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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I looked at this 2005 Jeep TJ today.

2005 Jeep Wrangler $11,777 - Sullivan Motor Co. - Mesa, AZ 85202-1115 Dealer

I managed to take the little Jeep home, but I haven't bought it. It's just an extended test drive. I don't make impulse $$$ decisions.

Here's what I noted:

*It idled rough initially, but smoothed out as the day wore on. Now with fresh gasoline, it simply purrs like a kitten

*A few strange noises (faint trans rumble in Neutral w/clutch out), but online searches indicated the sounds I heard are common and benign.

*It's a Hollywood 4x4, the transfercase might be a virgin. Not a single scrape on the underside. No leaks. Missing the soft top clips on either side of the tailgate, 2 holes where each clip used to mount. Stupid aluminum shift knob.

It's got a lot of pretty clean upgrades:
*Brand new soft top.
*Nice front bumper, w' receiver & tow bar adaptable, off road lights
*Nerf bars
*Small lift (2"), rancho shocks front, airbags rear, with schrader valve in the rear bumper
*Dick Cepek wheels, good BFG 31" tires
*Tuffy locking center console
*Airraid cold intake w/ clean install, powerjet chip (I'm not a fan of chips), new Optima Battery.
*Sat radio, detach face, w' remote (for the extreme lazy?)

Note, I'm not a vehicle upgrader. My 2003 Dodge 2500 4x4 was bought with 10,000 miles on it 8 years ago, and it's still dead stock. I even replaced the OEM tires, with originally lasted 70,000, with another set of OEM (despite the ability to fit 35"s and having HD axles). I'll never sell that truck.

I'm good with tools, engineer at Honeywell for a decade, now working as a cop (and loving everything but the pay). My engineer side is reluctant to modify OEM components. I do all my own maintenance (hence my attraction to a Jeep). I've never owned a Jeep.

HOWEVER, if I were to "build" a Jeep, I'd do all of the upgrades this one already has (dumb aluminum shift knob and powerchip excluded). I have a lot of years offroading fullsizers, and frankly I think any bigger than 31"s on standard Jeep axles is a bad idea. I'll go 33"s on a half-ton/Dana 44, bigger yet on a HD. I just prefer to minimize my chances of spending the night in the desert. I tend to be conservative.

This Jeep would retire my 3/4 ton truck to the job of hay/horse hauler. I'd plan to drive the Jeep daily. The gas mileage seems good (compared to my Dodge 2500 4x4). This 2.4L cruises at 75 without working too hard (better than I expected), though maintaining momentum is key, because it takes a long time to get to 75mph. Frankly, I drive under 60mph on the freeway anyway, and this 2.4L isn't even pulling 2,000RPM. I'm the guy in the far right lane pissing the speeders off. I'm totally content with the 4cyl, and in fact I work jobs where I idle for hours on end, and the fuel sipper would be nice for that.

The dealer is willing to sell the linked Jeep to me for $12,000 OTD, with decent financing. For some reason they are eager. Jeeps in AZ are like gold. You can't even touch a TJ with AC for less than $7000, and that's a clapped out 1997 that looks junky, shredded top, etc. This little Wrangler looks showroom, tastefully upgraded, 85,300 miles, runs well, and appears to be poser owned (apologies if the prior owner is a member and sees this)y. It'll need a timing belt. I'm assuming it's a simple replacement I'd do myself. Any reason not to pull the trigger? Anything bad about this model or package? FWIW, I'm an ex Kawasaki racer, so I bleed lime green.

Worth $12K? I stand to lose, what, $5,000 over 5 years... having a good time every day?

I have to return it or buy it tomorrow...
 

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If they are asking 12k they paid 6...offer 8...walk away and wait for them to call you. You will save money. Don't expect to get away from a dealership without getting slightly raped, but I'm sure you can get it for under 10k
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
12k is a bit much for a 2.4l with that many miles on it. Not saying thats alot of miles cause 85k is a good start on these machines. Just saying 12k is way overboard imo.
Thanks for the replies.

At 12K OTD, their selling price is close to $10,500. Sales tax in AZ is 10% (actually 9.8%), plus assorted reg and doc fees. Registration is probably just under $200, because AZ is a ripoff.

Dealer said they replaced the top, and the current top is fresh.

There is still haggling to be done.

The little mill should have plenty of miles left with good maintenance, correct?
 

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Yes it will, I have seen these with over 200k. But I would still be reluctant to buy a 4cl TJ for that much money. But again Im not in AZ either. I have no idea what the market is up there. From the pics that looks like a beautiful Jeep, just remember that they spent alot of money to make it look that good.
 

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I would wait for a 4.0. I have never met another Jeeper who said I wish I would have gotten the 4 cylinder over the inline 6. I have heard of lots of other people wish they would have gotten the inline 6 though.
 

