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You can do it. I did it 60 miles round trip daily for about two years. It was fine. 33’s on a 3 inch lift with 3.73 gears, manual trans. My pluses where cruise control and AC. That alone made it a pleasure to daily.

Don’t listen to naysayers. You’ll have to take the chance for yourself. End of day, there’s always a buyer for a Jeep. Especially a TJ. So if you dislike it, you sell it.

Wish you the best- Jeep on!
 

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Are you a college student? Heck yes you can do it!!! Jeez, to have had a Jeep when I was in college...

Is it quiet? No. Does it get good fuel economy? Uh, it’s a Jeep, of course not. Is it practical in any way? Not really. Do you care? You are in college, by definition you are supposed to do stupid stuff and be uncomfortable and broke and eat a lot of Ramen...

But assuming you are going to pay cash for one, and assuming you have at least a decent set of hand tools, I think one would be a perfect college machine. Simple, reliable, easy to get parts for, and you don’t care if you scratch or ding it. The only concern really gets to being security and douche bags stealing stuff out of it.

In terms of it being 20 years old, who cares. It’s a body on frame solid axle’d machine with some of the most reliable engines ever created. Assuming no rust, and at least decent maintenance records, I’d take one in a millisecond as a reliable daily driver.

I drove a YJ when I was in grad school and managed to have a heck of a lot of adventures and modified the heck out of on a student loan budget. This was driving back cross country when I was just about done with school.



Shoot, a couple years ago I finished making a ‘00 Land Rover Discovery 2 a reliable daily driver and had a hoot playing with it, and that machine has one of the worst reputation in all of automotive history. It took me a year to get it to a really good working order, but it was as comfy as my wife’s Range Rover Sport, and just about as luxurious. It had a lot of very sophisticated features for the time as well (which took some time and $$$ to fix and/or keep going, but I got them sorted). My wife got sick of me having a mistress, so alas I had to sell it and get a new car.



My point is, the TJ is so simple, it would be really easy to get and keep going. And there are a bazillion of them out there, so you’ll be able to get parts.

Ah to go back 30 years... Now I have to suffer through a nicely modified JKUR and a new S4 as my drivers... I envy you... (and wish I could go back in time and have a little better study habits...)
 

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Discussion Starter #25
You can do it. I did it 60 miles round trip daily for about two years. It was fine. 33’s on a 3 inch lift with 3.73 gears, manual trans. My pluses where cruise control and AC. That alone made it a pleasure to daily.

Don’t listen to naysayers. You’ll have to take the chance for yourself. End of day, there’s always a buyer for a Jeep. Especially a TJ. So if you dislike it, you sell it.

Wish you the best- Jeep on!
Thank you so much!
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Are you a college student? Heck yes you can do it!!! Jeez, to have had a Jeep when I was in college...

Is it quiet? No. Does it get good fuel economy? Uh, it’s a Jeep, of course not. Is it practical in any way? Not really. Do you care? You are in college, by definition you are supposed to do stupid stuff and be uncomfortable and broke and eat a lot of Ramen...

But assuming you are going to pay cash for one, and assuming you have at least a decent set of hand tools, I think one would be a perfect college machine. Simple, reliable, easy to get parts for, and you don’t care if you scratch or ding it. The only concern really gets to being security and douche bags stealing stuff out of it.

In terms of it being 20 years old, who cares. It’s a body on frame solid axle’d machine with some of the most reliable engines ever created. Assuming no rust, and at least decent maintenance records, I’d take one in a millisecond as a reliable daily driver.

I drove a YJ when I was in grad school and managed to have a heck of a lot of adventures and modified the heck out of on a student loan budget. This was driving back cross country when I was just about done with school.



Shoot, a couple years ago I finished making a ‘00 Land Rover Discovery 2 a reliable daily driver and had a hoot playing with it, and that machine has one of the worst reputation in all of automotive history. It took me a year to get it to a really good working order, but it was as comfy as my wife’s Range Rover Sport, and just about as luxurious. It had a lot of very sophisticated features for the time as well (which took some time and $$$ to fix and/or keep going, but I got them sorted). My wife got sick of me having a mistress, so alas I had to sell it and get a new car.



My point is, the TJ is so simple, it would be really easy to get and keep going. And there are a bazillion of them out there, so you’ll be able to get parts.

