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-   -   Taking the Wrangler plunge (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/taking-the-wrangler-plunge-144751.html)

BigDeaner 03-07-2012 08:48 AM

Taking the Wrangler plunge
 
I've been poking around on craigslist and eBay for well over a month now trying to gauge prices for Wranglers seeing as I'd like to pick one up in the next month or so.

I'm looking to spend anywhere from 5-8K for a '97-03 TJ with around 100,000ish miles on it. I've found some deals online that looked good but haven't pulled the trigger mainly because I'm new to Wranglers. My first car was a Grand Cherokee which I loved, but Wranglers are a new world to me. This will be my summer/spring car, so it will most likely sit in a garage for the winter/colder months here in New England. I'm looking for a soft top, mechanically sound, rot free, 6cyl with a 5-speed. I don't need monster tires or a massive lift, I just want a nice Wrangler to cruise around in with the top down.


Is something like this worth $9,000? Thats obviously the sticker price, so I'm sure there's some wiggle room, but I'd just like to make sure its in the ballpark.
The Garage - 2003 Jeep Wrangler

As a newbie to Wranglers, what should I be looking for when I go to check out the car? I'd like to take it to a mechanic before buying (or immediately after- Mass has some of the strongest lemon laws in the country and if there are issues, the dealer is somewhat liable). I'm not a gear head, so my main concern is how to spot issues/what to look for. Also if anyone knows of a decent Jeep mechanic in the Boston area, it would greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance guys,
Dean

tbensor 03-07-2012 09:35 AM

yes it is worth 9.

Smitty03 03-07-2012 09:46 AM

Make sure to check for any leaks underneath. Rear main seal where the engine mates to the transmission is a common leak area. Also steering gear box and front and rear axles for leaks

Dextreme 03-07-2012 11:05 AM

Dean, let Leanne know that it's not a V6. :thumb:

BigDeaner 03-07-2012 11:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dextreme (Post 2113581)
Dean, let Leanne know that it's not a V6. :thumb:

I don't think she cares...I'll try and knock her down for false advertising.

What amazes me the most is how well the Wranger's maintain their value. It speaks volumes to the durability of the car... Or maybe its their seemingly cult following. I can't wait to start sipping the Kool Aid.

Dextreme 03-07-2012 11:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigDeaner (Post 2113602)
I don't think she cares...

What amazes me the most is how well the Wranger's maintain their value. It speaks volumes to the durability of the car... Or maybe its their seemingly cult following. I can't wait to start sipping the Kool Aid.


Yep, they maintain their value, but let me warn you...they are a freakin addiction. You too will join the cult. :thumb:

Badass_TJ 03-07-2012 12:07 PM

you wanna pay close attenion to where the rear upper control arms mount to the frame, they like to rot out there...especially on the older ones.. also look inside the frame for heavy rust flakes, ive heard of them rotting from the inside out, gotta love New England winters...

Another Guy In A Jeep 03-07-2012 12:14 PM

Look for rust...on the frame....

Dragonii 03-07-2012 12:42 PM

It is a nice looking Jeep.

They do hold their value well. I just bought my first and my girlfriend kept asking me "why is it so expensive" every time I looked at one. She bought her Scion Tc in 2007 brand new for like 19k totally loaded so she couldn't understand why a 6 year old Wrangler was 17k.
I think the reason they hold their value simply comes down to this... with most cars you have options. If you want a rally car you can get a WRX, an EVO or even a Fusion. If you want a luxury car you can get a Merc, a Jag or a Cadi... but if you want a Jeep, you want a Jeep. There is no other vehicle out there that is equal or comparable to it. Not an FJ, not an H2, not even a Ford Raptor will fill the spot for you. A JEEP is a JEEP, and nothing else is a JEEP, and considering that I had to drive 150 miles to get a decent deal on one when I see dozens of them on the road every day I think it's safe to say that most people that have them, don't want to part with them.

I lucked out and found a nice 2006 with a 6 speed for 10.6k but it was 2.5 hours away from me. I made the drive to check it out and all looked good so I drive her home.

Fair warning... no matter how much you say "oh I don't really want to do that to it" or "I'll be happy with it the way it is"... you will spend more than your initial cost of buying the Jeep. They are great, and I wouldn't trade it for anything else on the road, but after I bought it I sold my old truck and turned right around and dumped all the cash from it into the Jeep... and I still want more.

