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-   -   16 yr old son wants a Jeep and has $15k to spend - looking for recs (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f19/16-yr-old-son-wants-a-jeep-and-has-15k-to-spend-looking-for-recs-151651.html)

Longhorngary 04-06-2012 06:19 AM

16 yr old son wants a Jeep and has $15k to spend - looking for recs
 
First I'm new to the forum and looking for recs. He has saved up money that I'm matching so he has up to $15,000 to spend. He would probably prefer spending more like $12,000. Can he get a nice used RELIABLE jeep in that price range? Any year models and builds that you recommend would be appreciated?

Thanks Gary

4Jeepn 04-06-2012 06:39 AM

I would look at a TJ 97-96 model years. Depending on your location price will vary but for 8-10k, you can get a very nice used one. Auto or stick are both fine, but look for a 6cly. If he has future plans to take it off road, look for one with a rear dana 44 axle..it will have a square metal fill plug in the diff cover vs. a round plastic cap. If you want even better off roading instock form a rubicon model start in 2003 models. Overall i would get the newest model year in your price range.

Things to look out for: 97-99 had an exhaust manifold crack issue
00-03ish, had some issue with the cylinder heads as I recall.(I had 3 TJ's from those years never had the issue)
Rear main seal can start to leak around 100k
Check HVAC controls on most years, as the switch can over heat and will either not work or only work on high and low fan setting.
Look to replace radiator between 100-150k miles.
I am sure there are some other things.... I owed 4 of them, and never had any major issues.

Jeeplover1 04-06-2012 06:41 AM

i got my 99tj along time ago with only 34000 miles on it for 10,000 so it can be done.. before you buy post picks and questions about it here. These guys are straight forward and will help you more.. also DO A CARFAX

BigThunder 04-06-2012 06:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeeplover1 (Post 2226150)
i got my 99tj along time ago with only 34000 miles on it for 10,000 so it can be done.. before you buy post picks and questions about it here. These guys are straight forward and will help you more.. also DO A CARFAX

^^^ This! When you post pics, take nice pics of the underside of the vehicle as well. Get good pictures of the steering and suspension. Nice pictures of any mods would be great as well.

Bright and shinny is not always the better pick.

JimTJ 04-06-2012 07:02 AM

I found depending on where the Jeep was being sold depended on the price, so don't be afraid to look around a bit. When I started looking for my current Jeep, I spent the better part of a year in Illinois finding 97 - 00 TJ's with auto and a four banger for well over $7000.00. I found my '97 with a six and in great shape in NH for $4900.00. It was older than what I wanted but figured the money I saved could go towards building it the way I wanted. I highly recommend a 4.0 six. The engine is almost bullet proof and is easy to maintain and just a good match for the TJ.

Irongrave 04-06-2012 07:48 AM

Me personally I would not let a 16 year old own a wrangler. They are not forgiving vehicles to an inexperienced driver and can end quite badly. If it were my child I'd remove the rear seat before letting it out of the driveway.

Though if you guys are dead set on getting a wrangler the TJ are the best option, 97-06. unless you've been around modified and lifted rigs try to find on stock for the new driver. Stay away from the 4 bangers, they don't save any fuel and are all around gutless on the road.

jp2611 04-06-2012 07:55 AM

I believe that a 16 yr old in a STOCK Jeep is a very good idea. Not as fast, roll bar, solid frame etc. But still "cool" enough that they might take care of it.

I am a little biased on which TJ (assume it will be a TJ) as there are issues with headers, radiators, and heads themselves.

I have a '04 Sport 150K+ on it. Water pump and clutch only "major" repairs, and those are "wear items".
Be sure to get 6cyl. Post pics, ask questions, buy as close to stock as possible!

Jp90Talon 04-06-2012 08:25 AM

Id keep an eye out for an 04 stock Rubicon. That wat its well equiped out of the box but still stock. Seen them around at the $12k mark or a bit under. Save the rest of the $ for gas and small mods. I wouldnt let him get a built one until he gets quite a bit of seat time.

trainsktg 04-06-2012 10:36 AM

For a young, inexperienced male driver, I would purchase the 4-cylinder version. I remember how I was with my first car, a '71 Cuda, and my inexperience caused it to only last about 8 months after I bought it. Also, the I4s are generally less expensive than an otherwise identical Jeep would be with an I6. The newer 2.4l I4s have a little more zip than the older 2.5s.

