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I've got a 201 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.
It's been statistically proven that power windows are MORE reliable than manual ones, simply because there are so many cases of vehicles with window hand cranks breaking or failing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
These are all great post, I am getting educated quickly. I have read about some of these issues in post before, I just never knew which models were affected. Thanks to everyone for posting up and helping me decide what to look for in my next Wrangler search. Keep them coming!
Wedge
 

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i have a '15 JKUR (four door rubicon), had a TJ '05 4.0L manual transmission I sold in august and then in september bought a '10 JK (2 door) auto with the 3.8L for my teenage daughter. The 3.8L seems fine on the 2-door, it also has 3.73 gears (islander package)
Out of all three jeeps, the most fun to drive was the TJ, then the 2-door and last the rubicon. Don't get me wrong, the rubicon four door is great, lots of extra space for camping/overlanding.
my next jeep might be a TJ, but they aere getting expensive and hard to find clean, rust free specimens around here.
 
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I've only owned one Jeep Wrangler a JK 2017 Willys 2dr and I totally enjoyed everything about it. My only dislike was that the soft top was always and inconvenience when wanting to use the back tailgate door, pretty much requires removing the back window panel before use. I did sell it after only 2.5 years of ownership, big mistake on my part, due note it was not my daily driver. I'm now think about buying another new 2dr. Willys, but will get the hard top option and will go to a manual trans over the automatic I had before. I thought I would look for a used model, but today's prices on used are so high I'm beginning to think that new would be the better way to go. I will not do any upgrades to the Willys, I like them stock and the Willys model does offer for me what I like in a Jeep Wrangler, large tires, anti-spin axles, upgrade suspension, LED lights, plus all power windows and locks, just checkout what is standard on the Willys model. If you do go with the soft top I would go with the upgrade soft top which is a $600 option, I chose that top and was very happy with the quality of the top and was much quieter them the stock factory top.

trainman
 

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If you are getting a manual transmission and 2 door, I would look at all years of the JK. The 3.8 liter, 2 door with a manual is very tolerable with the right gears. 3.8 with 4 door or auto is a turd! Going to an early model can save you some cash for mods. There are issues with the manual transmission popping out of 1st gear, mine does it occasionally but it is tolerable. There are various theories and solutions and sometimes they work. The problem was supposedly fix in later years; that is questionable! If you are coming from a 4cyl TJ you will be happy with the 3.8 but yes the 3.6 is nicer but can have its own issues.

If you want both tops, buy one with the hard top. It's hard to find the hard top for sale at a reasonable price. I have picked up both of my soft tops new or barely used for $350. Hard tops seem to range from $600 (smoking deal) to $2000 (no way I'm paying that) and average around $1000-$1200.
 

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Trainman605
Why do you prefer the manual transmission?
I'm 76 years old and the 2dr Wrangler is a toy for me, not a daily driver. I grew up in the 60's where I had several hot rod cars and they were all 4speed with big Chevrolet V8's. It's more going back in time thing for me and my knees still work pretty good, so why not. I won't be doing much off-roading and no rock crawling for sure, so only thing I see that might be a slight problem would be less resale value, but the Wranglers I see for sale today the manuals are selling very well.

trainman
 

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I won't be doing much off-roading and no rock crawling for sure
Then you don't need to worry about the downsides of an M/T in a Jeep!

Unless you get into stop-and-go traffic, which can be annoying in any manual car.
 
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Keon, you missed the point of having a manual transmission, it's the fun of driving one, not how it works off-road, or in traffic. I realize that many of you out there have probably never owned a vehicle with a manual trans, much less driven, or tried to drive one. All being said, it's not for everyone and if it's not for you then get the automatic, you do realize that many of the younger generations have never driven a stick, or can drive one. For me it's a fourth vehicle, a TOY as I said in the previous post, so my reasons for owning one is much different then most.

Pros and Cons of each transmission, Jeep Wrangler Automatic vs Manual Transmission | CJ Off-Road

trainman.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
For me it's a fourth vehicle, a TOY as I said in the previous post, so my reasons for owning one is much different then most.

Trainman,
I am right with you on this TOY thing. I call my TJ a street legal ATV! At 73 years old and living in the Pisgah National Forest, it is our go to vehicle every time we go somewhere. We are surrounded by forest roads, gravel county roads and 45 minutes to get out of here to town for groceries & fuel. We have the options of 3 different ways out of here and 3 different towns. That adds up good times coming and going when you own a Wrangler!

We are going tomorrow to drive some JK's.
 

