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Jeep Wrangler



  • I'm settled on the 2001 Wrangler Sport with soft top. Two things I'm just not sure about: (1) full doors vs. half doors; and (2) the Canyon 30" Tire/Wheel Group vs. the Grizzly Tire/Wheel Group. Would love to hear views on this.
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Hi and welcome!

    I have the hard top only, so, naturally, I have the full doors.

    If I had it to do over again, I would get the soft top only, and I would get the half doors.

    I really didn't think that I would care that much about going topless, but I was WRONG! I think the half doors would be better with the soft top.

    Check out my Thelma Jane....
    Have you hugged your Jeep today?

  • ispygatorispygator Posts: 14
    doors - also interested in others experience, but... the full door seems more secure(right, lake anythng in a soft top jeep is safe), and friends tell me they think they are alot quieter.

    full doors are heavier when taking on/off, and the window ledge (when window rolled down) is at a higher level then the half doors. might be of interest if you like to use it as an arm rest.

    having said that, the lines of the half doors look better when topless. if you ever want a hard top later, buy the full doors now, or be ready to get hammered for factory doors later (they are about 800 each, plus painting, or so I was told last week by a dealer)

    wheels - I think the canyons look better, and with the package are heavy duty gas shocks. maybe its just my imagination, but I have test driven both on the same public roads and thought the canyons were smoother. (what say about that tsjay? thelmajane's got'em).

    on a different note, anyone have any thoughts on a 2000 se stick w/o air, if buying as be-bop run around town weekend toy?

    can air be added, and if so, how much $$
  • spyrodragonspyrodragon Posts: 147
    hey what's up buddy? Hopefuly the Tranny didn't hurt too bad when it came down :( should have warned ya about that. You make a good point, yes everyone should work on their jeep. Do as much as you can. I spend several hours at a time just lying under mine looking at everything... seeing how everything works and what this plugs into and where that bolts too. Jeeps are really amazingly simple machines, I love working on it. Well buddy, catch ya later.

    Happy Jeepin'

    P.S. I'm going to a Jeep 101 tomorrow... or err today (it's 12:50) and I'm gonna drive a Liberty, maybe wreck it... oh wait, I didn't say that.
  • nkelly1nkelly1 Posts: 105
    I like having the duel tops. Discovered the first "draw back" with the soft top. When it rains (hard) and I opened the, door I got this nice mini-water fall that poured right into the cabin. All over the seat, and the back of my neck (as I was getting in). We have been having some pretty heavy rain the last couple of days, no leaks (as long as I don't try to get in or out of the thing while it is raining).

    I still like the soft top, but the hard top will be going back on this winter.
  • yellowmanyellowman Posts: 209
    Tsjay: Just curious, what made you go with the wider tires? I could understand if (a) you were offroading, or (b) if you were coming from the small stock tires, but you had the canyon group, which are pretty big to begin with. Again, just curious - sounds like you got a fantastic price! I might consider switching at 10,000 miles for that kind of money...

    All: I'm about to buy a spare tire cover so I can put an ad for my company on it - but I'm wondering what size to get? I have the full face tire and wheel group straight from the factory. I think I need to get the 30" tire cover, but I'm not totally sure. Thanks for any info!

  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Yes, I have the canyon wheels, but I haven't driven any TJ's that didn't have them, so I have no basis for comparison on ride quality or handling.

    Thelma rode fine with the canyons and the original 30's, but I think the 31's have improved her handling. At least she feels a little more "hooked up" to the road with them.

    The 31's are 10.5's vs. the original 30's that were 9.5's, so I have a bigger "footprint" now, i.e., more rubber on the road.

    I am going to be real happy with these tires, I think.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Just cause I HAD to do SOMETHING! Everybody does SOMETHING to their Jeep! I think it's an unwritten rule that you have to modify your Jeep in some fashion.

