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Mid Size or Full Size SUV

This is a discussion on Mid Size or Full Size SUV within the Strictly Bug Out Vehicles forums, part of the General Prepper and Survival Talk category; Originally Posted by txmarine6531 What will the vehicle be used for primarily? Bigger will be better for cargo capacity/towing, smashing through stuff if you have ...

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Thread: Mid Size or Full Size SUV

  1. #31
    The Good Cop


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    Quote Originally Posted by txmarine6531 View Post
    What will the vehicle be used for primarily? Bigger will be better for cargo capacity/towing, smashing through stuff if you have adequate protection. Smaller will be better on fuel and getting in/out of tight spots. Consider interior room, can you get in and out easy especially with gear on your person, room for weapons/gear without being restricted in movement, ect. Personally, I hate getting in and out of Jeeps and they don't have much room inside. I'm not a Jeep fan. In the realm of SUV's, Broncos (full size) and K5 Blazers all the way baby. Avoid cross-over crap.

    Pick something that is easy to work on and has good parts availability/price. Research the crap out it. Searching forums is a great place. Chrysler products are typically easy to work on, but in my experience there is a lot of working on them. I would avoid anything Hummer. They aren't the Humvee's the military has and those aren't even that great. If you plan on having this for SHTF, WROL, TEOTWAWKI, etc, stock up on components like filters, radiators (stock one good one and a couple cheap ones), hoses and clamps, a set of brake pads or two, common items that go out. You will figure that out in your research.

    1999-2006 GM trucks/suv - avoid. 1999 and back, 2007 to now are fine, except 1995. GM used some different parts on various things for that year only and those parts or expensive and getting hard to find. Stay away from the 4.8L V8's for power reasons, especially '99-'06. I don't know a single person that owned a GM truck/suv in that year range that actually liked it. Some were ok with them, but the guys that actually used the trucks for real work got rid of them and bought older GM's or Fords. Duramax diesels are ok I guess. A friend had two, 2008 and 2010, was not impressed. 2001-2004 have injector problems, 2005 head gasket issues, 2006-2007 a good, 2007.5 - 2011 are eh. Oil cooler lines and heads were bad on the 6.5L diesels. I remember crew trucks that couldn't keep heads on them.

    New body 2004-2008 Ford truck/suv - avoid. Heritage 2004 and back, 2009 to now are fine. The Triton engines from '97-'04 are ok for the most part, some had issues with spark plug thread failure. New '04-'08 are a no go mostly for the 2 piece spark plugs that are prone to break while removing and the camshaft phasers (not the Star Trek kind unfortunately). The Windsor engines from 1996 and back are good to go. The diesel trucks in general are fine. The 6.0L head gasket problem is a problem when people up the compression and don't replace the head bolts and gaskets. The EGR was a design flaw, aftermarket parts fixed it. 7.3L's are fine.

    Dodge is hit and miss on what year and model to avoid and which are fine. In general, 2000 and back are fine, early 2000's they kinda went to crap and got better around 2013. But it really depends on the model and sometimes trim package. I would drive a mid 90's no problem. Other than that, I prefer to stay away from Chrysler products.

    Toyota (I am currently a Toyota tech for full disclosure) mid 2000's and back are good to go. Try to avoid the 3.0L V6, sludging problems, head gaskets leaking, weak, just don't. The 3.4L V6 is fine. 2006 Tundras and back are ok for the most part, some head gasket problems. 2007 to 2012 have secondary air injection system problems which will eventually render the truck useless. It can cost up to $5K to fix it if it's out of warranty (10 years or 150,000 miles for this particular problem). I haven't seen it on '13s and newer. Over-rev the V8's and you can throw rocker arms, typically the intake arms for cylinder 7 for whatever reason. And the camshaft housing sub-assemblies are bad about leaking on the V8's. Toyotas made in the last 10ish are picky about fuel quality too. New stuff, no. Just no. No diesels, yet. They are in the works.

