SOLD: 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser
THE FJ SOLD for $23,000 Oct 22nd 2011
Keeping this post up for anyone perversely interested in reading about it.
I’m selling the FJ Cruiser.
With the arrival of the baby, it has become more difficult to load the child, two dogs, and outdoor equipment of various sorts into the FJ. The reverse opening door (aka “suicide door”) makes loading the child into a car seat very hard, so I’ve upgraded to a Toyota Tacoma short box crew cab, off-road edition. Lots of room in the rear seat for the child and passengers, room in the back for wet muddy dogs and gear.
In the mean time, the FJ is for sale.
It’s a 6 speed manual transmission, off-road package. This version of the FJ operates in full time 4WD using front, center and rear differentials. The variable center differential changes the power distribution from 60/40 (rear/front) at low speeds, to 80/20 at high speeds. Switching to 4WD merely locks the center diff, giving you 50/50 power distribution between the front and rear axels.
It also has a rear differential lock, and Toyota’s A-TRAC (Active Traction Control) for difficult off-road situations. The A-TRAC uses computer control to decide which wheel to send the power. The computer controls all three differentials in this mode, moving power to where it is needed most. The locking rear diff is the “nuclear option” to get un-stuck.
I’ve changed the bumpers from stock plastic to high-clearance steel front and rear, and sliders on the sides. The front bumper is winch-ready and has two recovery points. The rear bumper has a hitch receiver – the vehicle comes with the towing harness, I’ve used it to tow a U-Haul and a snowmobile trailer.
You can see from the pictures it has the stock roof rack. I usually put a ski box up there, and it requires no aftermarket rack parts. For carrying bikes I had a tire-mount Thule rack (already sold). Also in the above photo you can see the custom-made shelf unit I made for the rear storage area – this allowed me to store packs and gear on two levels and made it easier to sort. You can have this for free if you buy the vehicle.
I have not lifted or modified the suspension in any way. I usually ran it with a set of BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO tires, but it is being sold with 5 BFG Rugged Trail T/A. Note that unlike some of the photos, the rims are stock alloy rims (those in the photos are the winter rims, which I am keeping). With the all-wheel drive, stability control, ABS and on-road traction control, I found that this vehicle performed better on snow and ice than anything else I’ve ever driven. If you put a good set of chains on it, it drives like a tank.
Many people are under the impression that the view from the drivers seat is limited. The view out the front is in fact better than many other vehicles, including my new Tacoma. The illusion that the windshield is small comes from the fact that it is very steep. The driver’s seat is adjustable in height which is very useful for drivers of different sizes. Also, when driving off-road I tended to move it up to giver me a better sightline over the hood.
Sightlines out the side and back of the truck are another matter – but when compared with a pickup they are not unusually bad. You could easily consider an after market backup camera and most of your issues would be solved in this regard.
I am 6’5”, 220lbs and I can say that this is the most comfortable vehicle I’ve ever driven, again including the new Tacoma. the head height is immense, and the leg room is more than I need ( I typically have the seat one notch from the last setting). I can drive the car with ski boots if I have to. The driver and passenger seats have armrests, and both sides have two sun visors – one for the front and one for the side.
This truck has all of the safety devices; front, side and curtain airbags, ABS, stability control, etc. The Airbags are mounted in the front, on the seats, and on the sides and are roll-sensing so they won’t go off if they’re not necessary. The dash has the temperature/compass/inclinometer cluster, the audio is CD/WMA/MP3 player with aux input for portable media. It has TPMS, cruise control, air conditioning, power windows and doors, an immobilization device, and Bilstein shocks.
I’ve also added a closing center console, added LED map lights, and changed the interior dome lights to LED as well.
You can probably also tell from the photos that it’s been driven off-road. OF COURSE it’s been driven off road, that’s what it’s for!!
That being said, I am not a hard-core 4×4 guy. I bought the truck because I need to drive off-road to get to various mountains for climbing, skiing, sledding, mountaineering, or for Search and Rescue (more on this later). My off-road profile is this: I want to get as far up a logging road as I can to get to the fun stuff – backcountry recreation. I do not consider getting the truck stuck to be “fun”. I bought a truck with high clearance and good 4wd capabilities so I would spend less time messing around with the truck and more time messing around in the mountains.
And this truck delivered. I’ve driven it to some pretty amazing places, and never had a single problem – as in I’ve never been stuck, never had to use a winch, and I’ve never broken, dented, scraped, bottomed-out, punctured, abraded, or scuffed it in any way while off road. This truck makes driving off road stupid easy.
However there are a few things.
The bumpers, made by All-Pro Offroad in California, are rusty. It seems that these Californians, aside from not responding to my warranty questions via email, also don’t do a good job protecting metal from rain. The shoddy powder coating began to flake off almost immediately. You should be able to fix this by taking the bumpers to a reputable body shop to sandblast and paint them. You can do the sliders at the same time – they were not powder coated, but painted by me and have held up fairly well considering they are at road level.
The lesson: don’t buy from All-Pro Off Road.
There is also a small scratch made by me in the first week I owned the vehicle. I dropped a pair of skis as I was removing them from the ski box. I attempted to touch it up, but it needs to be looked at. It’s less than a centimeter in size.
Finally, in the process of putting the aftermarket bumper on the truck I messed up one of the backup sensors. These things are expensive. I figured since I had metal bumpers anyway, I would take my chances on what I might hit. It’s really not worth replacing this part, I’m sure you won’t miss it.
Here’s the deal. I have this truck for sale on Craigslist, you can contact me through that ad. The price is listed on the ad, as is the mileage and other details. I will reduce the price according to the following:
- If you mention this blog post
- If you are a member of the SAR community (i.e.: a SAR volunteer)
- If you are a SAR team (a tax receipt would be appreciated)
- If you’re a member of any of the following:
At this point I’m not sure what the discounts will be, but any reader of this blog knows I have a soft spot for SAR, and any volunteer for any of the climbing, mountaineering or mountain biking communities is going to get some consideration for their time.
Feel free to make me an offer and I will consider all of the above.
Note that if the truck is sold I will note it at the top of this blog post in RED.