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Greetings everyone.


First time Jeep owner now bitten by the bug. I Joined this forum after days of research and consulting family and friends to no avail. My situation is thus: I must decide if I pay off my shiny expensive 2018 JL, or swap it for a seemingly nice LJ.



Just so you know Im not a heavy off-roader, but the roads in upstate NY are just about as bad. I do NOT plan to destroy my vehicle though, in fact my plan is to someday put a Jeep in the million mile club (I know that's not happening but aim for the moon and land amongst the stars right?).



The LJ is being offered by a used car dealer. They seem to have de-rusted and repainted both the frame and body. However, the engine has approx. 150k on it. They want $11,000 for it.



Assuming I can haggle them down a bit (and sell the JL for at least around what it's worth), I still have some concerns. The Dilemma of keeping the new and expensive Jeep (I still owe over $20 grand), or walking away with a Jeep half that price but of ostensibly lesser quality and less life left in it (but more room).





The 2005 LJ:


Pros

+New paint on body and frame. They even sent me pictures of it when they were redoing the body. Not sure if the frame paint is there to cover up rot?

+Half the upfront cost of the JL. I really REALLY would like to just own my vehicle and not see a chunk of every paycheck disappearing BEFORE I can even buy mods.

+The increased storage room and haul capacity is very nice. Let me tell it was "fun" fitting all my earthly possessions into the 2-door JL when I got a job here back east. The extra inches, weight capacity, and hauling would be nice for the odd times i need to carry wood pellets or soil, etc. and cant borrow a friends truck.

+Fewer electronics. I HATE how Jeep has gone the way of the push buttom-start (and the stop-start tech for that matter). If I could I would have the dash of a CJ in my car. That's just me.

+The dealer seem to have done a good amount of work to make the thing better. Clean Carfax.

+More plentiful parts and hopefully cheaper mods (already found a perfectly good roofrack on craigslist)
+I guess it gets cool points for being a rare model.



cons:

-150K miles scares me. Im rather new to the business of buying cars, but this is an alarming number.

-LJ gets less mpg. Not a big deal since they are, you know, Jeeps.

-Technically speaking the newer Jeeps are better out of the gates in terms of capabilities so the LJ may not be quite up to snuff, though torque is better in the I6 if I understand.
-Uncomfortable to drive from what i hear. Will know for sure if I can test drive.





2018 JL
Pros
+Not a single problem so far *crosses fingers*. Seems I dodged the early production bugs other people complain about in the JL.

+Fair mileage. One tank I actually broke 30mpg average. Havent been able to quite get that again since though.

+No rust or rot
+As the only owner I know exactly what has and has not happened to my vehicle. No hidden surprises.


Cons
-It will cost me another 20k to fully own it, and that's not counting the mods I want to do (better bumpers, headlights, soft top so I have both, maybe a roof rack, etc).

-Too many electronics. I really hate the touch screen, key fob, and especially the stop-start.

-I fear for the longevity and durability of the pentastar engine. On the other-hand the I6 has 150K on it already so it arguably has less life in it than the penta...
-Not sure about future availability of parts. If Jeep goes the way everyone else is with hybrid and electric vehicles then will I have access to the same volume of parts as the LJ does via the thousands of TJ's out there?
-Not as much room or carry capacity. Wont need it 90% of the time, but it would be nice to have the extra those times I DO need it (overlanding, hauling, etc.).





So that's the dilemma. Would it be best to swap out for the LJ and work at keeping her going, or just keep the JL and keep it going forever? Either way I want to keep my final choice for as long as it can run, but I'm not sure which is the better choice FOR the long run. A difference of $10k means a lot to me in the present and 150k is a lot of miles for $11k.
 

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The LJ is being offered by a used car dealer. They seem to have de-rusted and repainted both the frame and body. However, the engine has approx. 150k on it. They want $11,000 for it.



Pros

+New paint on body and frame. They even sent me pictures of it when they were redoing the body. Not sure if the frame paint is there to cover up rot?
major red flags. our jeep frames tend to rust or rot from the inside out. it may not be the case, but it sounds like they made the exterior look decent and painted it, which is a sure fire way to continue living with the cancer we call rust. if you can, look inside the frame as much as possible with a mirror and a flashlight or whatever you have. if the jeep lived its life in upstate NY, i'm betting the frame is in less than idea condition
 

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major red flags. our jeep frames tend to rust or rot from the inside out. it may not be the case, but it sounds like they made the exterior look decent and painted it, which is a sure fire way to continue living with the cancer we call rust. if you can, look inside the frame as much as possible with a mirror and a flashlight or whatever you have. if the jeep lived its life in upstate NY, i'm betting the frame is in less than idea condition
We call that "cornbread with icing on it".
Looks great on the outside, not what you were expecting on the inside.
 

