Need Advice on FJ...Automatic vs Manual Transmission

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Just to add a little to what has been said.

The manual trans are all full time 4WD. On the transfer case shifter is labelled H (high hear, transfer case Torsen limited slip 4WD), HL (high gear, transfer case locked (off road only)), and LL (Low gear range, locked transfer case (off road only.)) On manual trans models the front axle is clutch type limited slip at all times, hubs non-selectable. The rear axle is an electric locker that from the factory can only be engaged in LL mode. There is a simple wiring modification to allow the rear diff to be locked any time which I like for deep snow on the road. I'm informed enough to not engage it on dry pavement. (Given all this I've got 3 different gear oils in mine - Limited Slip in the front axle, GL4 gear oil in the trans (per Toyota's recommendation) and GL5 gear oil in the transfer case and rear axle.)

The early ones through early 08 model year had a body weakness issue on the inner fender in front of the doors. The steel bulged or bent. I think there was a recall but you still might want to check if you're looking at one of these. In '10 they tweaked the motor a little bit for friction reduction and variable exhaust timing to gain about 15 horsepower. Yes the mileage sucks but I can do better than sticker on the highway with cruise control on.

And before I was a truck guy I was a sports can guy. I can tell you that with full time 4WD and 265 horsepower the manual trans model is a hoot in the twisties. Between the short wheelbase and all wheel drive this thing scoots through a corner like you wouldn't believe. You can hammer the throttle any time and never break traction. Very hard in a big sweeper I can feel the inside front wheel start the break free then the electronic system kicks in and keeps things in check.

Obviously as a manual trans guy my whole life that's what I chose but I don't wheel it and I live in an rural area. I have experineced no issues with the electric axle locking mechanisms on either this or my Tacoma but I don't go in deep water. Hope this helps.

Eric
 
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Oh great. I was leaning heavily towards the automatic side of the decision and now moving back towards the manual.:bang:

I have always driven a manual transmission and for the past 30 years it has been a Toyota PU with manual hubs (first an 85 then the 95).
That said I also drove a Chevy 4x4 for 15 years and could easily out wheel the Chevy automatic with my manual Toyota (of course the Toyota was a much better truck). I also have a Tundra but have not had a chance to wheel it too hard (and am not sure I will, that is what the FJ is going to be for).

Thank you for the detailed explanation on the automatic vs manual transmission. That does help.

Pat
 
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07-09 can be supercharged and requires premium fuel per factory spec 10-14 nobody has a supercharger developed ( URD is working on one but not yet released), but you can run regular fuel or premium . there are other differences in models trail team edition being the most visibly different, wheels, bumper ,color, and badges .
 
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So that's the deal.
I was talking to a friend of a friend that had just gotten an FJ and they said that they had to use Premium gasoline. I was reading what I could in the brochures and the like and saw no mention of Premium gas. I was reading newer brochures.

This is great stuff.
What other differences are there between model years and models.

I still have a hard time seeing the Trail Team Editions only having different badging, wheels, paint and upgraded shocks.
Typically calling something out like that would include some nice upgrade features not available on the other models. (leather seats, bun warmers, sun roof, different gearing, something).

Different bumpers for the Trail Teams Edition is a new one. Are the bumpers winch ready or just different?

Pat
 
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Hello Pat, the trail team editions are generally one color no white roof black instead of silver for the bumper skins and mirrors and yes there are other differences these are the visible differences better shocks and off road package does not really show from the outside there is also a TRD special edition and the post tsunami NSSE , no bum warmers though if you want that look at seat covers and wet okole seat heaters I believe I have heard of northern dealerships installing them in snow country but I live in FLA no bum warmers needed here .
 

BMThiker

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At the initial launch of the FJC in 2006 the brochures and dealers said it needed Premium Fuel. As it turned out, it really doesn't. The 1GRE platform was already in 4Runners and Prados around the world running Regular octane fuel. So Toyota backtracked and later literature/brochures dropped the Premium fuel text. You will get closer to reaching the advertised HP/torque specs when you use high octane fuel though. Since prices on fuel have been abnormally low the past few years, I've been "treating myself" to 93 octane and my mileage has improved slightly.
 

BMThiker

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I can usually eke out somewhere around 16-17 on highway hauls if I stay under 65mph.
 
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More questions :)

Other than white, if an FJC is solid colored (and has not been repainted) does that mean that it is a Trail Teams Edition?
I see one that is solid Heritage Blue, 2014 that they dealer is calling an "FJ Cruiser Base".
Might this be a gem in hiding?
Of course they are not listing a price but before I called I wanted to confirm that it was a Trail Teams Edition so I knew if I should get excited if they were asking $19,999 for it.:steer:

Pat
 
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If a 2014 were for sale at 19,999 I wouldn't be excited, I'd be suspicious. Somewhere in these threads is a discussion of the later models with no white roof, but I'm not sure that makes it a Trails Team model.
 
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I own a 6M. It is not full time four wheel drive like a couple of the posts claim. It has a transfer case which will supply power to the front wheels if selected (either 4h or 4L) by the driver. It does not have "locking hubs". Locking hubs allow you to lock or release the wheels from front drive axles so the front differential is not spinning in 2 wheel drive. It helps reduce wear and improves mileage a little. I have owned at least 10 cars and all have been manuals. I have two issues with the tranny. First is that reverse gear is way to high. Every other car I have owned reverse is as low as a granny. This lets you maneuver in reverse without playing with the throttle. Not so with the FJC. The other issue is this is the grabbiest clutch I have ever driven. It sometimes engages all at once and unexpectedly. It is not very consistent. Backing up a hill in reverse is a real challenge.

My advice. There many more autos out there than manuals. You will have a lot more too choose from. I bought mine new because the selection of 6M's was really limited and they tend to sell for a premium. If I were buying a used one today it would probably be an auto in the best condition possible with the least number of miles. I tend to look at a lot of used cars before committing to buy.
 
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I own a 6M. It is not full time four wheel drive like a couple of the posts claim. It has a transfer case which will supply power to the front wheels if selected (either 4h or 4L) by the driver. It does not have "locking hubs". Locking hubs allow you to lock or release the wheels from front drive axles so the front differential is not spinning in 2 wheel drive. It helps reduce wear and improves mileage a little.
Maybe you have a unique or non-US spec model? Mine is full time AWD as described by Toyota and Wikipedia?



Eric
 

ryanCA

 
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Looking at MT vs AT

I prefer the MT, but reading in Tacoma world and fjc forum has me scared about all the throw out bearing issues

I don’t want a Toyota that is s rocking timebomb

Any advice? Don’t really want AT, but are manual throw out bearings such a problem with FJC?
 
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Mine is chirping at 64,000 miles on an '08. I think the rear main seal is weeping a little as well. Disappointing but not the end of the world. I'm fully capable of dropping the trans and fixing both but that's not the case for everyone.
 
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