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Old 03-27-2013, 12:45 PM   #1
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Advice on TJ purchase

Hello all,

I've been browsing this forum for a few weeks, and have now decided to register as I am getting closer to purchasing. I'm looking for a Wrangler that I can use for moderate trails, primarily, and as a solo vehicle; I will often not have any other vehicles along with me (although I will have friends along for the ride in mine!)

I've narrowed it down to wanting a ~2000 TJ with the 6 cylinder, automatic transmission, and 32 - 33" tires. I'll be installing a winch (probably a Warn VR8000), if one doesn't come with the vehicle I eventually buy. I may invest in quick sway-bar disconnects once I get experience of how long it takes to connect/disconnect the stock ones.

I thought a lot about lockers, and have concluded that for the price, and the level of trails I expect to run, they are not essential. A winch would be good for getting me out should I get stuck somewhere that lockers might have helped...

What do people think of the Jeep in this ad? It seems to be pretty much what I am looking for. I am aware that Rough Country is not seen as a high level brand, so will pay particular attention to how he installed the lift and the condition things are currently in. I know I also need to ask about the driveshafts and sway bar links. As far as I can tell this vehicle has stock gearing, which puts 33" tires at the limit of what you'd want to go for, but I do not intend to be pushing this to extremes.

The guidance I've received so far suggest about $7k being a fair price?

2000 Jeep Wrangler

Another I was looking at is this:

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f153/...er-tj-1493447/

The components seem rather better quality, but the 4 cylinder makes me pause.

The final, and nicest (also priciest!) This is 300 miles away...

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f153/...wling-1489352/

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Old 03-27-2013, 03:05 PM   #2
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Where are you located?


First and foremost, I wouldn't recommend going solo, as buddies are great but they don't tow things out. People will chime in I'm sure. And a recovery strap (NOT a tow strap, I think I was scolded by Jerry B in another post lol) can be more effective than a winch.


Jeep 1:
I think this is the most common that you will find on CL. Something that has been jacked up immediately with the cheapest 4" kit you can buy, fancy wheels, no SYE, bunch of smittybilt, etc (I'm not bashing, mine is right there with it except no rough country). You'll find RC fans and enemies on here; they'll chime in. The only part of the ad that scares me is it's in PA and he coated the frame with Chassis Saver? So, what was done prior to this? A friend of mine bought a jeep with a fresh coating underneath and didn't poke around, when it fell off a couple months later, the frame was completely wasted and holed. The PO actually filled holes in with body filler as well; very douchey move. Long story short, if it's close and what you WANT, I always say have a good look. I'm not going to dump on anything (mines no gem either) because odds are the owner will be on here or JF and that's in bad taste; but In my opinion it's a little high in the price range. Maybe I'm wrong, who knows.

Jeep 2:
Looks like some quality and love was put into this one. Price is actually pretty good and fair in my opinion for what you're getting (and no, I don't know the person). There's a lot of expensive parts in it and a lot of the hard stuff is done. With that being said, if you like to do it yourself, well, you missed out. This would be my choice for the money if I wanted something complete; but I opted for something stock to pick n' choose what I wanted; that's me though.

Jeep 3:
There's a lot of nice things I could say about it, but in my opinion I think it's way overpriced for a 97 4cyl; no matter what it's equipped with. My apologies if I offend anyone but I personally wouldn't pay anywhere near that. Is what it is and maybe it's just me.

The main thing here is what do you like, what do you want to do with it, what are you willing to pay, what are you willing to spend a little extra FOR, and how long have you been looking? If you want a built rig, they pop up. If you want to find a nice stock specimen and build it your way, they're there too. If you're set on spending an even 7K on a capable, fully built, but road worthy rig, I think you're a little low to be honest. If you were to build it yourself and price it out smartly, you could come in right around there. As a side note, I notice you would like an auto; the last two are manuals, didn't know if that was a concern for you or not.

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Old 03-27-2013, 03:31 PM   #3
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Thanks very much for your feedback - I appreciate the time you've taken to look into it. I'm located in PA - really close to the first Jeep, and 300 miles or so from the best one. While I would prefer auto, I grew up driving manual, and would not mind it if auto is not easily available.

I'd be fairly happy to buy a built Jeep if one is available, and I don't mind putting down a bit of extra money to get the decent one that's out in Ohio. I would enjoy building, but the impression I got was that you don't get the money out of it that you put in; i.e. it's cheaper to buy one that's already built than a stock, and do it yourself. The stock Jeeps I have seen in that year range have only been slightly cheaper than the built ones.

