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 Post subject: Simplify 4x4 for BOV?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:12 pm 
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I've done a quick search, and if this has all been hashed through in the forum, just toss me a link and I'll go look.

I was looking at some trucks, as potential off-road projects, and thought about all the systems I wouldn't need for the vehicle's intended purpose.
While a/c may not necessarily be "out" given that I live in the south, many vehicles made in the last few decades are pretty loaded down with lots of
heavy gee-gaws for comfort and to cater to the soccer parents who end up buying most of them.

Most of the 'stripper' chassis I see end up going pretty extreme, with long travel suspensions and really high end componentry. I was thinking more along the lines
of keeping it cheap, and stripping out anything I don't see an immediate need for. Exceptions, of course, would be anything that keeps the vehicle legal,
and doesn't adversely affect the handling.

I'll hit a few offroad forums to see what some others have done in this, but thought I'd see if anyone here has used a similar approach. I'll also look into the project vehicle threads
for ideas. I even considered cutting the roof off a 4 door SUV for that "safari" style. :) might be a bit more work than I'd care to do solo, though.

Don't want to jack it to the sky, as a bit of stealth is always good, as well as avoiding a super high-centered truck. Probably only slightly larger tires, with clearance cut out of the wheel wells.
Heavy luxo-seats replaced with racing buckets, who knows what else... go nutz... or again, point me at someone who's already done it well.

Thanks!

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:31 pm 
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I always thought the Nissan Xterra was an intriguing 4x4 off road vehicle that never seemed to get much love. By today's standard's, it pretty simple mechanically and feature wise, especially the first generation (1999 - 2004).

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:21 pm 
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I just bought a 2009 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 4x4 as a project with kind of the same intention. I've got a diesel GMC Canyon as my daily driver, but it's loaded with comfort features and options. The Jeep, by comparison, is fairly stripped. 6-speed manual, manual transfer case, simple radio, cable controlled Heat and A/C, manually adjusted mirrors, mechanical Limited Slip, pushrod V6 engine, etc. I installed a CB radio and a locking gas cap, but otherwise I've left it stock and just cleaned up and maintained what needed to be done to try and keep it as reliable as possible. I built a Bug Out Bag for the trunk and it sits with a full tank ready to jump in and go.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:22 pm 
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Those little Suzuki Samurais are pretty bare bones, cheap, have a lot of aftermarket support, and are supposedly pretty good offroad.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:30 pm 
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Check out the Expedition Portal forums for more builds than you'll ever have time to read! http://forum.expeditionportal.com/ There are people out there doing just about any kind of off-road builds that you can imagine. From cheap minimalist builds, right up to professional rigs that run well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:28 pm 
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Jeep.

Specifically the YJ, tJ, XJ, or ZJ for a barebones cheap beater.

Also, Suzukis are sick!

I love Nissan and Toyotas but ones in good shape are normally pricey and I like solid axles...

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:43 am 
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EBuff75 wrote:
Check out the Expedition Portal forums for more builds than you'll ever have time to read! http://forum.expeditionportal.com/ There are people out there doing just about any kind of off-road builds that you can imagine. From cheap minimalist builds, right up to professional rigs that run well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Yeah, I'm a member there, too, and do check in now and again. I guess I oughta go searching there in a little more depth too.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:01 pm 
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Looking back over this, not quite sure what you want... or maybe you don't know yet. But I always liked "cheap truck" style challenges. Before motortrend and dirteveryday got into them, magazines have been doing them for eons.

Not sure what your offroad experience or mechanical ability is, but these articles might inspire you...

