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Old 07-07-2010, 03:27 PM   #1
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A few questions for you jeep experts

Hey everyone, I'm new to the jeep world, I've always been a Mustang guy but Saturday I'll be buying my first jeep. Its a 1998 Wrangler SE 2.5 liter 4x4 with automatic trans. I'm buying it from a friend as a new project and I know I'm going to have plenty of questions about it and you're probably the people to ask.

It's mechanically sound other than a few easy fixes such as brakes and AC. I'll post some pics as soon as I pick it up. As of right now I'm just looking for some good website's for aftermarket jeep parts. Also I'm going to get some off-road tires for it but nothing too extreme; was wondering what size the factory wheels are and what's the biggest tire that will fit on the factory wheel, also the biggest size tire i can clear without a lift.

Thanks guys - Taylor

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Old 07-07-2010, 03:35 PM   #2
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First, a big welcome to WF.

You may feel obligated to buy this particular Jeep because its your friend's but that Jeep has two strikes against it that you may not like after a while. First is the small 2.5L engine which has trouble keeping up on the highways. Second is the automatic. I'm a huge fan of automatic transmissions. I even converted my last TJ from a manual to an automatic. But for the 2.5L engine, an automatic is a bad choice. It is underpowered already with the 2.5L engine, the automatic just makes it even worse. And when the a/c is turned on, it's even worse. Even Jeep officially recommends that its dealers not order/sell the 2.5L/automatic/air-conditioner combination.

Like I say I am a huge proponent of automatic transmissions, especially for hardcore offroading, but not when combined with the 2.5L engine.

Personally, I would find a different Jeep. Too bad it's from a friend since that makes this decision a little harder. I'd pass even when it's from a friend and even if it's in superb condition.

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Old 07-07-2010, 03:38 PM   #3
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Welcome to the board, and the wonderful world of jeeps.
Here's some easy answers:

websites: Quadratek, JC Whittney, 4x4Groupbuy. That should be enough to give you a head start

Wheels: the SE, if it has stock wheels, should be 15x7.
Tires: biggest you can fit without a lift would be 32x11.5, but with the 4 banger, you might want to go with 31x10.5.
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Old 07-07-2010, 03:45 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by G-Pur View Post
Tires: biggest you can fit without a lift would be 32x11.5
Most, including me, recommend that a 31x10.50 is the biggest that can be run on a stock height Jeep. Especially with stock wheels since an 11.5" wide tire can rub on the upper rear spring perch due to the huge amount (5.25" to 5.5") of the factory wheel's backspacing.
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Old 07-07-2010, 03:46 PM   #5
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I agree with jerry on this one.
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Old 07-07-2010, 03:52 PM   #6
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^^^^ Yea don't go 32's. 31-10.5 work great, look great and you won't lose any flex.

You'll find through some quick searches that it's not economical to convert a 2.5l auto into a 4.0L manual.

Like Jerry said, I'd pass from a friend too. Tell him you can't go from a v8 mustang to four fightn squirrels in a brick house with wheels.
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Old 07-07-2010, 03:58 PM   #7
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Thanks guys I appreciate the help
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Old 07-07-2010, 04:21 PM   #8
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Listen to Jerry. Ignore me. That is all.
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Old 07-07-2010, 05:01 PM   #9
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I am a Mustang and Jeep guy too. All the cool kids are. You must be AWESOME!
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Most, including me, recommend that a 31x10.50 is the biggest that can be run on a stock height Jeep. Especially with stock wheels since an 11.5" wide tire can rub on the upper rear spring perch due to the huge amount (5.25" to 5.5") of the factory wheel's backspacing.
I have 31x10.50 on my stock '99.
I put it in full flex shortly after I got it, to see what I had. I was about 1/4" away from rubbing my fender flares, and my tires rub a little when I turn the wheel all the way to either side.
So, if you're ok with a tiny bit of minor rubbing, get the 31's. If you're OK with a lot of rubbing, go bigger, lol!

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Old 07-07-2010, 07:22 PM   #11
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Dude. Don't do the 4 cyl. No offense to any 4 cyl. Jeep owners, but you really need the inline 6, 4.0 lr or higher to have the power your used too. I'm a new Jeep owner too, but I definatly knew better. I wanted the full exp., and I am more than satisfied with my 4.0 engine preformance. I just need to work on tires and suspension.
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Old 07-07-2010, 07:43 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by monkeee2002 View Post
...my tires rub a little when I turn the wheel all the way to either side.
Here's the easy five-cent five minute fix for that... Jeep Steer Stop Adjustment
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:11 PM   #13
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Just found out that i was misinformed by the owners little brother that it was a 2.5 liter. turns out im getting a 4.0 and I'm a very happy man!
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:15 PM   #14
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Just found out that i was misinformed by the owners little brother that it was a 2.5 liter. turns out im getting a 4.0 and I'm a very happy man!
And the crowd goes WILD!!!!!
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:09 PM   #15
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Welcome to the addiction. That is great news that it is a 4.0L. Stick with the 31" tires and you can't go wrong.
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:19 PM   #16
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So this has been said many times but from personal experience the 2.5 has no power. My tj is a 5 speed 2.5 and yeah I love it but man every time I go up a hill I wish it was a 4.0. Yeah there are a few mods you can do to eek out a little more power and they somewhat help the gas mileage but that stuff adds $$$ up my advice is to look for a 6 cyl. You are going to want big tires, the biggest you can go w/o regearing that jeep is 31s and regearing isn't cheap, your going to want to lift it...higher than 2.5" and you may have to extend the brake lines.
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Old 07-08-2010, 01:19 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLayson23 View Post
Just found out that i was misinformed by the owners little brother that it was a 2.5 liter. turns out im getting a 4.0 and I'm a very happy man!
Are you sure?

I waited a long time to buy my jeep and I did a LOT of research BEFORE I found one and committed to buying it. Based on my research my jeep had to have the following mechanical specs:

4.0 6 cylinder engine
5 speed manual
Dana 44 rear end

It also had to have the following features:

A/C
Cruise Control
Half Doors

I found an 04 with all of these features and I am very happy with it.

So your friend's jeep has a 4.0 which is great, does it have everything else you want?
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:45 PM   #18
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Are you sure?

I waited a long time to buy my jeep and I did a LOT of research BEFORE I found one and committed to buying it. Based on my research my jeep had to have the following mechanical specs:

4.0 6 cylinder engine
5 speed manual
Dana 44 rear end

It also had to have the following features:

A/C
Cruise Control
Half Doors

I found an 04 with all of these features and I am very happy with it.

So your friend's jeep has a 4.0 which is great, does it have everything else you want?
To be honest if i was selling my mustang and buying a jeep as my daily driver i would absolutely look into getting a nicer jeep than what i am getting; this is just my little project and i can't pass up the deal he's giving me on it. I hope it works out

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