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IMO.. Keep the JL.. the opportunity for issues and expenses with the LJ are just to great. Enjoy your JL. As Satchel Paige said.. "Don't look back; someone might be gaining on you."
 

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Is the LJ an automatic or manual? If automatic, read up on the PCM hard shift issue that plagues many '05 and '06 Wranglers. After reading, I suspect you'll keep looking.
 

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You'll have to check out the LJ thoroughly in person but I get where you're coming from. The simplicity of the 06 and earlier Jeeps is priceless. You could sell that hard top too.

You know you want an LJ. Is this LJ legit though? Fresh paint is either due to rust or collision repair, so you'll want to get the facts on the whole paint thing. Inspect the inside of the frame and you could even ask if they could spin out each skid plate bolt to prove that the frame is in decent condition. Where the skid plate mates to the frame is always the most troublesome area. Paint on the frame is a sign of preventative maintenance, not negligence. But you have to determine whether or not they painted straight over rust as well as cleaned and treated the inside of the frame. A bit of perspective for folks that say run away from a painted frame in Upstate NY, Upstate NY see's more snow than any other area in the U.S.. For the whole PCM/Transmission thing? Hey, it's a PCB inside of an engine compartment. Heat and corrosion kills computers. My auto LJ is in a cold weather climate at 145K Mi and have never had an issue with how the transmission shifts. I take that back, the 42RLE is sensitive to tire diameters due to its .69 final drive ratio. So you'd have to regear accordingly for oversized tires. That's another thing, sure you'll be cutting your auto loan in half but you'll be paying twice as much at pump. JL transmission, 8 Speed?
 

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Greetings everyone.


First time Jeep owner now bitten by the bug. I Joined this forum after days of research and consulting family and friends to no avail. My situation is thus: I must decide if I pay off my shiny expensive 2018 JL, or swap it for a seemingly nice LJ.



Just so you know Im not a heavy off-roader, but the roads in upstate NY are just about as bad. I do NOT plan to destroy my vehicle though, in fact my plan is to someday put a Jeep in the million mile club (I know that's not happening but aim for the moon and land amongst the stars right?).



The LJ is being offered by a used car dealer. They seem to have de-rusted and repainted both the frame and body. However, the engine has approx. 150k on it. They want $11,000 for it.



Assuming I can haggle them down a bit (and sell the JL for at least around what it's worth), I still have some concerns. The Dilemma of keeping the new and expensive Jeep (I still owe over $20 grand), or walking away with a Jeep half that price but of ostensibly lesser quality and less life left in it (but more room).





The 2005 LJ:


Pros

+New paint on body and frame. They even sent me pictures of it when they were redoing the body. Not sure if the frame paint is there to cover up rot?

+Half the upfront cost of the JL. I really REALLY would like to just own my vehicle and not see a chunk of every paycheck disappearing BEFORE I can even buy mods.

+The increased storage room and haul capacity is very nice. Let me tell it was "fun" fitting all my earthly possessions into the 2-door JL when I got a job here back east. The extra inches, weight capacity, and hauling would be nice for the odd times i need to carry wood pellets or soil, etc. and cant borrow a friends truck.

+Fewer electronics. I HATE how Jeep has gone the way of the push buttom-start (and the stop-start tech for that matter). If I could I would have the dash of a CJ in my car. That's just me.

+The dealer seem to have done a good amount of work to make the thing better. Clean Carfax.

+More plentiful parts and hopefully cheaper mods (already found a perfectly good roofrack on craigslist)
+I guess it gets cool points for being a rare model.



cons:

-150K miles scares me. Im rather new to the business of buying cars, but this is an alarming number.

-LJ gets less mpg. Not a big deal since they are, you know, Jeeps.

-Technically speaking the newer Jeeps are better out of the gates in terms of capabilities so the LJ may not be quite up to snuff, though torque is better in the I6 if I understand.
-Uncomfortable to drive from what i hear. Will know for sure if I can test drive.





2018 JL
Pros
+Not a single problem so far *crosses fingers*. Seems I dodged the early production bugs other people complain about in the JL.

+Fair mileage. One tank I actually broke 30mpg average. Havent been able to quite get that again since though.

