Outfitting a FG 4x4

HowardH

Adventurer
I have been lurking and reading for several months now and have many questions regarding the Fuso FG 4x4. Maybe this should be several threads or some kind of “sticky” listing popular modifications to the base vehicle?

Lots of discussion about modifications etc. to the FG but not any info that I can find regarding cost. Not only of the accessories and common modifications and upgrades but ready built campers.

In the U.S our only choice is a single cab. How do people accommodate extra passengers in the camper section? It appears there is no way to include camper passengers in a conversation with people in the cab. Looks like there is no easy way to make the cab/camper pass through large enough. One solution is an extra cab vehicle which in the US eliminates the Fuso but even with something like a F550 the crew cab takes away from camper box length.How do people do it?

Specific questions on Super Singles. Lots of threads and discussions but a lack of real information that I can find. Issues with spacers in the rear placing undue stress on the axle bearings. Reason for concern or myth? Consensus on wheel size 19.5”, stock 16” size?

I read someplace about a two piece wheel. This allowed easy dismounting and mounting of the tires. Big advantage is you can carry spare tires and not spare wheels also. Also they would be “bead locking” to so as to allow low inflation for sand etc. Good idea?

It appears that the FG while popular as a vehicle for an expedition camper still should have several highly desirable modifications done to it.

Super single wheels
Modified suspension to improve ride and off road ability. Parabolic or leaf springs? Cost?
Sound deadening in the cab.
Probably a do it yourself item so only material costs.
Upgraded seats for the cab. Brand? Cost?

Additionally there are other things that crop up often as things added.
Locking front differential. Brands? Cost?
Bumpers & winches
Roof racks
Generators
Solar panels


Perhaps there should be a separate thread. If outfitting an expedition camper for recreational use how should it be outfitted? Not to be lived in full time, not for around the world travel to extreme environments, not to be self-contained for weeks at a time and outfitted for every possible contingency. Kinda like most SUV’s never get off the blacktop I suspect most expedition campers never get the extreme/remote use that we all dream about when planning our perfect rig. What are the worthwhile things that should be on any build that are needed/desirable regardless of how its used?
 

SkiFreak

Expedition Leader
I do not think that anyone who owns a Fuso would argue that the first modification you should do is to improve the suspension. The OEM suspension might be great for a dump truck, but it sucks for pretty much anything else.
On this side of the planet ATW offer a few options in that area, but I cannot speak for anywhere else.
As to cost... that's a hard one but I have read on this forum that guys in the US have had decent upgrades for around $3k to $5K. Over here you would be up for more than that.
 

kerry

Expedition Leader
We have ridden 3 in the cab on pretty long trips. One option for the US would be to buy a used crew cab from Busbee's and swap it in place of the standard cab if you really want a crew cab. X2 on the suspension. I've been pretty happy with Timbren's and new shocks. Not that expensive a modification.
 

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mog

Kodiak Wrangler
All the comments below are just my 2 cents, your mileage may vary

Lots of discussion about modifications etc. to the FG but not any info that I can find regarding cost. Not only of the accessories and common modifications and upgrades but ready built campers.
Costs usually aren't listed for several reasons.
1. They are very controversial. A professional builder/outfitter posts their selling price, and then the thread turns into a "that is far too high of cost" thread 100% of the time. So the potential buyer can email the builder directly to get a price, leaving the whining off of the Portal.
2. An individual who built a cool Fuso, and posts all the costs open source. All they heard about during the build is how so&so could have got that part cheaper, etc, etc. Then 2 years down the road if they decide to sell their truck, that old thread is brought up with “you only spent $xx,xxx on your truck, how come you want so much now!!” (Forgetting the 1000s of man-hours that was put into the truck)
3. You are a cheap SOG and get a million good deals (well great deals) and build at a cost no one can duplicate.
It is better to discuss politics and religion, then costs.

In the U.S our only choice is a single cab. How do people accommodate extra passengers in the camper section? It appears there is no way to include camper passengers in a conversation with people in the cab. Looks like there is no easy way to make the cab/camper pass through large enough
As kerry said, be cool and put an FE crewcab on an FG frame/drivetrain. Drive an FE crewcab, it will go 90%+ of the places the FG will. Seatbelted/rated seats in the camper.

