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Old 02-02-2010, 11:56 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: So. Calif.
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Want to buy 97 to 06 Wrangler

I'm seeing lots of ads for used Wranglers with 100,000 to 200,000 miles or more. Seems like a lot of mileage to this Grandmother. Also, 5 spd vs Auto? Anybody out there have some advice for me? The high mileage kind of scares me. I want this wrangler to tow behind an rv, and to just have fun driving! No serious off-roading.

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Old 02-02-2010, 12:00 PM   #2

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As for miles, the 4.0L if taken care of can go well over 200k. However if buying used I would look for the one in the best shape with the lowest miles in your price range.

Auto or stick is up to you, Either one is good.

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Old 02-02-2010, 12:09 PM   #3
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When i was first lookin at jeeps i was trying to find something under 100k miles but honestly to get a descent price shootin a little higher is the way to go. I ended up buyin a a 4.0L 5 speed with almost 150,000miles on it becuz i realized anything under 200k isnt bad for a wrangler. my brother had a jeep that had 223,000 miles on it when he sold it and the thing was still running strong. The only advice i really have is go with a 4.0L.
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:10 PM   #4
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oh P.S. I would worry about the shape the body is in more than the mileage.
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:28 PM   #5
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Auto or stick is a complete preference choice. I'm a manual driver, but will tell you that if you planned on rock crawling, auto might be the way to go. Realize that both transmissions are truck transmissions, and do have a habit of shifting a little rougher then a car's would.

The high mileage is nowhere near the concern that other cars would be. The high price of 98's with 175k still reflects this. These cars still have some of the highest residual values in the auto industry, and the 4.0L is no slouch to worry about failing on you. Not to mention, you have two gigantic communities (WranglerForum, and the lesser, slightly retarded step-brother JeepForum) plus all the regional forums and Jerry that are always willing to give advice and help you out for nothing more then some beer or pizza.

I bought mine with 120k miles and 10 years of age back in Oct. There's no other car I would have paid $6k with this high of mileage, and oddly enough, $6k was considered a fantastic deal.
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:31 PM   #6
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Jeep Wrangler TJ's are not mechanically indestructible, but they seem to be. I haven't seen too many posts on here with people saying the motor has blown up, or the engine is smoking, etc.....
I've put 17,000 miles on my jeep in a years time. No mechanical problems whats so ever. Had 112,000 when I bought it.
Keep the oil changed RELIGIOUSLY (as with any vehicle) and always watch your gauges. Don't try to get technical with what type of oil. Valvoline is good oil. (on shelf at Wal-mart) I used a mopar filter. (on the shelf at Wal-mart) Did I mention to keep your oil changed RELIGIOUSLY?
I run a standard trans.
At some point during jeep ownership, you will BUST A NUT!!!
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:55 PM   #7
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I bought my 1997 TJ in March of 2009. It had 176,000 miles on it. I paid $4600.00 for it.
It is my daily driver and just turned over 188,000 miles. Other than normal maintainence
the two big things that I have had to replace are the radiator and steering gear. The defroster had to be repaired but that took about 30 minutes and a $14.00 part.
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:00 PM   #8
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Yea, I use FRAM filters and Castrol. Nothing brand specific, but I just like the way FRAMs fit and grip. Oil changes take 5 minutes. There's no lifting necessary. Just do that one religiously.

Clean your battery terminals on the regular. You don't want some wonky surge or interference ruining other components.

Finally, with a high mileage vehicle DO NOT USE SYNTHETIC OIL! Unless you have evidence that synthetic oil was used previously consistently. Synthetic oil is terrific at removing buildup and crud.

... the same crud that could be preventing leaks to your engine. So unless it's a 80k mile vehicle or less, no synthetic oil.
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:59 PM   #9

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I bought my ('99) TJ about 4 months ago. It had 102,000 with the 4 cyl. Runs strong and smooth shifting (5 sp). I wanted to go with the 4.0 6 but this came along with no rust, almost perfect paint and almost perfect interior. The previous owner commuted in it and kept it in the garage. Great price at $5000. Auto vs 5sp? Hmmmm you got to decide yourself on that one.

I too bought it to tow behind my motorhome and it tows like a dream, so if you need any advice on setting it up for towing get back to me.
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:37 PM   #10
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bought my 97 4.0 a few months ago..it had 94k then and has 96k,been a great 2k driven it..only prob i have is the vents are all messed up,the only place air blows out of is near my feet..ive taken it all apart to see if there was something wrong and it all appeared to be fine..but thats about it..still glad i got it
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:51 PM   #11
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Like everyone is saying, keep the fluids changed on time and correctly each and everytime.

You have; windshield washer fluid, coolant, engine oil, diff oil, trans fluid, brake fluid, transfer case oil. Theres alot!

Make sure you use the fluids that were put in the vehicle originally from factory. You can get that information from a Jeep dealership or by asking around here. If not you will be leaking more fluids then you know what to do with. Most likely that is.
1980 CJ7
3.9L Cummins POWER!
Follow my build, its cool and stuff: http://www.wranglerforum.com/f118/project-shake-n-bake-a-cummins-cj-188515.html]
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:35 AM   #12
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Last spring I purchased a 98 Sport 4.0L, 5spd, 42,000 miles for $8200. I'm third owner. Actually ran into the second owner. He bought it, and enjoyed, but with a wife and 3 kids, not a family vehicle. Have a hard top, half doors w/fiberglass upper & sliders. With no AC, it can get warm, but not to uncomfortable. Pop the uppers off, and have fun!
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:30 AM   #13
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I have a 97 2.5L auto with almost 137k on it. We've had it for 11 years and it's been very reliable. My brother just replaced the exhaust manifold for me, it had 3 cracks in it but things like that are to be expected with an older vehicle. I can't say enought about wranglers, they're tough. Even the mighty 2.5L is a strong engine and can last just as long as the 4.0 as long as you take care of it. My advice to you when looking would be to check for rust. Check the floor boards under the carpet. Good luck on your search!
aerodynamics are overrated.

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Old 02-05-2010, 03:44 PM   #14
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Most of the people here including myself would recommend the 4.0. Having said that, it sounds like the 2.5 would suit you just fine. Used 2.5's are probably going to be a little cheaper since most people prefer the 4.0. I would try to find one with under 150,000 miles on it. Don't be afraid to look underneath it. If there are a lot of scrapes, dents and gouges underneath keep looking. There are lots of 'em out there. find a clean one. Good luck. Let us know how you did.
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:29 PM   #15
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I just bought a 2002 Sport 5spd, 4.0L 6cyl and soft top with the half doors with 90k miles. Before this I had a 2008 Mazda6, leather interior, nice wheels great interior and it rode like a dream. However, I've never loved a car like I've loved the Jeep. I enjoy driving it every day (it's my DD) and wouldn't trade it for anything.

My advice... DO IT! The miles seem to not even make a difference on this beast. It rides good, obviously not as smooth as my old car but still smooth enough to not bother me at all. If you're just gonna have it as a side car to drive around and have fun, I don't think the 4cyl will be too bad. However, I can't vouch for 200k miles, as I've never driven any jeep with that many. But I have seen some guys on here with that much mileage and their still riding.

G' luck

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