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Old 03-08-2021, 10:03 PM   #1
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Default Help me pick a trail rig that isn't a jeep lol

Was considering the new bronco but I would have to trade in my f150 and my first born, sell my soul, etc.

Wife made a glorious proposal: keep the f150 AND get a dedicated wheeling rig!

Here is the catch: I would need to stay below $10k or closer to $5k would be ideal.
Also, NO JERPS.
As much sense as an XJ makes for me to bomb around socal (and beyond) with the family onboard, I just can't bring myself to do it in a jeep. No offense to jeep owners but I just get tired of them being everywhere. I know, there is a reason "because they WORK". Right, I know.

I will throw one out there to get discussion going and see what else you come up with...
1st gen explorer with TTB.
Yeah? No way? Maybe?
I can't find any for sale, so that's problem number 1 lol

What do you all think? (Other than being crazy for not going for an XJ lol)
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Old 03-08-2021, 10:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: Help me pick a trail rig that isn't a jeep lol

I would go 2nd or 3rd gen 4runner before an Explorer personally. I was looking at XJ's and ZJ's before deciding on a 4runner myself. Just depends on what kind of "wheeling" you do.

Here you go https://sandiego.craigslist.org/nsd/...275218935.html

Last edited by Sniper4370; 03-08-2021 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 03-09-2021, 01:37 AM   #3
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Default Re: Help me pick a trail rig that isn't a jeep lol

LC80, 100. 4runner, tacoma, older 2500 dodge ram. Bobbed deuce and a half, if they're still 8K
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Old 03-09-2021, 05:03 AM   #4
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Default Re: Help me pick a trail rig that isn't a jeep lol

I'm pushing 246,000 miles on my '99 4Runner so I'd have to agree that a 2nd/ 3rd gen in good condition might be worth looking for.
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Old 03-09-2021, 06:02 AM   #5
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Default Re: Help me pick a trail rig that isn't a jeep lol

imo the 4runners are just as played out and boring as the Yeeps, think outside the box. 5dr Sidekick, 2dr Yukon, CrewCab s10/s15, Quadcab Dakota, Syncro van, Yota 4x4 Van, Pathfinder/Quigley Van (if you can find/afford one), Dodge Raider / Mitsubishi Montero, AMC Eagle (again - if you can find/afford one).
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Old 03-09-2021, 08:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: Help me pick a trail rig that isn't a jeep lol

Need more info... intended use, suv or truck, seating requirements, solid axle or ifs, engine size preference, expected tire size, etc etc

As a Ford tech I can promise you literally all Explorers are junk.
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Old 03-09-2021, 08:32 AM   #7
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Default Re: Help me pick a trail rig that isn't a jeep lol

4runner or Tacoma all day. My brother has a 4runner that just won't die. Personal opinion thing here - I would not worry about what everyone else is driving, would focus more on cost of ownership and reliability. Rare/not typical is cool but can get expensive, I'd rather something that has parts galore on every website. And I've learned through trial and error that when you decide to be different you are the only one that notices/cares LOL. Just glancing at some of the suggestions above -

S10 - I owned 3 of them, that's a hard no for a trail vehicle (underpowered, under geared, under everything'd)
Exploder - have owned one and never again
Any of the boutique vans - good luck with parts compatibility except maybe the Quigley, but they are not cheap
Montero - maybe...
AMC Eagle - yeah, no...not for a dedicated trail vehicle
Tacoma - yep


There's a reason you see a lot of the same trucks doing a lot of the same things, and you mentioned it (they work). If it's something you are just going to tow to the trail then get a SAS anything. If you have to drive it to the trail that kind of rules out a good bit of the more adventurous choices.

Last edited by Phildirt; 03-09-2021 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 03-09-2021, 08:42 AM   #8
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Default Re: Help me pick a trail rig that isn't a jeep lol

I get the desire to have something different, but the common choices all have serious advantages, hence the reason they are so common. Effectiveness off-road, stout aftermarket support. Intended use is very important for relevant suggestions.

I avoided iPods back in the day. I had a bunch of different MP3 players by a bunch of different companies. They all played music. Once I finally gave in and got an iPod though, clouds parted, angels sang, peace descended and I realized all the reasons why Apple was top of the heap. They simply made the best device for the intended use.

