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Jeep Wrangler



  • Tsjay is right. It all in the suspension and transmission. Although the Wrangler's trasmission is heavy duty enough to handle the stress of towing, its short wheelbase suspension that cannot. If you look up some of 4 cyl pick up truck ratings they will be higher then the Wrangler because of the longer wheel base, even though the 6cyl has tons more torque. The short wheel base can be real dangerous going to turns in high speeds and in stoping when towing.

    Hope this helps
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Not to mention how hard it can be to back a trailer up with a SWB rig - I never did get the hang of it with my CJ5 and a little utility trailer.

    Check out the Towing tips for SUVs discussion for more generic info.

    Steve, Host
  • dewarsdewars Posts: 58
    Re : towing with a wrangler, The power is adaquate only if you have the correct gearing. Make sure the Jeep you are looking at has at least 373 gears. I would not want to tow with anything higher. Remember, a modest increase in tire height (1" or 2") will have the effect of going to higher gears.

  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Yep, my Thelma Jane is an 01 Sport.

    I did not go with the ABS option, since I couldn't get the Dana 44 rear end and ABS together. I probably would not have gotten ABS anyway, though. I have heard that ABS doesn't work very well at all if larger tires are put on the vehicle.

    Four wheel disc brakes were not an option in 01, but I think they are now, and that would be a good option (unless that means you get ABS too).

    Jeep brakes (with the old shoe type brakes in the back at least) are not very strong. I would be happy to have four wheel discs.

    The larger the tires you put on the Jeep, the weaker the braking is, unless the brakes are modified somehow.

    Anything I would have done differently?? Good question, and fortunately I think I can answer that with a qualified "No." I say "qualified," because there is one minor thing... tow hooks. I skipped the tow hook/foglight option, since I really didn't think I would be offroading the Jeep and originally didn't think the fog lights looked good (I do now, though).

    So, why did I make it a point to get the Dana 44, if I wasn't planning on offroading? Because, I figured if it was a heavier duty rear end, then it should last longer and would allow me to go to bigger tires in the future. I was hoping to get a lift and bigger tires, but it was going to be just for "looks." Well, one little offroading trip changed that! Now I would be getting the lift and bigger tires for better offroad capability (and looks too).


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?

    P.S. Some of you other guys and gal (mtngal) chime in here with YOUR opinions! I'm hogging up too much space here. :) (BUT I LOVE TALKIN' JEEP, so please forgive me)
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    These shots were taken by someone else, but they show some of the stuff there is to do at Turkey Bay where I go wheelin'.

    There are also some shots of what can happen with a Dana 35 if you do much wheelin'.

    Take a look.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?

  • 01r101r1 Posts: 280
    Looks like my kind of playground!

    I want a D44 now! That broken 35 pic scares me...
  • I think they all need Rubicons.
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    I am getting almost sick over this issue. It is VERY important to me to give good advice to people who trust me to advise them. I don't want anyone to pass up a Jeep because it has a 35, when it could be that a 35 is all they would ever need.

    On the other hand, I want people to realize that a Dana 44 is a much stronger rear end that allows bigger tires and lockers in the future and will stand up to much tougher offroad situations.

    In the final analysis, it is YOUR call and YOUR money, so take what has been said and make your own decision. I think I have presented the case as best I can, so you judge for yourselves whether the Dana 44 is something you think is very important.

    There are lots of people out there on Dana 35's, and most of them don't have a problem.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • bamatazzbamatazz Posts: 311
    Hey Tom..whats your opinion.. Dana 35 vs 44?
    Just kidding..

    WELCOME to all the new jeepers here..
    Keep us all posted on what you get.

    Im not a JEEP purist like the rest of the folks in here, I bought my just because it looks cool.
    and NO offroading for me, I might get a scratch.

    But I do agree with tom, If you think you will EVER do anykind of offroading go with the 44's
    PLUS-- that wouls make it better appealing IF you ever decide to re-sale.

    BTW Mine-- TAZZ 01 60th aniiversary Edition
    Black with black dual tops. Auto with all the sahara goodies.

  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Have you ever given any thought to a Dana 35 as opposed to the 44? ;-)

    This makes me think we should have a slogan around here - something like "Tom reports, you decide!"

    tidester, host
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    No comments from the peanut gallery! :)

    When are YOU getting a Jeep??? I'll be glad to advise you on rear end selection.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    When are YOU getting a Jeep???

    I almost got one once! A new vehicle won't be on the horizon for a while but when the time comes I would consider it!

    tidester, host
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Now you're talkin'! GO FOR IT! And.... get the 44!