The day I got her...
http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-...02615005_n.jpg

One month later...
http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/...-03-10_422.jpg

I will say this as well, if Lego's and Erector sets were your favorite toys growing up... you will be in heaven owning a TJ.

Dragonii 03-07-2012 12:47 PM

P.S. even though they drink a pretty good bit of gas, I look for any reason to drive her.

Girlfriend said the word coffee the other night at about 10 PM and I jumped up and grabbed my keys to make a run to Starbucks for her.

BigDeaner 03-07-2012 02:48 PM

Thanks for all the help. I think I'm going to end up grabbing a buddy of mine to come take a look at it with me. He rebuilt his YJ from the frame up and knows a great deal more than I do. I thought I might be able to just "kick the tires" and such, but from the sounds of things, I'm going to want to get into it a little bit more than that. No biggie.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dragonii (Post 2113876)
I just bought my first and my girlfriend kept asking me "why is it so expensive" every time I looked at one.

My girlfriend's exact words to me were, "Oh look at a that, a 10 year old car with 100,000 miles on it for ONLY 9k. What a steal."

Needless to say, her tone was more than a little bit sarcastic... The only thing throwing a wrench in my gears now is the fact that adding the wrangler onto my insurance is going to cost me around $2,000 a year... Living in Boston coupled with my plethora of speeding tickets is not going to make this a cheap endeavor... Oh well, I'll be sure to withhold that little tidbit of information from her for the time being.

Dragonii 03-07-2012 03:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigDeaner (Post 2114188)
Thanks for all the help. I think I'm going to end up grabbing a buddy of mine to come take a look at it with me. He rebuilt his YJ from the frame up and knows a great deal more than I do. I thought I might be able to just "kick the tires" and such, but from the sounds of things, I'm going to want to get into it a little bit more than that. No biggie.



My girlfriend's exact words to me were, "Oh look at a that, a 10 year old car with 100,000 miles on it for ONLY 9k. What a steal."

Needless to say, her tone was more than a little bit sarcastic... The only thing throwing a wrench in my gears now is the fact that adding the wrangler onto my insurance is going to cost me around $2,000 a year... Living in Boston coupled with my plethora of speeding tickets is not going to make this a cheap endeavor... Oh well, I'll be sure to withhold that little tidbit of information from her for the time being.

Have you actually called your insurance company yet? I was shocked at how low my insurance was.
It jumped $100/ 6 months over what I was paying for my old Ford Ranger. And that was even going from liability to full coverage. My insurance on the Jeep is $587/6 months.

rigchaser 03-07-2012 05:22 PM

My tattooist / friend from High school listed his on Facebook for 6K, I did not try to haggle the price down any. (1999 6 cyl. 5 speed) 35's Suspension lift - body lift 99K mileage. I told him to consider it sold, a month later I took off work one day. I flew 650 miles to him and drove it back.

Keep looking and that one good deal will find you. If you get the one in the add with the "V6" congrats.

shrekfx 03-07-2012 05:38 PM

I got my first jeep a year ago in may and I was a little nervious spending a lot on a vehicle that had over 100k miles on it.. I can say there is no way I will ever be able to afford a brand new jeep or one with less then 50k miles. But I'm so glad I did, I drove 4 hours one way to find a good deal because where I live they are marked up so high. I got an 04 with 113k for 11,400. My wife told me that she dont want me to do anything with it and it looked fine the way it was and I was like "yes dear". It came with 31in BF GR muds. I just put a 3in lift on it and will be getting some new rims soon. I'm looking into that right now, and it is just the beginning.

Just remember. JEEP

Just
Empty
Every
Pocket

:surrender:

BigDeaner 03-07-2012 06:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dragonii (Post 2114267)
Have you actually called your insurance company yet? I was shocked at how low my insurance was.
It jumped $100/ 6 months over what I was paying for my old Ford Ranger. And that was even going from liability to full coverage. My insurance on the Jeep is $587/6 months.

Talked to my insurance guy today. Two grand is the number for 12 months. I could potentially take my car off the road for six months and then put the Wrangler on for the other six months, but thats a HUGE hassle that envoles multiple trips to the RMV a year. I try and avoid the RMV like the plague.

Quote:

Originally Posted by shrekfx
Just remember. JEEP

Just
Empty
Every
Pocket

Already learning this lesson... the hard way...

Rubicondon53 03-07-2012 07:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigDeaner

Talked to my insurance guy today. Two grand is the number for 12 months. I could potentially take my car off the road for six months and then put the Wrangler on for the other six months, but thats a HUGE hassle that envoles multiple trips to the RMV a year. I try and avoid the RMV like the plague.

