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Toyota FJ Cruiser Buyers Guide - Fun Junk 4 FJs

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Fred Williams
| Brand Manager, Petersen’s 4Wheel & Off Road
Posted April 1, 2007

FJ Cruiser Buyer's Guide

The Toyota FJ Cruiser is exploding across the off-road scene. We, of course, built what we consider the Ultimate FJ for our Ultimate Adventure trip last year (July through December 2006 issues), but since then the aftermarket has been booming with everything from bumpers to back-up cameras for the new Cruiser. We've seen the buzz for this squatty little retro ride so we figured it only proper to give you a guide to some of the hottest parts out there for the FJ. Whether you own a new Cruiser or are considering getting one, here is a list of stuff you'll be burning up your credit card ordering to make it the FJ you've always wanted.

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Light Bright
Bolting a set of off-road lights on your truck is practically an initiation into 4x4s. If you're looking for a way to attach them to your FJ, check out the Sleekster lightbar from Randy Ellis Design. Made of 1 3/4-inch tubing and engineered to mount directly to your frame, these powdercoated brackets support two lights up to 8 inches in diameter and do not require any drilling, cutting, or welding to install. Randy Ellis Design, 602.803.1122, www.randyellisdesign.com

FJ Lit
Even FJ Cruiser owners need something to read when they have finished their monthly issue of 4-Wheel & Off-Road and are waiting for the next month's issue to arrive. So check out Toyota FJ Cruiser by Larry Edsall available through Motor Books. It covers everything from design photos to technical drawings. And if that's not enough, you should join the Toyota Land Cruiser Association (TLCA) and get a subscription to their bimonthly Toyota Trails magazine with plenty of Toyota trail-ride reports and neat Toy-only features. Motor Books, 800.826.6600, www.motorbooks.com; TLCA, 800.655.3810, www.tlca.org

Cruise the Country
Looking for some altitude for your FJ? Rough Country Suspension is now offering both a 3- and 6-inch suspension kit for the new Cruiser. This 3-inch package comes with front strut extensions that are engineered to not preload the factory coils and new rear coil springs with factory ride characteristics, and gas-charged shocks that are designed to also act as the vehicle's bumpstops. The 6-inch system is packaged with extended steering knuckles, alleviating the need to move the stock rack-and-pinion unit. Also included are front and lower crossmember skidplates, new max-flex rear arms, rear coils, and a new rear adjustable track-bar system. Additionally, the 6-inch kit can be ordered with several different shock and coilover configurations including products from a new partner of Rough Country's, Rad-Flow. Rough Country Suspension, 800.222.7023, www.roughcountry.com

A Little Shifty
Not every upgrade we found is a performance one, but who can deny the coolness factor of custom FJ Cruiser billet shifter knobs? These are machined from aluminum, coated with polished chrome, and accessorized with rubber grips and logo inserts. Get them from RealWheels Accessories, 800.982.1180, www.realwheels.com

Trail Tubes
If you didn't order the factory rock sliders for your FJ, then Trail-Gear can help you out. The company offers fully welded and ready-to-bolt-on rock sliders made of 1 3/4-inch by 0.120-inch-wall tubing. The four legs with gussets on each leg bolt to factory mounting holes with included mounting hardware. They come with an unpainted steel finish ready for paint or powdercoating. Trail-Gear Inc., 559.252.4950, www.trail-gear.com


Buy it Done
TLC is a Toyota Land Cruiser parts and restoration shop where you can find ancient widgets for your old FJ or hot new items for your new FJ. They are now working in conjunction with Toyota to offer a few special-edition FJ Cruisers from selected dealerships. The Heritage edition includes an ARB bull bar with Warn 8K winch, IPF foglights, Old Man Emu suspension system, TLC rear skidplates, GOBI roof rack with lighting and rear ladder, American Racing wheels with BFGoodrich Mud-Terrains, Magnaflow exhaust system, Airaid intake system, TLC dual-battery management system with Optimas, upgraded horns and headlights, on-board CO2 power tank for air tools, ARB recovery gear, Pioneer audio/Nav/Sat system with back-up camera, and a durable interior by Roadwire. If you're ready to buy any of these accessories or want to order a Heritage FJ or the special street-performance edition Canyon Runner FJ, get a hold of TLC to find a dealer in your neighborhood. TLC, 818.785.2200, www.tlcfjcruiser.com

Got Lights? Get Cameras
One of the biggest downfalls of the FJ Cruiser is the rearward visibility. Luckily the market is moving quickly to help FJ drivers see what's out back with many different reverse cameras. Hella is known for its off-road lights, and its new rearward camera system offers a special wide-angle lens and display monitor. The FJ Cruiser Rear Site by Rostra Precision Controls is designed specifically for the FJ and can be ordered with the monitor to display rearward obstacles. The HitchCam VideoMirror integrates the video monitor into the rearview mirror. All three are better than the big blind spot that comes stock. Rear View Camera by Hella Inc. (shown), 770.631.7500, www.hellausa.com; FJ Cruiser RearSight by Rostra Precision Controls Inc. (not shown), 910.276.4853, www.rostra.com; HitchCAM VideoMirror by Hitch Cam Reverse Safety Systems (not shown), 323.924.4482, www.hitchcam.com

Aussie Influence
ARB is a longstanding member of the off-road aftermarket and Toyotas have always been a part of its product line. For the '07 FJ the company is offering roof racks, rock sliders, air locking differentials, and its renowned bull bar/winch bumpers. In addition, ARB offers a full line of IPF off-road lights and its signature Old Man Emu suspension systems for the FJ. Looking for that Aussie influence on your ride? Contact ARB USA for its full line of products. ARB USA, 425.264.1391, www.arbusa.com

Desert Cruiser
Donahoe Racing has a long history in the desert-racing scene and has quickly grown into a benchmark in the performance off-road suspension market with its Ford and Toyota Tacoma suspensions. Since the FJ is so similar to the Tacoma underneath, it was little surprise when D.R. swiftly brought its 0 to 3 1/2-inch adjustable suspension system to market with new 2 1/5-inch coilover front shocks; firmer rear coils; rear shocks designed to work better both on- and off-road; bigger, stronger rear four-link bars designed to correct geometry in the lifted FJ; and available billet 6061 T6 aluminum upper control arms. If race-proven performance is your goal, then Donahoe fits that role. Donahoe Racing, 714.632.3033, www.donahoeracing.com

Fight for the Light
The taillights of the FJ Cruiser are extremely large, and as such they are magnets for rocks, trees, and other trail obstacles that can crack lenses and bust out bulbs. Manik is offering these taillight protectors as well as a new grilleguard, side steps, and some light mounts that attach to the factory roof rack both front and rear. Most of Manik's accessories are available in either black powdercoat or chrome. Manik, 323.869.2299, www.manik.com

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