Spod is coming to market with some awesome new tech for our Rigs. The first Gen Systems were totally awesome upgrades for making easy work of 12V upgrades to our trucks.. This is going to blow the doors off of everything else on the market.. Take a look at the video from SPod4x4. Should have them in stock soon after release!! Also keep posted for a review as soon as they come in! Can't wait!
1st year of business...
First and formost, thank you to my friends and customers for a great first year of business! 1 year went by so fast, at the same time I can't believe what has been done with literally trying to do so little. This adventure started with 2 custom FJ Cruiser products and keeps ballooning up to encompass other makes and models. The simple philosophy of great prices, and customer support works in an industry where little of those 2 things are found.
I have literally had to fight to stay small. I never wanted this to take over much time, or grow to anything more than helping out the fellow word of mouth Midwestern adventure traveler get his rig up to speed. With that in mind, here is what happened while trying to stay small...
Chi-Town4x4 Hosted 27 Wrench Nights to help others install parts with out labor charges
We became the midwest distributor for Baja Rack.
We became an certified install center with Metal Cloak Products
Became a Stocking Dealer with ... 4x4SPOD.com, Tempui Tents, Rigid Industries, Lifetime LeD Lights, ARB, Metal Tech, ICon, Bilstein, Konig Wheels, Good year Tire, Gobi Rack, Rotopax, Bullet Proof Off road, Spidertrax, Gorilla Lugs, Front Runner, yucon gear, piaa, hella, borla, afe, Fox racing, All Pro Off road, Metal Cloak, Yakima Racks, Thule, Reece Hitch, Factor 55, DDM Tuning, Ready Lift, Engle, Ranco, ARE, undercover, Expedition one, and several others.
Installed over 40 lift kits on customers rigs.
We have 6 Sponsored Shop Trucks on the road in Chicago!
For some shops, this is just part of doing business, but for us, in the first year, while trying not to grow shows me 2 things. There is a need for quality shops here in the midwest to provide technical support for the off road hobby. 2, there is a need for local availability of parts beyond what mail order can offer to us Midwestern folks.
So what is next.... no idea.... So ill just keep on doing what I have been and see what happens in year 2 with not trying to grow a business :-)
Again thank you to everyone for your support and the great times we have had over the last year! its been a blast!
THIS YEAR TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION has announced a ROLLER COASTER worth OF EMOTIONAL CHANGE for those loyal to the brand. WE ARE GOING TO SEE ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGHS AND SULTAN SEA LOWS. WITH CHANGES ACROSS THE LINE UP THIS YEAR WE ARE GOING TO SEE EXCITING NEW TRUCKS HIT THE MARKET AND SEE SOME VERY BELOVED ONES LEAVE. FOR THOSE THAT HAVE NOT KEPT UP WITH THE MOST RECENT NEWS, HERE IS THE RECAP FOR TRD NORTH AMERICA 2014
THE FJ CRUISER DEBUTED IN 2005 AT THE CHICAGO AUTO SHOW WEARING A FLASHY BLUE COLOR THAT WE ALL NOW KNOW AS VOODOO. JUST AS THIS TRUCK CAME INTO THE WORLD WEARING BLUE, ITS ALSO GOING TO LEAVE THIS WORLD WRAPPED IN BLUE. THE 2014 ULTIMATE EDITION IS THE LAST HURRAH FOR THE FJ. IT WILL HAVE A LIMITED PRODUCTION OF 2500 UNITS WEARING HERITAGE BLUE COLOR AND REVAMPED SUSPENSION FROM THE BAJA EDITION TACOMA. THE NOTION THAT THIS TRUCK IS IN ITS FINAL YEAR OF PRODUCTION FOR THE NORTH AMERICAN MARKET IS A SAD REALITY. WITH A QUARTER MILLION FJ'S ON THE ROAD WE ARE LUCKY THAT THESE WILL BE AROUND FOR MANY YEARS TO COME.
Joe BACAL won his second consecutive Baja 1000 when he crossed the finish line at the Tecate SCORE 2013 Baja 1000. This is his 3rd overall Baja 1000 win in the last 5 years. Team Lexus finished the race in 29 hours and 21 minutes. The only other Stock-Full Class truck to finish was Rod Hall who came across the finish line 4.5 hours after the Lexus. THIS IS AN AWESOME ACCOMPLISHMENT FOR TRD.. BUT IT ALSO COMES JUST MONTHS BEFORE TRD/LEXUS WITHDRAWS FROM THIS RACE CIRCUIT. TO IMAGINE A STOCK TRUCK BLASTING THROUGH THE BAJA 1000 IN 29 HOURS IS AMAZING AND IT REALLY MAKES ME TAKE TAKE A DEEPER LOOK WHEN I SEE THE 200 SERIES LAND CRUISER ON THE STREET AROUND CHICAGO.
