Jeep Wrangler

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Jeep Wrangler

Postby jeff_osu » Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:52 am

Hi all,
I have been looking at getting a Tacoma for a few years now, but I decided I didn't want to be $28k in debt at this point in my life, so I'm looking at used jeeps running for $15-17k.

I'll be visiting a lot of wetlands in the Ouachita Mountains in SE OK, which means going over some rocky mountains/hills and through low-water crossings and clay, soupy roads. With the right tires, can an inline-6 4.0L Jeep Wrangler 4x4 handle those roads? I've had mixed results with the larger pickups, they're so heavy they tend to want to slide off the road into the ditch.

I'd sure appreciate yalls feedback, thanks!
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Re: Jeep Wrangler

Postby ajmorell » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:59 am

It will take more than just tires to get through that kind of terrain. The good thing about a Jeep is that there is a ton of aftermarket support, probably more than any other 4x4. If you are looking at a Wrangler you could get a decent TJ (1997-2006) for 10k or less. If you have 15k to dump you could make a really nice street/trail dual-purpose rig by spending ~$10k on the vehicle and the rest on aftermarket parts.
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Re: Jeep Wrangler

Postby California Sprig » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:53 pm

Although I like jeeps and owned one in the past they are notorious for not being dependable, breakdowns, mechanical problems etc. A friend of mine who owned a jeep told me jeep stands for - just empty every pocket. So if you have the money, time and repair skills go for a used jeep.
To get through the type of terraine you discribe it isn't a matter getting a jeep vs a truck vs a suv, its how the vehicle is set up. You need a vehicle with 4x4. Possible mud tires for the soupy roads. You should go for a vehicle with either limited slip diff., or possibly lockers. You may even have to lift it and put on some taller tires.
You said -
I've had mixed results with the larger pickups, they're so heavy they tend to want to slide off the road into the ditch
. Any vehicle will slide around in the mud and sloppy roads - a truck or a jeep. It takes practice and skill to safely drive mud and sloppy roads and trails. It also requires a properly set up vehicle. I am not recommending any specific brand of vehicle but since you mentioned Toyota - they are probably the most dependable truck on or off the road.
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Re: Jeep Wrangler

Postby ajmorell » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:03 pm

California Sprig wrote:Although I like jeeps and owned one in the past they are notorious for not being dependable, breakdowns, mechanical problems etc. A friend of mine who owned a jeep told me jeep stands for - just empty every pocket. So if you have the money, time and repair skills go for a used jeep.


I don't know where you get the idea that Jeeps are dependable. The 4.0L is one of the most reliable motors out there.

To get through the type of terraine you discribe it isn't a matter getting a jeep vs a truck vs a suv, its how the vehicle is set up. You need a vehicle with 4x4. Possible mud tires for the soupy roads. You should go for a vehicle with either limited slip diff., or possibly lockers. You may even have to lift it and put on some taller tires.


I don't agree. There is a lot of difference between a Jeep and a truck, namely size and wheelbase, both of which are HUGE factors when considering an offroad vehicle.

You said -
I've had mixed results with the larger pickups, they're so heavy they tend to want to slide off the road into the ditch
. Any vehicle will slide around in the mud and sloppy roads - a truck or a jeep. It takes practice and skill to safely drive mud and sloppy roads and trails. It also requires a properly set up vehicle. I am not recommending any specific brand of vehicle but since you mentioned Toyota - they are probably the most dependable truck on or off the road.


Toyotas have a solid following, but unless you're talking about older FJs, 4 runners or Taco's the newer stuff doesn't hold a candle in the wind to a Jeep. My biggest issue with Toyota's is the lack of a solid front axle (on the newer models at least) which means to have a decently capable rig you've got to spend a bunch more money to do a solid-axle swap.
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Re: Jeep Wrangler

Postby California Sprig » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:22 pm