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Keon, you missed the point of having a manual transmission, it's the fun of driving one, not how it works off-road, or in traffic. I realize that many of you out there have probably never owned a vehicle with a manual trans, much less driven, or tried to drive one. All being said, it's not for everyone and if it's not for you then get the automatic, you do realize that many of the younger generations have never driven a stick, or can drive one. For me it's a fourth vehicle, a TOY as I said in the previous post, so my reasons for owning one is much different then most.

Pros and Cons of each transmission, Jeep Wrangler Automatic vs Manual Transmission | CJ Off-Road

trainman.
My point was that no one can tell you "you should have gone for an auto" or question your choice, since you own your jeep as a weekend, fun car - which a manual is ideal for. I have owned cars with a manual transmission, and my next car will be a manual transmission. Hell, before I had my JK I had an FJ Cruiser with the 6 speed. I am of the "younger generations" and I can assure you - there are still PLENTY of us who enjoy driving stick. It's the automakers that won't help us out and are dropping their manual transmission offerings left and right.

If my Jeep was my fourth vehicle, it'd be on 37s and have a V8! Mine is a DD which I bought on a whim, and I ended up with an auto.
 
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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I hope the Wrangler JK's don't ride and handle like a car or truck? I already have a Tundra 4x4 and F150 4x4 and they sit here while I enjoy driving my little Wrangler TJ!
wedge
 

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I hope the Wrangler JK's don't ride and handle like a car or truck? I already have a Tundra 4x4 and F150 4x4 and they sit here while I enjoy driving my little Wrangler TJ!
wedge
It's a lot more car-like than a TJ, but nothing with SFS will drive like a car! If you like the fact that your TJ feels like an ATV, then you might not be a fan of the JK's larger size and extra "refinement"

The only way for you to judge if you want one or not is to test drive one thoroughly.
 
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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Will the smaller 2dr JK be more like the TJ? I read that the JK wheel base was only 2 inches longer than the TJ.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I’d just buy your daughter the JK and keep your TJ.

You are probably right, the more I read and learn the sicker I am getting. I never had my TJ for sale, we had all the kids up this past weekend and the daughter drove it a few times through these dirt gravel back roads and started wanting it again. I will decide tomorrow when I drive a few JK's.
 

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I’d just buy your daughter the JK and keep your TJ.

You are probably right, the more I read and learn the sicker I am getting. I never had my TJ for sale, we had all the kids up this past weekend and the daughter drove it a few times through these dirt gravel back roads and started wanting it again. I will decide tomorrow when I drive a few JK's.
Well, she wins either way, so it’s ok to be a little selfish if you end up keeping the TJ!

And as someone else said earlier, the JK is probably technically a safer vehicle so you can rest easy because you did the “responsible” thing :)
 

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Will the smaller 2dr JK be more like the TJ? I read that the JK wheel base was only 2 inches longer than the TJ.
Yes, the smaller JK is significantly better to drive. It's much lighter, quicker, and feels more like a Jeep. I switched from a 4 door to a 2 door.
 
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It's been statistically proven that power windows are MORE reliable than manual ones, simply because there are so many cases of vehicles with window hand cranks breaking or failing!
That's funny, because my 2007 unlimited rubicon had a software issue where every now and again the power windows wouldn't go down but would go up. Usually turning off the key and restarting would fix it for a while. My friend's 2012 unlimited call of duty rubicon had the same problem. Between that, the intermittent wipers requiring constant attention to find home, and other friends' issues with the TIPM, less electrical in a chrysler or any product is better. Also, when removing doors, manual windows are very nice. Lighter and I don't have to turn the key on to roll them down when removing them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
UPDATE
We went to town today and I drove 3 different JK's. The first was a 2014 2 dr with just 40K miles and it was awesome. It felt great and handled and rode very close to my TJ. It had good power with the 3.6 engine. The second vehicle was a 2015 Sahara 2 dr with 77K. The Sahara was very cushy and more like a car. My wife and I both agreed that it was way too plush? The 3rd wrangler was a 2014 4 dr with 85K miles. It was very similar to the first 2014 with 2 dr we drove. It had awesome power and It handled and felt close to my TJ. I could almost like it even though it had 4 doors. The bottom line is, I am ready to sell my 2000 TJ 4cyl 5 spd manual to my daughter and replace it with a 2 dr auto with the powerful 3.6 engine.

There is one more Wrangler I have to look at and drive. My used car dealer friend has a 2009 2 dr coming in next week with the 3.8 engine and manual trans with 133k miles. It is not what I want but it will be well below wholesale price and worth a look.
 
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