FJ VS. JK
I thought the comparison between the FJ and JK was spot on, and I own an upgraded FJ. My partner from work had just purchased a Rubicon, and I decided to go with the FJ. When wheeling together it was obvious where each vehicle stood out. After lowering tire pressures to 18 for both (his mud-terrains against my BFG A-Ts), on slower rocky terrain the solid front axle with locker finesses the crawl. The FJ still makes it there, but the traction and noises from the A-Trac IFS front are not as smooth. Now take the FJ blazing through a sand wash soaking up the bumps, and we are back to the advantage of an IFS suspension. Of course, it didn't hurt to have turned my Fox shocks down to 1. At the beginning of the day I even had the remark from others that it was a Jeep trail, questioning the wisdom of taking the FJ. Well, we both still got to the other end of the trail intact and with nothing more than some skidplate scratches. That's what they're for, right?
I am thankful for your comparison, and also wondered why Toyota did not send a Trail Edition. You did bring up one of my biggest questions about the fuel grade used in the FJ, answered finally by Toyota directly in the Sept. '10 issue. That alone was worth the subscription. I look forward to the next comparison.
While most of the mail we received on this story was from angry FJ owners, a few like you saw through the brand loyalty veil and came to your own decision. We, too, would have liked to test the Trail Edition, but we feel the difference would not have made the FJ win, but it would have made it more comparable. They are both fine vehicles, and it's up to the consumer to figure out what aspect of off-roading is more important: noise or finesse.
Just Plugging Along
Thanks for the tire issue. Pat yourselves on the back for this one ("Mail Order Tires," Sept. '10)! Good info on the tires also, but I do feel that greater stress should be placed on not plugging sidewalls of tires. My business is tires, and I see too many catastrophic tire failures due to a weakened sidewall. And many times, plugging a "passenger size" tire (not oversized) can cause some of the internal circumferential steel belts to break. Yes, in a pinch to get home maybe, but no farther than the local tire shop, especially if the vehicle is a daily driver. We all need to get home from the trail, but as always, safety first. Again, great mag, keep the good stuff coming.
Right you are, Ryan. While we may have all done a sidewall plug or two in our time and even forgotten about it, all tire repair organizations recommend against it. It's a safety and liability issue, as you sure wouldn't want a blowout at highway speed simply because you failed to adequately take care of your vehicle.
Ol' Yeller (Truck)
I was recently looking at some old videos and magazine issues. I came across the 2005 Ultimate Adventure K10 buildup. I didn't notice any info or ideas as to what was done with the fuel system, specifically the fuel tank. I was wondering if you could tell me if you left it in the stock location or moved it. I do realize that this project is 5-6 years old, but I'm currently undertaking a project on the same vintage Chevy and am trying to plot it out to avoid smashing the tank into an unusable condition.
Also, do you still own this truck? I know some of the company fleet was recently sold off. Thanks for any information you can provide.
When the K10 was first built, the stock tank was removed, as it would have been destroyed under the truck. We made an aluminum tank in the bed with some rudimentary hold-downs and an in-tank pump for the Ramjet 350 engine.
I bought the truck from the company as a wrecked hulk, as we had scavenged most of the parts off of it for other projects. Now I'll rebuild it on a budget like the rest of our readers would, and come up with what we feel will be a great trail/tow/camping/everyday wheeler. I am planning to replace that aluminum tank with a cross-bed fuel tank for more capacity and greater convenience.