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I'm looking for my first Jeep. I like this age range, like the round headlights much better. I am also not very handy with cars, there won't be a whole lot of tinkering going on. This will be a third vehicle for us. Basically a fun in the sun and winter vehicle. Probably no offroading. What would you suggest I look for in the $500-maybe $8000 range. From what I read 4.0 is the way to go. Thanks in advance!
 

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Yeah,I cant Imagine what you would get in the $500 range.Did you want a frame with that $500 Wrangler? LOL
 

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Easy on the newb everyone....I'm assuming you meant 5k to 8k range?

You shouldn't have a problem finding a early 2000s tj in decent shape for that price. I'd recommend getting a manual and the 4.0 as they are less maintenance than the other. Other than that look out for rust and do a Carfax to make sure its not a major lemon. You may not be a tinkerer now, but believe me once you own a jeep you will be. It's an addiction which we all love. Cheers
 

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That's what I thought. But seriously, you should be able to find something in the 97-06 model line well within that price range. As I said earlier, I would go with a manual as they are far better than an automatic and less maintenance. Mileage is important too, although the 4.0 can go forever if taken care of. If you are going to take it off road I would look for a Dana 44 rear axle as it was an option for the 4.0 and is much stronger than the standard Dana 35. If getting a soft top, make sure all the zippers are ok, etc. Rust is a biggie as most off roading folks will go through water and winter salt can eat through a frame very easily. Happy hunting
 

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there is nothing wrong with a auto. i have a 2000 auto and the tranny is a 32n (i believe thats right) and it is bulletproof. hardly any maintenance involved.

as said above check for rust. since u stated ur not offroading you will be fine with a non rubicon model. if they tell you they did a d44 swap they are going to be asking for more then 8k usually. you will be looking at 97-03 models for that price. look at the different models. expect the mileage to be a little high. if the car is around 100k miles check and see if the water pump has been changed becuz generally about that time they start to go bad and need to be changed. again is your are getting a soft top check the condition...no holes, the zippers are ok, its a tight fit not floppy.
 
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