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Old 02-07-2016, 12:47 PM
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I love my jeep Cherokee xj. 4.0 i6. Small lift and slightly bigger tires. Big enough to carry gear and tools. Also a factory roof rack. My 91 has 218+ k on it.
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:59 PM
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I've got a Wrangler JK. It is a stock vehicle, and more than enough capability for what I do in the prairies.

Research what types of tires fit the vehicle, and then research to make sure that a local dealer can actually GET the tires you want. I started shopping for a tire upgrade, and there isn't a dealer within 100kms that can get me tires this year.
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Old 02-07-2016, 08:56 PM
Arid-Zonnie Arid-Zonnie is offline
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Originally Posted by nick1169 View Post
It's all gonna depend on your needs for what kind of off roading you plan on doing. Straight up off road vehicle that will spend minimal time on the pavement, you would want something small and light, like wrangler or something that size. If your looking for something to do some occasional off roading and also be your BOV, I would suggest something a little bit larger. More along the lines of a Cherokee or a blazer. Still capable of off road, but have more cargo area of you need to pack your supplies and bug out. If your choosing for a BOV, my opinion is to choose a vehicle that is still common on the road for if you ever need to scavenge for parts.
I'm thinking BOV on a gas budget. Something that will get me across the state's and off road (perhaps) across borders. Maybe a bug out location. Is there a light weight diesel? And what all can you efficiently run through a diesel? IDK, but I will be doing some research.
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:04 PM
Arid-Zonnie Arid-Zonnie is offline
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I love my jeep Cherokee xj. 4.0 i6. Small lift and slightly bigger tires. Big enough to carry gear and tools. Also a factory roof rack. My 91 has 218+ k on it.
How's it on fuel, and have you seen any diesel conversions. I have a friend with a Cherokee, it's not a bad machine. I'm thinking that or a wrangler. Hopefully not much bigger. In the event, the s*** does hit the fan, I imagine fuel of any refined state will be hard to come by. Hence the curiosity of diesel.
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Hick Industries View Post
I bought my first truck in 1976.
Trucks come in two flavors, heavy tow vehicles, and compact off road vehicles.

I love my Dodge Cummins 4WD pickup. But the engine makes it very heavy and not a good choice off road.

I love my Jeep Wrangler as well. Sucks as a tow vehicle but I can drive it on mud, sand, and into tight spaces.

Decide where you want to go, and what you want to do, before you start looking.
I've always thought wrangler, for those tight fit areas. But is it a good high way traveler? And can small trailers be pulled through sticky off road trails? A wench and/or a come-a-long can help I'm sure, but how far I think would be a fair question in general.
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Old 02-07-2016, 11:32 PM
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I have a Wrangler JKU (4 dr) with minimal mods. I tow an Army M1101 trailer that weighs 1400 pounds empty at highway speeds between SW Missouri and northern Illinois. I can pile upwards of one ton of "stuff" in it. I have modded the trailer to make it a better fit for my Wrangler by adding eight inches down to the clevis hitch and changing the rear lights to LED and the wiring to a 4 pin 12v connector

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Old 02-08-2016, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
I've always thought wrangler, for those tight fit areas. But is it a good high way traveler? And can small trailers be pulled through sticky off road trails? A wench and/or a come-a-long can help I'm sure, but how far I think would be a fair question in general.
Don't get hung up on the Wrangler model name...nothing much special there; although they are a solid base vehicle to start a build with.

Small Jeeps work significantly better at squirreling around/between trees & rocks than larger vehicles but have more trouble on larges stair steps (and can lift both rear tires a bit more easily on very steep descents; quite white knuckly the first couple of times).

Small trailers with relatively large tires (those harbor freight things need a lot of work) can be pulled fine off road.

Winches are the preferred tool off road to get unstuck though 90+% of the time a snatch strap and another vehicle will do as well and be quicker.
Some folks like Hi-lift jacks and come a longs, but mostly they wave jump up and down and generally are relieved when the see my winch.
Wenches can be fun too!

Enjoy!
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:38 AM
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The built Jeeps are like a cult. I never got interested in them because they cost a lot, have customized parts that are hard to find in the bush, they are top heavy, they ride rough and they don't have any room. But for some applications, like the Rubicon Trail they can go where others can't. The next time I am working on the Rubicon Trail I will be sure and get one.
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:20 PM
Arid-Zonnie Arid-Zonnie is offline
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My advice get a vehicle with a good frame; unibodied vehicles do not seem to be as able to absorb long term abuse as well (there are frame stiffeners that can be made, in some cases purchased, to help some unibodies).

