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post #31 of (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 09:32 PM
Summit Master
 
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Congrats on the purchase Sgrant,for the terrain and use intended it may be the best value and choice for a new vehicle

On another note,"tires" are as important as a good set of hiking boots.Most factory rubber is econo bulk crap that may do the job.A good set of AT's ot MT's aired down below 20 psi can improve ride and traction to unbelievable lenghts
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post #32 of (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 09:38 PM
Headed for the Mountains
 
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Well,

You need to ask yourself a few questions as there will be tradeoffs involved. If you can afford to visit every gas station you drive by then you can get a regular 4x4 which will give you 20mpg. The inital cost to get one of these used is not too bad maybe $7-9k(120-160KM). If gas mileage is important you are looking at the mini-suv market. In my research I found the older RAV4's (2000 prior?)to give the best mileage 30mpg city 35mgp highway. But could I live with its offroad capability? Well, for my use I wasn't really going all out off-road just up old forestry / logging roads to trailheads. The older RAV4's actually have pretty good clearance, I own a 1998 model, 7 1/2 to 8 inches. So I made the purchase, they are around $10-12k with 100-130k.

I took it to Colorado which is known for rough roads to the TH. The RAV4 performed well on these rough and rutty roads and moderate water crosscuts in the road. The short wheelbase seems to help as mentioned by others. I had to get out and fill a big watercrosscut with boulders as I didn't want to risk wrecking anything on the RAV4 in the middle of Colorado.

The second test came on the road into FisherPeak near Cranbrook and Fort Steele. This road is an old logging road of approx 9km and has a couple big water crosscuts across the road. Too my surprise the RAV4 handled them with ease. The road was damp but not muddy.

The RAV4's are very reliable and their 2.0litre engines will go over 300,000 km. They are a bit underpowered but the build quality is very good to excellent. The one drawback I have found is their use of a rubber timing belt. I believe the Honda CRV's have the same issue. You usually need to replace both the timing belt and the water pump every 100,000 km for $650, yikes!. Did that as soon as I bought mine at 112,000km. But other than that I've been a real happy customer. Finding a low mileage used one that's been treated well is a key.

Hope my experience helps others here.
Mtnview
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post #33 of (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 10:00 PM
 
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Okay I'm stumped. Could someone please help me break Dru's code? I believe OTOH stand for 'on the other hand'. Now what does IMHO stand for?

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I may be delusional, but I'm happy. Don't spoil it unless you have to.
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post #34 of (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 10:14 PM
Headed for the Mountains
 
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In My Humble Opinion
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post #35 of (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 10:20 PM
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IMHO = AnoneMoose (old joke)
maybe it means
I'm Hideous
or
I may hurt others
or
I make hot offers
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post #36 of (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 10:28 PM
Headed for the Mountains
 
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Tacoma:

best truck, 4 cyl..excellent on gas. reliable...wanna buy this one! I love this truck...
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post #37 of (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 03:43 PM
 
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Just like aqua terra, I'm changing the climate with my 2004 Silverado 3/4 ton crew cab 4X4... I got it used off the lot with low miles for a good deal a few months ago. It's got the Vortec 6.slow V8 with auto which is just fine for me, I didn't need the diesel although it was tempting.

As an offroad vehicle so far it's proven itself to be alright... it does have the locking differentials (causing all 4 wheels to spin at the same speed, wreaking havoc as soon as I get traction on a tight corner ) and it desperately needs more agressive tires and I'd like to put a beefy bushguard and a winch on it.

If gas mileage is a concern, NO 4X4 will live up to your expectations... mine gets about 11 city/18 highway but it's got boatloads of power. If you get a smaller vehicle with a 4-banger you'll still be lucky to get 30 mpg highway because they're underpowered but still fairly heavy and geared low to make up for the lack of power. And you won't be able to pull anything.

The best compromise would be a Toyota with a V6 I think, if they just weren't so damned expensive.

If you're serious about offroading, I'd get something older that I wouldn't care about scraping up the doors on, and be prepared to get a bushguard, winch, roll cage etc. I have a co-worker who's really passionate about off-roading, she's a moderator on this site: www.whiteknight.ca. Probably a good source of info, though I've never checked it out much.

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post #38 of (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 03:48 PM
 
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here she is...


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She said 'I'm going out with my girlfriends,
margueritas at the Holiday Inn',
Lord have mercy, my only thought
was Tequila makes her clothes fall off...
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post #39 of (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
 
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Location: Vancouver, , Canada.
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Thanks for all these tips. There is certainly a lot to think about and I knew that there would be more than a few people prepared to point them out. I am just getting started on my research... and I've been known to go a little overboard on the information gathering before jumping in to the purchase.

