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Discussion Starter #1
I'm brand new to the forum and I apologize in advance if there is a thread exactly on point to my question, but I searched and didn't find one.

Here is the deal, I've just returned to the US after spending 5 and a half years working overseas. I spent most of that time in Saudi and in Dubai. Early on I learned that offroading on the weekends was a great way for me to stay sane. I started with what they call the Landcruiser Prado (similar to a Lexus GX470 without all the bells and whistles), then moved to a Landrover Defender 110.

I really enjoyed both those vehicles and thought they were both very capable with the right mods. However, now that I'm back to the USA I can't get either of those and am therefor looking for a new toy/ daily driver.

I think i've narrowed it down to either a jeep unlimited or an FJ cruiser. What's key to me is being able to seat 4 and still carry a decent amount of gear while being able to do just short of extreme off-roading (not into bolder climbing, but like to do just about everything else) We often took long camping trips into the desert (me my wife and 2 kids) and would like to continue those trips.

I'm looking for your thoughts in general on the Jeep vs. FJ argument (understanding that this is a Jeep forum and therefore expect jeep bias) and on whether it's worth spending the money for the Rubicon or if I would be better to add what it gives over the base jeep myself. I'll definitely be changing the bumpers, adding a lift, with taller tires, adding a winch, rock-sliders, will need a heavy-duty roof rack and prefer the ability to lock at least the front and rear diffs (center is nice too).

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and words of wisdom.

To give an idea of the kinds of mods I made to my Defender here are some of the changes from stock I made followed by some photos of my Prado and Defender.

--2 inch OME lift
--Devon 4x4 Steel Front bumper with bash plate
--Warn 8000lb competition winch with remote control and synthetic rope
--Custom rock sliders
--Full external Roll Cage
--Custom rear bumper with step
--ARB air lockers front and rear
--ARB air kit
--locking center chubby box
--black chequer plate for the wings.
--Frontrunner Roof Rack with custom mounting directly to the roll cage -- rack includes holder for 4 Jerry Cans and 1 spare tire and still has plenty of room for a roof-tent Also includes mount for a shovel and high-lift jack
--Custom rear ladder so you can easily put things on that roof rack
--Six - 16X9 Black Alloy Wheels with Cooper STT's 305/70/16 The two spares have never been used
--Extended wheel arches
--3M Window tinting
--2 Light-force 140s Spotlights (with room for two more)
--Safari Snorkel



 

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Ooooooo...I love the 110. I would have tried like crazy to import that sucker.

As far as JK Unlimited vs. FJ, I think you will find just in general that the Jeep is more along the lines of what you want. An article in a recent mag said the JK was a better offroader. I think the accessories are cheaper on the JK.

But if seating 4 is a high priority take 3 others with you to look at a JK and an FJ. The rear doors are much more usable on the JK.
 

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first off i love that 110. i have always had a fetish for the 90 and 110.

i looked at the FJ and JK and ended up going with the JK. to me the rear seats are more accessible. and the JK just fit me better. (more comfortable to sit in)

do you do more slow speed trails or high speed runs?
 

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I looked at the FJ and the Hummer and ended up with the JK unlimited. I Love the fact that I can take the top and doors off and it wheels like crazy even right off the lot.
 

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^ What they said. The JK is a more similar vehicle to what you used to drive overseas. Also you have more range and options to build it to your needs than the FJ, plus the JK is more capable offroad hands down.
 

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As for room, the JK is the winner because it has 4 doors and offers more room.

I think the FJ has more power than the JK but if you plan to offroad alot, then that shouldnt be much of an issue or there are various upgrades to make the JK more powerful.

Next the question really becomes how hardcore are you going to go? The JK is solid axles front and rear while the FJ is IFS. If you do choose the JK, then the answer to your Rubicon or not question will also depend on how big you go. What size tires do you plan to run? Whats your budget look like? etc...
 

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Agreed... that pic with the orange in the sand is bad ass.

I vote a 90.... but since they don't make them any longer (at least not here), the JK > FJ.
 

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When I was shopping for a new ride a few years back. I looked at the H3, and FJ. The Fj had more power and rode better. But downside is they are both IFS and your kinda limited as to how high/tire size you can run.

I ended up with a ZR2 blazer, after two years of doing almost everything I can do to it, short of SFA swap. I now want a rubicon unlimited!

I have never been a JEEP fan but there is no getting around the fact that a JK is the best option to run large tires and still be able to beat it up without worry of breaking front end parts all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks all for the advice and the comments on my old rig, I think you are right, the thing with the closest "soul" to my 110 that's available in the US is the wrangler. If I can reach agreement with the dealer I hope to join your ranks soon!
 

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I know it has been said but taking the top/doors off is a big plus. You can transform these things into just about whatever suits your needs/weather.

I realize that the folks (myself included) on this forum might be more than a little biased but you just can't beat a Jeep. Even if it is underpowered.
 
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