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Old 08-27-2014, 01:32 PM   #1
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Buying a jeep

Hey guys I could use some advice it's been a while since I owned my last jeep, last jeep was a new 93 YJ 6cylinder auto trans with a 4.5 lift and 33x12.5 BFG's had lockers and gears done at the same time, all mods were done right after I bought it went from dealer to shop, was a great jeep had a lot of fun in it there was no place it would not go, but had to sell it a couple years back with kids and life things, but I am ready to get back in the game! Looking to pick up a 97 or newer with a budget of 10k this will be a weekend vehicle for me and a possible a round the town jeep for my daughter who is coming of age, so not looking for extreme but something that is moderate and capable, thinking about a similar setup as I had before, but knowing this might be a jeep for my daughter was thinking of going with a 4 cylinder and a smaller tire, my question is how does the 4 cylinder do with a lift and tires on it? I have a friend who has one but he just put on bigger tires and did not change gears so that thing struggles going up the hills or when you have multiple people in it, around town it does ok, also tranny wise auto or manual?

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Old 08-27-2014, 02:02 PM   #2
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My opinion is the gas mileage isn't much difference, so the 4 banger would not be my choice. 30's or 31's are very reasonable. Standard tranny would be an option if she is able to drive it, but just starting off I would suggest an auto. My 2 cents.

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Old 08-27-2014, 02:03 PM   #3
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Personally I'd go with a 4.0 in manual, mostly because the 4.0 has a bulletproof reputation, and a manual for both saving on gas and not having an auto tranny die on me.
It'll also help move those big tires a little more easily!

10k should get you a damn nice TJ.

You'll also find a lot more 4.0s in the junkyards inside XJs and ZJs if you ever need parts!
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Old 08-27-2014, 02:14 PM   #4
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and a manual for both saving on gas
The auto's lockup torque converter yields the same mileage as a manual would.
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Old 08-27-2014, 02:30 PM   #5
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From someone parting out a 4 banger and seeking a 6 cyl go with the bigger motor. Driving the 4cyl I felt like I was constantly shifting because the torque was just not there are all. Drove my buddy's 4.0L and its totally different.
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:25 PM   #6
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dont get the 4 banger as others have said.. some evan fine the MPG to be better on the 6
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Old 08-27-2014, 03:30 PM   #7
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The auto's lockup torque converter yields the same mileage as a manual would.
That would only apply once you've reached a constant steady speed.

It comes down to at what point you decide to shift before reaching your steady speed, i.e. city traffic
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Old 08-29-2014, 12:43 PM   #8
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taking a friends jeep for the day to see how the 4 cyl is but right now leaning towards the 6, and wife thinks auto would be better for my daughter I think she just wants an auto so she can drive it haha,

Now trick is to find auto 4.0 haha - friend was saying wait to buy till after new year summer over not as many people trying to by them and after holidays people need money so I might get a better deal,
what's you opinion ?
Should I look for stock and build up or one that's already had stuff done?
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Old 08-29-2014, 12:55 PM   #9
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IMO stock is ALMOST always better. But at the same time I know it would take top dollar for me to sell my TJ as it was "Done right" with high quality parts.
As far as waiting, the old saying, "The right Jeep will find you when it is time", might apply. But we had a really rough winter last year. And I know for a fact a few Jeepers made out like bandits selling the "extra" Jeeps....and FWIW they are predicting another rough winter here as well.
I would be shopping and looking like crazy if I were you....and my 2 biggest concerns would be 4.0 I6 and Auto...personal preference (I have one) would look for a Sport '03-'04. Coil rail instead of wires, and slightly better exhaust manifold. Earlier TJs had issue with cracking. My '04 has 167K on it and other than wear items, water pump, clutch, brakes, windshield wipers......only other parts swaps have been for Mods.
Whatever you look for be sure to look underneath CAREFULLY for rust.....and inside frame if you can.
GOOD LUCK!!!
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Old 08-29-2014, 01:25 PM   #10
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Yea when I find something, my wife works for local jeep dealer and a couple of the mechanic said they will take a look at it if I want, or ask if they can meet me a dealership and they will put it on the lift and tell me a lot more haha so it's just finding something and not jumping the gun, I am in nor- cal but looking Alll over west coast, where has been the best places to look for jeeps , been doing the Craig's list thing
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Old 08-29-2014, 04:33 PM   #11
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I think right now is the best time to buy.

