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Old 05-15-2012, 09:12 PM   #1
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Jeep Buyer's Regret?

Two weeks ago, I traded in my 2005 Honda Element for a 1998 Wrangler 4.0 5spd Sport. I went through a dealer and chose a Wrangler they were selling for $9K. The Jeep has about 110,000 miles on it, a 2.5" lift, aftermarket front and rear bumpers, sound system, 31's, etc. I recognize that choosing to go through a dealer vs. buying from a private seller, I'd be paying more, but I took out a small loan in an attempt to establish some credit. (I'm a recent college graduate with literally NO credit).

I really enjoy driving the Jeep. It's my first manual, and my first Jeep, but I've already begun to sink more money into it for little repairs than I ever spent on my Honda Element.

For example: I've already paid for new shocks, new skid plates, a steering stabilizer, a new soft top.

There are other little nitpicky things that I need to get fixed: touch-up the bedlined interior, new/reupholstered driver's seat, new console (the current one is pretty thrashed and moves back and forth slightly), new rear view mirror, new driver's side seatbelt female end, the passenger door sticks a bit, I'd like a lighter non-tubular front bumper.. etc.

Can someone convince me that the Wrangler is worth it? I need a pep talk.

-Joe


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Old 05-15-2012, 09:22 PM   #2
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Chillax. That thing is awesome looking. Jeep mods can and are very addicting but look at it this way you are a part of a community now. Dont spend more than you have and tomorrow take the top off and the first Jeeper that gives you a wave will make all your regrets go away.

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Old 05-15-2012, 09:25 PM   #3
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You have a nice-looking jeep, and you live someplace warm. It's a bit of an adjustment going from a car-like ride to a jeep, but you are going to be totally grooving on the jeep experience once you get a few miles on it. You'll see!
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:29 PM   #4
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I used to have a convertible Mustang GT. I sold that a couple years ago and bought a Cherokee (XJ.) I lifted it, but big tires under it, and off-roaded it. I always missed that Mustang, though. A couple months ago I sold my Cherokee and picked up an 06 TJ. With the weather warming up, I got to put the top down and and pop the doors off. I can honestly say I don't miss my Mustang at all now... though I do miss the cargo room in the Cherokee (I play in a band, thus carry a lot of equipment around.) The Mustang community was largely full of d-bags, it just seemed like it was constantly a "whose is bigger" contest. The Jeep community is awesome though. Very helpful, and anytime I pull into a parking lot where there's another Jeep, we'll always check out eachother's rigs. Well.... all of us TJ and YJ owners. The suits and soccer moms that drive the JKs don't even do the Jeep wave haha!
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:31 PM   #5
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You will get used to all the nitpickyness! I always look at little things like "Its a Jeep, its suppose to be like that".
Wait until you take it off road with no top and the interior gets dusty lol
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by busmute
Two weeks ago, I traded in my 2005 Honda Element for a 1998 Wrangler 4.0 5spd Sport. I went through a dealer and chose a Wrangler they were selling for $9K. The Jeep has about 110,000 miles on it, a 2.5" lift, aftermarket front and rear bumpers, sound system, 31's, etc. I recognize that choosing to go through a dealer vs. buying from a private seller, I'd be paying more, but I took out a small loan in an attempt to establish some credit. (I'm a recent college graduate with literally NO credit).

I really enjoy driving the Jeep. It's my first manual, and my first Jeep, but I've already begun to sink more money into it for little repairs than I ever spent on my Honda Element.

For example: I've already paid for new shocks, new skid plates, a steering stabilizer, a new soft top.

There are other little nitpicky things that I need to get fixed: touch-up the bedlined interior, new/reupholstered driver's seat, new console (the current one is pretty thrashed and moves back and forth slightly), new rear view mirror, new driver's side seatbelt female end, the passenger door sticks a bit, I'd like a lighter non-tubular front bumper.. etc.

Can someone convince me that the Wrangler is worth it? I need a pep talk.

-Joe
It will do the convincing for you. Go drive over something. Go with a Jeep group on a trail ride, it doesn't have to be hard core. Take the top and/or doors off and go for a ride on a nice day. Can't do that with a Honda.
As for the issues, they seem like low time consuming/high reward projects. Rattle can the bedliner interior, get some seat covers that add storage, check the classifieds in here or check out http://www.daveysjeeps.com/ for the little repair items. As far as the new front bumper, I'm not much help. I've been looking for years, and I either don't like them or they won't pass inspection here. Nothings perfect, but as long as it drives, you'll fall in love with it, especially if you need the 4wd the Honda doesn't have.
This is a good place to find fixes and info, might want to search up the door issue, it's probably the latch (or if it's like my drivers side, you might have the seat belt stuck in it! Lol)
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:31 PM   #7
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Thanks, guys. I'm really enjoying the roughness of the ride compared to my 4cyl Element, which rode like a minivan. I got six Jeep waves yesterday, and it's pretty incredible how much better it makes your day go. I'm a teacher, and the feeling is comparable to when a student thanks me for going out of my way to help him/her.

