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ljvsnyder 06-12-2013 04:38 PM

Looking at buying my first wrangler
Ok I am looking at getting a used JK unlimited 4 door, what are things I should look at when purchasing used? I found a 07 rubicon automatic with a lift, not sure what size or brand, with 71K miles for $20k, is this a good price. The fenders have been removed and smaller metal flat fenders installed and the front bumper has been unprofessionally cut down to allow more room for 35" tires, although could have cut a little less off and got a stubby kit to clean it up. It has a soft top that isn't the cleanest looking. It also has a lockable tuffy rear cargo box. Plus it has aftermarket 17" wheels.

Also looking at a 07 wrangler X with hard top, but has half doors with vinyl windows for $19K. It is a no frills model otherwise, does come with the soft top as well. The mileage is 46k.

Which is the better way to go?

87236 06-12-2013 07:17 PM

What does the underside look like? It seems like the rubicon was put to the test with the higher mileage. Does the second option not have a lift? Non lifted to me would seem less likely to have been ridden hard.

dawhitesJKU 06-12-2013 07:45 PM

none. get a brand new no frills soft top model for 25k.

87236 06-12-2013 10:13 PM


Originally Posted by dawhitesJKU (Post 3854599)
none. get a brand new no frills soft top model for 25k.

Ahhh yes the option I glossed over. Go talk to a credit union to see what you qualify for. Basically its 1% more on your interest rate for every year of age on a vehicle. So 4-6% more for an 07 vehicle vs new. You may find that a brand new jeep would cost the same as an older one. You could take both vin #'s as well as a random vin from a new jeep to you credit union and they can lay out all the numbers for you. I did that with a few jeeps when buying mine to find the best situation for me.

panthermark 06-12-2013 11:22 PM


Originally Posted by dawhitesJKU (Post 3854599)
none. get a brand new no frills soft top model for 25k.


The way the economics of Jeeps work (high resale value), unless you find a SMOKING deal, it is almost always better to spend a bit more and go new if you can handle it.

$20,000 for a 5 year old vehicle with 70,000 miles?

ljvsnyder 06-13-2013 07:56 AM

Thanks guys. Not worried about interest rate. My trade is worth more than a new jeep. Just trying to downgrade in value and payoff some other debts. I haven't found a Jeep dealer around me with prices below $28k. Would like to stay under $25k. I know I will take a hit trading but under Illinois tax law I won't have to pay tax on the new purchase.

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live_slow 06-13-2013 08:03 AM

I wouldn't buy a lifted used Jeep unless:

- it was going to be a pure toy


- it was a verfied mall crawler, pristine all around and under still smelling new, or perhaps having the old lady smell (you know cough drops, powder, perfume, etc.)

And 20K? No way. No how.

utlax18 06-13-2013 01:25 PM

Please heed the advice in this forum. I bought an 07 Sahara JKU auto with 44 K miles. Here is what I had to put into it and I am at 69K miles now:

1. New driver side exhaust manfold - These are known to have cracked exhaust manifolds. Replaced at 52K
2. Leaking transmission line at the crimp joints. Mine is weeping now, not leaking bad. Not to worried.
3. Leaking water pump at 48K miles, replaced.
4. Leaking upper intake manifold gasket replaced at 52K miles.
5. New ball joints all around at 62 K miles.
6. Replaced PCV valve as preventative maint. at 50K

So what I am getting at is that these are the known chronic issues on the Wrangler, including excessive oil consumption. But that does NOT mean it happens on ALL JK's. I am just pointing out things your should be aware of that you may have to replace or will soon have to replace. What I know now, I would have waited and purchased new or one with remainder of the warranty as it would ahve saved me about $1500 in repairs.

Good luck and good luck on your JK.

3JKs1H1 06-13-2013 02:05 PM

I bought a new stripped '13 JKU hardtop/auto for around $25-$26K, I'd go this route before spending 20K on a used '07 - '08. Better engine/transmission, new everything, warranty. I have an '08 (and it's only needed brakes in 30k miles), but the newer motor/trans is worth the extra $$ and going to be fine on resale.

My DD '12 has 45K on it and hopping in the stripped '13 is like "where's the power window switches?", door locks - haha.

dawhitesJKU 06-13-2013 02:27 PM

^mine still smells like new after a year bcuz most of the time, the windows are closed due to the fact that they are all manual. lol.

ky77 06-13-2013 02:44 PM

Tough call but in my own experience I passed up a 07 rubi for 17k for a 08 jku at 21 otd. The rubi I looked at and I'm assuming the one you looking at looked like it was abused a lot ( scratches and rust everywhere). Just didn't want to take chance. The 07 with 43k your looking at sounds good and is priced well with the used market area I was in. New is a option to keep in mind but seeing as though you are looking at downsizing bills buying used as long as its clean will be fine. Some on here have went new with very good prices 25k and under which i agree with going new if you can get close to used prices but my dealers were not budging on prices and were all in the 28k plus range too for 2doors. Buy extended warranty to safe

ljvsnyder 06-13-2013 09:17 PM

Thanks for the advice guys. Some of the reasons I bought a 2011 ram over a used one with 60k+ miles about the same price and peace of mind warranty. Going to check new price before I pull the trigger. Any incentives out there on Wranglers?
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