What to get? - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
 
Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum  

Go Back   Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum > General Tech > Expedition Vehicles
Notices

Reply
 
Share Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-11-2012, 12:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2012
Member # 218539
Location: California
Posts: 16
What to get?

If this is in the wrong section just put it in the right forum, but I thought I put it here. So the expedition bug has hit me and I want an affordable expedition rig. I probably won't be getting it for a good while, but it would be nice to start planing for what to set my goals for. My budget goal for now would be around 4k depending on factors.

For now I think I want to explore the Americas(all the way up to Alaska and down to Amazon), and I want something that is affordable to build and maintain. Decent mpg would be nice(20 highway would be a nice goal). I am new to overlanding and off-roading, but have a passion for all cars. There are a few models that interest me, and I not sure which would be the best for my needs. I want something that isn't too big. My parents had a first gen Pathfinder that I really liked a lot(sadly it was 2wd only), and thought the size was near perfect. I also did enjoy the handling, and performance of it. With that said it seems like the Xterra would be similar to what I am looking for, but not sure if it would really meet my needs off-roading as it has IFS.
There is also Jeep Cherokee(I feel like if I look at Jeep I should be looking at the Wrangler, but I want full roof for overlanding trips). I like it, and it seems like it could be affordable platform to start with, but there is something I just don't like about it, but I can't put my hands on it.
There is also a part of me that wants to look at the Disco/Ranger Rover cars, but they all felt too big for my taste. It seems like the Freelander is only one within my size criteria, but that has motor and trans issues. Not to mention it doesn't offer a proper low gear. How does the Ranger/Disco match up size wise to the gen 1 Pathfinder?
I also like the LC60 and LC80, but again the car is a bit large(and heavy) for my needs. MPG is also bit low, while hp and tq numbers aren't the best.

Is there any other rigs I should look at that fit my needs? Thanks.

Last edited by battleaxe; 05-11-2012 at 12:05 AM.
battleaxe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 10:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
fishingwithdynamite
 
Join Date: May 2004
Member # 30721
Location: on the road
Posts: 3,703
Think you've got the right idea. Cherokee would be one of the first vehicles I'd have told you to take a look at. Or maybe even something like a little subaru...
__________________
GatosBros · Crux Studio · Trails Less Traveled
JESSE_at_TLT is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 05-11-2012, 11:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Member # 17632
Location: West Sacramento, CA
Posts: 6,055
I think I'd sooner get a domestic than a Japanese or British brand since you are staying primarily in north/central Americas. A Jeep Cherokee or an older S10 blazer would probably be easy and cheap to get parts for damn near anywhere in North America at least.
Travis..
__________________
91.5 Dodge 6BT 5 spd
86 F350 single wheel 4x4 crew, 6.9/4 spd/GV
crashnzuk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 03:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2012
Member # 218539
Location: California
Posts: 16
Out of curiosity what Subaru would you suggest, the Forester? I don't think it has low range, but could it be built up for off-roading?

I will be honest I am not too fond of the interior of the Cherokee, could parts of the interior of newer Jeeps be shoehorned into the Cherokee? Would a 2dr or 4dr be a better platform to start with as I have heard mixed comments. Also, which 4wd model should I be aiming for, or did they just come with one? Lastly could the CRD motor of the Liberty be installed on the Cherokee without being overly expensive?

I like the S10(specially in ZR2 trim), but they don't come in a crew cab, or at least haven't been able to find it, and I would like to fit 4 comfortably(been in the back seat of the extended 3dr variant and it was bit cramped). Is there any other suggestions to look at?
battleaxe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 05:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Member # 57353
Location: PDX
Posts: 551
A Cherokee is a great place to start, but there's a couple of little caveats you should be aware of:

First, the 4.0 / AW4 combo EATS gas, especially after a lift and with a roof rack. I got 13-14 out of mine; some people report upper teens. Manuals do a little better, but I'd be very surprised if you ever hit 20 MPG - people claim to, but I'm skeptical. They've got a small stock fuel tank as well, so range can be limited. Aftermarket fuel tanks are available, but they hang down in the rear somewhat.

Cargo room is pretty limited, at least if you bring lots of shit like I do. Plenty of room for two people, but if you've got to have the rear seat available for passengers, you'll find space is limited.

