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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want something pretty new, I know IFS is not as good as independent, but it needs to be 1992+. I really like the Jeep cherokee with the high output 190 HP I-6 but I have heard that they are very unreliable and break a lot. Anyone know about these jeeps? What are some other nice SUV's?
 

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Re: What is a good SUV that I could make very good at four wheeling for 8-10K? (mk1g60)

I have a cherokee and I love it, can go anywhere, I have been most impressed by it's offroad capability, completely stock. I have had it for about 11k now, nothing has gone wrong
 

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Re: What is a good SUV that I could make very good at four wheeling for 8-10K? (mk1g60)

quote:[HR][/HR]I want something pretty new, I know IFS is not as good as independent,?[HR][/HR]​
IFS = Independant Front Suspension.
IFS is not as good as a solid axel when it comes to off roading . . . not too much with a solid axel in a newer SUV - you would probably have to go to a HD P/U to get a solid front axel.
The older 4runners are nice - anything with a short(er) wheel base will be good.
james
 

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Re: What is a good SUV that I could make very good at four wheeling for 8-10K? (jrhaze)

Cherokees are great for wheeling, they have their issues, but so does everything else.
If you want to go full size an older Chevy K5 Blazer would rock, they are a little big if you go in the rocks though.
I say forget the SUV and get something like this!

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: What is a good SUV that I could make very good at four wheeling for 8-10K? (jrhaze)

I am an idiot, I meant dependant, solid axle front suspension. What could I buy and leave IFS and still have a pretty good climber.




[Modified by mk1g60, 2:12 AM 4-11-2002]
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: What is a good SUV that I could make very good at four wheeling for 8-10K? (nokona)

I am looking for a newer SUV, I need low miles and I want a nice interior. It doesnt have to be very good at 4 wheeling, how about just a good SUV that will get me on most trails.


[Modified by mk1g60, 2:24 AM 4-11-2002]
 

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Re: What is a good SUV that I could make very good at four wheeling for 8-10K? (mk1g60)

well, I think you are trying to get 2 incompatible things, I know a ton of guys with jeeps, and if you off-road your vehicle you will [email protected] it up. No bones about it, so most either get a new "pretty" one or a old beater to have fun in. A friend of mine got a 2k wrangler and put about 7k into tires/suspension etc. He offroaded it for a while, now it runs like it has 200k on it, and he has spent another 3k fixing broken parts. needless to say he doesn't off-road it anymore.
GL with your search though,
 

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Re: What is a good SUV that I could make very good at four wheeling for 8-10K? (mk1g60)

quote:[HR][/HR]I am an idiot, I meant dependant, solid axel front suspension. What could I buy and leave IFS and still have a pretty good climber.[HR][/HR]​
First of all, there is no thing as a dependent suspension.
Secondly, ignore people telling to get full sized trucks. They work well if you are building a mudder, but there aren't many mudholes in New Mexico. You will also find that a full-sized vehicle is to just too large for many of the mountain trails in NM and Colorado, and the leaf springed rear suspensions don't provide good articulation over the rocky terrain.
If you just want a general purpose SUV for hauling your gear, mtb or going to hiking spots around ABQ, something like a 4Runner, Toyota pickup or Cherokee would be best. They are lot more fuel efficient than the full-sized US vehicles, and probably more reliable as well.
The Cherokee will be plentiful in your price range, but they have issues with cheap materials and a suspension and unibody not designed for sustained of off-road use. If you buy a modern Jeep, plan to spend money upgrading it. Once upgraded, its probably the most capable of the bunch.
The Japanese vehicles that were designed for off-road use (4Runner, Trooper, Montero) will be alot reliable than the Jeep, but they won't do as well off road and are more expensive to upgrade. If you want to keep your vehicle stock, go with the Japanese.
If you want to head up to Durango and go crawling thru the Rockies, a Wrangler is the best choice but you lose alot of cargo capacity, not to mention the ride is probably worse. Unless you are sure you will be wheelinh alot, I'm not sure a Wrangler is the best choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: What is a good SUV that I could make very good at four wheeling for 8-10K? (Zinhead)

I have been told that the jeep transmissions blow and their cylinder heads crack? Anyone know anything about this? I am planning on putting a 4-5 inch lift on whatever I get and some 32's or 33's. I want this for a nice daily driver and the weekend four wheeler. We have a lot of sand here so I need something that will help me with that. If I hear some more good stuff about the Jeeps I will probably buy a 96+ Cherokee. Oh yeah, anybody know anything about pathfinders?


