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ffmtb1 09-17-2007 07:27 PM

questions on buying used TJ
I am new to this forum and the world of TJs.
I have a bunch of questions on buying a used TJ.
Any glaring reasons to buy an auto vs manual trans?
Any resaon to by an Unlimited vs standard TJ other than more room?

I have driven two Unlimiteds now, both 06s and two standard TJs both 03s.
One of the 03s I drove today, it had a 2" body lift and 33" tires. The body lift makes me nervous.

My intents for a TJ will be a 3rd vehicle, I drive a Honda Pilot and my wife has the Oddessy. We need the 3rd row for our kids and their stuffs. No rock crawling off roading w/ the TJ. We live in Ct.

Thanks for any and all input. I have a thick skin so if I have asked questions that have been asked many times please point me to the link.

Texapple 09-17-2007 07:33 PM

welcome to WF

You must have been on some of those other forums - no flames here - just Jeep lovers. :D

The folks will chime in soon & give you their opinions."no rock crawling/off roading", I have a feeling the bug will bite ya...sooner or later :D

nregas1 09-17-2007 07:45 PM

x2 from Amy. The bug will bite soon. Or you'll sell it. :D
If you're comfortable with manuals, they're basically bullet proof. AT's before 03 are 3spd w/no OD. Both have their virtues however, and there's always an exception to the rule. As you'll read all over this forum, watch for rust, good maintenance (records would be nice), well cared for, and the fewer prior owners the better as a rule of thumb. Personally, I've always chosen a bone stock jeep to purchase just for peace of mind. However, I can tell you from experience that isn't fool proof either. Good luck. There is lots of good info here and folks with lots of knowledge. Welcome and good luck.

4Jeepn 09-17-2007 07:54 PM


Auto or manual are both fine. Just depends on what you like.. with kids, maybe the auto is the way to go.

Certainly, with kids the extra room of the unlimited is nice.
I am not a big fan of body lifts, so I would most likey pass on that jeep, unless the price is right, really right.

I know your said your not going to go off-road, but just incase you do... find a jeep with the dana 44 rear end if you can. Has a metal drain plug vs a plastic one. Just an all around better rear axle should you get the sickness and take it offroad.

tobycat1 09-17-2007 10:41 PM

I would stay away from a body lifted jeep.... quite a few mechanics won't touch it with a BL. Also, if your kids will be driving it..... get an auto. Auto's are way better for those without experience. I should know, I'm 17.

ffmtb1 09-18-2007 07:01 AM

Thanks to all so far for the suggestions.
As far as the Dana 44 I've been looking towards the Rubicon or one w/ that option just for the reasons mentioned above.
There is a dealer close buy w/ about 4 Rubicons right now that I hope to look at/drive in the next few days.
As far as off roading, I am not opposed to wheeling, just not the extreme rockcrawling stuff. I intend on this jeep to be a semi-daily driver/toy that I can work on. Not that my Pilot is bad in the winter, just I'd prefer 4wd to get me to/from work. I'm a firefighter so I need to be able to get to work at anytime/weather.

pick 09-18-2007 07:28 AM

Looks like you've done alot of the research already.
I think when it comes to auto v manual tranny, I think its a lot of personal choice. If you have to deal with a lot of stop and go stuff in town, an auto might be nice. With a manual then I guess it just depends on if the other people in the house can drive one, if they can great, if not you can teach them, or never have to worry about them borrowing it.

blktrax 09-18-2007 08:01 AM


blktrax 09-18-2007 08:04 AM

I think a lot of jeep people suffer from a syndrome I call
"Wish I woulda..."

Buying a top rung Rubicon, theres not many places you couldn't go.

Buying a Sport or even and X will get you close but those heavier axles and lockers go a long way.

Buying those parts for a Sport or an X model will easily close the buying price gap.

What you have to ask yourself is how much work do you want to do yourself and how mush youre willing or wanting to spend to have work done.

I bought a tinker Jeep after my first two because I decided I wanted to do most/all of the work to it, and not have a huge payment.

Auto V Man. = I vote stick, for 2 reaons, First) More selectable power. 5 or 6 gears v 3 or 4 Second) You stated driving in winter condidtions, if for some reason you haven selected 4wd yet or happen to hit a slick spot, the auto has a tendancy to push though the front tires. Meaning not enough brake force has been applied to stop the rear wheels from turning, after the fronts have locked and started to slide. Unless you have and ABS equipped Jeep


It's always more fun in a Jeep

richp 09-18-2007 08:14 AM

Four jeeps in the family, all sticks, I've personally never owned an auto in over 30 years of driving cept for a dodge van. Both my kids drive TJ's, both sticks, both learned on my 98XJ. Keeps borrowing by friends to a minimum :D Prefer the manuals, less to go wrong, when an AT goes bad you replace the whole thing, The Ax15 in my XJ has over 350,000mi on it, the AX5's in the TJ's have over 100,000mi on them. My wifes oldsmobile had to have the AT replaced at 130K, engine at 150K. Nope, I'm happy with manuals.
As far as rears, any of the unlimited will have D44's and rear discs which is nice.
It you are buying used check if it was a NY car, the road salt they use in NY state just eats them alive underneath. Seen 3 year old TJ's that look pristine up top, 80 years old underneath.

OdhinnsChick 09-18-2007 09:32 AM

If you are buying from a dealer (ouchy), I would test drive every jeep they have. I noticed around here, they have a bunch of lifted jeeps, stock jeeps, etc etc. See what you like best. I have come to realize through dealing with stealerships that they way overcharge for everything. :/

nregas1 09-18-2007 09:41 AM

It's possible to get a great deal on a used jeep from a dealer. Trade offers on jeeps are horrible. People can really take a bad loss most of the time but its easier so they do it. Now the dealer has a ton of room to come down on that jeep. They are always going to make money, but there's nothing wrong with that. If they can make $1000 over what they gave for it on trade they'll do it and you've still got a heck of a deal b/c the last guy probably got screwed.

Odhinn 09-18-2007 10:04 AM

I personally don't have the patients to deal with new car dealers. Worked for one a long time ago and saw way to much gouging happen on trade-ins, parts, and used and new vehicles. I guess it left me with a bad taste.

As far as looking at a TJ used. ffmtb1 I personally prefer a stick shift and the TJ not the LJ. You should take a long hard look at both models and transmissions and see which best meets your needs.

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