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Jeep Wrangler

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  • Well, contrary to what I just said, if I DO go to the Auto Show tomorrow, I may be there for quite a bit longer than expected to get a peek at the new Jeeps...considering the show doesn't begin until Saturday! :P
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    "contrary to what I just said, if I DO go to the Auto Show tomorrow, I may be there for quite a bit longer than expected to get a peek at the new Jeeps...considering the show doesn't begin until Saturday!"

    LOL! There are people around here who wait that long for tickets or some shows, I think. The only time I'd consider "camping out" is the New Year's Eve overnight on Colorado Blvd to see the Rose Parade.
  • coug2coug2 Posts: 34
    Hi Folks - I've been thinking about buying a wrangler to combine my mid-life crisis with the family's need for a third car as my daughter turns 16 soon. Basically, I'm thinking about three choices, (1) a 98/99 SE with < 50k miles for about $8,500; a used low mile X or sport for $15-16k (2002-2004), or a new X (low 20s).

    I think we would probably put less than 2,000 miles a year on the jeep (we live in a small town and would likely drive my Sequoia or wife's highlander when going out of town).

    I've seen a couple of 98/99 SEs with < 50k miles that look clean and are advertized (FSBO) as never off road. How reliable is such a car likely to be? Would I be facing broken water pumps, electical problems etc, every six months?

    I'm a little concerned about putting too much money into a jeep that my 16 year old will drive b/c (1) 16 year olds shouldn't dive nice cars, and (2) when I was young, I had a few fender benders. Right now I'm thinking the SE and then in a few years when my youngest enters high school and I'm done coaching a soccer team, I can get rid of the Sequoia and, if I like the SE, buy myself a new jeep.

    Any thoughts? Thanks
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Coug2:

    I think you're on the right track when you say you are considering an SE. This Jeep will be driven mainly by your daughter, right? Probably, an SE would be a good choice.

    Jeeps are at least average in reliability, and I think they could be considered above average. A well maintained SE with 50K miles on it shouldn't need anything more than normal maintenance for another 100K miles.

    I don't know if the four bangers had any manifold issues, but the 4.0 L engines had a design flaw in the exhaust manifold in the early TJ years (97 and 98) which made them crack.

    You are getting a vehicle that is radically different from anything you have ever had, so it would be wise to keep the investment to a minimum. Jeeps hold their value very well, so you could keep the SE long enough to see if a Jeep is the right vehicle for your purposes, and then move up to a newer one without taking much loss on trade-in.

    Good luck.

    Tom
    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Coug,

    Welcome to the world of a teenage driver in the family. :) It's great and it sucks at the same time!

    I had the same line of thought you did. I got my daughter a 97 TJ SE a few years ago AFTER she turned 16. We made her take a defensive driving class at Willow Springs, and I think it taught her to be more aggressive. When she would drive the Wrangler, she would take turns too fast and a couple of times, nearly rolled it. While a Wrangler is VERY easy to do DIY stuff to, I didn't want to risk her flipping it. She ended up getting a Honda Civic (less likely to roll over, but still a tin can) for college and I haven't worried nearly as much. She knows if she hits anything or gets hit, she's in that tin can, so it settled her down a bit. Now if I could just get her to not want to do the wheels, exhaust, lowering, turbo, etc, it'd be great (yeah she's been around me and cars too much).

    Regarding the ease of repair, if she was driving the Wrangler, a LOT of the work, including body work can be done simply by covering it up with body armor and/or flat fenders and such. This also makes it more trail ready (who'd a thunk it?). The rockers I have also protect it from shopping carts and car doors (yeah, go ahead and hit my 1/4" thick steel sides with your aluminum doors).

    The only mechanical issues I have had that were not self induced are:
    1. Exhaust manifold cracked (as mentioned by Tom). I think they fixed this on 99 or 2000 and later TJ's.
    2. Catalytic converter broke. Replaced by dealer.
    3. Radiator leak (VERY common on ALL TJ's). Replaced with aftermarket radiator and did the work myself. Replaced thermostat at the same time.
    4. Slight pinion seal leak from front differential. Will fix when I regear. :)

    That has been IT. Our 2000 Grand Cherokee only had issues with the pinion seals, and after several visits to the dealer, they finally fixed it.

