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f15c 08-02-2005 12:03 PM

Shopping for a TJ
Greetings - I will soon to be selling off an XJ, and welcome any suggestions or opinions on a couple of general questions regarding Wrangler shopping.

First of all, my target right now is a TJ a 3" suspension lift + 31's. I would like to spend less than 10k on something decent, but my initial searches in my price range are usually turning up TJ's with more than 100k miles on them.

Being new to the Wrangler world, how many miles are you guys getting out of these things? To me, it seems obvious that overall condition of the vehicle would make a difference, so would you suggest that a high mileage street driver has some life left in it?

And how well does the AC work in these things? I plan on going topless quite a bit, but....the FL heat and humidity may require some occasional cooling...

Thanks to all for your time.

khenderson 08-02-2005 01:04 PM

First off....I would like to welcome you to the TJ world. It's a cult, really, and we all love it! I would suggest ruling out 4cyl TJ's. I own one, and though I love my jeep, I do wish I had the extra power of a 4.0, without going through the expensive route of regearing. And the gas mileage isn't significantly better than the 4.0L. As far as mileage, both the 4.0 and the 2.5 were built to last. Mine has 130K and on it and still going hard at it and I've put it through hell and back on numerous occasions, and as far as I've read, I have low mileage compared to alot of other guys. I would also suggest buying a stock TJ and building it from there. It's more fun to build than to buy and you can get a better idea of what you will do with it if you've wheeled it stock for a little while. There's also a better chance that a stock TJ hasn't been off-roaded very hard, so you'll have a better chance of it being in better shape and needing less work for a while.

A quick KBB search for a 99 TJ sport with 90K miles and quite a few options on it yielded a private party value of a little over $8K, which will give you a little extra for lift, tires, body armor, etc. So you should be able to find what you are looking for for under 10.

As far as the air, I live in Tenn, and I roll with everything off, but with the top up. I still get the open air thing, but I've got the shade from the sun and the only time I ever need the AC is if I'm sitting at a light and it gets a little warm. And then the air helps out quite a bit.

HTH for now, and if you've got any more questions, ask away. We'll do all we can to help!!

4Jeepn 08-02-2005 02:13 PM

Welcome. A TJ with 3" lift and 31's sounds like plan. Now as for higher miles, I have 134k on my 6, and its running strong. As stated above by the most wise khenderson, the 4 or 6 will last for a while. One common issue, has been the radiators and the mixing of a top section made of plastic and a bottom metal section, stress between these two area's leads to leaks down the road, easy fix of course but something to look for when buying. Cost wise, just keep an eye out, a high miles one in good condition that has been serviced, vs a low miles one on poor conditon, could be a good buy. Also you may want to contact JeepTales on this forum, he sales Jeeps and might be able to help you, but I think he is out of TX.

f15c 08-03-2005 10:50 AM

Thanks for your responses. Budget may actually bump me down into an earlier model, perhaps 1995 or so, but we'll see what happens. I'll be looking to buy in Oct/Nov time frame. Cheers.

amerijeep 08-03-2005 09:00 PM


Originally Posted by f15c
Thanks for your responses. Budget may actually bump me down into an earlier model, perhaps 1995 or so, but we'll see what happens. I'll be looking to buy in Oct/Nov time frame. Cheers.

Prices in the Jeep market really seem to drop when the weather gets cooler. I've even noticed price changes on KBB in the cooler months.

You'd be happy with a YJ.

The Cigarman 08-30-2005 12:00 PM

I just did another post in one of the other forums on this subject.

I agree on the 6 cylinder. I had a Grand with the 6 that I got 180K+ and it was still going strong. That is why I wanted one in the Wrangler. Mine does not have A/C but I would thnk the 6 is the way to go with that option.

I always go to the dealership and ask them to call me when they get a trade in that meets my specs and that they would re-sell and not wholesale out. I want to see it before it gets the dealer treatment and generally they are willing to cut the price below what they usually would sell it for.

I pay more than a private party, but they do the work and I get a car I know is in good condition. Lower mileage and a good maintanance history is worth extra $$ and aggravation is minimized later. I also get a 3 month/3000K warrantee and in almost every situation, I have been able to shake out the "hidden bugs" in that time. For example, the cassette in the Wrangler I have now went bad within a week of my purchase-they replaced it with a "used" radio from a Grand that was better quality than the original.

Always get a carfax, service records (if available) and get the build sheet from Jeep (they will e-mail it to you in a couple of days and all you need is the VIN number.

Up here when I bought mine, the dealership had a couple of Jeeps in your range, including a '98 with 70K and with the 4 cyl and 5 speed and standard wheels for about $9K.

The 6 cyl, 30' wheel and hardtop that I got added quite a bit to the cost (I paid just under $12K. I am somewhat wary of buying a Jeep with a lot of aftermarket stuff added to it, you don't really know how hard it has been driven , so I wanted the Carfax, service history and build sheet. That is just me though.

jeeptales 08-30-2005 06:18 PM

Road Trip!!!
I work in Texas and Sell Jeeps on the Internet for a Jeep Dealership.

When your are ready to pull the triger let me know if you want to look at what we have at that point.

NY94YJ 08-30-2005 07:30 PM


Originally Posted by f15c
Thanks for your responses. Budget may actually bump me down into an earlier model, perhaps 1995 or so, but we'll see what happens. I'll be looking to buy in Oct/Nov time frame. Cheers.

If your still looking for a TJ you need to look at 97 or newer. 95 is a YJ with Leaf Springs and Square Headlights, but if it's YJ your after...scrool down a little on the main page and we'll talk to you in YJ land :D .

Welcome to the Wrangler world!

jeepthis 08-30-2005 11:18 PM

Where in FLA are you moving to? I am about 20 minutes west of Tampa.

my98tj 08-31-2005 03:54 PM

I have a 98 with 163k and it runs like a champ. I bought mine with 132k and got it for $8300. i then put 31's without a lift and they rubbed. so i then bought a 2" spring spacer kit for $75 on eBay and it works great.

jeepthis 08-31-2005 03:57 PM

I must have done good then because I just bought my 97 TJ Sport with 60k miles for $10k. It's never been offroaded either. :D

whiteyj 09-01-2005 12:05 AM

Buy a YJ. You'll have a trafitional leaf springed jeep, although we may have square headlights. It's a YJ thing!

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