• JP Magazine
  • Dirt Sports + Off-Road
  • 4-Wheel & Off-Road
  • Four Wheeler

Toyota FJ Cruiser Buyers Guide - Fun Junk 4 FJs

Posted in Features on April 1, 2007 Comment (0)
Share this
Toyota FJ Cruiser Buyers Guide - Fun Junk 4 FJs

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.

View Slideshow
131 0704 04 z+toyota fj cruiser buyers guide+lightbar

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

131 0704 05 z+toyota fj cruiser buyers guide+motor books

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

131 0704 06 z+toyota fj cruiser buyers guide+rough country suspension

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

131 0704 07 z+toyota fj cruiser buyers guide+shifter knobs

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

131 0704 08 z+toyota fj cruiser buyers guide+

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


131 0704 09 z+toyota fj cruiser buyers guide+drivers side view

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

131 0704 10 z+toyota fj cruiser buyers guide+rear view camera

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

131 0704 11 z+toyota fj cruiser buyers guide+front view dirt

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

131 0704 12 z+toyota fj cruiser buyers guide+donahoe race shocks

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

131 0704 13 z+toyota fj cruiser buyers guide+light protectors

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

131 0704 14 z+toyota fj cruiser buyers guide+interior

Dept. of Interior
Whether you use your FJ for hauling messy kids or for hunting messy boars, you may want to consider a set of Spector Off Road's seat covers. Made from heavy-duty Haartz material composed of vinyl-coated canvas with a tough denim lining, these seat covers are completely waterproof, yet extremely durable. These covers are designed to accommodate side bolster airbags and are available for both front and rear seats. The front seats also have a map pocket built into the back while the rear still allows the 60/40 bench split. Spector Off Road, 818.882.1238, www.sor.com

131 0704 15 z+toyota fj cruiser buyers guide+piping

Piping Your FJ
"FJ owners are looking for sporty sound and unrestricted exhaust flow," claims Dynomax, and if that is true for you, then maybe you should check out the Dynomax Ultra-Flo exhaust system. Included in the kit is the welded muffler and all-mandrel bent, 2 1/2-inch stainless steel piping for long-lasting performance. DynoMax, 734.384.7806, www.dynomax.com

131 0704 16 z+toyota fj cruiser buyers guide+skid plate

Belly of Steel
When your new FJ hits the dirt you definitely want to keep the hard parts of the dirt from hitting your FJ, so maybe you need to check out Downey Off Road's skidplate kit made of 3/16-inch steel. Designed to be reusable where your factory skids are replaceable, these zinc-plated skids will offer radiator, steering, and front-axle protection, and if you want to get the skid even further from the rocks, check out Downey's 3 1/2-inch-lift suspension kit that includes Bilstein shocks. Downey Off Road, 562.949.9494, www.downeyoff-road.com

131 0704 17 z+toyota fj cruiser buyers guide+passenger side view

Win Lift
Pro Comp Suspensions not only debuted its FJ Cruiser 6-inch suspension kit at the 2006 SEMA show, but also went home with an International New Products Award. This Stage II suspension kit comes with one-piece crossmembers and extended steering knuckles. Damping duties are done by a 2 3/4-inch coilover front shock and Pro Comp's adjustable MX6 rear shocks. Final lift will allow fitment of 35-inch tires. Pro Comp Suspension, 800.776.0767, www.procompmotorsports.com

131 0704 18 z+toyota fj cruiser buyers guide+front drivers side view

Cruising for Bear
From down in the swamplands of Louisiana comes the bear of suspension looking to make your FJ ready for big tires and deep mud. Skyjacker has brought its new platinum series coilover shocks and struts to the FJ in a 3-inch suspension as well as a 2-inch value kit for an entry-level lift. The Platinum struts use the factory coils for a massaged version of the factory ride, while the 3-inch coilover kit is the premium setup offering advanced ride, shock valving, and clearance for up to 33-inch tires. Make you choice of big, bigger, or supersized and get jacked up with Skyjacker. Skyjacker, 818.388.0816, www.skyjacker.com

131 0704 19 z+toyota fj cruiser buyers guide+rear drivers side

Armor the Ends
Warn Industries made its name with winches, but the company also offers a full line of bumpers for both the front and rear of many well-known 4x4s including the FJ Cruiser. Its front bumper houses Warn winches up to 12,000 pounds, as well as a set of off-road lights and comes with a black wrinkle finish, while its rear bumper fits around the factory receiver hitch, accommodates factory back-up sensors (if so equipped), features a cutaway to allow the factory tire carrier to transport up to a 33-inch tire, and has welded eyelets for D-shackles. (Check out Warn's front bumper in the Skyjacker photo.) Warn Industries, 800.543.9276, www.warn.com