I suppose I have just been feeling a bit discouraged considering the number of little things I want to change about the Jeep. I know I paid a bit more than KBB value for the Jeep, but the past few days in particular, I was beginning to feel some buyer's regret. After looking at this forum, though, it appears that everyone has little nitpicky things that they want to change or improve. Looking back on my first post, most of what I complained about is aesthetic/cosmetic/interior modification - not mechanical.

Thanks for the encouragement and the comments on my ride. I checked out both of your profiles - sweet Jeeps!

-Joe
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:36 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the quick replies and the encouragement. I have not had a chance to go topless, as I've had issues tucking the top behind the rear seat. The frame seems to not want to fold down properly, but I'm 90% sure that's user-error and not an issue with the top or frame itself. I bought a second-hand Bestop Replace-a-Top for $300 a few days ago, but I'm in Florida, so it's been raining the past few days. I'm hoping to get a chance to take it down on Thursday or Friday.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:43 PM   #9
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By the way Kris brought up a good point. What is going on with all the JK Jeepers. For the most part those guys are all tool bags and never wave. I live outside of Nashville Tn. and i just thought it was redneck stupidity down here, im glad im not the only one that has noticed there snubs.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:45 PM   #10
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Sorry busmute didnt mean to get off topic. OOPS
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:48 PM   #11
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@angrymonkey,

I'm new to Jeeps, but if I had to guess, I think it'd have a lot to do with JK owners legitimately not knowing about the Jeep wave. JK owners are probably less likely to do repairs since their vehicles are newer. I'd have never known about the wave if I had not found this forum, and I would not have found this forum if I had not been searching for an answer to resolve a steering issue I had when I first purchased my Jeep. Since YJ and TJ owners have to fix things on their Jeeps, wouldn't they be more inclined to visit the forums and develop the sort of camaraderie that the wave symbolizes? Just my thoughts..
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:50 PM   #12
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Ive been throwing the hand since 89 so to me it seems like they all should know. Just an old man and his crazy opinion. Good luck to you busmute, talk to you soon.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:03 PM   #13
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regret?

Just remember, the wrangler has the highest resale value of most cars, so your decision to get this is not going to depreciate as much.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:04 PM   #14
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Thanks to the comments in this thread and a bit of reading on the forum, I'm less insecure about my Jeep. I think that I just need to take the advice that's been given and look at one mod at a time instead of getting overwhelmed by the sheer number of things I want to change. Aside from the front bumper, I am very happy with the look of the exterior of my Jeep, so it looks as though interior mods will be first.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:06 PM   #15
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Interesting. I knew about the jeep wave before i or anyone i knew owned a jeep. I live in Iowa and this is usually how waving goes:

Is Jeep TJ or older? 80% wave chance.
Is Jeep JK? 10% chance.
Is Jeep JK and has lift or aggressive tires? 80% chance.

Either way are your doors off and their doors off? 95% chance + smile
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:08 PM   #16
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Rubicon,
It was the resale value of the Jeep that made me opt to go through a dealer. Similar condition used Jeeps were only going for slightly cheaper here in FL and I was able to get a limited warranty by going through the dealership. All of these changes that I'm planning on making should only help when it comes time to sell. That being said, I believe I may be a lifelong Jeep guy, now. I've never had so much fun driving a vehicle, and I haven't even taken it offroad yet to see what it's actually capable of. One thing is certain - the Wrangler is infinitely more masculine than the Honda Element I had been driving.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:11 PM   #17
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jrlane,

