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11/9/2013 7:53 PM
 

 That's right, Scot.  The Hilux's are definitely more ruggedized....to include deeper gears in the diffs.  I used a couple of them overseas that we kitted out as gun trucks.  They're good rigs, if you can get them.  I still feel that a strong gas powered engine is better for off road, either a good straight 6 or V8, but that's just my personal preference.  The Hilux's we had put up with just about anything thrown at them, 'though.


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
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11/9/2013 10:21 PM
 

 I agree with the above, I've owned a diesel for the last ten years. I love the truck, but I also feel a gas powered vehicle is a better vehicle for the hills.  I believe that if Ram could find a way to drop a diesel into the power wagon without the engine damaging everything else around it then they would.  Not to mention the problems you can run into with glow plugs, jelling diesel, etc. in below zero temperatures.

 
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11/10/2013 8:42 AM
 

 There has been lots of back and forth over the last several years about a diesel Power Wagon on the Power Wagon Registry forums, some claiming that Ram actually made one.  I'm not sure if it's true or not.  I do know that they would have to change where the 12k winch would reside, as that it's current hidden winch location would not allow room for a diesel inter cooler.  Plus, the combination of a winch with the heavier diesel motor would make the PW way too nose heavy.    I like the idea of keeping the winch tucked in tight, which helps with approach angles.  I have never ever felt underpowered at all with the 5.7 liter Hemi in mine, especially combined with the 4.56 diff gears.  The 2014 PW models will be offered with a 6.4 liter Hemi, but they are also dropping the differential gears down to 4.11s.  Supposedly, this is to improve mileage.  For off road use, the extra hp of the 6.4 liter will be needed to power through due to the more sedate gearing.  If owners decide to go to a larger tire (35" or bigger), they'll most likely have to re-gear the diffs to keep the truck rolling in its proper power band.  I'm pretty happy with the hp and gearing in mine. Performance increases can easily be made to the 5.7 l with things like CAIs, taller throttle bodies, better exhaust, computer chips, etc.  I haven't felt the need to do anything past a good quality CAI.  

I do wish Jeep would have kept their venerable 4.0 liter straight six.  That was a good stumpy motor.  Although those that I've talked to that own the newer Jeeps with the 3.6 liter V6 seem happy with its abilities.  Off road, it's really all about the gearing and the driver's abilities anyway.  I've seen guys who knew what they were doing behind the wheel of bone-stock Wranglers, 'yotas, and pickups make it up, over, and through really tough trails.


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
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11/10/2013 12:24 PM
 

I have only owned one diesel in my life and it probably biased me. It was a early 80s diesel Jetta. It took awhile to get up to speed, but it handled like a dream, and had just enough clearance that if I picked a clean I could go a lot of places I probably shouldn't have in a 4 door car. I got low 50s mpg, and never had a lick of trouble with the engine. In fact the car fell apart around the engine, which was going strong at something like 275k miles.  It was my first car and even living in Colorado Springs I never really had any cold weather issues, except for some reason after a really cold snap I had to adjust the starter belt.  I would expect to put in a engine warmer if I lived in a colder climate.

I also drove a mid-90s, 1-ton, Crew Cab, Short Bed Ford truck alot in the FS and between the Diesel and Gas I prefered the diesel. It had more power, more torque, and just seemed to be geared better. If I could go back in time and buy one new off the show room floor I probably would, great flipping trucks. I have tried to find a clean used one more than once, but never could. From the factory they had great suspension and clearance, and nice rubber floors and vinyl seats...


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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11/10/2013 6:05 PM
 

Lots of good stuff here. I'm big on the "expedition" travel thing and drool over Toyota LCs and similar expedition worthy type vehicles.

I think part of it comes down to what roads you simply must travel compared to how much you have to carry. That is the ultimate compromise question for me.

The last decent "off-road" vehicle I had was a 2005 Nissan Xterra. Fun daily driver and nimble in the boonies. However, with two kids, two largish dogs and a pop up camper, it was full up and then some. Just my son and I filled it up pretty good on an elk hunt, especially coming back with elk. Having run 1/2 ton trucks most of my life, I figured that would be a decent replacement, but my wife wanted a Suburban. While spacious, that was more highway than byway. The next trailer turned out to be more than the Suburban could handle in the hills, so now I'm driving a 2011 Ram 2500 diesel. Because I have something large to tow, I can't imagine going back. I don't worry about anything I throw in the truck because I don't have enough crap to ever max it out. That is a nice feeling after smaller vehicles. Gear is not an issue and I can fit six people if pressed.

I still pine for a Rubicon, but I can't fit my kids, their friends and our dogs in one for car camping or trailering. When I met up with Evan and Scot, it was obvious I couldn't go on all the trails they could. However, I can get an awful lot of places that are still pretty cool and not accessible by our Subaru Outback. As long as I have a trailer, I'm pretty much stuck with the truck. Once the kids are gone, I'd give a lot of thought to a Rubicon if the trailer went away, but that's how I get my wife out. Heat, AC, regular bed and our own bathroom are required for her "camping."