131 0704 20 z+toyota fj cruiser buyers guide+front view rocks

All-FJ All the Time
All Pro Off Road did a lot of custom fabrication on our Ultimate FJ last year, but they also offer a full line of beginner and mid-level components to make your FJ better than stock. The All Pro line includes front bumpers both with and without winch-mounting capability, rear high-clearance bumpers, rock sliders, stronger upper and lower rear link mounts, 0 to 3 1/2-inch suspension kits using Walker Evans Racing coilover shocks and adjustable rear shocks, axle and transmission skidplates, 4.56 and 4.88 ring-and-pinion options, and prototype solid-axle conversions. All Pro builds them, wheels them, and will send you whatever you need. All Pro Off Road, 951.658.7077, www.allprooffroad.com

131 0704 21 z+toyota fj cruiser buyers guide+shocks coilovers

FJ-A-Way
Lorenz Industries is presenting the Sway-A-Way 2007 FJ Cruiser suspension as a front kit with a new coilover or complete with new rear springs and shocks as well. The 2 1/2-inch Race Runner coilover shock can be adjusted for up to 3 inches of lift, while the 2-inch rear shocks are valved specifically for the FJ Cruiser. If you're looking for a little more performance out of your FJ's suspension, then contact Lorenz or Sway-A-Way. Lorenz Industries, www.lorenzindustries.com; Sway-A-Way, 818.700.9712, www.swayaway.com

131 0704 22 z+toyota fj cruiser buyers guide+skid plate

Tough Tummy
Looking for some underbelly protection? Then look to ASFIR. ASFIR is producing a full line of bumpers and skidplates for the FJ Cruiser. The bumpers are designed to cover and protect a winch as well as allowing adequate airflow. The skidplates are made of laser-cut 6mm heavy-duty aluminum that attaches to current chassis and subframe mounting points so no drilling is required. Additionally they have access holes for servicing the drivetrain without removing the plates, and openings to keep airflow consistent around hot drivetrain components. ASFIR Inc., 480.419.5874, www.asfir.com

131 0704 23 z+toyota fj cruiser buyers guide+front view rock crawler

FJ Krawler
Rock Krawler Suspension has two 5-inch suspension systems for the FJ: the X Factor and the PreRunner. Both kits feature uniball upper A-arms, heavy-duty outer steering links, laser-cut subframes, front and bottom skidplates, rear coil-spring spacers that utilize the factory overload bumpstop inside the OE rear coil, hardware, and detailed instructions. The PreRunner suspension also includes coilover shocks for the front and new shocks and links for the rear. Plus these suspensions come with an Abuse Proof Lifetime Guarantee. Rock Krawler Suspension Inc., 518.270.9822, www.rockkrawler.com

131 0704 24 z+toyota fj cruiser buyers guide+tuff country suspension kit

Tuff Stuff
Tuff Country is the official suspension of Ultimate Adventure and have recently introduced its first FJ Cruiser suspension kit designed to fit 295/70R17 (33-inch) tires. The kit includes front strut and rear coil spacers and all the required hardware, and can be ordered with new shocks as well. This suspension should offer about 3 inches of lift and is engineered to retain a near factory ride quality. Tuff Country, 800.288.2190, www.tuffcountry.com

131 0704 25 z+toyota fj cruiser buyers guide+roof rack

Demello not Mellow
Demello Off Road has been dolling out Tacoma product for a few years now and is now directing its design time to outfitting the FJs. Currently available are front bumpers made of strong but light 1/8-inch plate with a 1/4-inch winch mount and multiple recovery points, rock sliders that easily bolt on, and Demello signature Deaver coil springs engineered to be 15 percent firmer than stock. One item we really like is Demello's roof-rack Hi-Lift mounts intended to clamp over the factory roof rack and mount a Hi-Lift Jack. Demello Off Road, 951.735.4417, www.demello-offroad.com



131 0704 26 z+toyota fj cruiser buyers guide+mirrors

We have yet to see anyone offer better mirrors and lights for the FJ. We thing some flush-mounted rear taillights and some horizontal sideview mirrors that really lie flat against the body when folded in would be a no-brainer. Plus, give the mirrors more useful off-road lights built in, which would be better than the silly marker lights. If your company offers either of these please let us know because we want to test some. These two upgrades would easily help the on- and off-road visibility and reduce the broken light lenses. Contact us at fred.williams@primedia.com.

Related Articles

Comments

Connect With Us

Newsletter Sign Up

Subscribe to the Magazine

Sponsored Content