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Old 10-05-2014, 11:01 AM   #1
SteelJM1 OP
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Erf, so tired of my car

It's at the "falling apart" point. 07 impreza 2.5i and the drivetrain is great, it's just the rest of the car that's falling apart.

Granted it's led a rough life the past 3 years. The last 3 miles to my employer is really shitty rough road that the county won't repave. Slow or fast, it's brutal on suspension...and everything else. I replaced the shocks on all 4 corners about 1.5 years ago, but recently the rear has developed a hell of squeaking noise, clunking over bumps and turns, etc. I can't isolate the damn noise because I can't put enough force on the suspension components by hand to make it do the noises. And I'm not the type to throw parts at it until it stops. That gets very expensive. *edit* Oh, and the front is starting to make noise. Yaaay.

Now it's due for a timing belt. I keep waffling back on forth on whether I want to do it or not. I'm at the end of my rope.

I've gotten close to pulling the trigger on some new, or near new cars, but ultimately at the end, I didn't want to spend THAT kind of cash to just have the thing wrecked and rendered a worthless POS by that road in 3 years. The only way I'd buy new or near new is if I have the work-beater. I refuse to ride the strom there everyday because it too will get wrecked in short order. Mreh.

So... I'm thinking about picking up some old solid-axled on both ends, leaf spring small truckish deal of some sort. Yeah it'll handle like a 3 legged elephant that just ate some shrooms but I THINK it'll stand up to that road much better. And even when it breaks, much easier to fix suspension pieces cause it's much more simple than an independent setup. And hopefully cheaper because it's old and there's a billion of whatever parts out there.

ANYWAY! Can yall point me towards some vehicles that would meet those requirements? And of course, the less fuel it uses, the better seeing as its a 50 mile round trip. Every damn day.

I know, i type too much.
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Old 10-05-2014, 12:07 PM   #2
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YJ Jeep Wrangler in dinged up, dirty condition but without frame rust. You don't pay the CJ or TJ premium and it'll be perfect for the crap commute you have. Cheap parts, easy to work on, cheap enough to buy.
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Old 10-05-2014, 12:45 PM   #3
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YJ Jeep Wrangler in dinged up, dirty condition but without frame rust. You don't pay the CJ or TJ premium and it'll be perfect for the crap commute you have. Cheap parts, easy to work on, cheap enough to buy.
x2
A YJ would be a good choice. Lot of other similar rigs that would work as well but the YJ is likely the least buy-in and maint investment. The 258 motor is a solid reliable runner. It'll get acceptable mpgs depending on axle gearing and use. Basically ugly square headlight CJ-7 but cheaper. Silly easy to maintain. I strongly suggest one that is as near stock as possible. For reliability avoid the poseur big tired, mega lifted V8 conversions. Start with one in good mechanical condition, drive it sanely and maintain it and it'll run that road a long long time.
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Old 10-05-2014, 01:36 PM   #4
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yikes! I don't know if a YJ is going to be that great of a buy-in... people are asking seemingly insane prices for them, and of course, most of them are modified.
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Old 10-05-2014, 02:08 PM   #5
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How about a Suzuki Samurai? Or do you prefer American cars?
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Old 10-05-2014, 02:19 PM   #6
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Older Toyota pu or 4 runner?Ford Ranger pre-runner truck?Problem with any kind of pick-up is gas milage and ride over a car based platform.In southern California I have seen some desert pre-runner trucks that would handle this problem very well.
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Old 10-05-2014, 02:22 PM   #7
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Find a mechanic with a set of "Chassis Ears" and fix the current ride. Always the cheapest way to go.

Chassis ears consist of 5 microphones they place around the chassis with magnets, duct tape, whatever. go for a ride, select one mike at a time, whichever's loudest lets you home in on where the clunking / squeaking's coming from in 2-3 passes. Child's play.
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Old 10-05-2014, 02:45 PM   #8
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How about a Suzuki Samurai? Or do you prefer American cars?
Didn't even think of those. They probably sip gas. Do they run solid front axles?