I was not familiar with the wave even though there's a sizable Jeep community here in Panama City Beach. Now that I am driving a Jeep, I get waved to each day. I have not gotten a wave from a JK yet, but literally every TJ that has any sort of lift kit has waved to me. My hometown is also famous for Thunder Beach, a motorcycle rally that meets yearly. The Jeep scene here has a similar feel to the level of camaraderie I see between motorcyclists during Thunder Beach. It's awesome.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:19 PM   #18
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Well hopefully your area has better trails than Iowa. Here were looking at mud, water, and hills. Oh and snow on-top of those things. No rocks
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:25 PM   #19
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No snow in my Florida hometown since the year I was born, so snow is out of the question. There are trails at the AFB a few miles outside town, as well as swampy mudbog type terrain. No real rocks or anything near here, and Florida is incredibly flat. That being said, I'd like to take it out sometime soon. I know that there's a local Jeep club and that they go wheeling periodically.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:29 PM   #20
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Regrets? Already? Just wait till you have to remove one of the Torx bolts.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:32 PM   #21
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I've been driving my YJ for about 4 years now and every knick, scratch, or ding is just a story from a time in the woods. No use sweating the small stuff cause that looks like a pretty clean Jeep with tons of life left. Once in a while things come up that need attention but what I try doing is to save up my checklist and put in one week a year where I'll touch up bedliner or do some bodywork to make it shine again.

jrlane hit the wave right on the money, but if you ever find yourself in the U.P. it's like people's arms are falling off they wave so madly
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:38 PM   #22
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Busmute,

As said above. Meet with some other jeepers and go get dirty. You will be smiling so hard, a Doctor will have to fix your face. The family feeling you get with your fellow jeepers is second to none. The experienced you will have will fill volumes of books and you will see things that most people just dream of. Trust us all. A jeep is a life changing event. But you have to take the small bad with all the Greater Good you will get in return.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:51 PM   #23
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Glad it's growing on you. You need to plan on Jeep Beach next year. It was about 3 weeks ago, 3 day event in Daytona. I was going to south fl for family reasons and was thinking I would need a chiropractor when I got there for jerking my neck at all the Wranglers on I-95. Lot of nice rigs.

Besides the fun factor, Rubicon Rogue nailed it. I somehow doubt the Element would be worth nearly as much when it is 14+ years old.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:01 PM   #24
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How do you convince someone that this burger is better than that one?
Its a matter of taste...preference...pure subjectivity.

Why did you want to sell the Honda?
A Wrangler is virtually the diameteric antithisis of a Honda. So there had to be a reason for such a dramatic change.

I have a hunch that if you buy ANY vehicle with 110,000 miles on it...theres gonna be a few "issues". If you buy a truck...there will be more "issues" cuz is does stuff other than rolling around. You buy an off-road vehicle and its gonna have LOTS of "issues" cuz its been doing really cool stuff. and if you buy a modified (lift, etc) off-road rig...then its a real crap-shoot cuz you just dont know the skill level of your predecessor. Hopefully you had a good pre-buy....in which case you KNEW WHAT YOU WERE BUYING. duh.

Like the saying goes: "It's a Jeep ting."

Some get it. Some dont.

There's nothing to be ashamed of if its not your cup of tea....also nothing to be ashamed of if it does happen to be your canteen of water.

Dont stop looking until you find whatever makes you happy. The Wrangler doesnt seem to be a good fit for you.
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:34 AM   #25
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Ahh Panama City Beach Florida...Good memories of dive school there :-) happened to be there during spring break too:-)
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:46 AM   #26
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Regrets? Already? Just wait till you have to remove one of the Torx bolts.

No sheit, when I pulled mine I found the two Torx bolts at the top of the transmission and had to drive 20 miles to a parts store to buy a socket set.
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:50 AM   #27
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I bought mine last summer--didn't like the wheels, don't really care for the bumpers, didn't like the soft top, and had only had it for 5K miles when I had to rebuild the motor.......Regrets? Hell No!
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:59 AM   #28
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On one hand, I totally agree with you. It sucks, it's a neverending money pit.

But then, when you finish little projects and you're out driving and stuff, it's all worth it.

My girlfriend gets mad at me because I'm "never satisfied with my Jeep", but I always have to explain to her, thats kind of just how it goes with these rigs.
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:02 AM   #29
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Lmao they are very addictive and i can't imagine not having 1 or 2 but there is a reason they are called
Just
Empty
Every
Pocket
Hang in there after awhile you'll be wrenching on it just for the hell of it and the regret will be long gone and forgotten.
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:09 AM   #30
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Don't shy away from the jeep because of maintenance. Honda has a great reputation because of a history of reliable, long lasting and cheap to maintain cars, Chrysler not so much. I've spent more on mods, repairs and maintenance than any other car I've owned (6 in 4 years). But I could care less, I do everything on my own (well almost) and now I have quite an collection of tools. Every car has its ups and downs, the element is much different that your Wrangler. Keep the Jeep and your discover it's the greatest vehicle around, or at least I did.


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