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Old 05-17-2011, 01:15 PM
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Default School me on older (cheap) small SUV's

I need to pick up a little SUV as a work type car. Something along the lines of a Honda CRV, Toyota Rav4, Isuzu Rodeo etc.
My wife drives out to the barn down a gravel muddy road every day and I want something to occasionally tow the little boat (800 pounds). Whats going to be reliable and cheap to own. I am also 6'4" with a 36" inseam and although I wont spend much time in it, I need to fit.
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Old 05-17-2011, 01:27 PM
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If you can find a pre 1990 V6 Nissan Pathfinder or King Cab 4x4 it WILL do everything you want and a WHOLE LOT MORE. And you should not have a problem getting behind the wheel with your size.
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Old 05-17-2011, 01:32 PM
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forget that, a jeep cherokee with the 4.0L inline 6 matched with an auto is an ABSOLUTE beast. 400k+mile motor. and there is so many you can get one for dirt cheap.

im in the same boat sort of, just sold my truck and want to pay cash for a small SUV thats still 4wd and can tow a boat a half a dozen times a year (18footer). 99-01 cherokee's have been in my search, you can find em with 100-150k miles on them for < 4 grand, alot of them closer to 2 grand.
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Old 05-17-2011, 01:36 PM
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Jeep Cherokee if you can fit in it, although might be less "comfortable" than the imports... without more details I'd say a late 90s Wrangler would fit the bill and be fun to own as well.
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Old 05-17-2011, 01:37 PM
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Nissan Xterras are pretty much bullet proof and have a lot of built in utility. That motor also comes supercharged!! I had the 2000 which rode like a buckboard, they fixed that, when it was MT's SUV of the Year in its first year of production.
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:06 PM
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Ford Escape V6 would fit the bill.
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:13 PM
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I have a 2000 nissan pathfinder that tows my little cobia sunskiff around, right now it has 230xxx miles on it, and still runs like a champ..... not to mention it is comfortable....
I would recommend any of the nissan pathfinders.
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:19 PM
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Dont worry about the towing/4wd stuff. I move this boat around with one hand. You could tow it with a bicycle. I actually push it backward up my driveway by hand.

Thanks for the input so far.
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:24 PM
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forget that, a jeep cherokee with the 4.0L inline 6 matched with an auto is an ABSOLUTE beast. 400k+mile motor. and there is so many you can get one for dirt cheap.

im in the same boat sort of, just sold my truck and want to pay cash for a small SUV thats still 4wd and can tow a boat a half a dozen times a year (18footer). 99-01 cherokee's have been in my search, you can find em with 100-150k miles on them for < 4 grand, alot of them closer to 2 grand.
X 2

there were plenty of them sold so there is a good chance of finding a nice one. still for short money.
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:34 PM
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Admiral has a 2000 Rodeo since new. She loves the damned thing. I can't stand it. Fit? Hardly, I'm your size plus. It rides like a damned tank. Been perfectly reliable vehicle, though.

Best smaller vehicle I ever had was a Datsun King Cab. Drove that sucker nearly 300k miles, then passed it on to the family. Although somewhat spartan in amenities, it was a comfortable fit.
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:46 PM
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Dont worry about the towing/4wd stuff. I move this boat around with one hand. You could tow it with a bicycle. I actually push it backward up my driveway by hand.

Thanks for the input so far.
Just get her a bicycle then.
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:51 PM
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X 2

there were plenty of them sold so there is a good chance of finding a nice one. still for short money.
X3

That engine is bullet proof.
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:56 PM
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Honda CRV..you can put a ton of miles on em..the early models were all AWD. Solid 25 mpg car. Ride good, nice seats.

But that damn Cherokee with the 4.0 six is really good too.

Next would be the Rav4.
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:22 PM
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The Cherokee has a good motor but we had a few as fleet vehicles and the bodies fell apart.
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:39 PM
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The 1999 through 2004 Grand Cherokees ride decently if you disconnect the rear sway bar to diminish the "head toss" that is a Jeep trademark. Once they gave up the idiocy making everything narrow so it would go on the Rubicon Trail, they finally started increasing the track width so the ride on the newer ones is markedly better. They have the advantage of easy parts availability and most normal repair items are not too difficult. Most used ones have bad CV joint boots in the front, but rebuilt axles are about $60 each and are easy to install.

The 4.0 six is a workhorse of an engine, whereas the 4.7 is best labeled as fragile. Used 4.7 engines are very hard to find and are expensive, because overheating will quickly destroys the engine. Worse, swapping a 4.7 is a tedious, annoying and time consuming task, because there is simply no room to work in the chassis. But at the end of the day, a 4.0 Grand Cherokee is a pretty comfortable, inexpensive, go anywhere, do anything piece. I towed a Parker 25 with one for years and it had no difficulty.
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slickcav View Post
forget that, a jeep cherokee with the 4.0L inline 6 matched with an auto is an ABSOLUTE beast. 400k+mile motor. and there is so many you can get one for dirt cheap.
If I got paid for every jeep, chevy, ford, dodge I've pulled out of the ditch, swamp, river, lake, dirt, mud or snow I could have bought a brand new Nissan. On hills an 88 - 90 V6 4x4 Nissan will eat any of the other trucks for breakfast!!!! You've obviously never been in one or up against one!
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:54 PM
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The 1999 through 2004 Grand Cherokees ride decently if you disconnect the rear sway bar to diminish the "head toss" that is a Jeep trademark. Once they gave up the idiocy making everything narrow so it would go on the Rubicon Trail, they finally started increasing the track width so the ride on the newer ones is markedly better. They have the advantage of easy parts availability and most normal repair items are not too difficult. Most used ones have bad CV joint boots in the front, but rebuilt axles are about $60 each and are easy to install.

The 4.0 six is a workhorse of an engine, whereas the 4.7 is best labeled as fragile. Used 4.7 engines are very hard to find and are expensive, because overheating will quickly destroys the engine. Worse, swapping a 4.7 is a tedious, annoying and time consuming task, because there is simply no room to work in the chassis. But at the end of the day, a 4.0 Grand Cherokee is a pretty comfortable, inexpensive, go anywhere, do anything piece. I towed a Parker 25 with one for years and it had no difficulty.

They went to crap after about 2001 or 2002. Ask anyone who has had to replace the auto window plastic cable rollers(horrible way to "value engineer" anything), or the servo motors in the vents.

The servo motor replacement requires the entire dash to be removed to have a small servo replaced so the heater/AC/defrost will blow. It's an $800 job that requires a $50 part. They literally built the car around it.

The 4x4 Dana front ends like pinion bearings and crush sleeves as well. Never had any problems with the V8 though.
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
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If I got paid for every jeep, chevy, ford, dodge I've pulled out of the ditch, swamp, river, lake, dirt, mud or snow I could have bought a brand new Nissan. On hills an 88 - 90 V6 4x4 Nissan will eat any of the other trucks for breakfast!!!! You've obviously never been in one or up against one!
An 88-90 vehicle of any brand is going on 20-22 years old.

Nothing lasts forever.
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Old 05-17-2011, 06:59 PM
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Joe: The servo motor repair you mentioned is actually the bushings on the diverter door inside the /C suitcase. It no longer takes dash disassembly. I can do one in about 35 minutes. Buy the kit off eBay and pop it in. The V-8 is a good engine as long as you don't overheat it, but is a bear to work on because there is barely room for it in the chassis.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Blen-...Q5fAccessories
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:52 PM
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I heard of head gasket issues on some of those 4.0 engines ??
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