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Older Toyota pu or 4 runner?Ford Ranger pre-runner truck?Problem with any kind of pick-up is gas milage and ride over a car based platform.In southern California I have seen some desert pre-runner trucks that would handle this problem very well.
The problem with the Toy's and rangers is that they're overpriced as well. Even 25 year old toyota pick ups will sell for several thousand. Or else they're piles of junk :/ Seems like they don't make trucks to last anymore. Everyone now wants their truck to drive like a car, at the expense of durability.

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Find a mechanic with a set of "Chassis Ears" and fix the current ride. Always the cheapest way to go.

Chassis ears consist of 5 microphones they place around the chassis with magnets, duct tape, whatever. go for a ride, select one mike at a time, whichever's loudest lets you home in on where the clunking / squeaking's coming from in 2-3 passes. Child's play.
That's the problem. I've been having to fix this car more and more often over the past two years. As soon as I do one thing, something else breaks. If the car is only worth 2500 and I waste 2000 in a year constantly fixing it, it doesn't really seem worth it. Not to mention the amount of time it wastes on my end.

Then after I fix the rear... and probably front suspension, the car will go what, another year or so before it's shot again. With all the other stupid crap that will break in between.
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Old 10-05-2014, 03:33 PM   #9
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Or, thinking about it more, the only way i'd really go about fixing the subie is again if i had a beater work truck, and have the car for around town and highway type use so it doesn't get trashed up again. Which still leaves me with the original problem.

So I've scoped out XJ's, YJ's, some older TJ's, Samurai, toyota pick ups. I must be getting old because it just seems that the prices are 1-2k more that *I* (or edmunds and kbb) think they're worth. That or they're highly sought after which inflates the prices. I'm thinking of perhaps going the pick-up route because I've been wanting one for dirtbike hauling and whatever else hauling duties. My buddy wants to sell me his 2000 dakota, but that's not going to be for another 6-9 months, Not sure if i can hold out that long.
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Old 10-05-2014, 03:54 PM   #10
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Jeep cherokee, 4.0 6 with a automatic. Indestructible, 20 mpg, very capable off road, comfy, can carry a load, and best part 1/3 the orice of a CJ,YJ or TJ.I loved my 95 but had several other years,some with tow pkg's had Dana 44 rears which is a plus.
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Old 10-05-2014, 04:10 PM   #11
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Jeep cherokee, 4.0 6 with a automatic. Indestructible, 20 mpg, very capable off road, comfy, can carry a load, and best part 1/3 the orice of a CJ,YJ or TJ.I loved my 95 but had several other years,some with tow pkg's had Dana 44 rears which is a plus.
Yeah i noticed the xj's are relatively sanely priced. Maybe i could chop the back off and turn it into a Comanche ;)
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Old 10-05-2014, 04:40 PM   #12
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DR650, should cope with the road and cheap to own and run.
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Old 10-05-2014, 04:54 PM   #13
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1: your existing car is gonna get about double the fuel milage of any solid front axle vehicle.

2: timing belt is gonna cost what? About $1000?

3: upgrade the suspension on the car to some rally car type stuff. I have a buddy who upgraded his suspension on his Outback. Night and day difference. Just shocks and springs. He took me out for a ride to show me what it can do. 70+mph through a farm field, giant ruts, one 3 foot high drop, I never felt the suspension bottom.

I say keep what you have and drive it like you stole it.
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Old 10-05-2014, 04:56 PM   #14
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DR650, should cope with the road and cheap to own and run.
Or this. I love my DR.

If you can drive a car down the road, the Strom should handle it ok and not hurt it at all. I have seen Stroms do some tough roads and keep on going just fine.
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Old 10-05-2014, 05:44 PM   #15
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Have a DR (that i'm going to sell). I just hate riding the bikes to work. Just not enjoyable for me.

And yah, cars can ride through some rough stuff too.. for a little while. But over and over really takes its toll. It won't be long before the dash starts rattling apart.

I'm leaning more and more now towards a late 80's/early 90's toyota pickup. Prices are a bit high but they're good little trucks. Decent fuel efficincy.. aobut the same as the subie. Not a solid front axle, but the torsion bar setup is still pretty simple and tough. Plus i'd rather have a 2wd, which there are a lot of around here. I don't go 4 wheeling, no interest in it. That's what dirtbikes are for
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