Make up your mind whether you want too big a vehicle or too small a vehicle, and what you want it to do;
Pickups often have issues negotiating tight terrain; some rocks, and squirreling through trees.
Long wheel bases work better on stair steps and steep climbs/decents.
In general lighter works better off road.
Towing capacity is directly related to vehicle weight, hevier weight means harder stucks (it will happen).
Tall lifts can exhibit poor handling and ride on highway, and are a PITA to get in and out of.
Its a guarantee that there is an obstacle somewhere that is going to mess with your mind.

Personally, I favor a quite small vehicle that has stronger than stock axles, as low as possible center of gravity, selectable lockers front and rear and a manual transmission(got stranded by automatics too many times).

I would avoid the Jeep CJs although mine has given very good service for many decades (all except the last few years have marginal frames, IMO, and hard doors & door parts are getting hard to come by).
YJs have better frames than CJs, but if doing another build I would go with a TJ or JK (2 door).
Diesel engines are excessively heavy and normally have marginal rpm potiential (I have never seen a streetable diesel vehicle that was able to achieve floatation on very deep snow and many make great anchors in bottomless mud).. for warm dry climates they are likely great.
Diesel engines, some times, do not make great cold country vehicles.

I evaluate vehicle size based on crowded parking lots; If it is not easily able to negotiate a crowded parking lot and easily park in a standard parking space; it is not a good vehicle.
If it cannot do a u turn on a narrow two lane street it will probably have trouble with tight situations off road.

Size and gear the axles for the tire size (Dana 44 axles should be considered a minimum axle for an SUV size vehicle and too small for a rear truck axle). Gear them for reasonable mileage at highway cruising speeds, avoid extra low axle gearing (do your off road/low range gearing in the transfer case, not the transmission or axles).
Independent suspensions are way more complex, and often limit ground clearance; for not appreciably better ride as a trade off.

If you need additional load space consider an off road trailer, it can be left at camp.

All terrain tires will guarantee a stuck vehicle eventually.
Tall tires can reach the ground better when driving over larger rocks than small tires.

Wide tires seem to float a bit better in some sand/mud conditions but can hurt in some snow conditions... if you want to avoid changing tires to get best performance in each terrain, a fair compromise is a medium width (12.50) aggressive mud tire although they will typically not be good on slippery streets they will probably give better performance off road.
Avoid extremely narrow mud tires they will often dig trenches off road.

Ultimately I would select the vehicle based on its desirability as a daily driver giving very high consideration to its modifyability for medium core offroading on less than extreme trails (extreme trails really need a purpose built buggy, IMO)...

Enjoy!
Thanks, lots to give thought to. Perhaps two sets of tires. Keep one set in the trailer. On road / off road. BTW I do prefer the long in depth entries, due to the "what about factor" great input.
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by charliemeyer007 View Post
Some of my friends are serious rock crawler types. They are in the 200 engine revolutions per wheel turn range when down in low range low. Big tires like 38 and up, lifted, hydraulic winch on the front and an electric on the back. Hand built engines, transmission, transfer case, axles, suspension etc.

Serious money invest in those rigs.

Yeah they can get pretty pricey. Not looking to climb rocks. Just out of town.
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charliemeyer007 View Post
... Serious money invest in those rigs.
Everyone I know who does a lot of mudding flushes a lot of money doing it.



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Originally Posted by ppine View Post
... 4WD only gets you stuck in worse places. Sometimes the smart thing to do is get out and walk.
There is 2WD stuck, 4WD stuck and track-crawler stuck. I have been all these kinds of stuck.

If you drive a 2WD then that is the level of stuck you plan for.
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:36 PM
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My take is how far can you go with the fuel on board or can haul. My Land Cruiser has 18.5 in the main and 12.5 in the aux tank. When I build my step side trailer/camper for it I'd like at least 20 more gallons of gas. I plan to have 2 20 gallon tanks of propane to run a stove and lantern for emergencies. Otherwise it's a wood stove and LED lighting via solar panel. Perhaps a small DIY Nickel Iron battery bank for the lighting.

Same wheels on both rigs so I'll have 2 spares one on each rig.
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arid-Zonnie View Post
I'm thinking BOV on a gas budget. Something that will get me across the state's and off road (perhaps) across borders.
If you want to travel distances, before you Bug-Out

Then maybe you don't want to focus so much on Off-Road ability.
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:45 PM
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Lucky Peak reservoir isn't far away. Lot of mudders go there after the water level drops. Years back in the 90's, a guy made it almost to the high bridge in a CJ-5. So a backhoe then a dozer got stuck trying to pull him out. Then a D-8 or 9 was used to pull all the stuck stuff out. I read an interview in the paper that the guy said it cost more than $6,000 to pull out his rig. The price of fun!
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Old 02-08-2016, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arid-Zonnie View Post
I've always thought wrangler, for those tight fit areas. But is it a good high way traveler? And can small trailers be pulled through sticky off road trails? A wench and/or a come-a-long can help I'm sure, but how far I think would be a fair question in general.
Took mine on a 5000Km trip this summer, and was quite comfortable. Took the back seat out...plenty of room in a 2 door.

