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Old 03-24-2008, 05:58 PM   #1
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Which Jeep for me??

Greetings from Colorado. This is my first post, so standby...

I haven't had a Jeep since I sold my CJ-5 20 years ago. I have decided to get one, and I know a lot has changed. I am thinking of a late 90's thru 01? Jeep Wrangler Hardtop w/anual tranny should fill the bill.

Please advise on which model years to stay away from, which axle types/trannys are desirable. I am a fan of Dana's w/locking hubs, so let me know if any Wranglers come this way, or do I have to do it. I do not want vacumn actuated front axles. What size Dana's are available stock? I know I want a 258 inline 6....is this engine still available?

I plan on using this Jeep to cruise mountain backroads here in SW Colorado, go to town (25 miles), and to use it during the hunting season here.
Does anyone have an estimate and/or opinions about fuel usage in Jeeps?

What I need is for the very experienced among you to help me cut thru the BS and tell me what model and what equipment I need. I want to keep it as close to stock as reasonably possable. Any money spent will go to mechanical improvements, not fluff.

Thank You in Advance

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Old 03-24-2008, 06:07 PM   #2
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welcome-the last year for 258 was 90. but the 4.0 that came next was a great motor, loved by many. still straight six, almost identical platform, but fuel injected, little more horse. still lots of torque, and not all the carb probs. many swap out the 258 for a 4.0. i don't think any wranglers came factory with manual locking hubs. yj wranglers came with the vacuum actuated and without. just a matter of searching. basically all yj wranglers came with dana 30 front, and dana 35 rear. many out there with d44 and better axles installed later.

yj from 87-90 6 cyl were 4.2 258
yj from 91-95 6 cyl were 4.0
no 96
i would go with 6 cyl. 4 cyl just not enough power, i had one and loved it but 6 is better.
97 came big change to tj wrangler, coil suspension, new body and interior.

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Old 03-24-2008, 06:11 PM   #3
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oh yeah, 87-89 or so there were two 5 speeds, a peugot had a split case down the middle of the trans from front to back, this one is not desirable. the ax-15 is better, has a split in the center the other way, one half is toward front, one half toward back, make sense? hard to explain.
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Old 03-24-2008, 08:45 PM   #4
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welcome-the last year for 258 was 90. but the 4.0 that came next was a great motor, loved by many. still straight six, almost identical platform, but fuel injected, little more horse. still lots of torque, and not all the carb probs. many swap out the 258 for a 4.0. i don't think any wranglers came factory with manual locking hubs. yj wranglers came with the vacuum actuated and without. just a matter of searching. basically all yj wranglers came with dana 30 front, and dana 35 rear. many out there with d44 and better axles installed later.

yj from 87-90 6 cyl were 4.2 258
yj from 91-95 6 cyl were 4.0
no 96
i would go with 6 cyl. 4 cyl just not enough power, i had one and loved it but 6 is better.
97 came big change to tj wrangler, coil suspension, new body and interior.
Thanks for the response. So it sounds like the "YJ" Wrangler is what I want, is that correct?? I would rather have leaf springs & the biggest Dana axles they have. Copy what you said about the 4.0 L engine...I think the fuel injected engine is the way to go as well. I remember how "tempremental" carbs can be!

Any additional info you can add about 99-02 Wranglers would be appreciated.
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Old 03-24-2008, 08:58 PM   #5
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sounds like you're a yj guy, if you liked your cj. sounds like 91-95 yj is a good fit. 97-03 or 04 was tj. like i said, they changed body and interior, little more car like inside. rides little nicer. every change to jeep makes it a little more car like. as far as axles though, d30 and d35 are all that came stock. d30 is ok, d35 is a weak link once you get tires bigger than 32-33". they came out with the rubicon later on w/ d44 axles. a tj guy is gonna have to help me when they came out, 03-04 maybe. obviously still pullin bigger money. if you aren't gonna go crazy on the off road you'll be fine with stock axles, or people upgrade axles all the time. a decent 91-95 6 cyl wrangler probably goes for 2500-5000 bux. off the top of my head. hope that helps.
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:21 PM   #6
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Tj's are 97-07
they have coil springs
many different configurations for axles and trannys, and the 4.0 6 cyl is definitly what u want

umm they have more comfort, ROUND headlights, and besides that they are about the same as a YJ jsut tons of minor tiny changes that really dont matter
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Old 03-25-2008, 01:48 AM   #7
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ALL HAIL THE YJ GUYS!

