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mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
2/7/18 3:30 p.m.

In reply to ultraclyde :

That's pretty much it. Houston to Key West to Newfoundland to Alaska to Baja and back to Houston.

Wally
Wally MegaDork
2/7/18 5:26 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

That's similar to a trip the wife and I eventually want to do. Of course I'm still taking down my Christmas lights while you're starting yet another project so I may never get there.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
2/7/18 5:43 p.m.

You aren't kidding about these holding their value:

(sorry... not sure why the first pic didn't work)

$30K???

The referenced more mundane example on a CarMax site in Cali for $25K.

surprise

759NRNG
759NRNG Dork
2/7/18 6:22 p.m.
Crackers said:

Why do I get the feeling this thread is the result of some kind of wager involving your ability to draw attention to non-enthusiast vehicles? 

Shhhhh!!!!....he's on a roll.....sooner but probably later he'll return to that other non-enthusiast thread......winkFERD'n    

sethmeister4
sethmeister4 SuperDork
2/7/18 6:53 p.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

In reply to ultraclyde :

That's pretty much it. Houston to Key West to Newfoundland to Alaska to Baja and back to Houston.

This is exactly what my wife and I want to do when the kids are grown.  Well, not specifically your route, but a grand adventure.  My youngest is 10 months, though, so I have a long ways to go. cheeky. I'll be following along.

Papabishop
Papabishop New Reader
2/7/18 8:16 p.m.

Always loved the uniqueness of FJs, loved them ever since seen fj40 when I was a kid.Jeeps are good at what they do, but for some reason I dislike vehicles I see all the time on the road. Got to work on once when they first came out installing hitch and trailer wiring. Which the wiring had me cussing at mfg..

bgkast
bgkast PowerDork
2/7/18 8:16 p.m.

I love the inspiration behind the build.  You have similar goals to what I'm doing with my Land cruiser.

Papabishop
Papabishop New Reader
2/7/18 8:18 p.m.

And if you never been to key west, the true key west be careful. Very easy to say berkely it im never leaving.

Dirtydog
Dirtydog HalfDork
2/7/18 8:30 p.m.

Don't forget to pause at Key Largo, and give a toast to Humphrey Bogart.   Waaay back, on a motorcycle camping trip, we camped out on  the Keys.  But you could get away with it then.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
2/7/18 9:08 p.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

In reply to Woody :

I assume you've done the "put the front way up in the air" trick? And seriously, mine won't draw coolant unless it's full to the top of the neck, even if I only have to add a couple of ounces to get it there. 

I put the front on ramps, but that's as high as I got it. I'm pretty sure that it was full to the top of the neck, but I'll give it another try.

Cotton
Cotton PowerDork
2/14/18 9:14 p.m.

Funny reading this because I just bought radiator for my blue and white FJ,  except mine is a 72 FJ40.

crankwalk
crankwalk Dork
2/15/18 1:48 p.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

In reply to ultraclyde :

That's pretty much it. Houston to Key West to Newfoundland to Alaska to Baja and back to Houston.

 

 

That's cool. Let me know when you're in AK and I can take you out with some other cruiser dudes. Most actual trails up here just about require solid axle's and 35 in tires minimum but depending on the setup you can see some pretty interesting stuff with 33s and a good suspension lift.

 

A couple of times I've gone out with a group in my 60 with a built SFA, 35s and a 3 inch suspension lift and been the least equipped for where we were going.

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
2/15/18 4:42 p.m.

Can i just say i have been waiting for this one? These things with a manual are cool. Our shared fondness for road legal tractor driving dynamics is long established, of course. cheeky

Why do I get the feeling this thread is the result of some kind of wager involving your ability to draw attention to non-enthusiast vehicles?  

 There may be people who are unenthusiastic about them, but these are enthusiast vehicles in my mind. They're unique 
(from a 4runner, already arguably an enthusiast vehicle) for no practical reason but solely to appeal to people who are enthusiastic about cars. They have actual chops when it comes to off-road abilities, too.

 

 

crankwalk
crankwalk Dork
2/15/18 4:59 p.m.
Vigo said:

Can i just say i have been waiting for this one? These things with a manual are cool. Our shared fondness for road legal tractor driving dynamics is long established, of course. cheeky

 

 

 

 

If you think an FJ Cruiser is like driving a tractor then an FJ40/60 would be like driving a wheelbarrow I suppose. FJ Cruisers feel like any modern small SUV and there's nothing wrong with that.

