Saying farewell to the Toyota FJ Cruiser

Ben Ruset

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I saw a new looking dark green one in a parking lot yesterday and wondered if they were still making them. Guess that answers my question.

I have a soft spot for these, although I'd probably still get a Grand Cherokee over it.
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
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Coastal NJ
I saw a new looking dark green one in a parking lot yesterday and wondered if they were still making them. Guess that answers my question.

I have a soft spot for these, although I'd probably still get a Grand Cherokee over it.

Good choice, we got a GC back in April. One trip to Maine already, a tour of the northeast begins next week. :dance: Avg 26 mpg on the first trip with the V6 and the incredible 8 speed tranny. Not even a hiccup.

I love this thing. :D
 

Badfish740

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Feb 19, 2005
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Copperhead Road
As someone who once owned a real FJ-40, I always felt they missed the mark on the FJ Cruiser. My father, who also bought an FJ-40 brand new in 1978, and actually got a chance to drive an FJ Crusier once agreed. I think Toyota had a real opportunity to go after the market that is now dominated by those four door Jeeps you see everywhere these days.
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
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That's 26 highway, right? What's your city mileage like?

Don't do any real city driving, but around this area, Toms River, we are averaging a tenth or 2 over 24. The 26 was the average over the entire trip; highway and local touristry travel. Have not checked highway only, but some on the Jeep forum are reporting 28. This is from the onboard mileage calculator; I have just begun using Fuelly to keep track and would have had some numbers if I didn't get a short fill at the last fill-up. The range on a fill-up is 550+ miles :D The overall performance really knocked my socks off. If you get chance do a test drive.

We will be traveling to Maine, then to White Mts in NH, Green Mts in VT and the ADK's of NY. The trip from ME to NY will be state/local roads, no freeways, so it will be a good test. Also 2 mountains will be climbed with it. :eek:

The Starship, not our first color choice, but options came first.

155301127.jpg
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
8,838
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Coastal NJ
Its probably 90% due to the transmission. It runs in what is called ECO mode as a default; you can turn that off and the shift points change, but in eco it still moves off very nice and is where I leave it 99% of the time. You can also put it into SPORT mode, which also changes shift points and some other settings. There is more computer power in this thing than the first computer I worked with, definitely a long term extra warranty candidate. It is light years away from the 2004 Escape we had, also a V6.

The NAV system, although Garmin based, stinks. I still use my 6 year old NUVI.
 

WaretownMike

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Jul 16, 2013
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I love my FJ- it has carried me through mud and sand and through the Pine Barren Hills and Vales. Even to the top of Forked River Mountain (allegedly)
 

MarkBNJ

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Jun 17, 2007
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I'm sad to see it go, just because there are few small body-on-frame 4wd trucks left in the market. But I am not at all surprised they killed it. My '07 has 125k miles on it, and quite a few of them were earned beating around pretty much every road in the barrens and the gap, wet or dry, sandy or snowy, and I have the lost paint to prove it :). It's both a great truck, and a ridiculous truck, and I'll drive mine until it falls apart because it's a Toyota, and because it still puts a smile on my face. :)

Edit: I should mention she is at this moment in getting 33's and new calipers, rotors, and pads. And she still drives like the day I bought her... well, except for the yota valve tap, and the suspension parts flopping around. But that's designed in for character.
 

