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Old 10-04-2010, 11:05 PM   #1
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High Mileage Bells and Whistles vs Low Mileage

Help! You guys and gals wanna help talk me through this decision?

I'm in the market for a new to me Jeep...moving up from my YJ.

I've got it narrowed down to two Jeeps

Jeep 1: A very nice, 1998 clean 4.0L Sport with 5 speed, hard doors, soft top. 80,000 miles. It's got MT classic wheels and good rubber. A real nice, clean looker. My bet is it was a mall crawler

Jeep 2: Super clean 1999 Sahara in my favorite color combination. Miles are 150,000 ... It has a 4.0 Liter coupled to a SIX SPEED manual. Apparently owned by a Jeep tech...I'm told it has a Rubicon drive train. Electronic differentials, SYE, low gear ratios...something about the transfer case...All I see is stars and hear birds singing! This one is a hard top, hard doors with all the bells and whistles that come with the Sahara

Here is my dilemma ....

The Jeeps are priced within $500 of each other with the high miles Sahara being the more expensive of the two...doesn't matter how much...they are both within my budget.

Jeep 1 has LOW MILES at 80,000 which I prefer as this will be my driver. It's a clean slate, unmolested and except for the wheels, stock. The only negative on this Jeep is it was in an accident and has had some cosmetic paint work done...not really a big deal.

Jeep 2 has HIGH MILES which I am not liking HOWEVER the fact that it is a Sahara in my favorite color combination PLUS it has a Rubicon drive train in it has me wondering if I should overlook miles.
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:12 PM   #2
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personally go with what your gut tells you but if it were me id choose the 99 sahara, these engines are almost bulletproff my 4 banger has over 200k on it and runs perfect, just give it a good check up here and there, changes wire and what not, and the sahara wont let you down !!

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Old 10-04-2010, 11:15 PM   #3
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By the sound of it, i'm thinkin if you get the lower mileage white sport then you'll wish you would of gotten the sahara...
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:26 PM   #4
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what he said^^
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98-4Banger View Post
what he said^^
Uh yeah...

I'm trying to be practical. Low miles = smart choice.

Tell my why I shouldn't buy a Jeep with 150k on the engine...regardless of the fact its a Sahara ...
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:29 PM   #6
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go for the Sahara or you will regret it.
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:45 PM   #7
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agreed get the sahara when you need to rebuild it at 300k you can have an excuse to stroke it
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:16 AM   #8
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i was in your shoes 2 months ago when i bought my TJ except they were both soft tops and bought a sport with lower miles but i wish i had gotten the sahara

i hope this helps good luck in your purchase you will enjoy which ever one you decide on
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:31 AM   #9
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i got a good deal on my 2000 Sahara, i love it!
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:14 AM   #10
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If everything under the tub looks good on the Sahara, that's what I'd go with. It's got a lot of stuff done to it already that you might end up purchasing for the Sport down the road anyway.

...not to mention remanufactured I-6s start at around $1600 from ATK. So not a "huge" expense if the engine craps out on you.

Picked up my Sahara with 80,000 on it and at 95,000 it's still doing great 2 years later. Knock on wood nothing has pooped out on me yet. Everything I've replaced was out of personal preference getting rid of worn/old OEM parts before they bit me. My TJ had been registered as a fleet vehicle in the past so some stuff had been neglected....
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Old 10-05-2010, 04:41 AM   #11
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I'd be all over that Sahara! At a 150,000 miles she's just now developing some character. I'd give that supposed Rubi drivetrain a good look see...make sure the Jeep Tech did his work correctly. JP magazine has reprinted an article several times which lists some of the problem areas on a TJ. Might search for that online before you do your final purchase inspection. Good luck, that's a sweet Jeep.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:32 AM   #12
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id get the sahara but id want the wheels from the sport. if you could get them to switch then it would seal the deal for me. i would want someone to take a look at this alleged rubicon drivetrain. i personally cant tell the difference so i would want a pro telling me what it is. i would find out what they mean too. is it just a transfer case or the axles, or what?
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:42 AM   #13
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I would go with the Sahara, a lot of the upgrades are already done, and 150,000 miles is not bad, as it sounds like it was well maintained.
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:52 AM   #14
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With 150,000 miles you just better make sure all the components work on the Jeep and if it truly is the Rubicon drive train. Be sure if it has lockers front and rear they work, and if it has low gearing what is it?
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:00 AM   #15
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Double check the alleged Rubicon Drivetrain.
Front Axle: there should be a relay wiring for the lockers as well as a inlet for the airline into the axle house on the driverside of the housing.

Elec. Diffs???? did he change these out, cause the Rubicons typically come with air lockers, atleast 03-06 models did.

Check the Transfer Case as well to make sure it's the 241t-case from a Rubicon.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:07 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snwchris View Post
Double check the alleged Rubicon Drivetrain.
Front Axle: there should be a relay wiring for the lockers as well as a inlet for the airline into the axle house on the driverside of the housing.

Elec. Diffs???? did he change these out, cause the Rubicons typically come with air lockers, atleast 03-06 models did.

Check the Transfer Case as well to make sure it's the 241t-case from a Rubicon.
THIS!!!

if its all correct, then I'd jump on it...150k isn't all that bad. my engine is @ 128k, and I'm sure the maintenance was NOT meticulous (based on things I've found thus far). and its running like a top. (my transmission is another story).
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:07 AM   #17
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I bought mine with 141,000 on it no prob.
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:40 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeep Nurse View Post
I'm in the market for a new to me Jeep...moving up from my YJ.
Congratulations. No disrespect to all the YJ owners out there, but the TJ is a quantum improvement over the older platform in virtually every way, particularly when you're going to use it as a daily driver. Either way, I'm sure you'll love it.

