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Unread 05-09-2012, 11:47 AM   #1
maniacal_rick
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Cheap trail rig platform

So im looking for something cheap. Really cheap. Im just getting into off roading and im not gonna trash a perfectly good (and expensive) wrangler only to not end up enjoying off roading.

Im looking for suggestions....samurai/tracker/X90? Cherokee/Grand Cherokee? What would you suggest?

This isnt going to be set up for anything specific...(mud, rocks, ect..)

Factors should be ease of maintenance, availability of parts, RELIABILITY.

Ive searched the forum, but since this is a jeep forum there isnt alot for other makes (that i found). Just looking for some friendly suggestions, help and maybe a gentle push in the right direction.

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Unread 05-09-2012, 12:44 PM   #2
gearhead1985
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well go find a cheap 4x4 any thing will work and go beat the snot out of it get some freinds and go kill off and don't pay more than scrap price for it

i did that with a 89 ford ranger 2 weeks ago that had a broken frame i welded in a piece of 2x2 box tube to hold the frame back together and planning to beat on it again this weekend the third weekend in a row it just won't die and it flew a couple of times i must be a good welder


and when you wheel it take it some place leagal ie an offroad park or private land
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Unread 05-09-2012, 04:19 PM   #3
BRae_in_a_ZJ
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get a grand cherokee and throw some gnarly tires on it! they are unstoppable. they are the type of car you can take excellent care of as a dd or insane expensive rig, OR you can strip all unnecessary parts (carpet/back seats/bumper covers) and have a blast with it. junkyarding for parts isnt too bad there are many around too.
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Unread 05-09-2012, 07:14 PM   #4
Vin
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'99 xj
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Unread 05-10-2012, 08:40 AM   #5
maniacal_rick
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I was looking at Cherokees and GC's also. I would lean toward the cherokee because its lighter (i imagine). All of these rigs are in the 1500-2500 range which is where I wanna be. Ill post some pics off Craigslist if I can.
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Unread 05-10-2012, 10:21 AM   #6
Ross
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I know nothing about it and I do not know the people selling it but it is interesting and cheap. http://shopping.rollanet.org/categor...eep-50000.html
I guess it sold, here is a pic. They were asking $500.00
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Unread 05-11-2012, 06:37 AM   #7
rjbruzan
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The Grand can also come with a V8 and thats great in mud. Keep the A/C if your in Florida.
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Unread 05-11-2012, 10:29 AM   #8
maniacal_rick
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You guys would really recommend the Grand over the regular cherokee? I would think wheelbase and weight would hurt is as an off-road rig. GC's are ridiculously cheap around here...
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Unread 05-11-2012, 10:34 AM   #9
rjbruzan
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Lots of old farts in Fla. They like the Grands. Take advantage of there sale.
The only thing is its harder to swap out rearends because the rear is coil spring.
Ron
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Unread 05-11-2012, 07:33 PM   #10
underpowered
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Grand or XJ either one.

been there, wheeled both cheaply. had a 95 grand that served me well as an off road beater for 5 years and was recently retired. bought for $600 and 5 years later still had under $1500 grant total in it, most was broken parts and tires.

upgraded to a 90 cherokee that was lifted with bigger tires for about $1000, wheeled it and upgraded ( caged, bigger axles, tires, lift) ended up with about $3500 in it before i sold it.

now goin Full size. bought a K5 blazer for $750 that will be the new beater.

all have served me well, but the ZJ stayed around the longest and still runs to this day after 5 hard years.
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Unread 05-11-2012, 11:30 PM   #11
maniacal_rick
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Thanks for that info.
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Unread 05-13-2012, 07:42 AM   #12
jasonswelding
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I like the xj better, but just for the looks and lack of cladding. Never owned either, but would go xj if I was looking for cheap rig. Older FourRunners are awsome, but have gotten hard to find, and not that cheap. Sami's are pretty cool to but have the same issue. Cherokees are everywhere.
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Unread 05-13-2012, 09:35 AM   #13
AKGeo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maniacal_rick View Post
So im looking for something cheap. Really cheap. Im just getting into off roading and im not gonna trash a perfectly good (and expensive) wrangler only to not end up enjoying off roading.
Yeah, let's not use a purpose-built vehicle for the purpose which it was built for.

It's relatively expensive because modifications are relatively cheap and plentiful, and you get more bang for your buck when you do modify it. Buy an older Wrangler and give it some armor. If you're that new to offroading, stick to the kiddie trails, determine if you enjoy it, and if not, then you have a high-resale mall crawler barbie Jeep to cruise to the mall with your boyfriend in.

If you hit the trails with a subpar vehicle not up to the task, then you're not going to enjoy yourself, and you won't get the proper impression of the hobby.
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Unread 05-13-2012, 01:10 PM   #14
billzcat1
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Well, that is true that if you show up with a bunch of busted junk you are probably going to have a bad time (and ruin other people's time on the trail too). The thing is that you can get into an XJ or a ZJ for 1/3 to 1/4 the price of a comparable year/miles/condition Wrangler. A ZJ has TJ suspension, axles, and steering under it with a sub-$2000 price tag. No one can argue that a ZJ or XJ is a bad choice for four-wheeling, especially as a starter rig. Mods are plentiful and cheap for both, a lot of ZJ stuff is pulled straight from the TJ market. XJs have one of the best pairs of axles short of Rubi axles. HP30 and C8.25 are hard to be for stock Jeep axles.

Either way, XJs and ZJs are great starter rigs. I personally like the Grands better, I think they make better dual-purpose family rigs (more spacious, comfortable, modern than XJ) but both give you a LOT of rig for the money. And if you build up a nice cheap ZJ and wind up loving four-wheeling, you can always buy a TJ and build it up when you get serious.
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Unread 05-13-2012, 02:52 PM   #15
AKGeo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billzcat1 View Post
Well, that is true that if you show up with a bunch of busted junk you are probably going to have a bad time (and ruin other people's time on the trail too). The thing is that you can get into an XJ or a ZJ for 1/3 to 1/4 the price of a comparable year/miles/condition Wrangler. A ZJ has TJ suspension, axles, and steering under it with a sub-$2000 price tag. No one can argue that a ZJ or XJ is a bad choice for four-wheeling, especially as a starter rig. Mods are plentiful and cheap for both, a lot of ZJ stuff is pulled straight from the TJ market. XJs have one of the best pairs of axles short of Rubi axles. HP30 and C8.25 are hard to be for stock Jeep axles.

Either way, XJs and ZJs are great starter rigs. I personally like the Grands better, I think they make better dual-purpose family rigs (more spacious, comfortable, modern than XJ) but both give you a LOT of rig for the money. And if you build up a nice cheap ZJ and wind up loving four-wheeling, you can always buy a TJ and build it up when you get serious.
A ZJ has the same suspension axles and steering as a TJ, but it also has a thousand pounds or more to move around, plus worse approach, departure and breakover angles, less clearance around the tires, and less visibility than a TJ does as well.

the same limitations for a ZJ goes for an XJ. You're simply MORE LIKELY to damage a ZJ or XJ on the trail due to these limitations, and that damage is invariably more expensive to fix, and the vehicle has poorer resale than a SWB jeep does.

And you don't need to buy a newer wrangler. I've come across YJs in great working order for a couple grand, just high miles. You just need to find a deal.
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