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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:19 pm 
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OK so heres my situation, I have to children now in booster seats, and am looking to upgrade in the ride category.

I do drive dirt roads, hunt, fish, trap, and all of that great stuff. I want a more functional vehicle than our current daily driver. Iplan to buy used so I can have cash to upgrade what I see fit to.
heres the choices and ther pros and cons in my mind

1. [what im leaning toward] subaru outback 95-97
pros: part are availabe at local boneyard, afer market supprt is there, fuel economy
cons: never owned one so i dont knowto much about them
2. xj
pros :parts both after market and replacement are available, can handle rougher terrain
cons: fuel economy
3 dodge dakota sport [with rear bench seat forgot the year]
pros: looks cool and some aftermarket stuffs available, has a bed
cons: fuel economy, little experence with this model
4. kia sportage
pro fuel economy
con: dont know much about it
5.kia optima
pro fuel economy
con dont know much about it

Any help educating me on these models, there common breakdown parts, easy of maitenece or working on yourself, or even why the all suck would be appriciated.
As i mentioned im leaning toward the older out back and setting it up as a sort mini overlander. Main parts of that being a built up suspension and braking system, some minor engine mods, skid plates and bumpers front and rear, knobbier tires , a rear hitch for hauling a super small pop- up type of camper, and a winch and winch points [think rice burning dune cruiser]. however the otheres are not completley unappealing


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:51 pm 
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I was given a kia optima as a rental car, thing vibrated my hands numb and did not get much over 25mpg for its small size.
If your going to pull any kind of trailer more than once a year the Dakota is the best bet, you want length. The Dakota though if heavy for a mid sized truck and gets the same economy as a full sized truck so there isn't really any advantage to getting the mid sized.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:38 pm 
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If you for the Dakota, make sure it has the 4.7. More bulletproof than the V6 or 5.2. I have a 2000 Durango with the 4.7 and there isn't much I can't do with it. Plus the third row comes in handy with 5 kids. lol. A good set of tires and it will push snow with the bumper. Also has much more towing capacity than the others you are looking at (if that makes a difference to you). I love mine. My gf has a 2000 outback and it does well. AWD isn't the greatest in the snow though, but they run forever. Her suby has 220K and my Durango has 188K. Both are still running great with normal maintenance. Don't buy Kia. They are throw away cars and aren't built very sturdy. Paid $3,000 for the suby and $5,000 for the Durango.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:24 pm 
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The kias are out my mechanic bud conformed whats been said here.
The dakota has the 4.7 for sure, but has some rusting issues starting in on it. It will tow for sure , the guy had a camper he hauled with it, but in all reality it dosnt matter to me as i only use the pop-up maybe twice a year and i can pull it by hand with minimal effort [smal as hell].
the subi was pretty plain jane but seemed really sound for its age [95] and had the lowest mileage.

Also tested isuzu trooper and geo tracker, neither wowed me, but the geo had a hardtop that was removable and pretty cool.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:36 pm 
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Isuzu is maybe a step above the kia's and crap but still not all that great. Trackers are loved by the off road crowd because they light weight but kind of scary on the highway, other vehicles nearly blow them off the road.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:22 pm 
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I was wrong the dodge dakotas a sport 5.2 with an ext cab, seems to have an idle sensor problem.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:02 pm 
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Out of those choices, go with the outback. It will be a solid car for you. The only issue I know of, is that its probably a 2.5, and iirc that one falls in the years of head gasket issues. Find out if the hg has been replaced already. If not, plan on needing to do it. If you do need to do it, use the 2.5 turbo head gasket part number and forget about the problem.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:06 pm 
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Outback.

Make sure you get a knife to go with it.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:17 pm 
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If you mean a jeep Cherokee xj then I'd choose that. They are awesome. I owned one. The gas mileage isn't as bad as you think. If its properly kept maintained you can get about 20 or more miles to the gallon, depending on the engine size. The Dakota would be my second choice. Buddy had one that had 4x4 and could keep up with my full size Chevy. Subaru get great gas mileage but don't have much ground clearance and aren't as sturdy( I have a Freind that's owned 5 or 6 Subarus and there just not as beefy as SUVs obviously). Kias are you get what you pay for which isn't much.

