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Jeep Wrangler



  • hollissholliss Posts: 5
    Hi all! I've been following the board for several months now and have read all the 1400+ previous messages that have been posted here and thought I'd join in. Seems like a well informed group of enthusiasts, who like to exchange info, have fun, share stories, wisdom, opinions, and advise and generally get excited about the Jeepster aspects of their lives.

    Plus, I have a couple of questions that have been addressed here already, but now I can't remember the answers and after going back and scanning through the messages, can't seem to find the topic.

    I live in Austin,Texas (great Jeep'n in the surrounding hill country). I'm 35 years young (I'm trying to squeeze that into every communication possible since I can 'truthfully' say it only one more day). Tomorrow begins the next leg of my continuing journey toward the big 40, and beyond (I hope) and to help ease the pain, for my b-day (any excuse will do), I'm considering treating myself to a new (2001) Jeep Wrangler. I'm having a little trouble justifying it, because I have a 1998 Jeep Wrangler SE (4cyl) 5-speed, that I practically stole two years ago when I bought it new. I got it cheap. I paid $12,900, which even back then, was well below invoice, though I don't remember how much. Anyway, it only has 21,000 miles on it, and another year left on the factory warranty, so I don't really NEED another one. It was the last 1998 left on the lot in Feb. 1999. It's a deep green with a spice top and spice interior. It had about 5 miles on it when I test drove it. It is pretty well equipped for the price. Vinyl seats, tilt steering, full spare, flip and tumble back seat, full carpeting, am/fm stereo, etc (not the bare bones-steering- wheel-and-one-seat-only versions they bait you with in the advertisements). Still, it doesn't have a CD player, or cruise control, or an a/c, this being the biggie in Texas and why I think it was still on the lot and why I was able to get it so cheap. I intended to have a/c added by the dealer, which they said they could do for about $1,200 (have to include labor), but I never have gotten 'round to it. Just like I never got around to the cruise control, or the cd player and sound bar speakers. It doesn't actually bother me much that there's no a/c, because if it's not raining, I pretty much have the top down, which makes an a/c nearly useless anyway. There's a few times a year that it's hot and muggy and humid AND raining and I have a meeting with full suit and tie, dripping in sweat, I begin to HATE myself for not getting an a/c, but after the day passes, I forget about it, and the next day I'm cruis'n round soak'n up the sun and feeling that life is good again. BUT, I really miss a cruise control, and I'm a total audio file and tired of driving around jamm'n with headphones (although, at highway speeds, makes the whole wind noise debate moot).

    So here's my logic. I love the jeep I have. It's great. But it's almost easier to just get a new one than to have to add an a/c, cd player, and cruise. Plus, I'm not very mechanical, and have no desire to be, I want to spend my time and money at play, and not having something repaired. So I don't plan to ever again own a vehicle that's not under warranty. Actually, I haven't had one single problem with my Jeep, yet. Pretty ironic because the car I had before was a Mazda Miata, and the car before that was a Honda Accord, and both were in the shop several times before they had 21,000 miles on them (the Honda had some pretty pricey stuff at 40,000 miles, hence my decision to never be without a warranty again, and why I traded it off for a new Mazda). The ol' Jeepster, hasn't been to the shop once, except for oil changes. And it's by far my favorite automobile of those I've owned. It's a good combo between toy and transportation. Still, though he's been great so far, I don't care what kind brand, there's no getting around the fact that bad things happen to good autos . So, since my warranty will be running out Feb 2002, I figure I better start planning on ordering my next one. Then there is also the fear they will either stop making them, or alter them to such an extent that the appeal is gone, in which case, I want to have one with low miles, and a renewed warranty.

    I could keep this one and get an extended warranty, but again, I guess I'm kinda look'n for an excuse to get all the other goodies, like a cd player, the subwoofer and sound bar, a/c, the better and supposedly quieter soft top, cruise control, and maybe the 6 cylinder in either a Sport or Sahara. So, by the time I add all the cost and labor for adding all those to the Jeep I have, I figure it's be little difference in cost to just trade….or so my logic goes.

    I'd consider the Sahara, since it's easier to find them loaded up on the lot, and then I wouldn't have to order, but I don't want cloth seats. I love the vinyl seats…so easy to clean up and durable and low maintenance too. So, I'm thinking I'll just get an SE or a Sport, with all the goodies, but with the vinyl seats. It's pretty easy to find SE's with, but virtually impossible to find a Sport, loaded, with vinyl seats, so I'll probably still have to order. I don't really like the word "sport" or "sahara" plastered over the vehicle though. Can these decals be omitted if ordered, or is there a safe way to remove them?

    Which brings me to my other questions. As long as I'm probably going to have to order anyway, I might as well go down the list and check off everything I want, or think is a good safety feature.

    Like I said, I'm not very mechanical, and I don't really understand how ABS works or what the Track-lock does. I know it's been discussed here before, but could someone give a basic summary of how each works and the advantages, and disadvantages (maintenance/ repairs, or special care that should be considered), if any, for both the ABS and the Track-lock options?