+No rust or rot
+As the only owner I know exactly what has and has not happened to my vehicle. No hidden surprises.


Cons
-It will cost me another 20k to fully own it, and that's not counting the mods I want to do (better bumpers, headlights, soft top so I have both, maybe a roof rack, etc).

-Too many electronics. I really hate the touch screen, key fob, and especially the stop-start.

-I fear for the longevity and durability of the pentastar engine. On the other-hand the I6 has 150K on it already so it arguably has less life in it than the penta...
-Not sure about future availability of parts. If Jeep goes the way everyone else is with hybrid and electric vehicles then will I have access to the same volume of parts as the LJ does via the thousands of TJ's out there?
-Not as much room or carry capacity. Wont need it 90% of the time, but it would be nice to have the extra those times I DO need it (overlanding, hauling, etc.).





So that's the dilemma. Would it be best to swap out for the LJ and work at keeping her going, or just keep the JL and keep it going forever? Either way I want to keep my final choice for as long as it can run, but I'm not sure which is the better choice FOR the long run. A difference of $10k means a lot to me in the present and 150k is a lot of miles for $11k.


I had an 02 Sahara with 215K. I was rear ended at a red light. No injures or hospital bill. I work in an ER, so I despise people getting "checked out" for a check. The insurance company gave my $8527 for my TJ. I would still be driving it had it not been totaled. The 4.0 is a bullet proof tractor motor. If it's a 6spd and not rusted, I'd say go for it.
 

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I say sure ditch the jl for an lj BUT NOT that one... "derusted" and "painted" are HUGE red flags....
 

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I doub't the dealer did a proper "de-rusting" if there is even such a thing! :D
 

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I don't even need to look at the LJ to give you my response:

Keep the jeep you already have. It is new. It has no maintenance issues. It has a warranty. Any car loan encumbering it will likely have a better interest rate than a used car.

You will likely spend as much upgrading the LJ as you will the JL so that is a wash.

Almost all of the aftermarket R&D is with JK's and JL's - not TJ's or LJ's. That translates to a better selection of products and "upgrades."

If you were a hard core or life long jeeper with mechanical ability and if the LJ being considered was a good candidate my opinion might be different, but I don't even need to get to the second question in this instance.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Very good advice. Thank you all for your insights! The responses here have more than convinced me to walk away. I'll stick with the JL for now and work at coming up with a good name for her! Hard to beat the monosyllabic "Jeep".


Even so I miiiight keep an eye on Craigslist. You know....for fun.
 

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Very good advice. Thank you all for your insights! The responses here have more than convinced me to walk away. I'll stick with the JL for now and work at coming up with a good name for her! Hard to beat the monosyllabic "Jeep".


Even so I miiiight keep an eye on Craigslist. You know....for fun.

Good for you, no matter how high the caliber of advice, sometimes it's hard to heed when you have your mind set on something. At least you have something to slake your Jeep thirst currently while you get to keep an eye out for the perfect ride for you. It'll happen! Cheers :)
 

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stick with the 2018... rusted frame will break in no time... never make million mile club.. good luck on decision.... happy Jeeping!
 

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Very good advice. Thank you all for your insights! The responses here have more than convinced me to walk away. I'll stick with the JL for now and work at coming up with a good name for her! Hard to beat the monosyllabic "Jeep".


Even so I miiiight keep an eye on Craigslist. You know....for fun.

Great choice.. And she might have already told you her name. She should be kept. She'll keep you out of trouble. She'll Keep you safe.

She's a "Keeper".

Jeff B.
 

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The Pentastar engine, if maintained, should last 200,000 miles. Coolant seems to be one area that should be watched carefully as they run hotter than most engines. There is another post on the forum that points out the overflow bottle should be watched on a regular basis. Check it cold and then check it again when the engine is at normal operating temperature. If the coolant level did not rise in the bottle (it should) then the system should be checked. Either the cap is not functioning properly, or the radiator is not full. In that case, check the coolant in the radiator (cold) and make sure it's full to the overfill tube.

The 4.0L in the TJ is a noted long life engine, again, if maintained as several have exceeded the 300,000 mile mark. But buying one over 200,000 miles is not something I would jump into. My TJ had 113K on the clock when I bought it and it is now approaching 130K.
 

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Buying from a dealership usually means a much higher starting pricetag and it sounds like they've done significant coverup work. Take a giant screwdriver and hammer to the frame in a dozen spots and that will tell the story.


It's almost impossible to find a fully rot-free frame in the salt-belt.
 
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