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Road Trip/Overlanding project, Keep 1st gen or go 2nd gen?

Discussion in 'Offroad Projects' started by trueblue02, July 24, 2017.

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    1. trueblue02

      trueblue02 New Member

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      1991 exploder
      Hello everyone!

      It's been a while since I've posted but I have a few questions that I think some of you can help me find answers to. I have a '91 ex that I fixed up and has been my daily driver/commuter/road trip vehicle for the last two years. You can read more about the car here:

      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/index.php?threads/91-ex-budget-build-4-0-or-4-0.426232/

      So It's been 30k since I finished and the ex is still running pretty good, I'll average 20-22mpg and even saw over 24 on my most recent trip to yosemite! I've had to do some maintenance and stuff along the way but nothing out of the ordinary, overall it's been pretty reliable. This last camping trip has inspired my gf and me to take a longer (1-2 month) road trip next year, we want to drive the western US and hit up a bunch of national parks and cool spots, while sleeping/camping in the car. Our mattress fits perfectly in the back so I have some ideas about making a platform for storage and sleeping etc.

      However I am thinking about upgrading to a newer 2nd gen as I think that it might add a bit of comfort and reliability for the trip. The interior on my car is really showing its age, the door pulls have all broken save the drivers. The cooling system also needs to be taken care of as it can run hot (no AC up hill or if it's over 100* ambient) and I'm not sure it would survive going through the southwest desert. The current setup is somewhat optimized for road use and light towing, keeping fuel efficiency in mind.

      My 91: 4.0 OHV, M5 trans, 3.27 8.8 open diff, & 235/75/15 no name low resistance tires, tow hitch.

      I think that the extra 50hp of the SOHC 6 and stopping power of rear disc brakes could really help the road manners of the ex, along with the IFS, however as far as I can tell, the SOHC never came with a manual trans. I really like driving manual as I think it adds excitement to what would normally be a boring drive to work/get groceries. I've only ever owned manual cars.

      So my question is, should I stick with the ex I have, or look for a 2nd gen for a bit more creature comforts? My planned use would be daily driving, ski trips, and the big trip next year. For the trip I am thinking of doing a mix of 80% paved, 15% dirt and service road, and maybe 5% trails. Anything too difficult we would turn around or hoof it, we're big on hiking/backpacking so no need to climb mountains with the truck. I think I would at least need some 31's with good tread and an LSD rear diff on either generation. Thoughts?

      Thanks!

      Bonus pics of my ex in yosemite!
      http://imgur.com/a/ljC1V
       
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    3. RockRanger

      RockRanger Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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      KK6TDL
      With all the work you did I would say keep the first gen. No reason to buy someone elses problems. As far as the over heating do you have the single or duel core radiator? If you have the single swap in the duel core and proper shroud and it will make a huge difference. I would start to over heat every time I climbed the grade to Shaver lake in my truck in the summer with a single core. Now with the duel core I can put my foot to the floor and not worry one bit about overheating.
       
    4. trueblue02

      trueblue02 New Member

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      Resurrecting this thread.... It was a busy end to 2017! With work picking up and family holiday duties the time really flew by! Managed to get away for a bit to Death Valley over new years though, took a nice route along the Saline Valley Road to the Eureka Sand Dunes and stopped at the warm springs along the way. Met up with some friends who are starting to get into off roading as well and had a killer new years party! Here's a pic of us leaving the park headed to the Chocolate Mountains (tasty!)

      26173938_10216220256087653_4368012563696411414_o.jpg

      I wrote a blog post on my website too so take a look if you're interested: Death Valley and the Eureka Sand Dunes

      We had to take some sections pretty slow cause I still have the cheapo tires on and didn't want to get a flat, but I'm thinking about getting some 31's before our next trip (sierras?). I'm looking at maybe BFG all terrain T/A or Cooper discoverer A/T3. Anybody have experience with those tires? Will they clear stock suspension or will I need a lift (thinking of doing a 2" but would rather wait a bit on that). I'll also need to re-gear before the tires, as the 3.27's right now are way too tall for climbing in 1st, or hill starts in gravel and the like (don't want to think what it'll be like with bigger tires). Doing the calculations for a 31" tire, I think I'll need a 3.73 ratio to give me a little bit shorter gearing overall, and a 4.10 would give way more oomph for climbing bit I think it'd be a little too many RPM's for the highway (2200 at 65 vs 2050).

      Would I be better off with a 32" over a 31"? Should I get a locker or will a limited slip diff work fine? I had trouble getting to the top of the mountain in Hollister with the open diff, had to turn around in a steep section 8/...
       
    5. trueblue02

      trueblue02 New Member

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      I like the sound of the dual core rad too! Think I'll add that to the list before it get's too hot
       
    6. RockRanger

      RockRanger Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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      City, State:
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      86 ranger no more
      Callsign:
      KK6TDL

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