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Old 08-29-2011, 09:23 AM   #1
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2004 Jeep Wrangler Sport

We're planning on buying a used Wrangler this week. Our Jeep experience is ZERO. This purchase is intended to supplement our Harley during winter and is not intended to replace either our truck or our SUV. This Jeep has been on our minds for years and we're finally ready to move forward and get it.

Newbie Question: When we test drove this Wrangler we were aware of the "rock and roll" aspect as well as the instant response from the steering wheel. There is going to be a definite learning curve associated with driving this vehicle. Primarily designed for off road performance, will this Jeep be suitable for a cross country trip via Interstate Highways and the high speed traffic? Or, do you generally prefer to make these trips via Blue roads where the traffic is reduced and the speeds are lower?

Also, what is the "TJ" reference at the top of this forum? I chose this place to ask questions due to the vehicle year and didn't notice a specific reference to a Jeep Wrangler Sport.

Thanks for your feedback.

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Old 08-29-2011, 10:56 AM   #2
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Primarily designed for off road performance, will this Jeep be suitable for a cross country trip via Interstate Highways and the high speed traffic? Or, do you generally prefer to make these trips via Blue roads where the traffic is reduced and the speeds are lower?

IMO Jeep TJ would be the least comfortable vehicle for cross country trips but it would keep you awake during long hours cruising down the interstate.

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Old 08-29-2011, 12:37 PM   #3
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If it does not have cruise control you may want to add it before the cross country trip. My TJ loses speed downhills at highway speeds with 4:10 gears.
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Old 08-29-2011, 12:55 PM   #4
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If you're buying a Jeep FOR cross country trips, then I wouldn't recommend it. They are pretty bumpy and uncomfortable at highway speeds. Also, with gas prices the way they are, it would get really pricey, as TJs get between 14-17 mpg.

TJ refers to the generation year. Any Jeep Wrangler produced between the 1997-2006 model years falls into this category, except for the Wrangler Unlimited which is dubbed the "LJ". Most parts (but not all) are distinguished by their generation tag (YJ, TJ, JK) to make it easier to find the parts you need.
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Old 08-29-2011, 01:13 PM   #5
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I acctualy found that the 4 hour drive from home to college in my 02 sahara was very nice. now when I hit a bump....I did get rocked a little, but it wasnt bad at all. and un march I'm making a trip from west virginia to colorado, and I'm sure it will be fine.
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Old 08-29-2011, 01:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prowler
We're planning on buying a used Wrangler this week. Our Jeep experience is ZERO. This purchase is intended to supplement our Harley during winter and is not intended to replace either our truck or our SUV. This Jeep has been on our minds for years and we're finally ready to move forward and get it.

Newbie Question: When we test drove this Wrangler we were aware of the "rock and roll" aspect as well as the instant response from the steering wheel. There is going to be a definite learning curve associated with driving this vehicle. Primarily designed for off road performance, will this Jeep be suitable for a cross country trip via Interstate Highways and the high speed traffic? Or, do you generally prefer to make these trips via Blue roads where the traffic is reduced and the speeds are lower?

Also, what is the "TJ" reference at the top of this forum? I chose this place to ask questions due to the vehicle year and didn't notice a specific reference to a Jeep Wrangler Sport.

Thanks for your feedback.
X2 on the not for a cross country trip, it will "Rock n Roll" your Ass all over the place. If you can handle it, go for it, the gas mileage will set you back some coins in the process. My Heritage Classic sits all winter and the Tj is used only when the weather is questionable.
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Old 08-29-2011, 01:24 PM   #7
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[QUOTE="Buddy B"]
X2 on the not for a cross country trip, it will "Rock n Roll" your Ass all over the place. If you can handle it, go for it, the gas mileage will set you back some coins in the process. My Heritage Classic sits all winter and the Tj is used only when the weather is questionable.
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Old 08-29-2011, 02:29 PM   #8
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Gotta say we're pretty impressed with all the helpful replies. Thanks to all of you. It's all good info.

Even before we bring the TJ home, we're really enjoying the fact that owning one of these things doesn't make sense to all the "thinkers" out there. You get a bumpy ride, you contend with wind noises, you need to be aware of the over-responsive steering, the gas mileage is ridiculous, etc. etc. Seems obvious that Jeep owners stand apart as a select group of citizens who may not always behave the way they should.

Just an observation.
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Old 08-29-2011, 02:57 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=prowler;1519837]Gotta say we're pretty impressed with all the helpful replies. Thanks to all of you. It's all good info.

Even before we bring the TJ home, we're really enjoying the fact that owning one of these things doesn't make sense to all the "thinkers" out there. You get a bumpy ride, you contend with wind noises, you need to be aware of the over-responsive steering, the gas mileage is ridiculous, etc. etc. Seems obvious that Jeep owners stand apart as a select group of citizens who may not always behave the way they should.