Here's my favorite grand cherokee for the casual soft-roader
http://www.fourwheeler.com/project-vehi ... driven-zj/

Here's a decent one for ZJs
http://www.fourwheeler.com/project-vehi ... for-a-few/

Here's some fun info on my favorite Jeep ever... the Wrangler YJ. I had one when I was 15 until I was 24. Sold it a couple years ago for grad school and snagged a Cherokee XJ. If you can find a stock YJ, basically add some metal-cloak cutout fenders and 31's and it will be the best of both world's. Lockers help offroad but can get pricey because you'll want selectable and not a "lunchbox" locker.
http://www.fourwheeler.com/project-vehi ... angler-yj/

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:38 am 
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Ive always wanted a jeep wrangler for offroading and DD. But then I got into the trucks..few trucks later...Im in an F350. Still wouldnt mind a nice Wrangler. Ive seen some of the stuff they are capable of. It is pretty sick.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:19 am 
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velojym wrote:
I was looking at some trucks, as potential off-road projects, and thought about all the systems I wouldn't need for the vehicle's intended purpose.
While a/c may not necessarily be "out" given that I live in the south, many vehicles made in the last few decades are pretty loaded down with lots of
heavy gee-gaws for comfort and to cater to the soccer parents who end up buying most of them.



might not be quite what you are after, but your army surplus HMMWV would be suitable, its simple and looks pretty impressive out of the box. going from personal experiences touring in Australia (with quite a few track repairs in the process) keeping it simple is better. I would recommend checking out Australian 4x4 forums as well as the expedition portal, just due to the distances people travel and the terrain (12 days to travel 220 miles for one track, not to mention transit to the start of the track)

http://4x4earth.com/forum/index.php
http://www.4wdaction.com.au/forum/
https://www.exploroz.com/forum
http://www.4wdingaustralia.com/4x4/4x4-forum/

Good luck with your search and have fun!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:25 am 
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Older jeep Cherokee, Nissan exterra, Toyota 4runner, Tacoma or hilux, Ford rangers or pre 94 f150. Basically anything made before the mid 90's. I can vouch for the hilux and Tacoma. I had a hilux in S. Africa and it was invincible. I had 2 tacomas in the last 10 years. A 1985 with a 22r motor...had to get rid of it because the family got too large. Got a 2003 4 door taco after that, but it was only 2wd and finall y got rid of it because I needed 4x4. They were fantastic trucks!
The 1985 taco was super simple to work on. A basic understanding of the mechanics allows you to fix just about anything.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:39 am 
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Thanks for links. Just signed up on the expedition portal. Roof top tents are hot there. Best I can do to compare is truck bed tent...all 8 ft! :D

Looks like a bunch of good offroad info

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:55 am 
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I have a 2013 FJ Cruiser and enjoy the extra space vs a wrangler. But if I was to start all over I'd be looking for a 1994-1997 Toyota Land Cruiser or Lexus LX 450. Both came stock with front and rear lockers. Both can be modified to fit some nice 33" tires or if you want something more radical, there is a 6" available from Slee ( http://www.sleeoffroad.com/products/80_suspension.htm ) that are quite expensive and allow you to go up to 37" tires. Honestly you only need the 2.5" lift kit and 33"s to go 90% of places.

Just a thought.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:30 am 
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velojym wrote:
I even considered cutting the roof off a 4 door SUV for that "safari" style. :) might be a bit more work than I'd care to do solo, though.

I'd advise against this. Many SUVs are unibody construction (no frame) and the roof is an integral part of the "cage". Removing it would allow a lot of body flex which can result in metal fatigue and eventual failure of the entire shell. Even on SUVs that do have a frame, this can be an issue if suitable bracing and stiffening is not added.

Not to mention that roofs are good places to carry additional bugout gear.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:59 pm 
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http://www.instructables.com/id/Vehicle-efficiency-upgrades/

This guy is my hero for going so far as to delete the alternator and many other things. While I have a deep mistrust of electronics, I've had enough alternator problems over the years for a battery/solar system to be appealing.

I'd say XJ is the place to start for this sort of project, the ZJs I have met would require a lot of gutting to chase out all the electrical gremlins.