Already learning this lesson... the hard way...

Yikes!!! You need to switch insurance companies ---- Fast -- I've got two jeeps, a KJ CRD, and a Rubi,,two drivers,, full coverage, including a special clause that insures my rubi off-road, ( provided its on a legal trail ) for less than $850 a year,,,

BigDeaner 03-07-2012 07:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rubicondon53 (Post 2115199)
Yikes!!! You need to switch insurance companies ---- Fast -- I've got two jeeps, a KJ CRD, and a Rubi,,two drivers,, full coverage, including a special clause that insures my rubi off-road, ( provided its on a legal trail ) for less than $850 a year,,,

Massachusetts is BRUTAL from a tax perspective and living in Boston doesn't help much either. I'm paying $1600/year in penalties alone for the three speeding tickets on my record (1 a year for 3 years) which doubles my insurance off the bat. Then add in living in the city, full coverage, theft, liability, fire, etc, and I'm stuck with a huge insurance payment. I also got an excise tax for my car last week- $500. From what I was told, the great state of Massachusetts forces my insurance company to penalize me for each car I own, so if I own two cars, I get hit twice in penalty fees.

I need to switch states I live in.

Dragonii 03-07-2012 07:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shrekfx (Post 2114767)
I just put a 3in lift on it and will be getting some new rims soon. I'm looking into that right now, and it is just the beginning.

I just bought new wheels for mine. Did a lot of shopping and this was the best deal that I could put together.

This is for a full set of 5 wheels.
Black Cragar Soft 8's / center caps from Summit Racing - $308
33x12.5x15 Goodyear Duratracs from the local Goodyear - $1225 (after mount/balance and road hazard (12 months no interest)

$1533... but they fit her like a glove and she looks bad ass.

I was going to go with a different tire but when I called GY about having them mounted he beat the price I was getting online by $35 per tire.

Jeep_ODST 03-07-2012 07:49 PM

If you plan on being a long term Jeep owner I would recommend buying a southern Jeep that is rust free. You'll find you'll be spending quite a bit on extras that catch your eye and you want to have a base vehicle that's solid.

Dragonii 03-07-2012 08:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeep_ODST (Post 2115299)
If you plan on being a long term Jeep owner I would recommend buying a southern Jeep that is rust free. You'll find you'll be spending quite a bit on extras that catch your eye and you want to have a base vehicle that's solid.


Very true. I live in Louisiana right outside of New Orleans and I had a hard time finding one around here. I found a few in Texas in the Dallas/Fort Worth area but I was concerned about what kind of abuse they may have endured.
I settled on a one owner with 69k miles out of Theodore Alabama. Only rust that I have found on it has been some surface rust on stuff like the brake drums... but those will rust even in the vacuum of space. lol

shrekfx 03-07-2012 08:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dragonii (Post 2115238)
I just bought new wheels for mine. Did a lot of shopping and this was the best deal that I could put together.

This is for a full set of 5 wheels.
Black Cragar Soft 8's / center caps from Summit Racing - $308
33x12.5x15 Goodyear Duratracs from the local Goodyear - $1225 (after mount/balance and road hazard (12 months no interest)

$1533... but they fit her like a glove and she looks bad ass.

I was going to go with a different tire but when I called GY about having them mounted he beat the price I was getting online by $35 per tire.

Not to deviate from the OP, but I'm going to do it anyways. I'm torn between two different wheels. The DC-2 or the Ultra Rogue black. I want a mostly black with a little bit of silver, I think it will match great with my silver jeep

But with rust, I have a Jeep from the Midwest and there is rust on the bottom of the jeep but the outer part looks real clean.

Dragonii 03-07-2012 08:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shrekfx (Post 2115531)
Not to deviate from the OP, but I'm going to do it anyways. I'm torn between two different wheels. The DC-2 or the Ultra Rogue black. I want a mostly black with a little bit of silver, I think it will match great with my silver jeep

But with rust, I have a Jeep from the Midwest and there is rust on the bottom of the jeep but the outer part looks real clean.


Yeah, sorry about that Dean, didn't mean to redirect your thread.

BigDeaner 03-07-2012 08:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dragonii (Post 2115605)
Yeah, sorry about that Dean, didn't mean to redirect your thread.

No worries, hijack away, gentlemen.

shrekfx 03-08-2012 06:13 AM

Look on the bright side though. You are learning a lot about wranglers. You'll love it dude.

