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I really need to get myself a tough, reliable hunting vehicle for my lease in south TX. Getting tired of asking for a ride from the other guys or just walking.

I need: 4-wheel drive, smallish size, reliable, easy to maintain and repair, easy to find parts. I've been eyeing Jeeps (all models), Ford Bronco, Willys jeep, Toyota Landcruiser.

Any and all advice is welcome. Thanks.
 

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cgturner7, any of the smaller trucks such as the Toyota, Nissan, Ford Ranger etc. will work. Jeeps are nice and easy to work on, plus they have a lot of add on parts for hunting available. Also have you considered a 4 wheeler towed on a trailer or in the back of a pickup?
 

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cgturner7 said:
I really need to get myself a tough, reliable hunting vehicle for my lease in south TX. Getting tired of asking for a ride from the other guys or just walking.

I need: 4-wheel drive, smallish size, reliable, easy to maintain and repair, easy to find parts. I've been eyeing Jeeps (all models), Ford Bronco, Willys jeep, Toyota Landcruiser.

Any and all advice is welcome. Thanks.
I take it you're talking about a used vehicle? In that case you could check out a good used wrangler, a Ford Ranger, Bronco II (a regular 90's series Bronco is BIG), a Nissan Frontier, a Toyota Tacoma, a Chevrolet S-10,etc. These are all mid-size or smaller. The pickups would allow more cargo. Gas mileage on these shouldn't be too bad, either.
 

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In the past I've owned two Bronco II's. Both were 1987 models. One was a 5sp with manual locking hubs the other a Automatic with auto locking hubs. Both were exellent vehicles. They got very good mileage (mid 20's hwy, low 20's city). Tight turning radius due to the short wheel base and they have full frames. They are a bear to work on with the V-6. Changing spark plugs, wires and cap is very challenging. My first had 170,000 when I traded it in, the second had 121,000 when I sold it. The person who bought the second one still has it. They use 15 inch tires, so you won't go broke in that area. They last made them in 1990, so they are getting old now.

I have a Ranger extended cab now. Very stiff suspension and appears to be very rugged. Good ground clearance and the approach and departure angle is decent for a truck. The ground clearance helps in this area. Plent of power with the 4.0 V-6. I've not used it off-road. Has auto-locking hubs.

You may want to consider a Jeep Cherokee's. It seems they can take a beating when properly maintained. I've read that the "spider" gears seems to be the weak link, but can still take a lot of abuse. They made these things since the early 80's and the 4.0 straight six is pretty straight forward and makes a lot of power. There is a 4 cyl version. I work with a guy who has one. He says is runs like a top, but is underpowered. He has over 130,000 on his. The station wagon design offers a lot of room. There is enough of them out there that you should be able to find one in just about any price range.

My wife has a jeep Liberty. Its nice and is very road worthy. She won't let me take it off road, but reports from the periodicals indicate it will hold its own off road. My feelings are that if Ford were to build a modern version of the Bronco II, it would be the Liberty. Its now available with a diesel.

A bit long winded, but I hope this helps.

EVOC ONE
 

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i had two ford rangers....1986 and 1996.

my 1986 was 2wd ext cab. 4 cyl....no power...but decent ride and surprising traction for a 2wd. 20-24 mpg all around...but weak for towing.

my 1996 was 4wd standard cab v6 3.1ltr....no power..it was week...rode hard....gutless and wasnt worth a hoot. mileage stunk as well.....mid teens all around. wont ever get another one with that motor.

i now drive a 4wd gmc canyon. i love it...good power nice ride..tows well and great mileage. may be newer than you're looking for but in all honesty.....i wouldnt buy another truck after this one (mid to small size that is).

other options are buying an older diesel farm truck if price is a consideration....some of up to 20 mpg and are always strong runners....if a guy can find one with a rusted out box.....but everything runs good on it..take it an remove the box and make a flat bed.....
 