Ah to go back 30 years... Now I have to suffer through a nicely modified JKUR and a new S4 as my drivers... I envy you... (and wish I could go back in time and have a little better study habits...)
I’m going into my third year of university! I need to save a bit more but my goal is to buy one by the middle of summer! Thank you so much for all your help! I have a hand tools, and family who can help me fix cars so if something breaks I’m set!
 

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My monthly payment is about $250 for 48 months. I have less than a year left to pay. I have replaced brakes, timing set, cooling system, battery, battery cables, u-joints and a few other things. Added all together, the parts are probably a couple thousand $. But, I have been replacing the critical items on my budget and schedule instead of waiting for the parts to fail and have a failure dictate when I have to open the wallet for repairs. For me, $250 a month payment plus throwing a couple hundred here or there for new parts, when funds allow... is easier to handle. So far, I have been able to do all my own repairs/upgrades, except one electrical issue that just frustrated me and did not have time to work through on my own. That is where the savings comes in for me. I can't afford to own a modern vehicle, especially little foreign cars. I barely could get in to install a belt tensioner pulley on my wife's 2010 Hyundai! It took me over an hour of fighting to get the parts in, where the same job on my TJ took about 10 minutes tops. When certified technicians with specialized tools and equipment are the only people who can work on them, that I can't afford to send to the shop all the time.

Jeeps, especially TJ's, are not the right choice for everybody for any number of reasons. But for me, I have confidence to handle most repairs myself. That makes it affordable. Then the fun factor.... That is priceless! MPG and ability to haul things take a back seat (or lack of a back seat) to being able to pop the doors and windows off on a warm sunny day!

You have to make your own decision.You may find out a TJ is not be the right thing for you in the end, but maybe try it out to see for yourself. If it doesn't do it for you, you should have no problem selling to get into another vehicle.

Good luck!
 

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My monthly payment is about $250 for 48 months. I have less than a year left to pay. I have replaced brakes, timing set, cooling system, battery, battery cables, u-joints and a few other things. Added all together, the parts are probably a couple thousand $. But, I have been replacing the critical items on my budget and schedule instead of waiting for the parts to fail and have a failure dictate when I have to open the wallet for repairs. For me, $250 a month payment plus throwing a couple hundred here or there for new parts, when funds allow... is easier to handle. So far, I have been able to do all my own repairs/upgrades, except one electrical issue that just frustrated me and did not have time to work through on my own. That is where the savings comes in for me. I can't afford to own a modern vehicle, especially little foreign cars. I barely could get in to install a belt tensioner pulley on my wife's 2010 Hyundai! It took me over an hour of fighting to get the parts in, where the same job on my TJ took about 10 minutes tops. When certified technicians with specialized tools and equipment are the only people who can work on them, that I can't afford to send to the shop all the time.

Jeeps, especially TJ's, are not the right choice for everybody for any number of reasons. But for me, I have confidence to handle most repairs myself. That makes it affordable. Then the fun factor.... That is priceless! MPG and ability to haul things take a back seat (or lack of a back seat) to being able to pop the doors and windows off on a warm sunny day!

You have to make your own decision.You may find out a TJ is not be the right thing for you in the end, but maybe try it out to see for yourself. If it doesn't do it for you, you should have no problem selling to get into another vehicle.

Good luck!
You remind me of the days with car payments (the S4 has been the first time for car payments for me in many years). When I started tracking and auto crossing cars a lot (and couldn’t really afford anything new) I used to say I wanted the vehicle‘s upkeep and/or modifications to be what I thought was a reasonable car payment each month. This is a lot of the reason it’s taken 9 years to get my JK to where it is (well, it didn’t help that I had a lot of other toys along the way as well- my toy fund gets spread pretty thin a lot of times).

Your attitude is great and its cool to see folks still doing everything themselves. I still do everything myself because mainly I’m a cheapskate, but I also need to justify all the tools I’ve bought over the years in lieu of paying a mechanic.
 

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My monthly payment is about $250 for 48 months. I have less than a year left to pay. I have replaced brakes, timing set, cooling system, battery, battery cables, u-joints and a few other things. Added all together, the parts are probably a couple thousand $. But, I have been replacing the critical items on my budget and schedule instead of waiting for the parts to fail and have a failure dictate when I have to open the wallet for repairs. For me, $250 a month payment plus throwing a couple hundred here or there for new parts, when funds allow... is easier to handle. So far, I have been able to do all my own repairs/upgrades, except one electrical issue that just frustrated me and did not have time to work through on my own. That is where the savings comes in for me. I can't afford to own a modern vehicle, especially little foreign cars. I barely could get in to install a belt tensioner pulley on my wife's 2010 Hyundai! It took me over an hour of fighting to get the parts in, where the same job on my TJ took about 10 minutes tops. When certified technicians with specialized tools and equipment are the only people who can work on them, that I can't afford to send to the shop all the time.

