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Jeep Wrangler



  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    I used to grieve myself to death about not getting the soft top for Thelma Jane, but I am very happy now with the hard top only.

    Whether to get the hard top, soft top, or dual tops is entirely dependent on your particular situation. No one can just say without qualification that one top is better than the other or that the dual top option is the way to go.

    The weather here in western Ky is suitable for topless Jeepin' about eight or nine months a year, as far as the temperature goes. We do have rainy periods, though.

    Whether or not the Jeep will be your daily driver is a major consideration too. After buying a little S10 pickup for my work vehicle, I didn't have to depend on driving Thelma Jane every day. So, I take the hard top off (and the doors off) and leave her in the garage and drive the S10 if it is raining or if rain is in the forecast.

    If I had to drive Thelma rain or shine, I would definitely want the soft top.

    So, I guess my point is that if you can afford to take the hard top off and leave it off for long periods, then that might be the way you should go.

    The hard top is quieter than the soft top and provides some security for items left in the Jeep.

    I really don't think there is a noticeable difference in the heating and cooling with the hard top vs the soft top from all that I have heard. I have no personal basis for comparison, however.

    Soft tops need replacing every few years, and the windows get scratched and all.

    I am happy that I got the hard top only, but that is just because of the way I use my Jeep and because of the climate here.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • appstate88appstate88 Posts: 40
    Thanks all! Lots of great information on a pretty common problem.

    Anonymous-Thanks for the web-sites...Is headers just another name for exhaust manifold? And if so, and I went with one of these would I have to get a whole new exhaust system or would it fit the factory exhaust?

    Tom-Thanks for the "Exhaust Manifold for Dummies". I'm definitely looking at going to an independedt for this. In the past we've trusted our Local Jeep Dealer, but have just recently gotten a new Service Advisor. He seems to make more expensive recommendations, and $1200 does seem like a lot!

    Ducks and MtnGal- Thanks fellow '98ers! Misery loves company! Yep, not going with a factory manifold when we replace it. And since it doesn't seem to affect the power, we'll drive it until we can't stand it anymore! I hope Raleigh is as reasonable as Bakersfield is:)

    Thanks again for the great advice guys!

  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Once again, I am no mechanic, so check this out with someone who is, but I have heard that running with a cracked exhaust manifold can cause burnt valves. I think it lets things get too hot, since there is a source of oxygen from the hole in the manifold or something like that. DO NOT TAKE MY WORD FOR THIS! Check with someone who knows. :)

    Also, I suppose you could say the factory manifold is a header, but people usually reserve the term "header" for an after market device. They serve the same purpose, but after market headers are more efficient at letting the exhaust gasses get out of the engine, thus relieving some back pressure and making the engine gain some horsepower. Since you have an inline six, only one header is needed. There would be a header on each side of a V6 or a V8 engine.

    You don't have to do anything about the rest of the exhaust system, but to gain the fullest advantage of the header, a less restrictive exhaust system from the header on back would be needed.

    I know only enough to be dangerous, so check all this out with a good mechanic.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • goducks1goducks1 Posts: 432
    I'm also pretty surprised to see you here, but I think it's great you're considering a Jeep. Supposedly Enzo Ferrari himself said that the Jeep is the only true American sports car.

    Anyway, to weigh in on the hard vs soft top debate--I lived in Oregon for 8 years and did a lot of driving in the rain (in the valleys) and the snow (in the Cascades). My first Jeep was a soft top YJ and the heater worked fine up in the mountains in the winter, I was never cold. However, the hard top on my TJ was preferable for a number of reasons in the mountains in the winter. It is quieter (though that is less of an issue with the new soft tops). The hard top has a rear wiper/defroster--this is very useful on winter roads, as soft top windows seem to get grimy pretty quickly. Your stuff is more secure at the lodge or wherever and you can access the back more easily--just open the tailgate and the back window pops up vs unzipping a soft top window. A hard top handles 8 or 10 inches of snow on the roof just fine, and you can get that on a parked car in the Oregon Cascades on one day. I remember a snow bomb (load of snow being shed by a Douglas fir tree branch) landing on my Jeep one day in the Cascades with a big WHUMP! My passenger looked at me and commented "good thing you had the hard top on."

