To wait or not to wait… The H3 vs. FJ Cruiser Story

Discussion in 'FJ Cruiser' started by j7addict, Jun 26, 2005.

  1. j7addict

    j7addict

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    After owning an FJ70 for 10 years and 100K miles of on and off-road trouble free life, I had to say goodbye my Land Cruiser when I moved to the States.

    Now, after a few years in these new lands I’m in the search for a rig. My first idea was to import a BJ70 from Canada, but all I find is 300K+ km rusted rigs, with no A/C, and here in Florida an A/C is a must-have. Waiting another 5 years to import a 25-year-old cruiser seems like too much time for me.

    Although I prefer solid axles ten times over IFS, 20+ year-old trucks will have issues to deal with. So I decided to get a brand new truck with IFS rather then a 20+ year-old with front solid axle.

    I was yesterday at the Hummer dealer and the H3 looks like a pretty capable rig, specially with the “adventure” package that includes 33” tires, rear diff locker and what I liked best, a 4.03:1 transfer case, giving it an amazing 68.9:1 crawl ratio. Since I got to the dealer when they were about to close, I wasn’t able to test drive it. I was planning on going this afternoon, test drive and if I liked it I was going to order one with the adventure package and manual transmission.

    But, then, this morning I was looking at the FJ Cruiser and asked myself, should I wait a few months until it comes out and see its final specs? Since the cruiser should cost less than the Hummer, I could use the diffrence for mods. I rather buy a Toyota than a Hummer, because I know how strong and durable Toyotas are, but I don’t know how well are the Hummers built. But on the other hand, will Toyota offer a nice off-road package for the Cruiser, I know it will offer traction control and rear lockers, but what about crawl ratio? I love to drive manuals, but when you are rock crawling, if you don’t have a real low crawl ratio, your clutch will suffer, overheat, slip and wear too fast.

    Any one has any info on this?
     
  2. firetruck41

    firetruck41

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    Come on, a Chevy vs. a Toyota, no question the Toyota wins hands down :) . Seriously, the H3 is a glorified TrailBlazer/Colorado, not exactly an awesome platform to base a serious offroad vehicle on.
    For the production specs that we know of for the FJ Cruiser, go to:Toyota Pressroom - FJ Cruiser
    If you can't wait until next spring, get an 80 or 100 series Land Cruiser to tide you over, instead of wasting your money on an H3. :D
     
  3. cruiserjunktion

    cruiserjunktion Cruiserjunktion@gmail.com Supporting Vendor GOLD Star

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  4. j7addict

    j7addict

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    8O series are great trucks, but they only came with auto trannies here in north america and are also a little too big for some trails I ride a few times a year
     
  5. Sonic1

    Sonic1

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    Want to see how reliable Hummers are especially the H2's pick up an Auto trader and see the pages of them in their for sale. Crappy mileage and off road performance sucks....
     
  6. LukeO

    LukeO

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    I test drove an H3 a couple weeks ago. I must admit they look cool enough. Anyway, I took the "adventure" model out, with an automatic. There are'nt any sticks available right now as I was told.

    For the price it seemed worth it. After comparing the H3 to my sister's new 4runner; I'd say by appearance the H3 has stouter looking components. It is a little bigger inside than a 4runner too. I was surpirsed to hear that the adventure series models had exactly the same suspension as the rest, only bigger tires.

    The drive. Firts inpmression was that the gas and brake pedals were too close. As in with my Tevas on my foot was in contact with both pedals at all times; even after sliding my foot as far to the right as possible away from the brake. To me this seemed like a safety issue especially had I been wearing boots.

    Visibilty kinda sucks. Even though the inside is roomy, the windows have a serious chopped effect going on which makes it really hard to see well when pulling out into traffic.

    Acceleration totally sucked. The inline 5 cylinder engine could not get out of it's own way. It was very, very, very sluggish. My 97 FZJ80 with 35's accelerates twice as fast with around 180,000 miles on it. I originally liked the idea of a inline 5 cylinder engine; however I don't believe GM did a good job applying this idea.

    The brush bar was flimsy crap, I don't know whay it was there, none had the factory sliders on only crap running boards/nerf bars.

    The large rear hatch is kinda neat, it opens almost by itself with a full size spare on, however the back seats do not fold down flat at all, but at an angle. This looked like a rush job to me.

    The gear ratios seemed OK and the locker in the back is a plus, however I did not get to use it.

    I did notice that the H1 Alpha in the showroom hade like 7 oil drip spots below it which kinda sucks considering it's a 120,000+ dollar ride. These were below the front end, the trans/transfer and the rear end. I did not see any below the H3, but who knows?

    After very little thought I can honestly say that I see no benefit whatsoever in the H3; considering I have my 80 series anyway. I do believe the 80 series is built better and even already having around 180,000 mile on it, would still be more reliable than a new H3.

    Mind you, the H3 was a possible replacement for my Outback and I placed it in the same class of vehicle.
     
  7. calamaridog

    calamaridog

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    You are comparing two vehicles which are dramatically different in size and price, i.e. FJCruiser and H3. Get yourself a Lexus GX470, LX470, or UZJ 100 Land Cruiser and you won't be disappointed. I wouldn't even buy a new one as you can find tons of nice, almost new ones at considerable discounts.
     
  8. Nick the Carpenter

    Nick the Carpenter

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    sounds like all show and no go to me ??
     