As for some of the questions posed. I'm not serious about "off"-roading but I want to be able to travel FSRs with relative ease and to be able to get to trail heads without stopping at the first ditch. I'm not sure about the SUV/pickup decision yet and I appreciate the pros and cons of both. Of course cost and gass mileage are factors I need to consider as I am not independantly wealthy, or even wealthy at all, though I am solvent... barely. I'm thinking if I am going to make a purchase this summer it will have to be in the $10,000 area.

Also thanks for putting me onto differential locks, never even knew what that was (yes I will have to learn how to drive the beast when I get it). From what I have seen on the internet though, the diff lock is something that is only necessary for pretty extreme terrain. Is it something that people would use often getting to and from trailheads?
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post #40 of (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 04:42 PM
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If the vehicle has independant front suspension it is more unlikely that one of the front wheels will come off the grond on a mean obstacle.This does not however nullify the need for a posi diff in extreme situations.Too tell you the truth,you would probably never feel the need for true 4 wheel drive getting into a trailhead.Just remember"if all four tires have traction they are all powering the vehicle".
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post #41 of (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 04:56 PM
 
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I'm not sure how it is on SUV's, but I have found that my truck has next to NO traction in 2HI, like I'm talking way worse than my Crown Vic, which was also back-wheel drive. So going into a trailhead, if there's the slighest of hills with the slightest bit of snow, I have to hit 4HI which is like the other extreme, all four wheels digging in for traction. But I only get the two choices. 4LO is the same as 4HI but the gear ratios are lower so the truck goes slower, I almost never use it.

The thing about locking differentials is it forces both sides of the axle (ie. both wheels) to turn at exactly the same speed, which isn't like most cars on the road which have an open differential (ie. only puts power to one wheel) or some kind of de-coupling mechanism. So it's annoying if you are driving in winter conditions in the city where you have SOME traction, and you have to make a tight turn in say a parking lot, because the outside wheels will want to skid and the inside wheels will want to spin. That's all.

----------------------------------------
She said 'I'm going out with my girlfriends,
margueritas at the Holiday Inn',
Lord have mercy, my only thought
was Tequila makes her clothes fall off...
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post #42 of (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 04:58 PM
 
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If I were you Coastal, for $10,000, I would look for a really well-maintained, low-mileage Toyota Four-Runner with V6, for example something from the mid-90's, like this:
http://www.buysell.com/root/detail/B...L_5spd_ps.aspx

or better yet here's one with a pic & lower-miles:
http://www.buysell.com/root/detail/B...00kms_4dr.aspx


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She said 'I'm going out with my girlfriends,
margueritas at the Holiday Inn',
Lord have mercy, my only thought
was Tequila makes her clothes fall off...
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post #43 of (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 05:59 PM
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Although I enjoy my Suzuki I'm humble enough to admit the only 4x4's that I see off road are the Toyota's and they pass me in a flash. Better clearance, more power, and alas more room.

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post #44 of (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Dirt Diggler

If the vehicle has independant front suspension it is more unlikely that one of the front wheels will come off the grond on a mean obstacle.This does not however nullify the need for a posi diff in extreme situations.Too tell you the truth,you would probably never feel the need for true 4 wheel drive getting into a trailhead.Just remember"if all four tires have traction they are all powering the vehicle".
I have to disagree -- axles give way more articulation. Solid axle swaps (rip out the IFS and put in an axle) are popular for a reason.IFS gives a better ride on smooth roads but when it gets rough axles are the way to go.


Most FSRs don't need lockers but never say never. All it takes is one muddy hole and you're stuck. A limited slip is nice to have and I wouldn't turn my nose up at a locker but it wouldn't be a deal-breaker.

In my truck I switch to 4Hi as soon as I hit gravel. It makes for a smoother ride -- no rear wheel hop going up hills and why not use it if I have it. I use 4Low on hills because the low speed really heats up the auto tranny fluid. And again, I have it so why not use it?

The old 4 door Suzuki Sidekick/Chevy Tracker will get you where you want and you don't have to worry about scrathing it or having it stolen.


The Jeep Cherokee is another cheap solid choice.
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post #45 of (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 06:50 PM
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I have heard that from other people as well Slow Dog.The reason I think that people use a solid axle is because it is so much easier to lift.With a solid differential (like the rear one in your pic)the tire that is not climbing the obstacle is forced to roll over on it's corner causing traction loss.This doesn't happen with ifs.The price a properly done ifs is outrageous though.The Hummers and Range Rovers are equipped with this system for a reason as well.It works well for providing maximum traction.Your response is not without merrit though.A solid axle can provide more suspension travel than independent simply because of the control arm geometry.So in conclusion I feel that it is matter of what you'll be doing with your truck that determines what's best.
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