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    Thread: Thoughts on a new Rig

    1. Member MCTB's Avatar
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      09-26-2011 07:26 AM #1
      Time to start thinking about a new rig and I am in the paper planning stages of it but unsure of what to get. I have a couple of options to go with and each has its pluses and minuses/ head vs. heart arguments. It will be coil sprung (or coil over) so no leaf springs, 4 cyl diesel transplant and smaller than the 60 in wheelbase and length (tired of dragging and bumping on everything), and be a 4 seater.

      1) First gen 4Runner, head argument. Everything is available for it. Relatively available, pretty tough and electrically simple so a diesel swap will be very easy. The right size. Downside is that its only a 2 door and will require a SAS but kits are everywhere. Resale will be okay.

      2) First gen Trooper, underdog argument. Not as strong in the aftermarket. 4 doors and tons of room. Timeless box design and very tough. Parts will eventually be an issue as more Isuzus fade from the world. Very cheap to get a hold of for less than a grand in good condition. Will require a SAS and that will have to be custom. Electrically simple making diesel swap easy. Resale will suck.

      3) Land Rover S3 109, heart argument. Can get a Designa chassis allowing coil conversion with off the shelf D1/ RRC/ Defender kits. Longer in wheelbase but same overall length as the first two options. Will require a good amount of work to make comfortable (because they are anything but). Really thinking about it only because I am an LR guy that abandoned them because they, well, suck. Thats okay, I can admit it. Huge aftermarket but not an ideal vehicle. Retrofitting AC will be a pain. Resale will be iffy. Oh, and since the fiance/ future wife will be in it and eventually a kid, lack of things like side impact protection, etc... are a concern (a cage will fix that but still not ideal).

      4) Willys Wagon, wild card. same size as the Trooper and T4R but only a 2 door. An LJ frame slides right underneath it requiring only a couple of body mount outriggers to be changed. LJ means Jeep aftermarket. Will require a TON of work as things like sheetmetal just arent available. Possibly more work than is worth it. Modern things like AC and heat/ demist will require a complete, from scratch firewall rebuild to fit. My welding skills will jump up but I will have to spend so much time working on it that I might get frustrated with all the garage time and no wheeling time. Resale will be iffy. Again, lack of safety features is a problem.

      What do you think? The T4R is the smart option in terms of quickness with which I can get everything together. The Trooper will take a little more time and effort. The S3 will be a lot of work but no where near as much as the Willys would.

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      09-26-2011 09:16 AM #2


      Is this a trail only vehicle, or is this a titled and inspected winter duty/weekend warrior?

      Willy's project, on an LJ frame sounds awesome, but LJ's fetch serious coin, finding a frame out of one or a usable chassis is not going to be cheap at all. Then you'd have to build everything, and well, in the end you have yet another Jeep in the world of Jeep curmudgeons that you won't be able to sell for a quarter of the cost of parts, tops. Have you ever had a good look at the stock steering on a Willys?

      4Runner, if that's what you want to do, go for it. The only one that's really a "turn key" purchase, well, except the Trooper, but...

      The Trooper would be really cool with like a F150 44/60 combo and 37s. And a motor with life. But... by the time you're done that, the S3 would be way cooler. Speaking of the S3, could you fit a 6BT in there? Or whats that mercedes 320cdi motor?

      I hear your choices, and (except the 4R depending what you're doing) every one I see axle swap. So. Let me throw this out there. Start with the ton pickup. Bonus points if you get a woods truck with lockers or high number gears. Part it down to the axles, and scrap the rest. Then use the money to build the axles. In that time, maybe the vehicle will find you...
      5.3L Wrangler work in progress
      Quote Originally Posted by Juniper Monkeys View Post
      "Less Forethought, More Welding"

    3. Member MCTB's Avatar
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      09-26-2011 09:38 AM #3
      Its use will be in between the Disco and the BJ60. The Disco was murder on the road but oh so nice on the trail and the BJ60 was great on the road and pretty good on the trail but I was running into length issues. Its just too damn long. Tons of interior room but that came with the penalty of multi point turns. Uwharrie pointed that out to me. I was banging the rear bumper on every ledge and tight turns required either mowing down a bush/ tree and/ or multi point turning. So, it will be something good off road but also something that will be driven on longer trips out to my sisters land in Colorado. It will be built low with something like 34s. The wife wants the honeymoon to be a truck camping trip through Utah (think Valley of the Gods, etc...) and into Oregon for the back country trail or Colorado around my sisters place for fly fishing and then head back to Va. No typical beach stuff for her

      The S3 is very cool but having lived with Rovers, including Series ones, they are a bitch. Theyre not very comfortable for tall (6'3") guys like me because there isnt much in the way of seat and height adjustments. I would more than likely have to build a lowered seat box for me to be able to see out of the windshield and the side window. The S3 is more of a heart argument as they are completely unlivable, miserable when its cold out and definitely not weather tight. Not to mention that the side impact beam is your femur and if Im putting my, might as well call it now, wife and future child(ren) in it, thats not that acceptable.