I don't have the know-how, but stripping accessories, completely re-wiring and building an instrument cluster from scratch has always been appealing to me, having a means to bypass starter problems is also high on my list (other then a manual transmission and a hill, I don't know of any good ones). For me only a mechanical diesel really reaches the level of simplicity I want, but having owned a few I am the last person to encourage you down the diesel-swap rabbit hole. I don't know enough to recommend it but the M1009 CUCV at face value looks like a fantastic starting point if you did want to go diesel.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:42 pm 
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KJ4VOV wrote:
velojym wrote:
I even considered cutting the roof off a 4 door SUV for that "safari" style. :) might be a bit more work than I'd care to do solo, though.

I'd advise against this. Many SUVs are unibody construction (no frame) and the roof is an integral part of the "cage". Removing it would allow a lot of body flex which can result in metal fatigue and eventual failure of the entire shell. Even on SUVs that do have a frame, this can be an issue if suitable bracing and stiffening is not added.

Not to mention that roofs are good places to carry additional bugout gear.


+1 on this!!! Same reason convertibles are actually heavier than normal roofed cars.

But if you do get a body on frame, just hack it up like they do for the Warlords

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:46 am 
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CM is so warlord!

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I vote Samurai. I had one in the mountains of the PNW and then drove it down the coast all the way to Mexico. And then around LA for years. Bone simple 4x4. That would go further in the snow than any other rigs I drove around with. Not that I was with a bunch of rock crawlers or anything. lol.

My only advice is to not ditch the temp guage ANd idiot light. Mine blew a freeze plug and burned up the engine. Long story short I took it to the dealership and they put a brand new motor in it for free.

I loved that car. Seats are cheap. I welded in some Honda seats. And it came with a hard top and a soft top. It even had a locking metal cabinet under the frame.

And everything is so small it's light. Usually made of aluminum. I think I could have easily pulled the engine out myself or just with a friend. For some reason that made it easier for me to work on. Maybe only in my mind. But between that car and my VW. It didn't get simpler. Now that's another good alternative is a baja bug. They are cheap too. Far less than bone stock VW's.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:13 am 
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Yeah, I figured on a body/frame design if I were to cut off the roof... just to avoid having to deal with subframe connectors that might have to be engineered from scratch.

On the subject of simplicity, and the idea that you aren't necessarily dealing with just a "bugout" vehicle, but one that might see use long past whatever Event... I'd want something
even simpler than a stripped down modern automobile.

Of course, pedal power would dominate the local scene, as riding a bicycle from one end of town to the other is about the most efficient mode of transportation known to man. There will be a need for longer distance travel, however, and while good ol' pedal power would do the trick in many cases, the number of small engines laying about, and their far lower need of high-end support, would bring back a once popular sort of vehicle: the cycle-car!
Cyclekart racing appears to be growing in some areas, and while they tend to try to emulate racers of the past, it would be a simple exercise to build little trucks and gear them accordingly.

The other killer feature of this is the fact that it appears to be an insanely fun hobby pre-apocalypse, and one that could easily be put to use... later.


In fact, I can see this being an idea for ZS... to have our own cyclekart racing team. Publicity and all that...
http://www.cyclekarts.com/

But... now for the naysayers. ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:28 am 
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velojym wrote:
Yeah, I figured on a body/frame design if I were to cut off the roof... just to avoid having to deal with subframe connectors that might have to be engineered from scratch.

On the subject of simplicity, and the idea that you aren't necessarily dealing with just a "bugout" vehicle, but one that might see use long past whatever Event... I'd want something
even simpler than a stripped down modern automobile.

Of course, pedal power would dominate the local scene, as riding a bicycle from one end of town to the other is about the most efficient mode of transportation known to man. There will be a need for longer distance travel, however, and while good ol' pedal power would do the trick in many cases, the number of small engines laying about, and their far lower need of high-end support, would bring back a once popular sort of vehicle: the cycle-car!
Cyclekart racing appears to be growing in some areas, and while they tend to try to emulate racers of the past, it would be a simple exercise to build little trucks and gear them accordingly.

The other killer feature of this is the fact that it appears to be an insanely fun hobby pre-apocalypse, and one that could easily be put to use... later.


