Coils have been present since the 97 models (which were starting to get sold in 96.5 - even though there is no 96 wrangler). The main thing I'd stay away from is lifted Jeeps, Jeeps with obvious trail damage, jeeps with more than 1" body lift, and that's pretty much it.
Oh - look at the rear axle; go for one where the cover plate looks like a stop sign and not a lemon on it's side. The octagonal covers will be a Dana 44 rear axle, where as the oval covers will be a D35c (another way to tell is by the fill plug - if it's a rubber stopper, Dana 35, if it's a threaded metal plug, Dana 44).
Not sure of all the axle options on those. but go online and find an axle identifier website, and try to get a tj with Dana 44 axles. That way if you get bigger tires and decide to take it offroad you wont break things!!
Well, if you can get a 00 or newer with 4.0L. Couple reasons. if your looking at a 5spd you get a much beefier NV3500 ,or 3550 can't recall which is correct, over the ax-15. The engine was also ugraded in 2000 to a rail style ignition, no more spark plug wire etc. Much nicer. Get a dana 44 rear axle as said. Run the VIN. Other than that just look for thing like any other used car or truck. Also I think in 2000 and up the exhaust manifold issue was solved, but early models did have a problem with it cracking.
CJ.XJ.CJ. TJ. TJ.ZJ. TJ.TJ. ZJ.ZJ.YJ. XJ
Just buy a Rubicon, it has Dana 44's front and rear. Air lockers, front and rear. You will spend thousands trying to build one to match what Rubicon has from factory. Also has a 4.1 gear ratio in 4 low. And has 4.10 ring and pinion in front and rear axle. Any other wrangler only has 2.73 to 1 in 4 low. Anywhere from 3.07 to 3.73 axle gear ratio on standard wranglers. These are all details that will cost you money if you ever want to put on taller, bigger, tires. Or if you enjoy the thrill of building your own Jeep to handle these upgrades, make sure you get a great deal on one. FYI - Jeep stands for, " Just Empty Every Pocket."
But what fun you will have !!!!!!!!