Everyday Show Car: Henry’s Jaos Complete Edition Toyota FJ Cruiser
There are lots of ways to modify an FJ Cruiser. Most choose to go the off-roader route, turning Toyota’s SUV into a proper 4x4 machine ready to hit the trails. Others, like this fellow, choose to lower theirs FJ’s instead. The variety of things people do with the venerable Toyota is endless - enough for it to become a favorite among shops along Banawe.
This particular FJ Cruiser started its life as your typical modified example. It had a steel bumper, mud-terrain tires, and everything else you would find on a typical off-road built FJ. But for Henry Sy, his ultimate goal wasn’t to go off-road or hit the trail every weekend. At the end of the day, this is supposed to be a “practical daily” that would be “perfect for the family” - or so he says. He also said it would be left all stock when he first got it - a lie we know all too well.
Ultimately, what he wanted to do with the FJ was a JDM-themed truck meant to take on the urban environment of Manila. Not surprising if we’ll be honest, since he went for the JDM route with his old AE86 Trueno, but I digress.
Being a married man and a daily driver, his FJ had to be comfortable and “sedated” compared to the typical 4x4. At the same time, it could still take on the trail and Manila’s flooded streets if needed be.
Thanks to his buddy at Ride Offroad, he was introduced to the JAOS brand, and it started with their highly popular Battle Z suspension. According to Henry, the suspension upgrade alone transformed the ride of his FJ. He claims it was similar to that of a Land Cruiser. Even with a lift, Henry claims the level of comfort was something else; perfect for the harsh Metro Manila streets. But because the suspension isn’t rated for steel bumpers, he had to ditch the steel bumper and go back to a more sedate “stock look”.
After researching more about the JAOS brand and seeing the JAOS FJ demo catalog car, Henry decided to complete all the parts available. With the help of Ride Offroad, he had all the JAOS parts available for the FJ Cruiser ordered from Japan.
Everything you can see on the JAOS catalog for the FJ Cruiser has been fitted onto this FJ – from the bumpers, spoiler, fenders, exhaust, and the now-discontinued Victron tribe wheels. Even bits you wouldn’t see have been changed to JAOS parts such as the air cleaner and brake pads.
To faithfully recreate the look of the catalog car, JDM FJ Cruiser rear bumpers and matching stickers were also installed.
With all JAOS parts ordered and installed, Henry received the “JAOS Complete Edition” badge; something his FJ proudly wears. The badge isn’t something you can buy off the shelf from JAOS either. It is only given to vehicle owners that have a complete JAOS catalog setup.
Henry didn’t say if are more plans for the FJ moving forward, but he’s content with the way it is. But we’d to assume more changes will happen; project cars (and SUVs) are never really finished after all. Right now, he’s just happy that he was able to complete one of his dreams of building a full catalog car. At the same time, it’s a vehicle but he would also be able to continuously enjoy on the streets of Metro Manila. It also lives up to his original goal of the FJ being a daily car. He can bring it for grocery runs, to work, and even for the occasional trail if needed. More importantly, his wife will be sitting comfortably inside.
Full catalog vehicles are something you’re more likely to see on display at the Tokyo Auto Salon or even the Trans Sport Show. That’s not the case with this JAOS FJ though. Chance are you’ll see it roaming around Banawe both on the weekdays and even weekends. Don’t be shy to say hi if you do too.
Words and Photos by Jose Altoveros
Henry’s Toyota FJ Cruiser JAOS Complete Edition
JAOS Styling Package Ver.
JAOS Front Sports Cowl
JAOS 987 Fog Lamp Set
JAOS Side Stepboard (Black)
JAOS Styling Package Limited Edition Chrome
JAOS Bonnet Garnish
JAOS Roof Spoiler
JAOS Over Fender
JAOS Mudguard: Vehicle Specific Mounting Kit For FJ with JAOS Over Fender
JAOS Mudguards Large (Black)
JAOS Back Lamp Set Clear Lens
JAOS Spare Tire Bracket
Wheels, Brakes, and Suspension
JAOS BattleZ Lift Up Set VFCA Ver. A (50mm)
JAOS BattleZ Lateral Rod
JAOS BattleZ Brake Pad Type-EX (Front & Rear)
JAOS Victron Tribe
BF Goodrich K02