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Old 08-23-2011, 03:11 PM   #1
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Disappointed in Wrangler

I am 74 years old, 6' 3", 236 lbs. I had a 48 jeep when I was 15 and I loved it. I had intended to buy a 2012 Sport with manual transmission and both tops. I went to my local dealer and took a JK out for a spin. The 6 speed seemed to me to have very close shift gates and I constantly had to look at the shift pattern on the knob. I missed gears and never seemed to know what gear I was in. Next, I looked at the back seats and decided adults including my wife could never get in the back.
Then I looked at a JKU with auto. trans. and suddenly realized that I wasn't looking at the vehicle I had wanted. It wasn't that Jeep of my youth, it was cramped 4-door SUV.
Is there any hope or advice for me ?

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Old 08-23-2011, 03:21 PM   #2
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I'm about the same size a bit younger. I don't find the jku cramped vs other midsize suvs.

With that said I would recommend an auto for you. Being 74 you need to learn to text and drive with an auto. Much more difficult with a stick.

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Old 08-23-2011, 03:22 PM   #3
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Is there any hope or advice for me ?
Search craigslist for a slightly used, low mileage '48?
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:24 PM   #4
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Cramped? Many are happy with the room in a JKU.

And driving a jeep manual is def a learning
process. Once you get that hang of it-you won't want to stop driving.

My .02
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by broomhandle View Post
I am 74 years old, 6' 3", 236 lbs. I had a 48 jeep when I was 15 and I loved it. I had intended to buy a 2012 Sport with manual transmission and both tops. I went to my local dealer and took a JK out for a spin. The 6 speed seemed to me to have very close shift gates and I constantly had to look at the shift pattern on the knob. I missed gears and never seemed to know what gear I was in. Next, I looked at the back seats and decided adults including my wife could never get in the back.
Then I looked at a JKU with auto. trans. and suddenly realized that I wasn't looking at the vehicle I had wanted. It wasn't that Jeep of my youth, it was cramped 4-door SUV.
Is there any hope or advice for me ?
Boy Jack, that is a difficult problem to fix.The Wrangler might not be the vehicle for you. I just received my 2012 Wrangler Rub,and I love it with an automatic trans.
I'll admit this,getting into the back seat is a major task ,and I'm 46 years old.

Take a couple weeks off, then go back to a 2012 Sport,and try again(pick an automatic,5 speed, its better).
If you feel like your in the same quagmire(sp),then pick a different vehicle.

Good luck

AJ
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:31 PM   #6
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Really none of my business, but at your age why are you worried about getting your wife into the back seat?
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:33 PM   #7
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Really none of my business, but at your age why are you worried about getting your wife into the back seat?
My dog likes the front seat.
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:33 PM   #8
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Really none of my business, but at your age why are you worried about getting your wife into the back seat?

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Old 08-23-2011, 03:36 PM   #9
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Lol- that flew over my head
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:40 PM   #10
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ZING!!!

Not to sound harsh, but NOTHING out there today is going to match the 48 in your mind. So, your options are either buy a nice 48 or get over it.
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:43 PM   #11
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I understand what you are saying. I had a few Wranglers back when they were all steel, no plastic and were so tough, Chuck Norris would have endorsed them.

I was/am a bit disappointed they are so "car" like now HOWEVER, the one thing I can say is that there is no alternative to Jeep and they are the most versatile vehicle on the market. If you do not like the way it is-CHANGE IT!! LOL Thats the good thing about all wranglers, you can modify it any way you want... maybe you can create the jeep you want from the jeep that is available??

Just a thought. Good luck on your quest!
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:47 PM   #12
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Not to sound harsh, but NOTHING out there today is going to match the 48 in your mind. So, your options are either buy a nice 48 or get over it.
I would actually discourage getting another 48. I can't think of anyone I know that has bought a vehicle for nostalgic purposes and not ruined the legacy of the vehicle in their mind. It's better to remember the awesomeness you thought was there than to realize the only reason it was there was the ignorance of youth.
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:53 PM   #13
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My dog likes the front seat.

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Old 08-23-2011, 03:57 PM   #14
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I would actually discourage getting another 48. I can't think of anyone I know that has bought a vehicle for nostalgic purposes and not ruined the legacy of the vehicle in their mind. It's better to remember the awesomeness you thought was there than to realize the only reason it was there was the ignorance of youth.
I agree, but I wasn't going to add my opinion to it.

