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Old 01-11-2009, 12:48 AM   #1
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Hello Wrangler world...new from Dodge...

Hey all!

We're looking to trade in our 1999 Durango (going to miss the 5.9L) for a Wrangler, as I see the prices are incredibly reasonable for a newer model!

I am a bit concerned about safety, because it's for my girlfriend. I drive an Infiniti Q45. We'll have our 9 year old daughter in there, so please advise if there is a safer model.

Other than that, looking for bells, whistles, and whatever other advice you can give me! I am completely new to the Wrangler world, and the Durango's repairs sucked me dry, so I'm really looking for a reliable vehicle. I'm looking to spend between 5-6k.

Thanks!

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Old 01-11-2009, 01:04 AM   #2
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First off welcome to the board and to the world of Jeep Wranglers. I'm sure you will like what you find.

You will also probably find on this board that most of our users drive their Wranglers every day for work and family needs. They are not a sports car and shouldn't be driven like one. That being said they are very safe and reliable. The safety restraints are very strong will keep the family safe if involved in a collision. Some "non-jeeping" public see concern with anything that is tabbed as a "convertible". Wrangler in my opinion are much better than a standard convertible due to the roll bars on them. The body is reinforced in all area's that the cage is attached to.

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Old 01-11-2009, 03:01 AM   #3
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Old 01-11-2009, 06:55 AM   #4
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Don't let them scare you off, I am on my second wrangler and have logged over 300k commuting to work every day in them for the last 10 years without a problem. It's how you respect what you’re driving and watch out for the other guy.

You will thoroughly enjoy the freedom.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:19 AM   #5
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welcome to the forum, jeeps are great, and reliable. you will need to do some searching, and get some pointers on what to buy in that price range. there are some things to look out for at that price range. but we'll get ya covered.
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:05 AM   #6
that's what she said

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welcome to the forum. we are glad to help. if you see a prospective wrangler but are not sure about it, post a thread w/ any questions and we'll answer them for you.
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:25 AM   #7
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Thanks for the warm welcome all! Well, let's start here:
Cars.com: 2000 Jeep Wrangler Sport

I guess I'm confused by the "Unlimited," "Rubicon," "Sport," "SE," ...seems to go on forever.

Also, I told her my only compromise to losing my 5.9 would be AT LEAST a 4L 6. There is no way we are going to get a 4 cylinder...are these 6's known for lower end grunt, and do they require any major service at around 100? I'm thinking of Honda's and Dodges...I'm thinking Ball joints, radiator, timing belt, etc.....

Are there any "Jeep Gremlins" to stay away from? Thanks again everyone!
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Old 01-11-2009, 12:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by paranoidjack View Post
Thanks for the warm welcome all! Well, let's start here:
Cars.com: 2000 Jeep Wrangler Sport

I guess I'm confused by the "Unlimited," "Rubicon," "Sport," "SE," ...seems to go on forever.

Also, I told her my only compromise to losing my 5.9 would be AT LEAST a 4L 6. There is no way we are going to get a 4 cylinder...are these 6's known for lower end grunt, and do they require any major service at around 100? I'm thinking of Honda's and Dodges...I'm thinking Ball joints, radiator, timing belt, etc.....

Are there any "Jeep Gremlins" to stay away from? Thanks again everyone!
That one is a 4 cyl.
The 2001 4.0l straight-six is a nice jeep from expirience.
The Unlimited is the new four door JK wrangler
The Rubicon is the offroad package.
The X is the barebone wrangler.
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Old 01-11-2009, 12:30 PM   #9
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There is also an unlimited from 2004-2006 that is only a two door but the wheel base is extended to give more cargo space. The 4.0 engine is great and will run forever if you take care of it. the new 3.8 v6 seemed to have some good power to it as well though.

welcome to the forum and your new addiction. Wranglers are the best vehicle made in my opinion.
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Old 01-11-2009, 12:33 PM   #10
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I stole this from wiki but it gives the best description of all or the sub models"
  • Base - also referred to as "SE" TJ that was standard with a four-cylinder engine
  • X - available after 2002, it was the equivalent to earlier standard optioned 'Sport' models
  • Sport - which came standard with the 4.0-liter (242 CID) inline six-cylinder engine
    2003 Jeep Wrangler Sport including aftermarket accessories like a 2" lift w/ 31" tires, wider fender flares & offset aluminum wheels.
  • Sahara - the premium model until 2005, which came standard with most available options, including the 4.0-liter engine, alloy wheels, fog lights and the premium interior group
  • Rubicon - beginning in 2003, the premium "off-road" model, which came standard with most of the available off-road options and included the "Rubicon appearance package", which included 16" alloy wheels (other trims were 15"), fog lights, and lower bodyside "diamond" plating. Rubicon models also received front and rear air lockers, Dana 44 center differentials front and rear, as well as a 4:1 transfer case with fixed rear output dubbed the NV241OR.
  • Unlimited - beginning in 2004, Unlimited offered more interior room (increased legroom for rear passengers, and improved storage space behind the rear seat), greater towing capacity, 3,500 pounds (1600 kg), and was available in a standard or Rubicon trim. The AMC designed and Chrysler refined 4.0 L along with Jeep alloy wheels were standard on all models. On soft tops, the "Sunrider" flip-back sunroof feature is standard as well. Its unofficial model designation was "LJ" instead of "TJ" as that was used for traditional sized Wranglers.
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by paranoidjack View Post
I'm looking to spend between 5-6k.

