If the proof is in the pudding after an afternoon in the kitchen, then the proof is in the driving after spending time building a vehicle. This Smurf-blue FJ Cruiser has been accessorized using simple bolt-on items that add to its off-pavement worthiness. All-Pro suspension, rock sliders, and bumpers provide a smooth ride and protect the sheetmetal. All-Pro-installed 4.56 differential gears compensate for the 33-inch Nitto Dune Grappler tires mounted to Walker Evans Beadlock wheels. A Warn 9.5 XP winch spooled with a Master-Pull line makes self-recovery simple and safe, if needed. Except for the differential gears and alignment (after installing the suspension), all of these upgrades can be installed at home in a driveway.
It was time to get out of town. This same 'Cruiser had already survived the 2007 Moab Easter Jeep Safari in fine style, including runs on Hell's Revenge and Fins 'n' Things. While pointing the grille at another series of pucker-inducing trails was tempting, the call for a road trip screamed louder. Instead of sticking strictly to one theme or the other, we combined the two into a dual-sport experience. Pavement and dirt combined with scenery added up to a great adventure.