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Old 05-11-2011, 12:13 PM   #1
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Lightbulb 1st TJ PURCHASE. JEEP NEWB.. ANY ADVICE?

I am looking to buy a Jeep Wrangler Sahara 2000-2003 in the next few weeks. I am going to be spending around 10-12k on it. So there will be some mileage on it, under 100k though.I have never owned a JEEP, so I don't know common problems or really anything to look for before I purchase it. I want to ensure that my 1st JEEP is a good experience! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 05-11-2011, 01:10 PM   #2
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for starters, if you plan on taking it off road at all. I would look for a Rubicon.In my opinion they are 100% worth the money in upgrades that you get. Also make sure you get the 4.0 inline six motor. the 4 cyl. are to weak.

when you go to look at one, open up the rear tail gate and pull up the carpet on the floor. make sure there is no rust.this is a common spot. also check the driver side and passenger side floor pans.

My next jeep i will be sure its a rubicon and at least a 6 cyl.

now also while you are looking, i would look for a jeep with the full doors, not the half doors that zip up. i like actually having a window.

good luck

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Old 05-11-2011, 01:22 PM   #3
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for starters, if you plan on taking it off road at all. I would look for a Rubicon.In my opinion they are 100% worth the money in upgrades that you get. Also make sure you get the 4.0 inline six motor. the 4 cyl. are to weak.

when you go to look at one, open up the rear tail gate and pull up the carpet on the floor. make sure there is no rust.this is a common spot. also check the driver side and passenger side floor pans.

My next jeep i will be sure its a rubicon and at least a 6 cyl.

now also while you are looking, i would look for a jeep with the full doors, not the half doors that zip up. i like actually having a window.

good luck
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Old 05-11-2011, 03:36 PM   #4
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Look out for the dana 35 prone to fail off road and after adding big meats. If I had to buy anouther wrangler it would be a rubicon for sure.
Good luck and happy trails
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:24 PM   #5
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I would have to agree too. If your going to be using your jeep for normal daily driving then a sahara will do just fine, but if you do plan to off road at all go for the rubi. I have an 02 sahara and I love it, but then again its only seen light trail use.
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:30 PM   #6
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also get underneath it and take a look at all the u-joints and make sure there isnt any play in any of them, this includes the axle joints as well, and i agree the rubicons are well worth the money my next jeep will be a rubi for sure! i do beleive some saharas might have a D44 tho? get underneath and look at the back end of the rear differential, if it has a rubber plug it is a D35, if it has a metal plug it is a D44, which is the better of the 2 of course, ALSO make sure to test both 4HI and 4LO, if the jeep is already lifted make sure you give 4LO a good work out to be sure it doesnt pop out due to a half A$$ed body lift or t-case drop
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:30 PM   #7
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Theres only two things you have to look for. Make sure its I6 and that it has a D44. It more import to have an I6 though as you can always switch out the rear later if you need to. You can't really go wrong with any jeep. If you like upgrading it, you'll enjoy any jeep you get, even if its not 100%.

Good luck with the find though, its part of the fun.
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:33 PM   #8
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heres a better example of how to tell if it is a d44


here is a rubber plug d35-



here is a metal plug d44-
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scgeek12
also get underneath it and take a look at all the u-joints and make sure there isnt any play in any of them, this includes the axle joints as well, and i agree the rubicons are well worth the money my next jeep will be a rubi for sure! i do beleive some saharas might have a D44 tho? get underneath and look at the back end of the rear differential, if it has a rubber plug it is a D35, if it has a metal plug it is a D44, which is the better of the 2 of course, ALSO make sure to test both 4HI and 4LO, if the jeep is already lifted make sure you give 4LO a good work out to be sure it doesnt pop out due to a half A$$ed body lift or t-case drop
Yup my sahara has a D44
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:05 PM   #10
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My sport also has a Dana 44.

its something you really want to look for if your thinking about getting bigger tires. the D 35 is junk as i have heard majority of owners put it.
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:23 AM   #11
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There are two really common problems with jeeps.
1. Not having enough money to do what you want to it
2. Not having a place to wheel

On preowned jeeps there are a couple to add.
1. Fixing what the previous owner messed up.
2. Figuring out what the previous owner messed up.

Take it to a trusted mechanic and transmission shop. Pay them a couple hundred bucks to thoroughly inspect everything with the driveline. If it is sound then you are good to go. If not then don't chance it. New engine or rebuild, transmission, and transfer case all start at about 2k a piece to repair minimal. That's not an added cost you will want to take on. Many people don't wheel them improperly and subsequently damage those parts.
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:28 AM   #12
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And don't forget about the little things. Like previous maintenance done or not.
Belts/hoses/tune up/ fluid's conditions and levels.