On the positive side, however, they're bone-simple rigs, easy to fix, and Jeep sold a hojillion of them, so parts are everywhere. The 4.0 has lots of power, and it's a very reliable motor. Mine was an auto, and I beat the ever-loving SHIT out of it, including accidentally running it dry (oops), and it just kept on running.

Were it me, I'd get a 97+ for the nicer interior, 4 door to be able to access stuff in the back easier, 4.0, AW4, NP231 transfer case, and the 8.25 rear. The AX-15 manual is a good transmission as well, I just know far less about it. With that combo, you should be able to support 32"-33" tires safely, which is probably as big as I'd go for a street-driven rig. Even on little 30" ATs, you'd be amazed at where they'll go.

If you're planning on staying more on the beaten path, consider something like an old Subaru GL. Many came with dual-range transfer cases, they get AWESOME mileage, have a little more room inside than a Cherokee, and you'd be surprised where they can go. Aftermarket support is very limited, but they're simple enough that you should be able to fab up whatever you need. A surprisingly large number of people have even lifted them. Neat little rigs - I had two of them, and both took me absolutely everywhere I wanted to go.

Whatever you get, keep it simple and as stock as practical.
TheAlmightySam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 05:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
fishingwithdynamite
 
Join Date: May 2004
Member # 30721
Location: on the road
Posts: 3,703
I was suggesting something like a subaru mostly to get you thinking about what you're really intending to do with this vehicle. How off-road-oriented of a vehicle do you really want/need to build?
__________________
GatosBros · Crux Studio · Trails Less Traveled
JESSE_at_TLT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 05:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Member # 118129
Posts: 90
I drove an 88 S10 Blazer all through college, it was a great little truck that was ultra reliable. The 4.3 engine had good torque and ran well at all elevations with the TBI setup. I always thought it would make a decent rig if I were to lift it a little, make better use of the factory roof rack, etc. It's only real downfall was IFS but otherwise I drove the wheels off that thing, sold it at around 150K miles and it still ran like a top and passed smog with flying colors. I wasn't particularly nice to it either. Perhaps a later model in 4-door would be just about right.
TN1776 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 09:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Member # 176698
Posts: 253
I'm running a 96 Cherokee Sport 4 Door, Sport model comes with front steering skid plate, T-Case skid plate, Gas tank skid. I put a 3" lift and 31's and I'm amazed at the places it goes. 5 Speed with stock gearing and it gets 17 city, 20ish highway.

I've also had good luck with the S10's, great platform, the IFS is the only real downfall.
__________________
Insert clever witty sig here

Last edited by MONSTERMUDDER; 05-11-2012 at 09:38 PM.
MONSTERMUDDER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2012, 12:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2012
Member # 218539
Location: California
Posts: 16
I would like to explore the Americas. I want something that is almost like a compact Rover, or Cruiser, but without the low mpg(at least for the gas motors). I am a fan of Subaru, but the lack of a traditional off-road 4wd system would not be for me, or else something like the Forester would be on the top of the list. Unless, something like the Forester could do the medium trails you typically would take a Jeep or Rover on.

Accessibility of the rear aside, would the 2dr or 4dr be a better platform to start with, if I went the Cherokee route? How does Jeep stack up durability wise to say something like the Land Cruiser(LC60/80 models) or 90's Land/Range Rover models?

Anything else that matches up size wise with the Cherokee I should be looking at, besides the S10/Blazer that is(fan of the S10, but not the blazer, go figure)?

Last edited by battleaxe; 05-12-2012 at 12:42 AM.
battleaxe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2012, 11:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
Wheeler
 
MAster-O-Turbonics's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Member # 198027
Posts: 122
Send a message via Skype™ to MAster-O-Turbonics
Subaru is pretty good, but keep extra front axles onboard LOL! That and head gaskets on single cam motors are LUCKY to last 90,000 miles. Twin cam motors are better... but have the same issue later on. Would not suggest a turbo motor because they are even tougher on the driveline.
MAster-O-Turbonics is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2012, 03:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2012
Member # 218539
Location: California
Posts: 16
Right now my top choices are a, Cherokee(maybe Wrangler if I like how it drives), Xterra, or ZR2 Blazer(very unlikely as they are hard to find where I am). But, not sure on a Subaru as an outlanding/expo vehicle, unless there are threads here about it(google wasn't a full help). I dunno how Subaru would do downhill off-roading on dirt/small rock trail? Would I be looking for a Forester, or Outback? Thank you though.

