Off-roaders and Jeep enthusiasts share their biggest regrets

I’m always into old American vehicles, but now I’ll never go near another AMC product again!

BHPian AKTransAm recently shared this with fellow enthusiasts.

I was having a conversation with one of my driving buddies earlier today, and we got on the subject of 4×4 regrets. Anyone have one like that? This is actually the ONLY car vaporizer I’ve ever had, through all the vehicles I’ve owned. A 1975 Jeep Wagoneer. Seemed like a good idea at the time. It was stainless, and an old school 4×4 with an AMC 360 and a 4 bbl carburetor. It needed some work in the beginning (starting heat issues and seat belt issues), but I was able to work on it with the advice of my car friends.

Unfortunately, this thing was fun, but only when it ran, which wasn’t often. Within a month of owning it, I needed to replace the TH400 transmission over a weekend, which of course was specific to the AMC even though it was a GM transmission. Luckily I was able to find one from a junkyard and have it shipped here, then trade it in with the help of friends. Everything that followed was basically a nightmare, including a frozen axle spindle that nearly killed me when the front wheel froze while driving, a ticking lifter, which a camshaft replacement and lifter replacement didn’t fix, and finally an AMC 360 engine with 7 cylinders instead of 8. I didn’t mind 8mpg, and the 4WD Quadratrac system, which was incredibly innovative for its time (a full-time mechanical AWD system that could be overridden to on demand 4WD, Hi and Lo) worked great. But in the end I was really glad to get rid of it after a year and a half.

I’m always into old American vehicles, but now I’ll never go near another AMC product again!

Here’s what GTO had to say on the matter:

Single regret with my Jeep plonking a lousy 1.8L ISZ petrol in it, when the original 2.1 XD3P gave up at 1.4 lakh kms. The Jeep was undriveable for 2 years. Eventually got a 2.5L IDI diesel, brand new & direct from Mahindra. The Jeep has been in top class since.

Another regret would be not participating in Mahindra’s Multi-Day Great Escape / Expedition Drives. But yeah, I’ll fix it sometime soon.

Here’s what BHPian Samurai had to say on the matter:

Now GTO will say I said so…

My only 4×4 regret is replacing the CJ340 with the MM550. I was looking for practical things like AC, doors, disc brakes, stronger engine, physical security, etc. However, I didn’t realize that Jeeping is supposed to be impractical… that’s the very essence of the Jeep Thing.

When I started driving the MM550 I realized the magic was gone. The fun of driving a doorless SWB is what really made Jeeping worth the effort. I’ve lost count of the number of strangers who have walked up to start a conversation. Having no door made it possible. Once I was even stopped on the highway by some enthusiasts to discuss the vehicle. That never happened with the MM550. I put it up for sale after two years.

Here’s what BHPian food factor had to say on the matter:

Well, not picking up CJ models of Mahindra jeeps or at least a Major when they were available for much less. Now finding one that doesn’t require a full restoration with all available parts will be a task. I envy those who have a LHD or flat screen models.

Apart from that my jeep gets all the attention on the road imaginable, tolls, tea shops, traffic signals, sometimes the police would stop me to ask about the jeep, kids would climb over to take selfies, teenagers would take Kaala style pictures at that time, everyone possible things. Maybe it looks old fashioned, maybe it looks restored.

But it’s hard to regret a Jeep when it’s used properly, giving you all the pictures of a new outing – Jeeps are magical cars, get them while you still can.

Old school.

More motivation for you GTO, Maybe a red Thar?

Here’s what BHPian dhanushs had to say on the matter:

Well, the only thing I would regret would be modifying a perfect road worthy Jeep into this:

With all the mods I can never drive the Jeep on the road. And the police problem is separate.

I miss driving my Jeep every day on regular roads. Might as well buy a Major soon. With open doors and use on the outskirts of Chennai (Mahindra World City).

Here’s what BHPian .yamaniac had to say on the matter:

Mine was going to buy a 2wd mm540 with a terrible peugeot DP engine, with heating problems. It used to max out the temperature on it. Could probably have used that jeep as a boiler.

Later converted the same to a 4wd and replaced the engine with a xd3p (bad choice) The vehicle was now sluggish, the gear stuck on the hill. Transfer case problem. And a whole bunch of other problems, I shudder to think about it.

Finally bit the bullet after 5 years of owning the vehicle, completely fed up with it and sold it.. and restored a DI Jeep. After that, it’s been all clear ever since.

And recently I got a 540 for some serious off-roading. This was done by a good friend of mine, with a 2.6 engine. SPOA and some other good stuff.

My suggestion to anyone thinking of buying a Jeep and do it. Save yourself the trouble and get an already modified Jeep. You might spend a little more, but the amount of time and headache you save is worth it. Wish I had learned this sooner, this is another one of my regrets.

Read BHPian’s comments for more insights and information.

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