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Arik

any 4x4 / off road afficianados here

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Lately I've been thinking of getting a 4x4 small (2 or 4dr) suv. ATM I have a Toyota Solara 4cyl with 170k miles and I have no complaints about it. But the more I think about it the more it makes sense (to me) to have some sort of a 4x4. It never hurts to be able to go out in heaver snow or off road. I just cant seem to find anything.

 

What I'm looking for is a good 4x4 with 4H and 4L. NOT a AWD. With a 4cyl engine ( I know that limits me to practically 0 ) The reason I dont want a 6 or 8 cyl is because of the amount of gas they eat. I'd love to get a Wrangler but I drive a lot and I dont think it should coast that much or eat that much gas to move my skinny ass around.

 

The only 2 I've been able to think off are the Suzuki Samurai and the Geo/Chevy Tracker. I would love the Samurai but I'm a little afraid of getting a rust bucket or one that has had so many backyard mechanics work on and rig it that I'd be spending the equivalent of a new car just fixing this one.

 

Besides the 2 above are there any other small, gas friendly, 4x4 suv's that I didnt think of or overlooked.

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My '97 Jeep Wrangler Sport is amazing, not as much of a guzzler as others. It's wierd because I get around 20-24mpg, which is extremely unusual for a Jeep, and I drive 30 miles daily.

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My minimum daily comute is 45 miles. Thats IF I go to work and home ONLY! On the weekends I can do 100-200 miles daily, easy! In a Wrangler thats a lot of gas to get me from point A to point B

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I've got a 16 gallon gas tank, and I think I fill up once a month maybe. I drive usually drive from Monday through Thursday, and occasionally on the weekend. I'm the original owner of the car, and have taken great care of it. I just crossed 31k miles about a month ago. Granted, I still want a new daily driver, but a Wrangler is just loads of fun to drive. Another thing that saves me a lot on gas is coasting. When I go downhill, I usually pop out of gear and coast all the way until I have to get back into gear. During tropical storm Hermine last week, I drove through roughly 1 foot of water at times, and I was still reading a full tank of gas after I got home. Maybe I'm just a super lucky sumbitch, hahaha.

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What about an older 4runner or nissan pathfinder. Those are both available with 4 bangers and people build those up into some crazy off road machines.

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Coming from a Jeeper, your best bet with a TJ is the 4.0 6 cylinder. If you go for the 4 cylinder and go with bigger tires, you will have fun getting that four banger to turn then without lots of money in gearing and power adders to the engine. Same goes for 4 cylinder Yotas with lifts and larger than stock tires. You can get decent mileage with the 4.0L Jeep TJ and still have the torque needed for off road ops. They also say in comparison, with both the 6 & 4 cylinder TJs in stock form, the 6 will get better mileage than the 4 because you have to run the 4 with the right pedal to the floor to keep up with traffic.

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Coming from a Jeeper, your best bet with a TJ is the 4.0 6 cylinder. If you go for the 4 cylinder and go with bigger tires, you will have fun getting that four banger to turn then without lots of money in gearing and power adders to the engine. Same goes for 4 cylinder Yotas with lifts and larger than stock tires. You can get decent mileage with the 4.0L Jeep TJ and still have the torque needed for off road ops. They also say in comparison, with both the 6 & 4 cylinder TJs in stock form, the 6 will get better mileage than the 4 because you have to run the 4 with the right pedal to the floor to keep up with traffic.

 

Ditto.

