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Old 08-22-2009, 11:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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good cheap 4x4 vehicle?

Im looking for an automatic 4x4 used truck thats fuel efficient.

Im completely new to 4x4 and cars in general what is a good 4x4 truck/car thats cheap around 1500-2000 used.

Ive spotted some used car ads and a 1990 chevy blazer stood out to me would this be good for 4x4? If not what are some of your recommendations in the used market in my price range. What should I look for? What should I avoid?

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Old 08-23-2009, 12:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Do some searching... think you are the first to have a thought like this?

a hint- figure out what kind of wheeling you want to do as that might help people point you in the right direction

or just get what is local/cheap and upgrade/learn as you go
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Old 08-23-2009, 01:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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A Jeep Cherokee with a 4.0 liter six cylinder would be a good choice. They are fairly cheap, solid front axle and a good motor. Avoid the 2.8 liter V-6 like the plague.
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Old 08-23-2009, 01:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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A Jeep Cherokee with a 4.0 liter six cylinder would be a good choice. They are fairly cheap, solid front axle and a good motor. Avoid the 2.8 liter V-6 like the plague.
Good recommendation, also look at 97 and older 4.0 or 2.3 powered 4x4 rangers, I put mine through pure h*ll and it lived, plus I got a 5.5 inch Superlift kit brand new in the box I will sell you for a good price.....
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Old 08-23-2009, 11:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I would buy an 80's chevy truck or blazer if it were me, parts are everywhere and can be had for pretty cheap. But if you want more a more fuel efficient vehicle a toyota 4x4 would be better.

It all depends on what you plan on doing?
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Old 08-23-2009, 02:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I will driving on paved road on steep mountains and some of the roads are very bad narrow, unpaved and bumpy. Thats about it.
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Old 08-23-2009, 04:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i third the cherokee recomendation; cant get much more dependable/easy to fix than that. gotta watch rust on older toyotas, but still a good choice.

if you want fuel efficient, i'd steer clear of a fullsize chevy (or fullsize anything)
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Old 08-23-2009, 08:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Jeep Cherokee or even the Grand Cherokee

both are really cheap. I see XJs that are capable of a daily driver for less than $700 with most everything working and maybe a few interior or exterior blemishes.

Can't get much ceaper than that for something decent.
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Old 08-23-2009, 10:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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i have owned two Ford f-150's with the 300/4.9l inline six cyl. mileage ranged from 17 - 21mpg depending on tire size (31"-36"). i currently have a 1991 f-150 4x4 with the 4.9 as my daily driver. it gets about 19mpg. a few upgrades should bump that up a little. a 5speed manual would likely help too, or some sort of lockup converter for the auto tranny. the ability to haul a full size load is nice too. there are other options. the old Ford ranger diesel returned 30 mpg or better if you can find one.
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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300ci manual tranny f150 is a real nice suggestion.....cherokee grand cherokee is also a great suggestion.....you should be able to get both cheap and get decent mileage for a 4x4....jeeps will have some more aftermarket support for off-road easy upgrades
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:33 AM   #11 (permalink)
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only problem is the cheapest jeep cherokee I can find is 3000.00 the cheapest k5 blazer is 1300.00

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Old 08-25-2009, 10:34 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Once again for the Jeep Cherokee. Stick with the 4.0 liter, as mentioned. Get one with fewer bells and whistles like power windows, seats, etc. for fewer headaches. Look hard for rust in the unibody. Once they start to rot, fixing them is a royal pain. You should be able to find a decent one in your price range.

Where are you located that you can't find an XJ for less than $3000?
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Old 08-25-2009, 12:19 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Old 08-25-2009, 12:29 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Manheim Auto Auctions Market Report indicates a 1994 XJ Sport with average miles (176,000) would go for about $1150 on the auction (in better than average condition). Estimated retail is $1850.

