Starting at the beginning – why did I buy a Jeep? Having owned a number of 4wds including a short-wheelbase Pajero, Mitsubishi Challenger, Nissan GU Patrol and Mitsubishi Triton, I have had experience with a variety of different shapes, sizes, engine and transmission types. It’s been a long time however since I have owned a petrol engined 4wd. The Triton was the last 4wd I owned and I really didn’t want to get rid of it – the auto diesel dual cab configuration worked perfectly for me however it really was time to trade it in. I started looking at the Toyota FJ Cruiser as it was in it’s final runout with Toyota and in keeping with my desire to try different types of vehicles, this was up there. The large fuel capacity, diff locks and other traction controls, along with a host of standard features (satnav, reverse camera etc), Toyota reliability and quality made for a very attractive offering however after test driving it I felt I had to have something to compare with and the Wrangler seemed to be about the only other really capable 4wd in this size. The difference in driving the two was like chalk and cheese and for me the Wrangler won hands down. I only had the opportunity to drive them onroad but something about the way the Wrangler handled just appealed to me. When I did the maths though (they were similarly priced) the Toyota provided a lot more bang for the buck with a host of extra features and 4wd/touring features. Despite that, I just preferred driving the Wrangler so that was what I went with and here it is:
Like many Jeeps this one (going by my past tendencies to make many modifications to my 4wd) is destined to undergo quite a few changes as I set it up to do the type of 4wding that I like to do. Here in Australia we are very limited in what we can do to 4wds and still keep them legal so it is not going to have huge tyres and a huge lift like you see on many American Jeeps but it will be modified to meet the demands of typical Australian 4wding. I will try and write up the changes as I go and do informal reviews of the changes that I make.