January 2008

January 2008 (7)

coverJust some of the topics in this issue include:

  • The RAPTOR is finally revealed: Mike's very customized TRD is an inspiration to us all!
  • FJ's On Ice - We went to Georgetown, CO for a little Ice Racing Fun
  • Ouray 2008 : The 2nd Annual FJ Summit is scheduled, now is the time to make your plans
  • Off Road 101 . . . New to Off Roading? Our first installment of Off Road 101 will help new drivers get a feel for their rig
  • Expedition Wheeling : Lance from The Expeditioneers dicusses what it means to build an Expedition Ready Rig
  • Penny Pinchers : Top 5 Mods Under $100
  • Preparation for the Bullet Buildup
  • Reader Rigs: El Diablo
  • We've created two versions of the only magazine dedicated to the FJ Cruiser:
  • *Choose this link if you'll be viewing the Magazine on your computer
    *Choose this link if you plan on printing the Magazine, it has a white background to save on ink.

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January 2008 : Volume I : Issue I

Written by

Welcome to FJC Magazine!FJC Magazine January 2008

We're excited to finally publish the very first issue of FJC Magazine - free for anyone to download! This first issue includes great information for every FJ Cruiser Owner and Entusiast.  Just some of the topics in this issue include:

  • The RAPTOR is finally revealed: Mike's very customized TRD is an inspiration to us all!
  • FJ's On Ice - We went to Georgetown, CO for a little Ice Racing Fun
  • Ouray 2008 : The 2nd Annual FJ Summit is scheduled, now is the time to make your plans
  • Off Road 101 . . . New to Off Roading? Our first installment of Off Road 101 will help new drivers get a feel for their rig
  • Expedition Wheeling : Lance from The Expeditioneers dicusses what it means to build an Expedition Ready Rig
  • Penny Pinchers : Top 5 Mods Under $100
  • Preparation for the Bullet Buildup
  • Reader Rigs: El Diablo
  • *Choose this link if you'll be viewing the Magazine on your computer

To find out about upcoming issues and special features, we have two ways to subscribe (for free) to FJC Magazine. Click Here to add yourself to the FJC Magazine Subscriber Mailing list. You'll recieve an e-mail when a new publication is available. You can also subscribe to the RSS feed . Add this feed to your favorite news reader, or your Google/Yahoo homepage - and you'll know about new issues the instant they are published.

We welcome your feedback! Visit the feedback form if you have ideas, comments, or suggestions for FJC Magazine.

Thanks for everyone's support - and enjoy this first issue! 

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2008 FJ Cruiser Northeast Run

Written by
{tab=2008 Northeast Run}
The First Annual Toyota FJ Cruiser Northeast meet will be held at Rausch Creek off road Park in PA on March 21, 22, and 23 (Easter weekend 2008).{mosimage}

The Northeast does not have many places to wheel. If you can’t make it to Colorado for the FJ Summit (and even if you can), we’d love to see you out at Rausch Creek. 
Spend a memorable weekend in a 1700 acre park, try your FJ in rocks, bowls and hills - or just wheel with other FJ enthusiasts. We have trails for every level of driver and vehicles.
The aim of this meet is to bring together all FJ owners of the Northeast for a weekend of family fun and (of course) wheeling. Drivers and families are invited to attend this international (U.S & Canada) event.

We need your help to make this a great annual event. Sponsorship opportunities are available and would be greatly appreciated. We have space available on-site at the event to showcase all the aftermarket accessories available for the FJ cruiser.

Registration is now open!


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Expedition Wheeling

Written by

{tab=Expedition Ready FJ Cruiser}
When I tell people my FJ Cruiser is an expedition style 4x4, they often ask “Exactly what does ‘expedition style’ mean?”“Expedition style is the idea of multi-day, off-highway, destination-bound, vehicle-dependent travel.”  I know your scrabble boards and crossword puzzles are packed away, and I shouldn’t have jammed all that into one phrase, but that encompasses our purpose. Maybe it would be easier to tell you what expedition style 4x4 is NOT and work backwards from there.{mosimage}

Not A Day Trip
The vehicle is not a single seat buggy built for day trips or to be trailered.  Instead, it is able to safely and comfortably take you and a companion many hours down a paved highway before you get to your chosen trailhead.  Not to forget, it has to be capable of taking you on extensive off-road terrain to complete your journey.

