Friday, May 10, 2013

FJ Cruiser: Shakedown Cruise...

Yesterday morning I finished putting on the last of the skid plates (the four lower link skids).  The FJ's “armor” is complete!  And that meant it was time for a shakedown cruise to test all this stuff and work out any rattles, loose bolts, etc.

I decided to start out with a route we know well: entering near Banner, we made a loop of the Rodriguez Canyon road and Oriflamme Canyon road.  In past years, the Rodriguez Canyon road was by far the more rugged – but this year, extensive erosion on the lower reaches of Oriflamme Canyon road gives that route the edge.  No matter, the FJ took it all in stride with ease and equanimity.  We scraped a skid just twice, showing off the FJ's high clearance.  We had a chance to exercise crawl mode, the A-Trac positive traction system, the rear differential lock, and of course basic four wheel drive; all performed flawlessly. 

Today I get to crawl under the FJ and see what needs tightening, and maybe do a little touch-up painting.  Oh, what fun :)

Along the way we saw a few wildflowers, actually unexpected at this late date.  Some of these were quite beautiful.  The tiny little blue ones were my favorite; they covered the ground in a few places like a blue gas hugging the ground.  As always, click to enlarge.  BTW, these were taken with my iPhone – that's an amazingly nice camera for its size...

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