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What TJ should I buy?


cesar ortiz

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Joined
Jul 20, 2020
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35
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pasadena ca
hello so as the titles says me and my wife are thinking of purchasing a jeep wrangler most likely a TJ i have no clue about jeeps im blind here about jeeps we come from bmws and having lowered cars and racing etc. but we have always liked the jeeps but i mean who doesnt right ,

any ways so im thinking of purchasing a jeep price ramge from obviously as low ass possible maybe max 8500


but what exactly there is to look for in a jeep or what model is the one i should be looking for ive noticed some come with the 4cyl and some come with the 6cyl
some are manual some are automatic .

i want the jeep to be a nice daily driver to drive around the city nothing too crazy but also on weekends take it out to the mountains and have fun and do some trails etc.

im in socal so maybe like some gorman trails or azusa canyon etc.
 
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cesar ortiz

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Jul 20, 2020
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pasadena ca
Do you prefer auto or manual??
and as far as the transmission goes i woulkdnt mind either or.
my question is witch one is more realiable or i should say witch one is more fun to drive in trails or climbing hills etc.

would manual be harder or more stress on the clutch or maybe the trans ?
 
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cesar ortiz

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Jul 20, 2020
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pasadena ca
If you're able to spend a bit more money, you should definitely look for a unlimited version. Works a lot better as a daily driver.
so a wrangler tj unlimited whats the difference ?

i was aiming towards like a 97 98 there is a couple in my area that are selling and they are already lifted bigger tires etc.



thats another question should i try to look for a bone stock one or just look for one that is done already again i am new to this and i have no clue whats good brands etc so maybe buying one that is semi done up maybe would work but i mean is that a good idea?
 
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cesar ortiz

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pasadena ca
so im noticing that the unlimted is longer and i dont think i like that for my taste i love how the small ones look alot more
 
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xrey

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Nov 14, 2016
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Area 51. Nevada, really.
4 cylinder is slow but for daily It’s good driving in city streets, it won’t be ideal for freeway. Soft top is nice but noisy(er) than hard top. Looks cooler though. Wave at other jeepers even if they don’t. Try to avoid rusty ones. But once you get a Jeep, prepare to spend more money as it requires constant upgrading.
 

Helgarlson

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Jul 19, 2020
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I own a 4cyl (2.5), and honestly it's not bad just driving around the city. But the lack of power made driving up to Big Bear Lake a tedious chore. I wish I would have bought one with a 4.0 because now mine has too much sentimental value to get rid of but I can't afford to keep the engine and transmission
 

JEEPCJTJ

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Aug 11, 2018
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Half way between Pittsburgh and Cleveland
Since you "come from bmws and having lowered cars and racing etc" you should probably do a dozen or more test drives and make them as long (distance/time) as you can make them.

I'm just saying that because the TJ, and other Wrangler-like Jeeps are different enough that some people buy one then realize they need to sell it ASAP.

Otherwise for the amount of off roading you have currently planned, the closer to stock, the better to start with. It's always better to find out what's best for what you need before installing it, than it is to find out the hard way that Joe-the-PO installed stuff that looks great but doesn't really do the job or worse yet causes more problems.

The Unlimited (LJ) is longer which gives you more room to haul whatever you may need to haul (dogs? camping equipment? Beer?). It is also rated to tow more trailer weight than the TJ.
 
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Chris

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If you want one that is pretty well setup from the factory, buy a 03-06 Rubicon. For 15k or so you can get one in fantastic condition with no rust on it.

That way you get the factory lockers, Dana 44 axles front and rear, and the 241 transfer case.
 
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cesar ortiz

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Jul 20, 2020
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pasadena ca
If you want one that is pretty well setup from the factory, buy a 03-06 Rubicon. For 15k or so you can get one in fantastic condition with no rust on it.

That way you get the factory lockers, Dana 44 axles front and rear, and the 241 transfer case.
i would really like to get a newer one no doubt but i think i want to stay in between a budget of 6k-8.5 or so.

and there is so many tjs on that price range that are stock to pretty nicely built
 
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cesar ortiz

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Jul 20, 2020
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pasadena ca
I own a 4cyl (2.5), and honestly it's not bad just driving around the city. But the lack of power made driving up to Big Bear Lake a tedious chore. I wish I would have bought one with a 4.0 because now mine has too much sentimental value to get rid of but I can't afford to keep the engine and transmission
yeah so im thinking i would be trying to find my self a 6 cyl for sure now my question is the manual


would it be more convient to find a automatic or the manual
 

Chris

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i would really like to get a newer one no doubt but i think i want to stay in between a budget of 6k-8.5 or so.

and there is so many tjs on that price range that are stock to pretty nicely built
Be careful about the "nicely built" ones. 9 out of 10 times, the ones you see are using shitty lift kits and low quality parts (i.e. Rough Country, Skyjacker, FabTech, etc.).

For that price range you'll really be pushing it to get a really nice one. However, you can find plenty of 4 cylinders in that price range in near perfect condition, of course you may live to regret buying a 4 cylinder ;)
 
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cesar ortiz

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Jul 20, 2020
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35
Location
pasadena ca
Be careful about the "nicely built" ones. 9 out of 10 times, the ones you see are using shitty lift kits and low quality parts (i.e. Rough Country, Skyjacker, FabTech, etc.).

For that price range you'll really be pushing it to get a really nice one. However, you can find plenty of 4 cylinders in that price range in near perfect condition, of course you may live to regret buying a 4 cylinder ;)



for example that one can some one tell me if this is a good buy like i keep mentioning i dont know much about these



https://offerup.com/item/detail/608446083/ or this one
 

TrueTexas

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Feb 7, 2019
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312
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The Woodlands, TX
Here is my advice. Take it for what its worth

Read every post you can find on this forum about Rust. Vehicles move from location to location and since these Jeeps are old, it is very possible that the one you are looking at in SoCal lived a portion of its life in the rust belt. The last thing you want to deal with is rust. Almost everything else can be fixed but rust remediation will cost you big time.

Once you are confident you can thoroughly check the Jeep for frame rust, then go look at the Jeeps and look the frame over with a fine tooth comb. pull the carpets back etc... When you find one worthy of your $$$, be prepared to buy it right away. On my second TJ, while I was looking at it, the people selling it took 8 phone calls of interested people (listened to them answer the calls so I know its true). Of course, I bought it immediately.

I bought my first TJ blind. Fortunately, it was from a friend of mine and lived its entire life here, North of Houston. So luckily, I have zero rust on it. My second was originally form Atlanta and other than a tiny little rust spot in the floorboard of the tub, it has no rust either. I got lucky, but many others on this forum have not been so fortunate.

The first Jeep you posted would be a instant pass for me. Although I only looked at it for 30 seconds, its got a huge body lift, the hardtop is not the correct one (early TJ hardtops have a vent behind the rear windows) and the floors look like they have been bedlined. Not knocking bedlining but that isn't going to help its comfort as a daily driver. To @Chris earlier point, you may spend your time fixing what the PO did to it.
 
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TrueTexas

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Feb 7, 2019
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to my point, look at post #5 in the attached thread. It is from today.

 

downthepines

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Mar 13, 2019
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Location
Canada
The cheapest way to get into a 4 liter is a 5 speed/sport. Look for one with a D44 in the back if you can, The D44 has a screw plug, D 35 has a rubber plug. JMO.