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
*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...