Jeeps, especially TJ's, are not the right choice for everybody for any number of reasons. But for me, I have confidence to handle most repairs myself. That makes it affordable. Then the fun factor.... That is priceless! MPG and ability to haul things take a back seat (or lack of a back seat) to being able to pop the doors and windows off on a warm sunny day!

You have to make your own decision.You may find out a TJ is not be the right thing for you in the end, but maybe try it out to see for yourself. If it doesn't do it for you, you should have no problem selling to get into another vehicle.

Good luck!
Thank you so much!
 

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The TJ and 4.0 is a very reliable vehicle in and of itself. Mine has been super reliable but also maintenance intensive. And you are dealing with vehicles that are now 16+ years old. And probably over 100,000 miles. Now, I have no doubt that a good TJ can run 300,000 (leaking oil out of the aft seal all the way ;) ) and there is really no reason that a TJ, rust issues aside, could not be kept going quite literally for near forever but that is where the maintenance intensive part comes in and your mechanical skills will be tested.

And there is the fuel economy, year around average for my Rubie is about 15, I rarely drive it over 60 MPH. I would not hesitate one second to take it on a multi-thousand mile trip on and off road. But, frankly, I recommend against the TJ as a daily driver for a grad student (and I was one) unless the grad student also has a way with tools and a place to use them.

The TJ is becoming, if not collectable (Rubicons, special editions in particular), desirable and market pricing is reflective of that. Do not buy a TJ that is modified, welded on or has a cheap axx over the counter lift kit installed with body lifts and transfer case drops and all manner of farm technology applied as it will cost you some money to sort it out to be a good and reliable daily driver.
 

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I tried having a "practical" daily driver along with my TJ. I never used it, literally, never. So I sold it. I wouldn't have any other daily driver besides a TJ. Even cold rainy days... TJ. I don't go anywhere without Sandy. You'll feel the same about yours.
 

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I tried having a "practical" daily driver along with my TJ. I never used it, literally, never. So I sold it. I wouldn't have any other daily driver besides a TJ. Even cold rainy days... TJ. I don't go anywhere without Sandy. You'll feel the same about yours.
You probably don’t put over 3k miles a month on your vehicle like I do for my commute.

I also like not worrying about piling miles on my jeep, wearing out expensive tires, etc
 

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Buy it and drive it! All my Jeeps have been daily drivers! To and from work and/or school and then L-O-N-G +/-10 hour trips (each way) from NE FL to NC, AL, TN etc... for rock crawling. The more you lift it and modify it for rock crawling the more your gas mileage will suffer.

Stick with 30x9.5 or 31x10.5 tires and only enough lift so the tires don't rub and your MPG should not be impacted that much. Maybe go with lockers front and rear to do harder stuff instead of bigger tires and more lift. That Jeep will never get +/-30mpg like a little subcompact but you should be able to get close to 15-20mpg .
 

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I have a 2002 TJ, 6 cyl. I drive daily on the highway for my work commute (only 15 miles each way, but all highway). Some things I don't like:
Wind noise with my soft top and bikini top flapping in the wind. The radio is basically driwned out because it's so loud.
Acceleration for passing isn't great (if you have to pass on a non-divided highway)
Gas mileage is pretty terrible. I drive very aggressive and I get about 12 mpg. Granted, I have 33's with a 3 inch lift and I haven't re-geared.
Storage sucks if you have the back seat in place. Mine has been gone for the last 5 years and I've never missed it.

Pros: summertime with doors off and top off is heaven.


I'd buy mine again if I had to do it over.
 

