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Toyota FJ Cruiser vs Jeep Wrangler



  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    I agree with you 100% Drew. I did the muscle car thing too and I still have it and still love it, but the Jeep is at a level above even that. My automotive recreational time is devoted to my Jeeps more than anything for the very reasons you suggested.

    Toyota is paying their customers to take their FJC's off road?????? WOW! They have to pay them? That's up there with paying someone to be your friend.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    I wonder if Steve Tyler would pay me to date is daughter, Liv?
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    the people they are paying are Toyota employees. They pay those employees to market the product. I think it's a pretty unique and effective marketing tool... get FJ's on the trails, expose them to the 4 wheeling public (jeep public included), and get them behind the wheel. That's not a marketing technique they would do for a vehicle that wasn't off-road capable. Be like taking a minivan to the drag strips to show off their 0 - 60 time. Must be something to the FJ... I'm sure they've put real bumpers on the trail rigs though.

    b/t/w, got my fj40 a few days ago... got it muddy yesterday. Should have done this years ago!
  • This has been a fun thread to watch. Everyone here seems to be a little sensitive about their favorite sport ute/truck/bicycle/whatever..
    I have owned Toyota trucks and I have owned Jeeps. I had very few problems with my Toyota trucks and Jeeps.
    I had an 84 Toyota truck (SR5 4X4)that I bought in 1987. It had the straight axle up front.
    This truck had to have the starter replaced at around 85, 000 miles.
    A u-joint went out on the rear drive line and the drive line fell off at the transmission and the drive line was sheared off the rear differential, (I was going about 65 miles an hour on the highway).
    I had to replace the drive line and the rear diferential as a result of this u-joint failure.
    The rest of the truck ran great for the entire time that I owned it. I traded it off at around 165,000 miles.
    I also owned an 85 Toyota truck. Last year of the straight axles in Toyota trucks. It was a long bed 4X4.
    The only problem I had with this truck was a front main seal that I had to replace due to oil leaking copiously from the front of my engine.. Oh yeah, I also had to replace the starter in this truck.
    Other than that it was a care free truck.
    I owned a 95 Jeep Wrangler. Drove it off road more than I did my Toyotas. I go out into the desert in northeast californica and northwest Nevada.
    The only problems I had with the 95 Wrangler in 150,000 miles was a starter at around 120,000 miles. A radiator at around the same time. It was leaking, I'm suprised it lasted as long as it did considering the washboards and bad dirt roads that I drive over all the time.
    The Jeep held up as good, or better than my Toyota trucks did.
    They were all great vehicles. The reliability of the Wrangler was over all better in my experience. The Wrangler never let me down or left me stranded anywhere.
    The first Toyota truck let me down once, and thats it.
    I was never left stranded with my 85 Toyota truck.
    My wife used to drive a 98 Cherokee that we bought new in 98. It was a fantastic vehicle. Never a problem in over 100,000 miles.
    I now own an 06 Rubicon. If it holds up as well as my 95 Wrangler did it will be a great vehicle.
    My wife now drives an 01 F-350 4x4. I wish it was holding up as well as her Cherokee did.I wont go into that.
    steenh, sounds like you just got a lemmon :lemon: ">. That is not good and I dont blame you for having a grudge against Jeep for the bad expeience you had with one of their vehicles. I have known guys that have had problems with new Toyota's also. Had a freind that bought a new toyota truck and the head gaskets kept blowing for some unknown reason. Never did get fixed. It was under warranty also!!
    He will never won another Toyota now. Too bad, they really are great trucks for most guys.
    Anyway, you guys keep this thread going. It is quality entertainment for sure. :shades:
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    No doubt I got a lemon... if they were all as bad as the one I bought, this thread wouldn't exist. Jeep would be out of business. They're not, so they can't all be bad. But, I won't play Jeep Russian Roulette again, and believe me, I wish I could. The Jeep setup is exactly what I want... and was hoping Toyota would build. Had to buy a 40 yr old Toyota to get what I wanted, and I'm pretty certain that my 40 yr old Toyota will hold up better than my new Jeep did.

    This is a fun thread... people have strong opinions which makes it interesting to read... and participate in. Sure wish some FJ owners would chime in though. I may not be the best choice to carry the torch for FJC since it's not what I wanted or hoped Toyota would build.