    No, it wasn't for offroad capability: it was for LOOKS mainly. Same reason that I would love to have a small lift and even bigger tires- just purely for looks.

    Later, Dude


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • twylietwylie Posts: 619
    A couple of observations... I think you guys are going through the exact same thing we all did before getting a Jeep. Bottom line is you have to figure out how you're going to use your vehicle and that will help people steer you toward options they think are good or bad for your anticipated use. For us, it was soft top only, and half doors. Our's is a weekend toy and out of the 2600 miles on it, less than 100 have been with the top up. A hard top for us would have been a waste of money. I like the height of the half door ledge for an armrest, it's just right for us. Maybe the full door owners could chime in if they think the full door ledges are just right or too high... Having said that, if we lived in a colder climate or used the Jeep as a daily driver, it would have been dual top option for us with a set of half doors to run in the summer.

    Other than looks, the only thing the Canyon wheels get you is an 8" wide wheel vs. 7" on the Grizzly. In theory this would allow you to run a slightly wider tire, but the factory backspacing (where the wheel sits relative to the hub) is really what limits anything larger than 32" x 11.5" on the factory rims. You may be able to run a large tire if you are planning on street use only. I think Spyro went with the cool black rockcrawler style rims with his 33"s. He wheels his Jeep and needed something that would clear the flares and not rub the control arms.

    As many have said, that's the beauty of a Jeep; you can make it as unique as you want. It's only a matter of how wide you want to open the checkbook. Choosing the "right" or "wrong" factory options in most cases does not prohibit you from going another direction later, but with good planning, you may be able to save yourself a bit of cash. A good example of this is that if you plan to add large tires and go offroad with any seriousness, make sure you get the D44 rear end. From the factory, it's cheap relative to trying to add it later. Other options offered at a good "value" relative to adding later include AC, door and top combos. Most other things like the stereo, fog lights, tow hooks, and even wheels, can generally be added at roughly the same cost down the road.

    ispy - I think a 5speed SE would be great for running around town, etc. Yellowman can give you first person advice here.

    Good luck to all!

  • tonkadavetonkadave Posts: 102
    WOW...OH MY GOD> Dude, thats the best deal ive ever heard of. Congats on that big time. You are going to love those tires. Mine performed extremely well in my recent off-road adventure. Did you get any pics yet?
  • scomoscomo Posts: 39
    I have had great luck with Smittybilt products. I've had 'em on other vehicles with tremendous luck. (no Jeep yet so no experience there yet) and the ones I like, the one piece series, do come in black. Here's a link:

    Good luck.


    ...holding out for a shale green '02 Sport

  • jeepheadjeephead Posts: 49
    I have the full doors with the soft top, which I thought I wouldn't like when I bought my Jeep. I've always thought that the full doors just looked "dumb" with the top off. However, I have come to fall in love with the full doors. The ledge is the perfect height for resting my arm (I am 6 feet tall) and the roll-down windows are very convenient. When I take the top off, all I have to do is roll down the windows, not mess with the soft door top. With the added plastic piece behind the doors for the back windows that came in '97, I think the full doors look a whole lot better. (Not as nice as half doors or no doors, but not as bad as previous full doors.) I drive an hour each way to work every day, and the full doors are one less step when taking the top down. They are a little heavy to take off and store, but now that I have done it a few times, it gets easier. Now I'm glad that I have the full doors, because I am planning on getting a hard top for the winter. (Snows too much for me to feel comfortable with the soft.) It will cost some money, but not as much as if I had to buy the full doors as well. (I don't like the hard add-ons to the half doors.)

  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    One thing to think about if you are considering the hard top. If you buy a Wrangler with either a hard top only or the dual tops it comes wired for the defroster and the back window wiper/washer. From what I understood when I was buying in '98, the ones that are soft top only don't come that way. So you would have to take care of the wiring and plumbing as well as buying the hard top. Sounded much easier to get an after market soft top.

