FJ Cruisers of Northern California
Well as most people that know me know that I've picked up a 85 FJ60 and since it's not a FJ Cruiser I'm going to use the blog feature we have here on NorCalFJs.com to be the primary site I'm using to document my build. While ih8mud.com might be a better place since this is a 60 I have almost no personal connections to the folks there except for the folks that are here and there and since I'm not getting rid of the FJC so I'm not abandoning the site.
The main reason for using the blog format is to keep my build from hitting the main discussion pages since I want to keep the main discussions focused on FJC topics, however if I do something really cool or need comments I might throw a post there from time to time. I just want to document my build and trials to track my progress and also if any other NorCal'ers or StepCal'ers are looking to go the insane route of buying a 25+ year old wagon they have a place to look at what I've done to gather ideas.
So on to my observations of the devolution of the FJC owner.
I've noticed over the last year or so that there has been a interesting evolution or devolution (DEVO) for FJC owners to starting picking up older rigs like the 60 or 80 and even a few 40s to build. It's not because our FJCs aren't capable they out perform stock most rigs in basic to moderate off-roading. I just think it's the 4wd bug has bitten some of us hard and as FJC owners we want to go further and more extreme without sacrificing the FJC body panels or the dollars it would take to build the FJC to the next level it's just still too new for most of us to outlay the money required. Honestly would you feel comfortable taking your daily driver on the Rubicon or Dusy? While I know the FJC can make the 'Con the chances of visiting your local body and/or glass shop is high. Overall it's not recommended to use a daily driver as a hardcore rig since most of us need to drive to work and when you are waiting on repairs rental cars or hoofing it get's expensive fast.
So what you do is pick up a older rig to build on and even there there are a couple ways to go.
Buy somebody's rig that they already invest 10-30k into.
The good When you buy a rig this way you tend to get it for 50 cents on the dollar, since your buying a rig that all the labor has been already done on the parts bought and generally if it's in running shape it is turnkey and you can go wheel as soon as you drive away.
The bad Depending on the quality of work by the previous owner(PO) you might have gremlins that you will have to trace for years to come. Plus you can't say it's your build you had no say and if you try to pass it off as your work you can get caught in that lie and you lose creditability.
Overall This is the cheapest way to get a old school cruiser that is trail ready.
Buy a stock rig that has little to no mods.
The Good You have a blank canvas to build the rig of your dreams. You don't have to deal with a PO that took short cuts or didn't do something you feel isn't right. You don't have to redo existing mods to make them work for your needs.
The Bad It's going to cost you money. Do you want air lockers? That is a 2500 dollar investment. Do you want to lift sping under or spring over axle again that's a 1000 - 3000 dollar investment. Engine swap, regear, tranmission swap, crawl box, bumpers, etc it all cost money and then if you can't do the work yourself you need to pay someone to do it and unless you have good friends that know what they are doing it's going to cost you in labor.
Overall This is the more expensive way to go, but if you have the time to invest and the money when you are done (haha) you can honestly say this is your build and there isn't a price you can put on that.
enough rambling for today.