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Well we have 3 Wranglers a 93' with a 2" body lift and 4" suspension lift and 33/12.50-15 BFG AT KO tires with the 4.0 6cyl. and a 5 speed trans, a 94' with the 2.5 4 cyl and it's completely stock with a 3speed auto trans,and a 06' wrangler Unlimited that's stock except for 31/10.50-15's and it's the 4.0 6cyl with a 6 speed trans. The 93' gets about 17-19mpg and the 06' will get 22mpg on the highway but gets about 17 around town, the 94' about 15-16 mpg but it has trouble getting out of it's own way. Now if you want a great 4x4 with excellent fuel mileage look for a Wrangler with a Cummins 4bt diesel transplanted into it. This is quite popular and I may do one myself as the 4bt's are plentiful they were used in alot of box trucks such as bread trucks and such. I had a 86 Nissan hardbody 4x4 with a 3.0 6cyl.with 4.37 gears and a 5 speed trans and it got over 20 mpg and was one of the toughest trucks I have ever owned it was practically indestructible. There is a diesel engine called MOTO (something) that you can buy and get a conversion kit for installing it into a wrangler but it's not nearly as simple or powerful as the Cummins 4bt conversion. Hope this helps or maybe gives you some fuel for thought.

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What you wanting doesn't exist, you have to make up your mind, do you want off road capability, or good gas mileage, the 2 don't coexist.

I have an '05 Wrangler Rubicon, great off road, gas mileage sux.

 

The 4BT idea is one I dream about almost daily.

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You're trying to have it all with one vehicle. You will end up compromising a lot on both fuel mileage and 4x4 performance. I would highly recommend getting a nice 2 wheel drive car that gets excellent mileage for every day driving, and get another older 4x4 vehicle with plenty of power that is only driven off road, in snow, etc. Then you can truly have it all.

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I was going to suggest a used Toyota Tacoma pick up in 4X4. I'm pretty sure they came in a a four cylinder.

I have an 07 six cylinder 4X4 and love it.

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I'd still go for a wrangler tj. You really can't go wrong. Removing the intake restrictor alone will give you a bit more horsepower and an extra 1-3 mpg.

 

But like most others said, it's really difficult to have both awesome 4x4 capabilities and great mileage.

 

When my engine hits 50k miles (which will take another 10 years or so) I might do the cummins 4bt conversion. I've read a number of great things about it.

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coming from a 96 grand cherokee jeep owner and working in a shop that once had jeep before chrysler stole (ie no buy out of contract) the franchise and gave it to another local dealer for free. if you like money pitts jeeps are where its at. parts counter; had, and still has a saying (we still service all our loyal cust) J.E.E.P Junk Each and Every Part. i had a 91 pathfinder and loved it until totalled, now i luuuuv my 02 xterra. pathfinder had 188k with only a water pump and wheel bearing replaced, no leaks. xterra at 118k with only maintenance and no leaks. jeeps at 167k, every thing that can leak a fluid does, trans replaced, no ac (to much work to replace evap core) all speakers had to be replaced, radio had to be replaced, front end needs to be replaced rear needs to be rebuilt, burns a quart to a quart and a half every 300 miles even the washer fluid tank leaks at pump seal so no washer fluid, kept up with my maintenance but, i could go on and on........ once i sat down and priced out all repairs @ free labor it was cheaper to go back to buy a nissan suv jeeps just used for camping tubing or any other out door activity were i have to leave my vech unattended in the middle of now where (pleases steal it already).

 

 

 

moral of the story find somthing other than a jeep

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I get 23 mpg with my B cab 2007 4 banger prerunner Tacoma. It is not 4x4, but it's close.

 

I also work for the company that made it, so I may be able to offer some advice on that brand's vehicles.

 

I would recommend keeping the Solara, commuting with it, and getting a nice used small 4x4 to clown around in.

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I am in love with my 09 Wrangler Unlimited! I have owned 2 Comanches, 1 Cherokee and 1 Grand Cherokee previously, but the Unlimited is BY FAR, the best Jeep I have ever owned!

If you want small, just get a Polaris RZR and put turn signals on it! Damn things will do 70+ mph off the dealer floor! LOL

Macbeau sends...

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I'd still go for a wrangler tj. You really can't go wrong. Removing the intake restrictor alone will give you a bit more horsepower and an extra 1-3 mpg.