The vehicle is not a wide-tire running, mud bogging, tree branch slashing, swamp stomper, but self-recovery from mud, swamps, or obstacles may be necessary.  The driver of an expedition vehicle should have gear on board and the knowledge to assist with vehicle recovery.

The vehicle is not a long travel equipped, sand dune bashing, light up the night like a stadium, Baja racer. However, it should be able to cross sand dunes, traverse washes, supply enough light to travel safely at night and usually provide side or rear light for setting up camp.  As you can see, many things are desirable to help in your expedition wheeling experience, the difference is, not doing each thing to extremes, just being equipped for each situation. 

The mention of camping brings us to the most obvious “not” of all, the vehicle is not just to take you to another asphalt car campground full of giant RV’s and electric hookups. Instead, the vehicle is equipped with the intention of getting to those long lost or even recently forgotten hideaways of historic or scenic beauty. We find places that would inspire anyone to build an expedition style 4x4 capable of staying a few days to make it all worthwhile.

Of course, at this point in the conversation most people start asking questions about lifts, lights, winches, roof racks, gear, fridges and fantastic solar power setups. Before we go there, I would like to touch a bit more on the issue of why and what is different about the expedition style build.

The question of why to build in the expedition style is usually answered when a person finds that they either want to go farther than a day trip away from home, or they hear about a ghost town that would be incredible to visit first hand or they read a magazine article about some back country area that not too many folks visit. People that enjoy expedition wheeling  wish to combine the adventure of off highway 4x4 travel with a destination or desire that a single seat buggy or day run through the swamp just doesn’t fulfill.

What Is Different?
While much of the gear used by an expedition equipped rig is the same as other off-roaders, it’s the thought process behind the build that makes the rig an expedition vehicle. An expedition vehicle is more concerned about overall weight since it has an effect on handling, fuel consumption, power and recovery. The expedition builder has to know both the curb weight and gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of his rig since that equals the maximum payload that should be carried. In the case of the FJ Cruiser you are looking at 4x4 with a curb weight of 4290 lbs and a GVWR of 5570 lbs which means a payload 1280 lbs. Figure in a couple of 200 lb people, food, fuel, water, gear; and you may very well already be at the max payload.

An expedition vehicle also has to give much more thought to space. Even a solo traveler on a multi-day trip who believes in the idea of Tread Lightly, will need to pack in and out camping gear, food, water and trash. Now, think about having enough gear to travel for three days in the back country with a family of four. Space, weight and safety become obvious concerns.

So now that we’ve covered the “lens” that the expedition minded builder looks through, we can start to talk generally about modifications and gear. Don’t worry, these will all be discussed with great detail in future articles.

The Basics
Your suspension does not have to be lifted and if it is, it should only be a slight lift. You can always pick the terrain or adventure that suits the vehicle rather than trying to overcome any obstacle. All four sides of the rig should have jack and recovery points to help you get out of trouble.  You'll need basic under armor since a cracked oil pan far from home would bring your expedition to a halt. You’ll need just enough lighting to drive safely and maybe something extra to help illuminate camp.

Speaking of camp, you'll need gear to make your stay comfortable. Your sleeping options are,  setting up the inside of your FJ with a sleeping platform, using tents, hammocks, or the ever coveted roof-top tent. Since you will likely want to eat on your adventure, make sure you have a higher quality cooler that will keep ice a couple of days. For longer trips, start looking into off-road ready fridges. Nothing beats traveling in the heat with ice cold drinks and snacks without anything soggy at the bottom.

{mosimage} Before an expedition, you'll need to be set up with gear to help foresee, avoid and get out of trouble. Items to start with include: navigation aids, such as a quality topo map, compass, GPS or laptop system, as well as extra food, fuel and water. Equally as important is communication gear, anything from cell to satellite phones, CB or amateur (HAM)  radio so you can talk to others and get help if needed.

So while an expedition style 4x4 can and will do most of the things any other 4x4 will do, the focus is on the journey and the desire to travel over multiple days.  These specific goals are why the build of an expedition rig is different than a rock crawler, swamp stomper, or a desert racer.  In future issues of FJC Magazine, I will help you to build your expedition 4x4.  We hope to see you out in the back country!

Lance works with The Expeditioneers , located near Phoenix, AZ.