I saw this on google and looks pretty interesting, and has me thinking maybe Subaru could be the right choice. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=kr-do4zBbXE

Last edited by battleaxe; 05-12-2012 at 04:28 PM.
battleaxe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2012, 06:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
Wheeler
 
MAster-O-Turbonics's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Member # 198027
Posts: 122
Send a message via Skype™ to MAster-O-Turbonics
Quote:
Originally Posted by battleaxe View Post
Right now my top choices are a, Cherokee(maybe Wrangler if I like how it drives), Xterra, or ZR2 Blazer(very unlikely as they are hard to find where I am). But, not sure on a Subaru as an outlanding/expo vehicle, unless there are threads here about it(google wasn't a full help). I dunno how Subaru would do downhill off-roading on dirt/small rock trail? Would I be looking for a Forester, or Outback? Thank you though.

I saw this on google and looks pretty interesting, and has me thinking maybe Subaru could be the right choice. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=kr-do4zBbXE
I built a buddy's 2000 Subaru Legacy GT wagon(same chassis as an outback) and put outback struts in it to bring it up to outback height, all season tires, and it performs surprisingly well offroad.
Just need to put a quick disconnect on the sway bars before trying to drive over big rocks... that will snap the sway bars in half lol.
Put some taller snow or all season tires(maybe you can fit some 28" swampers ??)on it and keep up with maintenance(unlike most abused Subarus out there) and it will do really well!
We drove this car on really rough forestry service trails with light snow. The nice thing about the Legacy GT(the lowered outback) is that it has a clutch type limited slip in the rear, that helps a lot with traction in the snow. I don't think any outbacks had an LSD in them.

The wagons have lots of inside storage space inside, and enough to create a sleeping platform if you fold the back seat down. Plus roof rails to attach a roof rack to.

Last edited by MAster-O-Turbonics; 05-12-2012 at 06:46 PM.
MAster-O-Turbonics is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2012, 09:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
Registered User
 
bigun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Member # 29037
Location: Mountainair NM
Posts: 2,205
Something to think about if you take the back seat out of a 4 door Cherokee and build a platform a cross that space with a 4 door you could access it giving you a lot more storage.
__________________
“I will not be wronged, I will not be insulted and I will not be laid a hand on. John Wayne “The Shootist.”
bigun is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2012, 01:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2012
Member # 218539
Location: California
Posts: 16
How does the Forester compare to the Outback when it comes to off-roading? I would love to drive one day up to Alaska and off-road there, would a Subaru be capable enough for that?
battleaxe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2012, 01:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Elwenil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Member # 41063
Location: Covington, VA
Posts: 6,452
Eh, I think if you are going to go with something like a Subaru you need to replace the term "off-roading" with something more like "dirt-roading". Subarus have a great AWD system that makes short work of slippery roads and snow but their lack of ground clearance and heavy duty components means they will get damaged easily and be expensive to repair.

In the end you either pick a vehicle and modify your intentions to take the vehicle's shortcomings into account or you take your intentions and build a vehicle to those specifications. Either way there are compromises. The general lack of heavy duty off road vehicles these days means almost everyone wanting to do anything besides cruise dirt roads will need to build a vehicle, or pay to have one built, or be forced to change their plans and stick to paths easily traveled. Just my .02
__________________
1988 Dodge AW450 Ramcharger - 318TBI - NP435 - NP205 - D60s
Elwenil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2012, 02:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2012
Member # 218539
Location: California
Posts: 16
I had a feeling about Subaru, as they seem more of a rally ride. But, still kind of like the idea of lifted Forester, as it would offer some solid mpg, while still being fun on the road. But then I see LC and Rover builds and make me forget about the size or mpg and they can do a lot even with just larger tires.

