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Old 04-16-2011, 12:11 AM
 
Location: Northeast Tennessee
7,303 posts, read 22,746,248 times
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Wouldnt the Grand Cherokee have an inline 6 and not a V6?

4-Runners are nice and pretty robust, but watch out for headgasket woes. That 3.0L has a history of headgasket issues.

The Rams are good, but transmissions are common problems, but you say this one has been rebuilt, so thats a plus. Would like the gas though being a V8 heavy truck. If thats not an issue, look into that one more.

Cant comment on the rust, I am in the southeast where I have never seen rust on any of these you mentioned here locally or in person, but I have seen rust on some advertised for sale up north like on ebay, etc, but dont most all cars rust eventually in the northern USA? I know that some are more rust prone than others. My uncle has 4 90s Dodge Rams and I have never seen rust on any of them. My cousin has a 1997 Ram 2500 diesel and it has some rust.... I questioned him about it and he said he bought it in northern Ohio, so that explained that.

Sounds like it would basically come down to which is in better condition for the money.

Last edited by Tennesseestorm; 04-16-2011 at 12:19 AM..
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:30 AM
 
5,703 posts, read 15,494,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tennesseestorm View Post
Wouldnt the Grand Cherokee have an inline 6 and not a V6?

4-Runners are nice and pretty robust, but watch out for headgasket woes. That 3.0L has a history of headgasket issues.

The Rams are good, but transmissions are common problems, but you say this one has been rebuilt, so thats a plus. Would like the gas though being a V8 heavy truck. If thats not an issue, look into that one more.

Cant comment on the rust, I am in the southeast where I have never seen rust on any of these you mentioned here locally or in person, but I have seen rust on some advertised for sale up north like on ebay, etc, but dont most all cars rust eventually in the northern USA? I know that some are more rust prone than others. My uncle has 4 90s Dodge Rams and I have never seen rust on any of them. My cousin has a 1997 Ram 2500 diesel and it has some rust.... I questioned him about it and he said he bought it in northern Ohio, so that explained that.

Sounds like it would basically come down to which is in better condition for the money.
Thanks. Did more research on the 4 Runner. I guess the 95's had a recall on head gaskets. Asked the owner via phone and he seemed annoyed. I think he is tired of looky loos but well its my money. He said the power steering pump is leaking. From what I read on line it could be the steering box instead which I guess is a bigger repair. Its an hour away and I think I'm gonna forget about that one. Seems like a hassle.

The Jeep could be inline, not sure. Test drove earlier this evening and it has issues. The steering wheel is crooked for better lack of term. Basically the Jeep logo in the center of the steering wheel is turned on an angle so whatever the kid did the to the thing, I am only guessing he messed up the steering. I think he hit something as the bumper and radiator has been replaced.

Dodges rust like mad around here. Not sure if we want a big truck like that now. Meh... Our options are limited as 4k doesn't get much so we will continue the search.
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:03 AM
 
Location: U.S.A.
3,306 posts, read 9,015,110 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fallingwater View Post
The Jeep could be inline, not sure. Test drove earlier this evening and it has issues. The steering wheel is crooked for better lack of term. Basically the Jeep logo in the center of the steering wheel is turned on an angle so whatever the kid did the to the thing, I am only guessing he messed up the steering. I think he hit something as the bumper and radiator has been replaced.
Don't let that deter you, just because the wheel is crooked does not necessarily mean the steering is off. The adjustment to recenter the steering wheel is a 10 minute job. And with the style steering that year has the adjustment can be done without having the vehicle on an alignment rack.

If the steering is actually off you will notice that the tires are worn unevenly in the front or that the vehicle will pull or handle kind of squirrely.
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Old 04-16-2011, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
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We were looking for pretty much the same thing (still are). My wife needs a people hauler, I want a truck and my daughters each need a transportation vehicle. We want all front or four wheel drive vehicles. We are tired of getting stuck in our long driveway in the winter (and sometimes in mud in the spring). We did a lot of research. We have not found any ready answers. Sorry. Everything affordable has its problems. I am leaning towards a chevy Avalanche for practicality (but they are not great on reliability, especially prior to 2004). My wife is uncertain what she wants. We are considering everyhting from a conversion van to a new Traverse or Durango. For the girls, I still hope to find a subaru outback with a repalced head gasket.