    All in fun!
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169

    Well I'm just going on what Drew wrote. I don't really know the details about what Toyota did as far as paying 'their customers' to take their FJ's off-road. Drew said it was the public customers, not Toy employees. But it still seems pretty funny. Jeep or Land Rover never had to pay one cent to its customer to off-road their 4x4s and Pontiac never had to pay GTO owners to drag race the car or smoke the tires now and then. But whatever Toyota wants to do I guess. If they did have very experienced Toyota employee drivers showing off the FJ then they would know where not to push the vehicle so that it's short comings would not show up. Things like the limited articulation IFS will never be observed if you choose your terrain right. A muddy trail without big rocks or swells can be used to impress a novice off-road observer.

    Glad to hear you got your FJ-40 out! Post a couple of off-road pics for us some time!

    Happy Trails
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    If you hit the FJ Cruiser logo link just to the left of this, and then go to the FJ Dossier link, and then "trail teams" you'll get a sense of the marketing effort. Basically there is a team of Toyota drivers with a bunch of FJ's that are traveling around the country to the various off-road gatherings and showing off the capabilities. I understand that they are giving people the opportunity to drive them themselves as well.

    Also a bunch of videos... or Lucasfilms right?

    There is one in August in Tennesee that I might try to make... tough schedulewise, but if I get there, I'll fill you in.

    Pic's? I will post some but it may be a few weeks. Traveling for the next two weeks. Amazing machine. Need to get out with a group so I can test it a bit more, but first time out, I was very impressed.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    But whatever Toyota wants to do I guess

    It is not just Toyota. All the Japanese motorcycle companies came in and picked riders that were good to ride for them. MotoX was more of an individual sport when I raced in the 1970s. It made it very difficult for the little guy to compete, when you had Honda money racing against you. Two of my friends took the money and had great bikes to race. Honda did that with F1 If you are trying to push a brand get top race drivers to sell it.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I knew a guy who raced for Honda back in the 70's. Ski and snowboard companies do this all the time too; heck, around here they comp the local riders with gear as well (sort of like a farm team setup).

    No one has recruited me yet to snowboard for them though. :sick:

    Sounds like good marketing to me, like Camp Jeep and the dealer courses at Land Rover dealers.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    Just wanted to thank you for the tip on the Michael Pollen book. It is very enlightening. I had no idea why the farmers were going broke until I started reading his book. For anyone wanting to know more about where your food comes from read "The Omnivore's Dilemma". It will also give you some insight as to what will happen if we use a lot of our corn for ethanol.

    Sorry for jumping off the subject. I am available to run the FJ Cruiser through it's paces if Toyota is looking for experienced drivers. I took one of the first FJ40s on the famous "Tierra del Sol" run in about 1968. This is their 44th year doing that great run. Not sure how it would stack up against the "Rubicon" or Moab runs. It was tough with lots of broken vehicles. Most of the breakage was Broncos and Scouts. If I ever find all my pictures I will scan and post in my carspace albums.
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    August 10-13 they will be at the Sierra Trek in Meadow Lake CA. Don't know if that's close to you, but it's the only one on the West Coast that's listed right now.

    Would be great to see those pics. That must have been a great time.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169

    I guess the FJ logo is not at the left of the page anymore. I did a search for the venues you guys are talking about but I didn't come up with anything yet.

    Chrysler has had a promotion for several years now where they let potential customers drive all the Jeep models over an off-road coarse. I drove several models over an extensive course when the Power Tour came to my city in 2004. And, each year we have the auto show, Jeep has had a 'you off-road it' course set up where you could test drive Wranglers on steep inclines offset whoopdys etc. It seemed to have the right effect on the buying public, as many seemed to go away very impressed.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I think this is the Dossier link:

    and this one looks to go right to the trail teams:

    Ready to go boar hunting and mushroom picking Gagrice? :shades:
  • drewmeisterdrewmeister Posts: 168
    Sorry for making such a general statement. I wasn't sure what the "trail teams" were composed of. I guess Toyota employees (even if hired just for this purpose) makes sense. Um, I'm available, Toyota...

    Anyway, even as a long-term Jeep owner, I was thrilled to see the FJ come back, even with a street-bias. Jeep must recognize that there's a market for more comfortable 4x4's, since the new JK is getting a much changed interior.
  • drewmeisterdrewmeister Posts: 168
    Well, I was doing a video search for the Top Gear clip that used to be on Google video (where they basically tried to destroy a late-seventies Toyota 4x4 by drowning, burning, dropping, etc., and they can't! - seriously, after being set on fire, it still starts. It's unreal.) Anyway, I learned to drive in one (I believe a 76?), which is now running around Oklahoma somewhere as an ice-cream truck, so it was nostalgic for me. And, since that clip was disabled, I started checking out the others. You will not believe how this thing moves. What did he put in it? I don't recall mine ever actually passing 50mph...I think this is a T100, but I'm not sure. Maybe you guys can tell better than I can.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    Drew, Nice video.