    Since I moved to San Diego last year, the hard top has been parked in the garage. This is pretty much a year-round soft top sort of place. I haven't sold the hard top though--if I ever move to a place that gets winter again I know I'll want it.
  • anonymous02anonymous02 Posts: 1,538
    They are pretty much the same thing.

    If mine were gone, I'd definitely go with an aftermarket "performance" one. They "claim" to improve performance, fuel efficiency, and even longer life for your engine (who knows how true their claims are?).

    Sounds like the price and the results are both better with aftermarket. As far as fitting with factory setup, that is something you need to check with the particular manufacturer.

    If you wait, your current one is going to get pretty loud, so the new one will be nice and quiet. I find that whenever I do exhaust work, it feels like a new car after having it done. Not only does it sound smoother and quieter, but it feels like it runs better too.
  • Hey fastM. I live in Newark Delaware. I've seen your ad in the News Journal, you've had no luck? Your offering a heck of a deal. I'd try the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Truck Trader, you know, the one with the photo ads. You can also try putting ads in the local super market bulletin boards and keep a for sale sign in your window. I recently sold my 02' 4 cylinder in the Jornal and got a great price. Good luck! If I hear of anyone interested I'll let you know.,
  • smoomaw2smoomaw2 Posts: 4
    tsjay- Thanks for the welcome. I would like to get the new jeep offroad at some point. Either the Badlands or KY sound like fun sometime.

    lawdawgfl- I actually don't have any factory warranty left on the 99 Jeep I bought. It was originally purchased in June of 99 so the 3 years on the warranty has run even though the mileage hasn't. Good luck.
  • fastm3fastm3 Posts: 3

    Thanks Tom, Mr. Shiftright, and thebigkahuna for your messages and suggestions. I'm actually pretty amazed myself that it hasn't sold it, since as I mentioned it's a popular color, only has 14,000 mi, and is like new...and I'm asking over $1000 less than the Kelley's Blue Book price too!!

    I just took a couple of photos and after I get them scanned I'll make a flyer to post in the local stores. I'll probably also post in the online, even though it used to be free and now you've gotta pay...but I guess that's where the net is headed...

    Mr. Shiftright, unfortunately my Jeep is 5 speed not a/t, so I assume you wouldn't be interested?

    Thanks again,

  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    I got some 1" bolts to replace the 3/4" bolts that came with the header, and I was able to mount the header using the new bolts. I guess it is seated properly.

    I have put the safari top on, but I am going to let it stretch a while and then go tighten all the straps.

    Have to say that I am not real impressed with it so far, but maybe I will get used to the looks of it after some time goes by. I know it isn't something for "looks," but I was hoping it wouldn't detract from Thelma's appearance too much.

    Also, it doesn't go all the way back as far as I thought it would, and Ross Allen will only have shade if he gets up toward the front of the cargo area. I guess it can't go back far enough to hang down any, cause it would catch wind that way, but it looks like it could have gone back further without hanging down. Maybe after it sretches a while it will go back further.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • anonymous02anonymous02 Posts: 1,538
    Thanks for the review. I was considering the safari top myself, but after reading this, will just stick with the factory top.
  • anonymous02anonymous02 Posts: 1,538
    I made my own mirror out of an old rusty one I found in my shed. I will paint it black, and it should look and work fine.

    In fact, who cares? I am only doing it to satisfy the letter of the law, and if both sides were painted black, I wouldn't really care. I might just do the driver's side.

    Happy 4th of July everyone!

    Don't forget to

    Mourn on the Fourth of July: 2002

  • "Happy 4th of July everyone!

    Don't forget to

    Mourn on the Fourth of July: 2002"

    I believe that the reason you posted this is one of the following.

    1) You are a troll looking to stir up controversy.

