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Old 06-26-2012, 12:17 AM   #1
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Have a few questions before buying

I'm on the hunt for my first Jeep and I have a few questions I wanted to go ahead and have cleared up before I decide to buy.

Jeep Questions
-Are there certain years that Jeep just had a home run that I should look for?
-I'm on a $5,000 and under budget so I'm probably going to end up with a TJ or YJ so any years that just stick out that I should look for?
-Where would be the best place to look? Craigslist is normally the answer as well as eBay but are there any other sites I should be looking at that will give me a good price on a Jeep?
-What are some things I should look out for when inspecting the Jeep? I'll probably take it to our family mechanic and have him look it over but it would be nice to know a few things so I can keep from paying him to look over a junker.

Lift Kits
I'm mainly wanting to put a lift kit on just for looks but I wouldn't mind being able to take it and do some minor off-roading. I know that the best thing is to just piece together a kit with the best parts from each manufacture but since I'm mainly going to be using this for my semi-daily driver instead of going off-road, I didn't think I would need a top of the line kit for just around town use. I'm not a big fan of the stock ride height and just want to raise it a bit so would it be better to just use spacers (2.5" kit I guess) to lift it a bit (if so, who makes a good spacer kit?) or would it be better just to go to a full lift (3.5" or so) and be done? I know that RC gets mixed reviews and I'm mainly looking for an all around kit that will get the job done, put me in the air, give me a good ride and won't break the bank. Would RE be a good kit that would fulfill my needs?

I do have one question about spacers vs. a full lift though. RC is known to have their lifts wear down after a couple of years, can this happen with the spacers or does that only happen with full lift kits that aren't of the best quality?

Gas Mileage/Tires
Jeep Wranglers are known for not having the best MPG in the world so I was wondering if there is any way to maybe bump it up a bit or is it just one of those "what you see is what you get" type things?

As far as the tires, since I won't be taking this into the mud that often, what is a good tire for around town use but will still work well in the mud? Like I said above, if there is a tires that will help me out on gas mileage, that would probably be a winner.

If there is any additional information you guys can help me out with, that would be great! Thanks

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Old 06-27-2012, 02:45 PM   #2
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I'm looking more towards a TJ instead of a YJ. Just wanted to add that in...

Can I get some input on all of this?
Thanks!

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Old 06-27-2012, 03:33 PM   #3
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As far as years go I'd look for an early TJ in the 98-00 range which should be in your budget or just out of it. Look for rust mainly. Specifically under the carpet and around/inside the frame.

Also I'm not sure if any of the early years had a D44 rear but if you find one, all the better. Try to find one with 3.73s in the diffs if you can too. 3.07s are painful.

I'd get the 4.0L if i were you and pick either auto or manual. The auto is near bullet proof in the early TJs.

For a small lift you can get a 2" Budget boost and some 31" tires and have a fairly capable vehicle that is still extremely street-worthy.

I have a feeling you won't want to mess with diff gearing, so stay at 31x10.50x15 tire and you can use your stock wheels and not really notice an impact on power or gas mileage.

As far as tires go, the Goodyear Duratracs handle very well in the street but really shine in the snow and wet pavement. Off road they're decent in the mud and okay in the rocks if you're careful.
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:15 PM   #4
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Thank You VERY much for the information! Exactly what I was needing, Thanks!
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:39 PM   #5
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Quick question, Who makes a good all around budget lift? I know OME is one of the best but in case I can't spend that much, is there a runner up?
RE, TeraFlex, etc?
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:39 AM   #6
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I like the Rubicon Express 2" budget boost. I've run it for years with a 31" tire and have been very happy. It comes with spacers and new shocks and is a very easy install for the do it yourselfer. It took me about two hours for total install IIRC.
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:37 PM   #7
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I'm probably going to put in the spacers and add on shocks, sway bars, QD's and what not as I see fit. Thanks for the input!
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:32 AM   #8
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x2 everything invertchaos said above.
You may have a hard time finding a TJ for that little, especially if you get the 6cyl (and you should hold out for the 6cyl). I paid bout $6k for my 98 and that was just luck. Some folks like to say that "real" jeeps have round headlights, but I'm not gonna voice an opinion on that one.
As for lift, I'm getting the 2.5in Rough Country lift, which includes new coil springs and shocks. That, plus 31s and I'm gonna be a happy camper. Woot!

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