    I agree that each person will come to a different conclusion about how they want to configure it. That's the beauty of the Wrangler - it fits many different roles and many different people. For instance, I use mine as an off-roader, a second vehicle, and as a primary/commuter vehicle in the winter.

    I have the hard top and even though I planned on taking it off when I bought it, I haven't. Yes, it would be fun to drive topless occasionally. However, it's that 3 feet of snow last winter (there are pictures in the owners section of my poor jeep stuck in the snow if you don't believe that it ever snows in So. Cal.) and the triple digit heat every summer that convinces me not to. If I had a garage and a hoist, I probably would take it off once in a while, but not often. I don't care for the full doors because they come up too high for my elbow comfort, and have thought about getting half doors for 3 season use, but it seems like more money than I want to spend for something that is a minor annoyance.

    So if I ever have to replace my Jeep, it will be with another hard top. If I win the lottery I'll think about the dual tops, otherwise I'll put my money into something else.
  • If I get the 97 with half doors, do you want to trade your full doors?

    I would rather have all cloth doors for summer and full doors for winter. That way, I can add the hard top if I wanted.

    Can one do cloth doors with hard top? Is there a "hard upper half door" part?
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Yeah, I couldn't believe the deal I got either!

    I got more trade in allowance than you did, right? And your tires were just a couple weeks old when you switched, weren't they? Didn't you get $60 apiece trade in on yours?

    Where were you last night? We missed you at Gill's place.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • pizzadudepizzadude Posts: 35
    Hey Spyro,

    Cool...Jeep 101! Hopefully you will have some fun and you're getting to drive a Liberty, that's pretty cool. You'll have to let me know how you like it. I haven't decided if i even like how they look yet. I haven't seen one up close, just saw one the other day on the road, but still wasn't sure if i liked it. Have fun on the course! I would like to take that as well.



    That's kinda what i thought...I guess the speed difference isn't that much different to spend money to recalibrate...that's cool. Sounds like you got a great deal too!


    I'm finally moved and settled quite well. Last sunday afternoon I took a drive up to Furnace hills area looking for some of the trails you mentioned. I found a couple dirt roads, and unpaved township roads...I also drove into camp mack, but got the feeling like i should be there for some reason. I didn't really know where i was going, so I just turned around.

    We'll have to get together sometime in July maybe. Probably on a sunday...I am away on vacation over the two weeknds in the middle of the month.

    Drop me an email if you get chance.

    Later on!

  • texasjeeptexasjeep Posts: 270
    Are you the guy coming through Houston? If so how long will you be here? Let me know if you want to run some trails or something.

    Sounds like a good deal. I would consider getting a Jeep with the Dana44 axle if you are going to off-road a lot or go big with tires.

    The price seems kindof high on that Jeep but that price may be the best you can do in your area. My 93 had aftermarket A/C and it worked good.

    If it wasn't mentioned already. Steelhorse stuff has a big problem with rust.

    You should take your hardtop off sometime. If the weather looks nice one weekend and you will be going out hiking/off-roading, take it off and check it out. It gets real hot and humid here and that is when I use a bikini top. It keeps the sun off you but you get plenty of wind to stay cool.
  • texasjeeptexasjeep Posts: 270
    I have the soft top and half doors. I don't care for the hard top or the full doors. Maybe if we had a winter here I would want a hard top. I like being able to put my half doors on and off when I want. It takes me just under a second to take them off. If the weather ever changes you can put your top back up or down to accommodate for the weather. The half doors have a larger opening when the top half is off vs the window being down on a full door. It is more of a open air feel.
    Zipping the window up and down can be very difficult when moving and kindof a pain at ATM/fast food. The top half door can be real noisy on the highway. The full door will give you a quieter ride on the highway and on windy days.
  • saharanutsaharanut Posts: 134

      I chose the dual top option...I figured it was less $$ buying both now instead of later.

    plus I didnt wanna say "should've, would've, could've" later on.

