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The ROCK: SEMA 2013 FJ Cruiser

Written by  Don Lamb
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The Rock SEMA 2014 Build | January 2014 TCT Magazinedownload_nowSome of you may know me from my other build Wikid.  I still own her and she is resting happily in my driveway, until I decide what direction I will take her.   

Last fall, I had no intentions of buying a new FJ, but then the new colors were announced. I saw a few pictures of the 2013 Trail Teams and thought the color was interesting.  After I found a few pictures of it I decided I needed to see one in person, especially since it seems colors and computers can vary quite a bit.

I contacted Camelback Toyota to see when one showed up, then got the call and drove down to see one.  I still wasn't planning on purchasing, but after I saw it that all changed.  December 12th, 2013, I took delivery of my New 2013 Cement TT edition.  It didn't have the upgraded stereo, but that was actually a good thing, since it would be taken out almost immediately.

With this build I made a pretty firm plan from the beginning.  Since I had already gone through years of upgrades, spending money more than once, I wanted to use my previous knowledge to do it right the first time.  The other important thing is that I decided I wanted to keep rear seats in, so some of my stereo equipment needed to change .  Some things that made this possible included acquiring an Alpine PDX V9-5 channel amp that replaced to large bulky amps and gave me the ability to mount it under the drivers seat.  After delivery I drove her that week and by the weekend, the interior was gutted so I could begin the upgrade process.  

Bumper: The Rock SEMA 2014 Build | January 2014 TCT MagazineUntil I decided which suspension components I ultimately wanted, I moved all of my previous stuff over from Wikid. One major thing I focused on was my lighting for this build.  After several months of planning and buying, I was able to pre-wire a new Baja Rack with the Spylight system to have 360 degree coverage. I also gave it the ability to be removed in 20 minutes without having to disconnect anything but the watertight plugs.

Fast forward to October of this year.

The Rock Sponsors - January 2014 TCT MagazineAfter sending Baja Designs (my main sponsor) some cool poser pictures and some unavoidable circumstances on their part (a Raptor build that seemed to burn up), Baja Designs asked if they could use my FJ in their SEMA booth.   What other answer than yes would have been imaginable?

The Rock Wheels SEMA 2014 Build | January 2014 TCT MagazineWith a little advice from some previous SEMA entrants, I jotted down my ultimate FJ wish list and started to make contacts with vendors that could fill that list.  Since time was short, I needed to move quickly.  After many emails and phone calls, items from the list began to show up at my front door. It was a mad rush to get everything installed and working well, but with cooperation from  several fine companies, my dream build was being put together.  There were a few companies that needed to work together in order for all of this to happen.  Demello Off Road did a custom version of their Rally bumper to accommodate specific lighting Baja Designs wanted to show, which also involved Superwinch.  Everything was completed almost at the 11th hour and after a trip to Demello Off-road it was installed (they have since gotten requests to make this bumper again).  After Talking with Icon Vehicle Dynamics, I decided that Icon should be what keeps my truck on the trail performing as well as it looks, and I finally got a chance to actually take her out and get her dirty, last weekend.  From a lighting suspension, great wheels & tires and massive armor, "The Rock"  performs even better than it looks.  

I will be attending many events throughout the year and I would love to wheel with as many Toyota enthusiasts as possible!

Of course there’s much more than can be shown here involved in my build, so please visit the links below or contact me for more info.
http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/member-build-ups/158490-rock.html
http://throck13.com

All Photos! (Photos by Cee Fish)

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