 

Vigo said:

 

 There may be people who are unenthusiastic about them, but these are enthusiast vehicles in my mind. They're unique 
(from a 4runner, already arguably an enthusiast vehicle) for no practical reason but solely to appeal to people who are enthusiastic about cars. They have actual chops when it comes to off-road abilities, too.

 


 

I would say an FJ Cruiser is a niche enthusiast vehicle but interesting you say that about a 4Runner considering about 85% of the owners of 4R's I meet are men/women who were cross-shopping minivans and wanted to sit higher but have zero interest in going offroad.  

Cotton
Cotton PowerDork
2/15/18 6:00 p.m.

In reply to crankwalk :

That’s what I was thinking.  That newer fj probably feels like an s class Benz compared to my fj40.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
2/15/18 7:52 p.m.

In reply to crankwalk :

They're like driving a very nice tractor. laugh

And only a very very small percentage of Corvette owners have any interest in driving on track, but that doesn't make a Corvette any less awesome. We're never going to do hard core offroad stuff in the FJ, that's not the point for us. In fact, I'm about 99% sure we could do everything we're going to do in a minivan if we were brave enough. That's not really the point, we like the FJ, it's interesting, there is a solid enthusiast community and that has translated to good aftermarket support and a great DIY community. 

We're probably a decade away from making it up to AK as a couple. The stars might align to drag the whole family up there, but if we do that we won't cram them all in the FJ. 

In reply to Cotton :

They do drive better than an FJ40, but that's not really the point. I've been in an automatic versoin of the FJ Cruiser and in that setup it really is like a strangely styled modern SUV, but there's something about manual with full time 4wd that changes the feel. It's one of those things that just works. 

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
2/15/18 9:21 p.m.

FJ Cruisers feel like any modern small SUV and there's nothing wrong with that.

I think the manual is kind of critical here for taking it down a notch in refinement. cheeky 

about 85% of the owners of 4R's I meet are men/women who were cross-shopping minivans and wanted to sit higher but have zero interest in going offroad.

The way i look at it is that ever since the Highlander came out there is ZERO reason for the 4runner to exist..  right? Aside from appealing to people who care about the aspirational aspects of the 4runner. 'Tough', 'go-anywhere', 'powerful', etc.  And people who care about such things have their heads in the same space as people on this forum who are enthusiastic about car things they rarely/never actually do. That aspirational aspect of the 4Runner is the same reason Mazdeuce cares about his writing now, because he  must believe there is value in creating that atmosphere of vicarious experience even though i/we/you haven't disassembled an R63 or built  a Grosh or driven a Mazda2 upside down across rougher terrain than the typical FJ Cruiser has traversed rightside up.  For the most part the people choosing a 4runner (or, one step further, an FJ) over a Highlander are making the same choice as the people clicking into this thread. We're surrounding ourselves with the trappings while planning to eventually work ourselves up to following through and doing 'it'. That's my personal interpretation. YMMV

ValourUnbound
ValourUnbound New Reader
2/16/18 4:50 p.m.
Vigo said:

... or driven a Mazda2 upside down across rougher terrain than the typical FJ Cruiser has traversed rightside up.

??? I seem to be missing the glorious vicarious details of this adventure.

Vigo said:

We're surrounding ourselves with the trappings while planning to eventually work ourselves up to following through and doing 'it'. 

You hit the nail on the head. I read this stuff during the week so that one day I'll have the guts/confidence/attitude to go down to the C4 and do whatever needs to be done. Today that means pulling the steering intermediate shaft. Got half of it out... 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
4/12/18 2:28 p.m.

About a month ago I started hearing complaining that the FJ was braking "funny" I drove it and there was a bit of a shimmy, but it's a big squishy truck, it's fine. Mrs. Deuce disagreed and said it was sitting until it was fixed. Pads and rotors went on yesterday and that didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped. On both calipers I had a bear of a time getting one of the four pistons to retract. I finally wedged everything  back together and took it for a test drive. Smoking brakes are bad, right? 
Off to the internet to find out that it's pretty common for these calipers to have the bottom inside piston freeze after a while. Crap. Luckily the local parts store had them sitting on the shelf and I got it all buttoned back up before I had to go pick the kids up from school.  

Test drive was a bit mushy so I let it sit overnight and let the bubbles rise to the top, re-bled and we're back in business. Mrs. Deuce was right, the brakes needed attention. While I was down there I also noticed that a CV boot is tearing. I'm contemplating finding a set of new upgraded front axles and just throwing them in with new seals. Upgrading is good, right? 