      The Willys is the other heart/ wild card option. Theres a Jeep scrapyard in OH that always seems to have LJ frames (bare) for about $600 or so available. It fits almost like its meant to be under the Willys body but in the end, it is another Jeep and not worth much more than that (although a little cooler). LR guys are just as big a group of aholes as Jeep guys are. It would make an interesting rig but then Im in the same place as the S3. Its old (which I love) but that age comes with a price in terms of work required to make it a little more livable and comfortable for two people and at least of weeks gear.

      The T4R is a smarter, more "turn key" option but its main drawback is that its a two door so loading/ unloading would be a pain. A 2nd gen would work but then Ive got a few more things in the way of electricals to deal with, not too mention possible title issues with a diesel conversion here in Va. If its the 80s and earlier, they dont care but the 90s and up, they might make life difficult. The other cool thing about the 4R is that I can get 10 different styles of bumpers, a ready to weld/ bolt on coilover kit and more stuff very easily.

      The other option is the Trooper. Again, low with 34s but no real options with suspension. Everything will be a little bit harder. SAS with steering box relocation, etc... Cool, timeless truck but Im not too sure that I want to dump cash into a truck that will, in the end, not be worth much more than what I bought it for in the first place.

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      09-27-2011 05:15 AM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by morecarsthanbrains View Post
      Its use will be in between the Disco and the BJ60. The Disco was murder on the road but oh so nice on the trail and the BJ60 was great on the road and pretty good on the trail but I was running into length issues. Its just too damn long. Tons of interior room but that came with the penalty of multi point turns. Uwharrie pointed that out to me. I was banging the rear bumper on every ledge and tight turns required either mowing down a bush/ tree and/ or multi point turning. So, it will be something good off road but also something that will be driven on longer trips out to my sisters land in Colorado. It will be built low with something like 34s. The wife wants the honeymoon to be a truck camping trip through Utah (think Valley of the Gods, etc...) and into Oregon for the back country trail or Colorado around my sisters place for fly fishing and then head back to Va. No typical beach stuff for her

      The S3 is very cool but having lived with Rovers, including Series ones, they are a bitch. Theyre not very comfortable for tall (6'3") guys like me because there isnt much in the way of seat and height adjustments. I would more than likely have to build a lowered seat box for me to be able to see out of the windshield and the side window. The S3 is more of a heart argument as they are completely unlivable, miserable when its cold out and definitely not weather tight. Not to mention that the side impact beam is your femur and if Im putting my, might as well call it now, wife and future child(ren) in it, thats not that acceptable.

      The Willys is the other heart/ wild card option. Theres a Jeep scrapyard in OH that always seems to have LJ frames (bare) for about $600 or so available. It fits almost like its meant to be under the Willys body but in the end, it is another Jeep and not worth much more than that (although a little cooler). LR guys are just as big a group of aholes as Jeep guys are. It would make an interesting rig but then Im in the same place as the S3. Its old (which I love) but that age comes with a price in terms of work required to make it a little more livable and comfortable for two people and at least of weeks gear.

      The T4R is a smarter, more "turn key" option but its main drawback is that its a two door so loading/ unloading would be a pain. A 2nd gen would work but then Ive got a few more things in the way of electricals to deal with, not too mention possible title issues with a diesel conversion here in Va. If its the 80s and earlier, they dont care but the 90s and up, they might make life difficult. The other cool thing about the 4R is that I can get 10 different styles of bumpers, a ready to weld/ bolt on coilover kit and more stuff very easily.

      The other option is the Trooper. Again, low with 34s but no real options with suspension. Everything will be a little bit harder. SAS with steering box relocation, etc... Cool, timeless truck but Im not too sure that I want to dump cash into a truck that will, in the end, not be worth much more than what I bought it for in the first place.

      How about a 100 with a solid front swap (AKA a 105)? A decent 100 might cost a bit more then your previous proposals up front but the mods will be cheaper in the long run.

    5. Member MCTB's Avatar
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      09-27-2011 06:10 AM #5
      Unfortunately, we dont get 105s here and Im not a fan of 100s. Theyre too damn heavy for my tastes. 5200 lbs is no joke.

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      09-27-2011 08:45 AM #6
      What about bobbing your '60, or getting an '80 and bobbing it?

      BJ40?

      70 Series out of Canada?

      TDI swapped Samurai?

      TDI swapped TJ?