    We don't get much snow, or ice here in Austin. In fact, it's rarely below 40 degrees, but we do have seasonal rain. Is ABS valuable in the rain, as with snow and ice? How about Track-lock? Does it help out in the rain? I don't do any serious off road 'n, just the beach, or mild to moderate trails….maybe a little mud, or a creek here and there, but predominantly just hopping curbs and laughing at speed bumps here in the urban jungle.

    ABS and Track-lock are the two options that I am not sure about…just don't know if they would be of any value for me. I don't have them on my jeep now, but wouldn't mind shelling out a little extra if they are worth while options. Any comments, advice, or opinions will be greatly appreciated.

    Oh wait, also...axle ration 3;73, vrs the standard? What does the axle ration have to do with anything?

    I know this was long, but I figured a little background was in order for my first post.

    I'd be too embarrassed to ask these questions in other forums, but you
  • milt721milt721 Posts: 69
    ABS is a great option because if you lock up your brakes, you still have the ability to steer around the obstacle you are braking for. (Rather than skiding in a straight line.) However, you are most likely to lock up your brakes when driving on wet pavement. I would base my decision on how often you have to slam on your brakes to avoid idiots where you live and how often the roads are wet.

    Trac-Lok is another feature that provides the best benefit when driving in wet conditions or off-road. Have you ever noticed in your current Jeep that when accelerating from a dead stop while making a right hand turn how the inside rear wheel will spin easily? Trac-Lok takes this "escaping" power and transfers it to the outside wheel with the most grip. Also, you mentioned that you sometimes tackle mud obstacles. Trac-Lok is also beneficial in this situation since torque is more evenly distributed to both rear wheels, lessening your chances of getting stuck. Hope this helps!
  • milt721milt721 Posts: 69
    For got to address rear axle ratios. Say you are traveling at 55 mph, with a higher ratio, your engine is at a higher rpm than the same engine with a lower ratio. The advantages of a higher ratio are better acceleration and more torque at lower speeds. The trade off is lower MPG and more engine noise, as well as the potential for the engine to wear out faster. With a lower rear axle ratio, acceleration is slower, but freeway cruising is more pleasant, and you get better MPG. Whew!
  • hollissholliss Posts: 5
    Thanks milt721! Just what I was looking for. I had a vague idea about ABS and Track-lock, but completely clueless about the axle. What I was going to say in my post, that got cut off (I was too long winded I guess) is that I would be too embarrassed to ask these questions in most of the other, heavily testosterome driven, jeep forums, but this group seems to be very forgiving of my style of ignorance.

    Thanks again, sounds like I want ABS, Track-lock, and a low axle ratio.

  • Are any of you familiar with roll cages for Jeeps? I know they come with a bar, but I thought that was not for rollover protection. If that is the case, who is familiar with ones which ARE for rollover protection?

    Also, how many of you drive with the windscreen down? Where? Highway (meaning pavement)? Sand (desert or beach)? or woods/mountain?

    If you do drive with windscreen down, comments? goggles? sunglasses? nothing? bugs in teeth?

    Keep on jeeping, and hug 'em if you got 'em.
  • hollissholliss Posts: 5

    I don't know about the roll cage, but I have driven with the windscreen down on several occasions. Only cruis'n down the beach and around in some wooded trails, never on the highway…not sure that's legal. Probably never been over 30 mph, but it is very exhilarating…kinda like swim'n naked…no real point to it, but it feels so good. (I guess it would be useful for hunting, fishing, or flying a kite from inside the Jeep). I just wear sunglasses to protect the eyes...but goggles would be better...and I did once see a guy cruis'n about 40 mph on a local city street here, and he was wearing goggles.

  • hollissholliss Posts: 5

    I didn't know it wasn't available on the SE, so thanks for that tip...I was leaning toward the 6 cylinder anyway, so that's just one more reason to go with the Sport. The 4 cyl has been ok, I'm not looking to hotrod, but more power would definitely be better. From what I've read on here, the MPG isn't much different from the 4 to the 6. I get 20 to 21 on the highway IF I drive 65ish, AND there aren't any strong head winds, AND/or hilly country, but I mostly averg 17-18 highway, or city...doesn't seem to vary much between the two...but as has been correctly pointed out on here before, if MPG is the priority, shopping the Jeep lot is a mistake.
  • saharanutsaharanut Posts: 134
    Guy welcome to the club...join us tomorrow night for wrangler chat...
    i've only been onboard only a week..
    I'm in the Shopping phase of buying a TJ myself..
    leaning more to the sahara..or the 60th anniversary edition...

  • I live in East Texas. Probably a couple of weeks from the time the JEEP ships before it arrives. The dealer said it should be here around March 30th. Hopefully he is wrong and it arrives a week earlier. Counting the days....
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Hey sasquatch! What's up?

    Thelma's mileage is UP overall. Remember my posts when she was only getting 16 to 17 MPG? As rb123 pointed out, you look at your average over several tanks, and there's bound to be variation from one tank to the next. You don't get the tank filled to exactly the same level each time, and, of course, there's some variation in your driving conditions and speeds. I TRY to drive the same cruising speeds, and I do a pretty good job of it, but if I'm running a little late, I will probably have a tendency to drive a little faster.

