January 2011

January 2011 (5)

January 2011Greetings and Happy New Year from FJC Magazine! We're excited to begin our fourth year with more amazing FJ Cruiser coverage!

Colorado. December. Snow. A perfect testing ground for MAXTRAX recovery gear. We have full coverage of our MAXTRAX test and you will definitely want to see the details! If you've been following along our Facebook page you already know about our iPad Integration. We have all the info you need to add an iPad to your FJ starting on page 4. We also got to visit Aluminess and get a behind the scenes look at their production, check out page 24 for all the info. Don Lamb from FJCruiserForums.com hooked us up with exclusive coverage of the new look for "WikidFJ" and Steven D sent in some great coverage of the 2010 Surf N Turf event.

So dive right in and enjoy the new issue of FJC Magazine!

To get your copy of the January 2011 issue of FJC Magazine:

 

download_now
NOTE: Internet Explorer users should right click and select "Save Target As"

printed_copyw

 

read online

Until next time, Tread Lightly, Stay the Trail, and HAVE FUN!

Friday, 31 December 2010 00:00

January 2011 : Volume 4 : Issue 1

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coverwebGreetings and Happy New Year from FJC Magazine! We're excited to begin our fourth year with more amazing FJ Cruiser coverage!

Colorado. December. Snow. A perfect testing ground for MAXTRAX recovery gear. We have full coverage of our MAXTRAX test and you will definitely want to see the details! If you've been following along our Facebook page you already know about our iPad Integration. We have all the info you need to add an iPad to your FJ starting on page 4. We also got to visit Aluminess and get a behind the scenes look at their production, check out page 24 for all the info. Don Lamb from FJCruiserForums.com hooked us up with exclusive coverage of the new look for "WikidFJ" and Steven D sent in some great coverage of the 2010 Surf N Turf event.

So dive right in and enjoy the new issue of FJC Magazine!

To get your copy of the January 2011 issue of FJC Magazine:

download_now
NOTE: Internet Explorer users should right click and select "Save Target As"

printed_copyw

 

read online

Until next time, Tread Lightly, Stay the Trail, and HAVE FUN!

 

Until next time, Tread Lightly, Stay the Trail, and HAVE FUN!

P.S. Interested in Toyota Tacoma Trucks? We’re happy to announce that we’ll be starting publication of Tacoma Magazine on February 1st! You can subscribe (for free of course) right now at www.tacomamag.com or download the preview issue RIGHT NOW

Monday, 24 January 2011 07:24

iPad Install in FJ Cruiser

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iPad installed in a Toyota FJ CruiserIf you’ve been a reader of FJC Magazine for a while, you know that we’ve always strived for the best options when it comes to navigation, especially off road navigation (See Off Road Navigation Parts 1-3, April-October 2008). In our January 2009 issue we covered the Kenwood 7120 with custom topo maps loaded with about 300 of our favorite Colorado off road trails. At the time that was absolutely the best available option for in-dash navigation with topo/off road maps.

When the iPad was announced last year it was pretty clear that this device could change everything. The iPhone is a great device and can be used for off road navigation to a limited degree, but the small screen really makes it better for hiking vs off road driving. This fall the ideal solution became clear when we realized that we weren’t using many of the features the Kenwood had to offer. In reality it had become little more than a pass through for our iPhone. We did use the topo maps when offroad, but the outdated (2008) maps for everyday use started becoming an issue. The Kenwood is still a great system for those that aren’t interested in the modifications required when installing an iPad, but for us it was time to move on.

Last year, just after the iPad shipped, Scosche demonstrated their iKit, which is meant to integrate the iPad into any double-DIN dash, but that product hasn’t been released yet so we had to figure out our own parts. So we built a list of parts we knew we would need to install an iPad in the FJ. The initial intention was to find a small amplifier that would fit in the dash, which would make the install very tidy and easy to do. Unfortunately, after trying several options we could not find a suitable amp so we ended up installing the Sony Xplode amp under the passenger seat. This solution works well but does add at least an hour to the install time. Not counting the time it took for the install, the entire project ended up costing about $1,050 including all the installation hardware. This is in the same range as low-end NAV systems and about half the price of some of the new Kenwood systems that support custom maps.