{tab=Photo Gallery}

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Written by

{tab=Meet The RAPTOR}

I chose the name RAPTOR ( Reinforced Amphibious Personal Terrain Observation) for my rig. It is to be used for exploring beautiful places like Ouray, CO and others around the country. {mosimage}


I followed the concept & design of the FJ for years before it ever came out for sale to the public. I read every article that was written and saved any picture I could find. I was hooked the first time I saw it.

I purchased my Toyota TRD SE FJ Cruiser in early Feb 07



The Following is a breakdown of changes that have been done to this base unit. I will be adding more as time and finances permit. The RAPTOR is an ongoing project, even now.  RAPTOR is being built as an Expedition capable vehicle, so I want to be thorough in every mod that I make.


Road Armor - Titan Front Bumper

I decided to go with the Road Armor Titan front bumper because of the type of terrain that I will most likely encounter when off-roading. Also living in the heart of the Ozark Mountains we tend to have a lot of deer crossing the highways at night, this will also help to protect the vehicle in any unfortunate wildlife encounters. From Road Armor {mosimage}

All Pro - Rear Bumper W/ Hitch

I went with All Pro’s rear bumper because of their upcoming swing arm for fuel carriers. I have been looking at all the manufactures designs and feel that the All Pro is the best option for me. I noticed that most everyone is strapping fuel to their roof. Since no one makes a  rack fuel system, I decided to design a fuel storage system myself.

I liked All Pro’s approach to carrying fuel for keeping the fuel can on both sides of the vehicle. This helps distributing the weight evenly when on the trail in an off camber situation, along with keeping the COG as low as possible.  I am just waiting for All Pro to start selling the swing arm for the rear bumper. I also like the All Pro rear bumper for the departure angles it has. From All Pro Off Road

Bud Built Skids

I decided to go with Bud Built skids for my rig not only for the reputation for having well designed and tough skids, but meeting Bud in person in Ouray, CO at the first FJ Cruiser Summit. I like to support vendors that take the time to go out and meet their customers. From Bud Built


Inchworm E-Locker Motor Skid Plate

I went with the Inchworm E-Locker because I like the design and again their products. I also got to meet them at the Summit. I felt it was prudent to protect one of the most sensitive pieces of equipment under the FJ from trail damage.  It’s also backed up by the Bud Built skids. From Inchworm

All Pro Rear Lower Shock Skid Plate

I went with the All Pro Shock Skids for protection of the lower part of my Donahoe Racing rear shocks. The rear shocks on the FJ are susceptible to trail damage along the lower portion of the shock housing. The shock skids help prevent damage to my rear shocks out on the trail. From All Pro Off Road

All Pro Rear Trailing Link Skid Plate

The All Pro Training Link Skid again helps prevent any type of trail damage to my rear lower links. I am of the mindset that armor is your last line of defense before damage occurs. It could be the difference of coming home safely having wonderful stories to tell, or broken down in the middle of  nowhere trying to find a way to limp off the trail, finding a part, installing it, etc. From All Pro Off Road

TRD Sliders

I am staying at this time with the TRD Sliders that came with the TRD package. I'm normally not a big fan of “OEM” accessories, they are usually are more for aesthetic purposes than function. But this is not the case with the TRD Sliders, I am very impressed with not only their fit, but also who well they're made. They are VERY heavy, which was a big surprise when removing them for the body mount chop.  Maybe down the line I’ll switch to an aftermarket slider, more than likely it will be Demello’s. But right now, they are performing how they were intended.


Mickey Thompson 8x16 Classic Locks w/ Black Faux Bead Lock Ring

Wheels and tires were a very hard decision to make. I have owned many types of custom wheels over the years. I was looking for something a little different than what everyone else was running.  I had been reading about other members that bought the MT’s, some members had rub issues when they got them on their rig’s, others stated they had no problems.  I am very happy with the Mickey Thompson’s I chose. I had the chrome bead lock rings powder coated black to off-set the chrome wheels. I think that gave it a more aggressive look. From Mickey Thompson


Dick Cepek Mud Country - 305/70R16

Tires were another area that the decision was hard to make. I was going to go with Nitto Mud Grapplers. I love how aggressive they are, but did not like that they were not siped for handling in wet conditions. In the end, I went with Dick Cepek Mud Country’s. I purchased them while visiting Rough Country in Dyersburg TN, for the Coon Creek Crawl. They are awesome off and on road, very quiet riding tires for a mud terrain.  From Dick Cepek

Custom Body Mount Chop

I looked around for a competent shop to do my body mount chop.  I found a small Custom Hot Rod shop that had opened up close by, and decided to see if they would be able to do the work that I wanted. I found they were from CA and used to build Sand Rails out there. I gave them some pic’s of Tina’s (VDM) chop she had done. They said great pic’s, we can do that. It looks like it came from the factory that way.