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So many mods planned for the upcoming YJ:
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:50 PM   #8
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Thanks Guys for all this info....please keep it coming if you can add any pieces to the puzzle.

Today, in Durango I saw a Jeep parked in the City Market parking lot....so I wait a bit & talk to the owner, an older guy who told me it was a 93 Wrangler with a 5 speed & 4 cyl motor....and only 20K original miles!! Looks like new!! He uses it when he comes out for the summer from Las Vegas.....but I couldn't talk him into a sale. I will keep trying!
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:29 PM   #9
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97-99 TJ, has OBDII so you can use a $50 scanner, two O2 sensors, I think in 00 they added another sensor or two, not sure, all 6 of ours are 97/98's TJ's, XJ's and ZJ. If you are looking at a YJ which is the square headlight wrangler be sure to crawl under it and look at the frame, specifically the rear near the shocks, they are very prone to rusting out in that area, we were 3 for 3 on the last ones to a point they were almost uninspectable.
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Old 03-26-2008, 11:37 AM   #10
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Thanks for more info...you can't have too much. I will do a thorough visual inspection, thanks richp.

If you could pick the "perfect" jeep....year model(s), what would it be. Is there a golden year that jeep put everything together just right, or am I on a quest for the holy grail?

Keep in mind I am going to keep this Jeep stock, with narrow tires (factory size?) and no airlockers or other traction devices. I just want a Jeep for cruising up thru the San Juans over passes into Lake City, Ouray, Silverton & Telluride.

Tell me about the newer Rubicon Jeep. Does it really bring anything to the table for the $$$ you spend, or is it mostly a pretty little name badge?? A lot of guys here seem to drive them (because it is easy to plunk down$$ & drive away???) here, and I wan't to know if these are a more expensive alternative that I should look at as well.

Thanks in advance for any light you can shed on this enigma called Jeep.
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Old 03-26-2008, 11:42 AM   #11
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rubicon is great, and i'm a yj guy. they built that one well, if you wanna spend that money, and like that body and interior, great choice. if you don't want to spend a lot of dough, 91-95 yj, 6 cyl. gotta be careful about rust, rear of frame, rocker panels, windhsield frame, and floor pans mainly. but on the other hand if you're gonna keep it stock, and not wheel very hard, you might not need the rubi.
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Old 03-26-2008, 06:22 PM   #12
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Thanks, jpdocdave. I am on the hunt here to see what is available...and I will give it a thorough inspection, whatever I find.
I also see a lot of late 90's Jeep Cherokees available in this area, mostly 4 door with auto trannys, all with 4.0 L engines, some lifted a bit and some stock. What is the general opinion of these....should I look at them in my search or leave them alone?
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Old 03-26-2008, 06:26 PM   #13
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i use one for my daily driver, same drive line as wrangler, just as tough, but not as much fun to own. they will go anywhere, just as much support on them, you can do just as much as with a wrangler.
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
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If you could pick the "perfect" jeep....year model(s), what would it be. Is there a golden year that jeep put everything together just right, or am I on a quest for the holy grail?
the 1950's CJ3B

