Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The build up

The FJ sitting a little taller now

This is a post that is for those who are interested in modifications done to FJ Cruisers. Some members of the club asked me to post some pics. Now rather than try to get the hang of it using the club site, I will just add a link there.

As you know I like to travel, and for years I have had the luxury of a 4x4 sitting in the driveway as a 2nd car. They were all set up ready to roll. My circumstances changed this year and, as much as I loved my trayback, I needed an auto that could double as a daily drive.

In comes the FJ. Toyota have created a "platform" on which you can build up the FJ to suit your style of travel. Some people enjoy Gymkhanas, some enjoy beach fishing, some enjoy rallies. Me? I have to eat big kilometres over 2nd rate roads. So my mods are suited for that.

The FJ in standard trim is very comfortable and brilliant off road. Its rubber interior is easy clean, waterproof seats. The V6 petrol is a surprise- good on fuel and has really good acceleration for a heavier vehicle. So, I dont miss the turbo diesels one bit. However, There are a few things that needed improving.

The FJs front bar is plastic and very soft.

Firstly the front bumper- Its plastic and would not cope with a nudge from a cow. In comes the ARB bull bar. Now I must admit in retrospect I am not too happy with it. Its heavy and really made a negative impact on the way the vehicle handles. I cannot be without it as the risk of hitting a roo or livestock- even nudging them off the road at night, a bar is a must.

Secondly, I fitted IPF driving lights- again to get a good look at night. The standard headlights are fine for city work but not up to it outback.

The blue springs!

Thirdly, To improve the way the vehicle handles I had Ultimate suspension fitted. This raises the FJ by 50mm, stiffens the ride, improves the handling. So, the weight of the bar has been resolved.

The simple, neat UHF set up

Fourthly, I had a UHF radio fitted. Its a small price to pay for the comfort should anything happen as well as convenient when travelling in a group. I am amazed at how technology has improved things. The radios in my previous vehicles were huge. This new unit the microphone has all the controls and the main unit tuck away behind the dash. The hand piece can be unclipped and stored when not in use. Its neat, clean and tidy. Of course I got a white aerial to match nthe white roof.

ARB neat fit air compressor.

Fifth on the list is an air compressor. For my overseas friends. I cannot tell you how many times I have used one in the past. When traveling on sand you have to lower the pressures in the tyres, or repairing punctures, or blowing up airbeds or bike tyres or footballs... I have even used one to blow dust out of components when repairing them. Its fitted on the flat panel just behind the washer bottle. This may be looked at again should a dual battery set up be installed.

Neat fit of UHF radio aerial. Fitted to Drivers side to minimize damage from trees and scrub. Note- its white! to match the roof..

Next on the list is wheels and tyres. Most of the roads I travel are coarse stone and gravel. I need a tyre that is anti chip and will do the distance. My Dunlops only lasted 20,000km on my troopie, yet my Coopers did about 80,000km. Also a change of rims will keep the original ones looking "fresh" when i come to sell the FJ. Those roads tend to sandblast the alloy. I originally thought of black, but someone said try white rims for a complete retro look. We shall see. I like the look of the FJ on the right of my blog however.

FJ is a very capable towing vehicle. Even with this lot plus gear, fuel consumption was 12.5 litres per Hundred k's.

So, these are the mods to date. Is the FJ perfect? no. There are a couple of things I am not used to. 1. the fuel tank is way too small- So I have a 120litre tank ordered. This will fit perfectly behind the rear axles. 2. Not enough storage- so I have ordered a roof rack. 3. The plastic in the cargo area scratches way too easily. So a carpeted draw system is on the agenda.

My days of thrashing a 4x4 over dunes and in gymkhanas is over, so I hope my build will allow me to travel to remote places in comfort and reliability. I am reluctant to do any/many electronic mods as I dont want any reliablity issues. So no extra gauges or wire cutting for me.


  1. I'll be honest, I have nooo idea what's going on here lol.

    RYN: Crutches?? Good heavens, what happened??

  2. Very impressive.Perhaps you could do some mods to our Merc

  3. Shadow- just ankle surgery. :o)

    Bring it over Badger and we will put an air compressor in it!

  4. My Dad would certainly not approve ;-)


  5. lol! true mate, but on the last trip he was begining to loosen up about the virtues of accessories!