New member here who is looking for his soul-jeep. I come to the wise guru of wranglerforum to aide in figuring out which to buy.
Here is what I'm looking for: A Jeep, able to get me from point a to b pretty reliably.(me and my wife currently use one vehicle so if the jeep were to go down for a day or a week we could manage but don't want anything that is going to need CONSTANT maintenance). I'm interested in taking her off-road but that is not where the majority of her time will be spent. I do like wrenching on vehicles and modifications, so if something needs work it won't stray me away. I'm currently remodeling my home and a 72 porsche(slow project). I'm pretty familiar with cars and their components.
For this comparison i don't really want to take price into consideration. mostly, what are the benefits of each jeep model as far as ease of repair, cost of repair parts, amount of repair/aftermarket parts and their availability, reliability etc?
Also, I live around College Station, Texas if this effects any of your answers.
I DID TRY TO SEARCH THIS. I found a few people asking what they should get but none offered clear answers on pro's and con's of each model.
YJ: avoid any of the pre 92s. they have a lot more relibity issues. the CAD 4x4 system sucks and will most likely fail at some point or is broken now. the are very spartan inside few comforts. leaf sprung, very simple to work on
TJ, I'm not a fan of the autos in the TJs bit that just me. not a fan of the 2.5 or 2.4 4 bangers in them. Little nicer inside but still a spartan jeep. Coil springs on all 4 corners so it rides better then the YJs. Parts are cheep huge support. first gen rubicons get you better axles and lockers
JK, 2 and 4 doors. the 07-11 V6 is kinda gutless. lot more refined inside, lost some of the classic jeep interior with a lot more comfort features. very smooth ride. wider little better stock axles. can fit big tires stock or close to stock.
If I were getting another Jeep it would be a TJ with an AX15 trans or a 6 speed Rubicon (we just bought a 97 TJ with an AX15 for my dad today)
For reliability, obviously a new jk would be the best, because it has no miles, and a warranty. But if you wanna make modifications, that's obviously not a good idea, as it would void the warranty. I don't know much about the tech differences, so to me it boils down to looks, mod availability, etc. Personally, I'd go with a TJ. It would cheaper, you said that's not a problem, but you can put that extra money towards mods. I also like the looks, and interior isn't overly modern, yet its still pretty modern. Just make sure you go low miles, and a 4.0 for best reliability.
i say go with a yj, i love mine easy to work on 2.5 4 cyl will run forever as long as you treat her right, only bad thing is that the ride feels like your offroad all the time, and after you hit half tank of gas it sucks it. but besides those i love it
jeep, that means i can do everything
I have worked on YJ's and TJ's. If I was looking for a YJ it would be a 94/5 and a manual. Pros less electronics to mess with makes them more water/dust resistant. The interior is simple and you dont have those damn cloth seats if you are running topless to soak up all the night dew and rain.
Cons- Suspension is ROUGH. If you dont mind that (I dont) then clean YJ's are plentiful and dirt cheap.
The TJ has an OBDII system which can be good or bad. It makes things easy to diagnose but it can be a PITA to work on due to the added electronics and any failed sensor can cause driveability issues. The suspension in the TJ is overall better but more expensive than a YJ to upgrade. The TJ interior while more comfortable and ergonomic is prone to getting wet and I have seen actual plants growing out of the carpet.
For overall reliability, driveability, and easy to work on nothing beats a YJ. No chance of death wobble like every TJ has, if you spring over the axle lift kit they ride just as well as any TJ or JK. No air bags to mess with or worry about, parts are cheaper, lift kits are way cheaper, no abs.
YJ's are just sooooooo freaking easy to work on. Literally if you have the smallest mechanical aptitude, and a Haynes/Chilton manual you can dang near do a full tear-down/rebuild without any help at all. Sure they are bumpy, but if you need a smooth ride your not buying a Jeep anyway, go get an Explorer. Plus there is the bonus of you can pick up a really clean one in the range of $2000-$3000 around here anyway.
TJ Ride is better, and with as much as I love my YJ, I do wish the interior was just a little, and I mean little more creature comfort positive. Generally they are a happy medium on everything between the YJ and the JK.
JK I'll admit, they look great, but honestly you will have to mod it pretty hard, or keep mud on it for anyone to think your not a wannabe cool guy that is actually a banker, or a Soccer Mom. Particularly if you get a 4 door.