”New Version” Donahoe Racing 3.5” Coilovers

I had a hard time deciding which suspension system that I wanted to go with. I narrowed it down to Donahoe Racing, All Pro Off-Road and King. I was lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time with some great people. I’m talking about the 2007 FJ Summit in Ouray, CO. The Saturday night at the raffle giveaway I was able to get a great deal from a member that won the Donahoe. From Donahoe Racing

Camburg Upper Control Arms

I thought I might be able to get away with using the stock UCA’s for a while, but that was not the case with using the “New” DR Coilovers. I called Jason Demello and asked him for some advice on UCA’s. In the end I bought the Camburg UCA’s. From Camburg Engineering

All Pro - Pro Link Rear Lower Control Arms with Johnny Joints

I decided to beef up the rear lower control arms on the FJ. I had noticed some other owners had some breakage out on the trail, thin walled tubing is not made for that type of abuse. It works great as long as no directional force is applied in just one area; “pushing inward” deforming the spherical wall. When that happens; catastrophic failure is almost certain. I decided to go with All Pro’s Pro Links, they are a heavy walled tubing with greaseable Johnny Joints. From All Pro Off Road

All Pro – Rear Upper Links with Johnny Joints

I also went ahead and changed out my rear upper links with the beefier All Pro upper links. I have not heard of anyone breaking an upper link yet, but why take the chance. From All Pro Off Road

Gorilla Lugs & Locks (Black)

I also went with Gorilla Lug nuts & locks for the wheels. I have black ones; I thought the color contrast looks better than having chrome. From Gorilla


Warn M8000 Winch

I decided to go with a WARN M8000 winch. They have been around forever in the four wheel drive world and have established an unbeatable reputation for having the most dependable winches on the market. I will change out to synthetic line for safety reasons down the road, but will use cable until the need arises to change it. From Warn


TRD CAI (Cold Air Intake)

I decided to go with the TRD CAI instead of the AFE because of the pictures I saw of both. With the TRD, the box is totally enclosed except for the top which is enclosed with a aluminum lid with a rubber backing held down by six Allen head screws. The only thing I will have to do is make a small transit piece that will go from the Snorkel to the CAI box.

Relocated Rear Differential & E-Locker Breathers (SCUBA Mod)

I then decided it was time to do my SCUBA MOD (a.k.a. Relocating the Rear Differential and E-Locker breather MOD). Toyota has already relocated the front Diff & transfer case breathers, but left the rears alone. I decided to relocate mine up higher, up into the engine bay where the others ones are.


PIAA 510 Ion Super White Driving Lights (2)

I went with the PIAA driving lights instead of fog lights because of the height of the rig. It gives me better visibility when driving on dark roads. From PIAA

IPF 900XSD Extreme Driving Lights (2)

I spent a lot of time looking into and reading about the different off-road lights. I was looking for a light combo that would work in very rough conditions. These lights are the only ones that can be fully submerged under a foot of water while on for up to two minutes. I wanted that capability when having to forge a river crossing at night. I will say, they are a very bright white light. I'm very happy with the IPF's. From IPF

IPF 900XSS Extreme Pencil Beams (4)

I also went with the IPF 900XSS Extreme Pencil Beams for the top of the roof. These will be mounted to a custom Baja Light Bar. It will be another month or two before I receive it. From IPF



Lowrance 540C Baja GPS Unit

I have been looking at all the different GPS devices on the market for a long time because I do a lot of traveling. I am a spoiled when it comes to GPS screen size. I have been using my 15" laptop screen in the vehicle running a GPS for about 4 years now. I was at West Marine one day and started looking at the Lowrance units that they have on display. I went back home and jumped on Lowrance’s web site and did some research and found the 540C Baja GPS was just what I was looking for. It has a 5” screen size, it takes cards for very detailed maps of around the world. It will also handle the abuse of off-road use. I mounted it just above where the rearview mirror. This will give me a good view of the GPS while traveling. From Lowrance

