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Project CJ-7
 

Offroad Reports


Rausch Creek
Off-Road Park


Wheeling in the
Valley of the Ferns

1.jpg (70086 bytes)
Tellico North Carolina


Paragon Adventure Park
◦ Rock Krawl ◦

Thousands more photos here..

 

Jeep Project CJ-7

An ongoing Budgeted Rebuild/Build up of a Rock
Crawling Machine.

Installing 23,000 Volt Offroad Lights


Lockers, Limited Slips &
other Differentials Explained

 

Ramp Travel Index
RTI / Ramp Travel Index What it is and how to calculate it, with and without the ramp.

Offroaders Guide to Gearing up for Offroad
From Basic Equipment to Well Equipped.  An extensive list guide to help you prepare your vehicle for the offroad.

 
 

 

 

 

 

Project Toyota FJ Cruiser
Body Mount Chop
Why did Toyota design it that way??

 
FJ Body Mount CHOP - Anybody who wants to install taller, wider tires on a FJ Cruiser is faced with a decision.  Limit your tire size or chop.  My FJ has a Rough Country 3-inch suspension lift and 33x12.50x17 Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ's.  On just about a full turn of the wheel, the tire gets pretty close to that body mount cover.  On a full turn and a little bump that compresses the suspension of the inside tire, it rubs and the traction control kicks in for a second.  The cover is about a half inch from the body mount so even if I removed the cover, it would probably still rub, maybe hard while offroad.

I read plenty of write-ups on how people chopped the body mount.  I had plans to do a chop of my own.  I own a cheap 300 dollar MIG welder that does pretty well and this seemed like a very doable job.

Turns out it was easier than I thought it was going to be thanks to a plan I came up with once I really started analyzing how I was going to do the chop.  This is my version of the FJ body mount chop.  I've only owned the FJ for 3 months and I'm already cutting and chopping it!

 

My approach started off with plans to remove the side of the mount that sticks onto the wheel well, then replace it with a new piece of sheet metal.  Once I took the plate off, I determined that it was possible to remove material from the mount, bend the side rearward, then re-weld the side back on.  The following is what I did, which is very adequate to clear 33x12.50 tires and probably a 34" tire as well.  I'm not sure about 35" tires with a 3" lift and this chop but from my perspective, it would look like if a tire was going to hit, it would hit the fender well first.  If I were designing a plan around 35" tires, I may have just taken a little more out, but clearing the new set of 33's are the goal.

I know that when I am planning and researching a job, I like plenty of pictures, so I took plenty of pictures for anyone that likes pictures as well.
 

Removed the cover plate.

 

Once I got the cover off, I started measuring just how much of the body mount stuck into the wheel well.  I did this with a ruler, marking it with an all.

 

With the line marked at about as far back as I could go, I broke out my favorite tool, the 4 1/2" angle grinder.

My plan was to cut a "V" notch in the body mount, then hammer the gap closed.  I'd then weld it back up again.
A little good pre-planning would benefit mediocre welding skills.  With this side, I should have brought the point of the V to a sharper point, which would have made the gap much smaller and I wouldn't have had to do a little filling in back there with weld material.

I can weld, but I'm no pro.  Far from it.  Plus I use flux core welding wire instead of gas shielding , though my cheap welder is equipped for gas.  I just never bought any.  Like I said I do love that angle grinder and it also does a great job of cleaning up my "booger welds".  But anyway, I digress.

Ok, so this was about what I chopped off the first side. I didn't want to go too far around the rounded corner because when I pound it back with the 5 pound sledge, I wanted the edges to meet as close as possible.  I actually did both side slightly different, but both ended up working out great.
Along with the V notch, I also put a relief cut in the bottom piece of the body mount.  You can see the relief cut in the lower right.  This relief cut is about where I wanted the side metal to pivot back.  This lines up with the body mount bolt, maybe slightly further in towards the frame rail.

 
Bending the side back
 
 
Ok, time to start pounding.  Using my stubby 5 pound mallet, I started whacking the side back.

BE CAREFUL!  Don't hit the brake caliper!

By the way, the watering container is to cool the weld so I don't melt my rubber body mount.

 

The above pictures are about where I felt that I had the side rotated back far enough to give adequate clearance to my MTZ's.

With this one, I actually had the side bending into the body mount.  I used a long screw driver to get it right where I wanted it.

Then a good once over with the wire wheel to strip the paint from the mating surfaces for welding.
I also trimmed the jagged metal a bit.
So this is what it looked like just before welding.  Yes, that gap is a little more than I really wanted but I know how to fill it in.  If I were to do it again, I would have made the relief notch a little further towards the end or the V notch a little deeper so it would have rotated slightly when bent back.
This is my 300 dollar Century MIG welder.  I bought it at Tractor Supply Company (TSC), which is a great place to shop for tools and hardware. 
A piece of aluminum coil was used to shield the body and plastic from the welding. 

I put the clamp right on the body mount.  Don't attach it to the body mount bolt!  You'll pass current through the vehicle's grounding straps!  Clamp your welding clamp to the body mount itself.  If you can't find a clean piece of metal to clamp to, grind some paint off so you get a good ground right there.

A tack weld at the corner, then cooled with water. 

Keep it cool!  Weld a little at a time, stop and douse it with water.  Don't melt your body mount.  You can't see flames through a welding mask!

 

Several good passes on a medium setting that didn't melt my body mount metal and I had it all stitched up.  A few quick clean-up passes with the angle grinder and my booger welds almost look professional.
  
Here's more angles from below and from the side.  I was happy with the outcome. 
 

Don't forget to weld up the underside as well.

 Once I was complete with the welding, I wire wheeled everything and used a small wire brush to clean up the burned paint on the inside.
A few good thick coats of black Rustoleum and this side was done. 

