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Off road Jeep (or jeep-like) anarchy for Dummies


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On 2/12/2021 at 2:31 PM, Rasputin22 said:

 

   I had a Suzuki Samurai on St Croix that had been rode hard and put away wet (salt water wet) for a decade or so by a dive shop. It was my second Susy Suki (first on St John) and the Dive Shop one was so rusted out that the only thing holding it together were the hundreds of dive shop and dive gear bumper sticker all over it. Taught my daughter to drive in in 4WD on the mountains of St Croix overlooking Salt River and it was surprisingly capable off road. A road trip all the way out to the Yacht Club on the far end of the Island (25 miles?) seemed like an all day trip though. 

     Wish I had this bumper sticker though

Image result for suzuki samurai

 

I wonder if maybe you might have gotten the Samurai we rented on STX in the early nineties after it left rental service? It was a nearly new convertible that we immediately took the top down the day we got it. It rained hard twice that week and this must have been the  one and only watertight Suzuki ever made because we had a 4" deep swimming pool all week. I searched high and low looking for a drainplug... no joy.

We splashed as much out of it as we could but there was still a couple of inches of water and a beach full of sand in there when we turned it in and ran at the end of the week.

I don't imagine it stayed watertight very long after that.

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Honeymoon on St Croix 95.  Stayed at Cheney Bey for 2 weeks.  Got the first new design Jeep on the damn island, brand fricking new.  So we go about our business for the vaca, diving, normal honeymoon stuff.  Got to the point where the locals thought we were moving there.  Anyway the last 1.5 days the fuzz comes down on us hard, got dragged into POPO office etc...  Apparently there was a registration issue???  WTF, spent the better part of the day trying to explain that it was a rental, but it was pouring so we did not miss much.  Still to this day I have no idea why they detained us for a couple hrs.  

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1 hour ago, shaggy said:

Honeymoon on St Croix 95.  Stayed at Cheney Bey for 2 weeks.  Got the first new design Jeep on the damn island, brand fricking new.  So we go about our business for the vaca, diving, normal honeymoon stuff.  Got to the point where the locals thought we were moving there.  Anyway the last 1.5 days the fuzz comes down on us hard, got dragged into POPO office etc...  Apparently there was a registration issue???  WTF, spent the better part of the day trying to explain that it was a rental, but it was pouring so we did not miss much.  Still to this day I have no idea why they detained us for a couple hrs.  

Perhaps your new bride needed some time alone to take the pool boy out for a spin?  She set it all up with a small donation to the Police Department.

Just kidding...

I'm sure the new Jeep didn't last too long on St Croix.   They can rust horribly.

 

 

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2 hours ago, shaggy said:

Honeymoon on St Croix 95.  Stayed at Cheney Bey for 2 weeks.  Got the first new design Jeep on the damn island, brand fricking new.  So we go about our business for the vaca, diving, normal honeymoon stuff.  Got to the point where the locals thought we were moving there.  Anyway the last 1.5 days the fuzz comes down on us hard, got dragged into POPO office etc...  Apparently there was a registration issue???  WTF, spent the better part of the day trying to explain that it was a rental, but it was pouring so we did not miss much.  Still to this day I have no idea why they detained us for a couple hrs.  

Because they could?!

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6 minutes ago, Rasputin22 said:

Because they could?!

I donno, They seemed to be interested in the registration, which was strange as we had driven the damn thing all over the island for a couple weeks.  

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  • 2 months later...

want a Jeep like ride?  Then buy a Jeep

Want to go offroad? then get the Wrangler Rubicon

Want the most badass Rubicon, get the new one with the 470 hp 392 V8 from the factory...

and a sound that stirs the soul....

 

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I pre-ordered one of these last year. I think it will be better off-road than my old Toyota Fj25, Fj40 or Fj55 did. Of course, I did spend some time pulling other trucks and jeeps out of trouble, even with the offset rears dragging a new rut in the trails. 
 

394F310A-5C6C-4DFA-B886-24C4263BE31A.jpeg

4DAC2736-FB5C-48CD-8B56-92906AC47885.jpeg

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2 hours ago, Sail4beer said:

I pre-ordered one of these last year. I think it will be better off-road than my old Toyota Fj25, Fj40 or Fj55 did. Of course, I did spend some time pulling other trucks and jeeps out of trouble, even with the offset rears dragging a new rut in the trails. 
 

394F310A-5C6C-4DFA-B886-24C4263BE31A.jpeg

4DAC2736-FB5C-48CD-8B56-92906AC47885.jpeg

So YOU'RE the guy who actually bought one of these? Jfc.....have fun in Baja.....:lol:

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37 minutes ago, El Mariachi said:

Screenshot_2021-04-21-20-40-13.png

And just like having a penis, just because half the world has one, does not mean it is not an awful lot of fun, and I certainly would not think about giving it up. 