Scanguage II

I bought the Scanguage II to help monitor my engine performance. I wanted to see the difference before and after I purchased my CAI. I noticed that running the Scanguage, I am able to monitor my Intake Air all the time along with many other features. I was getting about 20 –26 degrees over ambient air temp before installing my CAI. Once I installed the it, I was able to not only hear and feel the difference but I could see the difference on the Scanguage. My intake air temps dropped to now 4-5 degrees over ambient. I think everyone should have the Scanguage. What a great tool. I watch it more than I watch the instrument gauge cluster in the vehicle. From Linear Logic

ARB Roof Half Rack

I was going to buy the All Pro roof rack then shorten it down to a "Half Rack" but in the end, I felt it wasn't going to be cost effective. I think it would have looked great, but it would have cost well over $1,500 by the time it was all said and done. I saw another member’s vehicle with the ARB Half rack on it. I liked how sturdy and well-made ARB products are, so that is what I plan to go with. From ARB

{tab=Full RAPTOR Mod List}


Road Armor - Titan Front Bumper

All Pro - Rear Bumper W/ Hitch

Bud Built Front Skid plate

Bud Built Middle Skid plate

Bud Built Transmission & Transfer Case Skid plate

Bud Built Rear Cross member

Bud Built Fuel Tank Skid Plate

Inchworm E-Locker Motor Skid Plate

All Pro Rear Lower Shock Skid Plate

All Pro Rear Trailing Link Skid Plate

All Phase Rear Differential Skid plate (Ordered)

TRD Sliders

Pro One Side Mirror Light Guards

MANIK Tail Light Guards


Mickey Thompson 8x16 Classic Locks w/ Black Faux Bead Lock Ring

Dick Cepek Mud Country - 305/70R16

Custom Body Mount Chop

”New Version” Donahoe Racing 3.5” Coilovers

Donahoe Racing rear Shocks & Springs

Camburg Upper Control Arms

All Pro - Pro Link Rear Lower Control Arms with Johnny Joints

All Pro – Rear Upper Links with Johnny Joints

All Pro - Ultimate Sway Bar Links (Not Installed yet)

Gorilla Lugs & Locks (Black)


Warn M8000 Winch

Warn Fairlead Roller

Warn Receiver Hitch W/ Recovery Shackles

4 Ton Come-Along

(2) 3.5 Ton Shackles

ARB Tree Saver

ARB Snatch Block

ARB Safety Cover

ARB Snatch Strap

ARB Tow Strap

ARB Large Recovery Storage Bag

Hi-Lift 48” Extreme Jack

Hi-Lift Base


TRD CAI (Cold Air Intake)

Relocated Rear Differential & E-Locker Breathers (SCUBA Mod)

ARB Safari Snorkel (Custom Install to CAI)

Std TRD package SS Exhaust System

Mobile One Synthetic Engine Oil

Mobile One Filter


PIAA 510 Ion Super White Driving Lights (2)

IPF 900XSD Extreme Driving Lights (2)

IPF 900XSS Extreme Pencil Beams (4)

Red Neon Under-dash Lighting (Night Vision) Driver & Passenger sides

Rock Blocker Head Light Covers (Smoked)

“Custom” Baja Style Light Bar (Ordered)



Cobra 148 NW ST Sound Tracker SSB CB Radio

Lowrance 540C Baja GPS Unit

Uniden CT7 Police Scanner

Scanguage II

3’ Fire Stick CB Antenna

Bandi CB Mount

Whistler Radar Detector


Duel Vehicle Horns

Emergency Window Breakage Tool

Fire Extinguisher

Sceptor 5gal. Fuel Cans (2)

Tire Plugs, Patches & Tools

JB Weld (For Extreme Trail Breakage)

Heavy Work Gloves

Signal Flares

ARB Recovery Damper (Ordered)

Survival Kit (Very Comprehensive)

CCW Weapon Mount


Fiskars Axe

Fiskars Shovel

Maxx Air Compressor

Staun Tire Deflator

Heavy Duty 4x4 Tire Gauge w/deflator button

Tool Kit including Hack Saw, Breaker Bar

ARB Roof Half Rack (Coming Soon)