Just an observation.[/QUOTE

We are a breed in it's own. My wife just does not understand but then she does not have to understand all she needs to do is accept it. Which she lovingly does.
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Old 08-29-2011, 06:30 PM   #10
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Old 08-29-2011, 06:42 PM   #11
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I use to drive in my 2004 tj sport from Newport news VA (on the coast) to Covington KY( a good 10 hr trip) at least 6 times a year. It's expensive and loud(if you have a soft top) but I liked it. the noise kept me up when I was driving so I didnt have to worry about falling asleep. Oh and I have a 5 speed manual with no cruise control. Not bad but don't travel with anymore then one person. Gets cramped reeeeaaaaallllll fast!
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Old 08-29-2011, 06:46 PM   #12
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Greetings Prowler!

Here is the deal with these little Jeeps they have all of the above idiosyncrasies , but once you own one, it really gets under your skin. You just smile every time you drive the thing. It's a Jeep thing.

The best part is, if you have owned a Harley you are ready to own a Jeep. They have many similarities:

- Both will mark their territory with select dripping fluids
- Both will help you spend your money on repairs, like there is no end in sight
- "Jeep" is an acronym: Just Empty Every Pocket
- You just can not wait for that next drive!

In regards to the long drive issue. Lift kits, and large tires can make highway cruising less pleasurable. That being said I drove a lifted TJ for 2 years for business, and put 200+ miles a day on it, and had no regrets.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:34 PM   #13
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I take mine from St Paul MN to Baker MT when I go hunting, and I think if I rode a horse out there it would be a smoother ride. However I would not trust another vehicle where I take my Jeep.
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Old 08-29-2011, 09:45 PM   #14
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I have a 2004 Sport myself I wouldn't say its the best for highway cruising but it gets the job done. I had no trouble cruising at 70mph for 3 hours in my lifted Jeep with out cruise control and a 5 speed. I trust this thing with my life. Sure it may not be too comfortable but I love every minute of it and I know nothing can stop me. However if iI end up driving further more regularly I will definitely be adding cruise control.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:07 AM   #15
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I'm new to the Jeep world also. I've always wanted one but never pulled the trigger until this year. 12 years of Harley riding ended for me in 2008 when my wife and I hit a deer on our way home from an anniversary dinner. Pregnant at the time with our daughter and a 3 year old son at home, just about the most terrifying experience you can imagine. Haven't rode again since. So we thought we would try a jeep. We love it. Kids love it. It has been a great purchase. I can't really comment on long distance traveling. We do drive it to St. Louis and back, which is about 4-4 1/2 hours round trip, when we go to Cardinal games. I love driving it but I think that's about as far as I would want to go at a time.
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:16 PM   #16
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While I agree a Wrangler isn't ideal for a cross-country trip, I took my 2003 soft-top from Indiana to Arizona, up to Vegas, around the Grand Canyon, over the Continental Divide to Denver, and home... largely on interstates, but did 4,700+ miles in ten days.

The Jeep isn't a luxery vehicle, but my buddy and I had fun. Enjoyed it in the snow in the Rockies, and had the top down in Arizona.

Would I have taken my grandmother in the Jeep on the same trip? Heeeeeccccck no!


Regardless, enjoy your Jeep, and welcome to the forums!!
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:34 PM   #17
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I have a 2004 Sport myself I wouldn't say its the best for highway cruising but it gets the job done. I had no trouble cruising at 70mph for 3 hours in my lifted Jeep with out cruise control and a 5 speed. I trust this thing with my life. Sure it may not be too comfortable but I love every minute of it and I know nothing can stop me. However if iI end up driving further more regularly I will definitely be adding cruise control.
Cruise control just makes life more bearable on a long haul. I use it every day on my 50 mile one way commute to the office. Before that my leg got cramps holding the gas pedal in one position for a long time.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:24 PM   #18
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Well, we made the move and bought the Wrangler this AM and drove it 70 miles home. Luckily, no Interstates or high speed traffic, but we were disappointed that this vehicle with less than 6K miles couldn't be driven over 50 mph without vibration.

Our local "tire" guy said the front tires were cupped quite a bit which probably contributed to the vibrations. The odometer mileage of this TJ is minimal but it has been towed for 10 - 20K miles on top of the odometer's 6K miles. His advice for the tires: Put the cupped front tires (as a result of the prior towing) on the rear and move the better looking rear tires to the front.

Since we weren't in love with the mail-carrier look of the TJ as it was and we were already facing tire issues, we opted to replace the existing tires for 4 new 31 x 10.50s. In our opinion, it enhanced the look of the vehicle. For now, we'll keep the best "old" smaller tire as a spare and hope never to drive with it for more than a few have-to miles.

