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Old 01-26-2012, 03:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Looking for family rig

So I did a little search on here and I am having a hard time finding anything regarding fitting a family for a week.

Little background on me: I come from the mud/sand drags side of things. All I know is high horsepower and big tires! So this is a change for me. We live in California in the bay area so everything is a long drive to get to. So far its me, the wife, my daughter, little dog, and soon to be bigger dog. We plan on having another child as well so I need to plan for that.

Overall, I am looking for a rig that can carry 4 comfortably. It needs to have decent on road manners and good off road ability too. Do I have to say it needs reliability? I fully plan to get a trailer to pull as well so that should help in the storage area. Doesn't have to be brand new, but the wife isn't going to roll an old beater either.

Help me find my cake and eat it too!!

Thanks guys/girls

Phil
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You've got to be kidding. Did you even look on the first page of this forum?
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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This recent thread may be of some use: /forum/expedition-vehicles/1037918-small-suvs-modest-tires-vs-full-sized-suvs-larger-tires.html
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Newish fullsize diesel crew cab truck. Google 'em - there are a few choices out there.
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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burban. dogs in the back. daughter in the middle. wife shotgun. still lots of room for cargo. 'nuf said.
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the warm welcome! Geez you guys really know how to make a guy feel at home!

The suburban/diesel truck thing is to big for the wife to drive.

I'm thinking more like tacoma, xterra, land cruiser size. I'm just looking for a few ideas on what comes with the stock parts to cover the job. I'm a good mechanic and know how to setup a decent rig, but like I said never did this before.

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Old 01-26-2012, 07:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If your wife is unwilling to learn how to drive a truck you could always throw 31's on a minivan.

Seriously though, WTH do you actually plan on doing with this vehicle? Going out for weeks at a time in a desert, or just cruising to the mall with a detour through a well graded forest road?
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You know whats funny. The only ones giving him a hard time are the new guys. Grow up you retards. he is asking a great question that can be answered with simple answers. It takes more effort from you guys to give him a hard time.

simple answer to a simple question. FJ80 or Cherokee. Simple to build and simple to wheel.

As for wheeling a minivan? Really??? Are you even married? My wife like creature comforts too, and wheeling a shitbox is useless. Happy wife, happy life.

If oyu have nothing constructive to say fuck off.

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Old 01-26-2012, 08:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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How much do you want to spend?

What type of terrain do you want to be prepared for?

Are looks important?

What's the balance you seek between on road performance, off road performance, build-up potential and aftermarket support?

Any particular tire size you're aiming for?

Do you want to be able to work on it yourself?

Me, I'm planning to take my family of four on moderate week-long camping adventures, mostly in high plains desert on dusty, rock-infested roads. I'm not planning to go larger than 33"s and I won't be rock crawling. I'd prefer to avoid a trailer if I can. We have a Mitsubishi Endeavor for pavement only trips, so this rig can be a bit specialized (though hours on pavement will be necessary to get to our off-road spots).

I'm still considering an 88-91 Blazer/Jimmy or a Land Cruiser (though most Cruisers are out of my budget) or maybe, just maybe, a Land Rover. But most likely I'll pick up a Ramcharger. They can be had for cheap and have a pretty killer stock drive train and axles as far as 1/2 ton full-size trucks go. Blazers and Broncos have advantages in terms of parts availability and aftermarket support, but the relatively modest nature of my expected build is such that I don't think that will be a major issue.

Plus my favorite uncle drove trucks for Chrysler his whole life... I guess that sometimes picking a vehicle is about careful analysis and sometimes it's just about going with your heart (or some mix of the two). Not sure it matters too much in the end as long as you like it and you got the time and money to work on it.

There are great reasons to buy Blazers, Broncos, XJs, SJs, Rovers, Land Cruisers, etc... I think I'd like one of each! Good luck.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Seat four good on road good off while I agree with the jeep and Fj already listed also I recomend at least looking at the second ford explorer/mountianeer can get them super cheap and mine has been great for hualing the family and playing on some medium trails at the local ohv park
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
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look at a geo tracker or suzuki sidekick 4 doors, very cheap to purchase and easy to build for mild or wild wheeling. I have been wheeling them for awhile now and there is plenty of room for four full sized people and plenty of room behind back seat for cooler/ parts, jack, and such as. Then you also have the option for a roof rack. My current is a 98 4dr sidekick auto, a/c, power everything, cruise control. They are also very easy at the gas pump.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:15 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Just make it easy and grab a four door JK. All the aftermarket you could ever want in a vehicle to make it your own.
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:33 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Cee-Jay View Post
How much do you want to spend?

What type of terrain do you want to be prepared for?

Are looks important?

What's the balance you seek between on road performance, off road performance, build-up potential and aftermarket support?

Any particular tire size you're aiming for?

Do you want to be able to work on it yourself?

Me, I'm planning to take my family of four on moderate week-long camping adventures, mostly in high plains desert on dusty, rock-infested roads. I'm not planning to go larger than 33"s and I won't be rock crawling. I'd prefer to avoid a trailer if I can. We have a Mitsubishi Endeavor for pavement only trips, so this rig can be a bit specialized (though hours on pavement will be necessary to get to our off-road spots).

I'm still considering an 88-91 Blazer/Jimmy or a Land Cruiser (though most Cruisers are out of my budget) or maybe, just maybe, a Land Rover. But most likely I'll pick up a Ramcharger. They can be had for cheap and have a pretty killer stock drive train and axles as far as 1/2 ton full-size trucks go. Blazers and Broncos have advantages in terms of parts availability and aftermarket support, but the relatively modest nature of my expected build is such that I don't think that will be a major issue.

