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Old 01-18-2012, 09:48 PM   #1
Drizzt OP
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Help me find my next truck

Okay, so I'm a college student, and I've purchased my first truck already, a 1982 isuzu p'up diesel:



which has been a great rig, but I want some that's A)better offroad and B)can carry 4 people.

Now, the main goals for my next vehicle are as such:

1)can carry 4 people and camping equipment
2)can go anywhere on an established trail (no boulder climbing or anything, but if the trail involves rocky hill climbs/sand/ruts I want to be able to navigate it without getting stuck)
3)get decent fuel economy (15mpg is the lowest I'll go, I would prefer 20+)
4)cheap upfront cost (my budget is around 2k)
5)upgradable for off road use (hopefully as I save up money I can slowly put money into this vehicle to be better off road, over time)

Now, I've looked into my options, and I've found 2 vehicles that will fulfill these needs, a first or second generation Toyota 4runner with a 22r motor, or an Isuzu Trooper (pre 97). I consdiered a samurai for a short time, but the reality is, with a samurai it's either 2 people and stuff or just 4 people, which is too limiting.

Now, my question is, what's your advice? If you've had a trooper or 4runner I'd like your experiences... offroad capability, pimpability, real world fuel economy, ect. Or, have you had a different vehicle that will meet these needs? I'd love to hear about that too. Any advice is great and appreciated
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:51 PM   #2
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I had an old Toyota pickup that had the 22re engine and it ran awesome all the time. Unfortunately the rest of the truck fell apart around it due to all the road salt. I don't remember what gas mileage was, I just drove the piss out of it. If the frame and body look good, my vote goes for the Toyota.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:24 PM   #3
sadexcuse4s10
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older troopers will run forever.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:28 PM   #4
tucsondude
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check out pathfinders?
why not an older cherokee?
otherwise 4runner/trooper.

if you really want upgradeable and will have the actual cash flow 4runner/cherokee for the aftermarket, all the way.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:28 PM   #5
garfey
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Next-door neighboogers had a Trooper, got it in, like, '95 so it was definitely pre-'97. It would not pull a feather out of a birdnest. Horrible little vehicle.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:31 PM   #6
sadexcuse4s10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garfey View Post
Next-door neighboogers had a Trooper, got it in, like, '95 so it was definitely pre-'97. It would not pull a feather out of a birdnest. Horrible little vehicle.
those ones were the re-badged hondas. yeah they were pieces of shit.

the old box body troopers are tanks, especially when you get the 5 speed. i knew a guy that had a 4 door '89 model, the starter went out and he lived on a hill. he drove it for 2 years roll starting it down the driveway.

my FIL bought it for $500 like 6 years ago, and I put a starter on it and did a shitty driveway paint job. damn thing has god knows how many miles and is still kicking.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:37 PM   #7
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the starter went out and he lived on a hill. he drove it for 2 years roll starting it down the driveway.
Lol, I did the same thing in my Toyota. Who needs a starter when you have gravity and a clutch.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:40 PM   #8
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Yeah I even do it on my xr650l every now and then in 2nd or 3rd gear when i don't feel like charging it up.
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tucsondude View Post
...why not an older cherokee?

if you really want upgradeable and will have the actual cash flow 4runner/cherokee for the aftermarket, all the way.
With a budget of $2k and a trailer, this is the only realistic option that I see. The only 4x4 pickups that will carry four people in that price range are going to be worthless piles of crap that will end up costing you a fortune. And for even the most rat 4Runner you better triple that budget. But good used Cherokees and Grand Cherokees are everywhere around here.

Cherokees and even GC's are dirt cheap to buy, dirt cheap to fix, very offroad capable and can tow a remarkable amount of weight. The 4.0l I6 may be the best compact truck motor every put in a vehicle and it is typically combined with an AW4 automatic transmission known for being unbreakable. Plus you get solid axles that make it easy to modify.

And, since Cherokees and Grand Cherokees were the top two cash for clunkers trade ins, junkyards are full of spare parts. Obviously the motors are toast but see above about those. All of which accounts for why the 97 Cherokee Sport I bought new is still in my driveway. It is only worth a couple of thousand dollars to somebody else. But I still love it.