Treat her right and "most" of the time she will do you well.
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:41 AM   #13
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I might as well throw my .02 in here. I see that you are in New York. Check whatever you are looking at for rust. Surface rust is not an issue, but as mentioned check the floor wells and under the rear carpet. Tap any undercarriage rust to make sure that it isn't significant.
Take it out and thoroughly test everything. Get it on the highway and up to speed to check for steering/handling problems. You don't want to start your Jeep adventure with Death Wobble. Take it off road and test both 4H and 4L to make sure that they are functioning properly.
My last bit of advice it that you purchase your Jeep as close to stock as possible. It is always better to start with a clean slate and build it the way you want rather than having to deal with the unknown factors. Another reason to buy stock is that there is less of a chance that it has been trail abused. You never know exactly what has been done on a modified rig or if it was done properly. Save yourself the headaches of fixing someone elses mistakes.
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:16 PM   #14
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Thank you all. KEEP EM COMIN

Thank you for all your responses. Its definitely good to have some things to look for when I go to look at the vehicle. So thanks again to everyone for all the info! I have my eye on this one Sahara. It is from a dealership, and I know they know how to hide some things so I am a little skeptical. But I contacted them on numerous occasions asking them all about the car. According to the dealership it is all stock. They purchased it from an auction and he said that minor paint work was done (maybe to hide rust?).. It recently passed inspection and he said it is clean. Carfax reported no accidents and it had 3 owners who drove less than 15k a year. The dealer said that I could bring a mechanic or he could bring it over to the local JEEP dealership if I wanted to work out something with them to give it a full look over. I won't know anything for sure until I go look at it. But I did contact JEEP with the VIN number and they sent me all the original equipment that came with the car stock, and it adds up to what the dealership has equipped. So we will see. Asking price is $12,999 and has 95k miles. Seems to have been well maintained through its life. Ill post all the equipment under if you wanna read. I think it might have that better DANA, no sure lemme know; And here is a link to some pictures;

JeeP pictures by JetFn1 - Photobucket

EMAIL from JEEP WITH STOCK EQUIPMENT;

Sales Code Description
*M5 Cloth High-Back Bucket Seats
-KG Camel/Dk Green
AACS Convenience Group I
AAS Tire & Wheel Group - 30"
ADCS Convenience Group
ADHS Heavy Duty Electrical Group
AEM Dual Top Group
APAS Monotone Paint
A68P 4.0L Eng(ERH)/5Spd M/T Nv3550(DDD) BAUS 117 Amp Alternator BCES 600 Amp Maintenance Free Battery BGAS Power Front Disc/Rear Drum Brakes CADP High Back Bucket Seats CAGP Easy Access Passenger Seat CDBS Reclining Front Seats CFMS Rear Folding Seat CGWS Next Generation Front Air Bags** CGZS Passenger Air Bag On/Off Switch CKES Front Seat Area Carpet CKFS Rear Seat/Wheelhouse/Cargo Carpet CKTS Cargo Tie Down Loops CK9S Delete Rear Cargo Floor Covering CLCS Front Floor Mats CLSS Sport Bar w/Rear Padding CUFP Full Length Floor Console DBBC All Manual Transmissions DDD 5-Speed HD Manual Transmission DHNS Command-Trac Part Time 4WD System DJJS Dana 30/186MM Front Axle DMEP 3.73 Rear Axle Ratio DRJS 175MM Rear Axle EAAC All Engines ERH 4.0L I6 Power Tech Engine GBBS Tinted Windshield Glass GCBP Front Door Tinted Glass GCDP Deep Tint Sunscreen Windows GCFP Full Metal Doors w/Roll-up Windows GFAP Rear Window Defroster GRVP Left Manual Mirror GSVP Right Manual Mirror GTVS Swing-Away Mirrors GVAC All Vehicles W/O Power Mirrors HAA Air Conditioning JAYS Instrument Cluster w/Tach JCDS 100 MPH Primary Speedometer JHAP Var Intermittent Windshield Wipers JHBP Rear Window Wiper/Washer JJAS Cigar Lighter JJBS Dual Note Electric Horns JJJS 12V Auxiliary Power Outlet JKAS Locking Glove Box JKC Add-A-Trunk Lockable Storage KBTS STRIPE/BADGE/MOLDING/COLOR KWPS STRIPE/BADGE/MOLDING/COLOR KXPS STRIPE/BADGE/MOLDING/COLOR KYPP STRIPE/BADGE/MOLDING/COLOR K5XS STRIPE/BADGE/MOLDING/COLOR LAPP Shift Indicator Warning Lamp LBBP Courtesy Lamps LCDP Map/Dome Reading Lamps LDAP Underhood Lamp LMAS Halogen Headlamps LNJS Fog Lamps LPSS CHMSL Lamp MBAS Painted Front Bumper MB5S Black Rear Bumper MCHS Bumper Extensions MFPS Chrome Headlamp Bezels MFRS Black Front Frame Overlay MFTS Body Color Grille MRJS Bodyside Side Steps MWBS Sport Bar w/Side Padding NAE California Emissions NBKS EVAP Control System NBVP Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) NF1S 19 Gallon Fuel Tank PX8A Black Clear Coat QX8S Black Clear Coat RAAC All Radio Equipped Vehicles RBRS AM/FM Compact Disc Radio RCDS 4 Speakers RDDP Fixed Long Mast Antenna SBAS Power Rack and Pinion Steering SCGP Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel SDUP Heavy Duty Suspension w/Gas Shocks SHAS Front Stabilizer Bar SHCS Front and Rear Stabilizer Bars SUAP Tilt Steering Column TBBP Full Size Spare Tire TBRS Outside Tire Carrier TUSP 30X9.50R15LTB Wrangler OWL A/T Tires TZAP Goodyear Brand Tires VJTP Dark Tan Soft Top VKTA Mango Tango 3-Piece Hard Top WJXP 15X8.0 "CANYON" Aluminum Wheels WKBP Matching Spare Wheel WLZC All Aluminum Wheels XCYS Delete Remote Start System XEES Fuel Tank Skid Plate Shield XEFS Transfer Case Skid Plate Shield XEWS 2 Front & 1 Rear Tow Hooks XJFS Tethered Fuel Filler Cap XPFS Protective Coating and Remover YAAS Build To U.S. Mkt. Specifications
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:18 PM   #15
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I am going to be spending around 10-12k on it. So there will be some mileage on it, under 100k though.
Under 100K miles? You're kidding, right?
For 12 grand you should be able to buy one all day long with under 40,000 miles on it. Just spend 2 hours doing a search on the 'net.
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:54 PM   #16
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:26 PM   #17
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All depends on what you want. What you are looking at looks good. Some good advice so far in this thread. Did see some rust in the trunk area so def lift the carpet up. You may be limited by the deals in your area and what options/trim level you want will also set the going prices. I picked up an '03 Sahara last March for $13k with 81k on the clock. It was one of the best I could find locally for the price, condition, and options I wanted. If I could afford to go all over the country and test drive used Jeeps I am sure I could have found a better deal...but instead of looking for one I have one parked in my driveway.