MUCH LIKE THE FJ CRUISER DEBUT IN CHICAGO BACK IN 2005, TOYOTA HAS ALWAYS GIVEN US CHI-TOWN FOLK SOMETHING TO GET EXCITED ABOUT. THIS YEAR DID NOT DISAPPOINT WITH THE INTRODUCTION AND WORLD RELEASE OF THE TRD PRO MODELS. THIS IS A BIG STEP FORWARD FOR TOYOTA WITH DEDICATED MODELS BUILT AND TESTED FOR OFF ROAD ADVENTURE. 4RUNNER, TACOMA AND TUNDRA MODELS ALL EQUIPPED WITH BETTER PROTECTION, TIRES AND REVISED SUSPENSION WITH A FACTORY LIFT IS SOMETHING REALLY TO GET EXCITED ABOUT FOR AVID YOTA OFF ROAD FOLLOWERS.
SPEAKING OF DEDICATED OFFROAD MODELS, THE 2013 TRD RACING SERIES WAS A HUGE SUCCESS. TRD Tundra drivers registered 13 victories during 2013 on the way to clinching Toyota’s sixth NCWTS manufacturer’s championship. Busch led the way with five wins as his Kyle Busch Motorsports team captured the NCWTS owner’s championship.
WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN FOR CHITOWN4X4.COM NOT A WHOLE LOT REALLY. SOMETIMES WE NEED TO BE REMINDED THAT THESE TRUCKS WERE BUILT FOR OUR PASSION OF ADVENTURE AND EXCITEMENT. THE TRUCKS HAVE BEEN TESTED ON RACE COURSES AROUND THE GLOBE AND ENGINEERED WITH THE BEST RELIABILITY PERFORMANCE ON THE MARKET. THEY ARE SOMETHING THAT WE ALL USE EVERYDAY AND RELY UPON TO GET THERE AND THEY DO A REALLY GOOD JOB OF IT. THEY EXTEND OUR ADVENTURES AND LET US SEE THINGS THAT MOST WILL NEVER LAY EYES ON. REMEMBER THIS SUMMER TO TAKE A BREAK FROM THE DAILY GRIND, HOP IN YOUR RIG AND GO PLACES.
WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVE . . .
In Chicago we have had a record breaking winter. as the rest of the country complains about their 1 day ice storm, 2" of snow or some frozen oranges, those of us in the northern half of the USA have been enduring this beast of a winter. BUT AS MUCH BANTERING THAT HAS GONE BACK AND FORTH ON FACEBOOK THIS YEAR ABOUT WHO HAD IT HARDER, NO ONE IN the southern half of the country WILL EVER Grasp how much we cherish our summers.
Those SUMMER days are like gold and we live them to the fullest. With the HOPE OF spring in the air and DRIVING WIth the windows down OUR phone HAS BEEN RINGING FOR calls ON OUR REAR WINDOW KIT FOR THE FJ CRUISER.
FOR THOSE THAT DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS KIT IS. . . WELL, ITS LOTS OF THINGS TO LOTS OF DIFFERENT PEOPLE. MOST OF THE CUSTOMERS SO FAR HAVE BEEN DOG OWNERS WANTING TO GIVE THEIR BEST FRIENDS AN OPEN AIR EXPERIENCE IN THE BACK OF THEIR FJ CRUISER.
THIS WINDOW KITS GIVES YOU THE FLEXIBILITY THAT NOTHING ELSE ON THE MARKET HAS BEEN ABLE TO DO. YOUR REAR WINDOW OPERATES JUST LIKE ONE OF YOUR SIDE WINDOWS. IT GOES DOWN, IT GOES UP, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY FOR THE DOG OWNERS, IT CRACKS OPEN TO A SET AMOUNT AND STOPS WHEN YOU WANT IT TO STOP. THIS KEEPS YOUR FURRY FRIENDS SAFE FROM CLIMBING OUT THE WINDOW, SPRING BOARD JUMPING OFF THE SPARE TIRE TO GET A BETTER GLIMPSE OF THE CAT THAT THE NEIGHBOR ALWAYS LEAVES OUTSIDE.
