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Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 Big Block V8 - Moab Cruiser

Posted in Features on March 15, 2007
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So what catches our eye in Moab? It's a combination of things. A hot Competition Yellow color scheme doesn't hurt, but it's not mandatory; however, you'll need to go deeper than mere aesthetics. We'll crawl under and over many potential feature rigs during the Safari. We want to see modifications that make sense and are well thought out. Sean Rogers, with the help of his buddy Ryan Garrett, owner of Ballistic Trux in Rocklin, California, spent a number of years crafting this FJ40 into his ideal rig. Everything from the fairlead to the taillights was addressed and given a face-lift.

We've been invloved in many campfire debates regarding just what the ideal wheeling rig would be. This topic invariably opens a can of worms - sometimes more than the taboo topics of religion and politics. And the answer? In a perfect world, our ideal trail ride would be an amalgamation of many rigs. It would have a supple suspension that articulates with the best of them. Rather than stock toothpicks for axles, it would sport a pair of super-tough Dana 60s (or better) and the ring-and-pinions wouldn't pop under pressure. The brakes (discs all around) would actually stop it, even when wet. The differentials would lock when they should and otherwise go unnoticed. Our tires would bite into granite and slickrock like a pit bull on your kid sister's Raggedy Ann doll. They would never clog up in deep, gooey mud and would always provide awesome floatation in the sand and snow.

Under the bonnet, the mill would purr like a euphoric kitten with a ball of string, have plenty of ponies for steep grades, and have silly amounts of low-end grunt. And it would do so while barely sipping from an oversize fuel cell. Ultra-Low-range gearing for the rough stuff is a given. The rig would also need some serious street manners while getting us to and from the trail and be loaded with all the normal recovery gear, a welder, and an onboard air supply - the basics. We were heading out to Hell's Revenge during the 2006 Jeep Safari and spotted Sean Rogers' bright yellow Toyota FJ40. Upon closer observation, our thoughts drifted back to those campfire discussions: "What is the perfect rig for Moab?" Now before you Jeep, Chevy, Isuzu, and Mogger fans get your panties all wadded up in a knot, take a look. We did, and we liked it.

What we found was the perfect rig for Rogers: a solid drivetrain, ample power and traction, and room for his 2-year-old son Shane in the jump seat. After serving in the Marines during Desert Storm and growing up in an area where the family needed a four-wheel-drive vehicle, Rogers had a good idea of what he wanted when he started on the buildup of his Moab Cruiser. Although our definitions of the ideal rig may vary, when it comes to wheeling Moab this classic 'Cruiser fits the bill. We'll be looking for your perfect rig at the 2007 Jeep Safari. By the way, if some geek starts crawling around and under your rig, don't kick sand on him. He just might have a fancy camera in his rucksack.

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