Anybody else want a small USEABLE 4X4?

roving1

Active member
Jeep showed a two-door version of the Gladiator at Easter Jeep Safari. Like it or not, if made available that's as close as anyone is going to get. Personally, I think there is a large market for a "white" work version with 2WD as a replacement for all of the dying small pickups out there.
This is literally my last hope for ever buying a new 4WD. The Gladiator wheelbase is just too long for my personal tastes.
 

Jnich77

Director of Adventure Management Operations
What I have noticed is there is more talk about leather heated and cooled seats, fancy plastic dash layout and the biggest, ugliest grille than there is talk about wheel bearing size, axle strength, ball joint size, etc.
Modern engines require far more cooling capacity than the vehicles of the past...hence the large grills. The radiator in my 3/4 ton GMC at work is huge and it needs every square inch to keep cool while towing in the summer. The newer F150s have a set of shutters behind the grill that close it off when you are on the HW and the motor is running cool.

As for the size/strength of components, I don't know of a single component on a truck built today that is "weak." We run mud terrains on our mining trucks and they live off road, in the mud, and endure massive abuse, while carrying a bed full of environmental sampling gear. They receive no maintenance other than oil changes, air filters, and tire rotations. In the last 20 years we have had Chevy and Ford 1/2 tons and not a single one has had a bearing, ball joint, or axel failure. They get turned in at 120,000-130,000 miles with plenty of life left in them.
 

Jnich77

Director of Adventure Management Operations
Jeep showed a two-door version of the Gladiator at Easter Jeep Safari. Like it or not, if made available that's as close as anyone is going to get. Personally, I think there is a large market for a "white" work version with 2WD as a replacement for all of the dying small pickups out there.View attachment 540087
As useless as a Jeep is to me... I really like the way that one looks!
 

Jnich77

Director of Adventure Management Operations
Who else besides me wants a true small truck (not mid-size) that is built well. My dream would be something along the lines of 4cyl(+ for TD option), 5or6spd manual available, vinyl seats and rubber floors, manual windows would be fine with me, Hi-Lo transfer case. utilizing common diffs for easy tailoring of gears/lockers would be awesome! To really top it off give us a steering box(not rack and pinion) and reasonably strong drive line. Basically I'm asking for a 80's-90's truck to still be available with more modern engine controls and efficiency .

While I can see the appeal for a niche market...it won't appeal to the masses. What you describe disappeared from the market for a reason... It's not practical for most consumers. Add to that the emissions and crash standards and that pretty much nukes a small basic truck as you described.

The reality is, most trucks are only trucks on the weekend and a family vehicle during the week. I need a truck that can pull a boat (5500 pounds), a travel trailer (7500 pounds), carry a pallet of mulch, and haul a family of three adults and one child comfortably. While I could buy a family car and a simple truck, that would make zero financial sense...lol.
 

XJLI

Adventurer
Everyone who wants a brand new old truck should just buy an old truck and put a LS or 2.8 Cummins in it.

We will never have anything like simple old trucks (or cars!) again, ever. Actually I take that back. I can see a time in the not so distant future where simple electric runaround cars create a large enthusiast market.
 

Jnich77

Director of Adventure Management Operations
Everyone who wants a brand new old truck should just buy an old truck and put a LS or 2.8 Cummins in it.

We will never have anything like simple old trucks (or cars!) again, ever. Actually I take that back. I can see a time in the not so distant future where simple electric runaround cars create a large enthusiast market.

Old/simple vehicles seem great...until you are in an accident....lol.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
Having a big modern truck smash into a 70s/80s vehicle is terrifying. Your chance of death is tripled, and serious injury 5x or more....
 

85_Ranger4x4

Active member
Modern engines require far more cooling capacity than the vehicles of the past...hence the large grills. The radiator in my 3/4 ton GMC at work is huge and it needs every square inch to keep cool while towing in the summer. The newer F150s have a set of shutters behind the grill that close it off when you are on the HW and the motor is running cool.
Not really, grilles have occupied most of the frontal area on a pickup since the 60's. Just now the design engineers are drunk on being bold and trying to scare little kids.

'150 grille isn't really that big, it just looks stupid because it looks like it has a giant harmonica in the center of it.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
Those big aggressive grills review very well with focus groups. Focus groups made up for typical buyers. If you don't like them, you aren't the target demographic!

I will agree, for actual off-road usage, these "overland" and 4x4 trucks, and even dedicated SUV types are getting bigger and bigger... Great for a highway cruiser, not so good when you need to negotiate between trees.
 
Not really, grilles have occupied most of the frontal area on a pickup since the 60's. Just now the design engineers are drunk on being bold and trying to scare little kids.

'150 grille isn't really that big, it just looks stupid because it looks like it has a giant harmonica in the center of it.
Really? Personally I prefer the 2018 front end to that of my 2015. Different strokes I guess.

2018-Ford-F-150-vs.-2015-Ford-F-150-front-three-quarters.jpg
 

6gun

Active member
Thanks for the comments guys. As far as restoring an old truck that's cool till you have to drive with no heat for weeks while you come up with a solution to the little plastic piece that broke and can't be bought anymore. I will wind up probably just buying a fairly new F150 XL if I can find one next year. I have plenty of projects already without adding restoring another truck to the pile. As far as all the worry over safety, if I was that scared I'd give up driving altogether.

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