One thing I can tell you absolutely - do not buy an older chrysler minivan! That was our first attempt for the girls. It does ok in snow, and it is a nicely designed vehicle - very useful. It also falls apart like you would not believe. In two years we went through two of them and have spent over $7000 between buying them and repairs. (We paid $1800 for one and $2500 for the other). Both had transmissions go out, both had lot of other problems. One of them we had the trransmission rebuilt, now it is dead agin. It may be the engine. Not sure yet. (It is sitting alonside a freeway waiting for me to go get it and figure out the problem).

Anyway this is what we foud about the vehicles that you are considering:

Cherokee from that period had seveal common problems. Transmission is one, exhaust or intake manifolds cracking was another (I fogreget which one). They also have the typical Chrysler breakage of everything from seat controls, to windows, mirrors, radio, you name it, it breaks. My wife found one that she really wanted to buy, but after looking into them, we declined.


We also looked at the Subaru outback for the same things that you need. Another neat and very practical design. We discovered that they had a major problem with head gaskets. If the head gasket was replaced, they should be fine. If it has not been, then you are looking at a major expense. They finally resolved the defecetive head gasket problem but I could not remember what year it was. Our favoite was the aniversary edition (I think it was 2000) Really neat features. I love the double sunroof option. They also have very expensive repair costs, at least if you go through a subaru dealer for repair.

Toyota has a decent reputation but friends who have them complain about high costs of maintenaince and repair. I think that they have the same engine as the Camry. It is a good engine. We stopped looking at them when my wife announced that she absolutely would not consider any car from a company not headquartered in Michigan. I did learn that some years are much better than others, I am not sure which.


I would not consider an older Dodge Ram pick up. I love some of their design ideas, but they force their second tier suppliers down so much, that their parts tend to be junky. If you compare, you will find a huge gap between the price of used ford and chavy trucks and the price of used Dodge trucks. There is a reason for this gap. I think that the Chrysler transmission problem was limited to the vehicles with 6 or 4 cylinder engines. I did not hear of any common problem with transmissions coupled with V-8 engines, but maybe I just missed it.

Good luck. If oyu find a good solution, please let us know. We need to replace that stupid minivan, as well as two other cars.

Oh by the way, we finally bought a ford ranger from my dad for one of the gilrs to use. It has been a good little truck for us. It is not 4x4 so it is terrible in the snow, but if we put a lot of weight in the back (about 600 pounds) it does very well. Empty, it is terrible. Not very good gas mileage, not a lot of power, but still a useful and decent vehicle. THe girls love it in part baecause it is easy to flip up the rear jump seats and there is room to lay down and take a nap. Also becuase it is small, it is much easier to drive than most of our other vehicles. THe rangers are pretty cheap and seem to go forever. My brother had one with 250,000 miles on it and sold it still running (but badly rusted).

Good luck. If you find something that meets all of your needs and seems reliable, please let us know.
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Old 04-16-2011, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
24,720 posts, read 59,615,271 times
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One other bad option:

I had a 1998 Ford F-150 4x4 for a while. I got it for $4000. While I loved it in general, it has a coil on each spark plug. One after another of the coils died. There are eight of them. For the dealer to replace them it costs $200. You can DIY for about $50, but you also need to replace the spark plug wire and probably should replace the plug. Some of them are easy to replace, some are difficult. Then the oil pump broke (shaft?) and the engine siezed up - goodbye truck.

Now I am inclined to go with Chevy. Hopefully I can find a way to afford something a bit newer and longer lasting.
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:22 PM
 
5,703 posts, read 15,494,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
One other bad option:

I had a 1998 Ford F-150 4x4 for a while. I got it for $4000. While I loved it in general, it has a coil on each spark plug. One after another of the coils died. There are eight of them. For the dealer to replace them it costs $200. You can DIY for about $50, but you also need to replace the spark plug wire and probably should replace the plug. Some of them are easy to replace, some are difficult. Then the oil pump broke (shaft?) and the engine siezed up - goodbye truck.

