel, but still good looking IMO, and very functional. Plus they're only 28 lbs and a little over $200 each. I'll probably ditch the spacers; they caused some clearance close-calls with my pizza cutters, so there's no way the 35" MT/Rs won't have issues.
  • Bushwacker Pocketed Fender Flares: I've always wanted these ever since I got my FJ, and I'm finally going to bite the bullet. I figure I need the extra clearance and coverage for the new tires.
  • 1" Body Lift: I've always been interested in a body lift, but the spaces cause at the bumpers and no real need for it meant I never bothered with it. But with the 35" tires I think the extra clearance will be welcomed. Plus I've seen some pictures of FJs with tube bumpers and a body lift and you can hardly tell there's a gap.
  • Spindle Gussets: Fairly inexpensive insurance, and I figure while it's in the shop I mine as well get them done. Decided to hold off on these until I (eventually) get my LT setup. Didn't make sense to pay for the labor now, just to have to pay for most of it again when I get my LT kit. Just hoping I don't bend a spindle in the mean time.
None of these things have been purchased yet, but I have confirmed pricing and availability on almost everything. It's just going to be a matter of me biting the bullet and swiping the plastic :lol: Plus some logistics of getting my FJ to the shop, as I'll probably have the work done in Houston.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
About time you did a build thread! Great looking rig! :cheers:
Thanks Brad! My FJ probably wouldn't have survived this long without your skid plates :cheers:

Hmm, I've seen several of these parts somewhere else before :lol:.


Looks good!
Haha yes indeed, you and your cheap prices. I'm sure once my funds are replenished you'll be selling your supercharger or something of the sort :lol:
 

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Dude, amazing! I can't wait to see it in person and wheel with you! Maybe we can even get Brian to join us! Ahem...FJNEWB!
What a great truck bud..
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So since there are always a lot of questions about suspension options and choices, I decided to include some thoughts on my various suspension iterations.

Stock:
I didn't have the off-road or TRD package I started with the basic stock 4x4 suspension. I never had any major complaints, as the "brake dive" never bothered me much. Definitely a good stock suspension.

Rough Country:
I received the Rough Country 3" lift with rear springs for my birthday after owning my FJ for about a year (mid 2009). My main goal was just to lift my FJ, not significantly alter/improve it's performance. A lot of people recommend against spacer lifts, sometimes rather strongly. Personally, after running the RC lift for almost 2 years, I had zero issues and would recommend it to anyone looking to lift on a budget. The spacers gave me the increased height up front I was looking for and retained the factory handling, which I had no issues with.
The rear springs definitely handled additional weight better than the stock springs. With the FJ now level this is important, as otherwise you end up with an a$$-down situation when loaded up if you just get rear spacers. I never noticed anything different with the RC rear shocks, other than they allow full travel with the taller 2" springs.

Standard ICON:
In April 2011 Metal-Tech was running a special on ICON shocks that I couldn't pass up. After researching for years I decided on ICON shocks, though I can't really give a good reason. If you search long enough you'll find positives and negatives about every shock brand. In the end the positives I found for ICON far outweighed any negatives. I may one day move on to a different brand, but I have no regrets.
The ICONs were definitely a major improvement over stock and RC. The brake dive is much less noticeable, and the FJ felt more steady in off-camber situations. I didn't get reservoirs or piggy-backs as I don't do much high-speed wheeling. One day I'll probably make these upgrades, but again no regrets about what I chose.

Metal-Tech Long Travel Rear:
When MT came out with their LT rear kit it was a no-brainer for me. Unlike a front LT kit, which is a major investment, this rear LT kit is <$700 and provides greatly increased travel. Definitely one of my favorite mods. Again I opted for the 2.0 rear shocks. According to MT they're not only longer than the normal 2.0 shocks but also valved differently to provide better on-road handling without the sway-bar. I never ran any of my previous setups without the rear sway-bar, but with these LT shocks the removal of the sway-bar has ended up being a non-issue. Yes my FJ is a bit more "tippy" on the road, but it's not dangerous or even annoying by any means. And off-road the extra travel gained by removing it is a major bonus. For anyone looking for a new rear suspension I'd highly recommend this kit from Metal-Tech. The only downside is the loss of up-travel, but IMO the increased down-travel more than makes up for this. Though again your type of wheeling will dictate your needs.
 

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Looks good! Can't wait to see it with some MT/Rs on it. :bigthumb:
 
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