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4x4 Caching Rigs

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Finally a good place to do this!


For those cachers with 4x4's or thinking about getting 4x4's, here's the place for Q&A. Feel free to tell us about your rig, ask questions, give advice, or post pics. In pity for those of us with dinosaur dialup, try to post only a link to a pic of your rig so that the thread doesn't become mired down with a million billion photos.


I'll start it off. I've got a '94 Jeep YJ Wrangler soft top with a 4 cyl engine. Mods include: 31x10.50 Mud Kings, Ram Air Induction scoop, Pioneer CD with 240-Watt 4-way speakers in Sound Wedge boxes, pulled the restrictor out of the air intake to boost HP by 10%, mileage up to 21mpg, windshield mount lightbar with 4 El Cheapo (don't really know the brand, bought them used) driving lights, rock guards on headlights, tailights, and park lights. Soon I'll be throwing a 2" suspension lift on it, too.

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1994 Land Rover Defender 90: too many mods to list, but it goes where I want it to go and brings me back home too B)


If I need it, I have an external antenna, but I receive strong signals through the soft top, especially with my new Grarmin 60CS.


It's getting a little old, but it has never let me down. ...




And to answer the above questions:


1) The soft top is cold in winter, but I made it through 8 Colorado and Wyoming winters with it. I had an upholstry shop make me a "drop curtain" which is a vinyl window that installs behind the seats so that the heater can heat just the passenger area and not the rear bed. That made a big difference.


2) Heat works well, but is helped with the above mentioned drop curtain. Real 4x4's don't have air conditioning :o


3) Very reliable. Never been stranded although I have limped home on several occasions after off-roading damage.


4) Pitiful gas economy: less than 15mpg. That's why I drive my MINI Cooper most of the time.

Edited by YuccaPatrol
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I have a 98 Wrangler with a hard top.




The hard top is warmer and quiter than the soft top. For summer time, I have a full-length cloth top (with no sides) to keep sun and the occasional sprinkle off...it cost me $50 (wait for the sale in Nov-Dec), and folds up to nothing.





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I just bought a 2003 Jeep Wrangler a couple months ago, its the second one I've owned. My 1989 died a couple years back, and I'd been looking for a replacement even since.


With regards to the above questions, my personal opinion is that soft tops are the only way to go. I'm not a fan of the look or the work-for-removal associated with a hard top.


Next, I think the heating is excellent in Jeeps. Although, I think my personal temperature tolerance is wider than the average bear. The real test is whether my girlfriend will be cold riding in the Jeep this winter, cause she has, well, s... for blood. She's cold all the time. But, the heater in a Jeep really cooks.


Air conditioner? Not in any Jeep I'd ever own.


Reliability. My 89 Jeep started to go downhill fast after it was about 8 years old. Everything starting needing replacing. But, Jeeps have changed since 1989, and I'm hoping my new baby will hold up longer, especially because I bought her just about new, and will be able to take care of her since birth. My last Jeep had 60K miles on it by the time I got ahold of her.


Oh, and to make this on-topic/geocaching related. I found a cache in my Jeep last week. I had to drive up a mountain to do it. :o (Well, I guess I didn't HAVE to, but it sure was fun.)


Gas milage. I vary somewhere between 19 and 23 miles per gallon right now, depending on where I'm driving. I imagine that will drop when I put on the tires I want.



Edited by Pantalaimon
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Well, you can probably guess what I drive by my name and avatar, but here it is:


'89 Toyota 4-wheel drive van, LE model, fully loaded. Automatic, captain's chairs (seats 7), dual A/C, dual heaters, built-in refridgerator/ice maker, p/s, p/w, p/mirrors, p/locks, cruise, tilt wheel, cornering lights, fog lights. Mods include a K&N air filter, 2" lift, BFG All-Terrain tires, 2-130watt 8" Dick Cepek off-road lights, wire headlight grilles, hitch, inclinometer.


This van has seen more off-road than 95% of the SUVs on the roads today, in fact I've surprised alot of people (myself included) with where I've been able to take it! The short wheelbase (6" shorter than a 2-door Toyota Tercel!), good ground clearance, and tight turning radius makes it extremely maneuverable in tight conditions, although I have to watch for the long front-end overhang (it's protected somewhat by a heavy pipe-guard under the front end) and articulation could be better. I get about 18 mpg in 2-wheel drive, 14mpg in 4-wheel drive. Just turned over 300,000 miles, and still going strong (all original engine/drivetrain except for the tranny, which I just had rebuilt this month)!

Edited by 4x4van
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Being a soft top 2001 Jeep Wrangler owner. I love it. I like Pan didn't like the effort required to remove the hard top, nor the storage needed for a hard top (I live in an apartment complex). Storing the hard top when its removed needs to be placed flat, not on its side. The soft top folds up. I also have a secondary 3 piece soft top that allows me to keep the back covered and the rest open, or if it rains I can put the top over the front seats. Heating is excellent, within the 1st mile I drive me Jeep is already cranking out the hot air and toasting my toes. As for air conditioning. umm? isn't that why I take the top off? :o Mileage isnt the greatest when compared to toyotas and hords and other standard vehicles. I am averaging 16.3 miles a gallon. Where with my prelude I was at 23.6 miles and my ford tempo at 22.4.