Saw it listed in the options, does the dealer have the soft top too? Didn't see it in any of the pics.
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Old 05-12-2011, 03:12 PM   #18
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Under 100K miles? You're kidding, right?
For 12 grand you should be able to buy one all day long with under 40,000 miles on it. Just spend 2 hours doing a search on the 'net.
I paid about that for my sahara and I bought it with 8000 miles on it.
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Old 05-12-2011, 03:33 PM   #19
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I paid about that for my sahara and I bought it with 8000 miles on it.
There you go JetFn1 confirmation from another forum user. Look around; these aren't rare vehicles, there are lots of nice ones out there.
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Old 05-12-2011, 03:50 PM   #20
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also its says dana 30, not dana 44 so that right there is another issue.

i bought mine for 9,500 its a 2000 sport 4.0. it had a 3 inch lift. brand new 31 inch mud terrain tires. 70,000 mi. and dana 44 axels. with no repaint or body work.no rush. also it came with a soft top and hard top.

i dont know if your using blue book, which is why you figured it was a good deal but i would never pay blue book for a jeep let alone any car unless i was made of money.
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:10 PM   #21
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One more thing to add I did buy mine privatly, im not a big fan of stealerships.
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Old 05-14-2011, 11:51 AM   #22
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Reeeply

It does not include the soft top. Which is kind of poop. Because the hardtop is sweeeet for the winter, but during the spring/summer I want the soft top so I can fold it down, and if it starts to rain, zip it on up. But I don't even know if it has the hardware installed for the soft top. If it does, not a big deal, I can find replacement tops for like $300, but if there is no hardware it looks like it would cost almost $700!.. And, I def will keep looking around, that is just the nicest l00king one I have been able to find in my area, but I will keep the hunt going strong! ...

PS; Thanks again for everyones help, I'm diggin this forum!
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:54 PM   #23
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i found my jeep by accident. I was looking for a manly SUV/truck/4x4 (so few these days)
and gave up on wranglers because they were either too much or to many miles and bad shape.

i pulled into a stealership to check out a....liberty (i was desperate and needed a car)and it was a stick and i didn't want it. I was talking to the owner and he had just gotten a wrangler a few days ago and it was in a back storage barn and was still in the condition from the previous owner. they didn't get a chance to clean it or anything.

2001
66k miles
both tops
full doors
4.0L
3 speed auto tranny
D35/30
AC
very little/no rust
new tires.
he wanted 10k
after dealer tax and all that BS and a 2 year warranty thats already saved my ass it was 11.5k

stock with 31" tires and wider offset rims and wider fender flares
aftermarket bumpers too
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:32 AM   #24
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look for rust, yes. I wouldn't know a dana 44 if it bit me on the leg, and i am not a serious off roader, but i have stuck a few trucks in the mud in my day and been in the woods all my life, so yes, stick your head underneath and look for rust. You will get a lot of good advice from the people on here, i know i have
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:56 AM   #25
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hey buddy, i just got my jeep wrangler and i love it!. what you pay is what you get, i guess if your lucky enough you might get a hack of a jeep that has lot of good mods in it. just buy a cheap wrangler and spend money on modding. its fun!

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