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Unread 04-27-2014, 03:15 PM   #1
rjbruzan
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2004 TJ Wrangler 
 
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Beater Technology

Many of us guys here have a Jeep or 2 that are just plain tired,worn out or seen better days. I myself have 2 that fall into this category. Some are daily drivers, trail rigs or the vehicle we take out just to irritate or cause trouble.
Many of us just like driving a Jeep! How it looks is often a secondary thought.
THESE ARE CALLED BEATERS!
Since I was young the car of choice, by my wallet, has been the lowbuck model. Back in the 70s (yes Im an old fart, and do often) a 10-15 year old car or truck could be had for 0-250 bucks. Not scrap but one with minor work which then could be driven safely across the country. If a kind relative or neighbor thought you were able to fix it they were often free. This gave my friends and I a terrific stable of magnificent transportation options seldom rivaled today.
So fast forward to the present. I now find myself at a job thats about 93 miles round trip. The cheapskate in me says use what you have on hand. So my old Jeeps are now the daily transports of my tired carcass. They need to be reliable,some what safe, half way efficient and not to annoying to drive for up to 2 hours each way. The part of being a Jeep makes me happy most of the time and very happy during foul weather. Heat,A/C and a good sound system are important to me. They may not be to you? In the end the overall cost to run the vehicle needs to be low if possible. They are not the most fuel efficient so it has to be low in initial cost and repair or something you had around.
So tell us about the low buck machines that cart you to work, school, a date or just exploring our fabulous world.
This is the cheap trick section and nothing is more gratifying than getting something cheap or free. That is the duty of a beater.
Tell us about your beater experiences, means of keeping costs down and just plain funny or sad stories.

Cheaply yours
Ron


More about my rides later.

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Unread 04-28-2014, 01:27 PM   #2
rdbs505
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Not a jeep, but back during the college days I bought an 85 F150 for $1500. It was a regular cab, long bed 2wd with the 5.0. Fuel economy was shat, but not as bad as one would think. I beat the crap out the truck, took it offroad, jumped railroad tracks, nailed shopping carts.. you name it. Only thing I really ever did to it, in the 6 years I owned it beside basic maintenance was the alternator and starter solenoid. Parts for the truck were cheap and plentiful, insurance was dirt cheap. Got me through college and beyond. I miss that truck. Oh and I got $1650 for it when I sold it
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Unread 04-28-2014, 01:43 PM   #3
rjbruzan
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THIS IS WHAT IM TALKING ABOUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Cars and trucks that make life fun.
Over 100 views and only 1 story. You guys must be rich kids or to proud to post.
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Unread 04-28-2014, 06:11 PM   #4
underpowered
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I am a cheap car connoisseur of sorts. I am a younger buck than the OP but have had my fair share of beaters. Sadly, it seems the day of the beater is coming to a close. We can't come across free or nearly so rides as much any more.

I used to Demo Derby all the time, ran a many Derby in my day and never paid more than $100 for any of my cars. Fords were easier to come by for some reason as i have multiple for Tempo's, an escort or two, a Taurus and even a Bubble Top 'vic. Had a Few S-10's as well, Chevettes, and a couple big bodied GM's as well. Most were free, but paid for a few. I loved it. most were running and driving or in need of very little work.

For drivers. i started with a $500 Toyota 4 Runner that i drove every day in high school. Wasn't much to look at but it got me where i needed to go every day. Sold it for $1500, to buy a 92 GMC k1500 for $1000. drove it like i stole it in college before i bought my first Jeep.

even my current Jeep is a beater of sort. simply an A to B ride that i wheel a bit. its dirty, has some rust, has dents, dings, and scratches but for $1200 i love it.
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1998 ZJ 2" bb and 31's. street queen but sees the woods once in a while.

2000 powerjoke tow pig

Anti-jeep--1989 K5 blazer. the new off road ride
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Unread 04-28-2014, 06:31 PM   #5
rjbruzan
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Underpowered
Nice to see youve joined the thread. If I lived closer to great wheeling like you Id have at least 3-5 beaters to take out every couple of days. Ive also been a lover of DitchWitch tires on cheap rigs. Ive still got my first mud rig from back in the 70s. A 70 Scout,Spring over, with a Chevy 350 and turbo 400. Dont cost anything to keep so I will. We need to travel over 3 hours to get to any legal wheeling. So thats not cheap.
Ive always been impressed with your beater Grand Cherokee mudder. As soon as I saw you like Lincoln lockers you were OK in my book. If you look back Ive commented in many of those threads. Great job of doing alot with a little.

Ron
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Unread 04-28-2014, 07:52 PM   #6
underpowered
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the old Grand cherokee has come a long way since the days of tractor tires and beating on it stock. It is 4 linked/3 linked on 3/4 ton axles with the majority of the body replaced with Tube and 36" tires currently.

