Part 1 see this PAGE.
I've been a little slow to add to this page in the last couple
of weeks. Mainly been catching up with work and home since the
trip. In the last couple of days been thinking about our next
trip, which leads to the discussion of a trailer for all the stuff
we drag along. First we did some research on whether or not to
use a stock one or aftermarket hitch setup. Truthfully, I really
like the aftermarket ones. It just seems designed to take more
abuse. We used a Draw
Tite hitch, but opt'd for the OE
wire harness. Since the truck is prewired it was just a matter
of adding a relay, 2 fuses, and a pig tail for the trailer lights.
Took maybe 20 minutes. Now were searching for the trailer.
Just a general update on gas mileage. We've been averaging 14 mpg in the city,
but I tend to get my foot into it from time to time.
Recently, I was at the SEMA show, and found that Bushwacker
has made a fender flare replacement for the factory ones. As you know mud cakes
up in the OE's like the devil. I don't know why they did that, but Bushwacker
has solved the problem. These new flares are great and I really cannot wait to
get a set in for my FJ Cruiser. The part has released and we should be seeing
them in the next week. Take a look at part # BUS3192202
We are starting to take pre-orders now. Dibbs on the first set.
Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!
A fun thing to do with a built in
getting ready for the Toyota
Jamboree I decided, that it would be a good thing to install an extra 12v
plug in the rear. This way we can run our refrigerator without a cord all the
way to the front. I went to Radio Shack and bought part # 270-1556.
Removed the subwoofer and plate for the 110v. On the plate I cut a 1 1/8 hole
to one side, so if I want another then I can add one later. Then I popped it in
place. Ran the wires up through and put the plate back. Used the power tap that
comes with the kit and connected it to the white wire with the blue strips. From
the forums I found this to be the constant power wire. Drilled a hole for the
ground screw and tested it. Worked fine, then just buttoned it all back up. Now
we have a 12v in the rear for the fridge or whatever accessory we need. You can
also run one in the bucket area of the console, which I plan to do when I install
a Cobra 75WXST
CB Radio the night before leaving for the Jamboree. It's a recommended item with
four wheeling, so you can stay in contact with others in your group. Information
is relayed from everyone and if you get into trouble you can radio for help. We
chose this Cobra, as it's all in the mic and not a large unit to install, plus
it can be removed when not in use. I used it with only a magnetic antenna for
now, but plan on installing a perment one later with a quick disconnect for when
not in use. You do have to take apart the center console. I drilled a 1/2 hole
in the dash and clamped on a terminator for the ground point. The 3.5 to 3.5 cable
was use to connect it to the Aux port, so I could use the speakers. The antenna
wire was just tucked out of the way till I permantly install one.
that we never mentioned the billet antenne that was put on. Mainly so not to catch
the factory one on things. It's an Alsales shorty part # ALS6206P.
Recently before I took the FJ to Barnwell I had found reference to differential
problems on the forum boards. Apparently the gears are so tight from the factory,
that when they break in there is a lot of metal shavings in the fluid. Normally
in the maintenance guide it's a 50K item to change the fluid, but I do recommend
getting both changed around the 15K mark. I had the front done at 12K and the
front today at 16K. Both were black at the time of change with several shavings
on the magnetic plug.
Finished up the CB install finally. In that, I ran the Fire ring cable from the
top roof rack mount position to the installed location of the CB. Installed the
homemade CB bracket. Works great now without the messy clutter of the magnetic
mount antenna. Also, I installed the Tuffy
Light bar to get more clearance. I was 7.4 ft tall and the bar lowered it
to less than 7 ft, so now I can get into parking garages. It's tight though, just
need to slide it down about an inch more. Had to rewire the KC's to take advantage
of the wiring tray on the back of the bar. (See above images)
I am SOOO... impressed with these LED Dome light replacements from Putco. Part
this thing is sick. Bright as the sun on the inside. I had some PIAA LED's (The
before picture shot with low light setting) before they quit making them and the
(After shot low light and then changed to normal setting) puts them to shame.
Do these come with Sunscreen? They should.
We just got back from
the Razorback Ramble at the Superlift
ORV park in Arkansas. That was a blast. We ran several of the level 3 trails
and a portion of a couple of 4's. I had one problem on one course with the spot.
He was on the driver's side, but didn't check my right and I clipped a rock. The
step bar was bent back and up, so it's toast till I get the brackets straighten.
Also, while on the same trail missed the route that the first two vehicles took
through an area and ended up bending a lower control arm on a level 4 obstacle.
Those LCA's are notoriously weak on the FJ. I got help once back to the main area
to straighten it for the drive home, but it's going to great replaced by stronger
version made by Sonoran Steel and skid from TLC.
I had also pinche the
skid plate. Wasn't worried about replacing the factory skid plate at the moment,
till the wife comes and tells me today to take the phone and talk with Bud from
Bud Built. When the wife tells you to go ahead and buy some his skid plates, then
it's a done deal. Plus, I ordered a set of his new sliders. Whoo Hoo!
The stock horn sucks. It's just not a get out of my way horn, so introduce one
Orient Express DD horn. Now it says move it! I put in in the area vacated
by the stock air box. The Fujita intake sits over it. Used one of the air conditioner
brackets and drilled one hole in the fender. No on board air is required it comes
with a small direct drive compressor. Later on I can upgrade the system to an
onboard air system using Wolo part WOL804EV.
