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Old 08-22-2007, 10:46 PM   #1
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About to buy a Wrangler, what to look/out for?

Hey i've been looking around trying to find a nice jeep. But im not sure on what to get and what to look out for and thought you guys might be able to help! My price range is 0-15k. What options should i look to get, manual or auto? 4cyl or 6? Sport, Sahara, X? It is going to my daily driver and weekend trail vehicle. I want to lift it with some bigger tires pretty soon after i get it. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 08-22-2007, 10:59 PM   #2
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Get the 6cyl
2000 and up had a better 5spd tranny, auto fine too.
Get a dana 44 rear axle. has metal oil drain plug vs the plastic plug

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Old 08-22-2007, 11:27 PM   #3
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I6 w/D44 for sure. I'd go with 03 and later due to some slight I6 improvements, AT now offers OD, seat design change, mirror improvement. I like the Sahara personally b/c when buying used they tend to be more likely to have the upgraded sound system to save you some cash down the road. I know where you can get an 02 X, 18K, both tops, 6" RE LA/SYE, 35's/alloys, warn winch/bumpers/rack, lights, armor, for $14.5 (friend's divorce clearing house). Long way from Neb though.
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Old 08-22-2007, 11:41 PM   #4
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Long way from Neb though.



Well i found a 03 sport, 5 spd, but not sure about the rear end. I just have to check to see if the plug is metal or not? Oh and how many miles is too many for a jeep?
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Old 08-22-2007, 11:45 PM   #5
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Oh and how many miles is too many for a jeep?
Depends on how well taken care of it was, smell the oil if it has a burnt smell to it then it prolly wasent taken care of. Ask for maint receipts ect.
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Old 08-23-2007, 12:02 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by boorahdurukan View Post


Well i found a 03 sport, 5 spd, but not sure about the rear end. I just have to check to see if the plug is metal or not? Oh and how many miles is too many for a jeep?
That's the quickest. You can visually ID it by shape as well. See the chart --> http://www.quadratec.com/jeep_knowle.../article-5.htm
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04 Sahara, with a lift, some stuff, and a few things, on some 33's, blah, blah, blah.
A perpetual work in progress. Too much to list, not nearly enough to matter.
My RigRater Score: 387RRv1.0 with a BOA of 18.92 (and just how exactly is this going to help me over that big arse rock?)
http://www.myjeepsite.com/nregas1

Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
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Old 08-23-2007, 12:48 AM   #7
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Jeeps stand the test of time quite well, its common to see well performing TJ's with 150k plus miles on them. As long as you treat it good, it will do the same for you. Personally I'd go with a 4cyl for a DD cause of gas prices. Just upgrade parts of it with performance parts, and you can easily roll 33" aggressive tires on your DD. Thats what I do. I get about 20 mpg is my guess.( but I'm 17, so I don't drive very... "conservatively") I like the sound of my engine too much.
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Old 08-23-2007, 02:18 AM   #8
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If you can, get the package with the I6, and d44. If you already are doing this much research, that usually means you got the bug. You could probably find a Rubicon in your range, with some miles on it. The better the package you start with, the less you have to improve. I got a 2000 sport with d44, auto, 66,000 miles last year for a little over 11,000 (with a budget lift). Look for rust and damage underneath. Alot of folks bought their sons and daughters Rubi's and Saharas because they were "cute", but didn't realize what they had, and traded in when they realized that Jeeps aren't very efficient gas wise, but were never off roaded.
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:59 AM   #9
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I agree with everything said thus far... Get an I6 with Dana 44 rear end. As for tranny options... I would recommend all of them except the early automatics like mine. They dont have overdrive and turn high RPMs on the interstate which blows yoru gas mileage.
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Old 08-23-2007, 08:09 AM   #10
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Get underneath it, look over the frame and underside. Look for dents and dings from off roading. If it's a manual drive it and feel the tranny gears, into and out of gear. If it's an automatic pull the tranny dipstick and look at it, sniff it for a burned smell.
I've seen some TJ's out of NY state that look like new up top and they look a 100 years old underneath from rust. Many of the winter snow states use a new anti-icing mix that flat out eats metal.
Look at the pedal covers, see how warn they are, if the clutch pedal is badly worn with low mileage then the previous owner probably rode the clutch and kept it pushed in at lights which causes mucho wear on the throwout bearing.
Check the function of the floor to defroster settings, run the fan at high speed and switch between all the settings, make sure they all work in all positions. Check the directionals, make sure they turn on and turn off when the steering wheel is turned.
Pop the radiator cap and sniff it for gas or oil smells, check the dipstick for oil and sniff it, pull the oil filler cap and look underneath, look for a greenish tinge on the bottom side, could be a possible head crack between the valve guides directly under the filler hole. Get underneath for sure and start wiggling stuff, drive shafts, etc. Make sure it goes into and out of 4 wheel drive and that 4 wd actually works. Thats about all I can think of off hand.
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Old 08-23-2007, 08:26 AM   #11
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doe sthat signal light problem happen a lot? Mine doesnt turn off when I center the steering wheel after the turn. I gotta do it myself.
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Old 08-23-2007, 04:51 PM   #12
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I definatly got the bug. I have wanted a jeep since i figured out what cars were. And right now i drive a neon so it will be a hugge upgrade imo. I did alot of autox with my neon and just wrecked it yesterday (not my fault). I really want a rubi but cant find one near my price range anywhere near lincoln. So far this site has given me the best info out of all the sites online, i have probly spent well over 5 hours just reading thru threads on here. (And some pics ) But one more question, im not asking because i want a fast car, im just asking because im curious, how fast is the sport 5spd compared to some other cars? Thanks alot for all the great info and i cant wait until i can own my JEEP!!!
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Old 08-23-2007, 10:06 PM   #13
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I'd have to disagree on the mpg for a 4 banger. Not much of a diff b/w mpg in the 4 vs 6. But lots of diff in power. Nothing wrong w/the 4 banger I suppose. But if you have a choice...
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04 Sahara, with a lift, some stuff, and a few things, on some 33's, blah, blah, blah.
A perpetual work in progress. Too much to list, not nearly enough to matter.
My RigRater Score: 387RRv1.0 with a BOA of 18.92 (and just how exactly is this going to help me over that big arse rock?)
http://www.myjeepsite.com/nregas1

Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
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Old 08-24-2007, 06:58 AM   #14
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doe sthat signal light problem happen a lot? Mine doesnt turn off when I center the steering wheel after the turn. I gotta do it myself.
Three jeeps, 2TJ's and 1XJ, three replacement switches, noticed they were going when they started to not work with the changing lanes push the switch a little and then let go just before the click.
My sons TJ did it too so I guess thats 4 total.
Oh and the 4 ways emergency flashers stopped working on two of them.
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Old 08-24-2007, 08:05 PM   #15
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I had that problem in my neon, it made me mad, i'll make sure the jeep wont have the same problem.
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Old 08-24-2007, 08:08 PM   #16
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Ok, this is probably a dumb question but im going to ask anyway.
What is the diffrence between a Dana 44 rear end and whatever else comes in the wrangler? What pro's does it have over the other kind?
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Old 08-24-2007, 09:21 PM   #17
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Strength, mainly, more (bigger) choices for gears, etc
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Old 08-24-2007, 09:27 PM   #18
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Like JJ just said its stronger

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Old 08-24-2007, 10:25 PM   #19
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OK stronger is something i def. want. There are so many for sale around here with the gas being so expensive. Hopefully i can keep it full, i drive ALOT.
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Old 08-24-2007, 10:35 PM   #20
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if you keep the stock tires, hardtop, and a manual, and dont drive too fast/aggresivly you may get up to like 20 MPG
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Old 08-24-2007, 11:06 PM   #21
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Stock tires = Not for long
Hardtop = I can live with that
Manual = I Hope so
Dont drive too fast/aggresivly = Hahahaha
Me = Screwed by gas
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Old 08-31-2007, 07:05 PM   #22
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ask if it has ever had any death wobble and make sure everything on the front end is strait and tight if their are factory replacement parts on the front end it probably has some sort of problem
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:13 PM   #23
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We are tossing around the idea of selling my wifes jeep in exchange for a car that gets some better gas mileage. We want to take some longer trips this coming year and her vehicle is the only one that makes sense to trade since I have to have the truck to tow my jeep and I can't get rid of it. :yup:

I built this up from stock so I know everything about it. It is a 2000 Red Wrangler Sport. It has all the options. Dana 44 rear axle, NV3550 5 speed, 4.0L Inline 6 with fresh Mobil 1, new plugs, wires, cap/dist and the works. There is absolutely nothing wrong in the drive train. I've flushed the oil in the tranny and tcase and replaced with red line. Both axles have fresh brakes and the rear axle has new oil seals and bearings replaced by me. Interior is tan with a black soft top and hard doors.

On to the mods.

This jeep was treated to all the good stuff. I wouldn't trust crap parts for my wife so everything had to be perfect. I started with a DPG Super Ultimate Kit. You can see all the components here.



You can read the price here at $2119.00

http://www.dpgoffroad.com/TJLJtrailgunner.htm

With that amount of lift I installed a Double Cardan drive shaft and Advanced Adapters Slip Yoke Eliminator kit to deal away all the vibes. It is running on 35x13.50x15 Toyo Open Country MTs. Tires have approximately 85% tread. They haven't been wheel hardly at all so they are still in great shape. Wheels are 15x8 Eagle Alloy with 3.25" back spacing to get them to stick out.

Rear tire carrier is a Garvin Wilderness unit that is absolutely top notch. It carries the full sized spare with no problems. Headlights were replaced with IPF E Code housings and Fat Boy bulbs. I also installed a set of IPF 968s so there is no shortage of light at night. CD player is a panasonic unit. Speakers are 4x6 Memphis in the dash and 6.5" Infinity's in the sound bar. XM included but it needs a new antenna. Also have a CB installed on the dash that is easy to remove if not needed.

Every product I purchase is, again, top of the game. JKS control arms are the best short arms you can buy. The JKS track bars are both adjustable as well so if you decided to change ride height this suspension system will grow with you. DPG Trailgunner springs are some of the best in the business. Toyo Tires are some of the best dual purpose tires you can buy. I had one take .5 oz to balance when first installed. This is a very well built wrangler and capable of many things both on road and off.

Here are some pictures.







I can work you a great WR discount since we are close.
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:20 PM   #24
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Hey Tiny..............here is your lift and more. You'll be set for ever with this rig.

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