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Old 01-24-2020, 12:23 PM
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Jeep for my son

Hi everyone. I'm new here and have tried to research the forum for some answers but thought I would reach out with a couple of specific questions. My son who is 19 has decided he wants a Jeep Wrangler...with some prodding . He has some disabilities but has worked his butt off getting to where he is now. Saying that so you will understand he has a somewhat limited budget. With some help, we are thinking between $15k-$17k. He loves the lifted style with larger tires. One of our goals is to buy a somewhat stock Wrangler and then work together to add some mods.

This is where you come into the picture. In that price range, where would you recommend we start. I have heard the 2013 engine change was very positive. He is somewhat indifferent about the 2 door vs. 4 door. He hasn't really expressed an opinion on hard vs. soft top. With his disabilities, I think an automatic transmission is a must.

Are there certain years, models, or accessories we should avoid or specifically looks for. Also, should we be concerned about mileage above a certain level? I realize I am being somewhat vague but that is out of a lack of knowledge and a willingness to lear. I have always appreciated the amazing amount of knowledge and enthusiasm on these forums.

Thank you!

Jerry

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Old 01-24-2020, 12:33 PM   #2
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Great Fun. I did that with my Sons as well.

Very location specific but as an example:
https://www.truecar.com/used-cars-fo...bloomsburg-pa/

Here in N/E Pa frame rust is the big concern. I loved my Jeeps with the 4.0 and even the 2.4 motors. Budget probably won't permit the 3.6

Welcome to the Forum.

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Old 01-24-2020, 12:38 PM   #3
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Hi and welcome.

Price will vary a great deal, so be sure to look a bit outside the area you live in to compare,. This could mean the next big city over, or even the next state. 2012 was the 1st year for the 3.6 engine vs the prior 3.8, the difference is power. Both have pro and cons. Drive both to see what you think and research common issues.

For the price range you are going to be in, for the most part, talking about higher mile units. If you have a 4x4 shop near you, might be worth it to have them check it over no matter what you decide on.

Best rule of thumb is find the lowest mile newest jeep in your price range. I would stay away from ones with big lift and other mods, and start fresh with a near stock jeep, less chance someone messed it up.

As for 2dr vs 4dr.. depend, does he need to carry other people or lots of stuff, then 4 door. If not, then two 2dr might work better.

Take your time look and drive a few of them.. check for frame rust and pull back the carpart. Also have some money saved for unexpected repairs, it is a used vehicle so something will go out at some point.
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Old 01-24-2020, 12:47 PM   #4
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He has some disabilities but has worked his butt off getting to where he is now. Saying that so you will understand he has a somewhat limited budget. With some help, we are thinking between $15k-$17k. He loves the lifted style with larger tires. One of our goals is to buy a somewhat stock Wrangler and then work together to add some mods.

You're in the JL section of the website. You might be better off in the JK (or maybe even the TJ ?).


My kid is disabled too. So, I'll add a must-have of a nav system. That would be either the 430N or the 730N. This way, you'll find comfort in that no matter how far he might roam, he will be always be able to be guided back home.
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Old 01-24-2020, 12:48 PM   #5
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I moved your thread to the JK section. Or should get more responses here.

Good luck!
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Old 01-24-2020, 01:14 PM   #6
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Old 01-24-2020, 01:19 PM   #7
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Welcome to the Forum.

The 3.6 is a good engine, plus a much better 5 speed automatic trans, and has more power than the earlier 3.8. The 2012 has had some cylinder head issues, but has a extended warranty to cover it. These failures, are of a very low percent. Mine is a 2013, which is a good year and has been trouble free..2014 and 2015 have had oil cooler issues, leaking thermostats housing, leaking radiators and water pumps.But again the percent of failures is low.

All 3.6 engines are subject to roller and camshaft failure. The year doesn't seem to make any difference.

If I was looking today for a Wrangler within your budget, I would look for a 2012, or 2013. The 2016 is also a good year, but will cost more.
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Old 01-24-2020, 01:34 PM
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What part of the world are you in?
All of you are amazing! I really appreciate all of the quick responses. I am from southern Michigan.
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Old 01-24-2020, 02:01 PM   #9
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i helped my son buy his first wrangler as well. with his budget he ended up in an LJ. these have the 4.0 and are a different beast than the jk.

i think you could get into a 13 with your budget but it will likely have high miles.
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Old 01-24-2020, 04:25 PM   #10
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My advice ie to not look in your local area. Look online and get out of the rust belt. It may be a slog, but Arizona, California, New Mexico and West Texas is where I would look. Colorado and Utah too. Drier air, no chemicals and minimal salt on the roads makes these rigs easier to work on underneath.

Sport models have minimal extras, so they are less expensive.

Sahra models have more bells and whistles - leather, electronic doors/locks, uprated Alpine systems, etc, etc.