[Modified by mk1g60, 5:20 AM 4-11-2002]
 

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Re: What is a good SUV that I could make very good at four wheeling for 8-10K? (mk1g60)

quote:[HR][/HR]That's just flat out untrue. When I had my jeep wrangler there was practically noplace i could go where my buddy in his full size chevy long bed couldn't follow. In fact, there were more places that I couldn't follow him, and he only had 33's.[HR][/HR]​
Nokona, this just depends on where you wheel. I have wheeled Moab more than once and there are a lot of places I got my CJ into that there is NO WAY (unless you have chopped up the body) you will get a full size. Not to say he should not go full-size, just to think about where you are going.
quote:[HR][/HR]I know a ton of guys with jeeps, and if you off-road your vehicle you will [email protected] it up. No bones about it, so most either get a new "pretty" one or a old beater to have fun in. A friend of mine got a 2k wrangler and put about 7k into tires/suspension etc. He offroaded it for a while, now it runs like it has 200k on it, and he has spent another 3k fixing broken parts. needless to say he doesn't off-road it anymore. [HR][/HR]​
This is totally true, look at the Jeep pic above and tell me if it looks like I have over $15,000 in it.

As for Jeep reliablility, I have worked in a 4x4 shop specializing in Jeeps, and they have their issues. Stay away from the 4.2L engines found in CJs and Wranglers before 1990. Also stay away from the V6s found in the early Cherokees.
The 4.0 straight six is a great engine. Certain Trannys do blow, but if you stay with a 6 cylinder after 96 like you mention you should be ok. As for the cylinder heads, that is one I have not heard of. Autos are always good and are the hot thing for wheeling these days because of their ease of control on steep climbs and hairy situations. Just put a good tranny cooler on them to keep them cool.
As for suspension and tires. If you really want 32s or 33s you will need more than 4 inches. Like I said, I sold and wheeled with a lot of guys with Cherokees and no matter what a suspension company says, 4" will not let you put 32s on a Cherokee and wheel it w/out cutting up the fenders or having the tires rub like crazy. My friend ran 33s on his Cherokee and he had 7" on his and still rubbed a little under full articulation. Over 4" gets complicated and expensive on Cherokees as well. A good 4" lift with 31s works well on a Cherokee.
Wranglers before 97 are much easier and less expensive to lift. 4" and 33s work well on a Wrangler and can be done for about $600-$700. 97 and newer are a little more to lift because of the coil suspensions, though they will work and ride better.
It all comes down to how much wheeling are you gonna do and where.
There is a lot to know, too much for here, if you want any info email or IM me and we can talk more. I am more than happy to share whatever I know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: What is a good SUV that I could make very good at four wheeling for 8-10K? (glxdriver)

I was looking at the 94 style 4 runners and I like them. What would 4wheel better, a 1994 runner with a lift and 32x11.50 or a 1996+ cherokee with a lift and 32x11.50? One last thing, what do you guys think is better for all types of four wheeling (rock crawling, sand, mud, etc.), 5spd or automatic?
 

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Re: What is a good SUV that I could make very good at four wheeling for 8-10K? (nokona)

Ok, this turned into a fight pretty quick . . . obviously people have very different opinions about 4X4's too.
You asked about a SUV . . . so the full size pickups are out regardless . . . as is the toy p/u.
As far as general purpose SUV's . . . A jeep may be a good choice, I have no experience with them.
I have owned to Toyota 4X4's, so I am admitedly biased. They are fairly cheap to modify - they are a dime a dozen here on the west coast - so parts are cheap and easy to find. The 4runner is pretty much the same as the P/U's . . . and yes, newer than (i think) '86 the are IFS. Before that they are solid axel. Mine had a 2.2L turbocharged 4 banger - more than enough in 4-low to go where ever I wanted.
Whatever you get, if you just want a mild off-roader just lift it enough to get some decent sized tires under there - then get some decent sized tires. You will be surprised . . .
james



