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Project CJ-7

Offroad Reports

Rausch Creek
Off-Road Park

Wheeling in the
Valley of the Ferns

1.jpg (70086 bytes)
Tellico North Carolina

Paragon Adventure Park
◦ Rock Krawl ◦

Thousands more photos here..


Jeep Project CJ-7

An ongoing Budgeted Rebuild/Build up of a Rock
Crawling Machine.

Installing 23,000 Volt Offroad Lights

Lockers, Limited Slips &
other Differentials Explained


Ramp Travel Index
RTI / Ramp Travel Index What it is and how to calculate it, with and without the ramp.

Offroaders Guide to Gearing up for Offroad
From Basic Equipment to Well Equipped.  An extensive list guide to help you prepare your vehicle for the offroad.






Project Toyota FJ Cruiser

The number of years that I have been going offroad can be counted in decades.  My offroad vehicles over the years have varied from mild such as my 1992 Toyota 4x4 Pickup Truck to my highly modified 1978 Jeep CJ-7.  I've enjoyed them all and still own my CJ-7.  But my desire for "less work" to get onto the trail has increased over the past few years thanks to the the work load involved in getting prepared to haul that custom built Jeep across the state on a trailer behind my F-150.  Bottom line is it was becoming more work than fun and I missed the days of jumping in my old Toyota 4x4 Pickup with minimal gear and hitting the trails.  On top of that, I also became a dad in the last 7 years and my kids are at about that age where they want to go have fun with me on the trails.  So when it came time to buy something I could drive as a daily driver and hit the weekend trails, I was deciding between two vehicles, the Toyota FJ or the Jeep JK.  90% of my trail riding is not extreme.  In fact, most are mountain logging trails.  Occasionally we hit Rausch Creek for some rock crawling.  My rock crawler is the 1978 Jeep CJ-7 and I love that old beast, it's an incredible classic machine.  It has it's days on the rocks.  But it's great to have options.  JK's are nice and very workable as base for a great 4x4, however I wheel with a group of Toyota guys and most own FJ's.  So it was time.

I wanted new, not used.  I was eager for those 19 more horses in the 2010 model as well as a very specific color, the fusion yellow, and specific packages.  After months of watching the Toyota's website looking for signs of the 2010 models, they finally posted info on the 2010.  Several calls and emails to dealerships finally landed me with Ardmore Toyota and the FJ I wanted.  Christmas Eve of 2009 I was driving off the lot with my brand new FJ.  Another great platform for a build up.  While it may lack the solid front axle that hardcore 4 wheelers rail about, the reality is you have to think about purpose.  Where do you wheel?  What kind of trails do you encounter.  Like I said, I spend most of my wheeling on logging trails exploring the Pennsylvania wilderness.  When I want rocks, I'll take the Jeep.  And the FJ will certainly be my daily driver.

If you've peeked at my Jeep Project you'll know that I probably can not leave well enough alone.  I have to make it better, more capable, more me.  So the project begins.  Project Toyota FJ Cruiser.  The following pages are my approach to modifying my FJ Cruiser to my liking.  I have lots of ideas, lots of plans but limited money and limited time.  I'm not looking for radical, rather a capable weekend 4x4 for the mountain logging trails and a unique daily driver.

So enjoy.  If you have any questions or comments, give me a shout:   


Projects Completed to Date:
I'm working on the documentation of these
projects including reviews and lots of photos.

Ralph Hassel




Projects to come:

  • Fabricate a custom front skid plate to protect the radiator and condenser.

  • Expedition One Front Winch Bumper

  • Winch Install


Here are a few photos of the FJ shortly after delivery. 
Bone Stock prior to any modifications.  Let the games begin.