Badfish740

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Feb 19, 2005
589
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Copperhead Road
I should add that I don't think the FJ was a flop, I just think they could have gone further - solid front axle, removable top, a little more utilitarian interior, etc... There's no doubt they are tough as nails as are pretty much all Toyota 4x4s. I wouldn't trade my current Toyota pickup for anything-except maybe a 1978 FJ-40 ;)
 
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MarkBNJ

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I should add that I don't think the FJ was a flop, I just think they could have gone further - solid front axle, removable top, a little more utilitarian interior, etc... There's no doubt they are tough as nails as are pretty much all Toyota 4x4s. I wouldn't trade my current Toyota pickup for anything-except maybe a 1978 FJ-40 ;)

Oh the overall utility of the design is absurd. The stupid suicide doors, the low windshield (with three wipers!), the cave-like rear compartment, lack of any storage whatsoever, the laughably useless stock roof rack, the even more laughably useless stock aluminum skidplate that you can bend with your hands... I could go on. But it all sits on top of an awesome platform and it will climb trees :). I don't necessarily agree about the sfa by the way. I think it was a good design choice. The independent front suspensions handles and corners much better than any wrangler will ever aspire to, and there's really no terrain other than rock hopping on which the sfa has a serious advantage. If you need that much suspension travel, then yeah sfa is the way to go.

Btw, just got her back with the new 32" Goodrich Rugged Terrains (I think I said 33" before, mistake). Nice ride. I'm impressed.
 

Ben Ruset

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I used to slag on trucks with independent suspension until I got my old Ridgeline. I had always been a die-hard Jeep fan. They're great off road, but lousy on-road. Then I realized that, for the most part, nothing in the Pine Barrens requires a vehicle have that much flex. (Maybe if you're going into a super deep mud hole, but if you are then you deserve to get stuck.)

I think Toyota realized that while the truck is great for being off-road the vast majority of them wouldn't go, and likely a sizable demographic would be people like myself who just want to tool around the woods and not climb up mountains of butter.
 
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MarkBNJ

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I used to slag on trucks with independent suspension until I got my old Ridgeline. I had always been a die-hard Jeep fan. They're great off road, but lousy on-road. Then I realized that, for the most part, nothing in the Pine Barrens requires a vehicle have that much flex. (Maybe if you're going into a super deep mud hole, but if you are then you deserve to get stuck.)

I think Toyota realized that while the truck is great for being off-road the vast majority of them wouldn't go, and likely a sizable demographic would be people like myself who just want to tool around the woods and not climb up mountains of butter.

Yeah there is really nothing, other than a few spots like Jemima you shouldn't be climbing anyway (spoken by a guy who did, and then thought about it and hasn't since). At extreme articulation an SFA will keep the tires planted perpendicular to the surface they're riding on, but that situation has never arisen for me, and at normal off-road levels of flex the IFS works just fine.
 
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bobpbx

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Oct 25, 2002
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I replaced my 92 Toyota pickup with this one about 3 weeks ago. I did replace the mud tires that were on it. It is a 96, four cylinder. My old one was a V6 with very low gearing (I think 4:10). This model has 3:58 gears. There are pros and cons to owning this one. One of the cons is an odd problem with starting it after the heat sinks in on hot days. I'm still searching for an answer to that one.

95 Toyota.JPG
 
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bobpbx

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Oct 25, 2002
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Pines; Bamber area
Nice truck, Bob. I still think the Taco is the best looking small pickup. The body sits just right. On your starting problem, I'm going with O2 sensor.

Thanks Mark. Please tell me more why you think so. I cleaned the mass air flow sensor, the temperature sensor, and the throttle body valves with good cleaner. It got only marginally better. It does not happen now since the outside temperature is cooler. What would happen is, when the temp is about 78 or above, and after running for awhile and then only shut off for 1 to 5 minutes, it would start fine. But if I shut it off for 10 or 15 minutes, the heat would sink in and it would not start readily. I have to fool with it by feathering the gas pedal slightly. Usually took about 8-10 cranks.

Mind you, I've read a lot of the forums, and the answer is all over the map, from cleaning clogged fuel lines to putting heat shields in odd places.
 

MarkBNJ

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Just a guess, but air density changes with temperature, which alters the oxygen content in a given volume. It's why old naturally aspirated engines performed better on cool days. Could be the O2 sensor is bad and the mixture settings needed for the warmer, less oxygen rich air are getting messed up. This would show up right away in a diagnostic, btw.
 
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