Kinda like Jeep.
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Old 03-09-2021, 10:11 AM   #9
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Default Re: Help me pick a trail rig that isn't a jeep lol

jeeps are not great 4x4s out of the box they need better axles better suspention more power bla bla bla but you can bolt on anything no skill needed
i run a scout 2 for overlanding it has a pop up camper on the back and tows the toys nicly
also i have a few trail subarus
one has a duel range transfercase and big tires and is all tubed out its a real beast in the desert but its still undergeared for the rocks kinda looks like a 2 door jeep charokee and all custom built by me no store bought crap
the other is just a basic lifted impreza it dose real good on back roads in the snow and mud and sand but dont even try rock crawling i hit a wash at around 100mph and took out all the front suspention i almost made it to the otherside another 3 ft and i would have landed smooth
the older subarus are dirt cheap parts are cheap and there like legos you can mix and match parts to get what you want and there vary reliable
there are alot of upgrades
the best part there not jeeps there comfertable durable and good on gas street legal and insurance is cheap and you probably wont see another one out on the trail
my next rig i build will be a old shortend outback with a toyota brz transmission matted to a suzuki transfercase and running the r180 diffs out of a turbo forester or wrx for the gearing and lockers all bolt in mods except the tcase it needs a custom crossmember

Last edited by ferp420; 03-09-2021 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 03-09-2021, 01:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: Help me pick a trail rig that isn't a jeep lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phildirt View Post
S10 - I owned 3 of them, that's a hard no for a trail vehicle (underpowered, under geared, under everything'd)
Exploder - have owned one and never again
Any of the boutique vans - good luck with parts compatibility except maybe the Quigley, but they are not cheap
Montero - maybe...
AMC Eagle - yeah, no...not for a dedicated trail vehicle
Tacoma - yep
.
Yeah, this is nonsense. No rig is a trail truck off the factory floor, including yotas and jeeps, they all have to made to perform. Aftermarket support is infinitely more important than any other factor, and personal preference is the single most important factor. Don't be talked into disregarding a platform if it interests you.
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Old 03-09-2021, 02:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: Help me pick a trail rig that isn't a jeep lol

This is generally where I start pushing people towards an XJ (and I'm NOT a Jeep guy, I wheel a K5 Blazer ***it's on life support these days***) but...

Suzuki Sidekick/Geo Tracker. It's like an underpowered, undersuspended RZR... that's street legal! You can't drive one without a smile on your face. It's like driving a gokart on the highway and getting away with it. I rode in one that had a 4.3l vortec swap and it was pretty awesome. They crawl well for an IFS vehicle (is Calmini still making parts for them?), and they're pretty straight forward to do a solid axle swap on if a bit more towards the crawling side is your goal. Though I've wheeled with plenty of badass Samurai's, I'd take the Sidekick/Tracker over a Sammy personally.

I see there's not much love for the exploders, but a 1st gen with a 4L and ttb sounds like a good choice for an all-rounder, and it has the potential to absolutely school all the other vehicles mentioned so far in the high speed suspension department. On a similar note, an 80-96 O.J. Bronco could be a great option too. Similar enough to the exploder's wheelbase, but wider (more stable, easier to get more front suspension travel) and with more powerful engine options and a more stout drivetrain... convertible too!
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Old 03-09-2021, 02:33 PM   #12
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Default Re: Help me pick a trail rig that isn't a jeep lol

I briefly owned a 96 amigo. It was surprisingly well equipped. 2.5 fuel injected, 5 speed 4x4, limited slip rear, 4 wheel disc brakes and a/c.
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Old 03-09-2021, 03:10 PM   #13
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Default Re: Help me pick a trail rig that isn't a jeep lol

Another vote for 3rd gen 4runner. Most of them are approaching 250k and still drive like new. Make sure to find one with the rear e-locker, as it's over a grand to install any other selectable locker. Mines been wrecked, rolled and beaten and still goes down the road as decent as bias play swampers will allow.