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Redhawk1 said:
Also have you considered a 4 wheeler towed on a trailer or in the back of a pickup?
Along the lines of what Redhawk1 said, with the price of gasoline today(seeing it’s getting worse everyday) I’m glad I gave up on 4x4 trucks. My 4x4 Polaris Ranger fits in the back of my 1500 Dodge Ram and gets excellent mileage. Rigs like this can be purchased used cheaper than one would expect(a neighbor down the road has his loaded 2003 Kawasaki Mule up for sale, asking $5,000 and it has less than 200 hours on it). Also have you given any though to purchasing a 4x4 ATV? I just bought a Arctic Cat 500 and for when there is only me it is great. Lawdog
:D
 

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dukkillr: A rather interesting vid clip. Can't honestly say I've seen a tranfer case come apart like that.

But it was obvious that whoever was driving that Liberty committed several "no-no's" with regards to four wheeling. Shy of anything with a significant lift and other modifications, there are not many 4X4's that could traverse what appeared to be a sharp peak straight on. A walk-through, use of a spotter and/or slower approach speed would have prevented that. A slower speed would not have prevented the bottoming out, but the hit would have been less of an impact and the driver would/should have felt it coming.

A good rule for off-roading: Go as slow as possible. Accelerate only as much as needed.

It was an entertaining clip, as well as others on that site. Thanks.

There are some crazy individuals in this world.

EVOC ONE
 

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I bought a Suzuki Samarai for my S. TX lease. I removed the doors for ease of access and added a front bumper that carries the "rack". It is a convertable and can be washed out with a water hose. It is a '87 and almost wore out, but works well for my family of four.

The perfect hunting vehicle, in my opinion, is the new Kawasaki Mule 4 x 4 with two bench seats. Just too expensive for my hunting budget.



pepaw
 

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Pepaw your right about those Samurais. We have 2 of them one is stock and it does a good job. The other has a lift 32'' tires 4.11 gears a warmed over 2.3 turbocharged engine from a SVO Mustang pushing about 240 hp.
It has a fold down windsheild and the whole interior has been Rhino lined.
Como paint and a full roll cage. We call it the Jeep Eater

Pat
 

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My vote is toward the Jeep Cherokee. They have solid axles in them, have a very strong powerful 4.0 inline six engine that are good for 300,000 miles if taken care of. They will go anywhere you point them and they are CHEAP. They are also very cheap and easy to lift so you can put a little bigger tires on them for some extra clearance.
You can pick these up pretty cheap to. The backseats will fold down and will hold all the gear you will ever need and keep it dry at the same time.
my $.02
 

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what you outta get is an international scout...i guarantee it will take you where ever you wanna go. they are as rugged a rig as they come.
but then again i love IH.

country rebel
 

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camp truck

I would go with the Jeep Cherokee as well. 6 cylinder 5 speed I've pulled full size broncos out of the snow with mine. As far as under powered goes how fast do you want to go when off road? Remember when pulling lots of power at low speeds engine cooling can be an issue. I would have one now, but my daughter took it to college. In stead I use a Suburban, it's a good truck, but I wish I had the jeep.

longwalker
 

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Second suggestion for the Suzuki Samurai. Mine is an 87 tintop which has pulled out two elk from less than perfect locations. I have only had mine lifted by switching the axle to spring over and added a locker to the front. Parts are very available on ebay and the vehicles are built like a tank. Mine gets around 28MPG just driving around the Phoenix area. If you don't need a big vehicle and don't want to go over 70MPH this is one you should add to your mix of considerations. There are a couple of transmission and transfer case shifter modifications that are recommended but they can be done from inside the vehicle and the shifters will be more positive and eliminates problems down the road.
 

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ifyou want tough and small.... Pre Tacoma Toyota pick up... Theres a reason there are some rough lookin ones around... these things are hard to kill... On some of the older ones the body may rust away around you, but they will keep on going...
 

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The perfect hunting vehicle goes anywhere has a heater.

Hooker
 

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COOL I got to get me one of them.
:( But It doesn't have a heater.

Hooker
 

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Something like this??

with a little hot rod engine, it does 24+ mpg on the road

with a heater that'll make the dash droop ;D
 

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hard to beat a wrangler for hunting out of. Jeep needs to do a drop top like the wrangler in a smaller package like the liberty that would compare to the suzuki. I may be bullheaded but even though the suzuki makes a neat little package its still JAP! Ive got a buddy that has one of the polaris rangers and its handy but you cant drive it down the road to get to camp and it cost as much as a good used wrangler.
 
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