Slow and steady
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#1: Slow and steady Author: KamandoLocation: Queen Creek PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:22 pm
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I started this to catalog the progress I've made, and will continue to make, with my FJ cruiser.

I purchased my 2007 FJ in September of 2017, with the settlement I received from the Volkswagen Diesel-gate buyback. My FJ came with an extended warranty which really helped in the beginning, with some TLC for the truck. (New OEM: CV joints, Lower Control Arms, etc)



I’ve decided take it slow with regards to mods, for a couple reasons. First, is always budget. Second, the truck is surprisingly capable in stock form. I also want to do research and see what mods others love, and which ones they regret, before I really jump in. Lastly, it is my daily driver so I don't want to have it down for days at a time.

The first mod was the Console Vault 1040. It solves a major problem with the FJ... lockable storage. This does the job very well. It is a simple drop in installation using longer bolts that are included. It does not have steel on all 4 sides but there is more than enough meat surrounding it to stop smash and grabs.



The second mod I decided on, was the scuba mod. It’s a relatively easy and inexpensive mod. I don’t plan on any deep water crossings or getting caught in any floods, but it’s cheap insurance nonetheless. The stock breather, on the pumpkin, doesn’t exactly inspire confidence either.

I went up through the body seals into the jack compartment. I have not had any gear oil smell in the cabin ever. Very Happy





The other half of the scuba mod came some time later when I had an extra set of hands available. Trust me, you will need them. The transfer case and transmission breathers are a PITA to get to. They sit right on top of the transmission. There's a clamp attached to the transmission that holds them on top. You will need a ratchet with several extensions to reach it. I tied the front differential breathers into this as well to a single point under the hood. I capped it with a two way breather like in the rear.







The following mod, which is quickly becoming one of my favorites, is the Orange Boxx Fabrication Max PSD. It is a mix of basket and molle/quickfist rack. I had entered an instagram contest held by Orange Boxx back on April 28, and ended up winning a 35% discount. That was a great incentive to check out their stuff. I highly recommend them.

The Springtail Solutions M-PAC Gen2 cargo/pet barrier came courtesy of the previous owner. It works very well with my German Shepherd, he loves going for rides. It keeps him and his shedding in the cargo area.




After 11 years and 120k miles, the stock engine splash guards gave up the ghost. They began tearing and eventually falling completely off. Rad Rubber sells a set that is cheaper than OEM and of much higher quality. They even give you all new fasteners. These should last much longer.





The stock dome lights are next to useless, and I only ever use them at night/early in the morning. I despise white light on the inside when it's dark outside. I decided to try Diode Dynamic's HP6 Red LEDs. They are plug and play. The LEDs are bright enough to see everything and don't kill my night vision.



Finally, I decided to attempt installation of an onboard air compressor. As of this posting on 9/24/18, Home Depot sells the Viair 400H, online only, for $144.03. I couldn't pass up a deal like that. Unfortunately the first unit they shipped me was defective. It came with a blown fuse and a bad check valve. It kept blowing fuses when turned on. I returned the first unit and received a working 2nd unit.

I decided to use the wide open space above the passenger side wheel well. The firewall passthrough makes it easy to remote the air filter into the cabin. Measuring twice and drilling once is critical here. You will need some sort of spacers, and longer bolts, to lift the back end up level with the front. I recommend securing everything with lock nuts, you don't want this coming loose on the road/trail. The unit comes with just the right mount of wire to run around the back of the engine bay to the battery. 1/4" screw protectors work great for keeping junk out of your leader hose.



Hard to believe I've had the FJ for a year already. It is by far my favorite vehicle I have ever owned.

**Bonus Picture**
Here's proof that an FJ can go 400miles on a single take of gas. Shocked Shocking Right? (That tank did include putting a little extra in after the click.) 70miles of it was on the low fuel light! (The light comes on with about 4 gallons remaining.) The secret is cruise control, cruise control, cruise control. Everywhere, always, even on city streets. On the highway keep the RPMs at a max of 2k and speed at 70mph or lower for best MPG.


#2: Re: Slow and steady Author: SpoilerFJ84Location: Tucson PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:55 pm
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#3: Re: Slow and steady Author: KamandoLocation: Queen Creek PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 4:51 am
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SpoilerFJ84 wrote:

“Where’s the needle?” “Oh, it broke off, baby!”

Seriously though, I used to fill up when the light came on. Then I saw I was consistently not using 4+ gallons of fuel. I reliably get 60 miles every time on my light and arrive with plenty to spare.

#4: Re: Slow and steady Author: JimbolioLocation: Tucson PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:55 am
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Make this a Mod on your list.

Toyota OEM Rock Rails


#5: Re: Slow and steady Author: SpoilerFJ84Location: Tucson PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:50 am
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I do like the red light. I recently got the regular led/white light inserts from diode dynamics. You're making me rethink my color choice =\

#6: Re: Slow and steady Author: KamandoLocation: Queen Creek PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:52 am
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Jimbolio wrote:
Make this a Mod on your list.

