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Old 07-28-2011, 05:45 PM   #1
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Tips Request-Making TJ Daily Driver

Hey all,

Fairly new here although I've had several wranglers in my time. My current TJ has not been my daily driver as I've been able to carpool with the wife for the last couple of years. Just got a new job and will be driving on my own so will be running the freeways with my TJ.

Any tips to make this more daily driver friendly? It's a 1997 TJ, SE, soft top, 5 speed, no A/C. Yeah, the stripped down 4 banger! She's got almost 120K miles on her and I don't even know how many more before I start having major problems. Right now everything runs fine.

What can I do to make this more daily driver friendly? What have others done? I've considered a sail cloth top and maybe dropping down to 30" tires from 31's. Anything else? Any cheap little mods I can do....

Thanks!

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Old 07-28-2011, 06:20 PM   #2
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Sounds like it's a good daily driver already to me. I drive my TJ back and forth to work 85 miles a day and enjoy my ride.

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Old 07-28-2011, 06:27 PM   #3
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Drive mine every day too. No changes. I enjoy being above traffic. People get out of my way.
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:36 PM   #4
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Got a stereo? That would be the one major thing if you don't.
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:39 PM   #5
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stereo x2 i would say a good sound system helps, new speakers etc.
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Old 07-28-2011, 08:08 PM   #6
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x3 on the stereo, but remember, an expensive head unit without detachable faceplate or other security features can make your TJ a target. I've got a Kenwood Unit with iPod connections that came with the Jeep and I'm loving it. I live in the boonies where radio stations fade in and out depending on the day and the weather so my iPod is my music lifeline.
If you have a long drive and find your feet getting hot, get yourself a heat shield. I'm looking into one for Blue and have had lots of suggestions from other members on the forum. My regular drive is only about 40 miles round trip but I do alot of road trips in the summer and don't want to get blisters on my feet from the heat :-).
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Old 07-28-2011, 08:31 PM   #7
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40" tires so you can drive over top of cars.
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:49 PM   #8
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40" tires so you can drive over top of cars.
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:50 PM   #9
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Sounds like it's a good daily driver already to me. I drive my TJ back and forth to work 85 miles a day and enjoy my ride.
Ha! Maybe I'm just getting to be an old fart (turned 40 last year). Used to pride myself on driving wranglers BECAUSE they lacked creature comforts. Guess I need to get back to that mind-set!
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:52 PM   #10
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Oh yeah....I do have a stereo. Replaced the stock POS with a detatchable face unit with line in jack and usb port. Replaced front speakers and sound bar speakers as well. Still not much wattage when I'm on freeway. Oh well, that's what I get for not putting a lot of money into my upgrade...
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Old 07-29-2011, 12:27 AM   #11
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My Jeep is my DD also. Just traded my 98 Sport off about 2 weeks ago for a 06, working on making the changes. I recommend changing all the drive train oils to full synthetic, to me it seemed to make things just a little easier. I know, it sounds off the wall, but she just seemed to drive/handle easier.

Also, give her a lube job,and if you haven't changed the plugs, wires, rotor & cap in the past 50000 miles or so, maybe do that also. I ran mine with 31's, and added a 2"BB not long ago, the BB made no difference other than looks, and the new shocks made a difference in handling and ride. Enjoy, and wear your seatbelt!
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:45 AM   #12
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You're fine the way you are. Stay on top of your preventative maintenance and you'll be fine.
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:54 AM   #13
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Sounds like it's set up just fine as is. The 4 banger doesn't mind being wound up a bit more, so shift late to get up to speed on the highway. If wind noise/flapping becomes bothersome, it might be worthwhile to look into a used hard top. Even in the summer, i drive with the floor vents open and fan on. 90° moving air over your feet is better than 130° still air.

If you spend alot of time on the highways, keep an eye out for 18-wheelers to draft behind. They usually maintain a constant/reasonable speed, and DRASTICALLY reduce the wind resistance you are fighting. I see a minimum 30% increase in mpg for highway trips where i primarily draft a large truck or bus. If you log a few hundred miles a week, that adds up fast to upgrades money!
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonH View Post
Any tips to make this more daily driver friendly? It's a 1997 TJ, SE, soft top, 5 speed, no A/C. Yeah, the stripped down 4 banger!

