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Off Road 4 X 4 - Beach Buggies SUV's, "Beach Buggy" Vehicles, Equipment and Getting Stuck

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  #1  
Old 12-28-2009, 01:54 PM
Kroc Kroc is offline
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Default 4x4 Fishing Beater

Was thinking of finally getting a used 4x4 almost exclusively for fishing. I don't want to spend over $5000. I was thinking about a mid to late 90's Toyota Tacoma. I need something that is reliable because it most likely will have well over 100,000 miles on it and I need something that is beach friendly because I am new to driving on the sand. Does anyone have any suggestions where to start? Jeep Cheerokee, Dodge Ram, Ford f150? Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 12-28-2009, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: 4x4 Fishing Beater

Cherokee...
My beach one (96) has 178,000 miles on it. Tires always aired down, but the again I'm only 10 minuted to wheels on the sand.
It has some rust (on the roof believe it or not), and aside from some issues that I'm sure are common with older vehicles, no problems.
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: 4x4 Fishing Beater

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Originally Posted by ragman View Post
Cherokee...
My beach one (96) has 178,000 miles on it. Tires always aired down, but the again I'm only 10 minuted to wheels on the sand.
It has some rust (on the roof believe it or not), and aside from some issues that I'm sure are common with older vehicles, no problems.
I might have to give the Cherokee some serious consideration. How does it handle in deep sand? I also wanted to ask in my previous post the pros and cons of auto transmission vs. manual. Which is your Cherokee by the way?
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:26 PM
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Default Re: 4x4 Fishing Beater

I'll second the Cherokee. Not the Grand Cherokee but the plain old Cherokee. I have a 2000 Cherokee Classic and I love it on the sand.
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Old 12-28-2009, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: 4x4 Fishing Beater

just picked up a 1988 jeep comanchee for 1k, 160k on the speedo, its in nice shape. they are out there just got to be patient, took me about 6 months to find exactly what i wanted.

RUNT
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Old 12-29-2009, 08:53 AM
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Default Re: 4x4 Fishing Beater

Look into a Bronco. Good beach vehicle.
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Old 12-29-2009, 12:14 PM
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Default Re: 4x4 Fishing Beater

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Originally Posted by Kroc View Post
I might have to give the Cherokee some serious consideration. How does it handle in deep sand? I also wanted to ask in my previous post the pros and cons of auto transmission vs. manual. Which is your Cherokee by the way?
In the 5+ years I have had it on the beach, never got close to getting stuck. My son, who had a Grand Cherokee and a Wrangler (4 speed manual, same engine) previously, and a Ford Ranger now, says my Cherokee beats them all hands down on the beach. Only drawback is the cargo area. My back seat hasn't seen the light of day in 4 1/2 half years, so it's a 2 person tops vehicle. Cooler takes up a bit of space, along with 3 plug bags, 2 pairs of waders (sons and mine), about a half ton of sand, box for beach driving gear, and of course my bucket . I have a 2000 Cherokee Sport that came with a cooler rack that has never been on the beach (waiting for the older one to die, so it might be some time before it gets there). Both have the 4.0 liter 6 cyl engine, 4 speed auto OD transmission. Only major problem I have had with it is the neutral safety switch. Solved that eventually by having my mechanic jump it (saved $300 bucks). Had to replace the radiator a couple years ago, and the crank sensor last year. It would run hot and die, and once it cooled off, would start again.
You wont be riding in luxury, but you cant beat them for a beach vehicle!
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:15 PM
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Default Re: 4x4 Fishing Beater

Thanks for all the input. If anyone has any experience with Toyota trucks, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks Again
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:17 PM
Jon006 Jon006 is offline
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Default Re: 4x4 Fishing Beater

Toyota trucks in the price range your looking to be in can be a good option. The 22RE 4 cyl motor is stout and doesn't break often, the six is good as well. You might wanna look at older 4 runners too. I like Cherokee's, I mentioned elsewhere that my girlfriend has one that I will be using next season, however when I worked on cars for a living I fixed more of those than Toyota (although to be fair older Toyota's especially the V6 in the 4Runner has been known to have a head gasket issue with higher mileage) or other comparable makes, head gaskets, transmissions, and just about every Cherokee has or will have a cracked exhaust manifold, and bad radiator fan relay (mostly a Grand Cherokee issue)

Also check the frame rails for rot on any Toyota truck, lots of them get spongy, some rusted to the point of being inoperable!

Oh and if you end up buying a used truck from a used car dealer don't be afraid to ask to have a compression test done, watching the results of one of those can give you a really good indication of the health of the engine if search and find the normal spec for the vehicle your looking at! For arguments sake its safe to say cylinder readings of 130PSI and higher indicate good compression and low ring wear!

