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Anyone recommend a cheap, used, reliable, compact 4x4?
Posted by: Pat
Date: July 18, 2006 11:41PM
Or a good forum to make such an inquiry?

95% off road use, seat 4 with room for gear.

Something that will fit in my trailer like this:
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Re: Anyone recommend a cheap, used, reliable, compact 4x4?
Posted by: rexrzer
Date: July 18, 2006 11:47PM
A vintage Honda CRV should work well for you. Reliable, efficient, simple 4WD system...and besides, it's a Honda. We love our 2004 CRV, and the model line that preceeded it, the 1st iteration of the breed, is what you should be looking at.grinning smileyB)

________________



What's the difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make some sense.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/18/2006 11:47PM by rexrzer.
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Re: Anyone recommend a cheap, used, reliable, compact 4x4?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: July 18, 2006 11:47PM
it depends....what is the name of your yacht?





VTPKL it!
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Re: Anyone recommend a cheap, used, reliable, compact 4x4?
Posted by: blusubaru
Date: July 18, 2006 11:49PM
Suzuki Sianara, er I mean Samurai
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Re: Anyone recommend a cheap, used, reliable, compact 4x4?
Posted by: Harbourmaster
Date: July 18, 2006 11:59PM
Subaru Outback



Aloha, Ken


“I have developed significant attachments to several members even though I wouldn't recognize them if I sat next to one on a park bench. I'm often tempted when in an airport to walk around, hollering "The Løpe", to see if anyone other than the Homeland Security people will acknowledge me. ” - The Løpe
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Re: Anyone recommend a cheap, used, reliable, compact 4x4?
Posted by: blusubaru
Date: July 19, 2006 12:10AM
Quote
Harbourmaster
Subaru Outback

Hmm...Outback? I suppose it would put up with more than the CRV could, but I don't know about 95% off roading in it. Might be better off with a Brat with the OH CRAP seats in the back of the bed.

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Re: Anyone recommend a cheap, used, reliable, compact 4x4?
Posted by: ADent
Date: July 19, 2006 01:03AM
How about a RAV4? You can get at least some of them with locking center diff and limited slip rear.

For 95% off road use you would probably want something truckier like a 4 Runner or 4WD Tacoma.

Several Jeeps, Land Rovers and such would fit the bill, but you did say reliable.

I think the Chevy Trackers and Suzuki equivilents got decent reviews for off road use - body on frame, solid axles, low gear transfer cases.
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Re: Anyone recommend a cheap, used, reliable, compact 4x4?
Date: July 19, 2006 01:19AM
Honda CRVs, Toyota RAV4s, and similar "soft-roaders" are excellent for on-road/bad weather usage, but their independent suspensions, minimal ground clearance, and unitized bodies don't stand up well to even halfway serious off-road use.
I second the recommendation of serious Suzuki SUVs and their Chevrolet/Geo brethren. When "going off road" means more than backing into the flowerbed on the way down the driveway, there are no substitutes for live axles and a real frame.
So says Rod Hall, 18 time winner of the Baja 1000 race, and who am I to disagree with him?
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Re: Anyone recommend a cheap, used, reliable, compact 4x4?
Posted by: Carm
Date: July 19, 2006 01:38AM
Nissan Xterra. 2001 SE or XE V6. 4WD. I like that it has a real rear axel. And the gas guzzling 15 city/19 hwy. grinning smiley

What do you consider cheap(inexpensive)?
Ford Excape/Mazda Tribute 2001 V6

I like my Xterra, with the exception of all the window actuators failing (since repaired) and the AC return hose cracking. Other then that its all good.

Carm
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Re: Anyone recommend a cheap, used, reliable, compact 4x4?
Posted by: Pat
Date: July 19, 2006 02:14AM
Hello TSS, long time. How's the Mac collection doing?

Yeah, body on frame is kind of a necessity. To get any real rubber under any of these things, a lift is going to be required.

I'll look into the Suzukis some more, as mentioned by blusubaru, Adent and TSS.