Specific questions on Super Singles. Lots of threads and discussions but a lack of real information that I can find. Issues with spacers in the rear placing undue stress on the axle bearings. Reason for concern or myth? Consensus on wheel size 19.5”, stock 16” size?
Spacers are not (should not) be use in the rear. It is the offset that allows swapping/flipping to get the correct track. I for one have not posted my spec for Super Singles out of respect for the multiple vendors that are sponsors here on the Expo Portal. I don't want to provide info that might undercut their sales. Beside it is not super secret. An hour with a tape measure on the truck, and a little time with Excel and bingo, you have your specs.
Wheel size depends on your tires. 16” (me), great size with a huge tire selection at reasonable prices, 16.5”, killer deals (if they still exist?) on Military surplus tires. 19.5 ability to run OTR truck tires, and tire that are not available in the smaller sizes

I read someplace about a two piece wheel. This allowed easy dismounting and mounting of the tires. Big advantage is you can carry spare tires and not spare wheels also. Also they would be “bead locking” to so as to allow low inflation for sand etc. Good idea?
Well the 2 piece wheels can do that mounted ‘normal'. But if you are flipping them to mount so the tracks line up on the Fuso, 50% of your wheels will be facing the wrong direction to do that mount/demount on the rim. Also there is no great way to get the tracks to line up (offset / backspacing) with these rim and the currently available wheel centers. It would take a special run of wheel centers, and who want to be on the hook for a group-buy of 100 Fuso wheels? You can beadlock ‘normal' rims using inflating interior rings etc. I admit ‘Hummer' rims look bad a** and can be had a very low prices (stock, not modified), and I would go with 24 equal bolt or 24 offset bolt rims for their very high capacity. Also with 2 piece military rims you would be limited to 16.5 inch tires, and those are becoming less and less common (and it seems the supply of $100 90%+ Wrangler tires are gone?)
 

olsurfer

Observer
I do not think that anyone who owns a Fuso would argue that the first modification you should do is to improve the suspension. The OEM suspension might be great for a dump truck, but it sucks for pretty much anything else.
Where would you find the suspension modification info?
 

SkiFreak

Expedition Leader
Where would you find the suspension modification info?
That is a bit of an open question, as there are countless options when it comes to modifying any suspension system.
As I have said, the coil conversion on my truck was done by ATW. To my knowledge, ATW is the only company in the world that does this modification, at least on a commercial level.
ATW also sell a parabolic spring upgrade, which is considerably less expensive than the coils and I am told that the ride with these springs is very good. Others that have these fitted would be better to comment on the ride difference between the parabolics and the OEM springs.
Another area that is easily changed are the shock absorbers. The OEM shocks are average, at best. There are numerous options for after market shocks. Search this forum to see what others have fitted (including part numbers).
As Kerry has stated, replacing the OEM bump stops with the likes of the Timbren's can make a significant difference. These have a variable compression, unlike the OEM bump stops which are solid and, when hit, are only good for dislodging your fillings and give you spinal readjustments.

I have no commercial affiliations with ATW, but you can check out their website if you are interested in their offerings.
http://www.allterrainwarriors.com.au/4x4-truck-accessories/suspension.html
 
Last edited:

whatcharterboat

Supporting Sponsor, Overland Certified OC0018
All the comments below are just my 2 cents, your mileage may vary.....

Lots of discussion about modifications etc. to the FG but not any info that I can find regarding cost. Not only of the accessories and common modifications and upgrades but ready built campers.
Costs usually aren’t listed for several reasons.
1. They are very controversial. A professional builder/outfitter posts their selling price, and then the thread turns into a "that is far too high of cost" thread 100% of the time. So the potential buyer can email the builder directly to get a price, leaving the whining off of the Portal.
2. An individual who built a cool Fuso, and posts all the costs open source. All they heard about during the build is how so&so could have got that part cheaper, etc, etc. Then 2 years down the road if they decide to sell their truck, that old thread is brought up with “you only spent $xx,xxx on your truck, how come you want so much now!!” (Forgetting the 1000s of man-hours that was put into the truck)
3. You are a cheap SOG and get a million good deals (well great deals) and build at a cost no one can dòuplicate.
It is better to discuss politics and religion, then costs.
Mog.........THANK YOU. :clapsmile:clapsmile:clapsmile

The only thing I want to add to that ...and this is especially true for this particular section of Expedition Portal as there are so many Aussies in a predominantly North American forum......and that is the currency exchange rate ,different economies, labor rates government sales taxes, etc. For so much of my life the currency exchange rate has been around $1 Aud to $0.65 USd , so what we are happy to pay $1000 dollars for you would normally have paid $650 .....so now with the rate above parity , if you were to look at Aussie prices, you would freak....that's the main reason we don't confuse anyone by quoting prices especially here on ExPo.

Actually there was an exposé on TV here recently....a pair of Levi jeans at $30 compared to $105 here....a bottle of Jack Daniels (lucky I don't drink) at $15 compared to $45....... And how about new FUSO FG at $43k, I am told, compared to $75k here !!!!

Sorry for the whinge and loose examples ....not trying to start a political debate but this is a big part of why we don't quote prices here or on our website.

Specific questions on Super Singles. Lots of threads and discussions but a lack of real information that I can find. Issues with spacers in the rear placing undue stress on the axle bearings. Reason for concern or myth? Consensus on wheel size 19.5”, stock 16” size?
Spacers are not (should not) be use in the rear. It is the offset that allows swapping/flipping to get the correct track.
X2 what Mog said......but I think you will find plenty of "real" information regarding SRW if you go back through the threads...... and I would expect that every issue relating to SRW conversions on FGs has been done to death.