And with a $200 used engine installed it should be good for a few hundred thousand more miles. It is still my best snow vehicle and runs circles around our 4Runner and my Ranger 4x4 offroad. It still hauls ass, still drives well and is generally perfect for beating the hell out of. So it is the one vehicle my wife and I have kept all these years.
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:12 AM   #10
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cherokee is hard to beat! get a 91 or newer for better cooling system, better engine management system.
if you mget a manual, check the firewall behind the carpet under the clutch master. The master is known to leak, run down the firewall, and into the fuse block.
This can be a major issue!
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:22 AM   #11
Drizzt OP
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Tucson has some special price demographics, so a lot of vehicles are cheap. Craigslist searches have found that 4runners can be found running anywhere between 1500-2500, depending on how well they run and if the rest of the vehicle is trashed or not. For some reason I'm finding a lot of the early second generation troopers and not many first generations (a couple first gens with bad engines). I've found 2 1992 3.2v6 troopers for 1700.

I haven't really looked into pathfinders, probably should. I guess the reason I lean towards toyota vs pathfinder is that I have a friend who works at a yota dealership, so he's knowledgeable about working on them and can get discounts on parts.

Regarding Cherokee's, I just don't know about them. I've heard a lot about electrical issues with them, and I would have to invest in standard sized tools to work on the dang thing (Owning 3 Japanese vehicles, I have a much better assortment of metric tools). Plus, it just doesn't seem like a vehicle I would like. Don't know why, it's just the vibe I get. I do like the aftermarket availability though.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sadexcuse4s10 View Post
those ones were the re-badged hondas. yeah they were pieces of shit.

the old box body troopers are tanks, especially when you get the 5 speed. i knew a guy that had a 4 door '89 model, the starter went out and he lived on a hill. he drove it for 2 years roll starting it down the driveway.

my FIL bought it for $500 like 6 years ago, and I put a starter on it and did a shitty driveway paint job. damn thing has god knows how many miles and is still kicking.
There is a little confusion here. Isuzu did not re-badge Honda's, Honda re-badged the Isuzu Rodeo as a Passport.

The 95 Trooper 3.2 V-6 with 175hp/175lbs-ft. Not too shabby for the era. It was re-badged by Acura as the SLX.
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:27 AM   #13
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Jeep XJ. Can't go wrong. Period.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:11 PM   #14
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I can give a comparison because we have had two 3rd gen 4Runners (99 & 00) and our Cherokee (97). We still have the 99 4Runner and the 97 Cherokee. The Cherokee is hands down more fun offroad. That is mainly because of the tighter turning radius, shorter wheelbase and better power to weight ratio. Which means it is also faster.

And, believe it or not, my wife and I both agree that the Cherokee drives better and is more comfortable than either 4Runner. The front seats in both of our 4Runners just plain suck. Plus the Jeep parts are way cheaper new and easier to find used. The first time you replace a $130 O2 sensor in a 4Runner you understand about parts costs.

Neither 4Runner has been any more or any less reliable than our Cherokee. But neither 4Runner has gone over 100,000 miles and the Cherokee is over 200,0000. We couldn't even kill the 1st gen Cherokee we used for land survey crews at work. You can run them into the dirt if you try. But they are easy to maintain so they are also easy to not destroy

So what does the 4Runner do better? Well it has a lot more room inside. Especially for four adult sized males. And the longer wheelbase makes it a better interstate cruiser. The brakes are marginally better, the suspension handles towing better and the power back window is perfect for the dog. And it holds its value better. Reliability is a wash.

So my preference for 600 mile trips home to SC is the 4Runner. My preference as a daily driver, urban assault vehicle, offroad vehicle, dog hauler and snow mobile is the Cherokee. As for Cherokee fasteners, I wish they were all SAE. Or all metric. But they are actually mostly Torx. The hex heads are mostly metric.

If you go compact 4x4 truck. My experience a couple of years ago was that Toyota owners think even beat to hell, rusted apart high mileage Tacomas are made of gold. So did the insurance company that gave me $3600 for a 15 year old 450,000 mile beat to hell, rusted apart Toyota 4x4 truck.

For the money I had to replace the Toyota truck I could either by a very low mileage 4x4 Ranger or a very high mileage 4x4 Toyota. I now have a 4x4 Ranger. It isn't as nice a truck as the Toyota. But then I didn't pay as much for it so I don't expect as much from it.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:54 PM   #15
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Cherokee: Don't forget about the water pump going at 100k. Along with the tranny (auto) starting to slip. Then theres the
rear main seal that don't last 50k. Oh, and the doors that if you lean on them even a little, you'll put major dent
in em. As said, more fun off road than the 4runner. Short turning radius and straight front axle makes for a better
4x4 vehicle.

4runner: Pre 96's V6 was the 3.0 slo. Low on power, low mpg's, and shit the head gaskets around 100k. Later years till the
4.0 had the 3.4. Good reliable engine. Decent mpg (17/20). Able to tow most anything.

Wish i could find any kinda 4wd 4runner around here that was running for under 2k. Not gonna happen. If their 4x4, you can part them out for that much.
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