     I feel the hard top will me more sercure during the winter months especially during Christmas when the thieves are REALLY out.

     Ive had one car stolen I DONT wanna go through that again. The Soft top is very easy to use.

    The hard top is VERY heavy..make sure you have help! (my wife is still mad at me)

     Again, if you are able I suggest the dual top option. The full doors are perfect to me..

     Congrats to Themla Jane for her new SHOES...

    You guys keep posting

     Got Jeep?

    Snut aka BamaTazz

  • 2001wrangler2001wrangler Posts: 112
    I think almost everyone has put their opinion in on this one but here's mine....

    I have the dual top and I wouldn't have it any other way. I really like the hard top for winter and I wouldn't trade my soft top for anything in the summer. Security is much better with the hard top, but the main thing I like about it is the rear wiper. When there is slush and snow on the roads it is very nice to be able to get it off of the rear glass.

    Sasquatch - Yes there is a "hard" upper door you can get aftermarket. It has a small sliding window.
  • madman390madman390 Posts: 72
    I will be going through Houston around the 26th of August, but only passing through. I'll be picking up my family there before heading on down towards Corpus Christi to see my family. It would be great to hook up and run some trails, but right now, I don't think I'll have the time. Uncle Sam has me on a tight schedule. I'll post more info as I get closer to that day. If I can find the free time, I'd definetely love to do that!


  • dwranglerdwrangler Posts: 127
    I have driven both while satisfying my jeep fever temporarily (test drives). Both had full doors, but I liked the soft top better. I've driven the soft top in previous years and besides the obvious ride improvements, the noise level is much quieter than past models and I dare say it even felt warmer. I may go test drive one this weekend...that is if the salesmen don't remember me ;)

    Well I hope we can go more than a few days without hearing the "new" "roll over" stories about people that want the status symbol "suv ownership" seems to carry. I heard something on local radio about how dangerous jeeps, explorers and other suv's are. When will these people understand that if you have an suv of any make; whether they are intended to go offroad or not; that you MUST CHANGE YOUR MINDSET AND DRIVING HABITS before you get behind the wheel and most of the time you won't roll. Be careful out there and enjoy your jeeps. Waiting to afford mine is killing me.


    hug your jeeps for me :)
  • jacorobjacorob Posts: 37
    Well, havn't posted in a while. But i took my wrangler (and mountain bike) on a cross country excursion for a little more then a month (first week of april to second week of may). Started in Texas and hit 20+ states, 4 national parks, numerous state parks, dc, NYC, niagra falls, etc.

    Was an absolute blast. Ended up putting close to 6700 miles on my jeep. The longest i drove in a single day was 12 hours (once). I tried to keep the maximum at 6 hours every other day. I was actually pretty impressed with the comfort of the seats for such treks. Once i took my wallet out of my back pocket it was comfortable and i had no problems sitting there for long hauls - not even the 12 hour one.

    Unfortunately since i had a month's worth of supplies piled up in my jeep i wasn't able to take the top off too much. Did in florida cause i rented a hotel room (Panama City - went parasailing and scuba diving) so felt safe leaving it there, and MI cause my parents live there.

    Spent way too much in gas though. :) went during the gas price peak. kinda sucked. but was well worth it! I had planned on seeing both oceans but by the time i got to my halfway point (MI) it had already been a month so figured i'd better start back. The western half is for another time. :)

    I highly recommend everyone doing it at least once. And in a wrangler.


    PS - the best jeep wave city was Pensacola, FL where i got a 90% (9/10) wave response from wranglers (after 100 or so attempts on my trip with no response i stopped waving at cherokees).
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Wow! Must be nice to have 1) the time off to do what you did, and 2) the money to spend!

    You probably worked hard to get yourself in that position, so I'm sure you deserved it.

    I would have done it differently, though. I would have never crossed the Missippi. I would have gone the other way and spent ALL of my time in the Rockies! (Well, maybe the Sierras and the Cascades too.) Give me mountains any day!