[Modified by jrhaze, 8:46 AM 4-11-2002]
 

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Re: What is a good SUV that I could make very good at four wheeling for 8-10K? (jrhaze)

Here's my $.02:
I have owned and heavily modified a '72 Bronco, and a '93 Cherokee (XJ). From all that has been discussed, I'll stick to the question he rasied regarding a comparison between the '94 4-Runner and Cherokee.
With the Cherokee, you have the advantages of a great motor (4.0 6 cyl), solid front axle, and a pretty good auto tranny (if that's what you get, and I would HIGHLY recommend it!). The down side is that the Cherokee uses a unibody costruction, so there is no frame. This = possible structural integrity trouble over time. That's after a lot of flexy off roading, but it does happen. The door hinges tend to crack and separate from the uni-body too. The other downer is that the front axle is not the strongest to ever leave the Dana-Spicer factory. I upgraded mine with stronger shafts and never had any trouble. Adding manually locking front hubs is an expensive affair as well (manual hubs are much stronger and facilitate fully disconnecting the front end when not in use. Newer Jeep vehicles have the front end permanantly engaged at the hubs, even when the transfer case is in 2 HI). The really great part about theses vehicles is that they can be had very inexpensively right now (Ok, that's relative, but you get the idea). Parts are cheap, and unless you go taller than 4" or so, lifts are not too expensive, and not too difficult to install. Get above 4" of lift, and it does get complicated and expensive, not to mention hard to maintain good street manners. You're talking re-attatching the control arms further down the "fram" rails, and changing the control arm mounts on the front axle.
With 4", you can run 32x11.50's on stock (7") rims with no rubbing (well, very minimal rubbing).
The 4-Runner: My experience with these is limited, but I do know this: They are bulletproof like all Toyotas, and hold their value very well! There is no back seat room, but decent cargo space. The V-6 is gutless beyond all imagination, in sharp contrast to the 4.0L in the Cherokee. Stick an auto tranny bhind the Toyota V-6, and you're going nowhere fast. Thses trucks do however have a ladder frame construction, and can take a lot of abuse. Lifting them is expensive, and continually demanding, as is lifting ANY IFS equipped vehicle. It does not matter how high the lift is, it's trouble. Alignment is almost impossible to maintain, and IFS will never equal the articulative qualities of a solid front / solid rear layout (is articulative a word?).
Hope this helps! Here's the site that the current owner of my Jeep put up. He has added a few items since he bought it a couple of years ago, but it gives you the idea of what I was in to at the time. http://xjzone.designermeat.com/
Sorry about any speeeling airors!


[Modified by sleddog, 6:26 AM 4-11-2002]
 

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Re: What is a good SUV that I could make very good at four wheeling for 8-10K? (mk1g60)

quote:[HR][/HR]I was looking at the 94 style 4 runners and I like them. What would 4wheel better, a 1994 runner with a lift and 32x11.50 or a 1996+ cherokee with a lift and 32x11.50? One last thing, what do you guys think is better for all types of four wheeling (rock crawling, sand, mud, etc.), 5spd or automatic?[HR][/HR]​
The Jeep would IMHO. I would go with the automatic. the autos in the cherokees with the 4.0 were made by asan-warner and were really strong units. I know that there were some issues with the early grand cherokee V8's popping trannys, but the cherokee automatic is almost bulletproof. They didnt crack heads either, although are known for cracking the exhaust HEADER(manifold). This is pretty common, and in most cases you really can't even hear it. I have had cherokees and also had a 4-runner and i prefer the cherokee.
 