In fact, I can see this being an idea for ZS... to have our own cyclekart racing team. Publicity and all that...
http://www.cyclekarts.com/

But... now for the naysayers. ;)

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Hard to argue with that logic!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:31 pm 
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I think Mopeds with mountain bike tires might not be a terrible all-terrain vehicle in a pinch. Some of those engines are so basic that hand tools and a kitchen table can keep them running for decades if you have a bin of random parts.

It looks like those cycle carts have little pop-pop engines them too. Not a bad option.

I'd just be worried about roads with no maintenance. In my neighborhood, there was a road that was unmaintained for a year due to local budgets, and it was basically undriveable in a sedan.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:07 pm 
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JeeperCreeper wrote:
I think Mopeds with mountain bike tires might not be a terrible all-terrain vehicle in a pinch. Some of those engines are so basic that hand tools and a kitchen table can keep them running for decades if you have a bin of random parts.

It looks like those cycle carts have little pop-pop engines them too. Not a bad option.

I'd just be worried about roads with no maintenance. In my neighborhood, there was a road that was unmaintained for a year due to local budgets, and it was basically undriveable in a sedan.
As kids in S. Africa, we got our "50 license" at 16. Meaning you are allowed to ride a 50cc moped or motorcycle. The market was awash with bikes and scooters that had 50cc 2 stroke motors. We'd work tirelessly to eke out every last scrap of power, so I can attest to the fact that they are super easy to work on. I once raised the compression ratio on a Yamaha tzr sport bike (50cc) by taking the head off and sanding it down with a sheet of fine grit sand paper stretched over a glass pane. Didn't make much more power, but didn't kill the motor either. I think a 2 stroke 50 to 125cc off roader/ dual sport would be a worthy shtf vehicvle...or take the bike cart thing mentioned earlier and stuff a 50cc motor and tranny in it.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:23 pm 
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taipan821 wrote:
velojym wrote:
I was looking at some trucks, as potential off-road projects, and thought about all the systems I wouldn't need for the vehicle's intended purpose.
While a/c may not necessarily be "out" given that I live in the south, many vehicles made in the last few decades are pretty loaded down with lots of
heavy gee-gaws for comfort and to cater to the soccer parents who end up buying most of them.



might not be quite what you are after, but your army surplus HMMWV would be suitable, its simple and looks pretty impressive out of the box. going from personal experiences touring in Australia (with quite a few track repairs in the process) keeping it simple is better. I would recommend checking out Australian 4x4 forums as well as the expedition portal, just due to the distances people travel and the terrain (12 days to travel 220 miles for one track, not to mention transit to the start of the track)

http://4x4earth.com/forum/index.php
http://www.4wdaction.com.au/forum/
https://www.exploroz.com/forum
http://www.4wdingaustralia.com/4x4/4x4-forum/

Good luck with your search and have fun!


Never seen better overland set ups than from Australia. Truly a place to learn from. Thanks for the links.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:28 pm 
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moab wrote:
taipan821 wrote:
velojym wrote:
I was looking at some trucks, as potential off-road projects, and thought about all the systems I wouldn't need for the vehicle's intended purpose.
While a/c may not necessarily be "out" given that I live in the south, many vehicles made in the last few decades are pretty loaded down with lots of
heavy gee-gaws for comfort and to cater to the soccer parents who end up buying most of them.



might not be quite what you are after, but your army surplus HMMWV would be suitable, its simple and looks pretty impressive out of the box. going from personal experiences touring in Australia (with quite a few track repairs in the process) keeping it simple is better. I would recommend checking out Australian 4x4 forums as well as the expedition portal, just due to the distances people travel and the terrain (12 days to travel 220 miles for one track, not to mention transit to the start of the track)

http://4x4earth.com/forum/index.php
http://www.4wdaction.com.au/forum/
https://www.exploroz.com/forum
http://www.4wdingaustralia.com/4x4/4x4-forum/

Good luck with your search and have fun!


Never seen better overland set ups than from Australia. Truly a place to learn from. Thanks for the links.


Ronny Dahl from youtube is a great Aussie Overlander resource. Plus videos are good for me since I can't read!!!

https://www.youtube.com/user/RonBacardi666

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