Re dependability - most any ratings you can find (JD Powers, Consumer reports and most all the rest) rank most jeep products near the bottom as far as dependability. I personally like jeeps , have owned one but was just commenting on their dependability. Jeep has set the mark for off roading in the past. The 4.0L has been around a long time and may be dependable but that doesn't make the entire vehicle dependable.
I didn't say that there wasn't a difference between a jeep and a truck. Jeff OSU is talking about a particular kind of terrain and to successfully navigate that terrain it depends on how the vehicle is set up not the brand. Yeh there is a lot of difference between a truck and a jeep. A truck is lighter in the rear so you may want to put some weight in the back of it for sloppy roads but we arn't talking extreme off roading here. A jeep or a truck will probably perform equally well depending on how its equiped or set up in the types of terrain mentioned. Yes wheel base is important but for the terrain mentioned it won't make much difference. Again depends on equipment/set up.
A solid front axel isn't necessary for the type of terrain mentioned won't make a bit of difference for the average 4 wheeler and won't really help you on a muddy road but would be the way to go for rock crawling or super rough terrain. Again we arn't talking extreme off roading or the Baja 500.
I don't care if Jeff O gets a jeep, dodge, ford, toyota or what ever ,if Jeff O wants to navigate the terrain he talks about the bottom line is set up - tires, ground clearence, gearing, limited slip, suspension etc etc etc. A solid front axel would be pretty far down the list for what this post asked about.
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Re: Jeep Wrangler

Postby ajmorell » Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:10 am

California Sprig wrote:Re dependability - most any ratings you can find (JD Powers, Consumer reports and most all the rest) rank most jeep products near the bottom as far as dependability. I personally like jeeps , have owned one but was just commenting on their dependability. Jeep has set the mark for off roading in the past. The 4.0L has been around a long time and may be dependable but that doesn't make the entire vehicle dependable.
I didn't say that there wasn't a difference between a jeep and a truck. Jeff OSU is talking about a particular kind of terrain and to successfully navigate that terrain it depends on how the vehicle is set up not the brand. Yeh there is a lot of difference between a truck and a jeep. A truck is lighter in the rear so you may want to put some weight in the back of it for sloppy roads but we arn't talking extreme off roading here. A jeep or a truck will probably perform equally well depending on how its equiped or set up in the types of terrain mentioned. Yes wheel base is important but for the terrain mentioned it won't make much difference. Again depends on equipment/set up.
A solid front axel isn't necessary for the type of terrain mentioned won't make a bit of difference for the average 4 wheeler and won't really help you on a muddy road but would be the way to go for rock crawling or super rough terrain. Again we arn't talking extreme off roading or the Baja 500.
I don't care if Jeff O gets a jeep, dodge, ford, toyota or what ever ,if Jeff O wants to navigate the terrain he talks about the bottom line is set up - tires, ground clearence, gearing, limited slip, suspension etc etc etc. A solid front axel would be pretty far down the list for what this post asked about.


Regarding dependability - to me dependability is more than just what someone like JD Power says. To me the replacement cost of parts (including labor) also has to be factored in, and for a Jeep if you know where to look replacement parts are a dime a dozen since so many parts are shared across models.

My reason for mentioning solid axle is not because of articulation, but because of the cost to lift a vehicle. You can lift a solid axle Jeep for less than half the cost you can an IFS Tacoma.
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Re: Jeep Wrangler

Postby 2500hdon37s » Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:02 pm

2 of my friends have jeeps and neither of the Jeeps have been in the shop and one has a 3in lift. but yes they can be cheaper to lift (to a point) they wheel great and are pleanty reliable. a solid axle isnt needed for off road i have an IFS truck and it does pretty good but it sucks becasue of the alinment easy to throw out of whack. but the down side to a jeep (unless your always wanting to tote an enclosed trailer through those roads) you dont have a bed to haul stuff like a truck and not have to drag around a trailer oh those sticky roads. but my truck fills up quick with 2-4 guys, few doz deeks, just something to think about.


but you dont need a lift to get mud tires, you'd be great with some 30-33x 10.5'' mud tires and you can go almost just as meany places ive seen stock trucks with 33's plow quite a bit of mud and even my buddy's FJ with high way tires killed it on the trails
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Re: Jeep Wrangler

Postby jeff_osu » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:08 pm

At this point I'm torn between a used Jeep or a brand new Silverado 4x4 (single cab). For just 2 or 3 grand more, it seems I can get a more capable vehicle in a single-cab V8 Chevy. I'll have to put some tires and lift and such on it, but all the Jeeps I've looked at with any offroad mods (tires, lights, wench, etc.).....I get the feeling they've had some rough, rough miles put on them. I'm not ruling out a Jeep yet, but I just can't seem to find that perfect fit of ~40,000 miles, ~$15-17k, and hardtop. The Rubicon I testdrove today was used in Bentonville, Arkansas in the Ozark Mountains.....nice Jeep and all, but it would be like marrying a prostitute. My heart is kind of set on Jeep, but I get the feeling I'm going to end up with a truck before it is all said and done.
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