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Old January 21st, 2014, 04:43 PM   #1
jvande
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Default Needing advice on starting a build

I am 6 months married and have a 2 Wheel drive 2003 ford f 150 with a 4.2 V6 engine. Was thinking of turning it into a casual off roader for me and the wife to go get "stuck" in while camping on the weekends and what not. But doing a little research I found that the. 2 Wheel drive will definetly get me stuck but not the way I want to be. So here's the money question would I be better off trading in the ford for a small car and picking up a POS truck with 4x4 and doing a complete rebuild on that or just do some mods on the f150 to make it do what i want it to do.

If so doing a complete rebuild I have noticed that can can buy brand new full engines for only a. few thousand dollars and that would be cheaper over all then buying a 4x4 that runs already and the engine would be brand new. Also what kind of truck would I want to lean to I work at general motors so foreign is definetly out of the question.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old January 21st, 2014, 05:45 PM   #2
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Buy a jeep
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Old January 21st, 2014, 05:56 PM   #3
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If you want a dd'able/weekend wheeler/camping rig. With just you and the wife in the cockpit, I would look into an Xj, zj, wj or even a 98-01 v8 explorer.


I dd my v8 explorer on 33's. Lift was cheap and easy and with a few inexpensive mods can be pretty tough. My wife also has an identical explorer that she dds as well. With the mods we've made we see 14-16 mpgs country/city driving which I think is pretty fair.

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Jeeps are all over, the xjs can be had cheap and modded cheap. Zjs and wjs can be lifted decent as well.


Above all offer plenty of room for supplies and cargo, and are capable Offroad.

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Old January 21st, 2014, 05:57 PM   #4
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And there's room in the back
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Old January 21st, 2014, 07:01 PM   #5
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Hmm never thought of an SUV even tho its in the name O.o

I had a jeep a few years ago and hated it I found that it was a complete pain in the arse to work on and all the parts were overly expensive. IE overflow tube for the water pump was 65 bucks for a threaded piece of tubeing but maybe that was just a chance experience .

But every one agrees getting rid of the ford?

I've never owned a SUV before tho how are they when it comes to using them for home improvement things. Going to home dept and what not does not haven the open bed get in the way or do u not notice much of a ddifference unfortinetly because we are both starting out everything has to be multipurpose.

and thank you for the quick response
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Old January 21st, 2014, 07:10 PM   #6
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It would cost you more to swap your ford to 4x4 than its worth. Sell it. Buy a commuter car and buy a trail/camping rig. Small suv with solid axles front and back. Or an explorer or similar. Look into 4runners and land cruisers as well. Stick with a medium sized suv. Not a suburban or expedition size. Easier to maneuver and generally better on gas. You can sleep in it or on it.
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Old January 21st, 2014, 07:11 PM   #7
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Didn't say get rid of truck, but its unrealistic to make it into a "Offroad" type rig. Once you own a pickup truck and use it, theirs really never a compromise, you'll always want one and if don't have one you want another one.

Or the option of getting a small utility trailer you can tow behind an suv to replace the truck bed.
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Old January 21st, 2014, 07:12 PM   #8
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Or a midsized truck with a cap on the bed. Still room for camping and storage. Still get things from the store and what not. Tacoma, ranger, s10, Dakota. All those are solid starting points.
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Old January 21st, 2014, 07:15 PM   #9
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Anything small and light enough to flat tow behind your truck. Samurai? One person can lift the engine, solid axles, cheap parts...
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Old January 21st, 2014, 07:18 PM   #10
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Agreed with what they said. Don't bother trying to upgrade yours, it'd need way too much to get to the same point you could start at with something else. Either keep it and get a cheap wheeler, or sell it and get a good all around rig. The suggestions above were good ones.

What kind of Jeep did you own? There are some vastly different types, so bad luck with one doesn't necessarily reflect the rest. If I were to get a do-it-all weekend camping and wheeling rig, it'd be a 97-01 Jeep Cherokee with a 3" lift, 31" tires, and a rear automatic locker. I had one in college and it was a great rig.
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Old January 21st, 2014, 07:20 PM   #11
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I guess with giving suggestions, maybe you should tell us your skill set and what type of repairs and fab skills you have.
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Old January 21st, 2014, 07:29 PM   #12
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I had a 94 wrangler with a 2.2 inline 4 manual trans.
I tossed around the idea of keeping the truck and getting a flat bed trailer to hall a small rig behind it. Its got a GRTW of 6200 so wasn't sure if it would be able to tow something like a bronco or cherokee.

Im pretty much just wanting to make sure I know what I'm jumping into before I start and regret it.
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Old January 21st, 2014, 07:31 PM   #13
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Spend some time and go through some rig build threads like the link I posted in my first post here. Go through a few threads and see what others have gone through.
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Old January 21st, 2014, 07:36 PM   #14
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Fab is 0 I've always wanted to learn but never had the chance to. Repairs are your semi basic brakes water pumps alternators act. always enjoyed learning and working on cars but again never had a real opertunity to work on them a whole lot.
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Old January 21st, 2014, 07:41 PM   #15
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Casual off-roader and some camping? Keep the truck put some good tires on it, maybe some good shocks, a cheap locker, a topper and an air mattress... Unless you're rock crawling or mudding you would be surprised where a 2wd truck can go. Worried about getting stuck, get a come along or a hi lift to use as a hand winch. Just a thought...
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Old January 21st, 2014, 07:51 PM   #16
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I tried the car and 4x4 thing.

I HATE CARS. Especially after the eclipse I am trying to get rid of was stuck at the farm for 2 hours on 2 inches of snow. I give up.

I drive my 4x4 everywhere. But, I am a country boy that has been known to do dumb things (when I was in the military my car ended up in the golf of mexico one night...) Dont ask. was a long drunk night.

I dont do that anymore, BUT. watching people at work in cars trying desperately to get out of the parking lot after a plow truck "blocked" us in was funny. I pushed the 4x4 button and drove home...

So, I give up on cars. I will probably get a nice 2500 or f250 as a DD/tow rig and get a 4x4 offroader/beater...
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Old January 21st, 2014, 07:53 PM   #17
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That would be the most economical thing to do but I got a feeling that once I get that done I'm going to want to do more and more. But then again I might just have to use that as an excuse to build a toy rig that I can haul with the truck I got now that way if I break it I can still get to work Tuesday morning.
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Old January 21st, 2014, 09:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvande View Post
That would be the most economical thing to do but I got a feeling that once I get that done I'm going to want to do more and more. But then again I might just have to use that as an excuse to build a toy rig that I can haul with the truck I got now that way if I break it I can still get to work Tuesday morning.
That's the best thing you can do, wheeling your dd is tough when you break and have no way to get home or fix it, let alone make it to work
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Old January 22nd, 2014, 09:45 AM   #19
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If you upgrade the truck a little, it will help it down the road when you put it into tow rig duty. I'm sure it could pull something light... Sometimes when you are just starting out its best to test the waters and see what you really need. If you are actually doing wheeling it is nice to be able to jump in a DD on Monday to get to work. But honestly if you are just exploring and camping, there is no need... I know what it's like getting bit by the wheeling bug though! I built my DD Grand Cherokee into an amazing light wheeling and camping rig, I drove it across country many times and wheeled it all over CO and SC, it was pretty amazing what it could do but you do have to be smart about it.
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Old January 26th, 2014, 03:10 AM   #20
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You work for GM and drive a Ford?
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