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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.
Wow, I'm surprised you ended up liking them! If you plan to fit bigger tires (even 33s) I'd recommend finding a JK with 3.73 gearing.
 
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Go test drive the 09 when he gets it. You may like the power of the 3.8 I had a 97 2.5 stick and I thought it was a dog (but for $500 who cares). My 97 4.0 auto blew it away. But I bought a 4 door for one reason. 2 doors are squirrely on snow. When I sold my truck that I drove in snow. 4 doors it was. Keep us updated.
 

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I’ve had a 78 CJ (still have it), a 99 TJ, a 15 JK, and now a 89 YJ. The YJ is my favorite.
I’m in the camp of buying your daughter a JK and keeping the TJ; I think you’d miss it and it probably would be safer for her.
Or, find yourself another TJ, or maybe even a YJ!


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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
I know you are right and I really should keep this rust free 2000 TJ 4 cyl 5 sp with just 110K miles. I remember how hard it was to find one without any rust. I bought it from this same dealer and we have had it 4 years. We only drive it 2,500 miles per year. To me the Jeep is just a toy and as I mention earlier, it is my street legal ATV. Plus, I am getting all my money back that I paid for it 4 years ago. I will see what this 2009 is when they get it next week. At 73 I think I would really enjoy a newer 2 dr on all these forest roads. Plus, I may get all my money back again in 4 or 5 years?
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Will my 15 inch wheels with 33 inch tires bolt up to a JK?
 

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Your tj wheels will not fit on the jk. 5x4.5 vs 5x5
 
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What a fun thread! I’m actually surprised there aren’t more debates of TJ vs JK in terms of a toy car. I went from a YJ that was pretty purpose built, to a JKUR after not having a Jeep for a few years while we lived in Europe (but had a vintage G Wagen as a “Jeep-like” machine while there). Going from a truly utilitarian machine like the YJ and then the G Wagen (it’s a vintage 2 door Cabrio) to the “luxury” and comfort of the JK, I was amazed at how civil the JK was with cruise control, AC, heated seats, good power, relatively quiet, and actually good economy. In addition, 4 doors and a mildly acceptable tow rating made it a good first family vehicle for us. All this while running the Rubicon Trail with it 3 months after taking delivery with very mild modifications. When I started commuting again, though, it turned into the devil incarnate and was relegated to toy status as soon as was possible.

From a hard(ish) core off road perspective, I had to re-learn how to drive based on the significantly longer wheelbase of the JKUR. So I was surprised to read you felt the 4 door seemed similar to the 2 door.

As far as transmissions, I too am old school and didn’t realize that automatics were stronger than manuals. I prefer the control of the manual- and they are more fun as well- but for durability, the slush box is probably better. However, with it comes dramatically greater complexity as it is very sensitive to tire size and that stuff, and would be dramatically more expensive to fix.

The days of simple machines like the YJ and for the most part TJ are over. Regardless of how rugged they portray the JK and on to be, they are still fully CANBUS controlled machines with more electronics than not. The only old school attributes of the JK and on are the solid axles, part time transfer case, and steering from the Model T era. Otherwise based on safety and emissions standards, it’s not possible to produce a new vehicle as simple as in the past.

So as with most things (and as a function of occupational hazard) it seems the requirements are most important. If you aren’t going to modify it at all, the JK seems best. However, if you are living far from shop support and cannot perform most fixes yourself, the TJ is a safer bet- especially as a stick.

But here is another tack of thought as I enjoy my Saturday morning coffee: when we were leaving Europe, we came back +1 and needed a family car and I knew I wanted another Jeep (the G is a long term resto project that is just too much to turn into a dedicated off road toy). I thought the choices would be to get a TJ and build it to the gills, and then get a late model sedan for daily and family duties. However, with a new baby and career, I was concerned about time to keep 2 used vehicles up especially if one was going to be abused off road. So we chose to put all the eggs in one basket in the JKUR and have a warranty. On the whole, I think we made a good choice and now we are in a different place in most every way, and the JK has been paid for so long that it makes no sense to start over.