Project FJ Cruiser

Toyota FJ Cruiser Related Articles

Toyota FJ Cruiser Articles Directory

Toyota Mud Tire Reviews

FJ Cruiser Product Reviews

About the Toyota FJ Cruiser

FJ Cruiser Product Reviews

Toyota FJ Cruiser Video Gallery

FJ Cruiser Engine and Drivetrain Specifications

Tuffy Security Console Install

Building an FJ 28"x42" Cargo Box with a
Collapsible 72"x42" Sleeping Platform

Body Mount CHOP in front wheelwells

Mud Flap Mod after the Body Mount Chop

Team Trails Black Door Handles Swap

Team Trails Black Grill Swap

FJ Cruisers Winter Offroading Pics

Toyota FJ Cruiser Photo Gallery

FJ Cruiser Press Release & Specifications

FJ Cruiser Reviews

FJ Cruiser Tires

FJ Cruiser Overview

FJ Cruiser Capacities

FJ Cruiser Dimensions

FJ Cruiser Suspension Lifts

ALL-PRO OFFROAD Suspension Lifts

Rough Country Suspension Lifts

Donahoe FJ Cruiser Suspension Lift

Revtek FJ Cruiser Suspension Lift


Offroad Tire Info
P-Metric Tire Sizes Conversion to Inches
Tire Terminology
Wheel Terminology
How to Pick the Right
Tires for your Truck
Truck Tire Info
Tires - What Hits What Fits
All Terrain  Mud Terrain
Tire Reviews & Info
Mud Terrain MT Tire Reviews
All Terrain AT Tire Reviews
Super Swamper Bogger
Super Swamper SSR
Super Swamper SX
Super Swamper Vortrac
Interco IROK TSL
Super Swamper LTB
Super Swamper TSL
Super Swamper TSL Radial
Super Swamper Narrow
Interco SS-M16 Swamper
Thornbird TSl Radial
Thornbird TSl Bias
Thornbird TSL
Parnelli Jone Dirt Grip
BFGoodrich Krawler
BFGoodrich MT T/A KM
BFGoodrich MT T/A KM2
BFGoodrich AT TA KO
BFGoodrich Mud King XT
Bridgestone Dueler MT
Cooper Discoverer ST
Cooper Discoverer STT
Cooper Discoverer ST/C
Federal Couragia MT
Firestone Destination AT
Firestone Destination MT
General Grabber MT
General Grabber AT2
Green Diamond Icelander
Ground Hawg Mud Tire
Hankook Dynapro MT
Hankook Dynamic MT RT01
Hercules Terra Trac MT
Hercules Trail Digger MT
Kelly-Springfield Safari DTR
Kelly-Springfield Safari MSR
Kumho Road Venture MT
Kumho Road Venture KL71
Kumho Road Venture AT
Dick Cepek Mud Country
Dick Cepek F-C II
Dick Cepek Fun Country II
Dick Cepek Fun Country Nylon
Dick Cepek Fun Country Kevlar
Mastercraft Courser MT
Mastercraft Courser HTR
Mastercraft Courser HTR Plus
Maxxis BigHorn Radial
Maxxis Creepy Crawler
Maxxis Trepador
Maxxis Buckshot Mudder
Maxxis MA-SW
Maxxis M-8080 Mudzilla
Maxxis MT-754 Buckshot
Maxxis MT-753 Bravo
Maxxis MA-751 Bravo
Maxxis MA-S2 Marauder II
Maxxis MA-S1 Marauder
Maxxis MT-762 BigHorn
Nitto Mud Grappler
Nitto Terra Grappler
Nitto Dura Grappler
Nitto Dune Grappler
Nokian Vatiiva MT
Pit Bull Rocker Extreme
Pit Bull Maddog
Pit Bull Growler
Goodyear Wrangler MT/R
Pro Comp Xterrain
Pro Comp All Terrain
Pro Comp Mud Terrain
Pro Comp Xtreme AT
Pro Comp Xtreme MT
Toyo Open Country AT
Toyo Open Country MT
TrXus Mud Terrain
TrXus STS All Terrain
Michelin LTX A/T
Michelin LTX AT2 Press
Michelin LTX AT2
Mickey Thompson MTZ
Mickey Thompson MTX
Mickey Thompson Baja Claw Radial
Mickey Thompson Baja Claw Bias
Mickey Thompson Baja Crusher
Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ Radial SLT
Competition Claw
Dunlop Mud Rover
Federal Couragia M/T
Nitto Dura Grappler
Yokohama Geolandar
Mud Tire Reviews


Off-Road Lights
by LightForce Product Review / Installation.
from Off-Road Lights