Here's a '92 in Reseda for $875: http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sfv...341707421.html

Here's a nice one for $2200: http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac...340608566.html

Search Craigslist in your area: jeep cherokee -grand

Edit: Plenty for sale on here too: http://pirate4x4.com/forum/search.php?searchid=5219171
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Old 08-25-2009, 12:43 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Manheim Auto Auctions Market Report indicates a ....
Hijack: Holy crap! I knew Manheim was a big operation - there are two locations near me and one is in Manheim, PA so I just thought the other was a spin-off from that. Had no idea that they were international...
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:00 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I would also myself get a k5 k10 20 or 30 beacuse of the same reasons. I would stay away from IFS and look for a solid front end
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Old 08-25-2009, 05:52 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Old 08-26-2009, 02:52 PM   #18 (permalink)
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For something just to wheel as-is, Jeep Cherokee. Most capable (affordable) as it comes from the factory. Solid front axle, 4.0L is super torquey, and they're damn cheap.

For something you can afford to build up pretty crazy, Toyota pickup 22RE, 5-speed. Not as capable to start with, as the 22RE is pretty puny, but drivetrain mods are about 1/2 the price of Jeep stuff.
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:19 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I will driving on paved road on steep mountains and some of the roads are very bad narrow, unpaved and bumpy. Thats about it.
Don't need a solid front for that.
Don't even need a 4x4.
Hell, for that matter you don't even need a truck.

I've taken gnarly roads like the ones you describe in a stock SATURN FWD CAR, and a stock Nissan 2000NX(taking creek crossings and all).

If you think I tilted the camera in that one picture, look at the tree in background...

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Old 08-26-2009, 05:48 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Don't need a solid front for that.
Don't even need a 4x4.
Hell, for that matter you don't even need a truck.

I've taken gnarly roads like the ones you describe in a stock SATURN FWD CAR, and a stock Nissan 2000NX(taking creek crossings and all).

If you think I tilted the camera in that one picture, look at the tree in background...
Rental car? BTDT, good fun lol



I'll 2nd the Ranger recommendation. The good ones can be had dirt cheap now and are excellent wheelers even out of the box (especially for what you intend to use it for).
I would look at the '95 & later Rangers, as the auto transmissions are better in these than the earlier ones. If you get a stickshift, then any year with a 4.0L engine will have the good driveline hardware under it.
If you plan to modify it (lift, lockers, big tires, etc.), stick with the '95-'97 models, as these are easier to work with as far as offroad mods go, and have the stronger HP D35 front axle.
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Old 08-26-2009, 05:55 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Just because you can take a saturn on a rough road, does not mean it is a good choice for a vehicle that is going to see a lot of rough roads... Sure, you might make it if you go slow, and pick your lines well so you don't blowup your oil pan or tear off a muffler, but in said K5 or Cherokee you can comfortably cruise over similar terrain at 25-30mph and actually get where you are going in a timely manner and with vehicle in one piece.

I have both a stock 98 Cherokee and a slightly lifted 3/4 ton 85 K5 Blazer. Cherokee is more fun to drive, K5 can hold a bunch more stuff and tow reasonably well.
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:26 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Rental car? BTDT, good fun lol
Not a rental, our owned vehicle. Used it for work and put thousands of miles off road on it, going to cell sites on mountain tops. In remote areas, very far away from any help or tow trucks.

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Just because you can take a saturn on a rough road, does not mean it is a good choice for a vehicle that is going to see a lot of rough roads... Sure, you might make it if you go slow, and pick your lines well so you don't blowup your oil pan or tear off a muffler, but in said K5 or Cherokee you can comfortably cruise over similar terrain at 25-30mph and actually get where you are going in a timely manner and with vehicle in one piece.
I'd bet big bucks that Saturn saw more dirt than most 4x4 trucks out there, seeing how we were in it around the clock for work and play. Picking the lines was the key, no doubt.

Now let me back up and get realistic - I agree the amount of comfort I gave up to do the things I did was not ideal. A truck would provide a peace of mind and less stress than all those adventures.

But to shoot for an "ultimate 4x4" is over the top. Solid axle is not needed for what he wants.

He should get an IFS 4x4 truck. THAT is my personal recommendation. Because we all know there's a lot of pavement between the dirt.

So, to the OP - get yourself a Toyota 4 cylinder truck, 1986-1988. It's the best bang for your buck and youlll be happy with it. A K5 or Jeep is aweomse, too. I say you get whichever you find first that's in your budget.
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:48 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:18 PM   #24 (permalink)
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toyota or nothing
Atta boy!
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:31 AM   #25 (permalink)
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there i fixed it for ya!
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