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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some help upgrading my Wrangler. I have a 2000 TJ that my daughter has wanted for two years and she has finally talked me into selling it to her.

I want the same size wrangler, 2 door, just a newer model. The 2000 TJ was a 4 cylinder 5 speed and was the perfect vehicle for us living back in the hills of the NC mountains with lots of gravel unpaved roads. The Wrangler will not be a daily driver as we are retired and we average driving it 2000 miles per year.

I am not looking to buy new. What years and models are best and what do you recommend?
Thanks
Wedge
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks NJJeep Guy!
This is exactly the kind of information I need to know. I hate going shopping for another Wrangler without being well informed. I have read about some of the newer Wrangler issues over the years but never kept up to date about which ones. I am kinda looking forward to getting a newer model Wrangler. Please post up if anyone else has any suggestions that will help me in my search.
 

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Used Wrangler prices are at a all time high along with most used vehicles. Any work to be done on the 3.6 will be costly and not easy. If your 2000 has super low miles, you are doing your daughter a huge favor selling it to her.
 

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'01 TJ Sport and '17 JKU Rubicon
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Used Wrangler prices are at a all time high along with most used vehicles. Any work to be done on the 3.6 will be costly and not easy. If your 2000 has super low miles, you are doing your daughter a huge favor selling it to her.
why is this by the way?
 

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why is this by the way?
 

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I've got a '15 Rubicon with a manual and it's great. 119,000 miles on it so far. You may not need all that the Rubicon offers...but it don't hurt either. Either way, the '15 is pretty solid.
 

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2015 Rubicon, manual.
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I have a 2015 Hard Rock Rubi with a manual. Only had a few months but loving it so far. It only has 16,000 miles. I will say it seems like depending on the speed it seems to shift smoother. For instance going 50 seems to be harder to shift into 6th, if going 60 seems to shift into 6 like butter. Similar going to 4th gear depending on speed. It is like it thinks it knows which gear it should shift into. I know sounds weird.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I really don't want to sell my clean 2000 TJ with just 110K miles but she is begging me for it. I have enough resources and patients to get a deal on another Wrangler. I just don't know which models to avoid. I don't want to get a bad one and be disappointed later. From my little bit of looking, it looks like the 4 dr models are more expensive than the smaller 2 dr models?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Should I look for a soft top or hard top, we enjoy taking the doors and windows out in the summer? Do the newer models still allow top and door removal?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Is there a lot of difference in the ride of the 2000 TJ and the newer models? What will I miss most or what will I like about the newer model Wrangler?
 

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'01 TJ Sport and '17 JKU Rubicon
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Is there a lot of difference in the ride of the 2000 TJ and the newer models? What will I miss most or what will I like about the newer model Wrangler?
I have a 2001TJ and a 2017 JKU (4 door).

the tops and doors work the exact same way on TJs and JKUs. I don’t have a JL(2018+) but my understanding is they do as well.

the 3.6 L engine in JKs is great and fairly reliable. Maybe not as bullet proof as the 4.0 L or 2.5 L you’re used to, but very good and plenty of power. I don’t think you’d be at all disappointed with a JK or JL. Avoid the 3.8 L on 2008-2011 JKs.

this is subjective of course, but The biggest thing you’ll miss from the TJ era is that classic Jeep feel. The TJ truly feels like a “real Jeep”. It’s much narrower and shorter so it is very nimble. It has a utilitarian no frills feel. Minimal electronics.

On the other hand, The JK and the JL have nicer interiors, feel more bulky, are wider and longer and are much quieter. They ride much better on the road and on paper they are generally more off road capable stock than a stock TJ. They have much more stout frames and bodies and therefore are heavier than TJs (and very much so with the 4 door model) and safer in accidents.
They also leak less from my experience. There are way more electronics in both but particularly the JL. A little bit harder to work on but still easy by modern standards.

Given you are looking for an experience similar to the TJ I think your best bet is a 2 door JK, 2012-2018.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a JL 2 door either, but I don’t know much about the new 2.0 L turbo engine option that is available.
 

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If I were you.... I’d buy another TJ 2000- 2006, with the 4.0L and under 80k miles or so, from the west-coast, rust free.

Sounds perfect for what you want.
 

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I have owned both a 2003 TJ, and now a 2013 JK. I would recommend either or. But suggest staying away from the 2005 and 2006 TJ. They have engine issues called OPDA. See below:

download OPDA2.jpg
 
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I have owned both a 2003 TJ, and now a 2013 JK. I would recommend either or. But suggest staying away from the 2005 and 2006 TJ. They have engine issues called OPDA. See below:

View attachment 4504141
Agreed, and 97-99 (maybe 00?) also have more issues with the exhaust manifold than the 01-06 models. So seems like 00 or maybe 01 through 03 are the best TJ years.
 

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I've got a 2015 JK Rubicon with 90,000 miles. I bought it new off a lot with three identical jeeps in red, white, and blue. All three were two door rubicons with premium soft tops, alpine speaker upgrade, and rubicon package. No other options. All with sticks, manual windows, manual transmissions, no u-connect. The less electronics you can get in a chrysler, the better off you are. I've been happy with mine. I did have four hydraulic valve lash adjusters and all cam followers replaced under warranty at 40,000 miles due to ticking from the passenger head. Otherwise, I've just done axle seals at home. It would have been under warranty, but it's fairly easy and I drive it over rough terrain quite a bit. Always good to be familiar with taking apart your junk in case you need to on the trail one day.
 

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Wow. Lots of good info here. I have owned a 97 2.5 5 speed and a 97 4.0 auto and now a 15 jkur rubicon hard rock. The 2.5 5 speed is a dog but for what you want it for is great. While the 3.8 in the 07 to 11 is lower in power than the 3.6 in the 12 and up. It is much more powerful than the 2.5 squirrel motor. You might not think the 3.8 is bad. And they are cheaper than the newer 3.6. What is your budget? Jeep prices are nuts right now. Around me any TJ is 6k to 15k. Any jk 2 door around me is 12k and up. Good luck.
 

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Just something I’ll add, the JK is WAY safer than a TJ is. I wouldn’t want my kid with a TJ for a daily. My experience with my JK 3.8 has been fantastic, starts right up and no problems other than a $25 AC sensor and a leaky radiator. But it seems like to me with the JK’s you kind of either get a good one or a bad one. Good one just do brakes/oil/tires/basic repairs but a bad one can become a headache. YMMV.
 
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