    2) You are a communist moron and don't appreciate the country you live in. If it's that bad, leave. Then you wouldn't have to worry about your mirrors, either. I hear that in Iraq you can drive a Jeep with no mirrors at all. Wouldn't that be great??

    3) You are the pathetic hack that hosts that useless web site. Wow- for $2 I can learn how to win at roulette?


    If it is 1, you win. If it's 2 or 3, please don't post here anymore.

    Everyone else:

    Have a happy (and safe) 4th of July. I will be flying the flag off my Jeep for the rest of the week, topless, doorless, and with the AC on extra high for anonymous.

    Sorry for the rant...

  • anonymous02anonymous02 Posts: 1,538
    I think you got it all wrong. Did you even read the article? It is quite a bit about liberty and freedom, two of the cornerstone principles of this country.

    Really, lighten up!

    1) no
    2) no
    3) no, wrong again!

    Enjoy the Fourth in your Jeep, everyone. I know I will. (no AC).
  • anonymous02anonymous02 Posts: 1,538
    That last message got me to thinking. Maybe I will fly my flag upside down from my Jeep tomorrow as described in this article:

    ' "And I told him that flying the flag upside-down was as great a sign of respect for my country as I could think of. After all, America is in trouble, and flying its flag upside-down is a sign of distress*. The inverted flag calls out to everybody who sees: "Please help the United States. Don't let the most promising nation on earth fall into tyranny." '

    Perhaps Mr. Warren66 cares so much for this country that he will do this too? Please help "MW" and myself to keep this country free.

  • anonymous02anonymous02 Posts: 1,538
    here it is:

    Rusty's 3" Basic Kit Ø $459
    Front and Rear 3" Coils
    Drop Pitman Arm
    Transfer Case Drop Kit
    Extended Rear Sway Bar Links
    Rear Trac Bar Bracket
    4 - Rusty's Hydraulic Shocks

    OME (at quadratec):
    Price: $ 649.95

    front and rear coil springs
    top and bottom poly spring isolators
    transfer case lowering kit
    track bar relocation bracket
    Emu Nitrocharger shock absorber

    It looks like Rusty has the sway bar links and a pitman arm, while OME has the "isolators". OME comes in at $190 more.

    If Rusty's can do a heavier load rated spring like Emu does, I think I might have to go with it.

    I also plan on checking the warranty on both.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,993
    Interesting links, but off-topic for a car forum.

    Yeah, that was a hint! Enjoy the holiday.

    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    I think I am gonna like that safari top after all. It really doesn't do much for Thelma's looks one way or another.

    Its real purpose is shade from the sun, and I know I am gonna like that part. I think Ross Allen will get more benefit from it than I had originally thought he would.

    The top DOES go back is far as it can, contrary to my prior post. It's just that the roll bar turns and starts downward farther forward than I thought it did. The top goes all the way to the point where the roll bar starts down.

    I'm gonna post a pic in the photo gallery, if you are curious about how the top looks. I have three pics posted in gill's gallery, if you want to go there. I added them to an existing album of mine there that shows Thelma with her rocker guards.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?

    Oh yeah, right on, Steve! Let's talk Jeep in here! :)
  • huckhillhuckhill Posts: 20
    I know we have been here before, but now that it is summer, I was wondering if any of you have decided to run your Jeep without the sides and back rather than put on a safari or bikini top? Does it work well or does it drive you crazy with the flapping? Is it too rough on the top to run it like that all through the summer?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,408
    fastm3 --if you are pricing your Jeep off of Kelley Blue Book retail, you are probably too high. There are a few cars that can pull "full blue book" but I don't think a Wrangler can. If you split the diff between wholesale and retail you'd be closer I think, or look up the True Market Value on the Edmunds Home Page.


  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Yes; as I understand it the 4 speed auto will be available on the 2003 Wranglers. I bought my Sahara used, so for me the manual was the only way to go. Had a four speed autobox been an option I would have given it serious consideration. That said, I find the manual to be a lot of fun- but I almost never have to deal with stop and go traffic...
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