TJ or JK

Greg M

New Member
Dec 29, 2018
22
11
Gastonia, NC
#1
Been hanging around here for a little while and finally decided to join. You guys know a lot more about jeeps then I do. I have a decision to make and would like some input.

I have a 2012 JK sport 2dr manual with 70k on it that is almost to the point where I want it. If I keep it I'll change the rear bumper and install LED headlights. Still owe $10,500. Very clean inside and out. I'm the only one who can drive it in my family. The TJ is an auto which means anyone in my family can drive it if needed (that's a good thing).

I also have a 2005 TJ X auto with 235k on it. Runs and drives great. Have recently changed all 3 cats and the heater coil (replaced the evaporator coil at the same time). Very little rust anywhere on it. I have always believed that any of the straight 6, slant 6, inline 6, whatever the name they go by have always been very reliable motors and worth rebuilding if you ever got to that point. I'm willing to pay for a rebuild if needed in the future. However, I have read that some 2005 auto transmissions could develop shifting problems and if it does that there isn't a fix for it. I'd hate to invest in this jeep and have that happen. The TJ is stock as far as I can tell. With 235k on it it'll need some work but if I sell the JK and use the money I get from that I'll have a nice TJ paid for or sell the TJ and still owe about $5k on the JK.

My plan for the 2005 is a lift and while doing that basically replace the front end. Nothing wrong now except for a noise when the steering wheel is turned all the way to the left (can't find anything rubbing). However, might as well change out everything given the miles. Then there's a whole lot of other things like wheels and tires, sound system, bumpers, winch, seats and so on that I'd want to do. Probably paint since some of the clear coat is coming off.

So the question is, with 235k on it should I move forward on it or let it go? My concern is things that could happen like the transmission problem that I mentioned earlier.

BTW, the jeep I keep will be my daily driver but I only live 5 miles from work so I only put about 7-8k on it per year. At this point I really like the JK but I'm sure I'd like a fixed up TJ also.
 
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Greg M

New Member
Dec 29, 2018
22
11
Gastonia, NC
#3
The thing is if the TJ is worth fixing then I’m kind of leaning towards that. Would like to get rid of the payment on the JK and building out the TJ would be fun. Just concerned about putting $10k into a TJ that has 235k on it.
 
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Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
33,286
20,462
Salem, Oregon
#4
Having driven both extensively, my thought is that if I wanted a comfortable daily driver, it would be the JK.

If I wanted a recreational vehicle for fun, more occasional driving, and a vehicle that was much easier to work on, I would pick the TJ.

This is just my opinion. I would never in a million years trade my TJ for a JK, and I’ve driven many JKs.

But, the JK is definitely the more comfortable and better riding of the two, and is much more suited to a comfortable daily drive.

Where the TJ excels in my opinion is simplicity (it’s much easier to work on than the JK), tight trails (it’s much smaller), and it has the real classic Jeep look that I feel the newer ones don’t have.

EDIT: I'm not saying I wouldn't daily drive a TJ, not by any means. I'm just saying that haven driven both, the JK has much better "road trip" manners, it's quieter, more refined, and has more creature comforts (i.e. heated seats). All of these things can be done to a TJ (for instance, I've sound proofed mine), but at the end of the day, the JK (even the 2-door) is much larger and has all that extra room.

The most I've ever driven my TJ is 250 miles. After that distance, it starts getting really exhausting and you wish you were driving a Lexus or something quiet and calm. But truth be told, I'm not sure any Wrangler is going to be great for super long road trips like that, especially once you start adding bigger tires, lifts, etc.

I have always and will always look at Wranglers as "recreational" vehicles. To me, they'll never be a very comfortable daily driver in comparison to something like a BMW or Lexus.

It would be like asking a motorcyclist, "What is the best motorcycle for on-road and off-road?". Well, there really isn't one. Each motorcycle is built for a different purpose, and it's really not possible to have one that is going to be exceptional in both areas.

To me, the Wrangler is like that as well. It's a great vehicle to explore, hit the trails, and have fun in. But it's never going to be a great "daily driver" in comparison to the other vehicles out there. It's road manners aren't the greatest.