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Hi everyone! I am considering buying a 2004 Jeep TJ. I would only be able to afford one car so it would have to be my daily driver as well. I travel to and from school about once a month and the trip is 2hours long on the highway. Has anyone driven their TJ on the highway, and how was it? I don’t mind noise. Also I know Jeep’s are bad on gas but I was wondering how bad? I drove an F150 for 2 years and my car right now needs premium gas so I am used to paying higher for gas. Thank you in advance for any advice and information you can offer me!
ya I got a 04 3yrs ago with 135000 1 owner,wasnt gonna DD it but it drove nice an was dependable an my daughter was bugging me for my MDX,,,so 3 yrs an 156000 runs just as good as it did when I got it,,,,my son has a new rubicon Gladiator and still want's mine,,,,he'll have to wait till I die......
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Hi everyone! I am considering buying a 2004 Jeep TJ. I would only be able to afford one car so it would have to be my daily driver as well. I travel to and from school about once a month and the trip is 2hours long on the highway. Has anyone driven their TJ on the highway, and how was it? I don’t mind noise. Also I know Jeep’s are bad on gas but I was wondering how bad? I drove an F150 for 2 years and my car right now needs premium gas so I am used to paying higher for gas. Thank you in advance for any advice and information you can offer me!
Obviously it depends what it's built like. What lift kit and tires and gear ratio . . .
I drive a stock 2002 TJ every day at 75 MPH with 17-19mpg and I've gone on 1200 mile trips.
It wont drive like a pickup.
 

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Hi everyone! I am considering buying a 2004 Jeep TJ. I would only be able to afford one car so it would have to be my daily driver as well. I travel to and from school about once a month and the trip is 2hours long on the highway. Has anyone driven their TJ on the highway, and how was it? I don’t mind noise. Also I know Jeep’s are bad on gas but I was wondering how bad? I drove an F150 for 2 years and my car right now needs premium gas so I am used to paying higher for gas. Thank you in advance for any advice and information you can offer me!
These are neat vehicles, but they are not good as a single vehicle. Gas milage sucks, especially with any mods, terrible towing capacity and they aren’t very reliable. I would consider a Tundra for towing capacity and reliability or a 4 banger tacoma or Honda Ridge line for reliability and gas milage. I have a wrangler for fun and an older truck for hauling stuff.
 

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I have 2 vehicles a nice clean Ranger FX4 and my TJ

My Ranger has Cruise and AC rides smoother , its far quieter down the road also , It gets slightly better mileage as well .

Yet funny enough in the spring/summer/early fall as I'm going out the door I pick keys and 9/10 I'm grabbing my TJ key's especially on nice days when I can pull the side and rear soft windows out and cruise open air lol its refreshing going home like that on a nice day.

Personally I just feel like we only live so long enjoy it while you can the way things are going we might not even be able to drive these gas jobs much longer.

Do your maintenances , grease your nipples , and dont beat it to death and it will last long for you.
Any costs your getting sure beats payments on a new vehicle and you can enjoy driving around.

I drive the truck mostly in the winter because I dont care as much if it rust's (salt) its more replaceable in my mind and vehicles here in Alberta Canada get beat up in winter.
Also dont tow anything sketchy with a jeep even with distribution hitch it can get serious , its one other reason I keep the truck around it does a much better job there.
 

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A jeep can be a daily driver. We all know that there are better options for daily driving... but Jeeps are a lifestyle choice and a culture. I always wanted one but held off buying for years trying to be practical. Then kids came and brought the minivan and carseat years. Bottom line... I wish I would have gotten a Jeep when I was in college.

You'll either embrace it and love it or discover it's not for you... either way I doubt you'll regret the experience and you'll learn a lot. They hold value very well, so you'll at least get your initial investment back out if you change your mind in a year.

If you modify/build it for your needs be realistic about your needs and do it right or your daily drive won't be as much fun.
 

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Hi everyone! I am considering buying a 2004 Jeep TJ. I would only be able to afford one car so it would have to be my daily driver as well. I travel to and from school about once a month and the trip is 2hours long on the highway. Has anyone driven their TJ on the highway, and how was it? I don’t mind noise. Also I know Jeep’s are bad on gas but I was wondering how bad? I drove an F150 for 2 years and my car right now needs premium gas so I am used to paying higher for gas. Thank you in advance for any advice and information you can offer me!
TJ's are great and they follow the original jeep in-line engine design but they weren't built for gas mileage. That being said I saw 15mpg in posts and that's probably about as good as you're going to get as long as you don't add huge tires or anything else that contributes to drag. I have a JK today and added some Rubicon tires and wheels from a "take-off" swap (best way to upgrade a plain jeep) add dropped around 1.5-2mpg. Manual transmissions do a little better. I run premium and the higher octane seems to pay off hitting hills and not modulating as much so the payoff is better average mileage. Good luck with your purchase!
DH
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