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Toyota FJ Cruiser vs Jeep Wrangler



  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169

    Well yes, the Wrangler/TJ suspension is light years ahead of the CJ's leaf spring system. The articulation is far better and the ride is noticeably better too. The 2007 Wrangler's long arm suspension is suppose to make the current TJ's suspension look as 'bad' as the CJ's. I think it gets something like 680 on the ramp travel index - not too shabby. However with a call to Teraflex, the application of a couple $100.00 bills and the time for installation, the 25 year old CJ suspension can apparently flex better than my stock Rubi or so I’m led to believe.
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    You must be seeing things my way now ;)

    It does make a difference... no logical explanation other than emotion. You spend bucks to modify something, you want to use the modifications... means wheel harder. Buy anything new and you want to preserve the newness as much as possible.

    Humans ain't that smart... but we're the smartest!
  • I was an Engineer in the Army,we rode in the Cut V's and the Duece like sardines.I know Military vehicles are made to "transport" soldiers and Marines they are not made for "comfortable" riding experience.I'm the way ;) I think the older Wrangler's rode to roughly on pavement except if you were off-roading than you wouldn't know the difference.I like the new Wranglers,so they put in a "soccer mom's mini van v-6" in it.Let's test drive the thing first and let's see how it "rolls".Heck it might ride like a "Caddy"........... :P
  • keatskeats Posts: 412
    "Humans ain't that smart... but we're the smartest! "

    I'm definitely using that one...
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169

    Well I guessed you weren't 95 LOL! Anyway I think you are right that the new Wrangler will probably be the best riding solid axle Jeep ever made. Perhaps the best riding solid axle 4x4 every made for it's wheel base. So if Daimler Chrysler engineers can make it ride nice AND perform better off road I'm all for it too!

    I guess my view on this 'ride nice' thing is that I buy or build a vehicle for a specific purpose - I expect it to perform better in that area than any other vehicle that is intended for multi purpose use. That being the case I am willing to sacrifice performance or features in other areas to be the best in one or two specific areas. So if my CJ-5 rides like a buckboard, has very little room and doesn't have power windows or locks, so be it - I expect that and I don't mind because I knew that when I signed up.

    By the way, I'm starting to look for a Duce (diesel or multi fuel). Don't know weather I'll go with a US model or a Canadian army model though. A lot of the US models have dual bogies on each rear axle and I don't think I want the extra tire expense for that, but I guess it depends on some other factors too.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    Yup Steenh you hit it right on, 'Humans ain't that smart, but we are the smartest' .... At least in this little corner of the galaxy ;)
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    Hey "Smartest" folks I know.

    Just got back in town... and decided to head back out next weekend to Tellico TN... Never been there, but hear it's one of the best wheeling areas east of the big river. Going with 20 other Cruisers, and the FJC Trail Team will be there.

    I'll be driving one at some point during the trip... First hand experience should be a blast. Of course, I'll take a bunch of pics, and I'm no "Lucas" photographer :>

    One of the folks I'm heading up with has an FJC with new lift and a real bumper. They are planning to put it to the test on "Slick Rock".

    Going to be a good weekend.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Tellico is a beautiful area even if you are just cruising to the Smokies on the back roads in 2WD. Looking forward to the pics - maybe you'll get one of a wild boar. :shades:
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    I'm hearing that a pic of a bear is just as likely as a boar... just hoping I don't run into any bores ;)
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    wild boar Wanna kill it and grill it!

    There you go trying to make me hungry again. Been eating veggies out of the garden. Still hard to look at beef and processed foods. Way too much HFCS.

    steenh: have fun on the trip and post in Carspace for us all to enjoy the area.
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    Got back from Tellico on Sunday, to busy to post anything, but had a great time. Joined the FJ Cruiser trail team and a local LC club for the weekend. Had the opportunity to ride trails 4,5,6 which are moderate trails... of course there was a lot of rain so the trails and rocks were slick.

    Of 15 trucks in our group, 6 were FJC's. Two of them were from the trail team. One of the independents was built up, one had a lift and rockers, the others were stock with rockers. the other 9 trucks ranged from a highly built FJ40 to a couple of 60's and 80's, and one 100. There was also our token Wagoneer.
    This is the built FJC.


    The FJC's are VERY impressive. I was able to spend about an hour in one running through some pretty tough stuff. No problem at all. ATRAC is unbelievable. We never locked the rear... never had to. I now understand why they didn't bother with locking the front. ATRAC is very impressive technology that you really need to drive to appreciate. Don't think the Rubicon has that technology available. If you don't experience it, I think it's easy to criticize the lack of locking front... once you have, you realize you'd never use it anyway.

    Out of the box, an FJC does need sliders, a lift, and a bumper to really play... though the non-lifted FJC's did extremely well playing with the big trucks.

    First had experience... FJC's will be around in the wheeling world for a while. Jeepsters will see them sharing the same trails. They are VERY capable.

    I haven't wheeled a Rubicon, so I can't compare directly. All I will say is that the word in the Toyota community is spreading quickly that FJC's are for real off-road machines.