I wish my truck were more Power Wagon than tow vehicle, but that diesel is just a dream with 30' of camper behind me. No lockers, no skid plates, and no winch makes Jack a dull boy. On the diesel PW question, I saw one advertised at our local dealer when I was looking for my truck a couple of years ago. I did not see it in person, just online photos, but it was advertised as a diesel. Not a crew cab, so it wouldn't work for me or I would have snatched it up. It was used and I can't remember the year, just that it was the previous body style.

I do know that mileage for me is much better than an equivalient gasser. I generally get about 18 measured on the highway from Denver to GJ. If diesel is close to mid-grade gas in price, that's a bargain considering the cargo carrying ability. My Xterra did about the same.

I'm an all or nothing sort of guy. If I weren't carrying many people/animals or much gear and wanted to go everywhere there is a road in Colorado, I'd go Rubicon Unlimited. If I needed a truck, I'd just go 3/4 ton and not look back, especially if a Power Wagon would work for the job. I expect to be driving mine for a very long time. A model generation ago, a Tacoma would be on the list, but they have gotten pretty big on the outside without any fuel efficiency gain over full-sized trucks.

 

 

 

 

 
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11/21/2013 11:39 AM
 

 Lots of good info in here.  We're currently in the market for a new Wife and kids friendly daily driver SUV that I can steal on the weekends to hit the backcountry.  We've been looking at 4Runner and Grand Cherokee.  She doesn't like the JK, which would probably be my preference.  I hadn't even thought about the Xterra - might have to give that a look.


Not all those who wander are lost - JRRT
 
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11/21/2013 12:22 PM
 

Until recently we had a stock '00 Xterra, which was a fantastic truck.  It was at 296k miles on the original automatic transmission when someone pulled out in front of me on the way to work this past winter.  Only got it stuck twice, both times involved snow, ice, and stupidity. 

 
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11/21/2013 12:33 PM
 

have any of you attended the Overland Expo near Flagstaff, AZ?  Looks to be quite an interesting event--especially for those that like to get to the wilderness in a vehicle

 

http://www.overlandexpo.com/details

 
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11/21/2013 8:20 PM
 

 I want to one of these years, but don't know when. They were doing some regional events, but I don't know if they still are.


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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11/24/2013 2:58 PM
 

I am driving a 1999 RAM 2500 Cummings with a NV4500 manual 5 spd. tranny. Great truck and it gets 24 MPG on the highway with 35's.  It goes any where it fits. lol I got it new and took care of it.

I also got a 1979 CJ-5 that fits where the truck don't.

It was mentioned earlier in the thread that RAM built a 1500 with a  Cummings and we did. It had a smaller engine 5 cyl. and ran great but the court procedings and all that a few years ago put it on hold. Cummings did not build the production facility and we shut down the new product developmant. Now we need high milage stuff to make fleet requirements and I don't think it is in the near future.

Best regards,

Roadie

 
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1/5/2014 10:15 PM
 

I love my '05 Frontier. Not a very practical choice if you're a family man but for just me and the dog it's perfect. It's gotten into a few places I wouldn't have thought possible for a stock vehicle. This summer it'll get some very needed skid plates (already roached one oil pan). Somewhere down the road diff. locks and OME lift will get under it too. The photo was returning from a mountain bike trip in Fruita, same road same weekend a year earlier there was barely a puddle. I was fortunate to find a homesteader a few miles back down the road who came and pulled me out in his IH Scout II with bald-ish tires and a sticking brake. There was only about 8" of snow under the driver side, I'm sure it would have thawed out in a couple weeks!

 photo 99c79e2c-324a-408d-aaae-fab4aaef311e_zps666ee548.jpg

 
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1/5/2014 10:34 PM
 

i came across this last month--i assume this is the australian version of the Frontier

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5chsRLLE4OM

 

steamboatsystema wrote

I love my '05 Frontier. Not a very practical choice if you're a family man but for just me and the dog it's perfect. It's gotten into a few places I wouldn't have thought possible for a stock vehicle. This summer it'll get some very needed skid plates (already roached one oil pan). Somewhere down the road diff. locks and OME lift will get under it too. The photo was returning from a mountain bike trip in Fruita, same road same weekend a year earlier there was barely a puddle. I was fortunate to find a homesteader a few miles back down the road who came and pulled me out in his IH Scout II with bald-ish tires and a sticking brake. There was only about 8" of snow under the driver side, I'm sure it would have thawed out in a couple weeks!

 photo 99c79e2c-324a-408d-aaae-fab4aaef311e_zps666ee548.jpg

 
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1/5/2014 11:39 PM
 

Damn! They built my truck! Being ARB though they have the funds to throw around obviously. I do really like the flat  beds they can get over there. I was in OZ back in November and saw more than one truck to lust after and give me more ideas of how I want mine to end up.

 
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2/7/2014 2:03 PM
 

Jeep needs to step it up and make this a Jeep wrangler truck (cause I can't afford to pay for a custom one) http://www.aev-conversions.com/vehicles/brute-double-cab

 
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2/8/2014 1:06 PM
 

I was really excited about those until I saw one in person.  They are LONG, and I am not sure if that wouldn't be an issue given how long it is. Personally, I think it would have been better to go with a shorter wheel base.  Still sweet looking, but LONG.  I still kind of want an old style Brute. Here is CO I have see several dealerships with the single cab conversions. Not as nice as a Brute, but it would be a way to do it under a factory warranty.


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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