Anything else? Any cheap little mods I can do....
Since you have a soft top, the answer is easy: install a Bestop bikini and rear duster cover. Attach the bikini to your factory door surrounds. This way you'll have shade on the road yet still be relatively cool and comfortable. If the weather says it might rain, bring your upper door halves along for the ride and park with your nose pointed into the (potential) rain.

Inspiration:


Also, if your commute is lengthy, switch to a street-oriented tire. I am in love with MT/Rs, but an all-season tire would be smoother and quieter for commuting.
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Old 07-29-2011, 11:02 AM   #15
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I always toss that suggestion out, but never bothered to do the exact math. The results are impressive. This would be a hypothetical week on the highway in my jeep.

500 miles at 12mpg (not drafting) = 41.6 gallons
41.6 gallons at $3.60 = $150

500 miles at 16mpg (drafting) = 31.25 gallons
31.25 gallons at $3.60 = $112.50

That's $37.50 per week at NJ gas prices. Your savings would differ based on fuel prices in your area.

That's still $150 a month ($1,800/yr) just for following a truck!
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Old 07-29-2011, 11:30 AM   #16
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I always toss that suggestion out, but never bothered to do the exact math. The results are impressive. This would be a hypothetical week on the highway in my jeep.

500 miles at 12mpg (not drafting) = 41.6 gallons
41.6 gallons at $3.60 = $150

500 miles at 16mpg (drafting) = 31.25 gallons
31.25 gallons at $3.60 = $112.50

That's $37.50 per week at NJ gas prices. Your savings would differ based on fuel prices in your area.

That's still $150 a month ($1,800/yr) just for following a truck!

Wow! I consistantly get 16mpg highway in my 2004. If you're only getting 12mpg I suspect you have some issues that need to be addressed.
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Old 07-29-2011, 01:04 PM   #17
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12MPG??? wow! Im gettin 15 with my 2005 LJ with 33 inch tires... my YJ got 16 MPG and my CJ7 was gettin 17
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Old 07-29-2011, 02:21 PM   #18
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Wow! I consistantly get 16mpg highway in my 2004. If you're only getting 12mpg I suspect you have some issues that need to be addressed.

It's lifted ~5 inches, with 35x12.5x15 M/T tires kept under 25psi, and a couple hundred pounds of tools/gear in the back. And my gears are a bit too tall for the tires, i just can't justify $1500 to go from 4.10 to 4.88.
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Old 07-29-2011, 02:38 PM   #19
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It's lifted ~5 inches, with 35x12.5x15 M/T tires kept under 25psi, and a couple hundred pounds of tools/gear in the back. And my gears are a bit too tall for the tires, i just can't justify $1500 to go from 4.10 to 4.88.
With the price of gas the way it is now, you might save that much after a year or two depending on how much you drive. I'm getting good milage with 33s and 3.73s but still want to regear eventually just for offroad performance.
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Old 07-29-2011, 06:29 PM   #20
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With the price of gas the way it is now, you might save that much after a year or two depending on how much you drive. I'm getting good milage with 33s and 3.73s but still want to regear eventually just for offroad performance.
It's great offroad, with the 4:1 t-case, but 5th gear is miserable on the highway. I'm quietly hoping one of my ring gears grenades so i have an excuse to put 4.88's in...
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Old 07-29-2011, 06:38 PM   #21
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Wow! I consistantly get 16mpg highway in my 2004. If you're only getting 12mpg I suspect you have some issues that need to be addressed.
Not necessarily.
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:49 PM   #22
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Since you have a soft top, the answer is easy: install a Bestop bikini and rear duster cover. Attach the bikini to your factory door surrounds. This way you'll have shade on the road yet still be relatively cool and comfortable. If the weather says it might rain, bring your upper door halves along for the ride and park with your nose pointed into the (potential) rain.

Inspiration:


Also, if your commute is lengthy, switch to a street-oriented tire. I am in love with MT/Rs, but an all-season tire would be smoother and quieter for commuting.
Would love to roll with a bikini top and rear dust cover. Problem is I live in SEATTLE! We just got Summer like a week ago! Rain is a constant issue here.........
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:04 AM   #23
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You could get a Scangauge II to help watch your gas mileage. I'm picking mine up this weekend.

http://www.google.com/m/products/det...ed=0CCIQ8wIwAQ
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:38 AM   #24
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You could get a Scangauge II to help watch your gas mileage. I'm picking mine up this weekend.

scangauge - Product Details
I like that idea but it scares me. Do I really wanna know how many gallons to the mile I'm getting??????

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