    Some of the above is fact, some opinion, mostly experience. My favorite vehicle I've owned: my first love -1984 Chevrolet Caprice Classic 4 door, 305, 700R4, Police Package (Z-28 suspension with hub caps) and a 1994 Ford Bronco Eddie Bauer, 351W, E4OD, 3.55 limited slip front/rear, did some mods to it. I kick myself every day for selling it.

    Whatever you get, research common problems, and STAY ON TOP OF MAINTENANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't stress that enough. All the time I have vehicles in my bays with customer complaints about not running right, runs like crap, etc. I look at their history, they're not performing recommended maintenance. Not even an air filter. It's not rocket science. "My engine is making a funny sound", YOU DON"T HAVE ANY OIL IN YOUR ENGINE THERE TWINKLE TOES!!!!! Jeeze, all the dang time folks, all the dang time. If you take your vehicle to the dealership, DO NOT FALL FOR THE FUEL INJECTOR CLEANING SERVICE aka pocket flush (flushes the money out of your pockets). Pour some Sea Foam in the tank from time to time. Only time it is needed is if you have bad fuel contamination. I could go all day and night on this stuff. But I'll stop now.

    Oh, and if you get a 4WD, try and get one with limited slip front and rear. And if you do get one, change the differential fluids and make sure you put the friction modifier in it. NOW I'm done.
    Excellent info.
    I'm a gear head, a frustrated hot rodder (my first car was a 56 Chevy Belair two door sedan, V-8 & 3 speed)
    In 2007 when shopping for trucks, I was intrigued by the full size Toyota with the optional E Force V-8, because of the advertised HP and torque figures.
    But in some official Toyota literature or advertisement I saw a diagram of the overhead cam / variable valve timing chains, pulleys, and idlers. At that exact moment, I wrote Toyota off my "want" list. It looks like a nightmare.

    In trucks, I've had Fords and Chevy's over the years.
    My next project is to restore and hot rod my old 1988 F-150 that's been sitting since 2007.
    txmarine6531 likes this.
    "There is nothing so exhilarating as to be shot at without result." Winston Churchill
    "Leave the artillerymen alone, they are an obstinate lot." Napoleon
    Member: VFW, American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America, Society of the 5th Infantry Division, Sons of the American Revolution.

  2. #32
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    Back around--what was it--10 years back? Gas was $4.00 per gallon, I was driving one of those Chevy Suburbans. I remember to fill the tank up it'd cost me like around $100. bucks. Never again. I happily traded it in for the Ford Escape.
    "But in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph"--OL Fatima

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigwheel View Post
    We had two Honda CRVs back to back. The first one was tops..the second was also ran. Think their quality control is slipping or at least the impresion I got. We will only buy Toyoters these days.
    So far we have been pretty impressed by it but we only have about 8k miles on it. The V6 with the 6 speed auto drives great and is surprisingly strong. Best gas mileage so far is about 25 MPG doing 75-80 mph, mostly highway on a short trip. It is also very roomy for a mid size SUV. We had a 08 Civic SI Sedan that I sold last year with about 145k miles on it. The engine still ran like new and the 6 speed manual shifted like a dream. Fun little car to drive. Only issues we had was a crappy paint job and a leaky solenoid on the tranny. I can say that I have no real complaints with Honda but only time will tell with this one.

    As for Toyota, I'm a big fan of them. I have owned several Corollas in the past with no complaints. Actually, the Highlander came in as my #1 pick and the Pilot came in as a close 2nd but the wife liked the Pilot more so she got what she wanted. We have had many Toyotas in the family, my dad has owned a couple of Tacomas, a Camry and still owns a 04 Tundra 4wd with nearly 300k miles on it.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

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  5. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annie View Post
    Back around--what was it--10 years back? Gas was $4.00 per gallon, I was driving one of those Chevy Suburbans. I remember to fill the tank up it'd cost me like around $100. bucks. Never again. I happily traded it in for the Ford Escape.
    Did they ever fix the issue on the Escape where the insides of the rear wheel wells rot out almost before you roll off the lot and your rear suspension starts poking into the interior?
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet." - James Mattis Hidden Content

  6. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by White Shadow View Post
    Did they ever fix the issue on the Escape where the insides of the rear wheel wells rot out almost before you roll off the lot and your rear suspension starts poking into the interior?
    No never had that happen, thankfully!

