Best Used 4WDs?

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Best Used 4WDs?

Postby Silver550 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:13 am

I've got a couple of friends that just purchased two brand new and expensive 4WD vehicles (Toyota FJ and Nissan Frontier). What's funny (and ridiculous) is that after spending so much money, they're now scared to death of getting scratches on their new toys and taking them off road to properly abuse them.

I've always thought it was a better idea to pick up an inexpensive used 4WD that you don't care about denting or scratching. That led to me debating as to which used 4WDs offer the best combination of performance versus value.

So, what does the BFC community think? More of an intellectual exercise really...
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Re: Best Used 4WDs?

Postby jacktrades_nbk » Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:38 am

Nothing wrong with scratches, the more used, more scratches, making the tool more personal
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Re: Best Used 4WDs?

Postby RYP » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:33 am

Depends what you mean by "off road"? If you mean on dirt roads, mud, snow etc I think the first years of the ninja turtle (1966 to 1998) Toyota Land Cruisers were the best, tightest SUV's ever made. THey have a big heavy monster 6 cylinder which I am sure is related to the diesel and it never stops running.

If you mean OFF ROADING then there is only one car and that's a Land Rover Defender or Range Rover or Disco from the 90's

They are assembled by blind people using dumpster parts but once you get it all tweaked and have a properly cast engine (the water seals were prone to crack) its an awesome car.

If they re gay friends they can buy a Jeep and pretend like they going offroading and put a picnic basket in the rear
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Re: Best Used 4WDs?

Postby Silver550 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:28 pm

That's a good point about the distinction, RYP, and I suppose I was asking about both mud, snow, etc. as well as OFF-ROADING. So thanks for addressing that.

Seems like there is a lot of love out there for the Toyota Hilux... I've ridden in them, but never actually driven one and so I don't have a good sense of its capabilities. But, of course, those aren't available in the States anyway.
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Re: Best Used 4WDs?

Postby JamesInTheWorld » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:36 pm

Buy a used jeep - parts and off-road upgrades are cheap



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Re: Best Used 4WDs?

Postby Woodsman » Mon Feb 07, 2011 5:52 pm

JamesInTheWorld wrote:Buy a used jeep - parts and off-road upgrades are cheap
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This is the most sound advice ever. No shit.
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Re: Best Used 4WDs?

Postby RYP » Mon Feb 07, 2011 8:55 pm

real off roading requires massive horsepower, axle articulation, winches, diesel engines and high gearing. They make hard core vehicles for this but there is no joy running those things on highways or to the market. Jeeps are OK but you essentially have to rebuild them to meet the above criteria. Hummers are fun but too claustraphobic. A stripped down Landy is my fave.
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Re: Best Used 4WDs?

Postby sdg » Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:04 am

Silver550 wrote:I've always thought it was a better idea to pick up an inexpensive used 4WD that you don't care about denting or scratching. That led to me debating as to which used 4WDs offer the best combination of performance versus value.

Just as you said, a cheap but functioning 4wd will generally go more places than a high-dollar, great-looking truck simply because you're not afraid to use it. I say buy what you can afford (to beat on) and build from there. The biggest problem trucks have off-road is spring rates and dampers. Even a land rover can be a piece of crap off-road with the wrong spring rates and shocks. On the flip side, even a full size domestic (to me) truck can work very well off-road with the right springs and shocks. Sooooo, don't be afraid to drop coin on good springs and shocks.

My favorite type of off-roading is Baja-style high speed desert stuff. My current vehicle is a Full size Ford Bronco. Add some suspension and safety goodies and it'll do 65 over bumps, ruts and washes all day long. Best of all, it feels like you're off-roading on a couch... fun but probably not ideal for what you're wanting to do.

Be realistic about your budget and what you're really going to do with it (not what you want to do with it) and have fun.
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Re: Best Used 4WDs?

Postby Fenrisco » Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:26 pm

James and Woodsman are spot on, get a Jeep YJ or a TJ. Build it up if you want to but try it stock (or near-stock, ditch any non-AT/MT tires) first, you might be surprised what it's capable of, driven properly... I would consider the YJ to be a general purpose (yes, I know Jeep=GP isn't the origin) scout car that's good for most practical off-roading - actually trying to get places, not seeing how big of a rock you can crawl - without much modification. If you want a built one bear in mind that as soon as you change one thing, you will need to change a whole bunch of other stuff to compensate (bigger tires require re-gearing, for instance).