Quote:
I've got it narrowed down to two Jeeps
Okay, let's look at the benefits alone. Jeep #1 has low miles and is stone stock. That's about it as far as desirability to you. Jeep #2 is a Sahara in your favorite color combination, has a hardtop, plus most of the drivetrain has been upgraded (which is a benefit if and only if you want the hardware which has been installed). While it does have an extra 70k miles on it, it seems to be in good running condition.

So for you it all comes down to the miles, and you obviously have concerns that the Sahara is more "worn out" than the Sport. I can't argue that with you; all else being equal, the Sahara is 70,000 miles closer to needing an engine rebuild. Will that cause you to lose sleep at night? Will it make your daily commute more stressful every time you look down at the odometer? If so, your decision is easy--go with the Sport. If not--and if you really do like/want all the mods on this Sahara--then go for that one instead.

One more wildcard about the daily driver aspect: do you have another vehicle you could use as a backup if the Sahara goes down for a rebuild? If you do, then you have no reason to fear the extra miles IMO. If you don't have an extra car and you don't anticipate buying one, that makes me recommend the Sport even more for you. (This is one reason why I personally am a big fan of owning multiple vehicles; if one goes down for modification or repair, I still have other ways to get to work every day.)

Full disclosure: I just bought a 1998 Wrangler Sport with 82,000 miles on it two weeks ago. However, I wasn't comparing it to any other Jeep; it was just something that came along and I couldn't pass it up for the price. Thank goodness I have a very understanding wife.
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:52 AM   #19
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If the Sahara was owned by a jeep tech, get the info. and ask to contact the guy. I haven't bought a used vehicle yet that I haven't talked to the previous owner about, and got all the good and bad about the vehicle. Besides, previous owners always tell me what they got for the car and then you can see what kind of profit margin the stealer, or dealer, is working in. I would want the specs on what was done to the jeep from changes to all the claimed mods to the Sahara. If these mods are indeed true, why is the Sahara only $500 in difference, especially with a hardtop and all?....just what I would do, but I am anal as hell....

If they don't have a previous owner, then they are blowing smoke up your you know what, and got the jeep from auction....
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:27 AM   #20
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it seems like everyone is in agreement to get the sahara if thats the one you like. i just wanted to throw out there that 150k is not what i would call high mileage for a straight six. its in its teenage years and just learning to drive. the 80k one is starting kindergarten. my best example of this i have seen personally was an 85 f250 with a legendary 300 I6 my grandpa bought new. it had 502k on the clock in 2004 when i left home for the air force. origional motor second transmission. it still runs and pulls 10k lb heavy loads even today. i dont know what mileage its at now. my point is dont fear the 150k miles as alot in a straight six.
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:54 PM   #21
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THANK YOU ... Thank you everyone for the responses and all the detail. I love this forum!

OK...I'm going to shoot for the Sahara.

I do have another car to drive...a newer vehicle still under warranty which is why I've been able to use my YJ as a daily driver. I guess if I can run all over in a 200K+ mile YJ an later model Sahara should do the trick.

Lets hope this Jeep tests true when I really crawl all over it. Fingers crossed! I'll keep you all posted!

Thanks!
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:32 PM   #22
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I'm getting in here late, my 2 cents would be, why does the Sahara have a 6 speed? They came stock with the 5 speed AX15, which is a tried and true tranny.

I'm going the other way, I always recommend buying a used jeep with the least mods as possible. Then do them yourself, and you know they were done right. You used the word "unmolested" describing the white one. Exactly. Anyway, good luck and let us know how you did.
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:26 PM   #23
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I agree that the Sahara would be my choice,provided that it is being fairly represented.If you bought the other,it would cost a small fortune to bring it up to that level.I myself bought a sport,without doing any front-end research!Had I known,I would have opted for an '06 LJ Rubicon,but there is always another chance,and I do love my Jeep!
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:18 PM   #24
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Went for the sahara!

First let me say THANK YOU one more time to my friends here on Wrangler Forum...you all are like family now and I appreciate you helping me with this decision.

I went with the Sahara and boy am I glad I did! ...

... Welcome "Brittany" ...

All the bells and whistles that the Sahara comes with AND...

YES...Rubicon Drivetrain...6 Speed Transmission and Trac Lok transfer case! It all looks NEW under there!

NEXT...LIFTED! 4" Coil spring lift with red booted shocks...Sky Jacker? Also sway bar disconnects...someone loved her!

Wheels...Pro Comp Alloys ... 17" with BRAND NEW BFG Baja Champions .... 285/70 - 17

Jeep sits tall, and looks tough! I'm happy, happy, happy to be a TJ owner now!

Just did the first oil change and I'm off for a ride in the forest!

Thanks again! See you on the trails...Jeep Jamboree in my future with this one! I see another 2 - 3 inches and 35s
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:36 PM   #25
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Good choice...was hoping to open this thread and find a picture of that one as the one you chose.

You were pretty psyched about the sahara so theres no way you woulda been happy with the white sport...

good deal, looks super clean!

I'm jealous haha
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:53 PM   #26
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Looks sweet!I believe you made the right choice-it would have cost 10k to bring the other one up to this,if not more!
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:56 PM   #27
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Rock Trac transfer case btw...
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:38 PM   #28
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Just so you know apparently Genius people usually choose the color green... sweet choice!
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:49 PM   #29
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Good Choice. enjoy.
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Old 10-07-2010, 05:06 AM   #30
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If I were u I would go with black cragar rims, like soft 8's or V5's. They would go nice with the green! But nice jeep anyways I am so jealous... It makes my wimpy SE look bad lol

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