Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Gardening and BOV's

Well I planted my cabbage plant in the garden and I noticed the garlic plants are starting to come up. I cannot wait until they are finished growing. Fresh garlic from the garden. Yummy.

I bought some rabbit fence to keep the little bastards away from my abused cabbage plant, and the onions going in next week. $23 for 50'... seems expensive. I don't need that much now, but It's good to have extra.

I also started the next batch of seeds for lettuce. The six plants I started already are going in the ground this weekend, so I have two batches seperated by two weeks to (hopefully) give me fresh lettuce for most of the spring.

On the vehicle front, I've decided to stick with a Jeep, either a Grand Cherokee or a Wrangler. I'm going to test drive a Wrangler tomorrow, to see if I fit. At 6'3" and 300+ I take up a lot of cubic footage. This will get me leaning one way or the other.

I'm concerned enough about the economy that my primary vehicle will be my BOV - Bug Out Vehicle. I'm leaning towards jeeps with the I6 engine because of it's reliability. I've owned two, and I have 100% confidence in them. I can't say the same for the shitty dodge engines they have been using since '05.

Now I can get a '97 - '01 Grand Cherokee for about $2500 - $3500. I can't get a wrangler for that, but those Grand Cherokees have plenty of aftermarket parts to make them a better BOV. After the first year I'm estimating another $1500 to keep it on the road and running well.

The other option is to get a Jeep for about $7k with a small loan. Monthly payments would be about $200/mo for a 3 year loan. I wouldn't need to put much more in it the next year, and can play the odds I'll need no major repairs.

In either case I will be spending cash on upgrades. To get to some of the sneaky hiding spots I know of I need 6"+ of ground clearance. A 2" lift kit is all I'd need on either, and that doesn't require any other changes to the car. Odometer will still be accurate, stock shocks and sway bar will be fine. At the same time I can change to offset deep dish rims for a wider stance and bigger tires. I'll replace the wheel bearings before this so they will be fresh for the new rims, as I have heard the offset rims add to wheel bearing wear.

So in 2-3 years I'll buy another car, and keep whatever I get as a spare project car, but in reality it will be the BOV.

Now comes the decision between Wrangler and Cherokee. The Wrangler is better at getting at really nasty places. But it has limited cargo capacity. It can tow a small trailer like I own with no trouble, but you're not taking that trailer deep into the woods over rock and mud. Not going to happen. The Cherokee has better cargo capacity but only comes in an automatic. Aftermarket "offroad" parts are available, but not as wide a selection.

Now I will admit to always wanting to buy a Wrangler since I was a kid. If I get one I'll need a hard top here in new england. Why can't these decisions be easy?


tmo said...

dont go for wider tires unless you need to drive a lot on the beach.

33x10.5 tires are by far the best all around tires that you can get, by going with a narrower tire you dont need new rims ($$$) and you can generally go with a larger tire height if you go with a narrower tire giving you more useful clearance, better rolling resistance and better gas mileage. + they are better offroad and they are cheaper.

Nightshift said...

I always wanted a wrangler/cj type Jeep till I spent the day riding in one on the roads. This one beat you to death. Just a thought. I changed my mind about wanting one. May have been the way his was set up, don't know....FWIW.

Mayberry said...

Awwwwww c'mon, some of us like our buckboards! Heh heh heh..... Try a lifted CJ7 with 33x12.50s. Bouncy bouncy bouncy, but oh what fun! Natog, can't believe I'm sayin' this, but I'd go with the Grand, paid for, and throw a Skyjacker 3" lift on it. I'd probably go with 32x11.50 all terrains, or if you deal mostly in rocks and mud, get mud tires. An ARB air locker out back is a good investment, makes 4WD unnecessary most of the time. Or go for a Detroit locker or some other mechanical locker. Limited slip is a waste of time. Stay away from the Powertrax "mini lockers" that just replace the spider gears. A locker, a good winch, and there's not too many places a Grand can't go. I will throw in that I think the Grand with the 4.0 is a bit underpowered, but I too like that engine much better than the 5.2/318 Dodge. What about a Cherokee? I had one, loved it. Now if you find a good cash deal on a Wrangler.......

Tracy said...

I agree with tmo about the tires.
I don't recommend a Grand Cherokee, because they are known for having transmission problems, and replacement trannies are muy expensive. Your best bet, if you can fit in it, is the small (XJ) cherokee. They have a much better tranny than either the GC or Wrangler, and a stronger rearend (after '90 or so) than the Wrangler. Plus they are cheap, and because so many were built, parts are readily available.