Want to buy used FJ Cruiser. Need advice

Adenylcyclase

New member
Hello,

I want to buy a used FJ Cruiser to go on trips in the Outdoors. Nothing extreme or rock crawling, but just far on dirt roads in Yukon, Alaska, etc. I want to have your feedback on what years and the max on kilometers on the odo I should go for. I know the FJ have a good reputation, but still. Is a 2008 with 140000km on it acceptable and will last for a long time again before major problems? What should I replace "no matter what" if I buy ?(timing belt, spark plugs, hoses, water pump, etc.) My only experience with a Toyota is with my current 2010 Highlander (100000km with no problems), but now I want a real 4X4.

Thanks for your help.
 

tanglefoot

ExPoseur
140,000 kms is pretty darn new, in my opinion. I would probably still pick one up with 200,000 miles (322,000 kms) on it.

The FJ-Cruiser uses the 1GR-FE engine, which has a timing chain with no replacement interval. Occasionally, owners will run into trouble with the accessories (steering rack, power steering pump, etc), but I don't know of any well-known trouble spots with the engine itself.
 

nater

Adventurer
If the budget allows, a 2010+ had some advantages (more power, redesigned inner fenders that don't tear, stronger rear end, etc). Make sure you get one that has a rear locker (it was a cheap option when new, most have them). They are generally strong and reliable.
 

mrothwell

New member
Your highlander will probably do pretty damn well on dirt roads, FYI. I know it isn't the manliest thing in the world, but I was blown away how well the highlander I rode in handled washboard roads.
 

tele

New member
Diffidently go with 2010 or newer. Toyota addressed the the rear diff problem with the newer models. The earlier models had a weaker rear diff. Also try to find one that has a locking rear diff as well. This is not a big deal but they are nice to have.
 

CORDSIG79

Observer
I can say if you are looking at FJ pre 2010, there is a few quirks but easy to resolve without a dealer laying the penatly on you.

1. Water Pump tends to weep but not catastrophic, keep an eye on coolant and monitor the timing of the coolant top offs...if it's showing on the ground and not just weeping, make the water pump change.
2. There is a differential issue on the rear, it causes slamming in the gear shifts or when slowing to a stop you will feel it down shift too early and cause a force when trying to stop. Most early models will have had this done under warranty, think its the propeller shaft.
3. Very easy to change oil, cabin filter, and engine air filter.....
 

CORDSIG79

Observer
FJ cruiser advice

I can say if you are looking at FJ pre 2010, there is a few quirks but easy to resolve without a dealer laying the penatly on you.

1. Water Pump tends to weep but not catastrophic, keep an eye on coolant and monitor the timing of the coolant top offs...if it's showing on the ground and not just weeping, make the water pump change.
2. There is a differential issue on the rear, it causes slamming in the gear shifts or when slowing to a stop you will feel it down shift too early and cause a force when trying to stop. Most early models will have had this done under warranty, think its the propeller shaft.
3. Very easy to change oil, cabin filter, and engine air filter.....
 

photo nomad

Adventurer
I have a 2008 that I've driven from LA to Inuvik and back, all over Death Valley, Mojave Rd, Moab, and trails in Cali. While it's true that abusing the pre-2010 rear diff is ill advised, they are not a problem. Most of the diff breaks I've seen were the result of bad driving (bouncing and spinning) or using 35" tires with stock gearing. I've had no issues with mine, and I'm heavy and on 33's. My advice is find the cleanest, low mileage FJ you can afford with a factory locker and then get out and use it. You'll be surprised what they can do bone stock.


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xplrn42

Adventurer
I have a 2008 that I've driven from LA to Inuvik and back, all over Death Valley, Mojave Rd, Moab, and trails in Cali. While it's true that abusing the pre-2010 rear diff is ill advised, they are not a problem. Most of the diff breaks I've seen were the result of bad driving (bouncing and spinning) or using 35" tires with stock gearing. I've had no issues with mine, and I'm heavy and on 33's. My advice is find the cleanest, low mileage FJ you can afford with a factory locker and then get out and use it. You'll be surprised what they can do bone stock.


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I've got a 2012, but I agree with this guy^^
 

nater

Adventurer
I have a 6 speed. It's full time awd with selectable 4wd. It also can run 35's without regearing.
 
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