    Now the bad news... Vacuum leak the morning I was leaving meant that my FJ40 didn't make the trip :cry: :mad:

    Easy fix as soon as I got home, and was glad to have had the opportunity to drive an FJC so all's good.

    Hope all is well with all of you.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169

    Nice pic by the way. This looks like the kind of wheeling that you can really have a lot of fun on. It's not sissy wheeling and its not so hard core that it will scare your passengers away. It’s nice.

    That built FJC in your pic is pretty much modified the way the Toyota dealer told me an FJC should be changed if you are to take it off-road. They had one in the show room that they had built up that way - but the extra bills for it over the stock one was not trivial.

    About the ATRAC. This type of traction control was offered starting in 2001/2002 - 2004 on the Jeep Cherokee in the Overland model. The system had the ability to direct 100% of the engine’s torque to any given wheel that had traction or split it between all four according to which wheels have traction. So if 3 of the four wheels had no traction or were even in the air (which would be impossible), then if the third wheel had at least some traction you would still be moving since the system would direct the engine's torque to that wheel only. I never drove one, but by all accounts it was very impressive.

    This package was not offered on the Rubicon since it offers no advantage over having all the wheels locked solid. Lockers will probably take a lot more abuse than an 'advanced traction control system' to because there are no clutches to slip and far fewer moving parts. The other thing to remember about the Rubi is that even when all the axles are unlocked it still has a posi-track or a limited slip rear end. Most times I would not have to even put it in four wheel drive never mind lock the axles to drive many moderate trails. July edition of Petersons 4 Wheel and Off-road had a 10 best four wheel drives in history exposé. Out of the 10 there were 3 Jeeps named. The Jeep Rubicon was named the most capable out-of-the-box 4x4 to ever be offered by an OEM bar none. Your FJ-40 was also in best 10.

    To bad about your FJ not being able to make this trip. But a vac leak should be no big deal and then we can see some pics of your classic on the trails :)!
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    That Cherokee I mentioned has the Quadra-Drive system. It comes with the Quadra-Trac II transfer case and Vari-Lok front and rear axles.

    About half way down the page they explain the transfercase and the special vari-lock axles. It seems like a pretty smart system that does not rely on a bunch of electronic or computer crap to do the job.

    In many respects, I see the Cherokee the closest Jeep counterpart for the FJC.
  • keatskeats Posts: 412
    You beat me to the Quadradrive comparison. Btw, in here in the US it is the "Grand Cherokee." I looked at this system when we purchased our Grand Cherokee, and I decided it had too many potential things to go wrong, plus, it was soooo expensive. I opted for the tried-and-true (and proven) Select Track 4wd system. It has all you really need, full time, part time, neutral and low range.

    I agree, the air lock system of the Rubicon is much more durable and far easier to fix should an issue arise. And the helical limited slip makes life much easier, even on a wet street.
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    Already fixed the vac leak... it was no big deal, just fixed a couple days too late. Such is life.

    The FJC needs sliders... with that it can go off road out of the box. We had a couple that just had sliders. They did fine. One of the trail team rigs was built that way, and made it up slick rock on a previous visit... we didn't make it there this trip. Our ride lasted too long with 15 trucks. (dinner and beers were waiting for us too)

    As far as ATRAC vs. all locked, I actually think that ATRAC could have an advantage. Locked axles are much more difficult to steer than "unlocked" and can have a tendency to slide sideways where ATRAC would put traction where it's needed, to push through a turn without having to spin both wheels. I drove both, ATRAC was a much more controlled ride. One of the people that drove an FJC for the first time (a 40 owner) said "it kind of takes the thrill out of wheeling. It's so smooth and controlled". That summed it up pretty well. I like them a lot more than I thought I would after spending time in one.

    Rubicons are great off-road. I don't doubt that at all.

    I'm heading out again for a couple of business trips so it will be a while before I get the 40 dirty, but labor day at the latest I'll find some mud and post some pics! :shades:
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    Yes add the sliders, and some steel aftermarket bumpers and the FJC becomes much more resistant to rocks and trees. It's the same thing for the Grand Cherokee. A good set of STEEL bumpers make a difference in what you are willing to take it through.
  • keatskeats Posts: 412
    I would bet Toyota will come out with a "hardcore" version of the FJC with all those extra goodies on them. Well, probably not the bumpers, but I would think they'll come out with their own Rubicon addition.

    I must say I see an FJC every once in a while and I still don't like the looks. It's just not very attactive from certain angles. Unlike the FJ40 which looks fantastic.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    Well they could and probably should. But I give you 100% odds that you won't see a soild axle in the front and that means you probably won't ever see a locker in the front either.

    As for adding sliders, a trans/case skid plate, a gas tank skid plate, a much slower low range grearing - That's all doable with little extra cost to Toyota. AND... They might even rip out that torqueless V6 (which I'm not really that in love with) and put a diesel in. That would be great.