 

But like most others said, it's really difficult to have both awesome 4x4 capabilities and great mileage.

 

When my engine hits 50k miles (which will take another 10 years or so) I might do the cummins 4bt conversion. I've read a number of great things about it.

 

Go with a Jeep. The 4.0 is good for 200,000-300,000 miles. If you need every day good mileage get an older Neon, or 4 cyl. Chevy or Pontiac. Around here we call these 'hoopties'. They all run for 200,000 miles if you change the oil occasionally, and PARTS ARE CHEEP!

You can rebuild a Chevy alternator for $15- a Toyota alternator can be $375.

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Lately I've been thinking of getting a 4x4 small (2 or 4dr) suv. ATM I have a Toyota Solara 4cyl with 170k miles and I have no complaints about it. But the more I think about it the more it makes sense (to me) to have some sort of a 4x4. It never hurts to be able to go out in heaver snow or off road. I just cant seem to find anything.

 

What I'm looking for is a good 4x4 with 4H and 4L. NOT a AWD. With a 4cyl engine ( I know that limits me to practically 0 ) The reason I dont want a 6 or 8 cyl is because of the amount of gas they eat. I'd love to get a Wrangler but I drive a lot and I dont think it should coast that much or eat that much gas to move my skinny ass around.

 

The only 2 I've been able to think off are the Suzuki Samurai and the Geo/Chevy Tracker. I would love the Samurai but I'm a little afraid of getting a rust bucket or one that has had so many backyard mechanics work on and rig it that I'd be spending the equivalent of a new car just fixing this one.

 

Besides the 2 above are there any other small, gas friendly, 4x4 suv's that I didnt think of or overlooked.

 

Zukis are great(Trackers have stinky fragile IFS)and if you aren't opposed to the limitations of super small and 20+ years old you should jump on the Suzuki Samurai/Jimny idea. They get 27MPG for the 1300cc engine(41MPG for the 660cc engine used overseas) have solid axles and are light enough to not get stuck even in stock form.They are still produced under license overseas and a very popular vehicle in places with horrible roads like India,Malaysia,Pakistan,etc.

zw-george-cox.jpg

 

 

In states where it's legal you may also want to look at those silly looking Japanese Minitrucks like Daihatsu Hijet and Suzuki Carry. They may look like a sophisticated golf cart but they are a true 4x4 with Hi-Lo T-Case, 40MPG+ mileage, 880lb payload and Japanese Reliability.

93daihatsu1.jpg

 

You could probably get a rust free Sammy from out of state in really nice shape for $3500 and have it shipped to you for another $500-$800(it's small enough to stick on a flatbed through U-ship).Dollar for dollar they are one of the best bang for the buck 4x4s you can buy and even completely rebuilding one from the ground up is still a fraction of the cost of building a equally capable Jeep.

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coming from a 96 grand cherokee jeep owner and working in a shop that once had jeep before chrysler stole (ie no buy out of contract) the franchise and gave it to another local dealer for free. if you like money pitts jeeps are where its at. parts counter; had, and still has a saying (we still service all our loyal cust) J.E.E.P Junk Each and Every Part. i had a 91 pathfinder and loved it until totalled, now i luuuuv my 02 xterra. pathfinder had 188k with only a water pump and wheel bearing replaced, no leaks. xterra at 118k with only maintenance and no leaks. jeeps at 167k, every thing that can leak a fluid does, trans replaced, no ac (to much work to replace evap core) all speakers had to be replaced, radio had to be replaced, front end needs to be replaced rear needs to be rebuilt, burns a quart to a quart and a half every 300 miles even the washer fluid tank leaks at pump seal so no washer fluid, kept up with my maintenance but, i could go on and on........ once i sat down and priced out all repairs @ free labor it was cheaper to go back to buy a nissan suv jeeps just used for camping tubing or any other out door activity were i have to leave my vech unattended in the middle of now where (pleases steal it already).