Rubicon has more off the showroom floor mods from FCA to make it more trail ready in stock form. It is about 1" or so taller due to stiffer springs. Dana 44 axles front and back. (others have Dana 30 front, Dana 44 back) If you are doing upgrades yourself, I'd buy a Sport. Most guys who do upgraded axles, big suspension lifts, 37+" tires, regearing, etc start with a base Sport so they have more money for mods.
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Old 01-24-2020, 05:18 PM   #11
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:33 PM   #12
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I have a 2015 JK Sahara 2dr and removed the never to be used back seat. I now have enough room to carry most things. The Sahara has slightly larger wheels and tires std. Mine is a hard top and removing the Freedom Top sections can be an issue for someone with disabilities. They do have a half hardtop half soft top which may be a good choice.

My Sahara as opposed to what’s posted above doesn’t have leather, doesn’t have upgraded radio, many do. Just don’t make assumptions based on label. Mine came with power locks but no remote start. I added it for very little money or effort. Take a hard look.
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Old 01-24-2020, 09:25 PM   #13
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If you look with distance not being an issue you could find a TJ in great shape at $10K. Might get lucky with something under 100K miles. Then you would have a lot of room for the upgrades.

I have a 2013 JK but really liked my old 98 TJ better but just didn't need 4 cars (wife found the JK and wanted the automatic.)
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Old 01-24-2020, 10:10 PM   #14
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We started the boys in a 04 TJ Rubicon. Picked it up for $15K with 77k miles bone stock. We worked together to lift it, put bigger tires on and wheel it like crazy. Sold it a few years latter for $16k. Both are in JK's now

Have a great time jeeping together!
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Old 01-25-2020, 06:31 AM   #15
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We started the boys in a 04 TJ Rubicon. Picked it up for $15K with 77k miles bone stock. We worked together to lift it, put bigger tires on and wheel it like crazy. Sold it a few years latter for $16k. Both are in JK's now

Have a great time jeeping together!
i sold my 2004 TJ Rubicon in 2011 with 50k for 15k.

i regretted it and i would buy it again right now for my son for his 3rd car. Need him to get through those two beater wrecks first.






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Old 01-25-2020, 10:47 AM   #16
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Jeep for my son

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Originally Posted by vanhalo View Post
i sold my 2004 TJ Rubicon in 2011 with 50k for 15k.

i regretted it and i would buy it again right now for my son for his 3rd car. Need him to get through those two beater wrecks first.








There is really nothing better for a wreck than a jeep. Unfortunately I am thoroughly experienced in this matter. The good news is the jeep usually comes out on the winning end.

Earlier this month my son was in a hit-and-run accident by a drunk driver. We are crediting the poison spider bumper with saving his life. My wife is now a firm believer that both boys will be driving jeeps as long as she has control over it.

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Old 01-25-2020, 10:58 AM   #17
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There is really nothing better for a wreck than a jeep. Unfortunately I am thoroughly experienced in this matter. The good news is the jeep usually comes out on the winning end.

Earlier this month my son was in a hit-and-run accident by a drunk driver. We are crediting the poison spider bumper with saving his life. My wife is now a firm believer that both boys will be driving jeeps as long as she has control over it.

I agree. I added PS all the way around mine.
Crash tests never test with Jeeps surrounded with aftermarket steel.
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Old 01-25-2020, 11:40 AM   #18
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There is really nothing better for a wreck than a jeep. Unfortunately I am thoroughly experienced in this matter. The good news is the jeep usually comes out on the winning end.
I'll 2nd the 1st part. When some dumbass ran a stop sign and T-boned my TJ on the drivers side, I had to climb out the new sunroof (passenger door) with nothing but a scraped elbow from levering myself up to unload the seatbelt. Not sure the Jeep "won" since it was a complete write-off, but I certainly came out of it better than I would have in a unibody econobox.

/Dealing with dumbass's insurance was worse than the wreck.
//Don't buy insurance from a lizard; noone wants to deal with lizards after a wreck.
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Old 01-25-2020, 06:29 PM   #19
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Hi everyone. I'm new here and have tried to research the forum for some answers but thought I would reach out with a couple of specific questions. My son who is 19 has decided he wants a Jeep Wrangler...with some prodding . He has some disabilities but has worked his butt off getting to where he is now. Saying that so you will understand he has a somewhat limited budget. With some help, we are thinking between $15k-$17k. He loves the lifted style with larger tires. One of our goals is to buy a somewhat stock Wrangler and then work together to add some mods.

This is where you come into the picture. In that price range, where would you recommend we start. I have heard the 2013 engine change was very positive. He is somewhat indifferent about the 2 door vs. 4 door. He hasn't really expressed an opinion on hard vs. soft top. With his disabilities, I think an automatic transmission is a must.

Are there certain years, models, or accessories we should avoid or specifically looks for. Also, should we be concerned about mileage above a certain level? I realize I am being somewhat vague but that is out of a lack of knowledge and a willingness to lear. I have always appreciated the amazing amount of knowledge and enthusiasm on these forums.

