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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I am going to buy my first Jeep in the next few weeks. I have never owned a jeep before; however, I have had a few other 4x4 vehicles. I realize a jeep is a jeep and there is nothing like it.



I am looking at several wranglers ranging from 1998 – 2004. There are so many different options I am trying to decide on; like 4cyl/6cyl; 5 Speed/Auto; Hardtop/Soft top; Lifted/not lifted; full doors/half doors. I guess a lot of it would be personal preference (like color), but is there any particular options that I should look for or be wary of? What is the average mileage I should look at per year when buying a jeep? Are there a lot of differences between the Sport, Safari and Unlimited? Basically I would like to know what is going to break and is it very costly to fix if I do the work myself.
 

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You should look for a inline six cylinder with a soft top you would be a lot better off to get a soft top don't get a hard top they are hard to take of plus you have to have a mount to sit it on soft tops just fold down
 

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If money is not an issue go for a Rubicon
Best advice, buy inline-6 (4L)!
x2! Of course the Rubi naturally comes with the I6. Most people buy a 4 cylinder to get better gas money or save on insurance or something like that. Gas mileage sucks (16-20mpg) regardless of the Jeep you get, so get the I6, you'll never regret it.

I bought the '06 Rubi Unlimited. Looks a bit odd stock, but bada$$ lifted. I wanted the longer wheelbase for towing and stability AND extra storage room. They also come with dana 44's front and rear, they are the strongest factory diff out there to my limited knowledge. Rubi is perfect out of the box for trails, has a 10.3in clearance. Other option is to get a Sport or X (bare bones). Save money on the buy price with this version and spend what you would have paid for a Rubi on upgrades. BTW, look for rust in the frame and under the tub and around the floorboard drains! The I6 are solid for 300k, so don't worry to much about higher mileage like you would a car of the same year. Mines a DD, I'll put 8-10k a year on her

I just got mine 3 weeks ago and wished I bought one YEARS ago. So much fun to drive, and I haven't been off road with her yet!

Either way, good luck! Ask questions, the folks on this forum are outstanding individuals who treat you right and will steer you down the right path.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, I bought a 03 wrangler with 64k miles. 4.0 in line 6. Automatic trans. Soft top. Lifted with 33" trail diggers. Went trail riding already this morning....
 

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If you are buying off a lot, for sure look @ the "Carfax." If you are buying from a PO, ask for a record of service and maintenance. and if possible take it to a qualified mechanic and service bay to put on a lift and inspect the undercarriage very carefully.
 

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My take:

A. Welcome to the family first off.

B. Regardless of what you choose make sure it has these things and in this condition:

1. 4.0L 6 cylinder engine. This is the engine to get......bypass the 2.5L 4 cylinder engine. No as strong or durable, gas mileage can actually be worse.

2. Make sure it has the D44 rear axle.......the D35 is potentially a grenade waiting to happen.

3. NO RUST. Rust is the biggest problem with any wrangler. So make sure you get one with a rust free frame and the tub is CLEAN underneath.

4. Rubicon's are nice and have some nice features, but you need to ask yourself how you plan to use the vehicle and how you plan to build it up. Rubicons normally make the most sense for people who only plan on doing mild buildups(ie: 33's or 35's TOPS and small lift to accommodate em etc)many times. If you plan on doing a radical build up on 37's or are going to be tearing into everything and upgrading everything, many times your best off with a BASE wrangler.

5. The extended wheelbase Unlimited's(LJ's) are IMO the way to go. They have superior climbing abilities, can tow and carry a lot more.......are smoother on the highway with less steering "twitch" due to the longer wheelbase and overall are just more utilitarian for day to day activities. For instance, when I pack up my family for a wheelin/camping trip Im able to pack a pair of Kayaks(on top with rack), bring the wife, both kids, dog and pack all the camping gear on the back rack which attaches to the Class III hitch(which can carry up to 350 pounds)and be able to travel to and from the site in comfort free of clutter. I wouldn't be able to carry half the gear I do in a regular TJ.

This should help get you started in the right direction.
 
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