I always enjoyed the beater wheeling days, and even though i no longer wheel beaters like that i do miss it. a cheap ride i had little in and drove it hard just to keep up. But on to bigger and better things.
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1998 ZJ 2" bb and 31's. street queen but sees the woods once in a while.

2000 powerjoke tow pig

Anti-jeep--1989 K5 blazer. the new off road ride
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Unread 04-28-2014, 08:07 PM   #7
rjbruzan
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Did you buy the parts new or scrounge up good deal stuff. Making whats available work makes the game even better.
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It smells good but thats about it

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Unread 04-28-2014, 08:42 PM   #8
underpowered
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well the jeep itself we given to my little brother, who built/is building it for a school project. he just graduated with a BS in Mechanical engineering technology and it was his final project to showcase what he has learned about engineering. Most parts were bought, but all work was done by him and a few others in just your average garage. all OE drivetrain was kept, AW4 tranny was swapped in out of a Cherokee. good deals were searched out where possible. his goal is to do the whole project for under 5k and thus far he is on budget.
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1998 ZJ 2" bb and 31's. street queen but sees the woods once in a while.

2000 powerjoke tow pig

Anti-jeep--1989 K5 blazer. the new off road ride
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Unread 04-28-2014, 08:57 PM   #9
rjbruzan
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Some pictures of your low budget rides are always welcomed
image001-2-.jpg

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It smells good but thats about it

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Unread 04-30-2014, 10:16 PM   #10
memoon
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My $750 tj.

Rustoleom on the fenders and swapped tops with a guy that wanted my tan top.

Just gradually swapping out the worn out, beat up pieces as necessary.
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Jeep for Sale.
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Unread 05-01-2014, 08:24 AM   #11
rjbruzan
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Nice!!
This is the way to work up to a high value rig in a short time on the cheap!!!
It can be done on the cheap really nicely.

So one rule of Beater Tech is if you are going cheap keep your eyes open always for great deals.
Memoon could not have gotten this great deal if he didnt have a few bucks put away. (Or a nice wife who doesnt get mad when I hit the savings acct.)
Next keep a couple hundred bucks handy to buy these when they become available. Being a cheapskate does NOT mean you are broke only frugal.
Never paying full price for most items is the only was us lowbuck guys operate. Tradeing is a great way to get get even better deals. Just be careful to always trade up.

Ron
__________________
Of all the things Ive lost
The one I miss most is my mind

Its like a fart in a windstorm
It smells good but thats about it

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Unread 05-01-2014, 08:01 PM   #12
underpowered
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The ZJ beater in its glory



and in its Prime doin work


no current pics, as it is a work in progress.


still have some beaters, like the fire wood truck for getting wood off the farm



even consider my DD a beater
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1998 ZJ 2" bb and 31's. street queen but sees the woods once in a while.

2000 powerjoke tow pig

Anti-jeep--1989 K5 blazer. the new off road ride
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Unread 06-28-2014, 07:11 PM   #13
Naaaate
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No pics but when I was in high school my dad sold me a 1990 chevy c2500 with a TBI 350 and bad transmission for $600. The tranny rebuild kit cost me $200 and I later put a $1000 set of wheels and tires on it (lipstick on a pig). That was one of the best trucks I ever had. I took her through creek beds and cow pastures and flood waters more times than I can count. One night about a year ago my buddy and I had a few adult beverages and decided we could drift it like the Fast and the Furious. The thing was so long and light in the rear, I just had to rock the steering wheel back and forth at 40mph to get it broken loose. Only problem... I broke it loose a little too hard and slid backwards into a 40ft live oak tree. I sobered up and grabbed another bed out of a junkyard and then immediately traded it in on my Rubicon
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Unread 06-28-2014, 09:55 PM   #14
rjbruzan
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Thats what Im talking about!!! Not to much money and tons of fun. Years ago beaters were almost free or free from relatives. Now they are 5-900 bucks for a decent one.
I have a super nice Jeep and 2 beaters. We went on vacation last week to Michigan. Ran some trails for 2 days. If I had taken the nice one it would have the paint ruined quickly. The better beater 221K performed almost flawlessly. The electric fan started screaming. 2 days on the trails with no worries of body damage. Then back to DD duties. If it fell of the back of the motor home while towing it not the end of the world.

Ron
__________________
Of all the things Ive lost
The one I miss most is my mind

Its like a fart in a windstorm
It smells good but thats about it

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Unread 06-28-2014, 11:16 PM   #15
Jeffrok
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Threads like this make me wish I owned a junk yard. Just think about all those wrecked and salvaged cars and parts and the deer lease hunting buggies you could build.
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