1989 Dodge Raider Short Body V6

Summary:

Great little 4x4, cheap to run

Faults:

Nothing.

General Comments:

I purchased the little 4x4 from a neighbor who was going to donate it to his church. I paid him $200 for the vehicle, and it was non running as he had tried to drill out a broken exhaust stud from the head, and drilled into the head and hit an oil passage. The Raider had always been garaged, and the interior and body were perfect, so I figured for $200 bucks, what the hell.

I repaired the mess and drove the Raider for 2500 miles on the original engine, which did well. I had a friend whose son had a 1994 Montero and had rolled it while four wheeling in the Rubicon, and I paid him $500 bucks for his low mile rebuilt engine, which is 5 years newer, but basically the same engine, and swapped the motors over a weekend. I live in California and the smog regs are the strictest in the country, and I was afraid of it not passing smog. Took it to the smog station, did not say a word about the motor swap, and it passed with flying colors.

The Raider now has 206k miles on it and has gone through the Rubicon twice with no mods except wheel spacers. I run full synthetics in everything, and this little truck has been so tough it is amazing. My old Jeep was always a "project"; this thing, I just drive it and everything works, and works well. For a total investment of under 1k, I will keep it for as long as it runs.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th January, 2015

1987 Dodge Raider 2.6L

Summary:

Awesome car. It's one tough champ!!!

Faults:

Nothing has gone wrong with it...

General Comments:

I rolled it almost a year ago, and the only thing that broke was the windshield (lots of body damage though). It sat on the passenger side after the roll for almost an hour. When my buddy finally found us, he pulled it back over (with his Blazer) and it started right up.

It is still my daily driver. I have it almost back to original condition, and it is my first car and I do not plan on ever getting rid of it... it is an awesome car and definitely a champ!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th December, 2014

1988 Dodge Raider 2.4 Litre 4

Summary:

Super fun and reliable REAL SUV

Faults:

Windshield wipers seized @ 128k: replaced motor, jerry-rigged arms ($225). Wipers now park at 2:00 position, instead of along the bottom of the windshield.

Also at time of purchase (128k miles) :

headlight hi/low switch worn out. Reset switch gate ($0).

Reverse lights inoperative: not yet resolved.

Rear wiper inoperative: not yet resolved.

Rear window defogger inoperative: not yet resolved.

A/C blows warm air: likely leak, however not sure about converting from R12 (Freon) configuration to R134 refrigerant.

Rear gate remote release failed @ 129k: replacing rocker switch ($10), did not resolve problem. Likely wiring in rear door assembly and/or failed latch solenoid.

General Comments:

Outstanding vehicle that's an offroading purist's dream... and at a fraction of the cost of other 4X4's.

It's a real head-turner. While most newer 4X4's look like their toughest challenge is the mall parking lot, this baby looks ready for nature's toughest elements... even standing still. On the trails, it always beats LR Discoveries and Wranglers in tough mud and snow. I live on a remote mountain, and trust it to get me up and down in mud, ice and snow. Even passed a stuck Porsche Cayenne in a particularly deep snowpack on the trail several months ago.

It's geared to maneuver difficult terrain at relatively slow (crawler) speeds, so zero-to-sixty is pretty awful. Maybe 20 seconds. Top speed has been 76 MPH, with respectable highway driving at 62-68 MPH.

Brakes are spongy, and the stopping distance is long coming from highway speeds. Fair from crawling speeds.

Cabin visibility is beyond excellent. You can see the world from the high perch. Because it's a nice sized SWB, it parks easier than most sedans I've driven.

The manual tranny has a 5th gear to supposedly save fuel, however mine is averaging 13-15 MPG with mixed trail/city driving. Could be a carb adjustment needed. Not sure...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th November, 2011

19th Nov 2011, 10:04

Ah yes, back in the day when Mitsubishi built vehicles that were good competition.

28th Nov 2011, 16:52

"good competition" with 13 mpg and 0-60 in 20 seconds?