    Sent from my SM-S337TL using Tapatalk
    "But in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph"--OL Fatima

  7. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annie View Post
    No never had that happen, thankfully!

    Sent from my SM-S337TL using Tapatalk
    It was one of problems that was obvious, but the manufacturer didn't seem interested in fixing it. Looking over the top of the rear wheel at the top of the shock would be like this before complete failure where the top of your shock is just flopping around:

    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet." - James Mattis Hidden Content

  8. #37
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    @White Shadow Oh brother that is too bad! No, mine's being driven (locally) by one of my girls now and it has well over over 200,000 miles. We've had issues with the brakes and the steering column that needed fixing but other than that, it's been a very good car.
    "But in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph"--OL Fatima

  9. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by rice paddy daddy View Post
    Excellent info.
    I'm a gear head, a frustrated hot rodder (my first car was a 56 Chevy Belair two door sedan, V-8 & 3 speed)
    In 2007 when shopping for trucks, I was intrigued by the full size Toyota with the optional E Force V-8, because of the advertised HP and torque figures.
    But in some official Toyota literature or advertisement I saw a diagram of the overhead cam / variable valve timing chains, pulleys, and idlers. At that exact moment, I wrote Toyota off my "want" list. It looks like a nightmare.

    In trucks, I've had Fords and Chevy's over the years.
    My next project is to restore and hot rod my old 1988 F-150 that's been sitting since 2007.
    I hate working on the Toyota V8's. I replaced a leaking head gasket on an older Sequoia a year or so ago, and a rocker arm jumped off, jammed itself between the valve spring and cam, knocked the keepers out, dropped the valve into the cylinder and jacked the whole cylinder up. Sent the head out to have it fixed but they shaved 0.005" off the head. Can't do that on Toyota as the heads are already at minimum spec. SO, that lead to excessive slack in the LH timing chain and was getting random multiple misfires on the LH bank. Replaced the timing chain and problem solved.

    I have an '86 F-150 sitting in the driveway. 302, single cab long wheel base 2wd XLT Lariate. Bought it from my old job at CarMax. Interior is very nice, needs a little body work and new paint. Clear coat is gone. The truck was bought here in town and was registered Jan 1st every year up until 2012 when the owner passed away. Kids sold the truck to CarMax, I bought it. Replaced the rear fuel tank, low pressure fuel pump twice, high pressure pump once. Needs a torque converter, horrible shudder. I want to level it, drop it by about an inch, would love to rebuild the engine into a Terminator. Hopefully one day I can turn it into a street truck. It hasn't run in a few years, no time or money or will to work on it. I work on cars all day, last thing I want to do is come home and do it some more.

  10. #39
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    @txmarine6531 I have a 351 Windsor sitting in my shop I may part with. Its stroked to 396 with roush 200 cast iron heads, .600 cam, victor jr single plane intake, and 10quart pan. Probably makes around 600hp at 5000rpm. More torque then you would expect from 1500rpm to 3500rpm. Also have a nice dual point distributor for it.
    Prepare for the worst, Hope for the best
    Worry about the things you can control, Plan for the things you can't

  11. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annie View Post
    @White Shadow Oh brother that is too bad! No, mine's being driven (locally) by one of my girls now and it has well over over 200,000 miles. We've had issues with the brakes and the steering column that needed fixing but other than that, it's been a very good car.
    That picture isn't my vehicle. I drive an old Honda that just seems to refuse to die. This house has been all Honda and Subaru for a long time.
    Annie likes this.
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