 

 

 

moral of the story find somthing other than a jeep

 

As a '91 YJ owner I can definitely feel your pain, and I've heard it all before...in the checkout-line of a parts store about how its a jeep thing :rolleyes::ded:

 

But at the end of the day I'd rather soak a rag in gear oil an huff skunk death soap until I thought avatar was a real documentary than give up my 4.0 bath-tub on wheels.

Buy an old Jeep and I %100 guarantee...it'll make a proud mechanic of yuh.

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coming from a 96 grand cherokee jeep owner and working in a shop that once had jeep before chrysler stole (ie no buy out of contract) the franchise and gave it to another local dealer for free. if you like money pitts jeeps are where its at. parts counter; had, and still has a saying (we still service all our loyal cust) J.E.E.P Junk Each and Every Part. i had a 91 pathfinder and loved it until totalled, now i luuuuv my 02 xterra. pathfinder had 188k with only a water pump and wheel bearing replaced, no leaks. xterra at 118k with only maintenance and no leaks. jeeps at 167k, every thing that can leak a fluid does, trans replaced, no ac (to much work to replace evap core) all speakers had to be replaced, radio had to be replaced, front end needs to be replaced rear needs to be rebuilt, burns a quart to a quart and a half every 300 miles even the washer fluid tank leaks at pump seal so no washer fluid, kept up with my maintenance but, i could go on and on........ once i sat down and priced out all repairs @ free labor it was cheaper to go back to buy a nissan suv jeeps just used for camping tubing or any other out door activity were i have to leave my vech unattended in the middle of now where (pleases steal it already).

 

 

 

moral of the story find somthing other than a jeep

 

As a '91 YJ owner I can definitely feel your pain, and I've heard it all before...in the checkout-line of a parts store about how its a jeep thing :rolleyes::ded:

 

But at the end of the day I'd rather soak a rag in gear oil an huff skunk death soap until I thought avatar was a real documentary than give up my 4.0 bath-tub on wheels.

Buy an old Jeep and I %100 guarantee...it'll make a proud mechanic of yuh.

 

I gotta say, My TJ, being a first year production was supposed to be having a lot of issues, but the only issues I had was that my tires just got too old. Like I've mentioned in my other posts, I'm just one lucky son of a bitch, haha.

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Well I guess I've had good luck with our Jeeps also. As far as getting parts at the dealer why in the world would anyone do that when everybody and their brother makes Jeep stuff that is alot cheaper through the aftermarket catalogs. I mean come on a Jeep fog light is over $100.00 bucks for one through the dealer but you can buy a set of KC's for under a $100.00. A rebuilt 4.0 engine with a 3 year 36,000 mile warranty will set you back about $1600.00 bucks which I think is plenty cheap. I have not had to replace much on any of my Jeeps but when I do it has been cheap to do it. Sure you can spend alot of dough on a Jeep but you don't have to. I do agree on the Zuk's though they are quite capable vehicles and as with a Jeep you can build them as cheaply or as expensively as your heart desires.

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Well I guess I've had good luck with our Jeeps also. As far as getting parts at the dealer why in the world would anyone do that when everybody and their brother makes Jeep stuff that is alot cheaper through the aftermarket catalogs. I mean come on a Jeep fog light is over $100.00 bucks for one through the dealer but you can buy a set of KC's for under a $100.00. A rebuilt 4.0 engine with a 3 year 36,000 mile warranty will set you back about $1600.00 bucks which I think is plenty cheap. I have not had to replace much on any of my Jeeps but when I do it has been cheap to do it. Sure you can spend alot of dough on a Jeep but you don't have to. I do agree on the Zuk's though they are quite capable vehicles and as with a Jeep you can build them as cheaply or as expensively as your heart desires.

 

Only thing I ever put on mine were brand new tires. To restore the color of my fender flares and bumpers, I just coated them with some satin black metal paint from a rattle can. It looks brand new and I couldn't be happier. Granted, dealing with those pesky nutcerts that had loosened was a pain, but I replaced them with bolts that hold up through everything.

