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Old 10-09-2012, 03:30 PM   #1
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Assistance selecting the right Wrangler?

Evening, all! Thanks in advance for your time.

Hoping you experts can give me a hand looking for the right Jeep. I've had worse luck with buying used vehicles than you can imagine, and I really need to get it right this time

The facts: I'm not Vin Diesel from The Fast and The Furious, power isn't my main concern. Functionality and reliability is good. My home is in Washington state, although I'm not much for off roading (soon I'm returning home from deployment, off roading in MRAPs in eastern Afghanistan for nearly a year was enough thrashings for a good while.) Although if there's terrain I need to get over, I'd like to be able to. I live in the city but go out camping, etc.

Necessities: Would prefer room for aftermarket audio, back seat isn't a big deal as long as there's room for my dog to sit somewhere. Removable hard top would be a plus. The mods I'd be most interested in would be larger tires and a lift.

I'd like to spend about $5-6,000, absolute limit would be $8,000.

I would greatly appreciate any advice you all could offer as far as particular years/models/features.

Thank you in advance!

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Old 10-09-2012, 03:37 PM   #2
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Get a YJ you won't spend too much and you can get on in good condition for that. What part of WA (I'm from the Olympic peninsula)? I'm always looking on Craig's for jeeps, I could keep an eye out.

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Old 10-09-2012, 03:41 PM   #3
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I live in Tacoma but I can get to wherever I need to go, appreciate it!
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:41 PM   #4
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Do you care how new it is? What kind of mileage/year are you thinking?
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:43 PM   #5
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I'm by no means an expert, but here's what I know. YJ's are simpler. TJ's are more comfortable and modern. Jk's are better in about every other way. As far as engines go most everyone will recommend a 6 cylinder (either straight 6 or V6) but, I have no complaints about my mostly stock 4 cylinder. All models have room for aftermarket audio you just have to look for Jeep specific stuff. Hope this helps and good luck.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:44 PM   #6
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If it's in good shape and has the right features I don't care about how new. No idea on the year but hoping for ~100k or less miles
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:47 PM   #7
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http://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/cto/3321085574.html

There's tons of ads on Craigslist I would recommend Test driving a bunch even if they're out of your price range just to see what you like and dislike

My 94 is a 4 banger and I do t have many complaints. If I had more money when I bought it I would have tried to get a 6 cyl though
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:58 AM   #8
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Looks like a decent deal but shouldn't I be wary of a 186,000+ even with a rebuilt engine?
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sicx
Looks like a decent deal but shouldn't I be wary of a 186,000+ even with a rebuilt engine?
You could probably talk them down. Have a mechanic check it out with you
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Old 10-13-2012, 03:25 AM   #10
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For your price range, a YJ ('87-'95) would be the better option. You can find some real nice YJ's for 4-5 grand, which would allow you some funds to use on upgrades. A YJ seems cheaper to upgrade (compared to a TJ) since they're older and parted out more frequently. I would suggest looking specifically for a 4.0 engine, which began production in 1991, I believe. Just seems to be a strong, solid engine, well worth hunting for. But since you don't plan on offroading, just want a functional vehicle that can take you camping and drive through snowy roads, a 4 cylinder wouldn't be a bad option either. Best thing you can do, really, is start test driving some YJs, and compare their ride with a 97-01 TJ. See which you prefer. You can find a decent TJ for 6.5 - 7k (seen some good ones in L.A. for $6,000 with low mileage!) but it takes a lot of patience to find those deals. Don't be afraid to hold off until you find a low mileage Jeep, since that seems to be an important criteria for you. They do exist! Just keep hunting. Good luck!
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Old 10-13-2012, 04:04 AM   #11
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Apparently, it's been too long since I posted the last message, so I'm not allowed to edit it. Silly rule.

Some examples you can check out:
1) 92 YJ Hardtop, rebuilt engine
2) Nice 95 YJ, hardtop, 138k miles (equals 8.1 miles driven per year)... I actually really like this one. Go look at it. The mileage is super low for a YJ, and it's in great condition!
3) 97 TJ for $5.5, 4.0 engine! Has 165k miles, looks like it needs a bit of TLC but would be a great starter... would need to look for a hardtop on CL, which is easy enough to find.
4) 98 TJ 146k miles Needs a hardtop as well. Looks nicer from the outside, at least.
5) 94 YJ 130k miles, hardtop Already lifted, winch, etc. Looks like some minor damage to the front fender there. Could be an indicator of something more serious, but could just be minor body damage. Easy to find a replacement at a junk yard. Just an example of a YJ that's already had work done to it.

Basically, if you're desperate for an engine under 100k miles, it'll take time before you find one. The 4.0 is a good engine though. You'd be amazed just how long it can run. A Jeep with 150k miles still has plenty of life left in it. Chances are, if you find one that's bone stock, it hasn't been taken off roading (at least nothing serious, and not very often), so it's less likely to have been abused. The cheaper you go, the more likely it will need some work, though. Also, if you're looking at Washington-area Jeeps... beware of rust. If you can travel at all, you may want to start looking at Jeeps that have lived their lives in the desert areas. Less likely to find rust where there's no humidity. =) Oh, and since you're military, you might look at dealerships. Many dealerships seem to offer military discounts, even on used vehicles. Just some things to consider.

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