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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Jeepers!

I am very torn on what to do. A neighbor has a 99 4.0 Sahara in great shape with 70k miles. Very stock, but well maintained. The only issue for me is that it's automatic. I know I can eventually do a manual swap and got a quote for about $2500. What do you all suggest I do? I had a 97 4.0 TJ sport manual and I loved it. Let me know!
 

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What's wrong with an automatic?

It's absolutely a buy to consider, if it's not rusty and in good condition. While the 32rh is a three speed, it does have a torque converter lockup. We've cruised across Nevada and Utah at 80 mph without a problem. I'm on my fourth Jeep over 40 years, and this is the first with an automatic. I've gotten to prefer the 32rh (not the newer automatics used) for both street and offroad use. It's better in traffic, and doesn't take as much dancing on the pedals offroad. There are a couple of downsides to the automatic: a) you can't use your starter motor to inch up an obstacle in a pinch; b) many car thieves can only drive an automatic, and not a manual, and sometimes will pass on a manual for that reason. A Sahara is usually loaded with options, and it should have a Dana 44 in the back, a major plus. Cruise control is nice for commuting too. You'll have a distributor instead of the coil rail, but dealing with that and plug wires is no great feat. Think long an hard before converting to a manual.
 
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That's a VERY desirable combination, I'd go for it in a heartbeat. I wanted that particular automatic in my '97 TJ so bad that I converted it from its original 5-speed to that exact same transmission. That's not only one of the very best automatic transmission designs to have ever come out of Detroit, it's an awesome offroad transmission too.

The tougher the trail, the more the automatic's torque converter becomes magically helpful. First, the torque converter does torque multiplication up to 2-3X. That means if you're trying to climb up & over an obstacle you'll get more torque delivered to the tires with that automatic than with a manual transmission. Yes, that's true. Then that torque converter also gives what is effect an infinitely low 1st gear ratio which means you can crawl along a tough section of trail as slowly as you want without killing the engine or having to stomp on the clutch pedal to stop the engine from stalling.
 

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Only idiots want a manual trans if it ever goes offroad. Auto's are what every serious offroading Jeeper has. Watch some vids.
That's a pretty obnoxious comment... LOTS of folks flat out ENJOY driving a stick.... doesn't make em idiots....

"Serious offroading jeep"? What the heck is that?
Is the guy who eases his jeep across a cow pasture to check fences not serious? Or the young couple on fire roads loaded w camping gear?
Is the only "serious" offroader the one following where thousands of other jeeps have already been on a rocky trail out west?

If the op wants a stick shift he may well be a very intelligent fellow.....


As to the purchase of said jeep.... is it priced at least $2500 less than you would pay for it?.... if not, I suggest that you either keep it as an auto or pass on it and find what you really want....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The owner is an older Gentleman who just drives the Jeep to work and really wasn't looking to sell it until I asked. He said he will take $5,500 for it. The Jeep is in great shape and the owner before him were an elderly couple who kept it in their garage all winter.

My preference in manual is just because I had a manual Jeep and loved it
 

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If you don't want it, let me know and I will head that way with 55 benjamins.
 

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You're in PA, so check that Jeep for rust real good. Assuming it's ok, then buy it. At $5500 you can easily sell it for a profit any time you're tired of it.
I'm not in the market for another Jeep, but I'd buy them all day long at that price-- assuming it checks out with rust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good idea

You're in PA, so check that Jeep for rust real good. Assuming it's ok, then buy it. At $5500 you can easily sell it for a profit any time you're tired of it.
I'm not in the market for another Jeep, but I'd buy them all day long at that price-- assuming it checks out with rust.
Yeah it's pretty solid and doesn't have rust. It doesn't look like a PA Jeep. I recently saw a rusted Jeep and decided to run away from it, but this one doesn't even have surface rust. That's a good idea! I might get it. I am worried I won't enjoy it as much because it's automatic, but I see everyone is speaking highly about the automatic transmission.
 

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Just the combination of the low mileage, rust free, and 4.0 makes this a desirable jeep. I would feel very comfortable buying this jeep, especially with your location it will be very hard finding a rust free jeep. Around me junked out 4 cylinders try to bring $5500 with over 150,000 miles on them. As other have said, the 32rh is a bulletproof automatic for jeepin. You'll enjoy having a rust free,low mileage, and reliable jeep more than you'll enjoy having a manual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
What do you think? It's a sport not sahara

That's a VERY desirable combination, I'd go for it in a heartbeat. I wanted that particular automatic in my '97 TJ so bad that I converted it from its original 5-speed to that exact same transmission. That's not only one of the very best automatic transmission designs to have ever come out of Detroit, it's an awesome offroad transmission too.

The tougher the trail, the more the automatic's torque converter becomes magically helpful. First, the torque converter does torque multiplication up to 2-3X. That means if you're trying to climb up & over an obstacle you'll get more torque delivered to the tires with that automatic than with a manual transmission. Yes, that's true. Then that torque converter also gives what is effect an infinitely low 1st gear ratio which means you can crawl along a tough section of trail as slowly as you want without killing the engine or having to stomp on the clutch pedal to stop the engine from stalling.

I just found out it's a sport not a sahara. Does that make a big difference and is it still worth it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just the combination of the low mileage, rust free, and 4.0 makes this a desirable jeep. I would feel very comfortable buying this jeep, especially with your location it will be very hard finding a rust free jeep. Around me junked out 4 cylinders try to bring $5500 with over 150,000 miles on them. As other have said, the 32rh is a bulletproof automatic for jeepin. You'll enjoy having a rust free,low mileage, and reliable jeep more than you'll enjoy having a manual.
Thanks for the advice! I will most likely purchase it.
 

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Just something to be aware of the 99 may have exhaust manifold crack.. not a big deal to replace, but something to check.
 

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Buy it and take it to Yuma where you can easily get 10,000 plus for the jeep.

When off road and particularly in large rocks and other obstacles I much prefer an automatic.

I love my 99 4.0 automatic Sahara.
 

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READ UP on frame rust... LOTS of folk think a jeep frame is good when in actuality it's about to fall apart... you have to know what to look for... they rust from the inside...

At $5500, if it's actually rust free, I'd drive there tonight from Indiana w cash in hand and buy it even if a rod was hanging out of the block..... er.... uh..... that's a terrible deal, what's the dude's phone number so I can call and give him a peice of my mind!
 
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