Contemplating a Jeep Grand Cherokee, low budget, for mild off road and car camping. -
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post #1 of 1 Old 05-11-2021, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
Dust Devil
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Contemplating a Jeep Grand Cherokee, low budget, for mild off road and car camping.

I just moved to the Nevada desert and I want a multi-purpose vehicle. A few states away, a friend of a friend has offered me a 1999 Grand Cherokee for $2,500. It's a salvage title and high mileage car but it's a runner with a lift and 33" tires. The interior looks nice but I hear the front seat upholstery is torn under the seat covers.

Otherwise, it looks pretty clean in the photos I have seen but I have not seen good pictures of the underbody and I don't know what kind of lift it has.

I know I can find a more stock car locally but if I'm going to lift it and get new tires/wheels, I'm sure I would spend much more.

I am planning to use it on BLM land that has plenty of rutts and rocks but not rock crawling per say. I just want something that won't get stuck or beat itself up going places that are a little sketchy for a typical 4WD truck (not a Raptor or some offroad package truck). That is what I mean by "mild off road".

The other options I am considering are LS powered GM trucks/SUVs from the early 2000s, Subaru wagons, Honda Pilot (if cheap) and maybe an oddball like a Nissan Titan.

The common thread is cheap, off road capable, durable and hopefully common enough that I can fix mechanical problems with salvage yard parts.

The nice thing about the Jeep is that it probably has more than enough suspension. The Subaru wagon option would probably need a lift and be more likely to blow head gaskets, water pumps and burn exhaust valves. The GM truck/SUV would need at least tires but I wouldn't feel nearly as confident in the suspension. A Honda Pilot would be reliable and pretty capable but a Pilot on my budget would be quite high mileage so the reliability might be used up. An oddball would have to be a great deal on a vehicle no one is looking for. If not, I doubt I could justify an unusual car with hard to find parts if the pricing doesn't give me some budget for expensive repairs.

So anyway, what should I look for on that Jeep? Should any particular suspension make me walk away?

If I started from stock wanting a suspension that will get me through rutts and over small rocks, what are good options?

I would like to keep my budget under $5,000 if possible which is what makes that lifted Grand Cherokee seem good.

I appreciate all suggestions. If you are selling a suitable vehicle, let me know (must have cold AC).


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