I guess a Cherokee or Xterra maybe the way to go?
battleaxe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2012, 03:57 PM   #17 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Elwenil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Member # 41063
Location: Covington, VA
Posts: 6,452
A XJ Cherokee would be the more obvious choice but for my uses the axles are too light, but it depends on what you intend to do. A 4.0L XJ is a reasonably reliable and durable vehicle with good cargo space and decent ground clearance. I personally prefer a full size like my Ramcharger since everything is much heavier duty and even heavier stuff like the D60s are a bolt in deal. Again, it all depends on what you want to do. How much cargo space and weight carrying ability as well as the terrain you desire to traverse will have a big impact on what vehicle you need or what modifications you need to do to said vehicle.
__________________
1988 Dodge AW450 Ramcharger - 318TBI - NP435 - NP205 - D60s
Elwenil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2012, 12:34 AM   #18 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2012
Member # 218539
Location: California
Posts: 16
I have read one of the cons for unibody is body could get damaged a bit easier, and in the less durable off-roading in the long run, is that true? That said, off road/overlanding wise, would the Cherokee which is solid axles(f&r right?), but unibody be better than the Xterra, which is body on frame, but is IFS?
Thank you.
battleaxe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2012, 06:58 AM   #19 (permalink)
Registered User
 
bigun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Member # 29037
Location: Mountainair NM
Posts: 2,205
You might look at early Explorers too
__________________
“I will not be wronged, I will not be insulted and I will not be laid a hand on. John Wayne “The Shootist.”
bigun is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2012, 02:17 PM   #20 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2012
Member # 218539
Location: California
Posts: 16
Actually, more of a GM fan, so Ford would be a bit out of the question.

The more I thought about it, the more I think I should really be looking at the LC60/80 also and compare with the Cherokee, and Xterra and see which fits my needs and budget better.

BTW is the Land Rover Freelander any good for off-roading(engine and transmission issues aside)?
battleaxe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2012, 09:11 AM   #21 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Member # 17632
Location: West Sacramento, CA
Posts: 6,055
The freelander is more of an AWD car isn't it? I'd stay away from the rover stuff if you want cheap, reliable, and available. I think in an overlanding environment a Cherokee would be fine structurally.
Travis..
__________________
91.5 Dodge 6BT 5 spd
86 F350 single wheel 4x4 crew, 6.9/4 spd/GV
crashnzuk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2012, 12:44 PM   #22 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2012
Member # 218539
Location: California
Posts: 16
So let me ask this again, how would the Cherokee stack up to say a 4runner, Xterra, or Blazer ZR2(most seem to be just the standard 4x4 2dr models just being referred to as ZR2)?

Last edited by battleaxe; 05-15-2012 at 12:48 PM.
battleaxe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2012, 12:57 PM   #23 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Elwenil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Member # 41063
Location: Covington, VA
Posts: 6,452
Out of those models I would say the XJ Cherokee would be the superior vehicle. Solid axles, reliable drivetrain, good suspension, great parts availability, strong aftermarket support with lifts, lockers, gears and accessories and is a suitable vehicle for camping with plenty of storage space. The 4 Runner would be the next best choice with a reliable drivetrain and great aftermarket support but most have IFS up front. The Xterra I believe to have less cargo space, IFS, lack of strong aftermarket support and parts tend to be more expensive for the newer models and not as easily found as the previous two. The S-10 series have a lot of transfer case and 4WD issues but the engines seem reliable but they are also made by GM which I would rather become a eunuch than drive anything made by GM.
__________________
1988 Dodge AW450 Ramcharger - 318TBI - NP435 - NP205 - D60s
Elwenil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2012, 04:33 PM   #24 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2012
Member # 218539
Location: California
Posts: 16
Just to be clear, despite being body on frame, the IFS is the downfall of the 4runner, and Xterra vs the Cherokee, which is unibody and solid axles?

Well if I was looking at the Xterra it be the first gen, not sure what gen for the 4runner I should be looking at 1st, or 2nd, as 3rd seems a bit pricey(at least in 4x4 form). Thanks.
battleaxe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2012, 06:25 PM   #25 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Elwenil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Member # 41063
Location: Covington, VA
Posts: 6,452
A unibody is not really a bad thing with what you are going to be doing with it. It's actually much more rigid than a body on a ladder frame. The problem with a unibody is things like hard core rock crawling tend to stress the sheetmetal over time causing cracks and flexing where there were none and a general need to reinforce mounting points for modified suspension components. If you are looking at something lite as an Xterra as a potential vehicle, you are never going to encounter anything that would stress the unibody on an XJ.
__________________
1988 Dodge AW450 Ramcharger - 318TBI - NP435 - NP205 - D60s
Elwenil is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.