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2011 FJ Cruiser - first impressions

Illustration for article titled 2011 FJ Cruiser - first impressions
Image: me

My cousin picked up his dad’s 2011 FJ Cruiser with 58k miles on the clock for a substantial family discounted price, and after I assisted with repairing a wiring problem with the front diff A-TRAC harness (some critters chewed through it while it sat for a year in his dad’s back yard), I took it for a ~10 mile spin.

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Surprisingly roomy and comfortable inside, suspension strikes a nice balance between compliance and handling on the road. Visibility is kinda bad, the greenhouse is very narrow and the beltline is very high. Three wipers is really neat. Has adequate power, not fast but not slow either. IIRC 2011 saw a bump in horsepower to 260 from the 1GR-FE V6. This being an automatic (booo), it still has a pretty good drivetrain for offroading. Legit 2-speed transfer case, an electrically locking rear diff, and the aforementioned A-TRAC electronic brake bias system to control wheelspin for the front diff, both accessible only in low-range 4WD.

Rear seats are juust big enough to be usable by full size adults, The midget suicide rear doors make climbing into the back far less difficult, though still not as easy as with full rear doors.

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As I drove it after the sun had set, I got to experience the somewhat lackluster halogen lighting, which if I’m honest wasn’t as good as the OEM halogens on my truck or my Volvo. Maybe they just need adjusting.

This particular example being pretty low mileage, everything is still pretty tight. I’d love to get one in manual some day, but that’s pretty far down the road and with the Toyota Tax seeing no end in sight, if I ever do get one it’ll probably be a 300,000+ mile neglected example that needs lots of TLC. Still, would be cool.

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Splicing and soldering the new harness into the original wiring loom
Splicing and soldering the new harness into the original wiring loom
Image: meee
Heat shrink tubing is magical stuff.
Heat shrink tubing is magical stuff.
Image: MEEEE

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