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Old 01-27-2010, 12:05 AM   #1
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Thinking TJ?

Hey all,

Now is the time I'm thinking of the NEXT car. Here is my dillema...

At hearth, I'm a BMW guy. Always loved the cars (with a few exceptions) and I was pretty convinced that the next car after my E36 M3 would naturally be the E46 M3 (or 330ci) depending on the budget/deal I could find


I'm actually thinking about trying the whole off-roading, hard-top, soft-top, mud-treaders, water traversing route... and I guess I just wanted to hear your feedback (although I know it all comes down to my preference in the end)

Does anyone have any off-road experience? (realistically something amature to begin with)

I test drove an 05 TJ (which is about $10K) and it was pretty much what I expected it to be... competely stock without any power options and next to zero luxuries... a huge difference from driving the BMW...

but here's my reasoning:

Hard top, soft top, no top... All wheel drive, good in winter for going snowboarding... good for summer to go to the beach... good for all weather conditions and great for off-roading and trips up north (such as camping, etc.) I figured that it would be a fun car to own and experience something new. (I am aware of the gas mileage)

What are your opinions/feedback?
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:18 AM   #2
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Best advise i can give you is keep one car for the road, and get something just for offroading. Keep in mind that after each event you need to do hours of cleaning, and it never comes out 100%! So to have a daily truck that you offroad, is very unpractical...

Very fun tho, addictive, and as all car hobbys it can get $$$...
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:53 AM   #3
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I've done some off roading with the 4x4 offroaders association of Ontario, and some Jeep Jamboree stuff as well.

Firstly, please, please, please rethink, what you are planning to do. Although the TJ is one of the best off road vehicles out there, especially for Ontario trails, there are too many deficiencies. Everything that makes them so good off road, makes them so bad on road. Fuel economy as you already mentioned sucks, short wheelbase and under damped suspension = very bumpy ride, very small interior, no trunk, snowboarding/camping trips won't work very well with this type of a vehicle, convertible top whether soft or hard top is very noisy up at any speed above 70km/h, and down right unbearable with it off at highway speeds. My suggestion would be if you absolutely must do this is to get a high mileage older one that even may be branded by insurance, just to use as an off road bitch and keep your e36 for anything else. Just my two cents on this one.

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Old 01-27-2010, 02:43 AM   #4
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My buddy had a YJ and I loved that thing. Except for the really touchy steering on the highway, and the noise, and the gas mileage........He didn't deserve that thing, he didn't know how to drive it and drove the shit out of it.

Get an older one?

Originally Posted by JINT View Post
Some people have serious track experience from the cruise, so what is fast to you, isn't fast to them.
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Old 01-27-2010, 01:01 PM   #5
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From someone who has heavily offroaded for quite a few years, here is my take ont he whole thing(some of it might be a repeat).
Jeeps, next to Ford's are probably the cheapest offroad fun you can have. Parts are everywhere(for cheap), used lift kits, etc, are a dime a dozen, and with a cheap 2" budget lift, you can run 33's and have A LOT of fun out there wheeling.

As soon as you lift it and slap big tires, you are making an already slow vehicle, VERY slow, you are making bad fuel consumption-terrible, bad road manners-worse. Be prepared. My Cherokee was a slug, my Rover was a bit better on the road.

The novelty of a TJ, IMO will wear off VERY quickly, which is why I have been a fan of Luxury SUV's for wheeling, they provide better road response, better ride, and when you don't want an adventure, it doesn't have to be a bumpy ride to the store- where as wita TJ, everything is a basic and the ride is always shit. Road noise is constant. They have shitty insulation, they leak and THEY RUST(huge thing to watch for)!!

From someone who has wheeled with countless Jeeps, Fords, Rovers, Dodge's, Yota's, I really would recommend a late 90's, eraly 2K Toyota 4Runner (or if you can swing it, Land Cruiser). They are very good (despite they have some weak(er) IFS suspension) offroad, provide good support, relatively easy to work on, not overly expensive aftermarket support. Jeeps, you will assosicate with quite a few hicks, lots of good people that you will meet, lots to learn about, and the TJ culture that comes with it ( I wasn't a fan of it too much personally, it wa always a dick comparing contest).

If you want the best, the image, the PERFORMANCE, not the "best" reliability, but amazing on road manners, better on road performance, get a Discovery 1 or 2( i wouldn't recommend the newer Range Rovers as an offroad toy unless you are nuts and have tons of money). They will blow your mind how capable they are, comfortable, and easy to work on (d1 is simpler than d2).

As far as offroading itself goes, each they there are groups who are lobbying to close trails, because of the "impact" 4x4ing has on the environment, bla bla bla.

One of the main reasons I got out of it, was because trails are getting further and further and further away(2+ hours each way for a decent trail for a few hours of fun). Between gas, food, the stuff that breaks (AND YOU WILL BREAK STUFF), it was working out to be $200+ for a day of fun. I couldn't justify it anymore with a mortgage and potential family in the near future(as a side point).

Whatever vehicle you choose, with a TJ and Yota, Rovers, there are things you will be breaking ALL THE TIME!!! Steering linkages, bearings, pads, CV axles, U-joints, Clutch Fans, Clutches(if manual), Gas tanks are a possibility, tires will get torn up(i've replaces a few), rip break lines off, CONSTANT Fluid flushes(differentials, tranny, engine), almost every month or two, because WATER WILL FIND A WAY TO GET IN THERE!

It was the toughest decision for me to sell my Range Rover, but it was one I made. That thing was a MONSTER offroad. BAR NONE! I took it places that would blow your mind.

anyway, check out (local jeep forum) many links to other local jeep forums (com?) to see the land issues that are being faced
check out some Yota forums*(not sure of one to recommend maybe

for rovers check out (or something to that affect, for a local Rover forum)

\Anyway, if you have more questions feel free to ask, not a CHEAP hobby at ALL, very FUN hobby for sure, BUT MAKE SURE you pick the RIGHT vehicle, it makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE!

Bimmers and Rovers make the world go round and round.
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:10 AM   #6
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Thanks for the GREAT advice and valuable opinions guys. I really have to give this more thought and do more research. Once again, Bimmer forum members are super helpful.
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:49 AM   #7
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My buddy has a lifted xj (92 cherokee) and it is a absolute DOG! Slow as hell, horrible gas milage, loud as hell, uncomfortable. But it is fun as hell off roading! going through 4 feet of water is epic!
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