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • smurf6smurf6 Posts: 27
    Dillondog and Tsjay: What I'm currently looking at buying is as follows:
    2003 Sport Patriot Blue
    3.07 or 3.73 - I haven't decided and I need to really bounce that off my brothers although I'm leaning to the 3.73 since there isn't an additional cost
    Dana 44 - point taken about what if...
    rear trac loc limited slip differential
    four wheel disc brakes
    sentry key
    steps - my mom needs to be able to get in the jeep
    air conditioning
    am/fm with cd
    P225/75R15 tires
    dual top - black
    add a trunk - for shopping
    I keep bouncing between buying the 7 speakers or taking the standard 4
    and oh yes, not to be forgotten - floor mats
    I think that covers it
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    All that sounds good, and as for the gearing, there's no reason at all not to go with the 3.73. Just trust me on that one, OK?

    You said the other day that you were getting a five speed, so your fifth gear will keep your RPMs down, even with the 3.73 rear end.

    You will have much better power, and, if you ever go with bigger tires, you will be very glad you have the 3.73s.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?

    P.S. I understand your wanting steps for your mom, but please take my advice and remove them before you go offroad. They aren't that hard to take off and put back. It's almost a certainty that they will hang on something and get torn off, if you leave them on for offroading. The bad thing is that the steps themselves will not be the only thing damaged most likely. The body of the Jeep usually gets bent too when the steps hang on something.

    I told a buddy that was going wheelin' for the first time that he needed to take off his steps, but he didn't do it. Guess what? Yep, he bent his steps and the lower part of his Jeep's body that day.
  • likalarlikalar Posts: 108
    ...for all the advice; Several of you mentioned drawbacks of towing with a short wheelbase (the 98' Wrangler I was considering) that hadn't occured to me before. Maybe I'll give more thought to a Cherokee Sport I had my eye on. Thanks again!
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Hey, people fix those Cherokees up with lifts and big tires and even lockers, and they GO! They can't quite go everywhere a Wrangler will because of the longer wheel base, but they go ALMOST anywhere a Wrangler will.

    You often see XJs (Cherokees) running the trails with TJs or other Wranglers.

    Kinda hard to take the top and doors off of a Cherokee, though. (well maybe not taking them off, but getting them back on) :)

    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I have steps on my '98 because it came that way. They came off (along with the mirror) in an accident on I405 and since it wasn't my fault, the other guy's insurance paid to get them put back on. If it had been my nickel I would have replaced them with nerf bars. They don't stick out so far, but still offer a bit of a step.

    I don't rock crawl, and it never gets muddy enough around here to dig up roads like those pictures, so I'd consider the X. I'm more likely to run into sand or snow. So it really does depend on what you think you will be doing as to what you need.

    Mine happened to have fog lights, which I didn't care about when I bought it. Now I am really glad that I have them - they are great in snow and fog when you have to navigate by the sides of the road.
  • oceantoadoceantoad Posts: 186
    Tom look at the bright side, it has generated about a zillion posts to the board.

    I have the dana44 and maybe will never have a real need for it, but I consider it cheap insurance. I spent like two hundred or so dollars for the dana44 alone without a tire package. Like my auto insurance, if I need it I have it and I won't have to worry about maybe paying big bucks for repairs. The dana44 does not care if you run stock tires or large ones. Have the 3.73 since it is part of the dana44 package.

    I got the trac loc limited slip. If I need it, I have it. I have heard both pro and con on the subject.

    I have ac which is nice at times in Texas, but I don't normally use it.

    I have the sentry key since the Wrangler is the second most stolen car in the US. Maybe next year we can make number 1.

    I went with the 4 speaker sound system and the cd. Lots of after market stuff out there that is better.

    I got a 5 speed since I have never owned an auto in my life. If I lived in a large city I might have considered the auto, but I doubt it.

    I ordered floor mats which I promptly replaced with Husky liners. The Husky liners hold the dirt and water. I also bought cheap seat covers to protect the seats.

    I have tilt steering, don't know if I have ever used it. It was part of the Sport package.

    I have tow hooks and fog lights which were both included. Tow hooks are a great thing to have, not sure about the fog lights (no snow in this part of TX). I would prefer to have offroad lights mounted in that area.

    I test drove a 4 cylinder. I bought a 6 cylinder.
    If I was doing lots of city driving maybe a 4 cylinder, but I doubt it. Gas mileage is not that much different.

    Got a soft top since I was not worried to much about theft, weather, or safety in a wreck. If I lived in a large city I might have reconsidered the theft part of the picture. I don't think fiberglass will make much difference in case of a wreck.

    They did not offer the 4 wheel disc brakes when I got mine. If it had been available I would have ordered it.

    I did not order cruise control and I wish I had. It might have helped some on my gas mileage.

    I was going to get a trailer hitch, but drug my feet long enough for a new truck to come into the picture. For what I was going to haul (a small dual axle stock trailer), I was just not comfortable using the Wrangler.

    The above is what I ordered on my 2002 Sport and my thoughts on the why. Just my reasons, if it helps with the buying process I think that is great.

    Tom has put out lots of good stuff on pretty much the whole shooting match. From steps to towing he has covered it. He just has not talked much about colors:)

    Hope all the new folks get what they want and that they keep on posting about how much they enjoy their vehicles. The Wrangler is fun both on and off the road.

