I didn't want to put this in the YJ or TJ section because I wanted some unbiased opinions. I am looking at buying my first Jeep in over 18 years. I have two in mind that seem like pretty good deals in my area, but I could use some more knowledgeable thoughts.
#1 is a 1995 YJ listed at $5,000 / Full Doors / Hard Top...described in the ad as follows
"...Great Daily Driver And Excellent in the SNOW!!!!!.......95 Jeep wrangler 139k miles 12k on New 2.5 complete overhaul Bored .30 over Runs Strong. 5spd trans shifts Great. Transmission completely gone through New bearings, Seals & Gaskets.New Clutch Kit too. Also New Bearings & Seals in Front & Rearends with New 4:10 Gears. 4x4 works Great too. New radiator, starter, Brakes all around. 3" Lift Brand New BFG KM2's 33" Tires on 15x10" Black Crager Street Beadlock wheels. New ACE front & rear Bumpers with rear Hitch. Brand New Rear Shocks by Rugged Ridge, ORV Nitrogen Charged Gas Shocks. No rust on Tub or Frame! Very nice Jeep."
The second is a 1998 TJ that I can get for $6,000. It is a 4 cyl 5 speed with 73,000 miles / 4 inch lift / Full Doors / Soft Top / New 31 inch tires / One small spot of rust on the pass door and a broken rear shock mount that should be an easy fix. The remainder of the frame seems good.
Now, here is the skinny on my situation. This is going to be used for a summer time cruiser for my kids and I to enjoy. it will not be off road and will never be used to tow. I have limited mechanical skills, but love to try and tinker.
Any help that you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
The TJ will be a better ride too. I vote for the TJ hands down. It sounds like way too much work went into that YJ which could be good, but it could also be bad. Transmission completely gone through? WTF is it rebuilt or taken apart and put back together with nothing done or???
I agree with negotiating the price too since it's a 4 banger. I wouldn't worry too much about the 4 vs. 6 cylinder it since 4 cyl. are geared appropriately and you aren't going to beat the crap out of it off road.
I also vote for the TJ. I rode in a YJ before I brought my new TJ, and there was no way I would buy a YJ. The ride just sucked in it. The TJ has a much improved suspension. When, I rode in a TJ at the dealership, I was sold.
But, I agree with the other posters as well. I would look for a 6cylinder 4.0L TJ. The power is much better, especially if you later mod it.
I've read posts where people with 2.5L engines can't even drive 70 miles an hour, once it is modified with lifts and such.
IMO add another voice to the choir....more and more JKs are coming available (stay with me) which is having SOME effect on the price of the other Jeeps (YJ TJs etc.) For the availability of parts I would go with a TJ and the I6 4.0..I have one and it has 165K+ with only wear items replaced and does not use oil. I also think there will be a "better" parts supply longer for a TJ....
I like them all but my preference would be the TJ. Once upon a time, I wouldn't have one because of the coil spring suspension but once I went riding with a bunch of TJ guys, I had to have one. Actually have 2 now. The 4 bangers are OK depending on what you want to do but I agree with the other posts, if you can find a 6, you'll be happier.
YJ. If no other reason, they are cool. Yeah they ride like CRAP! It's a Jeep, want a nice ride, buy a Buick. Nothing wrong with the 4 cylinder. Want to drive 70, buy a Buick. Oh yeah…what ever one you decide on…..look for rust, and pay accordingly.
The American way: Accrue massive amounts of debt on things we cannot afford. Simultaneously giving the illusion of owning great sums of money for the sole purpose of impressing those around you.
---Beer Belly 2014