08 FJ Cru....brickhouse

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Feb 19, 2008
Well, this is first pic of FJ...did not take any with stock Duelers but here she is adorned with Nitto Terra Grapplers in 295x70x17 size on the stock alloy wheels.

Rubs a bit at about 90% steering turn (just short of full lock) as they are rubbing on the damn frame nub in lower fender well when widest part of tire passes by it. Usually a light rubbing but offroad it does sound like a stick stuck in your fan.

So I guess I will be choosing between the OME (I know I know it is the best and proven) or the RevTek (yep money is a concern and really dont do hard core wheeling..mud, sand, a couple small rocks here or there or ditches...no rubicon stuff). Also considering ToyTec that has a full kit with the med/med OME stuff using stock shocks for now but when I get front bumper I can upgrade to their shocks. Or...just do it now and have a real stiff front end until next year LOL. decisions decisions. LOL

Next on my list is Rock Sliders from All-Pro, Skid plates (not sure which ones yet), Window vents from WeatherTech, E-Locker armor, do the differential modification for vent, and then a Magnaflow muffler....

I dont think mine will be going as fast as Corey's.....if I want to keep the wife I have without paying her with my FJ. :D:popcorn:
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Looking good!

I am partial to the OME lift, the Budbuilt skids (which have saved my truck numerous times) and sliders that DO NOT stick out so far from the rockers. Metaltechs are really nice looking. I have Toyota specials (stock sliders with an added bar for extra protection of the doors).

Even if you don't intend on "Rubicon-type" stuff, once you get this goat offroad, you might wish that you went with the suspension lift instead of the spacers. I sure am happy with mine!

There are a bunch of us that have been through the dance with what to get, and we're always happy to tell you where we think we did well, and will admit where we think we made a bad choice. Let us know how we can help.
Brock congratulations on Brick, she's a beauty. I trust your investment will reward you many times over, mine certainly has.
Welcome to the madness of TLC adventure as well. I don't know your previous experience, maybe that wasn't necessary. I also realize you haven't asked for advice but here's my $0.02 anyway.

I agree heartily with Heather that once you get into this you may find more interest in wheeling than you predict. That's been the case with me. I bought my C for a good AWD SUV with above average 4WD capabilities. Now I have a trail rig that only sees pavement getting from trail to trail. And loving it.
My road tires have never been back on since I got my Swampers. I bought a set of steel wheels for the mud tires, kept the Dunlops on the alloys. Bonnie stays locked and loaded with camping, trail and rescue gear.

I haven't done anything particularly radical. If you aren't interested in rock climbing competition I think you'll find that good tires, some lift and some armor will serve for most anything you'll get into around here. At least that's been my experience. I try to avoid situations that almost guarantee body damage and I take bypasses wherever available but I also do whatever it takes to get from A to Z. I really enjoy my Bonnie.

We've all made different choices with our upfit. It's all good and most of the differences are in cost and esthetic. I've been happy with mine and only would make one change if I started over. I would buy my rock sliders powdercoated instead of rattle canning them. I used the All-Pro because I liked the kick-out in the rear section. I'm not sure why one would like them close to the body, maybe Heather will explain that some time. My sliders have paid for themselves many times over. They are well abused and scarred. That would have been my rockers and doors otherwise. I advise everyone to put sliders at the top of their priority list.
I went hard against popular dogma and avoided the OME lift. I heard outside the community that they're grossly over-rated and over-priced. I don't have anything to compare to but I've been quite happy with my 3" Rough Country set; front spacers, rear shocks and springs, $349. The ride is to me better than the stock setup. I don't know why I would do otherwise.
One thing I would advise fairly early is a upgrading the rear trailing links. The stock parts are flimsy and vulnerable. Or you can just wait until you break one. It took me about three outings. I did mine at Gulches and didn't even know when it happened. I got the All-Pro for these too, three different grades and all lifetime guarantee. I bought the cheapest.
That's about all for the essentials. Most people get sliders and I should but haven't. A full set of Buds is my next step. I almost got them then my boat had problems and since then it's been one thing after another for my rec money. I bought the Toyota bling skid early and it's probably pretty much a waste of money but it looks good and makes a good curb feeler. Fortunately for me the FJC comes pretty well protected underneath. So far so good.
My last buy was a steel front bumper. I wanted a winch so I could feel OK out exploring on my own. So far I've used it once for me and twice for helping others. Being able to help others is a good thing. Good karma plus it gets them out of your way heh heh.
Finally the internal equipment I consider essential: Fire extinguisher, hi-lift jack, shovel, snatch strap, tree-saver, chain (don't want to have to use your strap or tree-saver on someone's frame that doesn't have tow points), and shackles. I recommend the steel to be 18-20,000# rated and the other at least 15K#. You want your nylon to break before your steel natch. I also bought a Super-Yanker and the Hi-Lift wheel hooks but I haven't need to use them yet.
Oh yeah you'll also want air. I opted for a cheapo Harbor Freight ARB knockoff. I also keep a ratchet strap on board for reseating beads. I've used that a number of times. I've about decided to stop airing down. I can't ever seem to keep my rim beads clean enough and my tires keep leaking down.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something but you're pretty well informed already, I just felt like writing tonight. Whatever essential I missed someone else will notice. We're all pretty involved with each other.