    Now that my daughter is in her Civic, the Jeep is mine, all mine! :) I've had a blast driving it, even with only 4 cylinders firing. I keep up with Tom and the group at Turkey Bay, but I have to understand my engine's limits and deal with my lower clearance (I'm on 30" tires still - Tom is on 31's and has lockers).

    When looking for a used Jeep, be sure to check the undercarriage for visible signs of offroading - scratches on the frame and transfer case skid, anything bent (or missing), check for rust spots on the frame and bottom of the tub.

    If you get an SE, I'd stay away from the automatics. The manual does a pretty good job of keeping the 4 cylinders up in the torque band, instead of letting the computer tell you when.

    If you have any questions, just ask away! Welcome to the site!

    -Paul
  • keatskeats Posts: 412
    Coug2,

    You'll love the Jeep so go with what you can afford. But I would never, never let a 16 year old drive an SUV. Paul is right, the daughter needs a Civic or something similar. If you do a search of previous posts you'll find a great article from USA Today regarding teenage drivers and SUVs. I have two 16 year old nieces who have rolled SUVs and were lucky to walk away. One rolled a 4 Runner and the other an Explorer.
  • Does anyone know where I can find pics of TJs with different sized tires and lifts. Looks are not the first thing I look for in a lift, but it is a consideration. I'm looking to run 33"s but don't want a big gap between tires and body, won't even consider more than 1" of body lift. I prefer to just go with suspension but may require a body lift if I decide to go with the avenger supercharger I am considering. ;)
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Rich:

    I believe this is your first post, so welcome to the board. Your proifle says you are Army and are deployed. Thanks, Rich, for serving our country. Be careful over there and come home safe. Are you by any chance part of the 101st? I Jeep with some of those boys at Turkey Bay. Ft. Campbell is not too far from there. You are welcome to join us anytime.

    Are you going to "wheel" your Jeep? If so, you will need more room for axle travel to keep the tires from rubbing the flares. If you are not going to do any offroading with the sway bar disco'd, then I believe you could get by with an OME 2" lift, which gives most people almost 3" of lift with the HD version. If you are going to "wheel" and disconnect the sway bar, then I think you will need a 1" body lift as well, or go with a four inch suspension lift.

    I will try to find you a link to that website that shows Jeeps with various lifts and tires. There is such a place.

    Tom
    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • jeff62301jeff62301 Posts: 310
    http://ptheune.net/~pir/photos/Jeeps/Tires/Selector/index.htm

    here is a link to an interesting page, not sure if its just photochopped or how its done, but you can click the various buttons and get an idea of what a jeep looks like with various size lifts and tires.
  • haven't seen one in real life, but the 2007 seems like a winner to me - tradition looks, wider and a little longer (although I do not want the 4 door). The V6 should be smoother and quieter despite the trade-off in low-end grunt (I think). Creature comfort is best ever - and before people flame me, YES, I WANT CREATURE COMFORT! Rover and Hummer have been making extremely capable and rugged off-road vehicles with comfort items for years - glad to see DC finally seeing the light.
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Good job, Jeff! I'll bet that is exactly what Rich was looking for. I was trying to find that same thing for him, but I wasn't having any luck.

    Tom
    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • Well, with my new mud tires, I'm planning on hittin' the trails soon. However, I have a few questions:

    I've never disconnected the sway bar, and am well aware of the benefits of doing this. I want to try now, but how do I get it off? I know I need a t55 torx and the wrench, but do I unhook both sides, just one side? I have the tools, so the only problem should be the 9 years of (likely) never been disconnected. Should I expect a tough time?

    Also, because I have 31's, I'm aware of the potential of fender rubbing; is this bad or severe? Could it damage anything severely? Is it stupid to disco with 31's and no lift? Anyone do this?

    As you can see, I have a few questions that need answering before I take Black Betty (yep! ;) ) to the trails.

    As always, thanks, and I look forward to some great responses!

    Ryan
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Disconnect both sides, then rotate the bar up and out of the way and secure it there with zip ties.

    Disconnecting and reconnecting will be much easier if you do it on a clean flat and level surface.

    Unless you're conducting some kind of banzai high speed maneuver you shouldn't damage anything, though you'll probably rub a tire on the inside of one of your fender flares now and again.
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Ryan:

    Check these pictures out.

    image

    image

    You can check out my website for a little more info.

    http://home.earthlink.net/~tsjay49/id17.html

    Go get 'em!

