fj cruiser rear bumper cover top bolts removal

Eyes In The Back Of Your Rig

fj cruiser backup sensorEveryone who owns and FJ Cruiser knows how difficult it can be to judge distance when backing up.  Little cars that sit below your line of site which are impossible to see and make parallel parking hell.  Luckily Toyota added a Toyota parking assist system to tell you when you’re getting close.

Awhile back we ran into a little trouble with our sensor… so to speak… And as a result, needed to replace the back up sensor on the passenger side. After a quick trip to our local Toyota dealer for the part it was time to play back yard mechanic.

With the advent of snap together components, replacing sensors is usually an easy operation.  And this was no different.  In fact we spent most of our time fj cruiser rear bumper cover button snap locationunbolting the plastic bumper cover to get to the sensor location.  All of the bolts can be removed with an 11 mm socket.  A flat head screw driver is helpful for unplugging the sensor coupling as well as the plastic pop snap on located inside the back door edge on the side of the bumper cover.

We started at the bottom and worked our way up.  Note: We removed the metallic bumper cover so we could pull out the black cover further for pictures. You should be able to leave it in place and simply remove to screws holding the back bumper cover on the bottom side. There are a total of six bolts holding the bumper cover to the underside of the bumper.  Four along the base of the bumper and one on each back corner.  These last two are set into little plastic clips and keep the bumper corner covers in cruiser rear bumper bottom bolt removal

You will have to open the back door to access the four bolts on the top of the bumper cover.  You will also find a sneaky little button fastener where the bumper cover wraps into the back door.  A flat head screw driver will lift it out easily.

The old cruisers had panels welded and riveted in place.  Enter the era of ABS plastics.  To remove the bumper cover after you’ve unbolted everything and pulled the little button snap; follow the cover around the corner where it meet up this the fender and give it a strong, even pull away from the truck.  It is held in place with ABS plastic snaps that will release their grip with a little force.  Since we were only replacing one of the sensors we only removed the passenger’s cruiser rear bumper side cover removal

Now it was simply a matter of pulling the cover away from the bumper enough to unplug the old sensor, slide in the new one and connect it to the two wire plug.  It really is that easy.

After hooking up the sensor and before bolting it all up, we tested the sensors to ensure everything was connected correctly.  Even though we only replace one sensor, we check both to make sure we had not pulled any wires loose in the process.

fj cruiser backup sensor wire connectorOnce we were sure every thing worked, it was simply a matter of buttoning it all up with the bolts we had removed four on top, six underneath and that one little button snap.

The backup sensors help you gauge distance but will never substitute for using your mirrors and knowing what is behind you before you put it into reverse.

red fj cruiser 4x4 trail

No More FJ Cruiser… Rumors

The Internet has spread more urban legends like no other other media outlet before it.  You know what we’re talking about, those stories that continue to surface every year or two, such as McDonald hamburgers are made with worms, 10 foot alligators living in the New York sewers feeding on rats or how Vegas prostitutes are drugging their johns, removing their kidney and selling them on eBay.

For years rumor have been circulating through the Internet that Toyota is secretly discontinuing their FJ Cruiser.  Oddly enough this rumor has been fueled by user  discussions on Toyota’s own FJ Cruiser Forum, known as the Blue Room.  When we first heard this back in 2009, we quickly went to the source, Toyota’s Open Road Blog to get the facts.  According to Jon F. Thompson, Editor, Open Road, in his post, The FJ Cruiser Reality: It’s Alive! That’s just wrong. False. Not true.”

But alas the day has come when in 2013 Toyota has made it clear…  2014 will be the last model year for the FJ Cruiser.  This news comes after Toyota has been quietly encouraging aftermarket vendors to shift focus on new products from the FJ Cruiser to the 5th generation 4Runner which has become Toyota’s flagship 4×4 for the off-road adventure community.

We are glad that so many individuals have had the opportunity to purchase one of the best built rigs available today.  The Toyota FJ Cruiser has continued the long line of the cruiser legend.  We will see what happens in the years to come in both the USA and world markets.