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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone....I've been looking more and more at Jeep Wranglers lately and figured I'd try to learn as much as possible. Any advice or opinions you guys could offer up would be great. I used to drive a Mustang GT, so it would be a big change. Love my sports cars, but hard to find something low mileage for the price I'm looking at ($15k).

Anyways, probably looking at a 02+.....definetely a V6. I've looked thru some online ads and there seems to be several different models and they all looka little different. So is there any options on a Jeep that would be good to have? I know I can add alot of stuff aftermarket.

Is it practical to have a baby seat in a Jeep? I don't have kids now but will probably in the next 1-2 years.

Anything else to look for.....any common mechanical problems to check for before buying?

Any help would be great!
 

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I don't think a jeep would be an ideal car for a baby. The back seat isn't the safest place for a car seat. You have to think about the role over hazard and if it's safe to have an infant anywhere in the jeep. But thats just me, I'm one of those worst case scenario guys so talk to others about it.:)
 

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Inline 6 not a V6
We lugged both our kids around with car seats in Wranglers, it's kind of a pain getting them in and out with the top on but not too bad. I'de rather have em in a Jeep than in one of these recycled aluminum cans running around these days, at least there's a bit of steel in Jeeps still.
What options to get would likely depend on where you live and what you want to do with it.
 

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Try to get one with a dana 44 rear. My 02 has the Dana 35 and I am having a few problems with it that a dana 44 would cure.

I6 is a good choice also IMO, I know a few people with the 4 banger that get some good performance and power out of them but they had to beef the engines up and re-gear the axles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The Jeep wouldn't be our primary baby hauler, but more of the when my wife's Explorer isn't around and I have to pick the baby up from daycare or something like that.

I6....I always just default to V6 for some reason....used to typing V8 I guess after owning the mustang.

I'm sure most of my driving would be onroad driving of course.....but I would mind doing some mild offroading in it...no rock climbing or anything, but down some bumpy OH trails would be fun.

How bout the manual vs. auto? I prefer a manual, but didn't know what you Jeep experts thought about it.
 

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If i were you i would look at carmax.com. Thats where i got my 2000TJ I6 with 50K miles for 12K with a 2 year warrenty. As far as the kids thing goes i wouldn't worry too much about it. You could possibly get in a bad sittuation in any car. Just remember to buckle the little ones at all times. With you having a mustang before im sure you know the importance of this. Almost every jeep owner i have ever met and talked to has had a good head on their shoulders and they are always worried about the saftey aspect of things, so you are in the right place. Good luck with your search. Go with the auto much easier to deal with offroad...
 

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Don't let a D35 be a deal killer.They work pretty well with up to 33 inch tires.With the kind of driving you do it will be ok.Bill
 

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I've seen lots of TJ's with one and two car seats in back. Babies like to go topless too.
 

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For the occasional kid-hauling, a TJ is fine (TJ's are the 97-06 models).

You can choose between the regular version or the longer wheel base Unlimiteds (more storage and better ride, but at a compromise to breakover angle offroad).

You can choose between the X, Sport, Sahara, or Rubicon (going from lowest to highest).

Sport and Sahara are good middle of the road TJ's with the Rubicon on the high end with lockers and more offroad stuff. Any can be modded to suit your offroad/adventure needs. Unlimited (LWD) only come in regular or Rubicon.

D35 axle is okay, but with the 4.0 I6, I'd look for the D44 axle for strength and upgradability down the road. I have an upgraded D35 with stronger 30 spline shafts, locker, etc.

As for manual vs. auto, if you are used to manual, you'll like the TJ's manual. Better control. Now if you offroad and are new to that, an auto is easier, but the manual has better engine compression braking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Lots of great info....thanks!

So how would I know if it has the D44? Since I won't be doing any serious offroading, doesn't sound worth paying the extra for the Rubicons...they seem like they're a little more pricey. If I ever get that into the sport, I can always mod.

And it seems like alot of the other options on these things are step bars, fog lights, bigger wheels/tires....stuff that I could easily add if I can find a better deal on a plain looking jeep, as long as its a I6 with AC!

Do the doors on these come off pretty easy?

Anyone know how heavy the hard tops are....figure that would be a good option/upgrade when I have kids.
 

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The doors come off very easy and my wife and I take the hardtops off with little trouble.
 

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The door thing kinda depends in my opinion how old the jeep is and if they have ever been taken off before. I had a heck of a time taking mine off the first time.
 

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look for a cracked exhaust manifold. its more of a problem 97-00, but something to consider. I just bought tj, 97 (with a cracked EM) and have been looking at the prices for some time now. I saw several 02's for $15k that I liked, just too much $ for me. most had around 50k mi not much for a newer jeep.
 

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The half plastic door option isn't a bad way to go in the summer time. That way you don't always have to take the doors completely off. But in the winter i should would like all hard doors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I definetely think I'm looking for something with the hard doors.....I can always buy some half doors if I wanted to or pull some off a junked Jeep.

I recognize that Dana 44 shape immediately:D


So was the D44 an upgrade option on Wrangler Sports....say 01-05? The D44 sounds like it would be a good option, but not sure if I want to pass on a lot of nice Jeeps waiting to find one with a D44....guess I'm curious how common it is to come stock?

Another question....sorry to bore you guys with a million questions but I really appreciate how nice and helpful you all have been.....seems like true fans on forums are always willing to help, found a lot of great stang people too.

Will a TJ with a 2" BB lift and 32's clear your standard garage opening....or will I be stuck outside if I lifted it?
 

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I have a '99 TJ Sport with a 4" lift running 33s. My Jeep goes in the garage every night with room to spare, I have a CB antenna that is about 6-8" above my Jeep and if there is an excess of mud on the floor it will bump from time to time. The door on my garage is the standard size door. (7' opening I think).
 

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Don't forget the unlimited. I have an 05 unlimited with a 4.5" RE lift and 33" tires. The kids love the bounce in the back seat. But be sure that in order to ride, everyone buckles up!
 

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I definetely think I'm looking for something with the hard doors.....I can always buy some half doors if I wanted to or pull some off a junked Jeep.

I recognize that Dana 44 shape immediately:D


So was the D44 an upgrade option on Wrangler Sports....say 01-05? The D44 sounds like it would be a good option, but not sure if I want to pass on a lot of nice Jeeps waiting to find one with a D44....guess I'm curious how common it is to come stock?

Another question....sorry to bore you guys with a million questions but I really appreciate how nice and helpful you all have been.....seems like true fans on forums are always willing to help, found a lot of great stang people too.

Will a TJ with a 2" BB lift and 32's clear your standard garage opening....or will I be stuck outside if I lifted it?
i'd definitely try to get the dana 44. you'll regret it if you don't or just end up swapping out your turdy five.

my 2" lift and 32's clears the garage fine.
 
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