School me on FJ Cruisers please

Discussion in 'FJ Cruiser' started by fjdemon, Jan 30, 2017.

  1. fjdemon

    fjdemon

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    Contemplating selling a couple cars and getting an FJ Cruiser as daily driver. I've read tons of reviews, but I want mud knowledge.

    What are pros and cons?

    How is reliability?

    What should I avoid or look out for?

    Any major issues I should know about?

    Thanks!
     
  2. BMThiker

    BMThiker I aim to misbehave Moderator SILVER Star

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    I've been daily driving mine since July 2006. I love it for my needs. The looks are love it or hate it. Some argue it has horrible blind spots. I think it's fine if you know to properly adjust your mirrors. It's certainly different than driving a 60 series, but you learn how to drive.

    The engine in mine has been relatively flawless. I've had to recently change the rear main seal which was weeping. I have over 190K on mine and have not had to worry about anything other than plugs, filters and fluids.

    The drive train is pretty reliable too. Unless you get into some hardcore wheeling, you will never need to worry about the axles or differentials. However, if you decide you want bigger than 33" tires, you will want to regear the diffs. Early model 2007's had bad batch of ring gears in them - just buy one manufactured after 02/2007 and you'll be fine. If you are going to regear anyway - it's a non issue.

    Others will chime in soon enough...
     
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  3. fjdemon

    fjdemon

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    Thank you for the reply. I'm looking for an around town the vehicle. I'm not too concerned with mpg, just want reliability.

    I heard 2010 had upgraded engines and better fender flares, but some things I read said the difference is negligible at this point.

    I have a FJ60 now, but I don't want to drive it and leave it in the city. I don't want to risk it because I can't replace it if anything happens and it's older so risk of theft is higher.

    Good to hear they are reliable.

    Thanks
     
  4. 1911

    1911 chupacabra

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    My experience is basically the same as Rick's above. 180,000+ miles, many of them very hard (it's now an oil field work truck for me). Still doesn't burn or leak oil; still drives great. No repairs needed (that I didn't cause myself).

    Great compromise of comfort, power, economy (as long as you leave it stock), and wheeling ability. Reliable as a stone. Lots of interior room for the front seats, but the back seat sucks for passengers. The cruise control can be annoying (though that is probably my fault too). Exterior visibility is not great, but you learn how to adjust and use your mirrors. Adding small stick-on fish-eye mirrors to the outside mirrors helped a lot. Been very happy with mine; no plans to get rid of it.
     
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  5. Southeast Overland

    Southeast Overland Supporting Vendor

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    We now have 180,000 + K on our shop Fj and have not had to do any major repairs at all (that are not user caused) With it being a shop truck we drive it to 2-3 events per month and wheel the snot out of it whenever we can. It has seriously impressed me to the point where I would buy one for my personal vehicle if I had quite a bit of extra cash laying around.

    ~Jeff
     
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  6. Corey

    Corey

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    Daily driver, weekend camper.
    Bought it new and took delivery July of 2006.
    Not one problem with it, and my very first light (drivers headlight) finally burned out in the fall.
    Not even any of the other lights, that is good :bounce:

    Plenty of power for me with 285x70x17" tires, and mine is no lightweight as I have ARB front and rear bumpers, winch, and a roof top tent on it.
    Most reliable vehicle I have ever owned.
     
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  7. BMThiker

    BMThiker I aim to misbehave Moderator SILVER Star

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    The 2010+ models introduced a slight improvement in HP, but lower optimal torque ratings. I think it was monikered the dual VVTi, whereas the intitial engine was just VVTi (variable valve timing). They re-engineered the oil filter (cartridge instead of canister), re-positioned the airbox, and the washer reservoir. All really minor things that may not being annoying in stock running form. The washer reservoir interferes with some aftermarket bumpers, but still plenty of options out there. The inner fenders (in the engine bay) were reinforced where early model trucks were warping and/or cracking.
     
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  8. airon23

    airon23

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    I bought a pretty well cared for 2007 FJ 6 months ago with 145k miles and it's been a great semi daily driver. I commute for work and wanted something for winter months. This does the job and more. I've heard some of the gear stuff that could go wrong but I haven't had any problems. I haven't had any problems adjusting to driving with blind spots. I just learned to look early and often before trying to make any sudden turns or lane shifts. Standard defensive driving rules and use your mirrors and you should be fine and probably won't even notice a big difference.
     
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  9. Mtbcoach

    Mtbcoach Moderator

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    Moab Day 2 241.jpg I'll echo what the others have said, you can find lots of haters and naysayers too. However, you can see those who have used their rigs as intended since they were introduced, took care of them and they have served them very well. I'd be patient, drive one used by a soccer mom and modify/upgrade to your intended use once you settle into it. Many throw upgrades on them to sell and they may not fit into how you plan to use it.

    Definitely a worthy vehicle to take you most anywhere you desire...
     
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  10. NyNomad

    NyNomad

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    143 Thousand Miles, 1cv axle, 2sets of front wheel bearings, one rear wheel bearing, replaced LCA's, soon to be replaced front windshield, a few idler pullies and Zero Regret! Just honk the horn before backing up!


    ..