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What sort of off-roading are you talking about? If you mean more like dirt roads and maybe the occasional forest track, there's plenty of options. Subaru Legacy with a 4 pot, manual trans can get 25-30 MPG. There's also the Honda CR-V if that would suit your needs. Also, the Ford Explorer comes to mind too. Plenty of those around for dirt cheap, and I'm sure there's a few with 4WD.

 

If you were thinking of rock crawling or something similar then a Wrangler or a Nissan Hardbody might be good. I don't know too much about rock crawling.

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I just can't argue with this :wub:

 

I'm a Jeep Guy myself but with my Jeep getting 14MPG in stock form before ever adding the lift, 33x12.50, lockers I wouldn't suggest one for anyone who intended to commute over long distances or bugout without the ability to hit a gas station every few hours, lol

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I just can't argue with this :wub:

 

I'm a Jeep Guy myself but with my Jeep getting 14MPG in stock form before ever adding the lift, 33x12.50, lockers I wouldn't suggest one for anyone who intended to commute over long distances or bugout without the ability to hit a gas station every few hours, lol

 

I'm getting in the 20s though, because I commute 35-40 miles a day and fill up maybe once a month.

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I just can't argue with this :wub:

 

I'm a Jeep Guy myself but with my Jeep getting 14MPG in stock form before ever adding the lift, 33x12.50, lockers I wouldn't suggest one for anyone who intended to commute over long distances or bugout without the ability to hit a gas station every few hours, lol

 

I'm getting in the 20s though, because I commute 35-40 miles a day and fill up maybe once a month.

 

Uh, please explain how you are getting 20MPG with a 4.0L/AW4/NP231? Even on stock rims with a tailwind I never broke 17MPG,lol

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I just can't argue with this :wub:

 

I'm a Jeep Guy myself but with my Jeep getting 14MPG in stock form before ever adding the lift, 33x12.50, lockers I wouldn't suggest one for anyone who intended to commute over long distances or bugout without the ability to hit a gas station every few hours, lol

 

I'm getting in the 20s though, because I commute 35-40 miles a day and fill up maybe once a month.

 

Uh, please explain how you are getting 20MPG with a 4.0L/AW4/NP231? Even on stock rims with a tailwind I never broke 17MPG,lol

 

I really can't tell you how, I just don't know, haha. It's got less than 32k miles on it and it's a '97, so I don't take it on long excursions. I'm not using any miracle formulas or any of that shit, just a waste of cash. I just gas up and go. I did take out my intake restrictor, but I really doubt that did much since it was getting decent gas mileage before I took it out.

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VF thats weird never heard of a Jeep getting past 16-17mpg. I put

 

I used to have a 4x4 truck. 99 Ram 1500. Nice truck but it just sucked on gas. I was spending over a $100 a week and thats when gas was still $1.50/gal here. And it did leak lol. Not bad but enough to where I kept it parked by the curb and not on the driveway.

 

Graniteer - I'm not looking to do any spacific off roading. But I want it to be able to go on more than just gravel roads and paths. Besides the CRVs, RAV4s and subarus are way over priced, at least in my area.

 

I'll prolly be shopping around for a good condition Zuki!

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Arik, are you looking at hauling payloads or passangers or is it just you and maybe one other? If it's just you+, the Samuria or it's likes would work best. But if you need more, I'd look at a 4dr. small truck.

 

I have an '02 Dodge Dakota 4x, 4dr. with small v8 and I drive up to 100mi. a day hauling a small shop(I shoe horses). I fill the 20gal tank once a week most of the time. Mines probly a bit heavy for what you need, but the Toyos and S10s are lighter and get better milage.

 

It all comes down to what your useage is. Also, keep in mind, having two vehicles and a good driving record can get you some really good discounts on insurance.

 

Good luck,

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