Looking for advice on first Wrangler TJ purchase

Jan 11, 2019
23
17
Western Kentucky
#1
Hey all thanks for adding me. I'm looking at a 2002 wrangler with the 2.5l 5 speed. I owned a grand cherokee before, but always wanted a wrangler. If you guys dont mind, what do I need to look for so I dont get ripped off. From what I was told it's all stock.
 

jwrangler187

Member
Supporting Member
Dec 30, 2018
60
39
hilton ny
#2
Welcome to the disease... Theres no cure for it. As far as owning a tj.

Check the frame. Put your fingers in the frame holes. And piles of loose rust I would walk. Frames are number 1 to go on these jeeps


And welcome to the forum
 

JMT

The Jeep Guy
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Feb 27, 2017
6,721
6,437
Texas Hill Country, United States
#5
Frame is the big deal. As the other guy said, put your fingers in the holes and see if there are any chunks of rust falling off. Also check for rust where the skid plate meets the frame and behind where the front lower control arms tie into the frame and in front of where the rear lower control arms tie into the frame. Surface rust is fine and easy to deal with.

The 2.5L is a good little motor. If you have plans to go big, say 35’s+ then you’d want to hold out for a 4.0. The 2.5’s are known around here as ‘the four angry squirrels.” If all checks out well with the frame, then check to see if the Jeep ihas any codes thrown. Key off-on-off-on-off-on and they should flash on the odometer.

If all is well, go for it. Change all your fluids so you have a baseline, change your plugs, etc...just do solid maintenance and start to get to know your TJ.

Ask questions about everything here on the forum, and I mean everything. The first two things I added to my TJ are the only two things I removed later. So checking here with all the user experience will save you tons of money in the long run, and these little Jeeps beg for money...

Post up a pic of the rig....speaking of pics, here’s mine, 2 years ago December it was stock.
DBF4AF7B-FDB8-4ADB-8A1A-344D7C652C38.jpeg
 

JMT

The Jeep Guy
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Feb 27, 2017
6,721
6,437
Texas Hill Country, United States
#7
Then you should be good to go if all the mechanics and frame check out. If you’re not comfortable looking at the mechanics, take it to a trusted mechanic.

The 4 cylinder’s usually go for a pretty good price, much cheaper than a 4.0. It should be good to you. Post up those pics when you get a chance. We love to see TJ’s of all types