Considering an FJ Cruiser - What to look for? (1 Viewer)

bpassmore

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Sep 24, 2008
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Hey guys.

I am selling my 80 series because I need a good daily driver again. I am leaning to the FJC.

When I went searching for my 80 I had lots of advice and helpful pointers. Does the FJC community have a similar go-to list?

What should I be looking for? What gotchas are there? Anything that is a red flag? (Such as the body rip thread I saw below)

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 

shane4x4

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Apr 3, 2007
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At this point I'd say get a screaming deal on an '08. The only absolute necessity IMHO is the rear locker. EVERYTHING else (including A-Trac) can be added after the fact. If you do find a truck that has things you don't want (OEM rack, OEM rails, etc), keep in mind that you should be able to sell those items after the fact.

Body rips are very few & far between at this point. They were an issue with early '07 models, but I believe they've been pretty much taken care of. If you get an '08 (or '09), you should be pretty safe there. Common opinion is to not go for the off road package, since you'll most likely replace all of that equipment anyway. Unless you get stupid great deal of course.

Good luck!
 

1911

chupacabra
Joined
Aug 11, 2006
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Parker County, Texas
 
 
+1 on avoiding early build date '07 models for a few reasons, including a bad run of rear diff ring gears. Other than that you are good to go, and they make a great DD until you mod them and weight them down. Mine replaced an FJ80 as a daily driver; you're going to love the brakes and the power of the 1GR-FE engine in a lighter-than-80 package.
 
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Dec 1, 2005
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Desert Hot Springs, CA
 
Having owned and wheeled an FJ hard for a couple years they are very capable off road when set up properly despite the fact they are IFS rigs. The power is great and the brakes are even better, but common sense is required when 4 wheeling a vehicle that has a rear ring & pinion originally designed for 1500lbs less weight and nearly 100 less horsepower. A heavy right foot and wreckless abandon will produce broken gears and front CV axles.
Items on the replace list for off road use are the thin factory skidplates, and tupperware bumpers. Then add skids to the e-locker actuator and transfer case/exhaust crossover that hangs below the frame just after the crossmember. You also want to add a set of skids to the rear lower link mounts, very thin and easily deformed, and the lower links themselves are barely thicker than the tailpipe, meaning they bend easily and sometimes break. The tailpipe itself hangs down about 5" more than it has to and also crosses under the frame to exit the side - this is where it typically gets smashed and kills the motor due to excessive backpressure. The last thing to address is the weak sway bar links and crimped collars that are supposed to keep the sway bar centered - since they are simply crimped on they vibrate loose and allow the sway bar to shift side to side, binding the end against the knuckle and bending or breaking the sway bar link, which then swings down to destroy the CV boot - a good set of bolt on collars prevents this from happening in the first place and stops the cycle.
 
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Jan 30, 2009
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Nashville, TN
Hey, I am also considering an FJ and am a newbie to 4x4. What is a screaming deal and while I am considering a very basic set up to start, is there anything that I should get from the dealer that I won't be able to add later?
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
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bpassmore,
I own a '97 Landcruiser and an '07 FJcruiser. IMO, the FJ is more fun to drive and certainly can handle any type of normal off road stuff. In FWD my FJ hauls like a banshee up un plowed snow and ice Vermont mountains. In fact, it's better than my Landcruiser in that situation. Unless you really want to disappear from civilisation, you won't be disappointed by the FJ. It's a real truck, wheareas the LC can get you anywhere in a cushy style. These days I prefer the truck. No offence to the LC owners, but the FJ rocks.

Which is more capable? No doubt, the LC. Which is more fun and can do just about everything the LC, hands down, my FJ. Hey, that's why my son got the old rig, and I'm having a blast with the new!:D
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2006
Messages
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RaveWoofer, that is an excellent write up. Thank you. :cheers:
No problem. If you have any specific questions, just ask here.

I bought this truck, specifically to be anti LC. You see, I didn't want anything ginormous anymore as my kids are grown up. I didn't want fancy either. In fact, I specifically looked for a truck like this that didn't come with leather and all the other goodies. I wanted a NEW rig that I didn't care about. Coffee drips, no problem, the interior is black. Carpet? Who cares, I just open all doors and wash, hose, sponge everything out. Engine bay body rips? WTF????? My rig is stock, with rear lockers and FWD low, I can get out of ANY situation and not F my truck up.

In fact, if it's true that Toyota is about to cancel this model, I would buy another one just to hoard. Another thing: Since I have bought this rig, it has not gone back to the dealer for anything. I take it to a local gas station and go by the book. There is nearly no maintainence required on the truck.

Did I mention it's a great rig????:clap:
 
Joined
Jun 4, 2002
Messages
817
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Readfield, WI
 
First off I wouldn't trade my FJ for anything though I do want a 80 to had to the stable. that being said.

If you Wheel and add a Winch bumper and winch the aprons will crack. My '08 has 63,000 miles on it and has developed Apron Cracks and I don't believe there has been enough of a change to fix the problem.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 30, 2005
Messages
127
Location
MD
 
I have the TRD SE and I love it......

Bought it new 36 months ago, I have a hard time staying out of it.
It has 73K on it and I really like the way it drives out.
It is completely different than my 80 and my 62, both of which I dearly love.
I traded a 2003 LC 100 series for it, the FJ is a truck; very, dare I say, Jeep like but much smoother and much more refined.
Great pick up, very quick.
I like no carpet, retro style dash, lots of room up front and headroom, all you want.
I also like the somewhat unique look of the TRD edtion.
3200 made, all black, all the TRD stuff-wheels, shocks, exhast, 16" BFG's; added the CAI, made it quicker, alittle louder, much more responsive.
They made a Trails Edition in 2008, all white, basically the same as my TRD, with black trim; again 3200 made.
I like not seeing my truck at the light. I've seen 3 TRD's in 3 years.
Like I said, I have a hard time staying out of the truck, good luck in your search.........gm
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2009
Messages
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Location
Gainesville, Va
Wish I had a Team Trails

Go with either a TRD or team Trails model. More goodies for your dollar....plus your ride will not be two tone. my silver and white FJ has grown on me.....but every now again I wish my ride was all black.:bang:
 

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