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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son is about to start driving on his own, wondering what everyone is seeing for first cars that are available. My son and I are building a car that he wants to do drag week in at some point together, but it will be years and he needs a daily thats safe and also AWD. We live in the country and get snow/ice about 4 months a year so its a must for him. Gravel roads and snow storms dont mix too well without it.

Anyway it used to be easy to find first cars for cheap and but anymore it seems impossible to find that and stay under budget of $5-6000 or so. A smaller SUV would work fine, he wants a truck but in this market, not happening. I cant seem to find anything and would prefer to have something thats not 200,000+ miles. We are also fine with a fixer upper type as long as its not blown motor, trans etc.

Anyone have any sites or places to look?
 

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Check FB marketplace and CL daily, preferably early in the mornings, good deals go fast, cash in hand is best.
 

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I grew up in the country with a camaro on gravel roads. In northern Illinois. I don't necessarily recommend it. Snow tires did help though.
We did the market place thing as cepx said. Have your money ready. Know what you are looking for and look at a few that aren't what you are looking for to get in the groove. Everything is going for more money than it is worth.
 

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I got my son a 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited with 150k on it for 9k. It was lifted, JK wheels on it, full time 4wd, pretty nice car actually. Leather, heated seats, 4.7l, put a couple of 12's in it for him.
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The 06-08's are pretty easy to find. I figured this would be good for high school, and to see how he would be as a driver before laying out serious coin for something nicer. He's done great, no issues at all, so I'll send him off to college in a new, and last, car from dad. I can sell his Jeep and recoup some at least. He's only put 25k miles in 3 years.
 

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We picked up a 06 trail blazer 4x4 that has a 5.3 and probably needs a cam. Tearing into it this weekend to find out. Air bags, leather, power everything and even a freakin sunroof in his first car. My first ride was a pinto wagon with a single speaker am radio. Damn lucky kids to have these kinds of fixer uppers.
 

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Also put out the word to friends and family. We were looking and by luck came across a 2005 Subaru with 56k that was owened by a little old lady. Belt and WP were changed due to age. Got a phnone call from my Cousin and bought it for $5600. We had the cash on hand because we were set on another that fell through.
 

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Gave my kid my 2002 Tahoe. It was a low mileage, high optioned truck, but it wasn't a diesel, so it didn't last long. He talks about it constantly now, how he wishes he would have kept the tahoe, and saved for his LBZ. Oh well..
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ive kept an eye on marketplace but cant seem to find any deals (probably get swiped up to quickly) so Ill keep a closer eye. Used car places around here just have junk auction vehicles they know nothing about. I did find some older jeep grand cherokees last night while searching and may go have a look. Just not completely sold on the jeeps yet.
 

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Ive kept an eye on marketplace but cant seem to find any deals (probably get swiped up to quickly) so Ill keep a closer eye. Used car places around here just have junk auction vehicles they know nothing about. I did find some older jeep grand cherokees last night while searching and may go have a look. Just not completely sold on the jeeps yet.
I will say this for certain, that if you're looking for an suv, avoid any Jeep with the 4.7 in them. I'm yet to see one that doesn't have cooling issues after 125k miles. There may be some examples of this not happening, but genrally, most cherokees go through several owners, and the chances of one of them not treating it like a total scumbag, are slim. I've beat quite a few 4.0 Jeeps within an inch of their lives, and they took it. And if looking at GM, the 4.3 is a great motor as long as it hasn't been overheated. Chances of them cooking a head gasket go WAY up when they get hot just once, and once it shits out a head gasket, you have a 100% chance its washed out the bearings, and that motor is a time bomb. And finally, the blue oval. Avoid at all costs, anything with the 4.0.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I will say this for certain, that if you're looking for an suv, avoid any Jeep with the 4.7 in them. I'm yet to see one that doesn't have cooling issues after 125k miles. There may be some examples of this not happening, but genrally, most cherokees go through several owners, and the chances of one of them not treating it like a total scumbag, are slim. I've beat quite a few 4.0 Jeeps within an inch of their lives, and they took it. And if looking at GM, the 4.3 is a great motor as long as it hasn't been overheated. Chances of them cooking a head gasket go WAY up when they get hot just once, and once it shits out a head gasket, you have a 100% chance its washed out the bearings, and that motor is a time bomb. And finally, the blue oval. Avoid at all costs, anything with the 4.0.
That was my apprehension with jeeps, with gas prices the way they are I didnt want a v8 for him right now. It would cost about $7-8 just to drive one way to school. I want him to be able to drive without it being a burden or him spending whole paychecks to fill up a tank. And I kept seeing issues with the 4.7 in them. With that said, Ive actually had good luck in the past with the 4.0 fords. I had a ranger that went over 200k with no major malfunction and a 2004 explorer sport trac back that was about the same. I sold it with 165,000 on it about 7-8 years ago and I still see it driving around here from time to time.
 