Have you swapped over your feedback to Jeeps 2 and 3 by the way? The second one was the 97 4 cylinder, and what you have said about each of them makes sense the other way around. What would you say is a fair price for the 97 4 cylinder?
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:34 PM   #4
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The third seems to be the best bang for your buck overall. This guy didn't seem to go the cheap route, which leads me to believe he probably takes pretty good care of his equipment. It may cost a little more initially, but I think you'll realize after pricing aftermarket parts, it's worth it. Like anything else, thorough inspection is key.
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Katamarino View Post
I'd be fairly happy to buy a built Jeep if one is available, and I don't mind putting down a bit of extra money to get the decent one that's out in Ohio.
I don't consider that first one "built". It has maybe $1000 of addons and none of them make the TJ worth more that one that is bone stock. Also there is no indication of a Clean title.
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Katamarino View Post
Thanks very much for your feedback - I appreciate the time you've taken to look into it. I'm located in PA - really close to the first Jeep, and 300 miles or so from the best one. While I would prefer auto, I grew up driving manual, and would not mind it if auto is not easily available.

I'd be fairly happy to buy a built Jeep if one is available, and I don't mind putting down a bit of extra money to get the decent one that's out in Ohio. I would enjoy building, but the impression I got was that you don't get the money out of it that you put in; i.e. it's cheaper to buy one that's already built than a stock, and do it yourself. The stock Jeeps I have seen in that year range have only been slightly cheaper than the built ones.

Have you swapped over your feedback to Jeeps 2 and 3 by the way? The second one was the 97 4 cylinder, and what you have said about each of them makes sense the other way around. What would you say is a fair price for the 97 4 cylinder?
Sorry man, yes you're right, I had them backwards.

To be very honest, I'm not comfortable assessing a fair or accurate price to pay for the 4cyl; I've seen the asking prices range way too far apart and I've never priced one out because I've always avoided the 4 bangers, whether for me or for resale (because the resale isn't very good by comparison). I'm not one of the people who bashes them by any means, but I need my personal jeep to be fine on the highway and I was always steered away from a lifted 4cyl TJ by the "elders"....lol. Just by selling them, the first thing people typically verify is "is it a 4.0L?"; that tells me something.

I'm going to pass on the word of advice that I've always got over the years and say hold out for a 6cyl. I know it's very tempting to just settle on a 4cyl, but hold out and you'll get what you want for sure. And in regards to the 4cyl jeeps, the only thing I can go on is people I know personally (not on the forums) who have them and told me to wait for a 4.0L; I take that as good advice.

Sorry to not provide any useable info here....
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:06 PM   #7
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Good luck i own a 99 and i would sell my kids before my Jeep. So i know you will be happy with a TJ too!
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by SAABseanSCANIA View Post
Sorry man, yes you're right, I had them backwards.

To be very honest, I'm not comfortable assessing a fair or accurate price to pay for the 4cyl; I've seen the asking prices range way too far apart and I've never priced one out because I've always avoided the 4 bangers, whether for me or for resale (because the resale isn't very good by comparison). I'm not one of the people who bashes them by any means, but I need my personal jeep to be fine on the highway and I was always steered away from a lifted 4cyl TJ by the "elders"....lol. Just by selling them, the first thing people typically verify is "is it a 4.0L?"; that tells me something.

I'm going to pass on the word of advice that I've always got over the years and say hold out for a 6cyl. I know it's very tempting to just settle on a 4cyl, but hold out and you'll get what you want for sure. And in regards to the 4cyl jeeps, the only thing I can go on is people I know personally (not on the forums) who have them and told me to wait for a 4.0L; I take that as good advice.

Sorry to not provide any useable info here....
I think that is pretty good advice, but I will say the only thing worse that owning a 4cyl, is owning a 6cyl and getting passed by a 4cyl on the trail.
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:25 PM   #9
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Hey, I'll take that advice; 6 cylinder it is! I'm planning to fly and look at the nice one on Friday.
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Old 03-28-2013, 07:06 AM   #10
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I think that is pretty good advice, but I will say the only thing worse that owning a 4cyl, is owning a 6cyl and getting passed by a 4cyl on the trail.
Yes but I would gain my foolish man-pride back when I pass them limping down the highway (or so I hear...).

But hey the 4cyl has it's place... (just waiting for the jokes to follow this)

As a side note to the person with the 4cyl: you run all over town on an 1/8th tank of gas? I'm not ragging on ya but that's gotta be hypermiling or it must be a really tiny town because the fuel economy of the 4cyl isn't much better than the 6cyl... But hey, I think the fuel economy is GREAT in any jeep. Anybody that cares to fight that can stomp my gasoholic 6.2L with AWD around town for a day! Glug glug glug
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:57 PM   #11
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I agree with the no solo wheeling. If you must though a winch with synthetic line, a dual battery set up, and a recovery kit with tools all should be in possession. None of those jeeps are worth the money to me though, you can find better ones for 5k, I did. You want a 6-cylinder though for sure, automatic or manual is a matter of preference. Good luck though, took me a year or so of looking before I found the right one for me and have done a lot of work on it since.

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