What’s the point of my coffee induced rambling? If you can leverage forums and Al Gore’s invention well enough, get a nice little 2 door JK and enjoy some comfort. I like to say my Jeep can be acceptable as a car, but when I want to play Marlboro Man, I can pull the top and doors and pretend like I’m a punk kid again. If it’s a toy, have fun above all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 · (Edited)
UPDATE!

My dealer never did get the 2009 JK 2 dr with the 3.8 engine and manual trans with 133k miles. I was not looking for that model anyway. I did make a deal on a 2014 JK 2dr 3.6 auto with just 41K miles. We pick it up tomorrow morning. Thanks to all you folks and your comments. It was very helpful.
wedge
 

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UPDATE!

My dealer never did get the 2009 JK 2 dr with the 3.8 engine and manual trans with 133k miles. I was not looking for that model anyway. I did make a deal on a 2014 JK 2dr 3.6 auto with just 41K miles. We pick it up tomorrow morning. Thanks to all you folks and your comments. It was very helpful.
Sherpa
You'll like it.
 

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What a fun thread! I’m actually surprised there aren’t more debates of TJ vs JK in terms of a toy car. I went from a YJ that was pretty purpose built, to a JKUR after not having a Jeep for a few years while we lived in Europe (but had a vintage G Wagen as a “Jeep-like” machine while there). Going from a truly utilitarian machine like the YJ and then the G Wagen (it’s a vintage 2 door Cabrio) to the “luxury” and comfort of the JK, I was amazed at how civil the JK was with cruise control, AC, heated seats, good power, relatively quiet, and actually good economy. In addition, 4 doors and a mildly acceptable tow rating made it a good first family vehicle for us. All this while running the Rubicon Trail with it 3 months after taking delivery with very mild modifications. When I started commuting again, though, it turned into the devil incarnate and was relegated to toy status as soon as was possible.

From a hard(ish) core off road perspective, I had to re-learn how to drive based on the significantly longer wheelbase of the JKUR. So I was surprised to read you felt the 4 door seemed similar to the 2 door.

As far as transmissions, I too am old school and didn’t realize that automatics were stronger than manuals. I prefer the control of the manual- and they are more fun as well- but for durability, the slush box is probably better. However, with it comes dramatically greater complexity as it is very sensitive to tire size and that stuff, and would be dramatically more expensive to fix.

The days of simple machines like the YJ and for the most part TJ are over. Regardless of how rugged they portray the JK and on to be, they are still fully CANBUS controlled machines with more electronics than not. The only old school attributes of the JK and on are the solid axles, part time transfer case, and steering from the Model T era. Otherwise based on safety and emissions standards, it’s not possible to produce a new vehicle as simple as in the past.

So as with most things (and as a function of occupational hazard) it seems the requirements are most important. If you aren’t going to modify it at all, the JK seems best. However, if you are living far from shop support and cannot perform most fixes yourself, the TJ is a safer bet- especially as a stick.

But here is another tack of thought as I enjoy my Saturday morning coffee: when we were leaving Europe, we came back +1 and needed a family car and I knew I wanted another Jeep (the G is a long term resto project that is just too much to turn into a dedicated off road toy). I thought the choices would be to get a TJ and build it to the gills, and then get a late model sedan for daily and family duties. However, with a new baby and career, I was concerned about time to keep 2 used vehicles up especially if one was going to be abused off road. So we chose to put all the eggs in one basket in the JKUR and have a warranty. On the whole, I think we made a good choice and now we are in a different place in most every way, and the JK has been paid for so long that it makes no sense to start over.