Spare Vehicle Fuses

Gorilla Duct Tape

S.S. Bailing Wire

Large Breaker Bar

35mm Socket (Hubs)

GoJo Hand Cleaner

FJC Spare Parts including (2) CV Boots, (2) Upper Rear Links, (2) Rear Lower Links, Serpentine Belt, more to add


Custom Wet Okole Seat Covers

Vent Visors

Stant Locking Gas Cap

RAM Laptop Vehicle Mount

Ellis Precision CNC Billet Aluminum grab handles

Ellis Precision CNC Billet Aluminum Battery Clamp

Window Tint 5% Driver & Passenger Side windows / All Rear Windows 20%


Removed stock emblems

Blacked out Mirrors, Door Handles & Bezel

Blacked out Front Turn Signals & Rear Tail Lights

Shorted Shifter 3"

Installed Custom Shifters

Door Sill Custom MOD

Removed Plastic Fenders


303 Aerospace Protectant for all Exterior Plastic

Mr. Clean Car Wash System For Exterior


All Pro Rear Bumper Swing Out Spare Fuel Carrier (Ordered)

Outback Air System (Coming Soon)

ARB X-Jack Exhaust Jack

Duel Optima Battery Setup

Synthetic Winch Line

Complete CV Axe setup (Spare)

S.S. Break Lines

Spare Radiator Hoses Upper & Lower

VIAIR Reserve onboard Air System (Running Air Tools)



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    Penny Pinchers: Mods less than $100

    Written by

    {tab=Penny Pinchers}
    So you've picked up your new Cruiser, and the bank account may be a little thin, but you gotta personalize the rig, right?  I know I had to! So here are a few inexpensive options that are equal parts practical and aesthetic.


    Nothing is more rewarding or much easier than painting the headlight bezel, wing mirrors, door handles or bumper wings.  The grill bezel and the bumper wings are a quick and easy job, while the wing mirrors and door handles require more preparation and care.  All this can be done with sanding, primer and paint, or use newer polymer bonding paints.  Krylon Fusion for Plastic worked well for me, to give a two-tone finish on the wing mirrors and their mounts and also the white bezel.{mosimage}

    Hi-lift jacks and FJ Cruisers are becoming ubiquitous bedfellows and the hi-lift is an essential tool in any recovery kit.  Where to mount one is another question.  Several companies have developed quick and easy-to-use mounting solutions that fit on factory or after market roof racks, inside in the cargo area, inside in the passenger foot well, or it can even be mounted to the spare tire on the rear door.  This Demello version ($89.00 pair) clamps to the factory roof rack. You may want to consider adding a slider adapter from WabFab ($50.00) to your recovery kit as well.{mosimage}

    We all know our FJCs are tough and capable, but it does need protection on the under belly.  The most vulnerable points on the FJ undercarriage are the lower link frame mounts for the rear lower control arms.  Bolt-on and weld-on applications are available, either of which are quick and easy armor modification.  This bolt on version from TLC4x4 has worked well for me ($89.00/pair.){mosimage}

    The OEM sun visors leave majority of the side window area exposed and are difficult to reach and manipulate.  These new flip-down side visors are a ten minute installation that will save your eyes and enhance safety ($53.60.){mosimage}

    Do-it-yourself maintenance and the health of your FJ go hand in hand, and nothing gets easier and makes the engine happier than fresh clean air from a clean, high-flow, air filter.  K&N and TRD both offer washable and reusable air filters that are compatible with the OEM air box and a cinch to maintain.{mosimage}


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    FJ Summit 2008 - Ouray, CO Make Your Plans Now!

    Written by

    {tab=2008 FJ Summit}
    Ouray 2008: Make Your Plans Now!

    If you missed the First Annual FJ Summit last July, you probably don’t have the itch that the rest of us do. As soon as the Summit ended, many people on fjcruiserforums.com began asking about the 2008 Summit.

    Our questions were answered on October 5th, when Jason made the announcement:

    July 16th – 20th, 2008 – Ouray, Colorado.

