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Inland air balance 10-13-2013 02:09 PM

Which jeep for me- need advice
 
Hello everyone. I need some advice. I have found myself in the market for a new-to-me jeep. This will be my first jeep. My age (45) has somewhat forced me out of the dirt bike stage of life and I am now wanting some thing a little more comfortable to off-road in. I am looking at 04-06 years, under 100k miles, with a budget of $15k (California price). Within these parameters I should be able to get into a fairly nice rig, either a slightly modified TJ or a bone stock LJ. I tend to like the LJ for the extra room but it would be nice to get something that someone has already thrown some money into. The jeep will be a primary 2nd vehicle with its weekends spent in Big Bear.
So my question is do I do the modified TJ or get stock LJ?
Thanks in Advance

Water Dog 10-13-2013 02:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inland air balance (Post 5332009)
Hello everyone. I need some advice. I have found myself in the market for a new-to-me jeep. This will be my first jeep. My age (45) has somewhat forced me out of the dirt bike stage of life and I am now wanting some thing a little more comfortable to off-road in. I am looking at 04-06 years, under 100k miles, with a budget of $15k (California price). Within these parameters I should be able to get into a fairly nice rig, either a slightly modified TJ or a bone stock LJ. I tend to like the LJ for the extra room but it would be nice to get something that someone has already thrown some money into. The jeep will be a primary 2nd vehicle with its weekends spent in Big Bear.
So my question is do I do the modified TJ or get stock LJ?
Thanks in Advance

I would read and research the forum so you know the difference between good and bad/marginal modifications before you buy. TJ or LJ is really personal preference. A modified rig isn't necessarily bad and can save you a ton of money if done right. On the other hand, if you are paying more for a modified Jeep, and someone has thrown the cheapest parts they can find on it, you will be investing twice. If you're going to off road, I would look for something that had a D44 rear end. That will save you big $'s, and you might consider a Rubicon that has D44's and lockers installed from the factory. If you like to work on them, a stocker is a good way to start, that way it's less likely to have been beat, and any mods you do will be new.

LJEEPJ 10-13-2013 02:41 PM

My advice is the same that was given to me........Get the LJ. I got this advice from people here, with and without LJ's. I got it from Jeepers around here....same thing with or without LJ's. I had $12,500 budget, wanted a TJ. Here is what I did for my last few vehicles. First off, Autocheck or Carfax, you'll find Autocheck to be most useful. $45 for 30 days unlimited Vin lookup. Then use Autotrader, Cargurus, Cars.com or anything you are familiar with, doesn't matter. Then look for the jeep you want, years, equipment, gearing, colors, tranny......anything. Then set your area. Remember, looking for at least an eight year old vehicle expanding your search area is beneficial. Eliminate any vehicles that have had accidents, odometer incidents, or multiple owners. Meaning more than 2 is the limit I put on it. I figured, I didn't want somebody elses headaches. Buying an 04-06 LJ is a good idea in my book. Getting the rare gem, a Rubi LJ is the ultimate. It was out of my range. When I went down to Amish country to get my baby, the dealer had a 06 Rubi LJ on the lot. My eyes went to it right away. The dealership owner just laughed in a nice way. He told me it's On Hold, that they go on hold soon as it hits his pavement. It was sweet. I travelled 536 miles by train to pick it up. The wife thought I was crazy to spend 11K on a jeep that I hadn't even seen in person. She cried when I rolled in at 1:30 AM. The LJ, not because I came home :-). This system is the best for someone looking for a particular used car. I have bought my last 3 in this fashion. You can PM me if you want any other recommendations. Good luck

LJEEPJ 10-13-2013 02:53 PM

Remember the 04-06 LJ has disc brakes all around and the Dana 44 in the rear. It's not the same as the Rubi, but it's there. The added space and tracking ability on the highway is so much better than the stubby. I had never even driven an LJ, but soon as I was coming home, I knew why it had been recommended to me. Cruising down the highway at 70+ you can take your hand from the wheel and it just tracks. The trunk space has no problem holding a full size cooler plus. Camping gear, golf clubs, etc. Then there is the fact that there is only so many of them. That number is dwindling everyday.

Water Dog 10-13-2013 03:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by patlisa (Post 5332761)
Remember the 04-06 LJ has disc brakes all around and the Dana 44 in the rear. It's not the same as the Rubi, but it's there. The added space and tracking ability on the highway is so much better than the stubby. I had never even driven an LJ, but soon as I was coming home, I knew why it had been recommended to me. Cruising down the highway at 70+ you can take your hand from the wheel and it just tracks. The trunk space has no problem holding a full size cooler plus. Camping gear, golf clubs, etc. Then there is the fact that there is only so many of them. That number is dwindling everyday.

Like I said, personal preference. I love my TJ, and wouldn't trade it for an LJ. I can also take my hands off the wheel at 70 and it tracks straight and true. That's a function of maintained parts and steering geometry. Personally, I like my short wheel base for wheeling, and don't have kids to haul around so don't need the extra room for people, and without the back seat, have plenty of room for gear.

LJEEPJ 10-13-2013 04:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Water Dog (Post 5333481)
Like I said, personal preference. I love my TJ, and wouldn't trade it for an LJ. I can also take my hands off the wheel at 70 and it tracks straight and true. That's a function of maintained parts and steering geometry. Personally, I like my short wheel base for wheeling, and don't have kids to haul around so don't need the extra room for people, and without the back seat, have plenty of room for gear.

