Always On The Move: Austin Hewitt’s 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser

Austin Hewitt knows a thing or two about tires. He likes to hit the hard stuff and knows just how much of a difference a good set can make. We got the chance to catch up with him recently and get his take on the Mickey Thompson Baja Boss tires he has on his 2007 FJ.

The FJ was bone stock when Austin first purchased it. All it had was the off-road package from the factory. Austin explained, “I found one that looked cool and I’m glad I picked it up because it had the locker. I do dirt trails, rocks, and mud. The front locker changed the game in Moab. There were things I could crawl up that I never could before.”

On top of his drivetrain’s capabilities, he noted that his Mickey Thompson Baja Boss tires have helped out a great deal. “The Baja Boss tires have been awesome,” he said. “I can’t recommend them enough. They s got me through all the sloppy wet mud on the west side of Washington. They also crawled up any rocks in Moab.”

In addition to the big Mickey Thompson rubber, Austin also went top-shelf on the rest of the rig. Out front, the FJ features a Demello Off Road single hoop front bumper and a Smittybilt XRC9500 winch. There is a Rigid 20-inch Radiance light bar and fog lights that handle illumination. Radflo 2.5-inch adjustable coilovers up front and SPC upper control arms, in conjunction with Dirt King lower control arms, handle flex and dampening. The rear suspension is a Dobinsons long-travel setup.

All Pro Off-Road rock sliders, an Expedition 1 rear swing-out tire carrier/bumper, and a Baja Wrap roof rack round out the exterior modifications. Under the hood, a Volant snorkel and cold air intake help the power plant breathe easy. The Banks cat-back exhaust makes sure that the unneeded gasses get to where they should be. Austin took time to re-gear the differentials to 4.56:1 with Nitro Gears. That upgrade, combined with an ARB air locker up front and the stock E-locker in the rear, keep the FJ moving through even the toughest terrain.

This isn’t a ride that is just going to sit around either. Austin works for his local county out on the road full-time. However, he stated, “We’re going to Moab in the spring. We might have some downtime in the summer with the wife having a baby.”

In addition to hitting the dirt, Austin also admitted that he would like to beef up the rear axle. You can follow all of Austins upcoming adventure on Instagram @fj_runner. And don’t forget to check out Mickey Thompson’s website and Facebook page for more information on their high-quality tires.

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About the author

Christie Materni

As a photographer, and self-proclaimed "magic maker" for over 12 years, Christie loves to create anything from amazing images to great chocolate chip cookies. Traveling the country with her camera, husband, and sometimes a dog, in search of fast cars and tough trucks is her favorite way to spend the day.
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