    I know... use cruise control. After all, I paid extra for it.

    The 19.0 was posssibly a case of variation toward the high side (maybe I didn't get the tank quite as full as normal that time). If I could remember the tank before that, it might have been 17.o, which would have meant an average of 18.0 for those two tanks.

    I used to average about 16.5 over several tanks, and now I'm averaging 18.0, so that's why I say Thelma's mileage has gone up.

    It's possible that the mileage will go up slightly when she goes on Mobil 1 in a few days. I got an improvement of about 1 MPG on that '94 Z28 I had when I put it on Mobil 1.

    If she never does any better than these last few tanks, I'm still a happy camper.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • twylietwylie Posts: 619
    Big Jeep wave and welcome to the group. Be sure to stay active with the group. As a long time Jeep owner, you've got insight and perspective that many of us Jeep newbies don't have. I'm not sure if you can request that the decals not be added on the factory line, but removal shouldn't be an issue if you don't like them. I think your other questions have been fielded by the board experts.

  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Welcome to all of you! I might have missed one or two of you new folks, but I try to welcome everyone. We've had a bunch of new folks lately, though, and I am afraid that I might not have responded idividually to all of you.

    You guys wouldn't believe how nice some of the "old hands" were to me when I was new here and didn't even have a Jeep ordered yet. Some of those guys have disappeared, and I miss them.

    Anyway, I like to repay the kindness I was shown by "paying it forward" to you new guys. Unfortunately, I am still just a rookie Jeep owner myself, and I won't be able to answer some of your questions like the old guys did for me.

    Somebody corect me if I'm wrong, but, Hollis, the rear end ratio of 3.73 means that the drive shaft turns 3.73 revolutions for each turn of the rear axle, which, of course, is one revolution of the rear wheel. The higher this ratio, the more torque delivered to the rear wheels for better acceleration, other things being equal (like the transmission and tire diameter). The combination of the transmission gear ratios and the rear end ratio determines how many engine RPM's you will be turning for a given speed.

    I like the acceleration that Thelma Jane has with the five speed tranny and the 3.73 rear end combo. She still gets 18 MPG with this combo, so I think it is a good balance between gas mileage and power.

    The higher gear ratio will be good if I ever go to larger tires, which I would like to do some day. The larger tires will have the same effect as lowering the gear ratio in the rear end, so if I start with a higher ratio to begin with, when I put the larger tires on, I'll still have pretty good power.

    Hope this helps and that I have been correct in what I've said- somebody jump in here and tell us if I'm on the right track.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Somebody 'splain to me the difference between horsepower and torque.

    I understand that torque is what gives you acceleration and that the torque peaks at a lower RPM than horsepower. I know that I love Mr. Torque, because I like acceleration before the RPM's get real high. I like the immediate response that you get from torque.

    But what do Mr. Horsepower do? Anybody help me out here?

  • saharanutsaharanut Posts: 134
    Hey guy...
    I guess your one of the "old guys" now...
    I'll send your your cane.. all in chrome of course.
    with JEEP engraved on the handle...
  • twylietwylie Posts: 619
    torque is physics class, HP is math! In simple terms, torque is the twisting motion, horsepower is a calculated value that takes into account time with respect to torque.

    Horsepower = torque x rpm / 5250 for a more detailed explanation.


  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Thanks. Tonkadave and I were chatting and he put me onto that same link. Maybe he got it from your post???

    It's all over my head. All I know is that I love that feeling of acceleration, and even a Jeep ought to have a little of it (and Thelma seems to do fine in that department- not a hotrod, but plenty good enough acceleration to merge with traffic getting on the parkways I drive and to pass a car on two lane roads without needing a mile to do it).


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Hey Jeepers, don't for get the chat tonight!

    We had fun last week, but we only had about a half a dozen participants, so join us tonight.

    It's 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM PACIFIC time, so adjust for your own time zone.

    Hope to see everyone there!

    (By the way, it's OK to bring your Jeep too)


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • tjytjy Posts: 39
    Hey Everybody!!! Sorry I haven't posted in a while, things here have been crazy! Anyway, to the latest of 7am this morning, I finally made it out of D-1 status and am currently in F (paint) that my TJ has started down the line, it should make its estimated ship date of 3/16 (tomorrow)!!!!! As long as all goes well, I'll have my Jeep by the last week of March! All this waiting has been brutal, I can't wait to take delivery already!
  • hollissholliss Posts: 5
    thanks for the warm welcome answers to my questions.

    I'll join in chat tonight, if I can figure out how (my non-mechanical nature extends to computers too)....


  • Karen@EdmundsKaren@Edmunds Posts: 5,024
    I just dropped in to mention about tonight's chat. Glad to see you haven't forgotten. :-)

    holliss: When the time comes, just click on the link at the top of the page. It will take you to the chat room.

    See ya there!

    Owner's Clubs

    Karen-Edmunds Community Manager

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