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.
Originally Posted by Axiom
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?