Random Thoughts... [Automotive Edition]

BerserkerCatSplat

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Honest to God I wanted to use 4LO to drive through the brakes but I think that transfer case has never seen 4LO since it left the factory in 2003. It really didn't want to engage!
 

LeVeL

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Very few people actually do any remotely serious off-roading so I don't understand the mass appeal of Wranglers, FJ Cruisers, etc. I get wanting a big 4WD car but at least make it nice and comfy. Even that jacked up Lexus posted earlier - 99.9% of the time in it would be spent complaining about the tire noise, rather than actually off-roading. Hence why I want a GC Trailhawk lol
 

Spectre

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Very few people actually do any remotely serious off-roading so I don't understand the mass appeal of Wranglers, FJ Cruisers, etc. I get wanting a big 4WD car but at least make it nice and comfy. Even that jacked up Lexus posted earlier - 99.9% of the time in it would be spent complaining about the tire noise, rather than actually off-roading. Hence why I want a GC Trailhawk lol
Wrangler appeal - cheap convertible. Offroaders often have a cheap, easily cleaned interior for this reason:


Also, the LX noise insulation is *really* good and unless the tire noise is very loud you can't hear it inside.
 

Blind_Io

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Very few people actually do any remotely serious off-roading so I don't understand the mass appeal of Wranglers, FJ Cruisers, etc. I get wanting a big 4WD car but at least make it nice and comfy. Even that jacked up Lexus posted earlier - 99.9% of the time in it would be spent complaining about the tire noise, rather than actually off-roading. Hence why I want a GC Trailhawk lol
I actually do hard off road trails and the Xterra has the dented and scraped armor to prove it. I've gone out for as long as a week with no stops for fuel, no access to water of any kind (including natural sources), and having to carry out all my waste. I'm looking at a real off road build for a reason, and it isn't dick wagging at the mall.
 

prizrak

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Very few people actually do any remotely serious off-roading so I don't understand the mass appeal of Wranglers, FJ Cruisers, etc. I get wanting a big 4WD car but at least make it nice and comfy. Even that jacked up Lexus posted earlier - 99.9% of the time in it would be spent complaining about the tire noise, rather than actually off-roading. Hence why I want a GC Trailhawk lol
1) They look cool
2) They come in manual
3) They can be RWD unless needed
4) They can drive over shittastic roads that your and my city are known for and not break

I never driven a Wrangler/FJ but I can tell you that the Xterra, despite it's similar off roading capabilities is more comfortable than my friend's Durango.
 

Blind_Io

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I can vouch for that. Of the three I considered - FJ Cruiser, JKU, and Xterra; the Xterra was the most comfortable for me, had the best visibility, and the best balance between on-road handling and off road ability. The JKU Rubicon is far more capable out of the box than a Pro4X Xterra, but the Xterra can comfortably cruise on the highway to get to the trail head in a way the JKU just doesn't. While the JKU can crawl over bigger boulders from the factory, the Xterra can eat up a couple hundred miles of desert dirt track at high speed and be planted and comfortable the whole time. The solid-axle JKU is all over the place and tops out at around 45-50 mph on corrugated roads; I have comfortably cruised at 65-70 mph in those same conditions.
 

LeVeL

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I actually do hard off road trails and the Xterra has the dented and scraped armor to prove it. I've gone out for as long as a week with no stops for fuel, no access to water of any kind (including natural sources), and having to carry out all my waste. I'm looking at a real off road build for a reason, and it isn't dick wagging at the mall.
Yeah, no issues at all with folks that actually go off-roading. Unfortunately most Wranglers and the like are just mall crawlers and I don't get it. If you don't off-road, then it's all about imagine cause it sure ain't about comfort or speed.


I never driven a Wrangler/FJ but I can tell you that the Xterra, despite it's similar off roading capabilities is more comfortable than my friend's Durango.
I've driven a JKU. It's a terrible road vehicle - uncomfortable, loud, goes sideways over any road imperfection. Our WK2 is infinitely nicer to drive and yet it'll tackle 90% of what the JKU will (I didn't drive a Rubicon), or 100% of what I realistically might try to do with either one.
 

gaasc

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Yeah, no issues at all with folks that actually go off-roading. Unfortunately most Wranglers and the like are just mall crawlers and I don't get it. If you don't off-road, then it's all about imagine cause it sure ain't about comfort or speed.
As Spectre said, cheap convertible. Hell, it may very well be the only car left with something resembling T-Tops. it's also sturdy, relatively inexpensive, distinctively styled, and compact if you go for the 2-door.