Plus my favorite uncle drove trucks for Chrysler his whole life... I guess that sometimes picking a vehicle is about careful analysis and sometimes it's just about going with your heart (or some mix of the two). Not sure it matters too much in the end as long as you like it and you got the time and money to work on it.

There are great reasons to buy Blazers, Broncos, XJs, SJs, Rovers, Land Cruisers, etc... I think I'd like one of each! Good luck.
Great questions Cee-Jay! I will do my best to answer them.

I'm looking at spending 10-15k on the base rig. I'm going to replace my car with it as a daily driver as well. So that brings up the issues of on road driving. The majority of the time will be spent on californias shitty hwy system. I know I'm going to get anything that gets 50mpg, but something better than 12mpg is def preferable. Gas is expensive here!

I'm looking at something with the potential to run 35s, a strong aftermarket although I can fab a lot of my own stuff. Like everyone I like the shiney stuff, but I'm a realist and I want something that is reliable and works. So looks I put at about a 6 or 7 on a scale of 10 for importance.

We have a mix of desert and mountains around here, so a neutral setup for both is preferable. Has to be able to tow a trailer as I think its key to the setup and bringing everything I want. I have time, and I can afford to put some money into it so thats not a major problem.

@Flatty- A happy wife DOES equal a happy life!! Its just easier when they are on board with what you are doing!! I like your FJ80 idea although I found out they get crap for gas mileage! at $4/gallon thats no fun!

@Clastic - I would love a JK, but no storage in the vehicle coupled with a 25k price tag for a base model one. I don't want to have to worry about scratches that much.


Thanks again for all the help!

Phil
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:32 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I still say JK. I don't know where you're getting the JK doesn't have enough interior room, it's bigger than my ZJ by a decent bit and I guarantee on par with an FJ80. I'd even bet money it's has the same (if not more) interior as a two door fullsize like a Ramcharger or Bronco.

I understand budgets have to be met but let that not stop you from looking from one on the rebuilt market.

Now, with that, I will suggest a first generation Durango. Four door, V8, prime candidate for a SAS to run 35's. Full frame to make mounting armor a breeze compared to unibody vehices.

As for the mileage. You'll be very hard pressed to find a Lifted 4x4 on 35" tires that's capable of carrying everything and pulling a trailer that will get better than 15 mpg. Those that do you've already said your wife can't drive (diesel). That's just something your gonna have to live with.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:56 AM   #15 (permalink)
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have you seen the rear "trunk" space on a JK? Barely room for a bag and a couple sleeping bags! I'm 6'1 and my head sticks up between the roll bars too.

I hadn't thought about the durango idea! Not a bad choice.

Currently I'm liking the FZJ80 and 4Runner. As well as the cherokee WJ.

Getting closer guys! keep it coming!
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Old 01-27-2012, 03:58 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Currently I'm liking the FZJ80 and 4Runner. As well as the cherokee WJ.
Those are both great vehicles.

I'm guessin' Expeditions and Excursions could handle 35s with the stock IFS, but I don't think I'd personally run 35s on the Tahoe IFS (although I'm sure plenty of guys do). The 9.25" GM 1-ton IFS could probably handle 35s. None of those three are great on gas though; the Tahoe allegedly gets 16mpg combined, the Excursion around 12 and the Expedition around 14. Still, the rapid depreciation of a used Chevy or Ford can make them look pretty decent when comparing against Yotas. The Yotas are fantastic but pricey given that they hold their value so well... but then again maybe you get what you pay for.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:04 PM   #17 (permalink)
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every now and then, i see a really nice 109" wb landrover selling in your price range. not a new one of course, but still in excellent condition and lower miles. like jeeps and land cruisers, they're all over the world and doing quite well in the many varied environments.
just a thought.
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:29 AM   #18 (permalink)
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have you seen the rear "trunk" space on a JK? Barely room for a bag and a couple sleeping bags! I'm 6'1 and my head sticks up between the roll bars too.

I hadn't thought about the durango idea! Not a bad choice.

Currently I'm liking the FZJ80 and 4Runner. As well as the cherokee WJ.

Getting closer guys! keep it coming!
I vote for the WJ, plenty of room decent aftermarket support, quite capable but still well mannered enough to be a daily driver.
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Old 01-28-2012, 01:42 PM   #19 (permalink)
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May be a bit more work, but if budgeted right, a Cherokee, Tahoe, Blazer, Bronco, Burban, etc... with a 4BTA Cummins swapped in. 20+ MPG, decent towing & creature comforts. Check out www.4btswaps.com & read all of the stickies & buildups. That should take a month or so... Never know, you might find the right rig for you already built & for sale.
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:54 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Alright settled on an FJ60/62 or FZJ80 with a diesel swap. Leaning more towards the FJ60/62 for better looks.

I have been looking at doing the diesel swap myself, but after researching prices on diesel motors I think I will settle for looking for one that is already done. Just need to be patient and find the perfect choice.

Thanks for the help guys!
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:30 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Good luck getting that diesel legal in California.
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Old 01-31-2012, 02:47 PM   #22 (permalink)
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FSJ Cherokee or Waggy with an LS swap.
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Old 01-31-2012, 05:36 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Since it will be a dd, find something that needs minimal lift to run the parts you want. I loved my wj, but it would take a lot to put a 35 on it. My 98 tahoe would be better for that.
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:20 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Before you get carried away with a 4bt swap, go drive one for an hour to two.

It's a big, heavy, loud, vibrating, medium duty type engine, that you are asking to do things it was never designed to do.

The one thing it does very well, is get good MPG, but not that much better than a good LS motor will get.
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:22 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Find a diesel excursion. Get the wife to drive it. More than enough room, plenty of aftermarket support, can fit 35s without much lift, blah blah blah. Tow a car trailer with ease.
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