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Looking at getting my first TJ: 2003 Sahara


MaloStapalo

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If I decide to move forward I will double check that!
It could also be as something as simple as the wiring connection on top of the transfer case is loose or knocked off. If you can move it to 4lo you will know as soon as you touch the gas if it's in that low gear. You can hear and feel it.

Also $8k is a deal, it may not feel like it but these jeeps are getting harder to find undamaged, and a whole new generation of buyers (mine, born 87) are beginning to buy up their childhood cars. I definitely remember having the 03 Rubicon poster on my wall. I bought my 03 rubi for 13.5 just over a year ago.
 

bobthetj03

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You better snag that jeep brah! My favorite year too!
 

AndyG

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I was hoping you were gonna be a little bit more excited about it for $8k with the hardtop and the dana44 and only 2 owners lol.....
I don't know what it is but categorically usually Sahara's will be the cleanest, best cared for ones that you run into.

That may not be at all the case but I see so many nice ones... We've got a couple here in town that are just stellar.

That does not sound like a bad deal to me but really I have to drive one and listen to it and feel how tight it is to really give an opinion.

My Rubicon only had 20,000 500 miles but it had an absolutely eroded lift system underneath it.. it was poor quality and the bushings had dry rotted.

My point is that there's no absolute's that any mileage point is an advantage sometimes you see vehicles with higher mileage that are just tight and very nice.
 
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glwood

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I don't know what it is but categorically usually Sahara's will be the cleanest, best cared for ones that you run into.

That may not be at all the case but I see so many nice ones... We've got a couple here in town that are just stellar.

That does not sound like a bad deal to me but really I have to drive one and listen to it and feel how tight it is to really give an opinion.

My Rubicon only had 20,000 500 miles but it had an absolutely eroded lift system underneath it.. it was poor quality and the bushings had dry rotted.

My point is that there's no absolute's that any mileage point is an advantage sometimes you see vehicles with higher mileage that are just tight and very nice.
My take is the Sahara models are usually selected by a classier clientele than the usual WranglerWannaGetItDirty group, and therefore keep it more pristine than the usual Sport, X, or even Rubicon. At least from what I've seen.
 
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Datman

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My take is the Sahara models are usually selected by a classier clientele than the usual WranglerWannaGetItDirty group, and therefore keep it more pristine than the usual Sport, X, or even Rubicon. At least from what I've seen.

URGHHHHHHH...I also just looked at this one...I can get it for $2k less......A/c isnt cold...the compressor kicks on and off every few seconds when you turn the a/c on.....
 
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Datman

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The 97 also has a dana 44, but its auto, has an exhaust leak and rear main seal leak like the 2003 sahara
 

bobthetj03

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What year are the head problems with the 4.0?
Pre 2001 I think. 03+ they made some interior improvements with different seats and different fold/tumble rear seat. Also went with a vented tailgate instead of the vents in the hard top. I lucked out on mine. I bought it 14 years ago and didn't have this awesome forum to pull info from, so I was flying blind when I found out mine had a D44 with rear disc brakes.
 
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TJ2

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My daughter's TJ is a black Sahara '03 OEM. Fyi, the 4x4 don't have dash light when engaged. '03 is one of the less troublesome model of the entire TJ years line up. Try to Google search it. Very good year make and model. She never do maintenance work but just change the oil in a drive thru - a bullet proof engine with over 300k miles odo and still rumbles like a boss. Marks it's territory every now and then, never had time to fix the RMS yet.
 
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Datman

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My daughter's TJ is a black Sahara '03 OEM. Fyi, the 4x4 don't have dash light when engaged. '03 is one of the less troublesome model of the entire TJ years line up. Try to Google search it. Very good year make and model. She never do maintenance work but just change the oil in a drive thru - a bullet proof engine with over 300k miles odo and still rumbles like a boss. Marks it's territory every now and then, never had time to fix the RMS yet.
Hmm, so no 4wd dash light, thats weird...Thanks for clarifing.......I tried again today to bring him $7500 but he still said no lol......mannnnnn
 

Rubi04

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Hmm, so no 4wd dash light, thats weird...Thanks for clarifing.......I tried again today to bring him $7500 but he still said no lol......mannnnnn
I set my limit at $16k. I got them down to $16,300 and honestly, that was the first and only offer with their counter, I felt it was fair and not worth haggling over $300...paid the man and we were both happy.

Point is...don’t let $500 or so bucks let you walk. Sometimes those deal get sold and you kick yourself over it. Hell I just spent that on a new winch sitting in the garage. Pocket change.
 
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lowranger

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If $8,000 is a good deal, not sure why you are trying to get him down to $7,500 since he already said no. If you really want it, give him the $8,000 for it before someone else does.
 
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Datman

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If $8,000 is a good deal, not sure why you are trying to get him down to $7,500 since he already said no. If you really want it, give him the $8,000 for it before someone else does.
Probably to just make it so I feel like I won
 

AndyG

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I set my limit at $16k. I got them down to $16,300 and honestly, that was the first and only offer with their counter, I felt it was fair and not worth haggling over $300...paid the man and we were both happy.

Point is...don’t let $500 or so bucks let you walk. Sometimes those deal get sold and you kick yourself over it. Hell I just spent that on a new winch sitting in the garage. Pocket change.
Very good post .

What I am about to say is going to become more important each year -

We are 19-13 years post production
Depending on the year

Many are rusted, wrecked , whacked up and ragged out.

The way to get a nice TJ is this -hand the person the money.

If the price is in the ball park , and it is what you want , the "you feel it in your gut" kind of thing ..don't outsmart yourself . Do the deal.

Every day they become harder to find ..not obsolete , but harder to find.
 
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Datman

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Very good post .

What I am about to say is going to become more important each year -

We are 19-13 years post production
Depending on the year

Many are rusted, wrecked , whacked up and ragged out.

The way to get a nice TJ is this -hand the person the money.

If the price is in the ball park , and it is what you want , the "you feel it in your gut" kind of thing ..don't outsmart yourself . Do the deal.

Every day they become harder to find ..not obsolete , but harder to find.
TRUE
 

glwood

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The 97 also has a dana 44, but its auto, has an exhaust leak and rear main seal leak like the 2003 sahara
I'd verify the D44 in the '97. I'm not sure that was available in the first year of production. Could be wrong, but check it for sure.