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1990 Isuzu Trooper here. Bought it for $500 seven years ago from a co-worker. It's getting a little beat up but it's still going strong. Has right at 250,000 miles on it. I've made a few minor mods to it since I bought it.....Lockers front/rear, New TrXus tires(not in this pic), rocker protectors, custom rear bumper, etc. "Wheeling" is one of the reasons I bought the GPSr but I've found a million more uses for it since I got it. Sure was great having it out in Colorado a couple weeks ago. :o



Edited by drag-racer
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Well...right now my daily driver is a '95 Discovery (picture of it on my profile), but I also own a '95 D-90, '74 Air Portable, 2 '67 109's and a '62 88. They are in various states of repair, but the next back on the road will be my '74 with a diesel conversion.


Mods to my Discovery are limited.. I made a winch bumper and mounted a Ramsey RE10000 winch, dual Exide spiralcell batteries w/Surepower battery isolator, 1" lift heavyduty springs and shocks, Wolf steel wheels, 7.50x16 tires, new rear prop shaft with a double cardan u-joint, replaced the center cubby box lid with something I made to hold my laptop (mapping software dontcha know), heated windscreen (which I haven't installed yet), front Detroit Locker.


To do list (when I find the time to make the parts):

2" suspension lift

2" body lift but only if I can still get in the parking garage with it (this I'll buy)

Heavy duty drag link and track rod

Steering guard

rock sliders

heavy duty rear bumper w/spare tire mount

diff protectors

u-joint protectors

Either a roof rack or trailer, or both

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Well you can see my rig in my avitar. It's a 1995 Chevrolet Tahoe. It's beed modified quite a bit. Dosen't have alift kit but I have air bags in it so I just hit a button and It'll raise an additional 4". Full set of skid plates. Detachable sway bar. HD shocks, HD driveshaft with HD U-Joints(I drive a little hard) Air locking front and rear differantals. 6300LBS Super winch.(either front or rear mount). Under the hood I have a small block chevy 350 with a paxton supercharger with a ram air hood(yea I like to go fast too). Inside It;s fully loaded, Leather heated seats, Air conitioning( I can't live without my a/c) I even have a indash dvd player(I know it was a stupid investment but it was a great idea at the time). Ummm let;s see what else. I have my CB always close at hand, 2 rechargeable flashlights mounted to the floor. O yea an my fire extinguisher. That's realy about it. On the out side I have alot of lights(can;t have to many at night) I hav my high beams wired to turn on Highs and lowes at the same time. 4 KC 110watt KC daylighters across the visor. In the back I have 2 110watt flood lights for when I need to back out of that trail(this helpd alot with tinted windows. I also have A Hide-A-Way Strobe kit in headlights and tail lights for snowp;lowing. It's fun to scare people with them too. So that's my baby. I love to off road. ANd tend to spemnd alot of time doing it.


One little piece of advice for any "weekender" off roaders(those who don't do it alot) when your on a trail it's very easy(expically if you don't know what your doing) to tweaka tie rod, or rip a brake line, or damage a shock, or knock a exhause pipe loose, there's aklot that can happen. When ever you leavea trail take it slow when you get back on the road. Turn off the radio, have everybody quiet down, open the windows and just be observant. Listen for noises that weren;t there before. Feel your steering, test your brakes. Make sure everything is working. It's easier to stop a 4000+ vehicle when you have a problem when you doing 20 or 30 then when your on the freway doing 70 and someting finally lets go all the way. Just be obwservant. Nobody knows your rig better than you. Use it to your advantage.

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OK, I've got a question(s) for you owners:


1) Soft-tops - are they cold in the winter (as in New England winters)

2) How good is the heating/air conditioning?

3) Reliable?

4) Gas economy?


Thanks.  I need to replace my car soon, and I've been debating what to move to.

I have 2 off-road Geo-Jeeps (down from 3)


2004 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon - totally awesome! no complaints at all. Soft top is quiet (I didn't say silent though it is MOST of the time), you can hang meat in it when the A/C is on, you can cook the meat with the heater. Gas mileage is NOT a reason to buy a Jeep = 15 no matter what seems to be the rule for the Rubicon - low gears, tall knobby tires, great power = mediocre gas mileage.


1993 Jeep Cherokee Police model (no BS! - it rocks!) - 4" suspension lift, 31" BFG AT tires, auto trans, A/C is great when it works which isn't NOW, heater will blister your toes. Gas mileage is about the same as the Rubicon. I got better mileage with the stock tires but who wants that?


Here's a shot of the Rubicon on a recent caching excursion in the Osceola National Forest the day after Hurricane Charley wussed through the area (Thank God!)


BTW.... this is a road - not a river!



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We really like our Cherokees. The 94 is lifted, runs 31" rubber, has winch and offroad lights. This has done all of the more challenging 4x4 caches with ease. Our 01 is the baby and doesnt get out as much. There are plans in the works, but thats down the road some. Oh, and its a cool Yellow! :P Both are comfortable, very capable, and decent on gas. I only wish one thing though, that they had soft tops! :D


Jeep at Sargeant 4x4 Cache

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2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport, 4+ inches of lift, 31"procomp muds, custom 4x4 rear bumper & tire carrier plus rock rails, KN, 2-500watt hellas, warn 9500, 4.56 gears, ez-locker front & aubern rear, kayak racks & of course a gps mount w/ext. antenna...




1977 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40, mostly stock, currently out of commission...

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