2006 Toyota FJ Cruiser Top Truck Challenge Rebuild - Top Truck Turtle

FJ Cruiser Diet Plan

Fred WilliamsPhotographer, Writer

A few month's back we asked you to help vote us into our sister magazine Four Wheeler's Top Truck Challenge (Drivelines, May '09), and we're here to thank you. As it turns out, we had just enough votes to make it into the magazine's top 10. By the time you read this we will have competed in its massive quagmire of an off-road event.

In case you missed the whole story, the '06 FJ Cruiser we built for the Ultimate Adventure a few years back has been slated for return to Toyota this summer. Unlike most of your vehicles, this 4x4 was simply on loan, and when it goes back to Toyota it will eventually be run through the crusher and recycled. Not wanting to send a truck to its doom without one last hurrah, we decided to see how it would do against the many homegrown monster trucks that compete in the Top Truck Challenge.

We knew going into this deal that we were the underdog. That's hard to imagine for a truck as built as the FJ, but most of the competition is running 44-inch or larger tires, V-8 engines, and 2 1/2-ton military axles. We, on the other hand, had a supercharged V-6, Dynatrac Dana 60s, and 39- to 42-inch tires. Ever felt like you were taking a knife to a gun fight?

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