Now I am inclined to go with Chevy. Hopefully I can find a way to afford something a bit newer and longer lasting.
The only Ford truck we had good luck with was the Ranger. We bought a Ford Explorer back in 2003 and the first year was great, then all kind of stuff started happening to it. The sunroof started leaking so badly the headliner was yellow. Springs, wheel bearings (numerous times), electrical...the list goes on and on. It still had a nice ride though when it wasn't in the shop. It was supposed to be our long term vehicle and we would eventually replace our 99 Ford Contour with a brand new car but the truck gave us so many problems we traded it in. Now we got two cars. We do a lot projects around the house and its just doesn't work well trying to cram lumber into a sedan. I have to say the Contour has been very good to us. We bought it new and the only major repair (which is not major) was a timing belt and a starter. The thing is a complete rust bucket though. I think the car will break in half before anything happens with the motor.

I wonder how well the Trailblazers are. That was another option I was going to look into.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:32 AM
 
3,071 posts, read 7,446,659 times
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sounds like all of the ones you mention SUCK GAS,, Why take a big gamble and not worry about the gas cost...Get something that gets at least 25 to 30 mpg around town or you might be sorry you didnt.
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Old 04-17-2011, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Woodland Park, CO
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The Jeep sounds like a good price. Get it and if you need cash, you can always unload it for more than you paid for it.
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
888 posts, read 1,678,683 times
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Originally Posted by fallingwater View Post
Hi folks. I'm looking for opinions on three options. We are a one income family at the moment so our second car needs to be paid with cash. Our price range is 4k. We do need some sort of truck type vehicle. Also with gas soaring I may be the one driving this second vehicle and a pick up doesn't work well for grocery store trips but I am keeping an open mind on the best deal. We need a 4x4 due to the winters here. All of these are 4wd. The second option is kind of a pain in the arse and I will explain why under that option.

Option 1 - 1995 Toyota 4 Runner. V8 110k miles. Excellent shape, zero rust and appears well cared for. Price is 3900. Bluebook is around 4200. Private seller.

Option 2 - 2000 Jeep Cherokee Laredo Limited V6 112K miles. Great condition, zero rust. Price 3500. Bluebook is around 4800-5200. This one might be a PITA because the owner is a young guy (22 yrs old but acts like a kid to me) at my husband's job. Hubby works with the kid's dad as well. The kid makes good money, still lives at home and owns 4 vehicles He got himself a DUI a month ago and dad is po'd and wants him to sell off some of these vehicles. Dad doesnt care the SUV is worth more, just wants it gone and gave hubby the price of 3500. The problem is the kid is hard to nail down. He is always with his gf, yada yada. Dad said truck has to go sometime this weekend or next. We are kind of getting tired of trying to nail this kid down but it appears to be the best deal, I think. So maybe being patient is key? The kid does want to sell just immature. Also he installed some obnoxious stereo system with a large kicker box in the back. I want that box removed. I'm not interested in giving people heart palpitations at a red light. It does appear to be cared for. New radiator, rotators, brake pads.

Option 3 - 2001 Dodge Ram V8. Single cab, 115k miles. Price 3400. Blue book seems be around 4500. Spot of rust on tailgate. New trans and tires. Owner that works with hubby but we are unsure if a pick up is really a good fit for us.

I owned a regular Cherokee on a lease years ago but we turned it in before it ever needed a repair, we did like it though. Owed Toyotas in the past and they were good to us. Never owned a dodge but they seem to rust pretty fast from what I have seen on the road. Meh...thoughts?
None of them, all over 100K miles and due for some major expenditure....
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
24,720 posts, read 59,615,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nativechief View Post
sounds like all of the ones you mention SUCK GAS,, Why take a big gamble and not worry about the gas cost...Get something that gets at least 25 to 30 mpg around town or you might be sorry you didnt.

Just what is it that gets 25-30 MPG and holds 7 people and two giant dogs reasonably comfortably?

You save no gas by driving two or three cars somewhere. Besides those good mileage cars are all Boring (note the capital B). I miss my old Honda CVCC. Back in the good old days before emissions and safety went crazy high mileage cars were common. Now 30 MPG is considered good mileage - what a joke.
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