Thanks!
Is that 5-6k total or 5-6k on top of your trade in?

Assuming standard options and 100k miles (guessing) that puts your trade around $2600 according to kbb.com. That will put you around $8600 when Wrangler shopping.

According to kbb an '01 Wrangler Sport with a hard top, air and a few options lists for around $8400 private party value (figured between 75 and 100k on the clock) so if you can sell your Durango (which will net you more than trade in value) you should be able to find something in that range with lower miles or something a little newer. I used that as an example based on the Previous Wrangler I owned as my base vehicle for pricing.

Also remember you can generally get a better deal by going private party than through a dealer.

Another thing to look at might be trading the Durango in and putting the 6k down. You can get some nice very low mileage Wranglers for that price and would put you under 10 grand financed which should keep your payment under $200/month. I paid 17k (including tax, title, license, extended warranty) for my '06 Unlimited with both tops, certified through Chrysler (7/70 powertrain warranty) and then added the extended warranty on top. It is still under the factory bumber to bumper warranty as well. Plus they tossed in a free Garmin 255w with the warranty purchase. That is a little higher than some deals but it was very clean with 30k on the odometer.

No matter what the vehicle is, even a Wrangler, something with 30,000 miles on it is going to have less problems than something with 100,000 miles on it.

Shop around, you might get more for your money and have better options out there than you think. Especially with the economy in the state it is in, dealers are desperate to sell. Mine sat on the lot for 6 months because everyone either wanted a short wheelbase standard TJ or wanted the '07 or newer unlimited with 4 doors.
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Old 01-11-2009, 03:14 PM   #12
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Is that 5-6k total or 5-6k on top of your trade in?

Assuming standard options and 100k miles (guessing) that puts your trade around $2600 according to kbb.com. That will put you around $8600 when Wrangler shopping.

According to kbb an '01 Wrangler Sport with a hard top, air and a few options lists for around $8400 private party value (figured between 75 and 100k on the clock) so if you can sell your Durango (which will net you more than trade in value) you should be able to find something in that range with lower miles or something a little newer. I used that as an example based on the Previous Wrangler I owned as my base vehicle for pricing.

Also remember you can generally get a better deal by going private party than through a dealer.

Another thing to look at might be trading the Durango in and putting the 6k down. You can get some nice very low mileage Wranglers for that price and would put you under 10 grand financed which should keep your payment under $200/month. I paid 17k (including tax, title, license, extended warranty) for my '06 Unlimited with both tops, certified through Chrysler (7/70 powertrain warranty) and then added the extended warranty on top. It is still under the factory bumber to bumper warranty as well. Plus they tossed in a free Garmin 255w with the warranty purchase. That is a little higher than some deals but it was very clean with 30k on the odometer.

No matter what the vehicle is, even a Wrangler, something with 30,000 miles on it is going to have less problems than something with 100,000 miles on it.

Shop around, you might get more for your money and have better options out there than you think. Especially with the economy in the state it is in, dealers are desperate to sell. Mine sat on the lot for 6 months because everyone either wanted a short wheelbase standard TJ or wanted the '07 or newer unlimited with 4 doors.
Yeah, great advice, but unfortunately I can't. We just spend about 3k on the durango, with all ball joints, $1500 for tires...and then the transmission started dying. so I'm looking at a title loan on this car to fix the tranny (and a title loan for a dodge tranny is the equivalent to jumping off of a bridge), or trading in the dodge and getting something more reliable. I'm a luxury car guy, but she wants utilitarian for dump runs, our large dog, and the wrangler seems to be the perfect fit.

I'm looking at a wrangler that will ticket about $5000 to $7000, NOT including my trade..thus giving us about $3500-4500 to finance. If I had that 6k, I'd put it down in a heartbeat and get a newer one.

I've been my own mechanic through all of our vehicles...grand marquis, honda preludes, infiniti q45, durango, chysler LHS, so I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty and have all the tools to get most jobs done.

I think we'd want the offroad package, so I guess I'm looking at a Rubicon. Is it possible to get the Rubicon offroad stuff with a Sahara premium interior? Or perhaps the Sahara has the Rubicon upgrades already?

I'm good at fixing cars, so I'm not worried about "routine" high mileage services (radiators, suspension components, etc...). To draw a parallel with what I'm hoping to get from you folks, 90-93 Infiniti Q45's used plastic guides for the timing chain. These are prone to fail and destroy the motor. 94+ are OK from the factory...I don't want to buy a Wrangler with the equivalent of "bad timing guides," y'dig?