      Wait and see if Chrysler comes out with a diesel Wrangler?
      Last edited by PoorHouse; 09-27-2011 at 12:53 PM.

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      09-27-2011 11:11 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by morecarsthanbrains View Post
      Unfortunately, we dont get 105s here and Im not a fan of 100s. Theyre too damn heavy for my tastes. 5200 lbs is no joke.
      You don't but the swap for the front is fairly easy (all the holes are there). I believe IPOR does a swap. That said I hear you about the weight.

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      09-27-2011 11:29 AM #8
      Dark blue LJ Wrangler, hard top painted white, BDS 3" with the new Fox 2.0's, 34x10.5 TSLs with white wagon wheels, FJ40 front grille swap.

      Honestly, it sounds like you just need to wait and look, and pull the trigger when something the right condition comes your way. Hold your money until something really tickles your fancy.
      5.3L Wrangler work in progress
      Quote Originally Posted by Juniper Monkeys View Post
      "Less Forethought, More Welding"

    9. Member MCTB's Avatar
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      09-27-2011 01:19 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by PoorHouse View Post
      What about bobbing your '60, or getting an '80 and bobbing it?

      BJ40?

      70 Series out of Canada?

      TDI swapped Samurai?

      TDI swapped TJ?

      Wait and see if Chrysler comes out with a diesel Wrangler?
      All options that are okay. Not interested in the bobbing of an 80 or the 60. Im not a fan of anything that came after the 60 (including the 62) anyway. Samurais are way too small, along with the 40 series (and I am firmly in the anti trailer camp) and I cannot get a TDI swapped TJ through emissions inspection here unless its a VM motor from the Liberty and thats some serious coin. Waiting for a diesel Wrangler would be too long, not to mention it would be too expensive. The money they want for Wranglers these days is crazy talk.

      Quote Originally Posted by CBJ View Post
      You don't but the swap for the front is fairly easy (all the holes are there). I believe IPOR does a swap. That said I hear you about the weight.
      Yeah, IPOR built my sliders for me and installed them (I live about 30 minutes north of them and they sponsor the local LC club) but I just dont like the 100s. Theyre just too damn heavy. Half a ton, at least, over a 60 series. The 60 is a feather weight in comparison.

      Quote Originally Posted by deucestudios View Post
      Dark blue LJ Wrangler, hard top painted white, BDS 3" with the new Fox 2.0's, 34x10.5 TSLs with white wagon wheels, FJ40 front grille swap.

      Honestly, it sounds like you just need to wait and look, and pull the trigger when something the right condition comes your way. Hold your money until something really tickles your fancy.
      That sounds like a good plan but its still a Jeep The Willys is as close to it as I want to go and even then I was going to use LC axles and a Dana 18 so I could keep the offset diffs. Such a nice thing to know that if the line is good for the front, its also good for the rear.

      Problem is just about everything tickles my fancy (except post 60 LCs). Requirements are that it must have a/c, either factory or relatively easily retrofitted and be back in the midsize arena. 100" to 105" is the perfect wheelbase, in my opinion but older stuff is tough to come by. First gen T4Rs are cool, first gen Troopers are cool, HJ47s are cool but damn near unobtanium for decent money, 109s are cool but completely uncomfortable in so many ways, old, pre 88 RRCs are cool but that means grey market here in the States and thats a tough thing to find. The list of rigs I wouldnt mind building up is immense. The tough part is in the choosing.

    10. Member CreeperSleeper's Avatar
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      09-27-2011 04:35 PM #10
      Why don't you just bob the 60?

    11. Member MCTB's Avatar
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      09-27-2011 04:46 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by CreeperSleeper View Post
      Why don't you just bob the 60?
      Thats a can of worms I dont want to open. Sheetmetal, glass, frame, rear suspension and gas tank need modifying. No thanks.
      Last edited by MCTB; 09-27-2011 at 05:06 PM.

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      09-27-2011 11:47 PM #12
      What about a Scout II? Could be had with a Nissan diesel, solid axles front and rear, reasonable room.

      And on the 4runner, if you're going to screw around with an SAS anyway why not pick up a 4 door? 84-85 Runners are solid axle from the factory though, fyi.
      It may be slow, but at least it's ugly!

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      09-28-2011 09:03 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by Trike Kid View Post
      What about a Scout II? Could be had with a Nissan diesel, solid axles front and rear, reasonable room.

      And on the 4runner, if you're going to screw around with an SAS anyway why not pick up a 4 door? 84-85 Runners are solid axle from the factory though, fyi.

      Good points.

      You might consider the slightly longer Scout Traveller, it's longer than the Scout II but shorter than the
      Travelall.