Wasn't really trying to cut down the TJ Dog, I like the SWB at the start, always have. For discussion points, I agree partly with your assessment. The LJ is going to have better trackability than the SWB because of longer wheelbase, assuming all other things are even. Yes, IF you have no kids the backseat of your SWB can suffice for storage, but it becomes a two seat vehicle. Love the TJ, that's why my hunt started, but I just like you am very happy with what I ended up with. :drinks:

Jerry Bransford 10-13-2013 04:16 PM

My suggestion is to think about how you envision the Jeep in 3-4 years and the level of trails you think you'd like to be doing. Do you see a big Jeep doing rocky trails with big tires & a big lift, or are you more about exploring milder trails? The tougher and twistier the trail, the more I'd want the shorter wheelbase TJ rather than the longer wheelbase LJ Unlimited. For example, you need a taller lift on an Unlimited LJ to create the same breakover angle (how well it clears an obstacle directly under the Jeep) that you'd get on a TJ with a smaller (and less expensive) suspension lift.

NJO 10-13-2013 05:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford (Post 5334025)
My suggestion is to think about how you envision the Jeep in 3-4 years and the level of trails you think you'd like to be doing. Do you see a big Jeep doing rocky trails with big tires & a big lift, or are you more about exploring milder trails? The tougher and twistier the trail, the more I'd want the shorter wheelbase TJ rather than the longer wheelbase LJ Unlimited. For example, you need a taller lift on an Unlimited LJ to create the same breakover angle (how well it clears an obstacle directly under the Jeep) that you'd get on a TJ with a smaller (and less expensive) suspension lift.

The breakover angle is about the only advantage a TJ has over an LJ, and many times its a non issue. LJ's have better stability in climbs and decents, off camber trails etc. There are lots of TJ's who stretch or want to stretch their WB just because of this fact.

And then add on top of the fact that LJ's have a larger capacity for storage, and room for the rear passengers, then add onto the fact they can tow 3500 pounds vs. half that of a TJ. They also aren't twitchy on the highway like a TJ is.

To the OP: I would take a bone stock LJ over a modded TJ any day of the week. IMO its best to start off with a stock rig, then upgrade as YOU see fit. I had a few TJ's 5-6 years back, then sold em and ended up buying one LJ for myself.........then one for the wife. I will never go back to a TJ again, too many times had to make a trip to the store to pick up a few items and just didn't have the room for what I needed to buy, especially if I had my wife or kids with me. My SO's LJ is still bone stock, mine is heavily modified, and I do some pretty serious trails. Ive never run into an issue where I wished I had a TJ on the trails. But there have been plenty of times I was absolutely glad I was in an LJ. Once you go LJ, you normally never go back. ;)

GingerTJ 10-13-2013 05:20 PM

I'd get the LJ and make it badass yourself. Don't make the mistake of buying a tj someone else has lifted and abused

GingerTJ 10-13-2013 05:28 PM

I'd get the LJ and make it badass yourself. Don't make the mistake of buying a tj someone else has lifted and abused

Water Dog 10-13-2013 06:00 PM

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Inland air balance 10-13-2013 08:04 PM

Holy crap. I didn't think this would turn in to a Ford vs. Chevy thread.
What would be the limit as far as to many miles on the odo? I was hoping to stay 60k to 80k. Is that a reasonable number? I've seen plenty listed over 150k miles, many on this forum as well.
Your thoughts....?

Jerry Bransford 10-13-2013 08:10 PM

Buying a used vehicle is a crapshoot that depends entirely on how well it was taken care of. I'd look for some kind of proof that it was properly maintained. The better a vehicle has been maintained, the more likely it is that the previous owner can provide maintenance records.

If it was properly maintained as evidenced by believable maintenance records, I wouldn't be afraid to buy a Wrangler with even a low six-figure mileage on the odometer.

Inland air balance 12-04-2013 05:36 PM

Update>>>
 
1 Attachment(s)
Attachment 565034

So heres what I ended up with- 05 LJ.:D The only mods done are small long arm lift on 33's. And it came with a Blue ox tow bar. I couldn't pass it up for the price (2k below my budget)
So if you see me in Big Bear or out in Havasu, or anywhere in between say hello!
Let the spending begin!!!!

Wrangle_This 12-04-2013 05:42 PM

Looks great man! There's no funner way to go broke :)

Robdog2232 12-04-2013 05:43 PM

Congrats and enjoy! Looks good

Water Dog 12-04-2013 05:46 PM

Very nice. Congratulations.

MarkGLHS 12-05-2013 02:30 AM

that's your first ever Jeep? well sir you did very well, nice selection.

I do not think I have ever seen a red LJ, even red TJ's are not that common compared to all the other colors. enjoy your jeep learning experience.

TGJ01 12-05-2013 08:23 AM

Great looking LJ, congrats!

Inland air balance 12-05-2013 09:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MarkGLHS (Post 6572234)
that's your first ever Jeep? well sir you did very well, nice selection.

I do not think I have ever seen a red LJ, even red TJ's are not that common compared to all the other colors. enjoy your jeep learning experience.

Thats funny! :tomatoes:not. My daughter wanted me to get the even more rare "blue".
Yes it is my first jeep.


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