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Old 05-17-2013, 09:56 PM   #1
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Looking for advice on buying a TJ

My research points to buying a '98 or '99, 4.0L then upgrading to a '01 intake. Seems like they have the best engine for longevity and rebuild, easy to work on, etc. If I'm off, please let me know and point me in the right direction. I don't care whether its auto or manual and yes, this will be my first 4x4 and Jeep. All my other vehicles have been cars. Feel in love with this generation of Jeep after working on my daughters '98 and '99 Cherokees. Thanks in advance for advice and pointers!

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Old 05-17-2013, 10:01 PM   #2
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I might be wrong but all tj 4.0s are the same. A TJ is the BEST out there!!!!

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Old 05-17-2013, 10:04 PM   #3
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I recently went on a trouble-free Jeep run with a friend whose '05 TJ has 230,000 miles on its' 4.0l engine. We were in the deserts of Baja and his vehicle didn't have a single problem the entire trip.

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Old 05-18-2013, 09:17 AM   #4
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bought my 99 4.0 5spd in Jan with 98,XXX on it and I have since put 5K on it no issues...my first Jeep also
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:33 AM   #5
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I bought my first Jeep a couple months ago. A 99 TJ Sahara, 4.0, 5 spd with 72,000 miles. I love it already even tho I'm just getting to know it. There are many experienced Jeep owners on this site that can offer great suggestions on how to care for or build on your Jeep. I've gained a lot of knowledge and info already, so don't be afraid to ask because there are good, knowledgeable folks willing to help.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:49 AM   #6
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Will this be a weekend toy or daily driver? My 99 sahara has 201k miles and it runs well but I would never consider driving it daily.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:52 AM   #7
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My advice is take your time buying one. Figure out what you are going to use it for ie: major wheeling, daily driver, or somewhere in between. Do a lot of reading on this forum particularly of mods being done for the intended uses, and try and buy accordingly. For instance, if you plan on doing a lot of heavy wheeling, consider looking for one with a Dana 44 rear end, or even better a Rubicon. You will most likely pay more up front, but it will save you a ton of cash on mods. If you plan on just some trails and using it mostly as a daily driver, then it's probably not worth it to spend the extra $'s to get those items. Research is the key. Good luck.
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:39 AM   #8
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Looking for light off-roading. Was told the inline 6 is the best, strongest and longest lasting engine Jeep ever made. Good for 300k, then rebuild it for another 300k...

Thanks to everyone for the advice
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:43 AM   #9
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Looking for light off-roading. Was told the inline 6 is the best, strongest and longest lasting engine Jeep ever made. Good for 300k, then rebuild it for another 300k...

Thanks to everyone for the advice
Best? Possibly. It is definitely more powerful than the I4 and can cruise at hwy speeds much easier. Most people prefer the I6 and for all the right reasons, but the 2.5 I4 will last just as long if maintained properly. The new V6 is said to be better than any previous 6 cyl offered.

As far as the strongest Jeep engine ever, that's debatable as well seeing V8s were available from the factory in the CJs.

You didn't state TJs only in your post you said best in a Jeep ever.
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:31 PM   #10
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One thing to consider is the axle and gear ratio. Depending on how big of a tire you want to go, the axle and gearing will have a big impact on that.
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:41 PM   #11
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My advice:

Buy it
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Old 05-20-2013, 05:37 AM   #12
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VERF: i see you are in MA, i am nearby in CT. TJ's are a little more expensive in our area than elsewhere (what isn't right?)......take you time and look at a lot of 4.0L TJ's and you'll find the right one, just try to avoid buying the first or second one you find. Took me 7 months of diligent searching in the CT/MA/RI area to find one for me. Good luck.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:14 AM   #13
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VERF: i see you are in MA, i am nearby in CT. TJ's are a little more expensive in our area than elsewhere (what isn't right?)......take you time and look at a lot of 4.0L TJ's and you'll find the right one, just try to avoid buying the first or second one you find. Took me 7 months of diligent searching in the CT/MA/RI area to find one for me. Good luck.
Good advice... I made the mistake of buying the first one I liked based on looks ...three weeks, many hours fixing things, and multiple hours on the forum, sold and had to find another one. My issue was finding one without rust and I'm in the south no salt in the winter time and I'm not at the beach. Seems like 80% of the Jeeps I looked at had rusted out frames. What I ended up with was exactly what I wanted my first one to be when I was done putting things own it (... read: spendng money on it), has the cleanest frame I have ever found (I'm talking showroom quality) and even got the color I wanted! Take your time and you will enjoy it much more when you get it.
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Old 05-20-2013, 12:32 PM   #14
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my advise, look at the frame first on any Jeep you look at. Then look to see if it has any mods, if so that they are installed right, and with good quality parts.

Then look at body condition, and finally look at the service records / and drive it.

I wouldn't worry to much about mileage so long as it was maintained appropriately.