    Tom
    Have you hugged your Jeep today?">link title
  • wpowellwpowell Posts: 125
    OK Jeep buds, there has to be an easier way. Just rolled 5K miles and decided to rotate my tires, rotating in the spare as suggested by more knowledgable posters. Seems like this would be quick and painless with a lift, but it is cumbersome with only a floor jack and a couple of jack stands. Any suggestions on how to speed up the process? I do have a high lift jack and a second small floor jack--and a credit card that I intend to use unless someone has a time saving suggestion :P
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    To do it 100% safely, use your credit card to purchase two more jack stands. Then, using your one of your floor jacks, lift the rear axle under the diff housing until the wheels are comfortably off the ground and set it on jack stands. Now take both floor jacks to each end of the front axle and lift until the wheels are about 12" off the floor, then place your second pair of stands under the frame and release the jacks. You'll soon be able to tell if you jacked high enough as the suspension extends and you see if the wheels touch the ground or not.

    Second method, not as safe but requires no use of the credit card. Jack and support the rear as before. Then use the floor jack to raise just one front wheel an inch off the ground. You can now switch that wheel with the appropriate rear one BEING CAREFUL NOT TO GET UNDER THE FRONT OF THE JEEP AT ANY TIME. In reality, the likelihood of the front coming off the jack, or the jack suddenly failing, is very small. However, vehicle damage is always preferable to personal injury.

    Finally, unless you're using an impact wrench, slacken the lug nuts before you raise the wheels from the ground. Make sure to tighten them in the correct sequence, and use a torque wrench to finish off when they're back on the ground again.

    To understand the reasoning for the lifting sequence, it helps to know that the diff housing is central on the rear axle, while it's considerably offset on the front. This makes for a balanced lift and support at the rear. However, at the front it's hard to even get an axle stand between the diff housing and hub on one end.
  • I agree with Tom on all points. The difference between this and a standard Toyota-Nissan-Honda compact will be the maintenance. If you're buying a used SE, (or even an X), get one with STOCK wheels, no lift, and if you can find it, stock radio. All of these items can be danger signs of how it was used/not used. Remember, we were 16 too once. A used SE may have been abused pretty well. Key signs are four chrome "roller skate" wheels with the stock spare. This usually means a kid drove it, or someone who wanted it to look good, but otherwise wasn't serious about it's longevity. Kids love mud as much as we do. They just don't know they're supposed to take care of the axles by cleaning them out after dunking them. So, budget to have it's front, rear, and possibly Transfer case fluids swapped right away no matter what you buy. These are items that someone who's kid drives an SE may not worry about, versus adults that might spend 30k on a Rubicon would be religious about. I used to work as a service writer for Chrysler, and hardly anyone was having these services done. Otherwise, TJ's/YJ's can go forever. Jp magazine has a project YJ right now with the 2.5 liter that is getting it's first new engine at 300k miles.
    However, don't expect little things like dash lights, door mechanisms, rattles, etc. to match a Japanese vehicle like your Sequoia. It's still a Jeep, after all.

    Oh, one more thing, I believe Jeep changed the four cylinder in 04 (may have been 03?). I've heard it's a much better motor than the older one. Anyone know about that?
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    I believe Jeep changed the four cylinder in 04 (may have been 03?). I've heard it's a much better motor than the older one. Anyone know about that?

    The four cylinder changed from a 2.5 to a 2.4. Totally different engine, modern design, slightly better fuel consumption.
  • Dito on the use of axle stands; ironic, this should come up. Yesterday, my brother's best friend's cousin unfortunately passed away when he was working underneath his car and the jack gave away; it made front page news here in Windsor. Point is, all jeepers (and any car owner, for that matter) should ALWAYS make sure axle stands are securely in place before getting under the car for any reason (unless, of course, the jeep is not lifted off the ground). I know I'm guilty of this a few times, usually when changing tires as Mac described, scooting under for a few minutes just to inspect things. I can assure you that I will NEVER do that again without secure axle stand sin place.

    Just a warnign; everyone be careful...you can never trust those jacks by themselves.

