NorCal FJs

FJ Cruisers of Northern California

New FJ build -- looking for recommendations - Bumper, Winch, Air Compressor, lift, lights, etc...

I could really use your help with suggestions...  I've just bought a new 2013 FJ Trail Edition for my wife, and now it's time to have some fun with it.  We're looking to add a front bumper, winch, air compressor, lights and at least level it or lift it some.   Ultimately we would like to be able to run 33" tires without giving up any travel (if that's even possible on a relatively small budget).

I was originally hoping to get the Warn Power Pack (winch and compressor), but it seems that my bumper choices are very limited.  I definitely want a good air compressor since that's something that I'll use almost every time I go out.

I've done some reading, but it seems that a lot of the messages are old and out of date.  If you were to build out a new FJ, what would be your dream build? 



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If you want a bumper that handles a winch, it's gonna be heavy (along with the winch). Definitely going to need a lift first, if not at the same time as adding the bumper/winch. The stock suspension will sag otherwise. 

Hi Studovich,

Thanks for the advice and this is the type of advice that I'm looking for...  I know some of the bumpers weigh up to 200lbs, plus the winch (I believe the power pack is about 120lbs).  I've heard that I could be looking at almost 1 inch sag for the combo.  I would like to find a lower weight solution -- not only to cut down on sag, but also cut down on weight for acceleration, breaking, MPG, and so on.  Plus I'm going to need to pull a trailer, and I want to keep the weight down. 

At a minimum, I'm looking to level the FJ (after winch and bumper install) and might be interested in a lift so that I can eventually run 33s.

Are there any low weight bumpers out there that can take the Warn Power Pack?  Or should I give up on the power pack and run a normal winch and buy a separate air compressor?  I was also planning on running  synthetic rope unless you I hear otherwise.  Can I get away with a simple spacer kit for leveling, or should I be looking at something else?




Hey Alan,

Welcome to the site...The blue room has a great build portal...  Here's the link  Blue room member builds

There's a ton of different builds, different setups and a few lessons learned.  It's all about what you want to use your FJ for...  I will say the stereo, Navi and CB are the ones I use the most.  Here's my build.My Build

Good Luck,


Lighter front bumper - made of aluminum  by Demello OffRoad;

I helped BGameFJ install one on his 2012 FJ.

Awesome!  Thanks for the info! That one looks awesome!  How was the install?  Did you have to relocate the windshield fluid reservoir?

We replaced it with Expedition One windshield fluid reservoir.

John, thanks for the info and links...  I'll review them now.

John, wow!!!  What a story and TWO builds!  You've got an awesome rig!  Thank you so much for sharing!

I like the ARB front bumper, if you buy it with a Smittybilt 8k lb winch there is a discount of several hundred dollars.

I had this fitted and no prob with the windshield washer bottle with the ARB. I also added a 2.5 inch "Ready-Lift" levelling kit to take up the weight. The bumper and winch added 200 lbs and lowered the front by 1.25 inch. The levelling kit brought the FJ to a good level ride.

Steve Hope

Steve, thanks for the advice...  The bumper / winch combo is heavy.  Wow a 1.25 inch drop due to the extra weight...  That's huge!  I'll definitely do a lift to help counteract the drop associated with the extra weight.  Did you install everything yourself or did you have it done?  Where did you get it from?  Do you still like the ARB more than the DO aluminum?

Thanks again!


 I have the 2 front OME shocks and heavy springs.  It is a 3 inch lift.  You are welcome to have them free.  You just have to pick them up. I'm in Sacramento.  You'll need to get the rear shocks and springs.

Mike, thank you very much for the offer!  I'm up in El Dorado Hills, so I'm not far away.  Before I jump on your offer, I want to make sure the OME setup is right for me so that I don't take this away from another fellow NorCalFJer.  I have the 2013 Trails edition...  Are the OME struts (Nitro Charger Sport Struts?) as good as the Bilsteins that the trail edition comes with?  I assume I can't just swap springs without swapping the strut as well since the damping would be too light for the heaver spring?

I'll PM you my phone number.

Thanks again!





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