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Old 02-05-2014, 07:50 PM   #1
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Thinking of buying

So I've always looked at The Jeep Wranglers and thought to myself, someday I might get one.

Well the time is almost here. I'm coming into some money and instead of upgrading my current ride, I'd thought I'd go ahead and get myself a Wrangler. Now I know obviously that since I'm here at a Jeep Forums that in some cases, I'll get a bias response but ya'll are also the experts on these vehicles and thus the ones to turn to.

I currently have a 1996 Nissan Hardbody 4x4. I've looked around on Youtube and other pictures and determined I like the interior looks of 97+ but like I said I do have a few questions based on the 4.0 Inline 6:

1: Whats the strong and weak points? Like for instance, my Nissan has a wicked durable motor but the Transmission and Tie Rods aren't exactly to write home about. My LT1 Camaro is a freakin monster but the Opti-Spark is definitely a legend lol. How's the 5 speeds on these things? Motors pretty strong? Heating? Anything to look for?

2: How's the room? I'm 6'1" and broad shouldered. While I know a Wrangler isn't a stretch Limo, am I gonna be pretty crowded?

3: Power. I see they had 170hp but from what I've read my Hardbody will outrun them at 134hp. Someone said at one point "We don't go nowhere fast but we go EVERYWHERE slow." That said a lot to me, but I would like SOME oomph while passing cars. We have a 2 lane highway that seems to attract 40-45 mph people and I would like SOME passing potential.

4: MPG. Yea I know it's not a Honda but what can I responsibly expect? My Wife's Durango gets about 20 and my Hardbody gets about 23. If I can stay around that I'll be happy.

5: Upgrades. I don't mean KC and winches. Engine upgrades. Is there a HUGE selection to choose from? For my Hardbody I have 1 MAYBE 2 Headers to choose from and THATS IT. I know Wranglers have quite the following but is it still out there?

6: Towing. Yea I dont plan on towing a 40' 5th wheel. But I do have a little 8' Bimart trailer I haul trash in and we also own a 12' popup trailer. We do mainly use the Durango for Towing but if I'm going to be losing my Hardbody, I'd like to be able to tow the Bimart trailer around for junk/wood runs.

7: Ease of working on? Do I have to pull half the motor apart just to change Dist Wires or can I practically rebuild the motor with it still in the Jeep?

Thanks everyone for every bit of info you can. It will help me determine where to go from here.
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:13 PM   #2
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First off Welcome!

I will try to answer all your questions short and sweet, and I'm sure some will add further.

1: Engine and trans are reliable. I would def get a 4.0 if possible. The five speed is good, the six speeds mine as well be five speeds unless highway driving. Durable, I think they are. However, that all depends on how your treat any vehicle. Good thing parts are fairly inexpensive.

2: Being 6'1 will not be crowded for you, you will not be able to have anyone in your back seat behind you though, seat will basically be all the way back.

3:No get up and go, all torque, getting a running start and try to plan your passes of cars ahead of time...funny but that how I do it.

4:MPG I think it is fair to say most of here get 14-18 nothing more, can always be less, TJ's are pigs.

5:Leave the engine alone

6:Towing is VERY limited. Max is 2,000lb and with the SWB (short wheel base) I wouldn't tow a 12" pop up but towing opinions is one of the most argued topics on this website, so form your own opinion from others...I would not.

7:Very easy to work on, easy to do wires, no you can't rebuild the motor without removing, but yes, if you know you way are repairing vehicles it will not be difficult.

Good Luck, Hope you get one! They are a ton of fun!

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Old 02-05-2014, 08:24 PM   #3
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1. Strong point is the durable 4.0 engine. Weak point is the standard Dana 35 rear. Look for a D44 rear.
2. Room is of no concern. I'm 6'3'' and broad as a barn. No issues with space.
3. These rigs are not speed demons. To regain optimal performance after installing larger tires go ahead and regear your axles.
4. Expect around 16mpg on the highway with the 4.0 liter.
5. Engine upgrades are pointless unless you want to build a stroker. Focus on proper gearing.
6. Towing capacity for the TJ is 2000 pounds.
7. Easy to work on. Plenty of space under the hood. Not as spacious as a 60's muscle car but definitely more room than an import.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:19 PM   #4
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6'3 sit with the seat all the way back and it's defiantly comfortably , and I have had people sit behind me just wouldn't go for any road trips like that!
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:50 PM   #5
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Thanks a LOT so far everyone. Yea I also have a 95 Z28 that's built so if I want to go FAST I usually just take that

Our Tent trailer is max 2000 lbs gross. But like I mentioned we have a 4.7 Durango with 4.92 gears that tows it just fine. Just wouldn't mind running over the hill on the Horizon from time to time with the Jeep/Trailer.

Relieved about the room. My Z28 is the same way. Technically it's a 4 seater...but when I'm driving aint noone sitting behind me LOL.

Love the response of planning to pass cause that's what I do in the Hardbody...ok....ok...ok NOW...woohoo 50 (10 secs later) 55!

Kinda excited about getting one
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