    I have a video of an early 98 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited (5.9L) spanking a mustang. The Jeep turned in the low 12s. I guess there were some engine mods but it was still the engine the vehicle came with apparently.

    Sounds like that TOY truck has a lot of boost on a turbo or super charger under the hood.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169

    'Jeep must recognize that there's a market for more comfortable 4x4's, since the new JK is getting a much changed interior. '

    I don't know man, I think Jeep has gone more than far enough in turning it's models into toothless, cushy-cutie, soccer mom rides. The Commander, Grand Cherokee, Liberty are all examples of WUSS U V's as far as I'm concerned. No need to wreck the wrangler too.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,112
    Ready to go boar hunting and mushroom picking Gagrice?

    Hard to look at meat in the store with what I have read so far. I like wild boar. Had it in Hawaii a few years back. I think I'll just raise a couple goats for meat.

    steenh, I am digging through my storage looking for the old FJ40 photos. I took lots of pictures back then for 4X4 & Dune Buggy News.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    Don't know if any of you care, but here are some pics of a trip I did last year in the mountains with my '81 304 V8 CJ-5. It's pretty well factory with the exception that I replaced the 31" tires with 32" and of course left the suspension stock.
  • I see more "men" driving that boxy looking Commander than women.I wouldn't say it's wussy more like a Nike shoe box with some truck wheels.I've always wanted a Wrangler ever since I was in the Army.Ended up with a Bronco II,I like the new design of the Wrangler it keeps it's ruggedness while shaping up the sharp edges.Just like a diamond in the rough...but I like my kidneys,so the newly re-design 07 is probably why now I'm willing to purchase one. :D
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169

    Yes the commander is like a Nike shoe box so it has the image of being rugged but when you look close you will see otherwise. Perhaps more men do drive it but beyond being sexist, there are a lot of factors that have brought me to the conclusion that it's a sham. Things like IFS, the fake plastic allen head screws in the headlight assembly and on the flares. The stupid split in the rear flare where the back doors open, the lack of a manual transmission option and the list goes on...

    Yes the new Wrangler will be far from a soccer mom's status symbol, and it will incorporate (some) features that will make it a better off-roader than even today's Wrangler but it has also taken a huge step backward with the deletion of the 4.0L and that crummy mini-van V6 they haplessly dropped in its place.

    And really; you like your kidneys??? Come on Lauyn, what are you 95 years old??? I have a 2005 Rubicon and that 1981 CJ-5 in the post above. The CJ-5's 83" wheel base and leaf spring stack make it bouncy, but not at all unbearable. The Rubicon's 93" wheel base, soft springs and multi link suspension make it ride like a dream in comparison. You have to remember these are off-road vehicles - they are meant for the real thing; work off-road. You've been in the army, so tell me how was the ride in the 2 1/2 ton 6x6's??? I know they don't feel like a Cadillac right? but they're meant for work, like a (real) Jeep. At least the new Wrangler mostly holds true to the original idea and image of the Jeep – those other things aren’t Jeeps.
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    I like the pics... that's what a 4x4 should look like!

    b/t/w, went to the local LC club meeting last night, first one for me. Saw lots of very nice looking 40's, 60's, a couple of 80's, and 3 very nice FJC's. All the FJC's were lifted, new bumpers, real tires, 2 of them winched and all of them had been taken off-road. The owners, who I'm just getting to know so don't have a lot of info, seem to be experienced wheelers. The thing they were most impressed with was ATRAC. Said it would work it's way through some very difficult situations. One of them said the biggest difference is that in the older FJ's you relied a lot more on power/torque to push through obstacles. In the FJC's it's more like a slow glide through them. On the trail run they were discussing, the FJC's went everywhere the other LC's went.

    I'll get first hand pics and maybe a chance to drive one in the next few months.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    Thanks Steenh,

    So you found an active club it sounds like. Personally I think you made the right choice in vehicles dude. Your FJ has a look about it that cannot be replaced in a 'modern way' - the Classic, defined by functionality look. I would have taken your '67 over a 2006 any day. While at first glance people often think the classic FJs look like Jeeps, they really have a look all to their own. I was looking at one the other day and the common points between a CJ and a FJ are born out of functionality. Aside from that, the FJ has a tapered body tub from the front fenders to before the back wheels – in some ways more like the Jeep MB or M-38. The FJ also has a cool integrated headlight/grill that is not as deep as the CJ. From the front they have are each quite unique features. But all of us who own Jeeps or classic FJs drive around on the hot sunny days on or off-road proud to know that we are the envy of all those poor saps that are sweltering under a steel roof while the wind blows through our hair.