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Re: What is a good SUV that I could make very good at four wheeling for 8-10K? (1983GTI)

They didnt crack heads either, although are known for cracking the exhaust HEADER(manifold). This is pretty common, and in most cases you really can't even hear it. QUOTE]
Very good point... Mine had this problem, and Damm! you could hear it! It sounded like a playing card in the spokes of your bike! I had a service contract on the car though, so the $775.00 bill was covered. Had I thought harder, I would have bought a nice header and had it installed, but oh well. I think that the other possible cause of the cracked head misconception is that all Jeep I-6 engines have a reputation for leaking around the rocker cover. This is remedied with a $50.00 replacement cover from Mepco, Leon Rosser, or any of a dozen or so aftermarket Jeep places. That's another thing: Aftermerket Jeep stuff is everywhere. Toyota stuff is a little harder to find, and more expensive.
 

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Re: What is a good SUV that I could make very good at four wheeling for 8-10K? (mk1g60)

Hmmm... 10 year old Range Rovers can be had for 5 or 6 grand nowadays, leaving you a couple of thousand more to spend on minor fixes, a mildly modified suspension, and some bigger tires. While the 'luxury' features on a 10 year old R/R might be on the fritz the actual parts that make it go are tougher than anything else you'll see on any SUV. Since it is a beater you won't have to care about denting the (rustproof) aluminum body scraping down narrow trails or about getting the interior all dirty.
Avoid later, fancier ones with air suspension and more complicated electro-wizardy in the drivetrain. Just get an early, simple one. Check eBay - lots of nice R/R's going for cheap cheap cheap.
 

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Re: What is a good SUV that I could make very good at four wheeling for 8-10K? (John Mc)

quote:[HR][/HR]Hmmm... 10 year old Range Rovers can be had for 5 or 6 grand nowadays, leaving you a couple of thousand more to spend on minor fixes,
[HR][/HR]​
Ahh! Excellent idea! One that I would also advise. They will need fixes, no doubt about it, but John is right. They are tougher than nails off road. You can pitch them to right around 45 degrees, and they articulate really well right out of the box. They too go nowhere fast, but that's a small price to pay. There is nothing cooler looking than a beat up Range Rover!!! http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Re: What is a good SUV that I could make very good at four wheeling for 8-10K? (mk1g60)

Sweet, the old “what 4x4 to get” argument.
Like they already said it depends on what you want to do.
Look around on the net, many 4x4 sites sites to choose from.
Toyota has made a solid 4x4 for a long time, same with RR.
I don’t really like Jeeps but….I keep hearing about a “Rubicon edition Wangler”
It has all the goodies from the factory, front and rear air lockers, 4:1 gears, tires, suspension, the whole ball of wax.
I don’t know when it available or it’s $ but from the factory with all the stuff is pretty cool. I know you wanted something a little older / used but this is the GTI 337 of 4x4’s.
What ever you get I’m sure you will have a great time every time you go out.
Next thing you know you are doing this. http://usa6x6.com/Military/cool4x4.phtml
 

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Re: What is a good SUV that I could make very good at four wheeling for 8-10K? (BrianM)

quote:[HR][/HR]They didnt crack heads either, although are known for cracking the exhaust HEADER(manifold). This is pretty common, and in most cases you really can't even hear it.[HR][/HR]​
This is true, I forgot about this. You can get aftermarked manifold or headers and they are much cheaper and stronger than the factory manifold. About $350 when I was selling them about a year ago.
Between the 4-Runner and the Cherokee, the Jeep would be a better off road machine. Cheaper to mod and solid front axle. The unibody is a disadvantage, for most light wheelers, the biggest problem with this is yoiu cannot add a body lift, so cheap wheel clearance isnt an option. Without doing heavy stuff the body should not fatigue significantly. If you get into anything heavy enough to really tweak the body, then you will have a lot of other body damage as well.
 

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Re: What is a good SUV that I could make very good at four wheeling for 8-10K? (sleddog)

quote:[HR][/HR]They too go nowhere fast, but that's a small price to pay. There is nothing cooler looking than a beat up Range Rover!!! http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif [HR][/HR]​
Not terribly slow - especially after you dump a little weight out of them (A/C, sound insulation, etc). And the 3.5 liter BL V8 has a wealth of aftermarket hop up parts - the Brits have been souping up those things for 30 years straight. I keep thinking about buying one for cheap of eBay (I've seen fairly decent ones sell for <$3000) and having it sprayed with a camo paintjob. Or perhaps a monotone military drab green?
 
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