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I did have the old International Harvester pig which was a load of fun too. I pre-ordered the Tesla as a possible replacement for the Chevy which I bought new in 2012 after Superstorm Sandy destroyed my trusty minivan. I did not think I would ever see that thing floating around. I may have to pass on the Tesla if I can’t overload it with work shit and dent it up in the first few hundred miles like I’m used to.

image.jpg

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Sounds like what you need is, in this order:

Ride comfort/safety

Ground clearance

Drivetrain

Despite your post title, what you described is dirt-roading, not off-roading. For that, you frankly don't need the compromises in comfort, safety, and fuel economy that come with a true offroad vehicle.

All the fun jagging off about FJ's and Samurais aside, all you need is decent ground clearance and a drivetrain that effectively manages slip (and ideally a wheelbase shorter than a full size truck - clearance is actually a factor of height ÷ wheelbase)**.

A modern 4runner would do you fine, but so would an outback, ascent, or forester with good tires and maybe a 1-2" lift (can be done without suspension mods, and doesn't hugely compromise safety). 

A truck would also work, but if you get a long enough cab to be comfortable, you're getting into a compromising wheelbase length

Overall, The quality of the drive train is the hardest thing to ascertain. Manufacturers use snake-oil language, so it is hard to know what you're actually getting unless you chew through loads of reviews and research on your own.

Ideally you want something that will lock up, but this is harder to find in a modern vehicle. Next choice is manual, with true 4wd. Last choice is AWD (continuously-variable slip technology is still by and large bullshit). The exception to the latter is Subaru - their tech has been way ahead of the competition since the nineties, and consistently outperforms their class.

Another mark in favor of Subarus is that they are also consistently some of the safest cars in their class.

A second generation Forester with a small lift and aggressive tires would handle 99% of the same terrain as a 4runner, with better milage + safety and a lower upfront cost.

The downside to a car/micro-suv platform (including all the Subarus unfortunately) is that their drivetrains and suspension tend to be less robust than trucks, and so need to be driven a touch more carefully.

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26 minutes ago, Breamerly said:

Sounds like what you need is, in this order:

Ride comfort/safety

Ground clearance

Drivetrain

Despite your post title, what you described is dirt-roading, not off-roading. For that, you frankly don't need the compromises in comfort, safety, and fuel economy that come with a true offroad vehicle.

All the fun jagging off about FJ's and Samurais aside, all you need is decent ground clearance and a drivetrain that effectively manages slip (and ideally a wheelbase shorter than a full size truck - clearance is actually a factor of height ÷ wheelbase)**.

A modern 4runner would do you fine, but so would an outback, ascent, or forester with good tires and maybe a 1-2" lift (can be done without suspension mods, and doesn't hugely compromise safety). 

A truck would also work, but if you get a long enough cab to be comfortable, you're getting into a compromising wheelbase length

Overall, The quality of the drive train is the hardest thing to ascertain. Manufacturers use snake-oil language, so it is hard to know what you're actually getting unless you chew through loads of reviews and research on your own.

Ideally you want something that will lock up, but this is harder to find in a modern vehicle. Next choice is manual, with true 4wd. Last choice is AWD (continuously-variable slip technology is still by and large bullshit). The exception to the latter is Subaru - their tech has been way ahead of the competition since the nineties, and consistently outperforms their class.

Another mark in favor of Subarus is that they are also consistently some of the safest cars in their class.

A second generation Forester with a small lift and aggressive tires would handle 99% of the same terrain as a 4runner, with better milage + safety and a lower upfront cost.

The downside to a car/micro-suv platform (including all the Subarus unfortunately) is that their drivetrains and suspension tend to be less robust than trucks, and so need to be driven a touch more carefully.

I agree 100% on the driveline comment.  The Subaru axles are the fuses in the system.  Snappy snap snap.

Also, as they age, they become quite gutless.

That said, after owning 3 of them of various years and mileage, they are wonderfully efficient with what they are capable of doing.  Sort of the swiss army knife approach.  Does everything... sort of.

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How come no one's mentioned the SHERP

Either go in for a Toyota 4×4. Simple, works, low maintenance or if you need more well then get something that'll go anywhere even on water if you want to just chill in the middle of a lake or something.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Windward said:

I agree 100% on the driveline comment.  The Subaru axles are the fuses in the system.  Snappy snap snap.

Also, as they age, they become quite gutless.

That said, after owning 3 of them of various years and mileage, they are wonderfully efficient with what they are capable of doing.  Sort of the swiss army knife approach.  Does everything... sort of.

I mean, most people who imagine themselves 'off-roading on the way to camps/hikes' are talking about handling a bad washout/stream crossing at most.

It's an entirely different scenario than rock-crawling, which really requires a custom vehicle, and usually one that's basically a death trap at much above 35. (Which is why actual off-road people tend to pull their trail rigs to the trailhead).

And yeah, even new subarus are pretty gutless right off the lot, compared to Detroit iron.

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On 2/12/2021 at 3:10 PM, Mrleft8 said:

Note the snorkle air intake, and the (presumably) extended exhaust pipe.

not to mention the breathers of diffs n gear cases

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