    I wonder how hard it would be to rip all that IFS crap out of the front and replace it with a solid axle out of an old Toy.....Hmmmm
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    Does anybody know if ATRAC is an electronically activated system? Just looking for a bit more background on it so that I can draw better comparisons with some other system.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    Looks like ATRAC (ActiveTrac) is a system that uses the ABS wheel speed sensors to determine the angular velocity of each independent wheel. This information is processed by a computer to determine the situation if the person is simply turning a corner or if one wheel is truly spinning.

    In the case that a wheel is on a surface with less traction and is truly spinning, then the computer instructs that brake be applied so that the torque be directed to the other wheel which has more traction.

    In essence this system has the ability to send 50% of the engine’s torque to any wheel at any given time, since it can't allow the brake on the side with less traction to lock solid - it must still be allowed to rotate so you can move forward. ie. the extra energy is lost in brake friction on that wheel too.

    So ATRAC is an electronic/computer based system. This is in sharp contrast the Quadra Drive set up Jeep offered on the Grand Cherokee up till 2004. The Jeep setup used gerotors inside the diff and did not incorporate any electronics, the brake or ABS system at all. With the Quadra Drive set up nearly 100% of the engine's torque could be applied to one wheel if need be. Where as ATRAC will only let 50% go to a given wheel on a given axle.

    All in all I can see the charm of the Quadra Drive and ATRAC systems. On a slick muddy side hill both those systems would not tend to let you slide sideways so much as locked front and back axles. However, from what I have been reading on some of the Toyota forums is that it does not replace lockers and that ATRAC sometimes allows excessive wheel slip. Some owners were not too happy with this aspect of it. Personally, I would just hate the fact that it means more sensors and electronic crap to go wrong when the vehicle gets to be more than 5 years old.
  • Check out the new 2007 LR Defender. Honestly, I like the FJ in concept, but the execution leaves me feeling that it is overstyled. Maybe a middle-ground between the FJ and the Defender's no-frills would be the best fit IMO.
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169
    WOW! That 2007 Defender is pretty cool. I like it! I like the fact that it looks like the original. I totally disagree with the article's author about the IFS and IRS. I'm glad Range Rover stuck with solid axles - It's just shows they are serious about off-road capability.

    The two questions that remain are: Will it be offered with front and back lockers, a decent low range, and good skid plate package like the Rubicon is. AND, what will it CO$T???

    But it looks like Range Rover has started it's customers with a much more trail ready product than Toyota did. The Defender looks like much more serious off-road competition for the Rubicon. Way to go Range Rover!
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Here's another blurb about the Defender. Don't see any pricing info, which sort of makes sense since it's not for sale in North America.
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    I always liked the way the Defenders looked... not the reliability issues, but they look great. Of course, they won't sell it here... like they won't sell the 70 Series LC. I was in Aruba last week and saw a bunch of the 70's. That's what would be great to have in the US. We can dream.

    Took the top off the 40... and here are a couple pics.


    <img src="
  • fourx4everfourx4ever Posts: 169

    I agree the Defenders were and are nice. And I bet these new ones will be more dependable, however my only worry is the cost! Even if they do eventually bring it here is it going to be $60 000.00???!! I have a feeling its priced right out of what the average Jeep/Toyota owner can afford.

    About your 40: All I can say is - NICE. Do you have a Bestop on it? The half doors look a lot like my CJ-5's Bestop doors.
  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    I do have a besttop. Was installing it as I took the pics so the hardware wasn't in place. Have to say, at 90+ degrees for days on end, it's very nice to be able to pull the top off.

    No doubt the Defender will be outrageously priced if we ever get the chance to buy one. The little Freelanders are expensive, and they aren't much more than an Escape. I used to see used Defenders for sale here in Atlanta from time to time. Never less than $30k no matter the year or mileage. Haven't seen one in a couple years though.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    Very nice Land Cruiser. I keep after my neighbor to sell me his. Its about the same color as yours. Not quite as nice. This is all I have left from my 1964 Land Cruiser.

  • steenhsteenh Posts: 103
    Thanks Gagrice. I know guys who would love to get their hands on that gem.

    Good luck in your "neighbor extortion efforts". Pics of another sort may be needed!
  • Has the 2 Door Wrangler Unlimited been discontinued for 2007? All I see on Jeep's website is regular Wrangler, or 4 door Unlimited. I currently have a '92 Cherokee (4.0L, 5 speed manual - kind of rare itself!) that is getting a little long in the tooth, not to mention rusting away. :sick: I also wanted more off-road capabilities (lots of great trails here in the mountains of PA), and was thinking of an Unlimited Rubicon. Having a wife and kid, I need at least a little cargo space, hence the Unlimited, rather than a standard Wrangler. I liked the 2 door Unlimted a lot, but don't care for the look of the 4 door. I'm also not too keen on Jeep's switch to a V6 in place of the torquey I6.... I guess the best thing to do is keep an eye on Ebay and local dealers for a nice '05-'06 2 DR Unlimited Rubicon.
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