Part 6: The Final Shakedown of an Awesome Toyota
For the past five months we've been giving you an inside view of the buildup of our official Ultimate Adventure Toyota FJ Cruiser. It's always fun to take a brand-new truck and tear it apart in hopes of building something even better than what was offeredfrom the factory, and the UAFJ was no different. Yes, it's a lot of work, especially when modifying a vehicle that has never been offered before to the public, since many of the systems are totally brand new, but it's also great to start with a nice, clean frame and body, fresh from the factory drivetrain, and a unique-to-the-public body style. Plus, we were lucky that a majority of the FJ Cruiser components are used cross-platform with other models such as the Tacoma and 4Runner, and these vehicles have been available for at least three years, making certain modifications less of an uphill battle.
In case you didn't know, BFGoodrich Tires is the title sponsor of Ultimate Adventure, and as such we built this truck around the largest, most aggressive tire they offer, the 39x13.5R17 Krawler T/A. We've run these tires in the past, and with the proper air pressure and enough gearing and motor they never disappoint whether on or off road. Of course in order to run a tire this large and use it on harsh, abusive trails requires body clearance, a strong drivetrain, and supple suspension. Over the past few months we installed exactly that under our Ultimate FJ while it was at All Pro Off Road in Hemet, California. But in addition to giant 1-ton axles, super low ring-and-pinion and transfer-case gears, and the added boost of a supercharger we also installed a custom rollcage, a flexy coilover shock suspension, beefy bumpers, and a hearty winch for extraction help. With this final installment of our Ultimate FJ we'll show you the last few steps involved in getting it ready. We'll go over the parts and tools we carried along to make the trip less stressful, and we'll also tell you how some of the components fared on the trip down rocky canyons, over massive dunes, and through bottomless mud pits.