 

Friday, 04 February 2011 08:36

MAXTRAX Test

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MaxTrax FJ Cruiser TestMAXTRAX is relatively new in the US Market, but they’ve been rescuing trucks in their native Australia since 2004. This year MAXTRAX is hitting the US in a big way, determined to change the way we think about recovery. You may have seen the MAXTRAX FJ Cruiser at the 2010 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, we were so impressed with the display that we contacted Ben Meddows (the US representative for MAXTRAX) to see about testing a set at our annual Snow Recovery Run in December. Ben was kind enough to send his personal set out to us so we could see how they work.

Recovery gear is absolutely essential for any successful off road adventure. We’ve written plenty in the past about recovery straps, winches, and even using your Hi-Lift as a recovery device when you’re stuck in snow, mud, or sand. MAXTRAX is meant to provide instantaneous traction in muddy, sandy, or snowy conditions by giving your FJ Cruiser grip when none exists. The idea is actually pretty simple, but the way MAXTRAX tackled the problem is unique and very effective.

Using a high quality engineering-grade reinforced polymer (Nylon), MAXTRAX has crafted a stout, durable product that is resistant to the most extreme environments on earth.  To test their new second generation MAXTRAX product (the MAXTRAX MK-2), we gathered a few FJ’s in central Colorado in early December for some fun in the cold. We couldn’t think of a better way to test MAXTRAX than over a foot of fresh snow and below freezing temperatures.
 
At about four feet long, MAXTRAXs are sold in pairs since most people will only need two (for front or rear recovery) to get out of trouble. For hard core mud boggers or those constantly in deep sand, four MAXTRAX may be advisable to keep your truck moving. Each piece is about 13” wide an although one of our test vehicles had tires wider than the MAXTRAX, they still did a great job providing traction to get out of the snow.
While we had several people helping with recovery operations, it’s entirely possible to use MAXTRAX in a solo situation. They were specifically designed to make recovery easy and safe for a single person to use. With MAXTRAX you don’t have to worry about stressed components like winch line or tow straps that can fail catastrophically. Recovery with MAXTRAX is a relatively smooth process that presents very little danger.
Friday, 04 February 2011 08:50

Wikid FJ

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Wikid FJOctober 2006: “That is the ugliest car I’ve ever seen.”

This is a quote from my wife and her first encounter with the FJ Cruiser in Sedona, AZ where we saw convoy of them driving down a hill from a resort area. We were in Sedona with her all wheel drive Highlander, driving a popular dirt road called, Schnebly Hills Road, “unknowingly, looking for a different type of adventure.

Fast forward to December 2006 and after the grind of a busy year and our annual week off from business during Christmas. “Out of the blue”, I suggested we go look at Toyota FJ's.  Of course out of the blue is more for the wife’s sake because I had been researching them since our trip to Sedona.  On December 27th I drove one home.

Then it began.

Within a week we had found more dirt on the Four Peaks Trail. The following week, we joined a trail with another new FJ owner and christened our FJ with brush scratches. We don’t have to worry about that any longer.

At the beginning the mod bug was furious and frenzied. Without a total plan on how I would be using my vehicle, I made less then perfect choices on equipment. After months of wheeling, the plan began to form and further mod decisions, were based on experience and function.

For anyone new to the FJ or are considering it for adventure, I urge you to step away from the credit card.   There are a few things you need to ask yourself before unleashing the plastic until it melts all over the machine.

(1) How do I plan on using my truck?
(2) Is this also going to be my daily driver?
(3) How will my mods affect my gas mileage?

Ultimately, if you choose your mods wisely, they will save you from having to do them, over and over.

Thursday, 17 February 2011 06:42

Been There, Dune That! | Surf N Turf 2010

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Surf N Turf 2010 - Toyota FJ CruiserThe thought of California beaches conjures up a myriad of images. Bikinis,surfing, beach volleyball and…Toyotas?

It was a soggy weekend in early November 2002 when 25 Land Cruisers, including a group of Canadian “cruiserheads” (who joined Rolland Gueffroy on his Pan American journey in his 1984 BJ45) rolled onto the wet sand of Oceano Dunes along California’s central coast. Among the drivers was, Jim Brantley, now more commonly known as Pismo Jim.

Jim’s inspiration to organize an event came from the great experiences he had while being attending other regional Land Cruiser events. “I really appreciated the effort put forth by the locals at these events and how they shared their favorite trails with outsiders. I wanted to return the favor to my new cruiser friends,” stated Brantley. As a result, Brantley organized a weekend of camping and wheeling at the Oceano Dunes (the surf) along with a couple trail runs located further inland (the turf). And Surf N Turf was born.

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