The Outback, RAV4 and CRV all have price and actual off road usefulness going against them. We've owned 2 RAV4s, while they've been great commuters, taking them the same places we've taken our F250 has never even been considered.

I don't want to abuse the Ford anymore, it's my tow vehicle, and at 21', it's too damn long. I was able to tripod it on some tight canyon roads in Death Valley. Not a good feeling.

I'd really like an old Scout, Bronco, Commando, etc. All of which would run circles around the tater tot 4x4s. But they won't fit in the trailer, so that would entail driving another vehicle in addition to the truck and trailer. I may end up going this route if I can't find a cheap and useful compact.
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Re: Anyone recommend a cheap, used, reliable, compact 4x4?
Posted by: Pat
Date: July 19, 2006 02:30AM
Let me say that there may not be a vehicle that meets my criteria. I have never followed the small car market since they have been impractical until now.

Carm, Xterra is too big.

By cheap, I mean cheap. This is going to be a strictly off road vehicle. The only time it will see pavement is when it is in the way.

My head hits the ceiling in the Escape/Tribute. Looked at that same year before we bought our current 2001 RAV4.

7,000 pounds and 7000cc, the Pig out for a cruise. Trail is about to become jagged, rocky mess as it drops into the canyon.
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Re: Anyone recommend a cheap, used, reliable, compact 4x4?
Posted by: Mr645
Date: July 19, 2006 06:41AM
Old Jeep. I had a 1986 Jeep that I used to tow a boat. Even though it was rated for 1500lb towing, I once pulled a 10,000lb boat up a slipery ramp when the boat owners Chevy Dually pick up (2WD) could not gain traction. Drop it into low range and up it came. My 3500lb boat would come up the ramp with just a light tap on the trottle.

Small, cheap, tough, virtually unstoppable.

Jon
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Re: Anyone recommend a cheap, used, reliable, compact 4x4?
Posted by: vicrock
Date: July 19, 2006 08:30AM
Another vote for Jeep - when it comes to true offroading, nothing is better - Wrangler or even better and old CJ -5 if you can find one.
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Re: Anyone recommend a cheap, used, reliable, compact 4x4?
Posted by: BigGuynRusty
Date: July 19, 2006 10:03AM
Jeep here also.
LOVE my CRV, but it is a 5% off roader, no way to lock it into AWD. It was great in the monsoon rain we had in 2004, almost 9" of clearance, the AWD coming in on slippery surfaces, great on light snow, but don't fool yourself, it is not an off roader.
If you want something bigger, find an old Jeep Cherokee (pre Chrysler) built rugged, heavy duty drivetrain, real 4WD, locking axles, hi-low transfer case. They can be had for cheap.
David Stacey on his Trucks! show did a build up of one. But basically a great low cost truck before he overdid the mods.

BGnR
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Re: Anyone recommend a cheap, used, reliable, compact 4x4?
Posted by: michaelb
Date: July 19, 2006 03:13PM
I think your criteria may be impossible ("cheap" and "reliable"). A jeep is the obvious 4x4 choice, but I haven't been in one in many years. At least in what my roommate had then, a mid 80s Jeep, there is no way to say it had room for 4 and "gear". It was really small in back and the room for "gear" might have held a toolbox. My tiny Rav4 has tons more room in back for "gear" but the kids (age 5-7) barely fit in the back. A cherokee would have a lot more room than either. My rav4 has a locking diffy, and would be pretty good off road, but I would agree with others that you would beat it up pretty quick if you really were driving off road. A Rav4 would be reliable but not cheap.
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Re: Anyone recommend a cheap, used, reliable, compact 4x4?
Posted by: blusubaru
Date: July 19, 2006 04:15PM
Maybe an old Isuzu Trooper? Could be too top heavy depending on if your 95% offroad use entails rock climbing, but here's one on eBay:

[cgi.ebay.com]

Definitely in the cheap realm so far. A turbo, biodiesel 4x4 play truck!
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Re: Anyone recommend a cheap, used, reliable, compact 4x4?
Posted by: Harbourmaster
Date: July 19, 2006 08:07PM
Um you guys are kidding about the Suby not being a capable offroad vehicle right? (If your request didn't include 4x4 I would have said build a Baja Bug!)