Benefits of on board air are you can air up tires, inflatable bed or run air tools
while out on the trail with something like the WOL840.
Ok, like I mentioned before
we bent the passengers side Lower
Control Arm (LCA) at the Superlift park. I ordered replacements from Sonoran
Steel along with the skids for the front of the LCA's from TLC.
I got them in on Thursday last week, but only crawled under that evening to replace
the bent one. before it gave way. There is a trick to all this that I learned
from changing the first one. Chock the wheels. Jack up the rear, so that the tire
on the side you are working on doesn't sit on the ground. It allows the axle to
move easily, so you can line up the new LCA without killing yourself. Do NOT take
both of them off at the same time. I knew better before hand, but wanted to mention
it. There is a left and right to these. It's noted on the bracket for the brake
line. I used a tow strap to help me pull the axle forward into position while
my son feed the bolt through. After that it was just tighten up. You can lube
the bolts, but I don't think you have to. Also, leave the bolt loose while getting
the 2nd one though, then tighten it all up. The factory LCA is four pounds lighter
than the Sonoran one, that makes for a better bar.
the sliders and skid plates in about 3 weeks ago and have just been to busy to
install them. Well, no longer that is. The sliders went on last weekend. We just
unbolted the GoRhino stepbars and the Bud Built sliders went right up. Just be
sure to leave all the bolts loose till you get them all in. Tonight it was the
skid plates. I got the front, middle and transmission ones in along with the crossmember,
but ran out of time and light to get the gas tank one bolted up. That will go
on tomorrow night and I'll upload all the pictures. These are fabulous looking
plates. Be sure to have an extra person to help you out.
Also, we added new American Racing Chamber wheels in a 17x9 along
with the new BF
Goodrich Mud-Terrain™ T/A® KM2's in a LT305/65R17
been remiss in adding anything lately. The new wheels and tires were the last
thing I've done and just haven't had the time to do anything else. I did dress
it up for Christmas with lights. Definitely looking forward to the Texas Jamboree
coming up later this month.
I never was a fan of the Stant cap option for a locking fuel door.
Now I don't have to worry as Allsales has come out with a replacement
fuel door that locks. See part number ALS6071KL.
I've got mine so now I just need some time to install it.
Installed a Street and Performance throttlebody spacer SPE97405.
Now considering I drive like grandpa most of the time I did see
a gain of about 1 mpg in my fuel use. Also, it does seem to help
in the overall power when you do get on it. Between the spacer
and the intake it sounds like an old Dodge Thermoquad opening
up full bore.
Installed locking fuel door ALS6071KL.
Just took about 30 minutes and small fingers. Works great. Just
don't forget and leave your cap at the gas station. I've also
cut myself a couple of times on the license plate on the back
door. Added a simple frame for it part # ALS84002P
Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!
Thinking of adding a Klein
air tank and pump so to have air tools on the trail. Can also
split it and run a line to the train horn making it louder.
Had a headlight bulb go out. The moisture cover is missing and
so it shorted something out and the bulb is only half working.
Replacing them with Putco part PUT230004NB.
I can say, that I don't have any problem with Vandergriff Toyota.
I think they are a good dealership and there are good people there
that are serious off roaders and know their stuff. I've bought
a vehicle there before without issue. I've had friends and family
that have had a good experience as well.
Now, if I give an opinion on someone that works there and they
threaten to sue me over my first amendment right of free speech.
Well.... suck it! This is America and I have a right to express
my opinion. I did take their last name off after a threatening
email about being sued. In this day and age any nut case with
a grudge can sue you. However I can say this, if I wrote a letter
like that to one of my customers then they would think I was a
first class jerk!
Ah, the front brakes were starting to squeal a little so replaced
them with EBCDP61657.
It's a fairly easy process if you haven't done it yourself before.
Just take off the front wheels. Remove two bolts on the back side
of the caliper. This removes the caliper from the drum. Take out
the pins and remove the clip releasing the brake pads. Press the
pistons back flush and reinstall the new shoes. Put everything
back the same and reinstall the wheel. I went ahead and rotated
the tires while I was at it. She stops quick now. Had to do a
quick stop the other day and also banged my head into the steering
For all of you that
might not know about the Transmission issue yet. Please read up
on it at the FJ Cruiser Forums. Very important. It is not a lifetime
fluid do a change every 50K miles.
- Shuddering transmission problems
Ugh, I'm stick of Mud Terrain tires. After 88K miles
of them and the steering wheel acting like a shake weight it was
time for a change. The 305's were worn out. I switched and went
with Nitto Terra Grappler LT285/75R17.
Oh MY! what a difference. Quiet, rides smooth and no freaking
shaky steering. Factory tire diameter is 31.6 and these are 33.8,
so there is a difference in the speedo = 1.07 ratio difference.
Example: if 40 mph then 42.8 mph, if 60 then 64.2 mph.
Now, I also have my body mounts on the front chopped and I've
got a 3 inch lift with Bushwacker flares so it gives me the clearance
to run them without rub issues.
We've been experiencing the dreaded transmission shudder for a couple of years now. We've changed the fluid and added shudder ease. It came back after a few months. Just did a sevice again. Less but still there. I guess will go till the damned thing dies.
Part 1 see this PAGE.