I like the 97 - 99 the best. I would also stick to a 4.0 and try to find one with the Dana 44 installed, but a 35 would not be a deal breaker for me with the 8.8 conversion being so cheap.
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:32 PM   #15
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my advice is to find one that is low miles, bone stock, and the color you want! then take your time and get use to her and build it up slowly as you start figuring out what you like and what works for other jeep owners you know. If you're going for the rubicon, think twice, if you're going to change out everything that makes a rubicon a rubicon, then you're defeating the purpose. the mains thing that makes a rubi a rubi is the transfer case, the axles w/lockers, and of course the lettering on the hood. there are a few other differences but those are the big ones. I see people make the mistake of buying a rubi and then switching out all all the good stuff anyways (big waste of money IMHO). If you're gonna go 37" or bigger, you're gonna want beefier axles and anyways and would be better off getting a non-rubi and making it tougher than a rubi. PLUS, doing all the work yourself is half the fun and you then have pride in what you're driving and have the stories that come along with it. Jeeps will change your life if you let them, build it debt free (you'll thank me later) and for Christ's sake, don't be a bitch, get that sucker out on the trails where she belongs, Jeeps are much happier when you treat them right. we could go on and on but that's what all the other threads are for... good luck and like they said above... RUST FREE IS THE KEY!
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:55 PM   #16
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I live in ohio and purchased my 02 X in Florida. Saved 4K by flying down there and driving it back to ohio. You can find a deal if you look long and hard. I recommend buying stock, but if you choose to buy something that is modded I would take a close look at it and make sure it's done right. Do your homework regardless. Good luck
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:23 AM   #17
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".......my advice is to find one that is low miles, bone stock, and the color you want!...."


very well said, great advise for the o/p.
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:41 PM   #18
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my advice is to find one that is low miles, bone stock, and the color you want! then take your time and get use to her and build it up slowly as you start figuring out what you like and what works for other jeep owners you know. If you're going for the rubicon, think twice, if you're going to change out everything that makes a rubicon a rubicon, then you're defeating the purpose. the mains thing that makes a rubi a rubi is the transfer case, the axles w/lockers, and of course the lettering on the hood. there are a few other differences but those are the big ones. I see people make the mistake of buying a rubi and then switching out all all the good stuff anyways (big waste of money IMHO). If you're gonna go 37" or bigger, you're gonna want beefier axles and anyways and would be better off getting a non-rubi and making it tougher than a rubi. PLUS, doing all the work yourself is half the fun and you then have pride in what you're driving and have the stories that come along with it. Jeeps will change your life if you let them, build it debt free (you'll thank me later) and for Christ's sake, don't be a bitch, get that sucker out on the trails where she belongs, Jeeps are much happier when you treat them right. we could go on and on but that's what all the other threads are for... good luck and like they said above... RUST FREE IS THE KEY!
Thanks for the advice everyone! Especially this one. I read it in my voice, if I were giving advice about old Corvettes or sports cars (cause thats what I know). I didn't even realize the difference in the Rubicon (i'm REAL new, lol), so thanks for that!

Thanks,

Butch
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:44 PM   #19
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I live in ohio and purchased my 02 X in Florida. Saved 4K by flying down there and driving it back to ohio. You can find a deal if you look long and hard. I recommend buying stock, but if you choose to buy something that is modded I would take a close look at it and make sure it's done right. Do your homework regardless. Good luck
I bought my last sports car using Ebay, as I got the car I wanted, at a better price than anywhere in New England, drove 5 hours to get her and found she had issues not mentioned. Didn't matter, I knew I could fix her and shes been great. What did you use to buy your Jeep? They get prime money for them up here year round, so I planned on looking away, even an adventure to Texas for the right one!

Thanks,

Butch
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:28 PM   #20
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Thanks for the advice everyone! Especially this one. I read it in my voice, if I were giving advice about old Corvettes or sports cars (cause thats what I know). I didn't even realize the difference in the Rubicon (i'm REAL new, lol), so thanks for that!

Thanks,

Butch
If you're still looking, something else you REALLY need to take seriously when buying a jeep is to make sure you know the "rust condition" of a jeep before you buy it. Rust for you guys up in the northeast and other areas with lots of rain, snow, or salty beaches. I would recommend something like the last guy said, find a jeep in a dry place like Nevada, Arizona, or Utah. Once you find one you like, have them take a video and hundreds of photos of everything you wanna see after you let them know you will be flying in and driving out if all goes well. take some vacation time, fly there, buy a badd ass rust free jeep, have a rockin time driving it back home and last but not least be the envy of the town and start making your list of things to fill your weekend from mods to bogs... let us know when you get one and post pics!
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Old 05-26-2013, 04:20 PM   #21
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I looked for my jeep for over a year. I knew what I wanted which was the Rubicon, 6sp xmsn and the 4.0 motor. Yeah you can up grade to something as good as the Rubi but it will cost you an arm and a leg.....Dana 44's, lockers and the rocktrac 4.0x1 xfer case.....The advanced adapters 4.0 xfer case is over 2k.......new the Rubi is expensive but used they are sometimes cheaper than stock jeeps. I bought mine at 103K for 17k and it was a hell of a deal as book was 23k.
I run 35x12.5x15 on mine and it goes anywhere I want.......and I do mean anywhere.
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Old 05-26-2013, 05:26 PM   #22
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Just went on a fact finding mission and visited Gary's Jeeps in Chicopee, MA. He had about 15 Wranglers on site. '99-'06s and everything but a Rubicon. I did like the extra room/length of the Unlimited's. Does that extra length affect mods, upgrades or off-roadability?
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Old 05-27-2013, 07:22 AM   #23
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Just remember that you are not buying a TJ off the showroom floor. There are going to be some issues, but if the frame is rust free, the suspension is in pretty good shape, the running gear is sound, and the engine is not too abused, you will have the basis for a good start.
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:24 AM   #24
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My opinion of the unlimited is love/hate... the first thing i think of when i see an unlimited is the loss of departure angle and the loss of maneuverability in tight spots with the longer wheel base. However, you do get more room and i think the longer wheelbase would give you a slight advantage on some offroad obstacles and a bit less backflip fear. IMHO, i think they look ugly stock but lifted they look freagggin awesome...hmmmm???
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:32 PM   #25
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Any issues with the tranny (stick or auto) when lifting/adding bigger tires?

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