    Ryan
  • wpowellwpowell Posts: 125
    Thanks, Mac, as always for the advise and thanks Barnz for the common sense reminder. My only other question is jack placement on the front. My jack won't extend high enough to lift via the frame and as you point out there is very little axle tube between the diff housing and the hub assembly.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Will the saddle of your smaller floor jack fit in there? If not, you can interpose a piece of wood between the saddle and the axle tube (maybe a short piece of 4"x4"?). I solved the problem for my Jeep by making an adapter out of 2" square tubing, which extends vertically downwards from the receiver hitch in my front bumper. I just plug it in and use the floor jack to lift the whole front end.

    Do not be tempted to use the high-lift under the front bumper. Think of the high-lift as an instrument of last resort, and even then think two or three more times! The high-lift does have its place, but routine tire rotation is not one of them.
  • yjbobyjbob Posts: 56
    I have some experience with MOPAR motors...

    As many of you know, I have a '95 YJ with the 2.5L OHV 4-cylinder motor. 94,000 miles and no problems. I would consider getting a used YJ or TJ with this motor as long as the vehicle is properly maintained. The 2.4L ('04+ TJ) is a DOHC 16 valve motor that is not at all like the 2.5L (I do have the 2.4L in a Chrysler Yoyager minivan where it has given me no problems in 50,000+ miles - it doesn't sound like a jeep, though.)

    The 3.8L OHV V-6 is the minivan motor. I had a 3.3L variant in a 1995 Plymouth Voyager that was still running with 130,000+ miles when I sold it last year, and I now have a 3.8L in a 2003 Chrysler Town & Country - no significant problems with either motor.
  • i have replaced the wiring harness my blinkers don't always work and my flashers come on what is it :cry:
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Possibilities include corrosion in the bulb holders, faulty turn signal unit, faulty turn signal switch, faulty emergency signal switch, or (most likely) a poor ground somewhere.

    Finally, ......"my blinkers don't always work and my flashers come on"....... what's the difference between the blinkers and the flashers?
  • I am moving from north Idaho to the Utah desert and plan on doing a ground up restoration on my 1990 stock Wrangler that I purchased new off the lot. I would like to add 3 inches in height, beef up the suspension, replace any rusted or worn parts, and give her a new coat of paint. If anyone could recommend any books or websites that would help me avoid mistakes and lay out a plan for my project I would really appreciate it. Has anyone heard of a reasonably priced, high mileage diesel engine that will fit into a Wrangler? Thanks.
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    There's a lot of Jeep restoration and maintenance books out there, though most of the model specific ones concentrate on the CJ and earlier.

    I'd suggest you gather catalogs from the many Jeep aftermarket suppliers. As well as carrying most of the available books, they also carry more suspension and body lifts, spares and accessories, than you can shake a stick at. They will also enable you to establish a budget for the project, which is the first thing you should do in your initial planning.

    As for a diesel engine, there's nothing that drops straight in. However, given sufficient time, money, and resources, nothing is impossible. As as interesting project it might be fun to do, but don't expect it to make sense as an economic exercise.
  • Check with Jp magazine. Their website carries many of their past articles. They've done at least two project 4-cylinder YJ's, doing almost exactly what you describe (minus the diesel). As far as "ready to transfer" diesels go, your best choice would be a diesel cherokee or CJ motor (both were offered at one point) but it won't be too easy to find either one. Adapting other motors like the Isuzu might be cost prohibitive, but as it was just said, with enough money and time anything's possible.
  • karlw90karlw90 Posts: 59
    ..I just got an email about it. Check it out here:

    2007 Jeep Wrangler

    I like it! And, get this... HEADRESTS on the REAR seats!! I may get an 07 just so I'm not so nervous with my 10 yo daughter in the back seat.

    The website is still quite vague. For instance, why no pictures of the four door model? Also, does it even come with a soft top option?? All of the pics are of the Jeep with the new modular hardtop.

    Oh well. I'm sure there will be lots more details revealed about it in the coming months..
  • texasjeeptexasjeep Posts: 270
    Discount tire rotates tires for free. I usually go there. I can't keep count of how many times they have plugged tires for me. They do that for free also.
  • texasjeeptexasjeep Posts: 270
    What kind of maintenance does everyone do to their softop zippers and how often?

    My drivers side zipper and rear window zipper are toast. I think I am getting new zippers put in for $85 (upper door) and $120 (rear window).
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