    Your FJ is a much better platform to start building a hard core machine from than a FJC. Do you have a limited slip diff or locker in the back? If not, adding one is an investment that you will surely like. Moreover the Classic FJs have awesome visibility compared to an FJC. Trust me Steenh, if you throw a locker in the back and get some revolver shackles from Teraflex you will blow away those other guys in the FJCs. You won't even have to do a lift! In fact if you can run the tires you want without the lift I recommend not lifting. Lifting just raises your center of gravity and makes a 4x4 handle like a pig on the road and roll over sooner on side hills.

    Well any way dude, we're all waiting for your pictures!
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    It looks like a very active club... a run once a month, always at the big gatherings, 60+ members. Think I'm going to like it. And yes, I also think I made the right choice. I am really enjoying the 40. Right now I still have the top on, been out of town quite a bit, need to rent some storage etc... But, it's hot here and I can't wait to pull it off.

    The truck has a 2" lift now, 33 x 10.5 x 15 mud terrains. Actually runs pretty well on the road... not like the 100 by any stretch, but pretty well. You are right on with the locker... already ordered and in transit. After that, the next mod will be power steering. Not too bad on the road, but wrestling with it on the trail might get to be a bit much, especially with a locker. Would also make putting a locker in front possible... at least LSDiff. Not sure I'm going to go that extreme, but maybe.

    I'm heading out on another trip Friday for 9 days so no pics for a couple weeks... I'm sure you're being kind to show the interest, but trust me... as soon as I get the opportunity, you'll see a muddy FJ40 with a smiling me behind the wheel.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169

    Yeah a 2" lift is not that bad. It's nice to have the 33s. I have 32.0x11.50s on my CJ and when I really crank the steering sharp the tire just starts to contact the spring stack, so I might widen my track by about 1/2" per side and that should clear up that problem. Haven't done any lifting myself, but I would like to get that teraflex revolver shackle set up and I guess that will add some height weather I like it or not. Though the articulation of the stock leaf spring stack is ok, I was really impressed with how much difference the teraflex system seems to make.

    Since I have open diffs all around I too am looking for a locker of some kind. I really really like that OX Locker because of it's lack of air diaphragms, or electric solenoids. It doesn't get much simpler or more reliable than a cable with a small locking lever mounted up by the console, but the stupid thing costs about $700!

    I figure with the CJ-5's very short 83" wheel base, the V8 power and the addition of a few things like rocker guards, lockers front and back, my CJ will actually be better than my Rubi off-road.
  • drewmeisterdrewmeister Posts: 168
    I'd have to have a friendly disagreement with ya there... ;)

    The Rubicon's axles are much better, the 241 OR is a much better t-case with lower gears, 4-wheel disc brakes, much more articulation as you mentioned, and fuel injection. My 89 with the carbuerator would stall constantly, while the 04 would pretty much run upside down. The new 4.0 puts out much more power than an early 80's smog 304 (assuming the motor is stock), and the wheelbase could be argued either way (I prefer more, which is why I have an LJ, but I also realize it will high-center more easily).

    IMO, Toyota isn't planning on trying to take the Rubicon market. There are some street-only Rubicons out there, but the market is folks who want the toughest factory trail 4x4 on the market (notice I said trail 4x4, as I believe the Power Wagon is just as tough, with a different purpose).

    Toyota put up a vehicle to have specific advantages over the Wrangler for those who drive primarily on pavement. If I ran Toyota, and was driven by shareholders and not by my personal preferences, I'd make the same choices. I'd say more Wranglers get used off-road than other SUV's, but I bet it's still under 40% of the total. (After all, I still get some very perplexed looks when I use the Jeep wave. There are some folks that just are not enthusiasts, and are not interested.) That leaves 60% of sales that Toyota could potentially take. I bet if they do a TRD version, it will still be IFS, and may add electric lockers or something similar to the Tacoma package, but it still won't be aimed at unseating the Rubi.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169

    Yeah I could not agree with you more about Toyota's plan for the FJC - it's not meant to unseat the Rubi as king of the off-road mountain. You and I would both do what Toy is doing to capture the most market. That being said, as an all purpose daily driver 4x4/weekend warrior the FJC looks not bad.