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Come on everybody, let's see if the chat is gonna work tonight. I have been aggravated too by the troubles we have had in the chats the last few weeks, but let's give it another shot tonight.

    I couln't even get in last week, but I will try again tonight. Hope to see everyone there!


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • Hey all,

    My 2 cents.......I live in NY, so the winters can be rough some years. I am getting the soft top w/full doors. I chose this combination because I want convenience. Many moons ago I had a 91' wrangler with dual tops. Hated dealing with the hard top. The soft top DC makes today is much better than the old ones.

    I also don't want to have to carry half of my doors with me where ever I go. I like having glass as a window as opposed to plastic with a zipper. If I want that truly free feeling then I will simply take the doors off. Granted, doing this with half doors is easier.

    Check out have a 2 piece hardtop. Half is the back with side and back windows, the other half is the top over the front seats. Seems that using this top would be much more manageable.

    Hopefully picking up my jeep tomorrow......
  • Folks: Thanks for all the terrific insights on the full vs. half door and hard top vs. soft top issues. As many have noted, the great thing about a jeep is that you can tweak it to your own desires. I'll probably go with the full doors and just take em off when I want to really have some cruising fun. I'm sold on the soft top. Living in Maryland, weather is fairly mild. Those pics of Thelma, and the stories about her, just plain pumped me up! Enjoyed all of your comments. - The Big Bird35.
  • spyrodragonspyrodragon Posts: 147
    Ok, just got back from the Jeep 101 course. Unfortunatly I didn't get to drive the Liberty, because you were only allowed to drive one of three vehicles... and man, I couldn't pass up taking a wrangler out any chance I get, I just LOVE it. But I did get to watch and compare. Ok, I think the Liberty's look like a Grand Cherokee and a Wrangler breeded and then they pored chemical X over the top of it and it did some funky things. I think the Dakar should have been the new Cherokee. As for how it drove... quite nicely, on the road that is, as for off-road. That IFS just DOESN'T flex. You could watch the wranglers and GC's go through the course and they would just flex every which way, whereas the Liberty's rear axel was the only thing that even thought about moving. It appeared to be an even rougher ride off-road than the GC's just because the whole vehicle would move instead of just the front axel. Otherwise... I think it's a good soccer mom car. No offense to those who have one for on-road driving, just don't expect to be able to do the rubicon without ALOT of help.

    Happy Jeepin'
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Hey, good news! The chat worked flawlessly last night!

    We had a good crowd, and there were no glitches.

    Hope everyone makes it there next week.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    jacorob - I agree with you about the Wrangler seats being comfortable. This spring we went up to my in-laws in northern B.C. and drove (I hate flying). We had a choice of taking a Tacoma pickup and getting 30 mpg or taking the Wrangler and get 19-20 mpg. This is a total of 3,000 miles and because we only had 10 days, we were going to be driving long hours on freeways or major 2 lane roads the whole way. We spent 2 and a half days to get up there and the same coming back (first day Bakersfield to Portland, OR, second day to Williams Lake, B.C., third day Houston). We took the jeep because the seats are SO much more comfortable than the Tacoma. The comfort so significantly outweighed the extra money we were going to be spending! I was very glad to have the hard top because it was quieter (no flapping at higher speeds) and didn't mind the rain and snow we ran into both ways. If it weren't for the gas mileage, I'd probably have the Wrangler be my every day commuter car, as well as my weekend get-away vehicle.

    texasjeep - I know what it's like to live in Texas - I was there for 5 years. Overall, I prefer the dry heat here to the sticky stuff you have, but either way, I prefer air conditioning to sunburn! When I first moved back to So. Cal. from Texas I got a pickup without a/c. Was that a mistake! So while I didn't mind horses in the middle of the day in Texas, I won't drive across the desert without lots of a/c!
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