Combine the appeal of any convertible and the appeal of the mini and the appeal of an SUV and you're there. It's not that they don't have a cheap interior, poor ride, or relatively poor fuel economy, just that they make it so easy to ignore. That is partly the reason the wrangler has been a class of one for a while now. The FJ didn't do enough sales to justify getting a second gen. Nissan has gone full retard on their SUV lineup. Toyota still has the 4R and the various flavors of LC/LC Prado but they don't really offer that open top and virtually endless aftermarket that the wrangler does. Bold is the man who uses a GM full-size SUV for off roading
 
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GRtak

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I have taken a full size Chevy van off road with no real mods(rear axle breather tube extension being the only mod I can think of). I was also passed by a group of H-2s out on an excursion with the local dealer that would not cross a small river that I had just crossed in the 2 wheel drive van.
 

prizrak

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As Spectre said, cheap convertible. Hell, it may very well be the only car left with something resembling T-Tops. it's also sturdy, relatively inexpensive, distinctively styled, and compact if you go for the 2-door.

Combine the appeal of any convertible and the appeal of the mini and the appeal of an SUV and you're there. It's not that they don't have a cheap interior, poor ride, or relatively poor fuel economy, just that they make it so easy to ignore. That is partly the reason the wrangler has been a class of one for a while now. The FJ didn't do enough sales to justify getting a second gen. Nissan has gone full retard on their SUV lineup. Toyota still has the 4R and the various flavors of LC/LC Prado but they don't really offer that open top and virtually endless aftermarket that the wrangler does. Bold is the man who uses a GM full-size SUV for off roading
And also Clarkson drove one in the last Grand Tour episode :)

A friend's g/f goes off roading in a Tahoe quite extensively year round
 

Blind_Io

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I have friends who off-road H1s, H2s, H3s, Blazers, and S10s. No Tahoes or Escalades though :roflmao:
I see a lot of Tahoes and even Suburbans in the Overland groups. My last trip had more of them than any other make or model.
 

Spectre

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I see a lot of Tahoes and even Suburbans in the Overland groups. My last trip had more of them than any other make or model.
Since they've started rotating out of soccer-mom-mobile and kid-taxi service, they're cheap and popular bases for overland and offroad builds.
 

EyeMWing

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Next week, I'm doing the Lemons Retreat-From-Moscow Rally.

Moscow, PA to Birmingham, AL (by way of Paris, TN)

I'm driving The Worst Car In The World. Not the worst model. The worst SPECIFIC CAR. You know, this one:

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a15366344/the-tale-of-the-k-it-fwd-plymouth-reliant-part-1/
https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a15358460/the-long-sordid-tale-of-our-road-trip-through-frozen-hell-with-the-best-and-worst-station-wagons-in-the-world/

After that saga, it was sent away to take a year off and be carefully rebuilt to Not Suck, and it basically disappeared. It was recently recovered, looking like this:


No engine. No wiring. No transmission. No hope.

I supplied a parts car to the random guys-off-the-internet who are rebuilding it (it uh, started for the first time two days ago, and still doesn't have a windshield) and will meet up with it Monday evening.

I'm doing this alone, and the only tools I'm bringing are the ones in the $35 HF toolset (because I'm flying home... If airplanes are operating)

Rally this year runs:
Start Moscow, PA 7AM Tuesday
Transit to Pittsburgh, PA Tuesday via various checkpoints in unknown locations
Transit to Louisville, KY Wednesday via various checkpoints in unknown locations.
Transit to Nashville, TN Thursday via various checkpoints in unknown locations. Meet at Lane Motor Museum for concours judging and a car show. Indications are we should be there with time to spare before the museum closes for the day.
Transit to Barber Motorsports Park, AL Friday via various checkpoints in unknown locations. Done by about sunset.
 

BerserkerCatSplat

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Holy shit. I'm concerningly familiar with the K platform and I'd still have a really long, hard think about how much I would want to do that, haha. Good luck!
 

EyeMWing

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I mean, I'm not going to have much in the way of spares as far as I know, and I'm not going to dump any more money into this thing.

The guys are somewhat supposed to have swapped the suspension back to stock off the parts car (which was pristine), but I don't know if they've had the time. The main problems with this thing in street driving are
- it eats axles because of the hack lowing job
- it eats rear wheel bearings because of the ridiculous wheels and the fact that it accumulated like 3 tons of scrap iron in the cargo area
- the wiring (of which NONE survives today because it was hacked into a giant ratsnest of fail).

The clutch was also problematic, but there's an auto back in it now. Mechanically, I'm not too worried.

If it kersplodes on Tuesday or Wednesday I should be able to skip back home, grab the truck and catch up by the finish line.
If it kersplodes on Thursday or Friday, I should be able to catch up with a rental truck.


Oh, and it doesn't have a heater.
 
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