Shop around and keep an eye out for good bargains on private sales. I just bought an '06 with an I6 and 71k miles for $11.8 off of Craigslist. It was most likely a distress sale...bad for him but good for me.

I would not hesitate to purchase an older non-abused YJ or TJ with 100k miles on it. There's still quite a bit of mileage left in it at that point, and there's no reason to spend everything he's saved on something that's going to depreciate quickly anyway.

Keith

Kota7x 04-06-2012 11:42 AM

I bought my 04 LJ a year ago with 60,000ish miles for $15,000. There are deals out there you just have to play the waiting game. I waited about 6-7 months till I found this one. Keep checking Craigslist and deals will come up.

Also this was my first vehicle (16 years old, now 17) and I don't think the stock or lifted TJ is a bad first car. As long as he knows his limits and to take it easy he will do fine.

I hope this helped and good luck!

I dug this picture up to give an idea of what came on it for the $15k
http://i1092.photobucket.com/albums/...x/14bf1bbb.jpg

trainsktg 04-06-2012 01:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kota7x (Post 2226932)
I bought my 04 LJ a year ago with 60,000ish miles for $15,000. There are deals out there you just have to play the waiting game. I waited about 6-7 months till I found this one. Keep checking Craigslist and deals will come up.

Also this was my first vehicle (16 years old, now 17) and I don't think the stock or lifted TJ is a bad first car. As long as he knows his limits and to take it easy he will do fine.

I hope this helped and good luck!

I dug this picture up to give an idea of what came on it for the $15k
http://i1092.photobucket.com/albums/...x/14bf1bbb.jpg

That's a darn good deal on an LJ. I would have prefered one over my current TJ, but I needed the vehicle weight to be under 3,500 pounds so as to be legal when towing with my MH.

Keith

Longhorngary 04-06-2012 01:58 PM

Thanks for the responses. Sounds like the stock TJ is the way to go. I'll have to weigh the four cylinder vs six debate. We have some time and will be patient until the right deal comes around. Maybe wecan luck into a TJ rubicon at a good price.

rwh63 04-06-2012 07:32 PM

Funny, i've had my beautiful stock LJ for sale for quite a long time at a reasonable asking price, but no interest so far:( Not sure were longhorngary is located (texas?).

C.L. 04-06-2012 07:45 PM

Just keep in mind that Jeeps are the WORST vehicles to trust a CarFax on! I've seen people flip, flop, hit trees, tear off pieces, and all manner of other horrendous abuse on the trails; often surrounded by people yelling don' worry, i got a hammer'll fix that right up!

What happens on the trail stays on the trail. Sometimes literally...

lee indy 04-06-2012 08:07 PM

i know two in warner robins GA that might go for 15. ones an 06 with only 14k miles. there asking 17. you can find it on cars.com

rwh63 04-06-2012 08:25 PM

2 Attachment(s)
just in case you're nearby...here is my LJ.

Bulldogranger 04-06-2012 09:07 PM

Yep, back in the day when I got my license, my Dad and I found a 1977 CJ-5 with the 304 V-8 and 3-spd. Had big tires on it (can't for the life of me remember the size) but I took it everywhere. My Dad was scared that I'd kill myself in the thing (apparently so was the government due to some rollover issue at the time). I had a blast in the thing. Not once did I ever get it on two wheels (one side or the other) but front to back maybe. I towed our 18' Glastron boat to the river and back and once even passed another stuck Jeep on a two-track road to get to a campsite (pulling that same boat). Those gems are hard to find and even a pain in the wallet if you find a decent one for that price. With the CJ-5 long gone, I agree with most members here that the 97-06 TJ would be your best bet. Even if the PO didn't keep it up like most of us do ours on this forum, it's cheap and easy to fix up. Just remember when you start modding the thing, Just Empty Every Pocket will be a new part of your vocabulary. (and get a I6, they don't come with V-8's and getting a I4 is just wrong.)

Mom sold the Jeepster 04-06-2012 10:10 PM

I bought an 03 TJ for a 16 year old. He's only 10 now. Insert evil laughter here.


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