%PM, %28 %848 %2008 %13:%Jul

Penny Pinchers: Mods less than $100

Written by  Eric Ross
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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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