Don't mind RYP, he was probably bitten by one as a kid or something. OK, Landies are great. But most parts of the world seem to have a preponderance of one or the other... Go for whichever has more of a local following, as a specialist mechanic, club or parts source will be invaluable. In Taiwan (which is home to some of the world's nastiest annual typhoons, flooding and landslides, and is maybe 65% mountainous jungle) there'll be a Jeep garage and club in every county, but I think I've seen fewer than a half-dozen Landie Defenders in 5 years. Lots of luck getting parts.

Don't get a Jeep if you want a smooth ride. You'll feel the bump driving over a shadow.

Top Gear's South America special is a blast: tatty Range Rover vs. ragged-arsed Land Cruiser vs some sort of Suzuki thing.

http://www.streetfire.net/video/top-gear-bolivia-special-season-14-episode-6_1994638.htm
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Re: Best Used 4WDs?

Postby RYP » Tue Feb 08, 2011 4:59 pm

Agree, Great show, Fried battered Range Rover wins the day don't it? ?


Thats why I drive old Land Rovers and smash the shit out of them.Here is something I might need to go to grocery store in....


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Re: Best Used 4WDs?

Postby Fenrisco » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:23 pm

RYP wrote:Agree, Great show, Fried battered Range Rover wins the day don't it? ?


Right - final verdict is something like " the world's most unreliable car is the world's most reliable car."

RYP wrote:Here is something I might need to go to grocery store in....


That's... shocking. Here's another:

http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?t=17873800
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Re: Best Used 4WDs?

Postby emtmark » Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:27 am

Just having landed here and credibility not worth much this is my own take on the age old question of whats the best of the old crowd. As a young lad having just rolled my '91 Ford Escort I spent much of a summer sitting in a lifeguard tower saving money, getting burnt, and thinking about this very thing. Jeeps have to be built up, they just do. Little axles, little tires, little lift all turns into big money. Huge aftermarkt support though with the cheapest replacement costs because theres so dam many of them, overseas however hard to find a jeep boneyard (ive been told). Old Bronco's, dam near hot rod collector status but great machines. Expensive to buy one in decent shape and parts can be hard to find but wheel like mad. Toyotas really are bombproof, built tough with the little F engine that could or the diesel, cannot will not ever quit on you. Large parts market but everybody else is in the same boat of wanting thier own truck to keep going. Parts yards either have new parts or parts so used that they cannot be used anymore. That said there is always some joker who will try, and dam if they don't pull it off and make a toy-zilla looking thing that keeps going another 100,000 miles. Landy's and Range Rovers have the history and pedigree of warriors with the availabilty mostly to the wealthier class. Great machines but i'm not paying 30k for a used one because Madonna or her nanny used it before me. My 2 favorites for the most for your money are the Suz Samuri and the Chev Blazer '73-'91 full size. Both have parts galore, can be found anywhere on the globe, perhaps not in Russia or the caps but you know what I mean. Both have dynamite stock set ups with super cheap aftermarket options widely available. The Blazer has room for 4 adults comfortably with lots of room in the back, quick upgrade (straight bolt up sans driveline yokes) to 1 ton axles and a manual gearbox (sm465) and your done. The Suzuki has room for 2 (3 if you like them and thier really small) and some gear. Stock fuel injected 4 banger leaves it lagging on super power but its so dam light it hardly ever matters. Toyotas are awesome but pricy and getting worse as thier reputation gets better. Old military blazer with the diesel or venerable 350 v8 is my second choice (first if i'm the one that has to come up with the cash). Suzuki is my fall back as they cost evey less that an old Blazer. My .02 as I see it. Glad to find this place and looking forward to learning alot about what you guys know as well as misleading you with my drivel as much as you will allow. :)

btw i bought a 1980 blazer, her name is Susan and I drive the everloving piss out of her in the woods, see ya out there
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Re: Best Used 4WDs?

Postby RYP » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:16 am

You know I forgot the Bronco and the Blazer. With the right tweaks you can have fun in those
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Re: Best Used 4WDs?

Postby sdg » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:44 am

Broncos are no Land Rovers/jungle trailblazers, but they can be stupid-fast in the rough and hold their own most places.

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Re: Best Used 4WDs?

Postby Silver550 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:43 pm

Solid suggestions guys... I appreciate all of the input.
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