    It’s Official - The FJ Cruiser World will once again invade Ouray, this time for a full 5 days (3 days of organized trail rides). If you’ve not been or heard of Ouray – it’s the self proclaimed ‘jeep capital of the world’ (Although in July it will be the FJ Capital). There are hundreds of miles of the most scenic 4x4 roads you’ll find in the surrounding San Juan mountains. Infamous passes such as Imogene, Black Bear, and Engineer create the perfect location to wheel your FJ, catch up with old friends, and make new ones.

    Key changes for this year:
    -Five full days – three days of organized trail rides
    --Registration/sign-in will be on the July 16th
    -The website (http://www.fjsummit.org) should be ready to allow registrations within the next couple of months
    -The Best Western is entirely blocked off for the FJ Summit, and will once again be the hub of activity
    -More FJ’s will be allowed to register, but there will probably still be a maximum number (TBD)
    Other ideas that have been discussed (but are not confirmed)
    -Online pre-signup for trail runs
    -More “How To” Classes for people new to off roading
    -More vendors on-site
    -A video documentary of the event
    -A ‘parade’ of FJ’s through town - showcasing all the participants
    -Use of HAM radios to coordinate runs and any issues that may arise

    There are many other great ideas. For more info, visit this story on fjc-mag.com and look for the link to “Summit Suggestion Box”.

    If you plan on going and haven’t made accommodation arrangements yet, you should soon. The hotels and campgrounds in Ouray are filling up fast. Visit http://www.fjsummit.org for a list of hotels in Ouray & the surrounding area.

    {tab=Photo's from the '07 Summit}

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    Reader Rigs: El Diablo

    Written by

    {tab=Reader Rigs: El Diablo}Highlands Ranch, Colorado (a suburb of Denver) is home to FJ enthusiast Stan Reed. Even though has only lived in Colorado for a few years, he’s fully embraced what it means to be a real Coloradoan, as well as a hard core FJ owner.{mosimage}

    Stan’s rig, El Diablo, is a Sun Fusion 6-speed manual trans, go anywhere (and love it), off road machine. The mod list on this beast goes on and on.

    Starting from the top-down, Stan sold his stock roof rack and replaced it with the Gobi Ranger .  And you can't have the rack without the accessories, the Hi-Lift mount, axe & shovel mounts, PIAA lights, and plenty of straps. You probably noticed El Diablo at the 2007 FJ Summit,  it was the one with over 300lbs of camping and recovery gear strapped to it.  An amazing thing to watch is the loading/unloading of all that gear. Stan is able to stand on his Gobi, adding the weight of a grown man, without worry.   

    Up front, El Diablo sports the All-Pro bumper and a Warn M8000 winch with Super Winch synthetic line.  He also added the full bull-bar, and mounted two driving and two fog lights for those snowy Colorado nights. Stan chose to go with the All Pro rear bumper as well, it increases departure angle and clearance, and is SOLID. After hearing about the install on this (or any) bumper, we’ll be planning a full-day mod party when it’s TRD Roxy’s turn.{mosimage}

    El Diablo rides BFG Mud Terrain 305 70R/16 tires on Trail Ready 16” Bead Locker wheels. These meats can tear up the dirt or mud and come out the other side smiling.   Lift? Yeah….he’s got lift! Stan chose to mix his lift up a little with Donahoe in the front and Walker Evans (from All-Pro) in the rear. The 3 inches all the way around give the truck plenty of clearance for anywhere El Diablo wants to go. Other undercarriage goodies include All-Pro Upper & Lower Control Arms, All-Pro shock protectors, and his installer suggested he remove his bump stops and install reverse jounce shocks.{mosimage}

    For armor under the rig Stan kept the stock Toyota OEM rails, but chose to go with Man-A-Fre for the skids. He also added a custom rear diff skid from All Phase Off Road. Other mods include a 10lb PowerTank, window vents, iPod & XM Satellite integration, MAGLite, Halon fire extinguisher, and plenty of custom-mounted switches for all those extra lights. 

    So it's easy to see that this is a do anything, go anywhere FJ.  The FJC Magazine crew has the pleasure of wheeling with Stan (and El Diablo) on a normal basis.  We have conquered many things together, both in our near-stock TRD and Stan's built rig that keeps us in aww of the FJ's capabilities.  A word of advise from your FJC Mag crew.  If you can't mod your FJ out like this all at once, find someone who did.  They make the best tail gunners, and there's nothing they can't pull you out of!{mosimage}

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