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      09-29-2011 05:06 AM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by Trike Kid View Post
      What about a Scout II? Could be had with a Nissan diesel, solid axles front and rear, reasonable room.

      And on the 4runner, if you're going to screw around with an SAS anyway why not pick up a 4 door? 84-85 Runners are solid axle from the factory though, fyi.
      I know the early trucks are solid axle but they are only trucks, with the exception of the Winnebago/ Toyota team up and the resulting Trekker (which wasnt very good when it came to noise and leaks). A 4 door would be great but the issue is that now I move into the 90s and registering a 90s truck, even though its OBD1 and not 2, and having Virginia title as a diesel is a crap shoot. Where I live in Northern Virginia is very much like California in that they have their own set of rules for emissions compared to the rest of Virginia. It sucks.

      Quote Originally Posted by PoorHouse View Post
      Good points.

      You might consider the slightly longer Scout Traveller, it's longer than the Scout II but shorter than the
      Travelall.
      Man, the Traveller is LONG. 118" wheelbase? Thats longer than my 60.

      Always loved the 800s though

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      09-29-2011 09:09 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by morecarsthanbrains View Post
      Man, the Traveller is LONG. 118" wheelbase? Thats longer than my 60.

      Always loved the 800s though

      Same length as a 60 series with a 10 inch longer wheel base.

      It is a big 2 door.

    16. Member MCTB's Avatar
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      09-29-2011 10:20 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by PoorHouse View Post
      Same length as a 60 series with a 10 inch longer wheel base.

      It is a big 2 door.
      Wheelbase is what I am trying to shorten. The longer the wheelbase, the higher it will have to be in order to have good angles. I could better the angles on my 60 if I went higher and ran bigger tires but thats not my goal.

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      09-29-2011 04:13 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by morecarsthanbrains View Post
      I know the early trucks are solid axle but they are only trucks, with the exception of the Winnebago/ Toyota team up and the resulting Trekker (which wasnt very good when it came to noise and leaks).
      Not true. Toyota made solid axle 4Runners in '84 and '85... I've owned 3 of them.

    18. Member MCTB's Avatar
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      09-29-2011 05:06 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by CreeperSleeper View Post
      Not true. Toyota made solid axle 4Runners in '84 and '85... I've owned 3 of them.
      Oh yeah, thats true

      Definitely looking for a more midsize truck.

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      09-29-2011 06:29 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by morecarsthanbrains View Post
      Not to mention that the side impact beam is your femur and if Im putting my, might as well call it now, wife and future child(ren) in it, thats not that acceptable.

      Its old (which I love) but that age comes with a price in terms of work required to make it a little more livable and comfortable for two people and at least of weeks gear.

      The T4R is a smarter, more "turn key" option but its main drawback is that its a two door so loading/ unloading would be a pain.


      Reading back through this I highlighted a couple points above.

      Considering all that I would keep the '60.

      It's big enough for a couple weeks stuff. If it seems to big now it won't when you have kids.

      It already has a diesel.

      It's in great shape.

      There are a lot of off the shelf parts for it.

      Every vehicle going to be a compromise. Add some armor, tweak the lift/tire combo a little and
      learn to love those 3 point turns.

    20. Member MCTB's Avatar
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      10-01-2011 06:33 AM #20
      Its that itch to build a new rig really.

    21. Member MCTB's Avatar
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      10-11-2011 09:41 AM #21
      Second gen 4Runner is it! Starting the planning now... Excited.

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      10-11-2011 01:48 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by morecarsthanbrains View Post
      Second gen 4Runner is it! Starting the planning now... Excited.


      Did you get one, or did you just decide that's what you're hunting?

      I almost bought one of these 5 years ago, but couldn't quite find one in my price range.

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      10-11-2011 03:04 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by deucestudios View Post


      Did you get one, or did you just decide that's what you're hunting?

      I almost bought one of these 5 years ago, but couldn't quite find one in my price range.
      Im in England for a year but Ive got my dad keeping a look out for me. Already talking to a guy about a 4 link rear and 3 link front set up. 255/85s (~33.5") and 12" coilovers all around. Oh, and a diesel transplant. It wont be a Yota one though. I want to keep it mechanical and the small 2.5- 3L 4 cylinder Toyota diesels arent very good (heads cracking), not to mention parts availability so more than likely itll be a Rover powered Toyota...

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      10-17-2011 01:18 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by morecarsthanbrains View Post
      not to mention parts availability so more than likely itll be a Rover powered Toyota...
      oh the irony... after all of your posts pissing on rovers


      why not a 1.9l TDI powerplant, with some mild mods it oughta be more than enough to move around a smaller toyota...
      and parts are available at your local napa without much trouble. which is more than could be said for a european imported rover diesel motor...

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