2dr JK pulls 2000lbs, and 4 dr JK pulls 3500lbs. It is not so much that the Wrangler can't pull it, I know a guy who pulled 8000lbs with his. The problem is stopping a heavy load with such a short wheelbase, and somewhat lighter vehicle.

There are a number of off road trailers that weigh under the 2k lb limit, but I prefer a roof rack myself.
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Old 02-16-2016, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodwrench708 View Post
My first question
What type of terrain are you thinking about?
Would a 2 wheel drive with good off road tires and good clearance work from you?

Reason I ask...most people have 4 wheel drive and it isn't necessary. Like Pine said...if it look bad...get out and walk. Or find another route. Even if that means back tracking.

I own a 2 wheel drive 2005 Chevy Avalanche. Good clearance...good tires. Took it every where I needed to go. Forded a few streams...climbed some good logging trails...usually while having my 6x12 enclosed mobile "man cave" in tow. I have dealt with snow..ice..etc. no problems.
4 wheel drive trucks are more maintenance. Heavier...cost more... Also they give you a false illusion that you " can make it across". When really you can't.
Just my 2 cents...

Mr Goodwrench
I get what you're saying, now that I recall. A friend of mine argued the same idealism. And you're right, I've been places where I can only see the sky in a 2 wheel drive 3/4 ton truck. Maneuvered just fine. What I'm looking for is a compact full on trial blazer. Not the Chevy, the ability. Bug the fk out. Crawl a hill to a shade tree and set camp. Something that works as a daily driver and a get out of dodge bucket. Pull a small relatively light weight trailer. A "camp in a box" if you will.
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Old 02-16-2016, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by redbrd View Post
I will throw in with the jeep crowd. I have a 2004 Rubicon and love it. It carries next to nothing without a roof rack or something similar. If you want a off-road go anywhere simple operation vehicle it's great. Might not be a good fit for passengers or cargo though.
I'm more in line with the wrangler myself. Rubicon our otherwise.
Have you considered a small cargo trailer? This combo is what I'm aiming for. But looking for advice. Hence the post. Feedback is welcomed.
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Old 02-16-2016, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arid-Zonnie View Post
How's it on fuel, and have you seen any diesel conversions. I have a friend with a Cherokee, it's not a bad machine. I'm thinking that or a wrangler. Hopefully not much bigger. In the event, the s*** does hit the fan, I imagine fuel of any refined state will be hard to come by. Hence the curiosity of diesel.
Not great on gas. Loaded with maybe 500 lbs of tools and stuff I get about 14+ hwy which is really loud with mud tires and city probably 10-11 mpg. I haven't looked at diesel conversions ibknow there was a cherokee made with a diesel at some point I don't know the years or the reliability. I love the i6 and parts are pretty readily available and usually reasonable priced. I talk to a guy with a propane conversion and he loved it. ( he also worked for a propane company and got itbfor almoat cost) But I don't have the area at the moment to store bulk propane

Last edited by Gva; 02-16-2016 at 04:38 PM.. Reason: Added more information
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Old 02-16-2016, 05:38 PM
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I'm assuming, duet your 'HANDLE" that you are doing hard rock 4 wheeling in the Southwest. I had a 76 FJ40 Landcruiser out there, and it was EXCELLENT! I modified it with a Downey high performance kit, put 36 inch tires on it, spring bushings, offload shocks, and it never failed in the rocks. Got 15 in town, 19 on the road @ 70MPH. It was the toughest vehicle I ever had - flipped it over on the top @ 70MPH one night, slid on the roll bar 70 yards down the highway, went 4 wheeling and scuba diving all weekend, and STILL drove it home 400 miles across the Sonoran desert on Monday. Never missed a lick!

It was, however, a heavy vehicle and did not like soft sand on the beach in Mexico. Got stuck nearly every time.

If you can find one, an FJ40 is a tank!!!

WW
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Old 02-16-2016, 08:37 PM
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DIESEL is far better all round, in mineral exploration that's all companies used for remote work.

Bar work, 12 ton winch, dual batteries, dual fuel tanks, 30 gallon water tank, 40 Ltr engel fridge freezer, work light for vehicle tray, hi lift jack, split rims, air compressor, puncture repair kit, recovery kit, FAK, emergency food kit. Exhaust jack.

Split rims are good if you need to fix a lot of flats, one time I had to fix 16 flats in a day, having only two spares is not enough in some places.

Also a handy bit of gear is a set pressure deflator, they let down your tires to a set poundage if you need to go through sand. When out of sand re inflate to normal pressures with your high volume compressor.

Carry a tool box, spare fuses, spare belts, and spare water hoses, and fuel line putty.
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