Good luck in your search!
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:26 AM
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Default Re: 4x4 Fishing Beater

Jon is right. Really check for rust in a Toyota truck, especially one from the last century. Used to be, they would ship the truck bed to the states first and then later ship the cab. Assemble the whole thing later and drive it off the pier. This allowed them to circumvent the extra taxes for being an imported truck and also enabled them to say "final assembly in the United States". Meanwhile the truck bed sat on the pier in the elements waiting for the cab half to arrive. Late '80 - '90 Toyota trucks were noted for rust starting in the wheel wells of the truck bed and rapidly spreading. That's why you see some converted to wooden bodies. They look cool, but "now you know the rest of the story."
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Old 01-01-2010, 08:27 PM
Kroc Kroc is offline
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Default Re: 4x4 Fishing Beater

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon006 View Post
Toyota trucks in the price range your looking to be in can be a good option. The 22RE 4 cyl motor is stout and doesn't break often, the six is good as well. You might wanna look at older 4 runners too. I like Cherokee's, I mentioned elsewhere that my girlfriend has one that I will be using next season, however when I worked on cars for a living I fixed more of those than Toyota (although to be fair older Toyota's especially the V6 in the 4Runner has been known to have a head gasket issue with higher mileage) or other comparable makes, head gaskets, transmissions, and just about every Cherokee has or will have a cracked exhaust manifold, and bad radiator fan relay (mostly a Grand Cherokee issue)

Also check the frame rails for rot on any Toyota truck, lots of them get spongy, some rusted to the point of being inoperable!

Oh and if you end up buying a used truck from a used car dealer don't be afraid to ask to have a compression test done, watching the results of one of those can give you a really good indication of the health of the engine if search and find the normal spec for the vehicle your looking at! For arguments sake its safe to say cylinder readings of 130PSI and higher indicate good compression and low ring wear!

Good luck in your search!
Thanks, that is some great information. It's amazing that the only problems I seem to hear about Toyota trucks is body rust. I guess its safe to say mechanically Toyota is the best bet. However, the Cherokee's can be had for considerably less than a Toyota of similar age. Also, 90's Toyota trucks seem harder to come by than Cherokee's, in fact I couldn't even find too many on e-bay which is nation wide. What should I be most concerned about before buying a Cherokee with 90,000-120,000 miles? I'm not concerned about a few minor repairs, but am more concerned with things that could cost in excess of $500. Thank You again all these striper surf forums are amazing!
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: 4x4 Fishing Beater

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Originally Posted by Kroc View Post
Thanks, that is some great information. It's amazing that the only problems I seem to hear about Toyota trucks is body rust. I guess its safe to say mechanically Toyota is the best bet. However, the Cherokee's can be had for considerably less than a Toyota of similar age. Also, 90's Toyota trucks seem harder to come by than Cherokee's, in fact I couldn't even find too many on e-bay which is nation wide. What should I be most concerned about before buying a Cherokee with 90,000-120,000 miles? I'm not concerned about a few minor repairs, but am more concerned with things that could cost in excess of $500. Thank You again all these striper surf forums are amazing!
Like I said in a previous post, havent had much trouble with mine. Started having problems at around 150,000 miles with overheating. Radiator was clogged, new one was about $275 bucks. Same with the neutral safety switch $300+ bucks, but jumped it and works fine. Check engine light stays on when you do that though. Only other problem I had was the crank sensor (would get hot and shut down), new one was about $250 bucks if I remember correctly. A/C crapped out when the radiator did, I didnt get it fixed (had to do it with the one I use for everyday driving, cost $1200 bucks). Didnt feel the need to spend the money for something I just drive the beach with.
For a beach beater, cant beat the Cherokee.
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Old 04-02-2010, 03:38 PM
Jon006 Jon006 is offline
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Default Re: 4x4 Fishing Beater

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Originally Posted by ragman View Post
Like I said in a previous post, havent had much trouble with mine. Started having problems at around 150,000 miles with overheating. Radiator was clogged, new one was about $275 bucks. Same with the neutral safety switch $300+ bucks, but jumped it and works fine. Check engine light stays on when you do that though. Only other problem I had was the crank sensor (would get hot and shut down), new one was about $250 bucks if I remember correctly. A/C crapped out when the radiator did, I didnt get it fixed (had to do it with the one I use for everyday driving, cost $1200 bucks). Didnt feel the need to spend the money for something I just drive the beach with.
For a beach beater, cant beat the Cherokee.
So now you have covered the general failures of the Cherokee and you should be all set. The park safety switch does tend to fail along with the fan relay....

As of now after having driven my gf Grand Cherokee for some time, I have certainly fallen in love with the thing. I have taken up trails in stock trim that other trucks couldn't make it up. I am certain it will be great on the beach.

More exciting than that was going through the "Safety Kit" that the gf bought when she got the truck. I saw the bag and asked her what the contents were and when she told me I rolled my eyes thinking it was going to be useless crap, but.....there's a tow rope, and a 12v air pump and those are two great beach accessories!!!
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Old 04-03-2010, 12:51 AM
Kroc Kroc is offline
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Default Re: 4x4 Fishing Beater

I decided on a Jeep Cherokee and picked up a 1998 sport model. Thanks for all the help and opinions. What year is your grand cherokee jon?
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