In reality, the modern Jeeps are much more capable and much more user friendly than the old ones, but that's not why people love the old stuff. You're talking to a gut that owns and drives a hot rod 55 Chevy on a regular basis, and has owned several old cars. They stink, ride and handle like crap, get bad gas mileage (in my case anyway ) and are terribly unsafe in an accident with a modern vehicle, but I still love them. Technology makes a vehicle technologically superior, but it's the imperfections and man/machine interface that give them soul. That's what people who have no love for old iron will never understand. That rattly old 55 Chevy of mine has more soul than ANYTHING made today. Same goes for the OP's 48 in his mind, I'd wager.
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:58 PM   #15
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Maybe check out some low mileage TJs or a YJ??
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:03 PM   #16
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Clean CJ is as close as you're going to get without buying the real thing.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:04 PM   #17
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Search craigslist for a slightly used, low mileage '48?

literally LOL ! caught me offguard.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:06 PM   #18
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I think you need to reconsider your expectations.

It's not a 1948 Jeep and you're not a teenager. If you were expecting to recreate that experience--being a 15 year old boy in mid century Jeep during an entirely different era in American history--you were bound to be disappointed. You're a seventy plus year old man on a car lot in modern America. Everything is different.

I can remember the exhilaration of riding with my dad in his brand new 1988 Camaro when I was a little kid. It was the coolest car ever--everything about it was cool, the way it looked, the way it sounded, the way he sat in the driver's seat, the music he played. Everything. Care to guess if I feel the same way sitting in a 1988 Camaro today? Exactly.

Let me ask you this, if the JK you test drove was EXACTLY the same as a 1948 Jeep, would you have been happy? I rather doubt it. I don't think your wife would've found it any more accomodating and I'm doubtful that what was comfortable for a teenager is still comfortable for someone in his mid-seventies. Certainly not for somebody looking for a vehicle to drive every day. I think you would've been disappointed in even a carbon copy of a 1948 Jeep.

Many of your complaints--like the shift pattern--are really indicative of missed expectations rather than actual problems. What about the JK's shift pattern is "wrong"? Why would it be more "correct" if it was slightly different? That's crazy. It's just different and you'd get used to it. To me, my 6 speed feels perfect. If you drove a 1948 Jeep today, you might discover that the shift pattern is more similar than you think--you were just SMALLER and so it felt BIGGER.

I'd take a few days off and then go back and evaluate a new Jeep on its own terms. Make sure you give it a go with the top down. Try a few different trim levels so as to see what it feels like inside when it's "stripped" versus "well appointed."

If you really need a vehicle and aren't just doing this for fun, testdrive some other vehicles too.

It may be that a JK just isn't for you. But my thought is to let go of your expectations and give it an honest assessment before you make that call.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:08 PM   #19
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Love that the dog gets to ride shotgun

They're not the same but certainly more room than my Army Jeep of the 70's. Pretty capable too. Try looking at a Liberty. Not a bad vehicle. We just got our second (2011)....although my wife likes the older models over the new ones. I however like the new JK, now that i traded my 2007 3:21 for a 2012 with 4:10s

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Old 08-23-2011, 04:14 PM   #20
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I agree, but I wasn't going to add my opinion to it.

In reality, the modern Jeeps are much more capable and much more user friendly than the old ones, but that's not why people love the old stuff. You're talking to a gut that owns and drives a hot rod 55 Chevy on a regular basis, and has owned several old cars. They stink, ride and handle like crap, get bad gas mileage (in my case anyway ) and are terribly unsafe in an accident with a modern vehicle, but I still love them. Technology makes a vehicle technologically superior, but it's the imperfections and man/machine interface that give them soul. That's what people who have no love for old iron will never understand. That rattly old 55 Chevy of mine has more soul than ANYTHING made today. Same goes for the OP's 48 in his mind, I'd wager.
Also speaking from experience, this is the truth.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:19 PM   #21
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Problem solved..