Toyota OEM Rock Rails


Already have those. Smile

#7: Re: Slow and steady Author: 4GaugeSurpriseLocation: South Mtn-ish. PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:03 am
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only regrettable mod for me: choosing a "more affordable" shock kit. Sure it was "better" than stock for a little bit, then it got sloppy fast before failing. Complete waste of money and time.
Once I finally went to a higher end product the improvement was dramatic. In my opinion there was no value whatsoever in going with the less expensive "upgrade". Either choose tried and true replacements (mild upgrade) like OME or go for the good stuff - Radflo / Fox / King / OME BP-51 - and be really happy.

#8: Re: Slow and steady Author: vaportrailLocation: Morristown, AZ PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:46 am
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Hey there Kamando-

Thanks for the thread. I've never heard of Orange Boxx Fabrication. I like the look of their bumpers.

#9: Re: Slow and steady Author: vaportrailLocation: Morristown, AZ PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:48 am
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4GaugeSurprise wrote:
only regrettable mod for me: choosing a "more affordable" shock kit. Sure it was "better" than stock for a little bit, then it got sloppy fast before failing. Complete waste of money and time.
Once I finally went to a higher end product the improvement was dramatic. In my opinion there was no value whatsoever in going with the less expensive "upgrade". Either choose tried and true replacements (mild upgrade) like OME or go for the good stuff - Radflo / Fox / King / OME BP-51 - and be really happy.

Hmmmm

I'm planning to get the low $ Bilstein 5100 rear shocks, but if I read between the lines here, maybe it's not a good idea?

#10: Re: Slow and steady Author: 4GaugeSurpriseLocation: South Mtn-ish. PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:50 pm
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vaportrail wrote:
4GaugeSurprise wrote:
only regrettable mod for me: choosing a "more affordable" shock kit. Sure it was "better" than stock for a little bit, then it got sloppy fast before failing. Complete waste of money and time.
Once I finally went to a higher end product the improvement was dramatic. In my opinion there was no value whatsoever in going with the less expensive "upgrade". Either choose tried and true replacements (mild upgrade) like OME or go for the good stuff - Radflo / Fox / King / OME BP-51 - and be really happy.

Hmmmm

I'm planning to get the low $ Bilstein 5100 rear shocks, but if I read between the lines here, maybe it's not a good idea?

I don't know that the straight bilstein's are really an issue, as long as they aren't packaged as part of another companies setup (the rear bottom connections from some companies fall apart). Really depends on what you expect from them as well, just keeping things stock or a slight front level kit - should be fine. OME's seem to be pretty well made as a bit of an upgrade. If you are trying to do a whole lift and want better ride / control / magic then save your money for a top name setup. There can be a HUGE jump in price so it's not always an easy decision, but if you are patient and plan things out, it's worth the wait.

#11: Re: Slow and steady Author: Eight08Location: Mesa PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:50 pm
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4GaugeSurprise wrote:
vaportrail wrote:
4GaugeSurprise wrote:
only regrettable mod for me: choosing a "more affordable" shock kit. Sure it was "better" than stock for a little bit, then it got sloppy fast before failing. Complete waste of money and time.
Once I finally went to a higher end product the improvement was dramatic. In my opinion there was no value whatsoever in going with the less expensive "upgrade". Either choose tried and true replacements (mild upgrade) like OME or go for the good stuff - Radflo / Fox / King / OME BP-51 - and be really happy.

Hmmmm

I'm planning to get the low $ Bilstein 5100 rear shocks, but if I read between the lines here, maybe it's not a good idea?

I don't know that the straight bilstein's are really an issue, as long as they aren't packaged as part of another companies setup (the rear bottom connections from some companies fall apart). Really depends on what you expect from them as well, just keeping things stock or a slight front level kit - should be fine. OME's seem to be pretty well made as a bit of an upgrade. If you are trying to do a whole lift and want better ride / control / magic then save your money for a top name setup. There can be a HUGE jump in price so it's not always an easy decision, but if you are patient and plan things out, it's worth the wait.

I had those bilstiens in the rear. Broke 3 of them at the bottom end and chewed up my sidewalls in the process. I ended up going with the OME and am completely satisfied. If I recall they were only about $30 more. If you decide to go with the bilstiens I have a spare for you.

#12: Re: Slow and steady Author: tibaal89Location: Tucson, AZ PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:28 pm
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I tend to agree... I think if you had two identical FJ's where one is stock and the other has 5100's and did a blind test nobody would be able to tell the difference.

#13: Re: Slow and steady Author: fjlarryLocation: Glendale PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:28 pm
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Running Bilsteins on rear of my FJ. I think they are ok off road but I hate them on the highway when bumps are involved. Almost lost control doing 75 on I-40 near Parks from a bump.

#14: Re: Slow and steady Author: vaportrailLocation: Morristown, AZ PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:22 am
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Thanks for the replies bros-

Now I'm thinking replace the leaky OME shocks, instead of trying the Bilsteins...


(didn't mean to hi-jack your thread Michael)

#15: Re: Slow and steady Author: KamandoLocation: Queen Creek PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:31 am
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vaportrail wrote:
Thanks for the replies bros-

Now I'm thinking replace the leaky OME shocks, instead of trying the Bilsteins...


(didn't mean to hi-jack your thread Michael)

No worries. Great info to learn before I go that route.



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