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Old 08-19-2008, 09:23 PM   #1
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Need a few suggestions

Hello all. I've been a lurker for some time but I've finally decided to post and I have a few questions. I currently own a 2001 Dodge Dakota 5.9 R/T that will be running mid 12's next season and it's also serving as the daily driver for the moment. This is where the Wrangler steps in. I need a new daily driver as the Dakota will be going into storage this winter and will be strictly a toy from now on.

My requirements are as follows. It will primarily be a daily driver but I want it to be capable of handling light trail usage. The lady and I would like to do some minor trail riding on the weekends, nothing crazy. I HAVE to have the 6 cylinder with a 5 speed. I grew up on V8's and I can't stand four cylinders, they annoy me. I'm looking to spend about 10K max on a used TJ. Are my requirements outside of my price range? Can a stock TJ handle what I require or are aftermarket upgrades required? Would I be better off going with a different model Wrangler than the TJ?

Also, which model Wrangler has better aftermarket support or are they all about the same? What are the prices like on aftermarket parts? Are they typical Mopar and ridiculously priced or are they reasonable?

How big of a tire/wheel combo can I fit on a stock TJ without a lift?

Lastly, how durable is the 4.0L and the 5 speed assuming they've been maintained? The 4.0L is based on the old AMC 4.2L isn't it?

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Old 08-19-2008, 09:34 PM   #2
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Axiom - first off..welcome.

You have very valid questions.

I will give you my .02 worth.

The TJ went from 1997 to 2007, so finding one with a 6 cyl 4.0 engine will not be that hard. Keeping it under 10K is also very doable..I would say you could find a 97-99 for that price range...maybe even a 2000.

A stock TJ is very capable of what you are asking to do, it can handle the mild trail rides and daily driver part just fine.

Now for the aftermarket parts, there are tons so that is not really a concern. As far as price, it is all over the map, but it does not have to be all MOPAR parts, there is plenty of after market parts. Actually, my Jeep does not has only one MOPAR after market part on it and that is the gas cap cover.

As far as a stock TJ tire size, you can run 31X10.50X15's with no issue. 32X10.50X15 with a 1" body lift. Anything bigger than that and you are looking at suspension lift and new wheels if you want to go wider than 10.50.

Someone else may chime in on here on that last comment.

The 4.0 engine is one of the most dependable motors you can buy if it is properly maintained.

That is my rant, PM me if you have specific questions. Also check around this form, there is lots of good information about all this stuff.

Again...Welcome...

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Originally Posted by Axiom View Post
Hello all. I've been a lurker for some time but I've finally decided to post and I have a few questions. I currently own a 2001 Dodge Dakota 5.9 R/T that will be running mid 12's next season and it's also serving as the daily driver for the moment. This is where the Wrangler steps in. I need a new daily driver as the Dakota will be going into storage this winter and will be strictly a toy from now on.

My requirements are as follows. It will primarily be a daily driver but I want it to be capable of handling light trail usage. The lady and I would like to do some minor trail riding on the weekends, nothing crazy. I HAVE to have the 6 cylinder with a 5 speed. I grew up on V8's and I can't stand four cylinders, they annoy me. I'm looking to spend about 10K max on a used TJ. Are my requirements outside of my price range? Can a stock TJ handle what I require or are aftermarket upgrades required? Would I be better off going with a different model Wrangler than the TJ?

Also, which model Wrangler has better aftermarket support or are they all about the same? What are the prices like on aftermarket parts? Are they typical Mopar and ridiculously priced or are they reasonable?

How big of a tire/wheel combo can I fit on a stock TJ without a lift?

Lastly, how durable is the 4.0L and the 5 speed assuming they've been maintained? The 4.0L is based on the old AMC 4.2L isn't it?

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Old 08-20-2008, 02:34 AM   #3
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Yea, the 4.0L was based off of the 4.2L. They basically de-stroked it with a different crank and rods and then made it fuel injected. Theres a lot more to it but you get the idea. The 4.0L can last well into the 500K mile range with proper maintenance (I actually know of 2 people who have had such experiences with it), and the 5 spd is also very durable. Plus, with it being a man. trans, it can easily be rebuilt. Good luck finding your new rig, $10K will get you a nice TJ easily.
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Old 08-20-2008, 09:03 AM   #4
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The only thing I would recommend over and above what has been said so far, is to try and find one with the Dana 44 rear end, it is the stronger rear end, and if you are used to launching that Dakota hard, you just might hurt the stock rear end fairly quickly.. otherwise, welcome to the madness!
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:43 AM   #5
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You should be able to get into a '00-'01 for that cash. Just keep it stock for a while and define your needs as you go along. The Jeep will redefine your driving limits - you will be very surprised at the stock capabilities.

Welcome to WF.
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Old 08-20-2008, 12:43 PM   #6
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First off, thank you for all the responses, they were very helpful.

I'm glad someone brought up the rear end. I've blown through two already in the Dakota. Those MOPAR limited slip diffs are complete crap. The Dana 44 should be able to handle a mildly built 4.0L and some trail riding? Does the Dana have a limited slip diff?

Right when I buy her, she's going to get a set of 15" black Crager's with 31" BFG All Terrains. Will the stock brakes be able to handle the bigger wheel/tire combo?
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Old 08-20-2008, 12:48 PM   #7
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So TJ's did come with the limited slips, like mine..but I have a crappy D35.

Yes on the brake question, I have 33" tires and the brakes are holding up just fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axiom View Post
First off, thank you for all the responses, they were very helpful.

I'm glad someone brought up the rear end. I've blown through two already in the Dakota. Those MOPAR limited slip diffs are complete crap. The Dana 44 should be able to handle a mildly built 4.0L and some trail riding? Does the Dana have a limited slip diff?

Right when I buy her, she's going to get a set of 15" black Crager's with 31" BFG All Terrains. With the stock brakes be able to handle the bigger wheel/tire combo?
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Old 08-21-2008, 12:28 PM   #8
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So how do you identify the Dana 44 vs the D35?
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Old 08-21-2008, 03:47 PM   #9
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Anything with a perfectly round rear end diff cover, or a rubber fill plug is going to be a D35. With that said, a Dana 35 is not going to be a horrible axle with just 31s. I have seen my fair share of snapped 35 shafts, but the numbers go up or down directly in proportion to tire size.

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