I do like 1rst gen explorers with torquy 4.0, 31 spline 8.8" rear axle, decent frame strength, good visibility, but I cant stand the horrid front hub and wheelbearing design. First thing I'd have to do is swap dana 44 knuckles onto it and redrill the rear shafts and drums to accommodate the 5x5.5 bolt pattern the 44 knuckles use and rock some oem mid nineties Ford Alcoa's on it.
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Old 03-09-2021, 03:31 PM   #14
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Default Re: Help me pick a trail rig that isn't a jeep lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by SurlyBurly View Post
Yeah, this is nonsense. No rig is a trail truck off the factory floor, including yotas and jeeps, they all have to made to perform. Aftermarket support is infinitely more important than any other factor, and personal preference is the single most important factor. Don't be talked into disregarding a platform if it interests you.

Dude...you are a little on the Surly Burly side aren't you?



So just humor me - - - if aftermarket support is infinitely more important, you really think an Eagle (rare as hen's teeth) or an S10 (has not been in production for 17 years) are strong contenders in that field?


Nobody is trying to talk OP into anything. He asked for opinion, he gets it
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Old 03-09-2021, 03:58 PM   #15
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Default Re: Help me pick a trail rig that isn't a jeep lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phildirt View Post
Dude...you are a little on the Surly Burly side aren't you?



So just humor me - - - if aftermarket support is infinitely more important, you really think an Eagle (rare as hen's teeth) or an S10 (has not been in production for 17 years) are strong contenders in that field?


Nobody is trying to talk OP into anything. He asked for opinion, he gets it
You're the one who talked shit on every recommendation I mentioned, and you're gonna crack wise on my attitude? This isn't the first time you've been just straight rude and dismissive either, and not just to me, and for what? Consistently the most boring, predictable self-contradictory comments. So yeah, you can probably expect me to reply in kind when you're arrogant and/or abrasive.
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Old 03-09-2021, 04:02 PM   #16
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Default Re: Help me pick a trail rig that isn't a jeep lol

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Originally Posted by SurlyBurly View Post
You're the one who talked shit on every recommendation I mentioned, and you're gonna crack wise on my attitude? This isn't the first time you've been just straight rude and dismissive either, and not just to me, and for what? Consistently the most boring, predictable self-contradictory comments. So yeah, you can probably expect me to reply in kind when you're arrogant and/or abrasive.

I sincerely apologize if I came across that way in any of the threads we've been involved in, not my intention. This is a relatively drama free forum, one of the main reasons I enjoy it. Hopefully we can kiss and make up...I don't really do animosity very well haha.


OP - sorry for the thread jack.
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Old 03-09-2021, 04:11 PM   #17
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Default Re: Help me pick a trail rig that isn't a jeep lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by SurlyBurly View Post
You're the one who talked shit on every recommendation I mentioned, and you're gonna crack wise on my attitude? This isn't the first time you've been just straight rude and dismissive either, and not just to me, and for what? Consistently the most boring, predictable self-contradictory comments. So yeah, you can probably expect me to reply in kind when you're arrogant and/or abrasive.

I used to think he was a shit-talker, but IMO itís just how he responds. Itís not in a rude way, just a playful way. Once you are on here for a certain amount of time, you take stuff less personal and more playful I guess you can say. Guys talk shit to each other all the time-thatís what we do.

Just my opinion and how I see things.

Oh and by the way, no offense to you Phil!




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Old 03-09-2021, 04:15 PM   #18
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Default Re: Help me pick a trail rig that isn't a jeep lol

@SLN shut up and go glue your fingers together or something.

Look, I'm not a kid, I have kids, I am very direct, I don't waste a whole lot of words...but bottom line around 90% of this and any forum is just a bunch of opinion being slung around. Not sure if you noticed there aren't a lot of builds going on...I actually get all excited when I'm scrolling and see one haha.

Surly I look forward to seeing what you build/get into and like said just take me worth the appropriate grains of salt...if I don't agree with you that doesn't mean I don't like you, it just means we have different perspectives. But I'm not going to talk to anyone like they are a child unless they are a child...well like SLN hahah.
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Old 03-09-2021, 04:17 PM   #19
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Default Help me pick a trail rig that isn't a jeep lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phildirt View Post
@SLN shut up and go glue your fingers together or something.
Hot glue or E6000? Want me to clamp it?




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Old 03-09-2021, 10:13 PM   #20
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Default Re: Help me pick a trail rig that isn't a jeep lol

could go old school with a baja bug
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