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Old 08-23-2011, 04:20 PM   #22
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I am 74 years old, 6' 3", 236 lbs. I had a 48 jeep when I was 15 and I loved it. I had intended to buy a 2012 Sport with manual transmission and both tops. I went to my local dealer and took a JK out for a spin. The 6 speed seemed to me to have very close shift gates and I constantly had to look at the shift pattern on the knob. I missed gears and never seemed to know what gear I was in. Next, I looked at the back seats and decided adults including my wife could never get in the back.
Then I looked at a JKU with auto. trans. and suddenly realized that I wasn't looking at the vehicle I had wanted. It wasn't that Jeep of my youth, it was cramped 4-door SUV.
Is there any hope or advice for me ?

Quote:
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My dog likes the front seat.
1. Buy a auto tranny Sport
2. Take out back seats. No back seats, no passengers. That's a plus to some!
3. Put in a nice padded dog bed in back
4. Train dog to ride in back. My dogs have always loved being in back.

I feel like I have my 1942 GPW back, all rebuilt and modded to the hilt! Love it!
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:32 PM   #23
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Thank you all for some very good advice. I really appreciate it.
Maybe my problem is that I'm comparing it to the room in my Ford Explorer which I'm driving now but don't care for. The two cars of my youth which I remember the most were my 48 Jeep and a brand new 66 MGB.
I still feel like that young man with those vehicles in my mind. Maybe I've waited too long but I want to feel the exhilaration of driving a 'Fun' car.
I'll take the advice of thinking things over for a few weeks and then make a new appraisement of what I want and what suits me.
All of you have made me feel much better. Thanks.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:41 PM   #24
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If you don't have fun driving a Wrangler, you must be dead!!
See if the dealer will let you take one home for a weekend. Try the automatic. Take the top off, take the doors off and hit some backroads. Go get lost in it and find your way back. If that doesn't sell you, nothing will.
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:16 PM   #25
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Problem solved..

Willys | eBay
That is sweet. Wish i had some extra cash just floating around. They did a nice job.

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Old 08-23-2011, 05:30 PM   #26
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Yeah, take a few weeks, go and test drive a few different versions, look at the trim...etc. Perhaps an auto is better for you, perhaps not. Dont allow a memory of the past to stop you from making new memories.

I have a '07 JK 2-door auto.....I love it. Frankly theres loads of room in the back, getting in and out is an issue, however Im driving...dont care for climbing through to the back anyway. When the top is down, kids tend to just jump in.

My dog, a big Boerboel, sits in the back. He loves it!

test drove an '68 MG "recently", was also dissapointed as the drive wasnt the romantic experience I had in my head....I ended up buying a BMW Z3. Have since sold that too....didnt have "feeling" the Jeep does.

I dont drive my Jeep, I hold on...
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:15 PM   #27
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Problem is you're trying to replace the wrong vehicle. You need to by my '74MG. It can by yours for the low price of $2k.


I'm serious.
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:39 PM   #28
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I'm two years older than "broomhandle" and I love my '07 Sahara six-speed. The shift pattern is like any current vehicle and natural to use. I solved the problem of access to the rear seat--it is now sitting in the garage wrapped in two large trash bags so it will stay clean and my wife and I won't suffer any body damage trying to get back there. Makes the JK a good short bed pickup truck as well with a full coverage rubber mat.

I have a 1957 Ford T-bird that satisfies my flashbacks to my youth, but also makes clear how good modern vehicles are and how primitive the oldies were/are. Hard to beat the "looks" of that era though.

1948 was not as good as we thought it was--IMHO.
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:53 PM   #29
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I agree with going back and test driving it some more. See if you can convince them to take the doors off for ya or take it home so you can get the doors off. They are heavy though so keep that in mind. That really opens things up. Whole new Jeep without doors. I wish I never had to put mine on, but I think I'd change my mind in November. haha
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:04 PM   #30
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I still feel like that young man with those vehicles in my mind. Maybe I've waited too long but I want to feel the exhilaration of driving a 'Fun' car.
I'll take the advice of thinking things over for a few weeks and then make a new appraisement of what I want and what suits me.
All of you have made me feel much better. Thanks.

I understand what you mean. I'm still that country girl who loves driving manual pickups and cars. My Scout II is manual 4WD and will be coming out of restoration soon. I had it converted to manual 4WD during the restoration. I kept waking up at night from dreams sometimes in which I would be driving some manual vehicle. If anything, the TJ series in some ways reminds me of driving late 70s trucks with the way it rides and sounds. I'm sure it would also shift like one, which I miss.

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