Originally Posted by nomrlz
good info. we are considering a TJ for my son. good to know those MY issues. a few "jeep guys" at work have said 4.0L with manual is the way to go. is there anything wrong with the auto or just kils power/mpg? we found a decent local 02 with auto although it is a bit overpriced. is the 6spd worth the extra money over a 5spd? seems the early 2K years are in the $10-12K range. then the latter 6spd jump right to $14-16K. anything else to look at with these when doing an inspection besides floor rust?
I don't know anything about the autos. Call me crazy, but I like rowing. I think the 6spd is worth it, lower 1st gear if you're running larger tires and ultra low gearing in 4lo (this is the Rubicon, mind you) are useful. Personally, I think the ratios are great, if completely stopped I shift 1st-2-4-6, but if moving even slightly or on a downhill, 2-4-6. The guy above mentioned he hasn't had the ODPA issue -- I haven't either, though a fair amount of people have.
If it looks like it's been wheeled pretty hard (e.g., the difs, underbody and lower control arms are chewed up), take it to a jeep geared shop that'll put it on the lift and give it a good look-over, it's worth the $50 for the peace of mind. My shop didn't find anything different than I did, but the $50 was inconsequential to the coin I spent on the jeep, and I felt really good after buying it knowing it wasn't going to explode
. FWIW my '05 Rubicon w/ 40k was 15k.
Google the difference between surface rust and actual rot, the former is expected and you can clean that up easily yourself. The shop will have a good opinion on that too.
One thing to consider when buying for your son is that tj's don't have anti-lock brakes or particularly great brakes in general. Consider getting new rotors and pads, at least in the front, immediately as a safety measure. But then again... I may just be used to the face ripping brakes on my M3.