jeeps are looked at as a summer toy.. not a winter beater..
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Old 09-01-2014, 04:55 PM   #12
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Ok took my friends 98 4 cylinder 5 speed out for the day, now the whole family is like ok when do we get ours haha, but I need the 4.0 for sure, just not enough power in the 2.5 for me driving up hill on the highway with 4 people and the top off was tough on it, wife says have to do the automatic as she don't drive stick at all, but another question did come up, as I said before we owned a 93 but that was 12 years ago, can some one comment on the suspension differences the 93 had a 4 in rancho leaf spring lift the 98 we used had a 4 coil lift and the 98 seemed like a lot stiffer ride than I remember, after spending the day with different suspensions wife is on board but wants to look at older models because she says it rode a lot better
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:25 PM   #13
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"Ya get what ya pay for"....this will be echoed over and over in your time with a Jeep. There are a lot of different lift kits, and springs, and shocks, and tires, and that will all have an influence on how your Jeep rides and handles...as well as performs off road.
Get one that is "stock" and go from there. Research the threads on lifts and tires and wheels. You will eventually see a pattern of what works and what you can afford. IMO allow about $2K for lift tires and wheels after Jeep is purchased to do it "RIGHT" of course that leaves nothing for the re-gear........ GOOD LUCK!!
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Old 09-01-2014, 07:13 PM   #14
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I found more success in buying Jeeps and other vehicles off of Cargurus and Autotrader. Cargurus seem to find jeeps for people....or it's just because most of my attention is on their site. It's funny how non jeepers change their mind once they ride in one.....can't blame 'em.
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Old 09-02-2014, 02:20 AM   #15
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For your stated $10,000 budget you should have no problem finding a well cared for mostly-stock TJ with the 4.0L engine and an automatic as you said was preferred. Combined with your Jeep mechanic offering to inspect any Jeep before you buy it and I think you have this all wrapped up. All you need now is a little patience, do not compromise. Have fun shopping.
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:29 AM   #16
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I think right now is the best time to buy.

jeeps are looked at as a summer toy.. not a winter beater..
They're considered both, here in Cleveland
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Old 09-05-2014, 01:37 AM   #17
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Well found a couple of leads ranging from a 98 to an 01 all with 4.0 all auto and stock, hoping one of them pans out 2 our out of state so have to see if they have the 50 state tag so I don't have to worry about smog, prices range from 5600 to 7k, does this seem about right all have over 100k miles but all look clean from the photos I have seen
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Old 09-05-2014, 05:55 AM   #18
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Well found a couple of leads ranging from a 98 to an 01 all with 4.0 all auto and stock, hoping one of them pans out 2 our out of state so have to see if they have the 50 state tag so I don't have to worry about smog, prices range from 5600 to 7k, does this seem about right all have over 100k miles but all look clean from the photos I have seen
What state? Seems like a lot of great jeeps come from PA. Anywhere south of the salt zone.
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:01 PM   #19
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I am in California but jeeps are located in Wa,OR and Co, better deals going out of ca,
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:15 AM   #20
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Ok I think I found one it's a 97 4.0L auto stock with 204k miles asking 6k, what do you guys think from pic I seen looks like it's in good condition seller sending me more info and pics today
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Old 09-13-2014, 01:36 AM   #21
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I know of a guy selling an 01 sport, 4.0 5 speed, only 85k miles!
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Old 09-13-2014, 11:22 AM   #22
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Ok I think I found one it's a 97 4.0L auto stock with 204k miles asking 6k, what do you guys think from pic I seen looks like it's in good condition seller sending me more info and pics today
Ya that's not a good deal, I know it's the rust belt but in mn you can pick up a good TJ with 100K or less for around 10K.
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:09 PM   #23
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What can you guys tell me about procomp lift kits found a nice 1999 Sahara that was recently lifted 3" procomp spring lift running 32x11.5 MT the added a small spacer on the spring in the front as the said to help level it out better? The jeep other wise is stock, very clean inside and out 150k miles some minor issues all could be fixed for under $300 most of that is replacing the spare tire that is missing, if I had to guess, they are asking $7900 ? Good deal I like the idea of the better axels and the lower mileage from what I have found

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