What’s the point of my coffee induced rambling? If you can leverage forums and Al Gore’s invention well enough, get a nice little 2 door JK and enjoy some comfort. I like to say my Jeep can be acceptable as a car, but when I want to play Marlboro Man, I can pull the top and doors and pretend like I’m a punk kid again. If it’s a toy, have fun above all.
Really good post, thanks for sharing, I enjoyed reading it!
I tried the same thing 5 years ago. I went with the base JKU trying to stay as close to my old TJ as possible with a new Jeep, all while allowing the whole family (3 boys) to ride in it together.
It didn’t work, I did not like it and they were cramped in the backseat. It drove more like a Suburban than a Jeep.
It’s still my all-time favorite family SUV type vehicle, but it didn’t feel like a Jeep (to me!)
I ended-up selling it for a profit and using that profit to purchase a YJ. Then went out and bought a new Civic.
I now am happy, when it’s great weather or horrible weather, I drive the YJ. When it’s cold or really hot I get 40+ MPG, all for less money a month! Well, except when I need an “upgrade” on the YJ!
OP, congrats! You’ll probably enjoy the “upgrade”! And it not, you can probably trade jeeps with your daughter!

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Really good post, thanks for sharing, I enjoyed reading it!
I tried the same thing 5 years ago. I went with the base JKU trying to stay as close to my old TJ as possible with a new Jeep, all while allowing the whole family (3 boys) to ride in it together.
It didn’t work, I did not like it and they were cramped in the backseat. It drove more like a Suburban than a Jeep.
It’s still my all-time favorite family SUV type vehicle, but it didn’t feel like a Jeep (to me!)
I ended-up selling it for a profit and using that profit to purchase a YJ. Then went out and bought a new Civic.
I now am happy, when it’s great weather or horrible weather, I drive the YJ. When it’s cold or really hot I get 40+ MPG, all for less money a month! Well, except when I need an “upgrade” on the YJ!
OP, congrats! You’ll probably enjoy the “upgrade”! And it not, you can probably trade jeeps with your daughter!

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Thanks! Get some coffee in me first thing in the morning and I can be pretty obnoxious.

But I totally get what you are saying. The YJ unequivocally feels more “Jeep like” than the JK. The JK really is a huge transformation. Even the TJ has some real refinement with a proper HVAC system and coil springs, and a much better soft top deployment.

It’s funny, I parked next to a YJ that was close to stock height the other day when I was driving my JK and it was TINY! I was dumbfounded! I forgot just how little they really are. I had some very quick memory flashbacks that were quite fun. I also saw a YouTube video by Motorweek from the mid 90s of the Jeep Jamboree there that was really fun and I think captures again what you were referencing.


My YJ (my first new car I ever bought) as it was before we sold it and moved to Europe. This is my favorite picture of it and for reference, this is the Gatekeeper on the Rubicon.



But getting to my point in support of what you said, my JKUR is long paid for. So after a stint with old Land Rovers as toy cars, I ended up getting a new S4 for economy, comfort, and obviously performance (I’m a reformed track junkie and autocrosser). It’s the same concept you are doing- just that the JK is now my toy. I enjoy the comfort, but we do enjoy pulling the doors for true open air driving. This is my JK now (making even stock JKs look pretty small- even though mine really is pretty mild in its appearance). I just laughed being parked next to that YJ were the hard top was basically chest height for me, and a nearby stock JK had the hard top at shoulder level. Mine has the top at eye level or a bit higher (I’m 6’7”).

 

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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.
Along these lines, is there a good source for manual window full doors? My 2016 jeep came with half doors. I bought a nice set of full doors with power windows and all the switches and bezels intending to wire it all through a relay box bracketed under the hood like the spod uses. I've changed my mind and like you I'd like to find manual window doors instead and craigslist these power door parts.
 

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I had a 2000 TJ hard top with manual transmission that I traded away maybe 15 years ago. That baby was solid and fun to drive. I just made a deal on a 2013 JK manual also with a hard top. Only 40k miles. Looking forward to some fun. Great thread to read.
 
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