Thanks again for the welcome and input folks.
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Old 01-11-2009, 04:09 PM   #13
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as far as 100k, that is just broken in. you will like the 4.0, the 4 cyl is a good motor, but a dog. and the 4.0 does not have a timing belt, and ball joints and tie rods last for ever if they get greased regularly (don't go to jiffy lube).

like jgano said, put up links to jeeps you like, and we'll help you out. the only thing you'll probably be doing is tune ups, and fluids. a 4.0 wrangler has no gremlins, rock solid rig. i'd say beware of lifted jeeps, ya never know what people do, read up on death wobble, and just look for rust. check under carpets, and insinde the rocker panels. i'd say you're looking at a tj, i'm a yj guy, but for a more worry free wrangler i'd say buy from 97 and up. good luck
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Old 01-11-2009, 04:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paranoidjack View Post
Hey all!

We're looking to trade in our 1999 Durango (going to miss the 5.9L) for a Wrangler, as I see the prices are incredibly reasonable for a newer model!

I am a bit concerned about safety, because it's for my girlfriend. I drive an Infiniti Q45. We'll have our 9 year old daughter in there, so please advise if there is a safer model.

Other than that, looking for bells, whistles, and whatever other advice you can give me! I am completely new to the Wrangler world, and the Durango's repairs sucked me dry, so I'm really looking for a reliable vehicle. I'm looking to spend between 5-6k.

Thanks!
I myself came from the Dodge 5.9L crowd. It's sitting in storage at the moment and the Wrangler is the DD. You won't be disappointed with the 4.0L. Not quite as good at lighting them up as the 5.9L but plenty of torque down low to keep things interesting.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:35 PM   #15
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I'm looking at a wrangler that will ticket about $5000 to $7000, NOT including my trade..thus giving us about $3500-4500 to finance. If I had that 6k, I'd put it down in a heartbeat and get a newer one.

I think we'd want the offroad package, so I guess I'm looking at a Rubicon. Is it possible to get the Rubicon offroad stuff with a Sahara premium interior? Or perhaps the Sahara has the Rubicon upgrades already?
Gotcha, been there and done that on the money thing.

As far as the off road package, if it is a Wrangler, it is has the offroad package. Where the Rubicon comes in is the transfer case, the 31 inch tires and lockers. Obviously there are other things but that is just giving you an idea. If you aren't going to be trying to climb over huge rocks then the Rubicon will most likely be a waste of money for you and your intended purpose. Also you are probably not going to find a Rubicon close to your price range that has not been totally beaten and destroyed with lots of problems.

I would personally look for a Sport to get all the goodies you are going to want. You have a few niceties that the SE doesn't have, you get the 4.0, A/C and get a couple of bug fixes from the first model introduction if you get something along the lines of a 2000 or 2001. Plus you can probably pick up a Sport cheaper than a Sahara or get a nicer/cleaner/lower mileage Sport than you could a Sahara for the same money. The Sahara is basically a Sport with a little nicer interior. Of course nicer interior on a Wrangler is a relative thing.
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Old 01-12-2009, 07:45 AM   #16
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Gotcha, been there and done that on the money thing.

As far as the off road package, if it is a Wrangler, it is has the offroad package. Where the Rubicon comes in is the transfer case, the 31 inch tires and lockers. Obviously there are other things but that is just giving you an idea. If you aren't going to be trying to climb over huge rocks then the Rubicon will most likely be a waste of money for you and your intended purpose. Also you are probably not going to find a Rubicon close to your price range that has not been totally beaten and destroyed with lots of problems.

I would personally look for a Sport to get all the goodies you are going to want. You have a few niceties that the SE doesn't have, you get the 4.0, A/C and get a couple of bug fixes from the first model introduction if you get something along the lines of a 2000 or 2001. Plus you can probably pick up a Sport cheaper than a Sahara or get a nicer/cleaner/lower mileage Sport than you could a Sahara for the same money. The Sahara is basically a Sport with a little nicer interior. Of course nicer interior on a Wrangler is a relative thing.
^^EXACTLY the info I was looking for. Thanks so much. I will look at a Sport, I found a few that seem like a good deal. My gf wants a hard top...should I try to find one with a hard top, or buy one after the fact?
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Old 01-12-2009, 07:47 AM   #17
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i say find one with it if its important. you can buy them later on ebay and used, but tj hardtops are a little harder to find cheap. yj tops you can snag for a couple hundred dollars.

there's also some nice aftermarket tj hardtops, but they're expensive.
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:00 PM   #18
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^^EXACTLY the info I was looking for. Thanks so much. I will look at a Sport, I found a few that seem like a good deal. My gf wants a hard top...should I try to find one with a hard top, or buy one after the fact?

If she wants a hard top then definitely buy it with the hard top. If you find one with dual tops that is a bonus as you can use the soft top for summer and the hard top for winter. However if it only has 1 top then make it a hard top. Soft tops can be purchased later. They aren't cheap but they are a lot cheaper than buying a hard top.

If you find them and have pics, post them up. I am sure others here who are more knowledgable that I can help you out even more.

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