Time-wise, I'd say about 30 minutes of planning and tool gathering and about 1.75 hours of work.

As far as tire clearance, WAY better.  I think I could fit 35's under there now.  I plan to modify the mudflap cover to a flatter shape and put it back on.

The other side went slightly different with a tighter V notch and a little more out of the front.  Again, I didn't think about the angle of the bend so I had a gap at the top, which I closed a little with a C-Clamp, then tack welded it into place to hold it.

Again, keep that water handy and keep it cool.

   
Here's a final of the welded passenger side.
Looking down you can see that this one rotates back a little more.
Side view and bottom views.  A wire-wheel cleanup a paint job and it was done.  This side much quicker than the first.  1.5 hr total.

Again, I'm very happy with the way the job turned out.  I didn't have to fabricate anything, I didn't have to get into any tight places with my angle grinder or welder, and I didn't have to compromise the structure.  The body mount is still as accessible as it was and I have plenty of clearance now.  Once I get the mudflap covers modified I'll post pictures of that as well.

   Questions? comments? Give me a shout:   
  

Ralph Hassel


 

 

Project FJ Cruiser

Toyota FJ Cruiser Related Articles

Toyota FJ Cruiser Articles Directory

Toyota Mud Tire Reviews

FJ Cruiser Product Reviews

About the Toyota FJ Cruiser

FJ Cruiser Product Reviews

Toyota FJ Cruiser Video Gallery

FJ Cruiser Engine and Drivetrain Specifications

Tuffy Security Console Install

Building an FJ 28"x42" Cargo Box with a
Collapsible 72"x42" Sleeping Platform

Body Mount CHOP in front wheelwells

Mud Flap Mod after the Body Mount Chop

Team Trails Black Door Handles Swap

Team Trails Black Grill Swap

FJ Cruisers Winter Offroading Pics

Toyota FJ Cruiser Photo Gallery

FJ Cruiser Press Release & Specifications

FJ Cruiser Reviews

FJ Cruiser Tires

FJ Cruiser Overview

FJ Cruiser Capacities

FJ Cruiser Dimensions

FJ Cruiser Suspension Lifts

ALL-PRO OFFROAD Suspension Lifts

Rough Country Suspension Lifts

Donahoe FJ Cruiser Suspension Lift

Revtek FJ Cruiser Suspension Lift

 

Offroad Tire Info
P-Metric Tire Sizes Conversion to Inches
Tire Terminology
Wheel Terminology
How to Pick the Right
Tires for your Truck
Truck Tire Info
Tires - What Hits What Fits
  
All Terrain  Mud Terrain
Tire Reviews & Info
Mud Terrain MT Tire Reviews
All Terrain AT Tire Reviews
Super Swamper Bogger
Super Swamper SSR
Super Swamper SX
Super Swamper Vortrac
Interco IROK TSL
Super Swamper LTB
Super Swamper TSL
Super Swamper TSL Radial
Super Swamper Narrow
Interco SS-M16 Swamper
Thornbird TSl Radial
Thornbird TSl Bias
Thornbird TSL
Parnelli Jone Dirt Grip
BFGoodrich Krawler
BFGoodrich MT T/A KM
BFGoodrich MT T/A KM2
BFGoodrich AT TA KO
BFGoodrich Mud King XT
Bridgestone Dueler MT
Cooper Discoverer ST
Cooper Discoverer STT
Cooper Discoverer ST/C
Federal Couragia MT
Firestone Destination AT
Firestone Destination MT
General Grabber MT
General Grabber AT2
Green Diamond Icelander
Ground Hawg Mud Tire
Hankook Dynapro MT
Hankook Dynamic MT RT01
Hercules Terra Trac MT
Hercules Trail Digger MT
Kelly-Springfield Safari DTR
Kelly-Springfield Safari MSR
Kumho Road Venture MT
Kumho Road Venture KL71
Kumho Road Venture AT
Dick Cepek Mud Country
Dick Cepek F-C II
Dick Cepek Fun Country II
Dick Cepek Fun Country Nylon
Dick Cepek Fun Country Kevlar
Mastercraft Courser MT
Mastercraft Courser HTR
Mastercraft Courser HTR Plus
Maxxis BigHorn Radial
Maxxis Creepy Crawler
Maxxis Trepador
Maxxis Buckshot Mudder
Maxxis MA-SW
Maxxis M-8080 Mudzilla
Maxxis MT-754 Buckshot
Maxxis MT-753 Bravo
Maxxis MA-751 Bravo
Maxxis MA-S2 Marauder II
Maxxis MA-S1 Marauder
Maxxis MT-762 BigHorn
Nitto Mud Grappler
Nitto Terra Grappler
Nitto Dura Grappler
Nitto Dune Grappler
Nokian Vatiiva MT
Pit Bull Rocker Extreme
Pit Bull Maddog
Pit Bull Growler
Goodyear Wrangler MT/R
Pro Comp Xterrain
Pro Comp All Terrain
Pro Comp Mud Terrain
Pro Comp Xtreme AT
Pro Comp Xtreme MT
Toyo Open Country AT
Toyo Open Country MT
TrXus Mud Terrain
TrXus STS All Terrain
Michelin LTX A/T
Michelin LTX AT2 Press
Michelin LTX AT2
Mickey Thompson MTZ
Mickey Thompson MTX
Mickey Thompson Baja Claw Radial
Mickey Thompson Baja Claw Bias
Mickey Thompson Baja Crusher
Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ Radial SLT
Competition Claw
Dunlop Mud Rover
Federal Couragia M/T
Nitto Dura Grappler
Yokohama Geolandar
  
 
Mud Tire Reviews

 



Off-Road Lights
by LightForce Product Review / Installation.
from Off-Road Lights