AS ALL ANIMAL LOVERS KNOW, SOMETIMES THE BEST MEASURES THAT WE CAN TAKE TO PROTECT OUR PETS ARE THE ONES THAT PROTECT PETS FROM THEM SELVES. WITH THE ABILITY OF THIS KIT TO HOLD THE WINDOW FIRMLY AT ANY POSITION IS WHAT MAKES THIS REAR WINDOW KIT FOR THE FJ CRUISER SO POPULAR AMONG DOG OWNERS.
WITH THE SUCCESS OF THIS KIT WE ARE PRESSING ON TO CREATE GENERATION VERSION 2 OF THIS KIT. THIS INCLUDES PRODUCTION GRADE MOUNTING HARDWARE. BEEFED UP BOLTS AND LATCHING HARD WARE. IMPROVED INSTRUCTIONS AND AN EASIER INSTALLATION THAN EVER BEFORE.
WE SEE AVERAGE INSTALLATION TIMES IN THE 2 HOUR RANGE WITH A FEW OF THEM COMPLETED IN 1.5 HOURS. MY SELF I PERSONALLY TAKE AROUND 3 HOURS OR MORE JUST BECAUSE IM USUALLY WORKING ON SOMEONE ELSE'S TRUCK AND IM SUPER CAUTIOUS.
THE NEW KITS WILL BE HITTING THE MARKET IN LATE MARCH JUST IN TIME FOR THE SPRING RUSH. I PLAN ON HAVING SEVERAL OF THESE ON THE SHELF READY TO GO AS SUMMER SWINGS ON IN AND WE CAN KISS THIS TERRIBLE WINTER GOOD BY!
INFORMATION AND VIDEO OF THIS KIT CAN BE FOUND AT
The new year is a time for reflection on what the previous year was about and what the new year ahead brings. Most of us asks what do we plan to do for the new year? What are you goals, aspirations, dreams...
For me running multiple businesses and keeping up with a family at home sometimes I think it would be nice to just keep my sanity and have a good time here and there... but all of us would like to do way more than time and sanity allow.
As far as Chitown4x4 goes there are some very cool things coming down the line for us with manufactures and with customers. We are embracing the Jeep JK platform as a legitimate expedition platform and working on a complete build up of one for everyone to see along the way.
1.) We are working on bringing to market our first wheel for the Jeep Jk crowd from Konig. It is a light weight and strong wheel aimed at the customer that understands adding a bunch of weight with a cast wheel makes a big difference in the way your rig drives and handles.
2.) Chitown4x4.com is looking at launching its first line of Skid plates for the Fj Cruiser, 4Runner and Jeep Jk. We are looking at producing a Stainless version and an Aluminum version for full under body protection on all models.
3.) The rear window kit was so popular that we have sent in for custom parts to be water jetted instead of modifying current Toyota parts for the kit. These will start shipping In February with the upgraded hardware. We have also dumbed down the kit to make the install more custom for the user and less problems with install.
4.) The GasPaX product continues on as our best seller at this point with 10 units out on the trail to date! Look for us to be running a number of promotions tied to this product for the new year including free Trasharoos with purchase.
5.) Vendors that we are working with to offer direct support and products here in the midwest for 2014 is, Baja Rack, Front runner, Rugged Ridge, Icon, Metaltech, Terraflex, Toytec, Konig, Rotopax, Gobi Rack, and Warrior Products.
All of this is very exciting and the dreams that we have are always larger than what can be done, but this above is what is most likely to be seen from us here at Chitown4x4 in 2014.
We wish you all of the best in your own quests for the new year and hope that you can join me for some of the fun parts!
We are exploring the idea of a Self Contained dual battery tray system that fits 2 group 34 batteries in the factory location. Production ideas should start in the next week and we will be test fitting the first prototypes in the next week. The benefits to this set up are
1 Short Cable Runs, simple wire set up.
2 Free up space in other parts of engine bay for other stuff
3 Simple 24V trail side welding if needed
4 No need to fuse every cable connection (cost)
A few more details should be released soon, but im excited to see what comes of this.
This product should fit: 2003+ 4runner, 2007+ Fj Cruiser, 2005+ toyota tacoma, 100 and 200 series land crusier.
It should fit all group 34 batteries, including, Diehard, Odyssey, Everstart and Optima.
UPDATE 2-28-14, This product never launched. The mounting of the kit was too compromised to offer a bolt in solution for customers. if intersted in one off production please contact us.
