Thanks for hosting such a great forum. I am new to these parts, but not new to Wranglers. I rolled my first one over and totaled it about 10 years ago, (I was much younger and less responsible/careful). Anyway, I've had some time to mature, and the recent death of my Dakota with 370,000 (that's right, 370,000) miles on it, forced me to seek a new vehicle.
I longed for the good old days of carefree Jeepin' through the countryside, but figured the lady of the house would never go for something so "impractical." Much to my surprise and delight, she was all about it, and gave me the green light to buy a "toy."
And thus began my epic, week-long journey around New England looking at almost every Wrangler I could find listed on craigslist and in the local classifieds. I call it epic, because I probably put almost 1000 miles on my rental car, (thank goodness for unlimited mileage), driving from Maine to Connecticut, and all around in between, and I looked at somewhere around 20 Jeeps. Some were really nice and well represented in their respective advertisements, but were far out of my price range. While others were more affordable, they were in pretty sad shape, and not very accurately described in their accompanying ads. (I learned an important lesson about the variation of people's idea of "mint," "virtually rust free," or "great condition for the year.")
They say when you are looking for something, you always find it in the last place you look, and this too was true of my Wrangler hunting excursion: I finally found one that was just right. It was the last one on my list to look at for the week. It was the only one that ended up being EXACTLY what it was described as in its advertisement, and the guy I got it from took very good care of it. It had a nice lift, the frame is as solid as the day it was built, it has only very minor surface rust in a very few places, and it was all there.
In the end, I ended up with a pretty sweet little '95 yj for a respectable price. The only sacrifice I made was that it has a 4 banger in it and not the straight 6 I wanted, but I can deal with it. I don't expect to take it on too many 200 mile road trips down the turnpike at 70 mph, so the 4 banger should at least keep me moving forward and up over things I find to climb. It will probably get some new wheels and sneakers before next winter, as it has some gawd awful wide tires on it that handle like...well, you know what I mean. I probably wont go any smaller in diameter, just narrower.
Anyway, thanks for indulging me while I gushed over my new best friend, and rambled about the journey it took to find her. I am happy to be part of the forum and I look forward to picking everyone's brains when I start buying accessories and stuff.