Sherpa 03-08-2012 09:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigDeaner (Post 2114188)
My girlfriend's exact words to me were, "Oh look at a that, a 10 year old car with 100,000 miles on it for ONLY 9k. What a steal."

Needless to say, her tone was more than a little sarcastic.

Man, I would love to have a dozen 2002 Wranglers with only 100,000 miles and $9000 price tags on my used car lot. We would have customers lined up to buy them. Seriously.

BigDeaner 03-08-2012 12:15 PM

I guess so... I just called to see if I could check it out this weekend and it's already gone less than 36 hours after being posted. Lesson learned- move quickly.

gnod85 03-08-2012 01:04 PM

took me about 6 months to sell my old car and find the wrangler i wanted but man, when i did find it..everything went smooth as butta.

i bought my '05 unlimited, 6 speed, softtop for $13k, from $15k list price.

bought the hard top few days later for $400. :)

needless to say i think everything was meant to be. :D

if you're not absolutely happy with what you're buying, don't buy it is my rule. patience pays off!

Dragonii 03-08-2012 01:22 PM

Sorry to hear that.

You have to be quick on these things. That I learned when shopping for mine. If you find one at a good price, scoop it up.
When I got mine I drove for 2.5 hrs to look at it, I test drove it and then told the guy I wanted it. He said "good, cause if you would have blinked it would have been gone."

He had dozens of emails from other people that wanted to come see it. If I would have drug my feet she would belong to someone else right now.

I paid 10.6k for a 2006, 4.0l, 6 speed w/ 69k miles... just now during lunch I drove a buddy to pick up an oil filter for his Acura and saw a Jeep at the lot next door. Naturally, I wondered over. It's a 2006, 4.0l, auto w/ 21k miles. Very clean, looks like it has never seen the end of the pavement... they want $19k. My baby has more miles and she isn't a Rubi, but all in all I think I got a good deal.

Keep looking. Your gem is out there. When you find it, be ready to pounce.

FYI, I found mine using Autotrader.
But be warned, a lot of the prices you find online that look really good, be prepared to pay it. More and more of them are advertising them at cut throat prices due to internet sales and they refuse to budge on it. They have had to start doing this to be competitive. You'll even find that sometimes the web price is lower than what the sticker says on the lot.

Here's the 2006 Rubi in Kenner, LA if anyone wants to see it.
Premier Kia of Kenner, 2712 Veterans Blvd., Kenner, Louisiana 70062, Featuring Kia Amantia, Optima, Rio, Rio5, Rondo, Sedona, Sorrento, Spectra, Sportage
http://ai.autosweet.com/inventoryimg...359_02_640.jpg

Dragonii 03-08-2012 01:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gnod85 (Post 2117648)
took me about 6 months to sell my old car and find the wrangler i wanted but man, when i did find it..everything went smooth as butta.

i bought my '05 unlimited, 6 speed, softtop for $13k, from $15k list price.

bought the hard top few days later for $400. :)

needless to say i think everything was meant to be. :D

if you're not absolutely happy with what you're buying, don't buy it is my rule. patience pays off!

Man, that's how it went with mine. It all just feel into place. It was kind of scary.

I found it, got approved by the bank, test drove it, brought her home.

I listed my 2001 Ranger on Craigslist for 4.5k and sold it three days later for 4k cash. Took that and bought about 3 grand of stuff for the Jeep. New top, tires, rims, carpet, sound system, alarm, lift kit, shocks, brakes, tune up, seat covers and more.
When it was all said and done I had one loan for $12,000 on the Jeep, all kinds of new stuff and about $1000 left over from the Ranger.

It all went so well that I still feel like I am dreaming.

rigchaser 03-08-2012 03:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigDeaner (Post 2115236)
Massachusetts is BRUTAL from a tax perspective and living in Boston doesn't help much either. I'm paying $1600/year in penalties alone for the three speeding tickets on my record (1 a year for 3 years) which doubles my insurance off the bat. Then add in living in the city, full coverage, theft, liability, fire, etc, and I'm stuck with a huge insurance payment. I also got an excise tax for my car last week- $500. From what I was told, the great state of Massachusetts forces my insurance company to penalize me for each car I own, so if I own two cars, I get hit twice in penalty fees.

I need to switch states I live in.


Texas has Wide open spaces. None of that Tax your taxes and leave you with enough to scrape by. Head south my friend. WInters are mild and short.:)


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