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My FJ Cruiser (part 2)

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[December 2006] By the time it was over, I was ready for more. I went to Demello and had a DR (now Icon Vehicle Dynamics) 3” lift installed along with their billet upper control arms. They also did a body mount chop.

Back then the “blue board” was full of posts on group runs and I signed up for one at Fish Creek / Sandstone Canyon at Anza Borrego. This one was a pretty big group, 20+ rigs, mostly FJCs, a 4Runner, Tacoma, H3, and a Sammy.

group photo

This was my first time out there and one thing that immediately stood out was once you’re out there on the trails, you hear nothing but silence. It was strangely deafening. Borrego Springs became my go-to place whenever I got in the weeds at work and needed a place to decompress. It was also near my home away from home in San Diego, when at the time I had lived 2 years prior.

Going deeper into Sandstone Canyon, it got pretty gnarly (for a newbie) and got some trail damage. Nothing too big, just a slightly bent rear lower link, and cracked the rear taillight while backing out trying to get a better line in a narrow section, nudging the tail light into the soft (sandstone) canyon wall.

my FJ on a trail with other trucks ahead

The trail run ended with me using my new but cheap and extremely underpowered air compressor that I got from Pep Boys. Not only was it slow, but it was noisy and needed to cool off after filling each tire. With the trepidation of damaging my daily driver put at ease with getting some minor trail rash, and experiencing an air up that took way too long, it set forth the never-ending upgrade path to the the FJ more bullet-proof and improve quality of life while going offroad.

The build so far (🟢: added)

Tires: BF Goodrich All-Terrain KO (265/70R17)

Suspension: 🟢 DR 3-inch lift, 🟢 DR billet upper control arms, 🟢 Demello Offroad body mount chop

Armor: Toyota skid plate, Demello Offroad sliders

Performance: TRD cat-back exhaust

Interior: Toyota rubber floor mats

Comms: Midland CB Radio

Gear: 🟢 generic 12v air compressor, Staun Tyre Deflators