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I remember those days and don’t miss them..just get something you’re familiar with to make the repairs go a little easier.
 
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this is my 18yo sons car we did a nut and bolt rotisserie rebuild, my old '85 GT. started 3 years ago, almost done .
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Right now he is replacing the bed on my old '01 F150 he uses to go to college and back. I went and leased a new F150 so we could redo this truck and keep as backup or his winter beater. Both easy to work on, and he has had his hands on both
 

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I drove bbc vega to school in snow.Hell it didnt spin any less on dry pavement.It was fun for sure.If you lived in country you could drive to school at 14 for classes or sports.
 

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I just recently found a well optioned 2002 Tahoe 4wd with around 130k on the clock. Its really on good shape other than a small spot in front of rear wheel that has rust showing about the size of a half dollar. Asking 4k. Only thing I dont like is the aftermarket 20" rims. Tires are gonna be pricey and he doesn't have the factory rims from it
 

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have his grandma ask at bingo, my grandma always found the best low millage older person owned cars and suv's by getting the word out at the local bingo hall about a family member needing a car for a teen,
 
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I just bought my daughter a super clean ‘05 Silverado extended cab today. 2 owners, 170K miles, leather, Bose radio, and super freaking clean. The seats still look new. $8K.
 

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And.......take your kids to a go cart track and tell them that as soon as they can post lap speeds in the top 10, THEN they can start driving on the roads.
Seriously, get them to spin out and learn to recover.
Our daughter even took a performance driving course (on her dime) and went from going 85mph down the straight to 115+ by the end of the day. (She was driving her Mazda 3). She said it helped her avoid a collision a couple years later. (She has also pulled 9 G's in a combat oriented flight test. She giggled the whole time, and SHE was in complete control of the airplane. The "pilot" had his hands in the air.)👍
Most kids never experience anti lock braking until they slam on the pedal and it scares the SHIT out of them and then they panic.
I took both of my kids out and had them SLAM on the brakes @65 mph so they could feel what happens. Also took them out in a huge parking lot in 8" of snow and had them do donuts and what not to teach them how to just drive into a slide. Icy roads? Put the car in neutral or step on the clutch. Showed them why.
Oh, our son progressed to number one at the go-cart track, but was bumped by the time he got home by one of the employees. (They surely couldn't stand to behind an outsider.)
My dad took me around an off ramp sideways in his '66 GT350H many times explaining when and when NOT to apply brakes. Man I sure had fun "learning" to drive a car.😲😆
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
And.......take your kids to a go cart track and tell them that as soon as they can post lap speeds in the top 10, THEN they can start driving on the roads.
Seriously, get them to spin out and learn to recover.
Our daughter even took a performance driving course (on her dime) and went from going 85mph down the straight to 115+ by the end of the day. (She was driving her Mazda 3). She said it helped her avoid a collision a couple years later. (She has also pulled 9 G's in a combat oriented flight test. She giggled the whole time, and SHE was in complete control of the airplane. The "pilot" had his hands in the air.)👍
Most kids never experience anti lock braking until they slam on the pedal and it scares the SHIT out of them and then they panic.
I took both of my kids out and had them SLAM on the brakes @65 mph so they could feel what happens. Also took them out in a huge parking lot in 8" of snow and had them do donuts and what not to teach them how to just drive into a slide. Icy roads? Put the car in neutral or step on the clutch. Showed them why.
Oh, our son progressed to number one at the go-cart track, but was bumped by the time he got home by one of the employees. (They surely couldn't stand to behind an outsider.)
My dad took me around an off ramp sideways in his '66 GT350H many times explaining when and when NOT to apply brakes. Man I sure had fun "learning" to drive a car.😲😆
Does that still apply if my som has raced karts since he was 5 yrs old? Lol Im not too worries about his driving skills as I am him just knowing the rules of the road. As of now he gets taken out at the worst times in the worst conditions. If it have freezing rain, we go to a local state park (only about 5 min away) and I make him drive the roads to get a feel of ice with no salt or anything on it. He doesnt turn 16 for about 4 months now, but Id like to get him driving something to get comfortable in and know how it handles in winter, rain, snow, night, gravel, etc. Trust me I dont take anything for granted, my high school class alone had 3 die from car accidents and several more in other classes since I graduated.
 
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