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Old 05-22-2006, 02:36 AM
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What's the best size for a rock crawler?

I think about these things more than I build them, but I have a lot of buddies who are hard core rock crawlers. Watching what goes on I have a hard time figuring out what is the best size vehicle to make a crawler out of. Big ones seem to go over bigger obstacles but little ones get through tight spaces better. Light ones are easier to get 'unstuck.' And they all get stuck once in a while.

So for an average guy to build a budget crawler (if there is such a thing,) I was thinking something like a Comanche would be about the right size.

Whaddya think?
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Old 05-22-2006, 07:03 AM
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Get a CJ and stretch it to 100+ WB....cheap and effective.
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Old 05-22-2006, 07:38 AM
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Get a CJ and stretch it to 100+ WB....cheap and effective.
ORRRR.... (to keep it in the ford family ) an early bronco or bronco II! with a set of fullsize axles will keep a small body style whilest utilizing wider axles to help stability and placement of tires.

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Old 05-22-2006, 08:56 AM
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are you talking recreational trail riding and having room for a passnger or two and your cooler and camping gear? or running comps? for comps a single seater buggy is obviosly king because of the light weight, low cog and awesome manuverability, but for having fun and riding trails, i think the size of a jeep, and eb, toyota truck, ranger or bII is perfect

as long as you have room for a cooler your good to go
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Old 05-22-2006, 11:28 AM
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Not talking about being king, just having fun on tough trails and camping.
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Old 05-22-2006, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishmanndotcom
ORRRR.... (to keep it in the ford family ) an early bronco or bronco II!
Hey....Ford made a bunch of parts for the early CJ's...
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Old 05-23-2006, 03:26 AM
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I think if you need to look out the door while driving the Bronco II is the best. Though the Ranger and BII are the same platform, basically, it is not the same driving it off road. You have a much better, straight, seating position in the BII with more head room. I rather sit for four hours going slow in my 1986 BII then my 1997 Ranger. Plus, it is much easier to hang out the window while driving and your stuff stays dry and the roof rack is good for carrying things.

One advantage the Ranger has way over the BII is backing up a hill. Same (ATV) trail I took the Ranger, but, the BII view is so blocked, I backed up over a tree root, got it high centered, and then slide down hill on the tree root against the tree.
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Old 05-25-2006, 04:06 AM
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if you want something versatile and cheap I would definitely say a small rig with full axles...I would give body parts to get a nice EB on full size axles, but they are a bit costly to build from what ive read...a BII would be cool with full size axles...If you veer away from the blue oval, i would suggest a suzuki samurai..my friend has an 87 that we did a spring over axle lift (5"lift for free) 31" tires (at the moment) and a 6.4:1 trailtough transfercase gearset to help out the little bitty 1.3L rice popper under the hood..we took it to mudstock here in oklahoma a couple weeks ago and it impressed alot of people, until i sidestepped the clutch and shattered the rearend when taking off into the prayer pit...but for under a 1000 bucks we put together a little rig that can get though (and over) alot...plus it gets like 40mpg..lol...we are now getting ready to go with full size axles on it too!! ok, enough non-Ford talk, we have even contemplated fabbing his 460 into that little Zuk...
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Old 05-25-2006, 07:54 AM
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> i would suggest a suzuki samurai

I see a lot of people driving these and they put Explorer (rear) axles into them. I even had one guy buy my 31s off my Ford for his sami. Though he had to get a full size SUV to take them home
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Old 05-25-2006, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwOkcOffRoader
if you want something versatile and cheap I would definitely say a small rig with full axles...I would give body parts to get a nice EB on full size axles, but they are a bit costly to build from what ive read...a BII would be cool with full size axles...If you veer away from the blue oval, i would suggest a suzuki samurai..my friend has an 87 that we did a spring over axle lift (5"lift for free) 31" tires (at the moment) and a 6.4:1 trailtough transfercase gearset to help out the little bitty 1.3L rice popper under the hood..we took it to mudstock here in oklahoma a couple weeks ago and it impressed alot of people, until i sidestepped the clutch and shattered the rearend when taking off into the prayer pit...but for under a 1000 bucks we put together a little rig that can get though (and over) alot...plus it gets like 40mpg..lol...we are now getting ready to go with full size axles on it too!! ok, enough non-Ford talk, we have even contemplated fabbing his 460 into that little Zuk...
long story short, i agree, small with full widths is the way to go
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Old 05-25-2006, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebocardo
> i would suggest a suzuki samurai

I see a lot of people driving these and they put Explorer (rear) axles into them. I even had one guy buy my 31s off my Ford for his sami. Though he had to get a full size SUV to take them home

Heck yeah, they even have the 5-5.5 lug pattern..even the rockcrawler rims on my 76 F-150 where bought for a Geo tracker!!!
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Old 05-25-2006, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KubotaOrange76
long story short, i agree, small with full widths is the way to go
for some reason i agree as well

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Old 05-25-2006, 11:59 AM
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haha i wonder why
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Old 05-25-2006, 12:27 PM
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I had a Zuk and it was a great rig for crawling and trails. I'd like to get another but the downside now is that they're getting a little pricey. The parts are cheap but buying the rig can cost some $$ . . . for the tin can they are. My plan last year, which fell through due to never ending $$ spent on the Cap'n, was to buy a BII and throw fullsize axles under it. Around here you can pick up a BII for under $1000 and as mentioned, you can swap in axles for cheap. As light as they are, if you don't plan to run huge tires or swap in a high hp engine, you can use a D60 rear and D44 front and they'll survive fine. Weld up the carriers and you're golden. Rebo had some good points about the amount of room and visibility you have in them.
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Old 05-25-2006, 01:11 PM
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Ivan: my buddy's got an 85 BII i'm sure he'd let go for cheap here in town. He bought it for 100$ for the rearend and stuck his torn-out 7.5 back under it. needs a rear and a motor and I think it's good to go.
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Old 05-25-2006, 01:11 PM
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