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Old 01-13-2011, 07:43 PM   #1
Jreed08013
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I need help decide on buying a Wrangler

I've never bought a Wrangler before. I want to use it to drive on and off road. I was wondering if it would be better to buy a Wrangler with a lift and MT tires installed or buy a stock Wrangler and have it installed. I want a 4" lift, probably 2" body and 2" suspension; and Goodyear MT/R or BFG MT. Would I have to get a new drive shaft? And how much would that cost to get installed professionaly? Thanks

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Old 01-13-2011, 07:49 PM   #2
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Prepare to double the cost of the lift if you get it installed. Whether or not you'd need to replace certain parts or get a SYE etc. depends on what size lift you use in each aspect (body and suspension), and I'm not an expert on that, so I'll let someone else show me up and and tell you.

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Old 01-13-2011, 07:49 PM   #3
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My answer isn't going to be very helpful. The answer is "yes" get a wrangler.
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:55 PM   #4
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Be prepared going into this. It grows on you so fast and there's unlimited things to buy you'll never stop spending money. I haven't just when I say im done I buy something else
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:57 PM   #5
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I haven't just when I say im done I buy something else.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:19 PM   #6
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Buy it unlifted, the more stock it is the better. That it already has a lift just means the odds are higher it could have been abused. And there is no telling the quality of an existing suspension lift and the quality of the installation, it could be a problematic suspension if it wasn't installed right... and there's a lot to installing a lift correctly.

If you want 4" of lift, do 3" of suspension and 1" body lift. That will still mean it is less expensive than what it takes to install a 4" suspension lift without the problems associated with 2" and 3" body lifts.

My last Jeep was stolen that I built from the ground up, I knew every nut and bolt in it and all about the suspension and other upgrades I had installed. After it was stolen, I got an offer I couldn't refuse from a friend for the 2004 Rubicon I have now. The problem is that I didn't install its lift, axles, etc. so I'm always having to call the previous owner to ask for certain details of some of the mods he did so I can replace parts properly or carry the right spares. It still has quirks I am still unsure of, I wouldn't have any of these issues if I had bought it stock and unmodified.

I will make one very specific recommendation since you want to wheel your upcoming Jeep... once you get to larger wheel sizes, lockers, etc., you will be darned happy if the Wrangler TJ you bought came with a Dana 44 rear axle. The base level rear axle is a Dana 35c which isn't strong enough once you want to start installing things like bigger tires, a locker, tackle tougher trails, etc. The factory shipped some Wrangler TJs with a beefed up stronger rear axle called a Dana 44 and that is what you want. It is significantly stronger than the base level Dana 35c axle is and worthy of most common upgrades like big tires and a locker.

You can tell which rear axle a Jeep has by looking at the axle's rear differential cover.

The first photo with the perfectly oval differential cover is the weaker Dana 35c. Not that it is "weak" for factory size tires but it's not strong enough when you want to go with a locker, big tires, difficult trails, etc. It also has a black plastic snap-in lubricant fill hole plug in the cover which you can see in the photo.

The second photo shows the Dana 44. It has a more "stop sign" shaped differential cover with a threaded steel bolt that plugs the differential lubricant fill hole. This axle is much preferred if you want to really build up your new Jeep. It's worth looking for and holding out for until you find the right Jeep that has it.
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:39 PM   #7
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Buy it unlifted, the more stock it is the better. That it already has a lift just means the odds are higher it could have been abused. And there is no telling the quality of an existing suspension lift and the quality of the installation, it could be a problematic suspension if it wasn't installed right... and there's a lot to installing a lift correctly.

If you want 4" of lift, do 3" of suspension and 1" body lift. That will still mean it is less expensive than what it takes to install a 4" suspension lift without the problems associated with 2" and 3" body lifts.

My last Jeep was stolen that I built from the ground up, I knew every nut and bolt in it and all about the suspension and other upgrades I had installed. After it was stolen, I got an offer I couldn't refuse from a friend for the 2004 Rubicon I have now. The problem is that I didn't install its lift, axles, etc. so I'm always having to call the previous owner to ask for certain details of some of the mods he did so I can replace parts properly or carry the right spares. It still has quirks I am still unsure of, I wouldn't have any of these issues if I had bought it stock and unmodified.

I will make one very specific recommendation since you want to wheel your upcoming Jeep... once you get to larger wheel sizes, lockers, etc., you will be darned happy if the Wrangler TJ you bought came with a Dana 44 rear axle. The base level rear axle is a Dana 35c which isn't strong enough once you want to start installing things like bigger tires, a locker, tackle tougher trails, etc. The factory shipped some Wrangler TJs with a beefed up stronger rear axle called a Dana 44 and that is what you want. It is significantly stronger than the base level Dana 35c axle is and worthy of most common upgrades like big tires and a locker.