    So this is the current set up:

    2008 Sandstorm with about 143k
    Front Suspension:
    - Bilstein 5100's with toytec/Elbach 3"lift lift springs
    - Currently on free floating sway bar links.. soon All-Pro solid sway bar links
    - Camburg Ball Joint UCA's

    Rear Suspension:
    - Bilstein 5160's
    - Super Flex 2" lift springs
    - Sway bar disconnect Links (currently disconnected)
    - Extended Brake lines
    - MetalTech adjustable lower links
    - OEM upper links

    Brakes:
    - EBC 3GD Rotors front and back
    - EBC green stuff 7000 series front
    - EBC green stuff 6000 series rear

    Armor:
    - bent, scrapped and abused front/transmission/transfer case RCI metal skid plates
    - Boztec rear diff skid
    - dented and scrapped OEM rock sliders

    Bumper and winch:
    - Trailworx tubed winch bumper
    - Smittybilt XRC 9.5 synthetic

    Intake:
    - PRG Snorkel

    Drive train:
    - Raised Rear diff and locker breather (still need to do the transfer case)

    Lighting:
    - 50" KC Gravity Pro6 LED light bar roofrack front
    - Mictuning /Amazon LED, 2x 18in(roof rack left and right), 22in curved(hood)
    - 30in Amazon no name brand(roof rack rear)
    - 6x Free Amazon cube lights for temporary rock lights
    - 2x Disconnected PRG 8.75in diameter LED lights on bumper

    Electrical:
    - Switch Pros SP8100 8-Switch Panel Power System (Super easy, painless wiring system and highly recommend)

    Wheels:
    - FJ80 16x8 wheels painted in what I call "Root Beer flake"
    - Synergy 1.5in spacers

    Tires:
    - 285/75/16 DickCepek Extreme Country

    Roof Rack:
    - Soon to be delivered Warrior Platform rack

    Visual
    - Trailworx Hooped light bar mount
    - Bushwhacker fender flares

    Other:
    - DIY rear door food prep table
    - EdgeStar 43qt refrigerator
    - DIY 3in tall rear Platform to level the back when seats are lowered and E-tracks tie down brackets
    - The Source 10lb CO2 tank with regulator
    - Cheap skull shift knob from Walmart
    - Cobra 75w CB w/ 3ft Firestik 2 antenna
    - indoor/outdoor wireless thermostat for frig temp monitoring
    - As Screen on TV pocket fisherman fishing pole and telescoping pole
    - Removeable Office carpet under floor (flooded the inside and had to rip out the soaked oem insulation)
    - more to come!


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  11. fjdemon

    fjdemon

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    Awesome info gents! I will keep my eye out for a lower mileage one likely between 2007 and 2010.
     
  12. fjdemon

    fjdemon

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    Manual vs Automatic? I hear the manual is awd. Any benefit to either option?
     
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  13. BMThiker

    BMThiker I aim to misbehave Moderator SILVER Star

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    Mine is AT and I like it a lot. Manual would be fun for a hobby vehicle, but for daily driving and wheeling I prefer the AT. Yes, the manuals are full time 4WD with a torsen type transfer case. The manual's have slightly lower gearing in the axles too (3.91 v. 3.73).
     
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  14. fjdemon

    fjdemon

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    Makes sense. I'm normally anti-automatic trans, but if I'm looking for a daily driver it might be nice for traffic. I'm not a big fan of full time 4wd either. Thanks.
     
  15. NyNomad

    NyNomad

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    Driving with the brake while rock crawling with an AT is an acquired art
     
  16. BMThiker

    BMThiker I aim to misbehave Moderator SILVER Star

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    I have taught myself to left foot brake in daily driving, so that I could be better at it on the trail. But then again, A-trac works pretty darn well too ;)
     
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  17. NyNomad

    NyNomad

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    I do lots of D.D'ing left foot braking too
     
  18. BMThiker

    BMThiker I aim to misbehave Moderator SILVER Star

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    I like to think I drive like the F1 drivers do, but I do like that I can drive with both feet confidently now.
     
  19. firensteel

    firensteel

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    For my 2 cents I would say buy a post 2010, the upgrades make service easier ( except the cartridge filter on the bottom of the engine) and incorporate all the upgrades. Even the sway-bars are larger diameter. Not only do you get a newer vehicle with lower miles, you get what Toyota decided it should have done from the start.
    Reliability? Not a question, this engine/transmission/transfer-case crosses a lot of vehicles.
    Rear view is something you will have to get used to. Putting the spare tire on the rear door and making large A-pillar side panels and large rear headrests makes for careful viewing. You will get used to it.
    Aftermarket support is great though, anything you want.
    I never needed a Land Cruiser so I would suggest this vehicle is ("was", since the model is dropped from the line) the best package 4x4 available.
    In a stock package it is pretty well equipped to go off-roading and so much more reliable than a Jeep. My previous 4x4's include Dodge Ramcharger, Chevy K-5, Chevy S-10 Blazer, Chevy K-1500 P/U. The FJ is so much better all around than any one of them.
     
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  20. ufg8r

    ufg8r SILVER Star

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    Also, the pre-2010 FJ Cruisers can accommodate the TRD supercharger.....:steer:

    No major issues on mine. 105,000 miles. Replaced a cv axle after a torn boot (lifted FJCs are prone to this i think). Have a leaky rear axle seal currently. Otherwise just maintenance parts. The interior does show some minor issues. My armrest on the drivers door cracked and the drivers seat has got some play in it somewhere (it clunks when I shift around or get in/out).
     
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