    About my CJ-5 vs. my Rubi. Well yes the Dana 44s are ultimately probably better. However the lack of locking hubs on the Rubi is a real minus.

    4 Wheels disks are nice for some things but not always the best. I have found several times that when disks are covered in copious amounts of wet snow they do absolutely nothing to stop you! I have seen several times where the rear drums are the only thing slowing the vehicle down while the front brakes don't keep up their end of the bargain.

    The 304 5.0L vs the 4.0L: well the off idle torque of those motors is probably fairly similar. I know that the numbers in the book will actually suggest that the 4.0L has more horse power. However I can tell you without any hesitation that the stock 304 CJ-5 with 4 on the floor, will absolutely kill my 4.0L Rubi with the 6 speed in a drag race every time! Not even close. The CJ has way more snap in every gear. That 304 CJ is actually pretty quick. I raced a Honda S2000 off the lights and gave him the surprise of his life when he couldn't beat me.

    The addition of Holley’s high performance off-road carb would probably cure any mixture problems one might encounter on steep inclines. They say it will maintain a smooth idle at 45 degrees.

    The CJ-5 is also about 4" narrower so it fits more places and because the wheel base is 10" shorter it even turns slightly sharper that Rubi. The CJ's T-case is a dana 300 which is direct gear drive - no chains unlike the Rubi’s, and its not only stronger but is able to be equipped with a twin stick. Only problem is that to have the really low crawl ratios of the Rubi I would have to drop in the Tera Low gear set.

    The thing that really blow most people away is the gas mileage. In Canadian gallons, Rubi gets 22-23 on the highway while the CJ gets 25 all day long! Yes the 5.0L AMC V8 will consistently get better mileage than the 4.0L!

    That all being said, I really like my Rubi, and yes it is likely the most capable FACTORY produced 4x4 ever.
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    Can't you jeep people just get along! :)

    I can't speak to the new jeep vs. old jeep argument.

    I think on the FJC, directionally you are right... but the view that it's a soccer mom-mobile is way too far off. I'm only seeing guys... and one wheeling woman... driving them in Atlanta.

    I think they are designed to attract the wheeling crowd but not the hard core wheeling crowd. The hard core folks will modify whatever they buy, and it's easier and cheaper to modify a jeep, an old LC or 4-runner, or pickup than it is to modify a new FJC. And, who really wants to take a $30k+ vehicle and smash it up against a bunch of unforgiving rocks? I'm sure even new Rubicon owners are less likely to hit the hard trails than someone in an old CJ that is already "broken" in.

    Maybe the answer to all of this is... the hardcore wheelers won't buy anything "new", jeep or FJC. So, you can't really compare and FJC with a Wrangler because there are "old" beat up wranglers out there that people are willing to trash around more than anyone in a new vehicle would be, jeep or FJC.

    Just a thought...
  • keatskeats Posts: 412
    I would think that the Rubi's coil suspension alone would make it light years ahead of the CJ for a particular type of offroading, particularly where extreme articulation is invovled, but general trail use, the CJ can definitely hold its own.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    "I'm sure even new Rubicon owners are less likely to hit the hard trails than someone in an old CJ that is already "broken" in."

    You wouldn't by any chance be talking about me would you Steenh???? LOL! Well to be truthful, yeah, it goes against something inside me to thrash a vehicle I factory ordered and paid $30K for. I have off-roaded the Rubi, but nothing like the stuff I'm willing to do with the CJ. My dad laughs at me; says “you bought the most capable 4x4 ever made and you’re afraid to drive it in the rain” – well he’s exaggerating a bit there. That being said most of the Rubicons I see around here, and there are a lot, are heavily modified to have snorkels, 35" rubber, and most of them have battle scars. As far as 2 year old Rubicons go, mine is in much nicer shape than most of the ones 1 year old.

    But you know it's funny, because I'm willing to put a lot of time and money into my CJ to replace rusted metal, give it a nice paint job, do mechanical mods etc and I'll still drive it the same way I did before I spent that money. I'll still do the same trails or even worse ones. So I don't know why it makes a difference if its $30K in mods combined with a lot of blood and sweat or if it's $30K for brand new iron, but for some reason in my subconscious there is a difference. Hmmmmm

    By the way Steenh, we started on this blog at complete opposite sides of the spectrum. What happened???? We seem to for the most part agree now. ;)
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