The Truth About Cars » project http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Fri, 18 Jul 2014 16:16:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » project http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Jeep Grand Cherokamino aka The Jeep Grand Comanche http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/the-jeep-grand-cherokamino-aka-the-jeep-grand-comanche/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/the-jeep-grand-cherokamino-aka-the-jeep-grand-comanche/#comments Fri, 01 Nov 2013 22:09:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=637329 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited

TTAC has a new project car and it’s a beauty. Thanks to my dad who volunteered to drive from Austin to San Jose, I’m now the proud second owner of a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with 151,500 miles on the clock. If you’ve been following us on Facebook, then you might have guessed this project would involve a Jeep, but up till now I have kept the depth of the planned Jeep perversion secret. What I’ll be attempting over the next few months might be the dumbest thing I’ve ever done: converting a perfectly good unibody SUV into a “pickup.” Say what?

2000 Jeep Grand Comanche "30 Second Photoshop"

2000 Jeep Grand Comanche “30 Second Photoshop”

This isn’t the first time I have floated this kind of idea before. My last inspired vision was the Comanche reborn out of a Jeep Patriot. Sadly Patriots are holding their resale value too well and after months of searching I was unable to find something worth cutting up. Undeterred by my setbacks I saw an ad for a high mile 2007 Patriot while I was visiting my folks near Austin, TX. Although the lead turned out to be a bust, my crazy parents decided to buy themselves a snazzy new 2014 Grand Cherokee because “we’re already at the dealer.” Gotta love the logic. After hours of bickering, the dealer offered $1800 for their immaculate daily driver and my brain shifted gears. I offered the same price and my dad, in a moment of uncharacteristic generosity, said “why don’t I just give it to you son.” My new plan was put into action.

It is now time for some disclosures and important statements. This project is obviously for entertainment value only. My entertainment value primarily, but if you find it interesting to watch then we’re on to something. This means that comments like “why don’t you sell it and buy a X instead?” are pointless. Also obvious is the fact that I’ve never done anything like this before so it is incredibly likely that I’ll be doing stupid things, getting things wrong and generally making an ass of myself. That’s just par for this course. While I may mention specific products, I’m not endorsing anything and no person or company has given this project any free stuff. (This makes me very sad.) Lastly, if you have any suggestions, know of any sources for parts, or are in the area and want to check the disaster out, let us know.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Why on earth are you trying this?

Aside from the obvious perverse pleasure gained from sawing the roof off a perfectly good car, I need a vehicle that I can use around the house for moving manure, feed, hay/straw and possibly the odd animal or two. I have 9 acres of heavily wooded mountain property, so 4WD and knobby off-road rubber are a must. Logically something like a John Deere Gator would have been a good idea, but they are expensive, boring, and use a crappy rubber-belt CVT and a carburetor that has to be adjusted every hour to work properly.

John Deere Gator

Why a 2000 Grand Cherokee?

Well, it was free. It’s also easy to find parts for, fairly inexpensive to replace and there are a host of aftermarket off-road accessories that should make my conversion easier. Also, the unibody design on the Grand Cherokee is fairly stout for its age and it has “beefier” “frame rails” than most unibody SUV/CUV designs of the time. This additional floor strength should allow me to cut the roof off without too much issue.

It’ll fold like a taco!

Maybe. And if it does it should be incredibly funny. Hopefully it will also get caught on video.

What’s the condition of the donor car?

Near perfect for a 2000 with 151,000 miles on it. Since the Jeep was driven by a little old lady from Texas (my mom is 72 and 5’2″), everything is original, it has always been dealer serviced, has a recorded service history three miles long and everything except the CD changer works. The engine had some valve troubled at 140,000 miles and had a partial rebuild to address the problem, it has never towed and never been taken seriously off-road.

As soon as it arrived, the first thing I did was swap in a 3-inch lift kit with new springs, dampers, tie rods and a new track bar up front. Once the lift was complete I slapped on the 16-inch black steel rims shod with 265/75R16 rubber and that’s what you see before your eyes. What’s next? The removal of the interior.

 

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/11/the-jeep-grand-cherokamino-aka-the-jeep-grand-comanche/feed/ 54
Piston Slap: Talk me off the Ledge!!! http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/piston-slap-talk-me-off-the-ledge/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/piston-slap-talk-me-off-the-ledge/#comments Wed, 02 May 2012 10:50:00 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=442413

TTAC Commentator PartsUnknown writes:

Sajeev,

Long story short, a family friend has an ’86 944 non-turbo sitting in her driveway in suburban Massachusetts. It belongs to her son who lives in Manhattan. Although he loves the car, it simply does not fit his current lifestyle. He wants to sell it, but is not actively pursuing it. His mother is constantly suggesting that I buy it (she knows my predilection for cars). Here’s the deal: it’s been sitting for a few years, driven sparingly. It appears to be in good cosmetic condition and it apparently runs. I know these cars are expensive to maintain.

I’m a busy man, with a wife and two young kids, a demanding career and a Saab 9-5 that I like to tinker with to satisfy my inner mechanic. I value time with my family above all, and while focusing on saving for retirement and college tuition, probably couldn’t afford to dump massive amounts of money into this car. The only reason I’m even considering it is that this guy’s mother has hinted that he just wants to get rid of it, and she said laughing, “he’d probably take $1,000 for it”. Question is, should I even entertain the idea? What, at minimum, would it cost to get this thing roadworthy as a weekend ride considering its relative lack of use (keeping in mind I’m a middling DIYer)? I’m leaning no, but $1,000 for a decent 944 seems like a no-brainer. Almost. I previously owned a 1986 911 Carrera Coupe, which was a fantastic car, but I sold it for precisely the reasons stated above – to prioritize time with my family over spending a Saturday replacing blower motors and ball joints.

Talk me off the ledge.

Sajeev answers,

So let me get this straight: you have demanding career and a happy family, that you presumably support with said demanding career.  You give a crap about saving for your future, the future of your children, and you value your time with them. You also support a SAAB 9-5, which isn’t exactly the paragon of durability or simplicity for a shadetree mechanic…

…and you want a baseline Porsche 944 that’s a non-runner?  For $1000?

Even with a super-duper clean interior, that car should sell for a little more than scrap. So maybe $500, and that’s being generous to all but the most hardcore 944 fanatics out there. That said, I would be stupid enough to recommend you buy this car if:

  1. You had no children, or if there’s some new strain of super self-sustained child.
  2. You went on and on about your love of the Porsche 944. And on, and on, and on…
  3. You didn’t already have a SAAB 9-5. Even a reliable, well maintained and cost effective  9-5 needs a less horrific project car partner than this.
  4. You didn’t previously own a 911, and had yet to learn your lesson about old cars.  Especially old Porkers.
  5. You said LS1-FTW in your letter. Then I’d be all up in this, son!

Here’s the point: anything and everything will go wrong with a car in this state.  $1000 is what you pay for one that actually fires up, drives, steers and brakes. And because it’s a Porsche 944, it will be far too expensive and fragile to ever make a lick of sense.

How’s that for a “No”?

***EDIT:  I misread the initial letter, as the 944 probably runs. While it may be worth a $1000 offer, I still believe PartsUnknown has better things to do with his spare time.***

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/piston-slap-talk-me-off-the-ledge/feed/ 67