We left the tire shop and headed out for a total alignment. As a result, the undercarriage and the alignments looked to be in great condition. So we're back to blaming the wobbly-vibrations on the old cupped tires. We'll find out for certain, tomorrow.
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:09 PM   #19
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I don't know why everyone complains about "highspeed" traffic.... my jeep keeps up and gets going, 6 cylinder 5 speed. y'all must be scared to go fast or something
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:54 PM   #20
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I don't know why everyone complains about "highspeed" traffic.... my jeep keeps up and gets going, 6 cylinder 5 speed. y'all must be scared to go fast or something
Same. I can cruise at 70mph nicely with 33" tires and 3.75" of lift.
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Old 08-31-2011, 12:39 AM   #21
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ive gone 85 in mine with the top down and no one was passing me lol
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:25 AM   #22
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Before lifting mine I would find myself cruising w/traffic at interstate speeds upward of 85-90 mph... with the lift, not so much but still 75 or so.... 4.0 auto
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:55 AM   #23
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Well, we made the move and bought the Wrangler this AM and drove it 70 miles home. Luckily, no Interstates or high speed traffic, but we were disappointed that this vehicle with less than 6K miles couldn't be driven over 50 mph without vibration.

Our local "tire" guy said the front tires were cupped quite a bit which probably contributed to the vibrations. The odometer mileage of this TJ is minimal but it has been towed for 10 - 20K miles on top of the odometer's 6K miles. His advice for the tires: Put the cupped front tires (as a result of the prior towing) on the rear and move the better looking rear tires to the front.

Since we weren't in love with the mail-carrier look of the TJ as it was and we were already facing tire issues, we opted to replace the existing tires for 4 new 31 x 10.50s. In our opinion, it enhanced the look of the vehicle. For now, we'll keep the best "old" smaller tire as a spare and hope never to drive with it for more than a few have-to miles.

We left the tire shop and headed out for a total alignment. As a result, the undercarriage and the alignments looked to be in great condition. So we're back to blaming the wobbly-vibrations on the old cupped tires. We'll find out for certain, tomorrow.
Why buy a wrangler if you don't like the look. That's what makes it unique plus mail carriers don't use jeeps any more.
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:01 PM   #24
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Why buy a wrangler if you don't like the look. That's what makes it unique plus mail carriers don't use jeeps any more.
ive seen plenty of mail carrier jeep Cherokees. and they ment they wanted to make it look more beefy....aka no grandmaw tires
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:40 PM   #25
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ive seen plenty of mail carrier jeep Cherokees. and they ment they wanted to make it look more beefy....aka no grandmaw tires
I was talking about wranglers.
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Old 08-31-2011, 03:05 PM   #26
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I know, that's why I said cherokees. so you know I ment them and not wranglers
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:17 PM   #27
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Welcome aboard, Prowler.
I was in your shoes last May when I bought an '04 Sahara. Gave up Harleys 35 years ago. After several lay downs figured my time was coming. Needed the TJ not at all. Just wanted it. Supplements my Deville, C-6 Vette and '06 GTO just fine. God is the only one that could separate the Lady from the keys to her V6 Accord, but she loves being driven about town in the Jeep. Yep, the Jeep's ride is rough and wooly, but I'm waiting to put the hard top back on and play in the snow come winter.
Mine also had a BAD vibration/shimmy at 50 or so. New tires helped just a bit. Had tires balanced 3 times at 3 different shops before last tech said if I ditched the wheel spacers it would prob be OK. Had no idea they were there. He was right. Have been in love since.
Gas mileage takes some getting used to. Vette gets better #'s at 165 than the TJ does at 55 mph. Go figure. At least the Jeep uses reg.
This is one of the better forums I have been associated with over the years. Some might appear cranky at times but overall most are willing to hold your hand with advice and spend your money for you. Jim
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Old 09-01-2011, 03:36 AM   #28
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Jim - Good information. Also, thanks for the welcome.

Following the installation of the 4 new 31s, there has been no more wobble with my TJ. Granted, I haven't driven it past 65 mph but so far, so good. On a side note, I went back and had the spare updated the next morning so all 5 tires are now identical.

Not being that knowledgeable about all this stuff it surprises me that "cupped" tires could have such a dramatic, negative effect on my ride. One of the sticky posts at the head of this forum about death wobble gave a lot of good feedback from Jeep owners. It's well worth the read (IMO). The discussion on 'stored-energy' was especially good, describing how some small tire problem or some small suspension problem can transfer itself into the Jeep's rubber, metal ... whatever .... be stored there and build up until released when the vehicle hits a bump.

Smart people can iron out the details.
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Old 09-01-2011, 04:42 AM   #29
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my 01 tj with a 4.0 auto does great at 65 on the hwy. i got 17mpg on my first road trip to the jersey shore. i'm headed to the southern section of virginia this weekend and to Canada in a few weeks with Blue. the ride isn't smooth but i couldn't live without it. it's a convertible for the summer and the much needed 4x4 in the winter
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Old 09-01-2011, 05:38 AM   #30
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If I didn't feel the bumps and sounds associated with my tj, i would be worried, but the confidence i get from its ability is priceless!

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