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Old 04-15-2013, 09:32 PM   #1
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I am new to the jeep forum and searching for the right jeep for me...

My brother recently bought an 04 TJ and has me hooked on buying a jeep now. One of my problems is I have no idea what to get that may fit me or my budget...YJ or TJ?? I don't want to buy a "fixer upper" because it would be a daily driver but I would like to do some mods for some mild off roading. What are some pros & cons with leaf springs on the YJ and coil springs on the TJ and how does the ride compare between the two? Any help would be great and appreciated.

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Old 04-15-2013, 09:36 PM   #2
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My dad had a 95 yj and i have a 98 tj. The tj rides much better in my opinion. Maybe it was just that one but some friends have yjs and have complained about ride quality. I mean it is a jeep.. Lol. And if done properly it might turn out alright but from my experience, tj has better ride. And a more comfortable feel too.

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Old 04-15-2013, 10:04 PM   #3
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YJ's are getting pretty up there in age... and you want something that's less likely to blow up on you, go with a TJ. Stay away from the years with the exhaust manifold issue, or check with PO to see if replaced (or just replace/keep up to date with checking it yourself). Once replaced you're good to go. I think it was MY 03/04. If you're in a rust free area, any year will probably be good. The 05/06 have the OPDA issue, but the parts replacement for that is pretty inexpensive ($100-200). I only looked at 05/06 as I wanted a 6spd tranny, but that may be out of your price range. MY 2001/2002 are a safe bet (don't quote me on it) as they have neither of those issues and there are likely jeeps out there in those years that fit in your price range.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:22 PM   #4
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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?
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:26 PM   #5
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My previous Jeep was a '93, I absolutely loved it. The ride was a little rough due to leafs, but I could definitely see myself owning a YJ again. Right now I have an '05, my only complaint is the fact that my transmission is going at only 80k miles. This transmission also seems to be incredibly difficult to find and expensive. If I were to buy another TJ in the future I would probably get one pre-2005.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:30 PM   #6
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4.0l 6cyl is the way to go. The 2.5l 4cyl is just not enough power for a jeep. My dads was the 4cyl and it was rough.. Top speed of maybe 50 or 55. He got it to help gas mileage but it actually made it worse not having sufficent power. Sure change the gear ratios but the 4.0 is much better... IMO. And i have the 5spd but after reading some threads it seems the auto tranny is not as strong or reliable... Ill let a more experienced jeeper answer the tranny question as i dont have the auto.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n00g7 View Post
YJ's are getting pretty up there in age... and you want something that's less likely to blow up on you, go with a TJ. Stay away from the years with the exhaust manifold issue, or check with PO to see if replaced (or just replace/keep up to date with checking it yourself). Once replaced you're good to go. I think it was MY 03/04. If you're in a rust free area, any year will probably be good. The 05/06 have the OPDA issue, but the parts replacement for that is pretty inexpensive ($100-200). I only looked at 05/06 as I wanted a 6spd tranny, but that may be out of your price range. MY 2001/2002 are a safe bet (don't quote me on it) as they have neither of those issues and there are likely jeeps out there in those years that fit in your price range.
Mine is a later built 06 and didn't have this problem. I waited for almost a year and a half to find the right one for me. I wanted an 06 later built Rubicon with the 6sp xsmn and 4.0 motor It was 16k and some change out the door. Depending on what you are gonna do the rubicon is not much more expensive after market than a regular one but you get sooooooo much more
There is another thread on here about this very subject and most will tell you that the 03 or 04 are the best model years.
With that said I love my jeep and the 6sp xsmn but that is just my 2cents.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:49 PM   #8
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I have no experience with the YJ, but can comment on the auto trans in the TJ. 1997-2002 had a 3-speed auto (32RH), and that was a very good strong transmission. 2003-2006 had the 4-speed (42RLE), and it's not quite as long-lasting from what I've seen. I've seen many have to be rebuilt/replaced before 100k miles.
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomrlz View Post
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.

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