With a proper set of offroad tires an outback is nearly unstopabble. (and even with the street tires on the wifes Legacy GT I have put some "real" 4x4 trucks to shame in the dirt!)

Unless your going bouldering or doing some extreme trail driving you don't need a vehicle with 21" of wheel travel and 36" tires!

Subaru didn't win all those World Rally Championships for nothing!!

And BlueSubaru, you ever try ridding offroad in those wretched rear facing seats? Agggggh!



Aloha, Ken


“I have developed significant attachments to several members even though I wouldn't recognize them if I sat next to one on a park bench. I'm often tempted when in an airport to walk around, hollering "The Løpe", to see if anyone other than the Homeland Security people will acknowledge me. ” - The Løpe
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Re: Anyone recommend a cheap, used, reliable, compact 4x4?
Posted by: Pat
Date: July 19, 2006 11:15PM
What about an older Montero? Saw one this evening, not unpleasant looking. Seemed to have good ground clearance and quite a bit of room inside. Also looked like it would fit in my trailer. I don't know anything about performance or reliability though.

Quote
Harbourmaster
Subaru didn't win all those World Rally Championships for nothing!!

Yet not a single SCORE, Best in the Desert, or even an MDR win? Rally racing is not even close to desert racing, and even further from 4X4n. So, for the deserts of the SW, I do say the Suby is a less than capable machine for anything serious. At least in anything close to stock form.

As for a Baja, I've already got a rail. But it's just as worthless as a Baja for slow rocky areas and hill climbs.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/19/2006 11:15PM by Pat.
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Re: Anyone recommend a cheap, used, reliable, compact 4x4?
Posted by: davester
Date: July 20, 2006 12:36AM
The older 4runners (the kind with the roof that came off) were based on the early totally indestructible Toyota 4x4 pickup truck. That may be too old a vehicle for you, but if you can find a low mileage example it will have the properties you need. If you can get by with 2 seats, then the PU is a good choice. The bad thing about these vehicles is that the seats are thin, the floor is too shallow, the suspension is too hard, and therefore they are really uncomfortable to ride in.

My old GMC S-15 Jimmy (same as S-10 Blazer) was a superlative off road vehicle. Though it was a GM product and had horribly rube goldberg engine plumbing, I used it as my field vehicle for 4 years of off road mapping in remote parts of Nevada. It was comfortable, capable, had a smooth underside profile (unlike the awful mess under the Toyota PUs described above) and had very nice factory skidplates. It might fit into your trailer and you could definitely get one cheap (make sure you get the limited slip rear differential). I pulled a lot of "macho 4x4" vehicles out of holes with my Jimmy and a towstrap. It looked like a very modest vehicle, but never let me down (except when severe driver error intervened).

Hey, how about a vintage Land Rover. They may not be totally reliable, but the myth is that you can easily fix anything that goes wrong using a screwdriver, some pliers and bailing wire.




"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Anyone recommend a cheap, used, reliable, compact 4x4?
Posted by: Pat
Date: July 20, 2006 01:41AM
davester,

Looks wise, an old Land Rover or Toyota FJ would be great. But, have you seen the prices they are getting? Ouch! Besides, my addled brain won't be able to fix anything! winking smiley

I owned an '85 Toyota truck, it was indestructible. Had that thing for 11 years, so I'm quite familiar with the ride. I don't think they will fit in the trailer though, and 4 seats is a necessity. I'll have to look up the specs on the old 4Runners.

Jimmy. Hmmm. I glanced at some 70's era ones while checking out the Scouts, Jeeps and Broncos. Never looked at the S-10 based ones though. I'll give them a look.

I think in the future I'm going to have to ask you for some open to travel, out of the way places to explore.
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