You can tell which rear axle a Jeep has by looking at the axle's rear differential cover.

The first photo with the perfectly oval differential cover is the weaker Dana 35c. Not that it is "weak" for factory size tires but it's not strong enough when you want to go with a locker, big tires, difficult trails, etc. It also has a black plastic snap-in lubricant fill hole plug in the cover which you can see in the photo.

The second photo shows the Dana 44. It has a more "stop sign" shaped differential cover with a threaded steel bolt that plugs the differential lubricant fill hole. This axle is much preferred if you want to really build up your new Jeep. It's worth looking for and holding out for until you find the right Jeep that has it.
Isin't it hard to find a stock jeep with the Dana 44 axles? Would it be a bad idea to try to find some used? I think the price is crazy for a set of new ones, so thats not possible. But maybe on craigslist?
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:45 PM   #8
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FInding a used Wrangler TJ with a Dana 44 in the rear is not hard, you just have to look around and be patient. Not everyone with a Jeep for sale even has a clue what axle is in the rear. We're only talking about a Dana 44 for the rear, the front axle is a Dana 30 which is fine for most needs.
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:09 AM   #9
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Get a yeep. You will love it
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:43 AM   #10
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if you can find a rocky mountain edition they come stock with a dana 44 in the rear
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:57 AM   #11
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Starting this thread = a great start to getting the Jeep you'll be happy with.
Being patient in your search = a great follow-through.

When I was Wrangler-shopping, every single lifted Jeep I found had been pretty much used up. Stock Jeeps tend to be less abused, but you still need to be careful, as with any used vehicle purchase.

The D44's are worth their weight in gold, if you have the patience to wait until you find one.
Also, don't forget to check for rust inside, especially around the doors & the rear corners.
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:57 PM   #12
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I believe the 04-06 unlimiteds so come with d44s? But god yes hold out for a d44 axle....I'm Very much regretting that I didn't know enough when I got mine...stuck right now with a d35c and 3.07 gears...but I'm gonna sup it up soon and regear and toss in a Detroit locker for the rear with a c-clip eliminator and 30spline. IF I get enough back in taxes
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:03 PM   #13
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Yes, the late 04-05 Unlimited's did come with a D44; mine is a very early 05, and it has the golden D44 with limited-slip. Even better, it came stock with 3.73 gears and 30x9.5x15's. Very nice setup, right off the showroom floor. highly recommended.
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Old 01-15-2011, 06:58 AM   #14
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Unbeknownst to me when I got mine, it did come with a D44 rear. 05 sport. (Swb, 4.0)
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:52 AM   #15
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Just get a Rubicon and it comes with a Dana 44..................
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:45 AM   #16
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My rear looks like the bottom. does that mean i have a dana 44?
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:54 AM   #17
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My advice to you is to get a TJ, preferably with a AMC straight 6 engine.
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Old 01-15-2011, 10:18 AM   #18
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If this is your first Jeep, you will need to know what JEEP stands for.
J-ust
E-mpty
E-very
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Old 01-15-2011, 06:58 PM   #19
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If this is your first Jeep, you will need to know what JEEP stands for.
J-ust
E-mpty
E-very
P-ocket
Actually Jeep is the slurred acronym of GP, and that's for general purpose vehicle
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Old 01-16-2011, 02:44 PM   #20
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i think its awesome that you ask and learn before you buy,I just bought the first cheap deal I found....learned later but my Jeep suites my needs perfectly
Heres my 2 cents
Pick a budget
sometimes you can get a older rubicon for around 10k with loads of miles,look for a stock one

a dana 44 rear axle is not a must but if you plan on alot of offroading then its a must
tires larger than 31" offroad then its a must

95% road use with 33" a 35 will do unless your careless

any suspension lift higher than 2.5" will require a SYE,in some cases the 2.5" requires it,all Jeeps are diffrent or dropping the transfercase skid....which defeats the purpose of lifting!

2" budget boost can be installed by You in about 4 hours(I just done mine in 3) using jackstands and a jack,I didnt need a spring compressor but some recommend you do,My 2" budget boost is running my stock shocks until I upgrade them later.

Now a 1" bodylift after that will clear 33" tires

Now the lifts are installed you will need diffrent offset rims so Your tires will clear everything without rubbing(depending on which rims your Jeep came with)

If I could do it over again Id either buy something with a d44 rear or a well used rubi
Dont let mileage scare you,150k miles on a low priced rubi wouldnt bather me

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