I also spray bombed the factory skid plate. I'm eventually going to get proper armor but I can't quite stomach dropping $1k on a full set for something that is 100% a mall crawler. Some day. 

docwyte
docwyte SuperDork
4/12/18 5:30 p.m.

Same situation as you, but with my GX470.  I'd love a beefy set of offroad bumpers but unless someone manages to rub up against them so I can get some insurance money, I'll be staying stock.

krautastic
krautastic New Reader
4/12/18 6:04 p.m.
ultraclyde said:

Here's some inspiration for you:

 

You have good taste. Here's my dad's rig! Supercharged as well. I want to say the wheels are TRD 4runner or tacoma wheels, but I think they really set off the truck:

barefootskater
barefootskater Reader
4/12/18 6:11 p.m.

In reply to krautastic :

Those are 4Runner TRD wheels. Available in gray or black, matte either way. 17" only. 

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise HalfDork
2/4/19 1:48 p.m.

Been toying with the idea last 24 months getting a FJ cruiser. The clamshell doors are the only negative for me, especially in the car lane. Already have too many vehicles as 2 seaters, and our junk Mazda5 is such a low quality POS that I am tired of it. Would love to add a FJ. 

See lots of them in the 400-500K mile range, which is a testament to how awesome they are. I don't want a 4 Runner. It is either a CrewMax Tundra or a FJ. I know, opposite ends. 

 

I would love a MT, but I have read some issues on Tacomaworld on the 2nd gen MT. Something about problematic throwout bearings and defective bell housing.

I have to do more research on the FJ forums.  

 

Do love the 3 wipers, then again I have a cressida and camry wagon with rear dual wipers. I am a wiper whore. 

People keep telling me to grab a 2010+ FJ. There are tons more 07-09 on the market. Any reason to stick with a 10+?

 

 

There is a defective bell housing, and it's in every single 6 speed FJ and 05+ Tacoma. The issue is that the bell housing uses an aluminum pilot shaft that the release bearing slides on, with about an inch of throw, and this shaft is unable to outlast any other clutch component, including the release bearing (aka throwout bearing), clutch disc and pressure plate. The shaft ultimately scores and wears which causes the release bearing to wobble, which causes the chirping noise at the shift fork pivot or the release bearing itself against the pilot shaft. It starts out quiet and eventually gets louder over time. The release bearing is in constant contact with the pressure plate and is spinning at all times, which is why you can make the chirp go away by applying slight pressure on the clutch pedal, or even adjusting the preload on the clutch master.  

Most of us feel that it is a design flaw in the choice of materials, and the inability to keep lubricant on the pilot shaft or apply lubricant at service intervals. Even something as simple as a new SST (special service tool) with the ability to apply high temp grease during every oil change could make the difference and allow the aluminum shaft to outlast everything. Ultimately, a design change is needed and it has been rumored that a new bell housing does exist for the FJ's, although I am unable confirm this. Since the FJ and Tacoma 6 speed is practically identical, I suspect they share the same bell housing and could be interchangeable.

Ultimately, I suspect that every single FJ and Tacoma with the 6 speed will see this problem, it is only a matter of time, and the aluminum shaft will most likely wear first, the odds seem favorable. I haven't seen any 100K+ 6 speed manual transmissions with no throwout bearing chirp and no services performed. Maybe a few exist, but I think they would be the minority. I have heard of only a few accounts that an owner needed a new clutch disk due to wear and those were questionable, likely abusive or poor skill.

https://www.toyotanation.com/forum/88-general-fj-cruiser-discussion/316657-do-not-buy-manual-tranny.html

 

java230
java230 UltraDork
2/4/19 2:25 p.m.

Interesting timing for this to get bumped! Rad working out still? Mine needs to get changed, I have pink crusties on the end caps.....

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
2/4/19 4:33 p.m.

In reply to mr2s2000elise :

Thanks for that. I'll have to read more about it. Oddly ours has stopped making the noise. I'm pretending that means it's fixed. I'll follow your links and do some reading. 

In reply to java230 :

It's perfect. All of the fluid is staying where it's supposed to and it cools at least well enough to be completely unnoticeable. It was fairly expensive but it's nice to know that I'll probably never have to worry about it again and if it somehow suffers minor damage I just need to find a talented welder to make it water tight again. 

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