Hope you have a ball with Brick. I've had so much fun with Bonnie I've almost totally neglected my other toys, namely two scooters and two boats.

See you in the dirt.
Short Version

Nice FJC! Good luck with the build!!
Thanks for the replies and comments....all are appreciated. I grew up on farm so have wheeled to some extent off and on all my life...whether with two wheel drive farm truck and Groundhawgs on the back and posi trac.....or a military Hummer during my 21+ years...a Jeep Wrangler....Jeep Cherokee....Dodge Ram.

Never went for the pure wheeling...usually happened on way to camping or hunting whether it was mud, sand, rock, snow or fjording streams in upper Appalachias to get to a primitive camping site with no neighbors and lots of privacy. I am sure I will do one or two runs a year but likely wont be a every month wheeling kind of guy. Too many hobbies and too many trips with job.....my bike feels neglected if I dont ride her all year round...plus I love to bowhunt with longbows and recurves...birdhunt....camp. See too much time...this job is getting in the way of my recreational time. LOL

I will be getting a lift this week.....still not sure on OME, RevTek, or ToyTec.....leaning towards the two spacer lifts for now...to get some clearance...improve handling...and then next year or year after when I put on the new front bumper I can decide if they are sufficient or not and upgrade. Yep, more money...but I have to do it in spurts.

All pro rocksliders, budbuilt skid plates, e-lock armor....will check on the rear trailing links. thanks for the heads up.

i have a huge list of things already.....did not want to bore you but since you started...here goes. in addition to things above...wishes are WeatherTech window vents, new exhaust....maybe just a magnaflow muffler without replacing whole exhaust...will wait until it is broken or bent to do that. recovery shackle for trailer hitch....Tuffy center console.....rear door storage....lucrum bumper with D-Rings and light bar, rear storage bin with drawers, etc, fire extinquisher, hi-lift, cross bars for roof rack for canoe or other items, winch, winch kit,

I already have a few things for survival or such from my days of camping and hunting alone....

Enough for now...I got to get shopping for lift kit this morning...LOL

Thanks again....
Great stuff. You've got it going on.
I forgot the hitch mount for shackle, that's a must. Also something for the front.
I considered the Lucrum winch mount, but in the end for the same money more or less I got a Demello bumper and much more protection up there. I've completely trashed my rear bumperettes and in the end wanted steel up front. You'll also get way more approach angle than the stock.
Not sure what your objective is with an exhaust but the stock routing is awful, mucho vulnerable, I've had to heat and open mine up a couple of times. All-Pro does a muffler back piece that gets it up out of the way. I think it's also a bit bigger tubing so better sound. And cheap as I recall. They were once working on a cat back but I don't know if they finished it.
I've heard people with Borlas talk about eventually getting tired of the sound.

Hope you'll be joining us soon for an adventure. You're going to really like the way Brick takes to the woods.
well just pulled trigger on ToyTec suspension system using OME springs...but stock shocks for now and I can upgrade shocks later for more travel as I feel the need.

now to find someone with a lift.....and some time free to help. LOL

thanks for the info
Good time for the first Low Country Cruisers Hamom.
Great bonding and learning experience for everyone.

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