Desert_FJ-The Story Behind the Featured Build

Desert_FJ was no stranger to off-roading since he has been around it since the 90s. He has owned a broad collection of 4x4s over the years; everyting from Unimog’s, to Samurais, 4Runners, JKs and almost a dozen Broncos. But after selling his Ranger Prerunner, he wanted to build something bigger that had all the creature comforts of a modern SUV and was as much at home with high-speed desert runs as it was out on the rocks.


His Girlfriend had always wante an FJ Cruiser and he had a color in mind as he loved the army green FJ’s. After looking he couldn’t find one in army green, he found a 07 FJ Cruiser he liked that he was going to build and then repaint to army green. As he started to build it, low, and behold, a newer 2011 Special Edition Army green came available, and he knew he had to have it.


He knew he wanted to build this a little different than your standard FJ Cruiser but wasn’t sure which direction to go with at first. Originally, he was going to do a solid axle swap on the FJ Cruiser since he had some axles already. Since the pandemic was hurting supply chains everywhere, and after talking with a friend, he settled on building a high-performance IFS setup from Total Chaos Fabrication. Not only did they have everything in stock, but they had the reputation of backing everything up. To pair with the custom IFS a-arms, he added King coilovers with King bypass shocks up front with King smoothies in the rear with Dobinson springs. He tested 40s but decided they were a little to heavy for now and settled with some 37in BFGoodrich tires.


Desert_FJ lives in Southwest Utah and has Sand Hollow State Park in his background. Which has some of the best rock crawling in the USA. So, he had to find a perfect balance of building a high-speed desert rig that can still rock crawl. Utilizing Yukon 4.88 gears, Eaton E-locker in the front and factory e-locker in the rear. Dave built a one-of-a-kind FJ Cruiser that not only can play in the high-speed sand at Sand Hollow, but crawl with the best of them.


As he demonstrates by going up the iconic Chute in Sand Hollow State Park.


You might think, this is the perfect build, what else could he want to add. Well, as with most builds, nothing is ever done. Future plans for the FJ Cruiser would be a new rear axle along with a new rear suspension to really take it to the next level. With the new upgrades planned for the future, more horsepower is also wanted in the form of a supercharger.


When most people are building their FJ’s into blocky overlanders, Dave went a completely different direction and created a sleek, one-of-a-kind Toyota that can handle any terrain you could throw at it. Southern Utah is home to this behemoth and it’s likely you’ll see it out at the world-famous Sand Hollow OHV Park or flying down one of the many desert trails bordering Arizona and Nevada. Be sure to stop and say hello if you do and you can follow the build progress right here on Revkit.