September 10th, 2013
Soo... How close are you?
This has been a question I have been getting lots of lately. So here is the update and for those of you that are waiting patiently.. I appreciate it, you won't be disappointed !
With out further haste, here is where we are at...
Bulk order of V2.0 actuators are due in next week. These tested well and cut the up and down time almost in half compared to the V1 set up.
Custom made window glass side mounts are due in on Friday to test for fit and finish.
Switch and wire harness parts are due in by the 16th to assemble the wire harness.
A new option for wireless remote control will be tested and added to the available product offering.
Getting bids for Black Powder coat actuators as a kit option per popular pre-order demand.
We have been working many hours at night and weekends to bring this product to a reality and see it through. Enough people have expressed interest that it will be a reality before the end of the month.
Just released a known tool requirement list and posted to the site. Instruction Manual is being assembled.
I am not going to talk about prices until I can make sure the custom mounts are completed and working. Im trying to make this kit as easy to install as possible. The easier the install, the more the kit costs, but the less headaches for me and for those installing the kit. These extra measures should also reduce the installation time by over 2 hours!!
Thank you to everyone for all of your support! Its appreciated and I am looking forward to seeing this product out on the market toward the end of this month.
Here is a link to the product page!
Those cars that got away...
This past weekend I was the Tour de Elegance Car show in Geneva Il. They were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911. Although Im not a huge 911 fan, I respect that it is one of the best sports cars on the planet and a total hoot to drive. I was hanging out with two of my good friends that day looking at various cars from the Model A through the brand new Lexus LFA. Its amazing the diversity and history in cars at a show like this, so many with stories and so many of them now rare and collectable.
The discussion came up as the car that you should have purchased or not gotten rid of 5-7 years ago. For one friend it was his 1991 NSX coupe that he has no good reason for getting rid of at the time. I remember the car to, red on black, racing seats and beautiful carbon fiber parts purposely showing through the red paint in various spots. It was a real sweet ride. The car to purchase was decided as a E30 M3 as they have nearly tripled in value over the last 5 years and are still considered one of the best driving cars of all time. See, so much more of what a car actually is can be based as what it can do and what it feels like doing it. A good example of this is the Mazda Miata. Most of the population pokes fun at the Miata, but you can't deny how fun they are to drive and drive hard. Car guys the world over have praised this fun little car and when you consider that they had around 135 HP you can start to see the picture of what really makes a great car.
For me, 6 years ago was a 2004 Audi S4 Wagon. I know what you are thinking, a station wagon is what you regret getting rid of? Truth is, yes! See I owned this car when I met my wife for the first time, and she makes fun of me and it till this very day. Ask her sometime and she just shakes her head. I guess I can kind of see her perspective as a guy that was 27 with no family at the time, I deserve it... but here is my case for this car that many car guys can agree upon.
The Audi S4 Avant, as they call it in Europe, was a hot rod bred for the autobahn, but in wagon disguise. A close ratio, manual, short throw 6 speed transmission coupled to a 4.2L V8 engine that red-lined at 7400 rpm and made near 400 hp was its fire breathing heart. My shagin wagon sat on Ohlins racing dampers with remote adjustable reservoirs and 19" RS4 Replica wheels and R compound tires that completed the look. It still remains the car that I have personally traveled the fastest in, 168 MPH and it had no issue getting there quickly with 0-60 times well under the 5 second mark. The interior was fantastic, plenty of room for us tall guys and the seats were right from the Recaro factory, trimmed in heavy bolsters and black leather. From a utility standpoint. it has 4 doors, 4 real seats, and a suv sized cargo area. It held my mt bike on the roof and was great to camp out of every fall trip to the north woods. To top it off it was always impressive in the snow with the proper winter tires which often caught us off guard on our trips around the UP of Michigan.
Like all cars, it seems that things end up going because something cooler comes along that we just gotta have. This car was traded in on a 2007 Fj cruiser.. which has shaped many of the things I do today in a very positive way. Do I regret the decision, no, not really, but it would have been a wonderful car to keep and enjoy for many years.
Just got back from Moab.... More to come on that later, but our Buddy Troy brought out his DJI Phantom in hopes of wowing the world with spectacular views in and around Moab and Colorado. He did not disappoint!
All I got to say, watch the video, this is a tiny little portion of what he captured while on our trip, and i wish you-tube could commit to a better quality viewing experience, because the real footage is not choppy, its smooth as silk!