no but for real the 00 and up rubicon with the 6 speed manual, especailly if you plan on leaving what you have stock
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:06 PM   #15
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Thanks, jpdocdave. I am on the hunt here to see what is available...and I will give it a thorough inspection, whatever I find.
I also see a lot of late 90's Jeep Cherokees available in this area, mostly 4 door with auto trannys, all with 4.0 L engines, some lifted a bit and some stock. What is the general opinion of these....should I look at them in my search or leave them alone?
XJ's are good, I have a 98, it's on it's second engine, first one lost #3 cylinder when a injector stuck open and wiped the cylinder down with raw gas. The XJ carries more, is more practical for daily use, trips, working out of. I have my own computer and networking business and carry 10-20 cases of network cable, ladders, servers, switches, routers, etc and could not do it with the wrangler without spending a ton of money for the racks it would need. The XJ has a big surco up there. I do use the TJ's for local service calls, with their 2.5's they get 20mpg no matter what I do, about 2mpg more then the 4.0/5speed XJ, the XJ does better milage wise on the hiway though, 22+ on a good day and no rack. Add ons for the XJ and our ZJ are more expensive like lifts, bumpers, etc.
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:11 PM   #16
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the 1950's CJ3B

no but for real the 00 and up rubicon with the 6 speed manual, especailly if you plan on leaving what you have stock
I dont think there is a 00 Rubicon, actually Rubicon's are from 2003 or 04 If I'm wrong please correct me.
Also 00 and up 4.0 are distributor-less, and for the 2.5 I think 01 and up.
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Old 03-27-2008, 05:55 PM   #17
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Wow, im suprised at all in the inacuracies here, and that no one else has chimed in

first, rubicons are 03-06 for TJs, and 07+ for the JKs. The 6 spd started in 05 and continues through 2008. the 2003-2004 Rubicons are the same 5 spd as the regular TJs (after the trans change).

Dana 44 axles were OPTIONAL on many different Jeep configurations. Dana35s are pretty week, and I broke a few with stock tires on my 97, driving like an idiot when I was younger If you want the largest Dana axles available, look for a TJ (97-2006), and look under the rear end. A Dana35 has a rubber fill plug, where as a Dana44 has a square metal plug. You want the Dana44 with the metal plug if the axles are your concern.

The TJs also have a more sophisticated fuel injection system with all kinds of different sensors, to increase the efficiency of the engine and its emissions. Also, TJs have coil springs on every corner, as opposed to leaf springs. The 4.0L inline 6cyl is diffinately the way to go for colorado. I take my Jeep up into west virginia a few times a year, and I do not think the 4cyl would do very much. I could be wrong, but with the 4:1 transfer case in the rubicon, and the 6cyl, I still feel under powered on more than a few occasions

If cheap and leaf springs are what you want, I believe you will be stuck with Dana35s. I do not think dana44s were optional on the older YJs (87-95) but I could be wrong. I do not know about colorado, but here in MD and PA most YJs are rust buckets. Its exremely hard to find one that will pass inspection.. believe me I tried If you are going to look for a YJ, make sure you look for rust REAL good, especially in the hidden areas in the undercarriage, such as frame rails, shock mounts, body mounts etc.
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Old 03-27-2008, 06:52 PM   #18
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Thanks JSC05RUBI and all the others who have given me many pieces of the puzzle....I am getting there!
Rust isn't much of a prob out here as we use very little salt on the roads...a little Mag Chloride (a salt) on a few bad curves, but mostly sand & plows. I will however check the Jeep I get serious about very well underneath...as you don't know where it has been. It is very dry here with no corrosive atmosphere, so mostly the vehicles are in excellent shape.
I am seeing a lot of the used Jeeps have been heavily lifted & are owned by "kids", so these are not contenders. I could live with a 2" lift, but not 4+.
Thanks & keep those comments coming, Best, Steve
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Old 03-27-2008, 09:14 PM   #19
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the 1950's CJ3B

no but for real the 00 and up rubicon with the 6 speed manual, especailly if you plan on leaving what you have stock
1941 MB or a CJ2A
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Old 04-01-2008, 12:57 AM   #20
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Well, I pulled the trigger today on a 2001 Cherokee Sport 4X4 with about 99K miles and a 4.0L & auto tranny. It appears to have been well maintained & traeted very kindly. It spoke to me & I listened to her sirens song.

This will do for now as a daily driver & fishin truck. Thanks to all who helped me learn more about these machines called Jeep! I am now changing channels to the Cherokee Forum

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