Always think about Tacomas. After seein my buddies 2 wheel pull 4x4 full sizes out I bought one and I am a die hard Chevy guy. (I just put a 350 in mine)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:36 pm 
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Tacomas are outta my price range, round here they go for abot 5k+ but i LOVE THEM!!!!!!!!!!

outback was sold and dakota was sold, still waiting on the refund.
I like the xj but its not a build i could do on a budget, parts seem to be on the highside.

Guess ill just wait to see when my taxes finally get in whats for sale


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:37 pm 
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I always like older cars, the more modern a car is, the more can go wrong. I also like diesels, because they have better torque, get better mileage, and last longer. Not to mention the fact that you don't need the batteries or spark plugs to keep the car running, that makes them basically EMP-proof... so long that there's no computer to get fried. I like that they can tow and that doesn't affect their mileage as much as it would on a gas car, and lastly, you can use oil to refuel your car, if it comes to that.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:49 am 
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For the xj look into the show extreme 4x4 from spike. They built a cheep jeep Cherokee. For a few grand they built a real nice trail rig. The few grand included the price of the jeep. There always the cheapest thing to mod. There's just so much out there. Ive put almost 3000 grand moddin my blazer and I probably could've done the same to a Cherokee for half that.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:14 pm 
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1. you cant get much more bulletproof than the 5.2......its been around for forever


2. isuzus are NOT crap


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:08 am 
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If you are buying new and are able to, give next year's model of XJ a look. They are coming out with a diesel version of the Grand Cherokee.

On a side note, I wonder how difficult it would be to put one of those in a JK...

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:07 pm 
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run faster wrote:
1. you cant get much more bulletproof than the 5.2......its been around for forever


2. isuzus are NOT crap


I said one step above kia and crap, didn't say they are crap, they are more like meh. They are pretty much an abandoned brand, Isuzu gave up on the consumer market in the US and there were not enough sold to have a good supply of aftermarket parts so expect to order stuff when your go to the auto parts store.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:19 pm 
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i wouldnt say abandoned, they make the duramax. but eh


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:25 am 
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Thats a joint product, more like they make 50% of the duramax. They still make and sell medium duty trucks as well but pulled out of the light duty vehicle market so you won't get a lot of support.
Thats something to thing about for a BOV, you don't want to be down because parts have to be ordered and shipped, you want something common and popular so spares are plentiful and everywhere for when you do break something.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:42 am 
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im not a gm fan, but let me suggest a 90's full size Chevrolet/GMC pickup with the 6.5 Turbo Diesel. they are usually found on the cheap. while you wont win any races, they are comfortable and get great fuel mileage for their size. Another option is the 90's Ford F250/350 with the 7.3 Powerstroke.. run for ever and get pretty decent fuel mileage.

here is the GMC/Chevrolet 6.5 Diesel
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here is the Ford F250/F350 with the Powerstroke
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:06 am 
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Neither the Jeep or the Dodge are complicated.

The XJ, I guess, will likely be a 4.0. Good motor. Easy to maintain. Plenty of room in the engine compartment to work (it makes a difference to me).
V6 and V8 dodge trucks are simple enough.

Nothing with either vehicle the a moderately intelligent. handy type person couldn't deal with with a manual and a few tools.

Just get a manual for whatever you buy.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:07 am 
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eugene wrote:
Thats something to thing about for a BOV, you don't want to be down because parts have to be ordered and shipped, you want something common and popular so spares are plentiful and everywhere for when you do break something.

brothaman wrote:
Just get a manual for whatever you buy.

+ on both of these.

When I was shopping for my BOV I found that I couldn't throw a rock without hitting a Wrangler or Grand Cherokee. A Toyota FJ Cruiser was less common, but now they seem to show up just about anytime I go out for a drive of any duration. Both have a loyal following and great aftermarket support. I definately looked at this side of things when I went shopping.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:24 pm 
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Your vehicle depends on your personal needs. For years I used an extended cab Ford Ranger. Not enough room and lousy fuel milage. I now have a 2002 F250 7.3L Superduty 4X4 diesel crewcab. I love it! I can haul anything and it gets great milage. My wife calls it Godzilla. I am now waiting to pick up the m1102 Light Tactical trailer I got on Gov Liquidators to go with it.


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