Sure there are some new options appearing now but the basic rules, benefits, issues are still the same.
 
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olsurfer

Observer
I put a pair of Rancho's on the front and it was a big improvement, but now I'm looking at those Roboshock coilovers at ATW. The parabolic spring looks interesting as well as the airbag setup. I would lean towards the bolt on improvements but will fab if need be. They mention the upgrades are used on the FG84. Will those suspension upgrades work on the FG140?
I would think shipping is an issue with using ATW goodies. Is there anyone doing these kind of mods here in the states?
A lot to learn but what fun!
 

blackduck

Explorer
I do not think that anyone who owns a Fuso would argue that the first modification you should do is to improve the suspension. The OEM suspension might be great for a dump truck, but it sucks for pretty much anything else.
QUOTE]

but first they should have to drive a few thousand miles on standard springs
just so they appreciate the change :wings:
 

HowardH

Adventurer
I do not think that anyone who owns a Fuso would argue that the first modification you should do is to improve the suspension.
What is a reasonable expectation for ride quality after suspension modification? I am familiar with how 3/4 ton and 1/2 ton pickups ride on washboard roads and handle bumps. Can the ride get half ton smooth?
 

kerry

Expedition Leader
Depends on the extent of the modification. I'd say with the Timbrens and new shocks (oe), my FG rides about like the Suzuki Sidekick I owned. The Suzuki had a pretty short wheelbase so was a bumpy SUV. I don't think it rides as smoothly as your average US half ton pickup. I'm a pretty frugal guy so can't justify the expensive and extensive mods done to new trucks on my used FG. I'd like to ride in an extensively modified FG some day to compare it to my own.
 

HowardH

Adventurer
Mog makes some good points regarding prices. Sometimes it seems not worth the hassle. However I remember a story in which a mother and her son where traveling west in a wagon train. Our old "wild west" days for those of you on the other side of the pond.

The young son asked his mother why people could be so petty. Her response was to ask if he remembered all the little towns they passed through and all the farm houses the trip took them by. He said, "yes". His mother said, in every instance dogs came out and barked at the wagons right? He said "yes". But son, the wagons never stopped did they? Point is you can go through life worrying about the yapping dogs or you can just do what it is you set out to do. Don't worry about what others are doing concentrate on what it is you are doing.

Like anything there is a flip side. There are good reasons for not posting prices particularly on specialized and made to order items. Also requiring direct contact increases your ability to "sell" your product. However items that are basically parts and retailed out, suspension components, shocks, wheels, etc. are really off the shelf items. Having the price available will allow people to quickly determine if it's in their budget.

The price of a FG 140 is right at 45,000. A fair chunk of change. From reading here it appears to get it set up to perform well and be comfortable I need after market seats, sound deadening in the cab, upgraded/modified suspension, single rear wheels, new tires, and a flat bed or some type of sub-frame. All before you even start on the camper portion. So what does all that cost? It would be foolish to start a project before knowing. The flatbed/subframe stands alone but the rest becomes integral to the rig and prices can add up quickly. If I have to spend another 20,000 on the truck after purchase then not only WOW but lots of other options are out there. Example a Ford F550 cab and chassis would come in less then that with the super cab, great seats, a plenty acceptable suspension as is and a vast selection of flatbeds and other options.
 

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kerry

Expedition Leader
I can address a couple of your questions. I don't think the FG is particularly loud in the cab so I wouldn't need to put in sound insulation unless I had the cab stripped down for other reasons when I might do it. I found an aftermarket seat more comfortable than the OE. But, my truck had around 175k miles on it when I bought it with the original seat. I also have duallies. The service body came with my truck so it wasn't an additional expense. I like it.
 

westyss

Explorer
Howard as others have stated the pricing is difficult to post but you may be able to get ball park figures on items that you feel the most needed, many mods that you stated are not "mandatory" just what the individual wanted or felt was more important. It is a personal decision and not a group decision on what suits the individual.

Suspension mods can be several hundred dollars for Timbrens to $20,000 for coil overs or swapped leafs and shocks for $3000. Seats will be around $2000, and wheels/tires if you can get some will be $5000-$6000, flat deck from $3000 to $10000 etc.
Like Kerry stated, sound deadening is not absolutely required, I dont feel the need to do that at all, and perhaps you would be comfortable with stock suspension too. Where are you taking this truck? Do you need super singles? Many do not have singles. Seats may not be needed if the suspension is modded. A flat deck is not required if you dont need a flat deck and could simply go to a mounting frame.

We could go on but I guess what I am getting to is do what becomes most important to "YOU" and spend your money on the NEEDED items first. If you have never driven or experienced these trucks see if you can drive someones for a bit to see if it suits you. It might be completely wrong for you!
You mention the F550 as a possible truck and that may be something better suited to you if that is the type of vehicle you are used to driving. These trucks are not like the average North American pickup.

Cheers and good luck
 
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