Having said all that, I would always end up with the TJ, because it's just modern enough to have the stuff you want (fuel injection), but not so modern that it's become overtaken with sensors, tons of emissions, and other b.s. This is ultimately why I decided against the JK Rubicon I had once intended to purchase.
 

Starrs

TJ Expert
Aug 1, 2017
3,691
2,718
Indiana, United States
#5
Having driven both extensively, my thought is that if I wanted a comfortable daily driver, it would be the JK.

If I wanted a recreational vehicle for fun, more occasional driving, and a vehicle that was much easier to work on, I would pick the TJ.

This is just my opinion. I would never in a million years trade my TJ for a JK, and I’ve driven many JKs.

But, the JK is definitely the more comfortable and better riding of the two, and is much more suited to a comfortable daily drive.

Where the TJ excels in my opinion is simplicity (it’s much easier to work on than the JK), tight trails (it’s much smaller), and it has the real classic Jeep look that I feel the newer ones don’t have.
Exactly. It just boils down to what you want. Well said
 
Oct 31, 2015
2,770
2,586
Kootenays, BC, Canada
#8
So you guys don’t see any problems with putting $10k or more into a TJ with 235k miles on it?
Not an issue, I put a remanufactured engine in mine last year, probably putting in a Chrysler exchange transmission this spring.

With my YJ, I sold it with 300K Miles on it, 10 years ago. I found it needed $1000 a year to keep it reliable, I sold it when the frame rusted out.

The TJ, yours and mine are definitely used cars. If you can budget the average of $1K every year, some years will be more, ie the engine, new tranny. If you stay ahead of it, it'll be a great daily driver.

Mine is about the same mileage, 345678KM.
 
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Greg M

New Member
Dec 29, 2018
22
11
Gastonia, NC
#9
That’s what I was thinking. Any other vehicle I wouldn’t even consider putting money into it, just run it until it dies. However, a Jeep is different. With very little rust on it the body and frame will last a long time here in the south. Anything else can be rebuilt or replaced.

The only thing that makes me nervous is that transmission problem I read about that can’t be fixed.
 
Oct 31, 2015
2,770
2,586
Kootenays, BC, Canada
#10
That’s what I was thinking. Any other vehicle I wouldn’t even consider putting money into it, just run it until it dies. However, a Jeep is different. With very little rust on it the body and frame will last a long time here in the south. Anything else can be rebuilt or replaced.

The only thing that makes me nervous is that transmission problem I read about that can’t be fixed.
confirm the shifting problem, and price a new one..
 
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Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
33,286
20,462
Salem, Oregon
#11
So you guys don’t see any problems with putting $10k or more into a TJ with 235k miles on it?
Considering there is a guy on here who had 600k miles on his TJ before selling it... no, I see no issue with it at all. Miles don't mean anything as long as it was properly maintained.
 
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Greg M

New Member
Dec 29, 2018
22
11
Gastonia, NC
#13
On this site I read about a shifting problem with some 2005 automatics that was related to the PCM and could not be fixed. I’ll search for it when I get home tonight.

Good to hear that people have had TJs with a lot more miles then mine.
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
33,286
20,462
Salem, Oregon
#14
On this site I read about a shifting problem with some 2005 automatics that was related to the PCM and could not be fixed. I’ll search for it when I get home tonight.

Good to hear that people have had TJs with a lot more miles then mine.
That's few and far between... like very, very, very few. Not common by any means at all.

And yes, it actually can be fixed, you just have to find a dealer who can update the software on the PCM to the latest version, that's my understanding of it.

Whoever said it couldn't be fixed is spreading misinformation and shouldn't be listened to.

But again, that is NOT a common issue, and it doesn't just happen. It happened to some of them, but they fixed it with a software update to the PCM is my understanding.

Like I said, I've owned two 2005s, and neither had this issue at all. If you polled people on this site with 2005 models, you'd see that others will agree. That shouldn't even be anywhere on the list of concerns, I can promise you that.
 
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L J

TJ Enthusiast
Nov 26, 2017
210
168
SoCal
#20
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