  9. j7addict

    j7addict

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    Where do you find brand new GX470s, LX470s or UZJ 100s for $30K?
     
  10. calamaridog

    calamaridog

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    "I wouldn't even buy a new one as you can find tons of nice, almost new ones at considerable discounts." - me

    I never suggested purchasing a new car. I suggested considering a used Land Cruiser, GX470, or LX470 instead of a new H3.

    The H3 is another rebadged GM piece of crap based upon the Chevy Trailblazer platform. I can tell you from personal experience the Trailblazer is nothing special. My father is unloading his Trailblazer after 85,000 terrible maintenance filled miles. The vehicle is only 2 years old and has 2nd drivetrain, 3rd set of brakes.

    Go ahead and get yourself an H3. Enjoy the pride of ownership for 100,000 miles when it literally falls apart. Maybe I'm wrong. I can only hope so for the sake of the American automotive industry, seeing as how the GM stock is now considered "junk" and they refused to publicly announce their loses and earnings:rolleyes:

    If you are dying to spend $30,000 on a brand new vehicle, perhaps a Toyota 4Runner would serve your needs. I've seen new ones for around that price.

    I will buy a used Toyota/Lexus product long before I consider another GM, Ford, or Chrysler product.

    Hey, the good news is there is a Hummer forum...
     
  11. Cruiserhead05

    Cruiserhead05 SILVER Star

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    My vote would be for a built 80 over the H3 and the FJ cruiser.

    The FJ is going to cost you what? 25k. easy.
    For 25k you could pick up a fairly low mileage 80 with leather, AC, solid front and rear axles, front, cent and rear diff locks. And still have tons left over to modify it very nicely.
     
  12. j7addict

    j7addict

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    As I was writing this post I new I was gonna hurt people’s feelings, although that wasn’t the purpose of it.

    Let me explain how I see this issue. To me, having a capable and durable off-road truck is similar to cooking; you need both a good recipe and high quality ingredients.

    My perfect recipe should include among other things, not in order of importance (I must emphasize “my” doesn’t necessary mean “your”):

    -Diesel engine
    -Front and rear solid axles
    -Manual transmission
    -Combination of low-end torque and crawl ratio that allows rock crawling without burning your clutch
    -LSDs and lockers

    The more of it that comes stock, the better.

    Jeep Rubicon’s recipe is very close to mine, they even offer a diesel engine on the Liberty, but their ingredients suck, so that’s not an option.

    Toyota had the perfect recipe with the 7 series, and even tough they are still selling it in Central and South America, they can not be imported to the US. Buying a 20+ year-old 7 series is not an option for me either.

    So, we all know that Toyota has the best ingredients, but will they have the right recipe with the FJ Cruiser? That’s what I want to find out and the Toyota pressroom specs are not “specific” enough for me.

    I’d love to buy an FJ Cruiser, but if their recipe deviates too much from “my” perfect recipe, I'd have to look for other options...
     
  13. j7addict

    j7addict

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    I like the 80s a lot, but unfortunately they only came with auto trannies and they are too wide for some trails I ride :frown:
     
  14. atomicpunk51

    atomicpunk51

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    Why not just wait and see if the FJ cruiser will fit your needs. That is if you have the time.

    The FJ Cruiser is built off the Tacoma/4runner platform so you know it wil be decent. Check out www.TTORA.com for all the build up info you ever wanted to know about the Tacoma. The Taco is a great ride and I'm sure the FJ Cruiser will be to. Since the Tacos are so popular there are already a TON of aftermarket parts.

    With the money you save from not buying the H3 you can do a few mods. For mild offroading a 3"- 4" lift and some 285/75R16 would probably be good enough for 99% of the people out there. I have been with several 3" lifted, 33" tire Tacomas going over the Rubicon. If you want to get crazy Marlin Crawler already has a Crawl box for the Tacoma Transfer Case, some serious Low Range. Or check out www.bentup.com for all your SAS Solid Axle Swap info. The have done a ton of Tacomas already (Leafs & Coilovers), I am sure there are chomping at the bit to SAS a FJ Cruiser.

    Good Luck
     
  15. Eric Winkworth

    Eric Winkworth

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    Spend your 30,000 on a diesel cruiser imported from Japan, most bang fer yer buck as far as i'm consirned, I would much rather have a diesel over a gasser anyway expecially since gas prices are going to be over dollar a litre soon here in canada, it is just plain stupied to buy anything but an efficant gasser or a diesel

    in my opinion
     
  16. firetruck41

    firetruck41

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    Very difficult to impossible, to import a new"ish" Japanese model Land Cruiser into the US. I wish it was as easy for us as it is for Canada. :)
     
  17. j7addict

    j7addict

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    Thanks, atomicpunk51! This is what I needed to hear! I'll check those sites to see if I can build my dream cruiser :) Hope Toyota will offer the low gear transfer case as an option though...
     
  18. j7addict

    j7addict

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    Yeah, that would be nice, but it's not "real" for us here in the US.
     
  19. swank60

    swank60

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    You mention several times that the 80 is too large for some trails you're on from time to time, but isn't the H3 about the same size?
     
  20. MH_Stevens

    MH_Stevens

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    Please, neither the square trailblaze (H3) or the bare 4-runner (FJ) are in the same class as Land Cruisers. If, like me you can't afford a new LC go get a FJX80.
     
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