Thank you!

Jerry
Welcome to the forums, with out knowing much about your son and what his "disabilities" are (if you want to tell us more that is up to you), I will tell you what I have, I my self am "disabled" however I don't let that stop me from having fun and doing what I want (I have a bad hip and back). I have a 2-dr Sport, with soft top, to me the soft top makes more sense as I can open it and it is not very heavy if I want to throw the top down or up quickly and at the same time I can generally take the top off my Jeep and put it in the garage my self with minimal fuss.

while the rear bench is a bit more of a struggle for me I never ever really use it (so far I used it to carry my mum, brother and a coworker) and that was it, has been taken out, it lives in the garage. I would suggest getting a base JK if you plan to do mods on it, I got extremely lucky when getting mine to be in the rust belt and some how managed to find a rust free Jeep and I do spray it down every so often with the hose during the winter to get the salt crap off it. My Jeep is also the 6-spd manual trans, and I had to get a pedal extension thing for it so I could sit comfortably and still actuate the clutch. so those are some thing you may want to consider, I also added the factory GPS antenna so even if you get a non Nav equipped Jeep you can still add the GPS antenna (I can post picture if you want as I did the install my self) and just use an Android HU for the navigation stuff. simpler and don't have to fight the crappy stock system. Just another thought on that, more info can be found in my build thread (page 3 IIRC) showing the install pictures of the Jeep stock GPS antenna.


hope this helps some and gives you some ideas to work with
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Old 01-29-2020, 12:55 PM
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Good afternoon,

I am sorry I disappeared for a bit...we had a Special Olympics basketball tournament this weekend followed by a hectic few days at work.

Thank you for all of the suggestions. I have definitely widened my area of search and will have a 4 wheel drive shop take a hard look before buying.

The suggestions to get a Sport is very helpful. We probably won't do major upgrades but the Sport will give us a good start and we can add as we are able.

One followup questions...How many miles are a "lot" of miles on a base Sport? I realize it depends heavily on how it was used but is there a benchmark I should look at such as under 100k, 150k, etc?

By the way, my son has several things he deals with but the major items are learning disabilities and something called Apraxia of Speech which hinders words formed in his mind from getting out correctly. He is truly a blessing. Despite having a significant speech disorder, he is very social and has tons of friends.

Thanks again for all of your wonderful insights.

Jerry
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Old 01-29-2020, 03:31 PM   #21
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Look at new to used. I wouldn't buy used with over 50K on it only because I don't really care for used stuff.
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Old 01-29-2020, 04:45 PM   #22
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My advice ie to not look in your local area. Look online and get out of the rust belt. It may be a slog, but Arizona, California, New Mexico and West Texas is where I would look. Colorado and Utah too. Drier air, no chemicals and minimal salt on the roads makes these rigs easier to work on underneath.

Sport models have minimal extras, so they are less expensive.

Sahra models have more bells and whistles - leather, electronic doors/locks, uprated Alpine systems, etc, etc.

Rubicon has more off the showroom floor mods from FCA to make it more trail ready in stock form. It is about 1" or so taller due to stiffer springs. Dana 44 axles front and back. (others have Dana 30 front, Dana 44 back) If you are doing upgrades yourself, I'd buy a Sport. Most guys who do upgraded axles, big suspension lifts, 37+" tires, regearing, etc start with a base Sport so they have more money for mods.
I agree to an extent. My jeep is a 2012, and recently (week or so) purchased in NE Ohio, and I did widen the search, and was prepared at one point to fly to North Carolina for an FJ Cruiser I found, but ultimately I checked every Carfax I could get my hands on, and my jeep spent most of it’s life in Hawaii, and later out west, so just because he lives in PA, doesn’t mean every car out there is from PA....... So many vehicles get snatched up at auction or people relocate etc.


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Originally Posted by jer1989 View Post
Good afternoon,

I am sorry I disappeared for a bit...we had a Special Olympics basketball tournament this weekend followed by a hectic few days at work.

Thank you for all of the suggestions. I have definitely widened my area of search and will have a 4 wheel drive shop take a hard look before buying.

The suggestions to get a Sport is very helpful. We probably won't do major upgrades but the Sport will give us a good start and we can add as we are able.

One followup questions...How many miles are a "lot" of miles on a base Sport? I realize it depends heavily on how it was used but is there a benchmark I should look at such as under 100k, 150k, etc?

By the way, my son has several things he deals with but the major items are learning disabilities and something called Apraxia of Speech which hinders words formed in his mind from getting out correctly. He is truly a blessing. Despite having a significant speech disorder, he is very social and has tons of friends.

Thanks again for all of your wonderful insights.

Jerry
You can find a 2012-2013 with 85k or less for around $17k in a 2-door. Maybe a 4 door if you are lucky or bump up the miles.

I would buy one of these 2005 Rubicons with 75k or less for $14-15k. I miss my 2004

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