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Old 02-16-2014, 05:50 PM   #1
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TJ Sport buying advice?

Hi I am looking at buying a wrangler and just wanting to get some advice/recommendations on what to look out for..
I am looking at getting a model around about 2004, possibly older. 2 door, manual, 4Litre, sport, soft top.
What should I know about these cars before buying?
How many km's do they normally last?
Are there any potentially big problems I should check before buying?

The main uses for the car will be to drive to work each day, trips to the beach, lots of camping and a little big of 4driving

Hope you can help,

Cheers

(In Australia)

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Old 02-16-2014, 06:33 PM   #2
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So long as you stick with that 2004 or older model Sport model you described, there are no major problems I'd be especially wary of. Jeeps exported out of the U.S., as yours would be there in Australia would be, all have the venerable Dana 44 axle in the rear which is a good nearly bulletproof axle (it is extra cost for non-exported U.S. models) suitable for nearly anything within reason.

Mileage-wise, the 4.0L engine is pretty darned bulletproof and most go 250k miles or more before an overhaul.

Hope you find a good one RenaeJane and welcome to WF!

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Old 02-17-2014, 12:46 PM   #3
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^ what he said.
Plus, when you find one, take the VIN and call the dealer to find out the gearing. You don't want 3.07, like mine. Wish I'd known this before I bought. Kinda anemic, especially on hwy.
Good luck on the hunt!
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:47 PM   #4
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^ what he said.
Plus, when you find one, take the VIN and call the dealer to find out the gearing. You don't want 3.07, like mine. Wish I'd known this before I bought. Kinda anemic, especially on hwy.
Good luck on the hunt!
Most of the 4.0L Sports you find will come with 3.07 gears. Not a huge problem unless you get up above 31" tires at which point you need plenty of other stuff and it just becomes part of the upgrade addiction.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:45 PM   #5
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Most of the 4.0L Sports you find will come with 3.07. Not a huge problem unless you get up above 31" tires at which point you need plenty of other stuff and it just becomes part of the upgrade addiction.
She's in Australia that, as mentioned above, gets the export version that comes standard with the Dana 44 and 3.73.

But even in the U. S., dealers are who decided whether to order 3.07 or 3.73 for their new TJ orders. When I was working with new Jeep dealers to build up custom lifted Jeeps for them to sell, most new TJs on their lots had the 3.73's we required. I had to pass on the rare 3.07 equipped TJs I found since we didn't want to have to regear them for the larger tires we installed.
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:31 PM   #6
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The exported version of the TJ automatically got the D44? That sucks for us. Why are we exporting the good stuff? Grrrr.
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:09 PM   #7
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Thanks for that, I have heard they have problems with the diff, and over here it costs above $3000 to get a new one.

Also, this particular model and older commonly catch on fire...

Has anyone heard of these issues or have any tips to prevent them catching on fire? Unsure what part commonly causes the fire...
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:56 PM   #8
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Yes this can happen, but there are ways to avoid it.

1. Do not drive into fire.

2. Do not light the Jeep on fire.

If you follow these simple instructions, you should be fine!

Otherwise
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:22 PM   #9
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Thanks for that, I have heard they have problems with the diff, and over here it costs above $3000 to get a new one.

Also, this particular model and older commonly catch on fire...

Has anyone heard of these issues or have any tips to prevent them catching on fire? Unsure what part commonly causes the fire...
I can't imagine what people are doing to catch a Jeep Wrangler on fire. If it was a problem, there would have been a recall, and I know my Wrangler was never recalled for such an issue. I have a '97 TJ Sport 4.0L, and I've had absolutely no differential problems nor any problems with it catching on fire.

With a differential, I guess it probably depends on whether someone knows how to drive a 4x4. If you put any 4x4 in 4-wheel drive in the wrong conditions, you could ruin your differential/drive train.

I would look at threads regarding the proper usage of 4x4, and when to use 4x4 hi-lo. If you put your Wrangler in 4-lo in the wrong conditions, it won't last long. I never put my Jeep in 4 wheel drive on paved or dirt roads. Heavy snow, maybe 4-hi. Really muddy conditions, maybe 4-lo. Don't use 4 wheel drive just to impress your friends on paved roads or firm dirt roads.

Others, can probably give you more explicit guidance. Jerry is very knowledgeable about such things. So, if he says that I am wrong about anything, in this particular advice, listen to him.

Wranglers are great fun vehicles. Don't listen to the noobs, who ruined their Jeeps, by abusing them.

If you drive over big rocks without proper skid plates, I can imagine that you could pierce your gas tank, and spark a fire. But, this is true with any vehicle. It is just that people with Jeeps like to drive over bigger rocks. Cars have the same set up, but they rarely go off road period, so they don't risk piercing their gas tanks.
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by RenaeJane View Post
Thanks for that, I have heard they have problems with the diff, and over here it costs above $3000 to get a new one.

Also, this particular model and older commonly catch on fire...

Has anyone heard of these issues or have any tips to prevent them catching on fire? Unsure what part commonly causes the fire...
The rear Dana 44 your TJ came with, together with the front Dana 30, are very good strong reliable differentials. The U.S. version TJs come standard with the weaker Dana 35c rear axle which has strength problems but you don't have that issue.

And no, they don't commonly catch on fire. Whoever told you that doesn't know what he's talking about.
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Old 02-18-2014, 08:46 PM   #11
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Ok thank you for that. Now I am super keen to get my wrangler!

Thanks heaps for your help

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