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I would wait for a 4.0. I have never met another Jeeper who said I wish I would have gotten the 4 cylinder over the inline 6. I have heard of lots of other people wish they would have gotten the inline 6 though.
My thoughts exactly.:thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Gack. Now I'm reading about the 90K timing belt + waterpump service this Wrangler will need shortly. It sounds like a fairly extensive maintenance procedure. I'm thinking the dealer needs to perform this service or discount accordingly. I'll try to use it as a haggle argument.

Anyone here replaced their timing belt DIY?
 

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Gack. Now I'm reading about the 90K timing belt + waterpump service this Wrangler will need shortly. It sounds like a fairly extensive maintenance procedure. I'm thinking the dealer needs to perform this service or discount accordingly. I'll try to use it as a haggle argument.

Anyone here replaced their timing belt DIY?
Some good info here.

4.0L Timing Chain Replacement - 1
 

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Based on your experience with a tough 3/4 ton truck, I suspect you will not be happy with a 2.4 Wrangler. The right 4.0 TJ is out there waiting for you, and you won't hesitate or ask for opinions when you find the right one. Just look around a bit longer.

Just another 2 cents worth. Good luck.
 

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I stopped reading after the word 4cly. I would look out of state for a 4.0L. Far better choice. As for the above timing chain being changed link, those almost never go bad, unless the Jeep was abused. 12k in ohio/KY/In buys you a nice 4.0L.
 

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That Jeep here would go for $16,000 or so. Maybe more if we had snow on the ground. I paid $9,999 for my 97. Of course it had only 104,000 miles, it was well taken care of and is a manual 4.0 with hardtop. I got them to come off the price by $2,000 as it was. It's amazing how prices very in different parts of the country. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It drives nice. I isolated the only 2 rattles, the tuffy lid and the spare mount is missing a bolt or two into the wheel. I'd put performance near my buddies 1998 4.0 with his stock gears and 33s. I'll have to downshift on steep hills in the mountains. Around town it scoots fine in 6th at 50mph @ 1800 rpm. It'll hold 70mph fine in 6th on freeway overpasses with almost no extra pedal, around 2800 rpm. It's got a lot of gooodies, maybe it was regeared too? I normally go 60mph on the freeway or less in my big truck. I put $10 in the tank and went 60to miles or so, which is about 20mpg. I can't think of another way to get 20mpg with solid axles and a low range. Plus it'll only sip a little fuel idling for 8 hours at a off duty construction site.

Resale worries me a bit, but I keep my vehicles for several years.

It's 7am, I gotta finish my beer and go to bed so I can wake up perky tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Another note, my buddies 4.0 on 33's slows down like it's dragging a parachute. This little Jeep coasts much better. Also my pop had a 1995performance Cherokee 4.0 he bought new. It ran hot from day one, and truly needed 3,000mi oil changes because it cooked it's motor oil. Do the 4.0 TJs run hot also? Long hours at idle is a big factor for me.
 

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^ my 4.0L with 33's does not drag like it has a parachute... maybe his brakes are messed up or something? Thats not right, and he probably spends a hell of a lot more in gas if thats the case. Regardless of the tire size, engine size or anything... it should roll easy.

Mines not a TJ, its a YJ but my last long trip was just over 9 hours each way. When they run hot like that, most the time its either really low on anti-freeze or the water pump isn't up to par. I changed my water pump and dropped from a steady 200 to a steady 185 even on long trips it will not break 190.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Good to know. Buddies alignment may be outta whack. His 5th gear isn't useable. I wrote off the 4cyls until I drove this one. It's 6th actually has a purpose.
 

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It sounds like you are still considering this Jeep. It is still way too expensive for the 4 cyl. Let this one go and you'll find something much better if you keep looking.
 

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His 5th gear isn't useable
You said he's on 33's right? Im on 33's with 4.10 gears, which is lower than reccommended for 33's and a 5spd...but better than stock gears. Not sure why the PO went with those gears, but my jeep is the same way...cant use 5th and maintain rpms...and cant coast. I have to give it (a little) gas down hills sometimes. I always assumed it was PO's choice of gears that caused that...never looked into it so idk

Now back to the topic...the jeep your considering
I agree about waiting for a 6 cylinder, based off what everyone says about the lack of power in the four. You can always test drive a 6, just to compare. Ive also read that theres only a slight difference in gas mileage between the 4.0 and 2.5, but again, i never owned a 2.5...just going off of what i read.

And what i really wanted to say...those rims...:flipoff:
 

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It's amazing to me how values differ across the country. In the upper MW it is not uncommon for buyers to pay full asking price and even get in bidding wars.

I offered 7500 on a 1998 Sport with 150k on it last year (asking price) and it sold for 7800. Red with soft top only. It was restored and thus was really clean.

My current jeep would get 9k all day long. 1999 Sahara dual top.

Up here if it runs and the 4WD works you will get 5 to 6k for it regardless of condition.
 
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