    Maybe I should have gotten the Rubicon:)

    I am still a happy camper.
  • twylietwylie Posts: 619
    I have a small utility trailer with a 2500lb limit that I use to tow everything from kayaks to trash to yard stuff (gravel, mulch, building materials). The key to towing on the Wrangler is to get the tongue weight right at 10% of your total weight, not to exceed 200lbs or so. Anything more and you run the risk of "lightening" the front wheels effectiveness. Anythng less and the trailer will try to lift off the ball mount. YMMV.

  • twylietwylie Posts: 619
    Good post oceantoad; I'll play :)

    Stuff I got:
    White/Dk Tan '01 Sport - Wanted the 6 and the D44, didn't want the green Sahara seats in a White/Tan Jeep. I would have liked the 3/4" wider fender flares, but in the basic black if I could (this is what they have since given the Rubicon for flares)

    Soft top - We're in Atlanta and the Jeep was not going to be a daily driver for us. We have garage space to park it with the top down. I've owned a few MG's and love the ability to put the top up or down depending on my mood and weather conditions. The sailcloth top used in the '01 and up is less noisy than the older soft tops.

    A/C - I live in Atlanta

    30" tire/wheel w/ D44 - my wife liked the rims on this package and I liked the fact I didn't have to "justify" getting the D44 to her :)

    TracLoc - For mild to moderate off roading, this is an OK option. I know it has helped me in a few situations where an open differential would have been spinning. In hindsight, since it was a $200+ option, I would have taken that money and put it toward an ARB selectable locker. This is the route I'll eventually go, but at the time, I didn't realize I'd enjoy going off road as much as I do.

    CD radio - Haven't listened to cassettes in 10 years. I wanted a changer, but since I didn't find a good place to mount one in the Wrangler, I elected to go for the single disc stock unit as a theft deterrent.

    5 speaker option - I listened to the 4 speaker stereo and the one with the small subwoofer in the console. While not a true sub, I thought the factory 5 speaker option sounded much better. I also liked the fact that it took up the bottom half of the cavernous center console. If I didn't have the sub, I'm sure I'd have a bunch of junk buried in the bottom of the console by now! I have upgraded the 4 main speakers to Boston Acoustics for improved sound and durability, but you can improve the factory set up for just a few bucks in polyfil and some time.

    Fog lights/tow hooks - I knew I was going to need tow hooks and the factory rear one is expensive if bought later (mine is sitting on my workbench right now though since I added a receiver hitch with a shackle). I also wanted the factory wiring and switch for the fog lights, even if I eventually swap them for a dual purpose driving/fog.

    Stuff I didn't get:
    Auto - We thought the 5 Speed was fun to drive and since we didn't have to commute in it, the manual was great.

    Full doors - Since the upper doors are rarely used on our Jeep, I went with the half doors for looks when the top is down (85% of the year).

    Hard top or Dual top - again, we're in ATL, non daily driver, no need for us.

    ABS - Didn't want to give up the D44 in exchange for this. Even though our Wrangler has drums in the rear and no ABS, I've never felt ABS would have been a huge benefit for our driving. Having said that, I generally drive the Jeep more slowly and deliberately that I would our commuter vehicle. A bonus to me is one less complex system on the Jeep to worry about down the road.

    Cruise - didn't think I'd use it but after a half a dozen 6 hour trips and 2 12 hour drives, I wish I'd gotten it. I will be retro fitting this winter.

    Floor mats - knew I was going to be adding CatchAll mats so I skipped these

    Add a trunk - thought I might have wanted this, but currently, I've removed my soft top and stored it in the house, run a tonneau cover, and pulled out the rear seat. This gives me enough room, with privacy, but not any additional security.

    Sentry Key - didn't get it figuring I'd put in an aftermarket alarm/kill switch. Bonus to me is one less complexity to worry about later. However, Sentry key has saved a couple of Jeeps on this board and is a cheap piece of insurance I think if you have to leave your Jeep unattended very much.

    Bottom line is that with the 5 different models and range of options available, the Jeep is one of the most flexible vehicles you can purchase, choosing to set it up for your personal needs. Some of the options are very cost effective compared to aftermarket or adding later. With the financing incentives and longer warranty, it's a great time to buy a Wrangler! Ok, any time is a great time to buy a Wrangler. Wish I'd done it sooner.

  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Ok, any time is a great time to buy a Wrangler. Wish I'd done it sooner.



    Man, I wish I had gotten into Jeeps years and years ago! Oh well, I guess I'm making up for lost time.

    When are we gonna get together for some wheelin', Trey???


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Thanks for your posts. These new friends of ours need to hear from more than one guy. I get carried away talkin' Jeep sometimes, huh?


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • Boy, I really enjoy watching the buying process unfold. Everybodys got an opinion, and it makes you realize how individual each Wrangler is!

    I'd like to put in a plug for buying what is on the lot. You can get a much better price if you are willing to not be real picky on options, but are picky on price.

    We went to buy my wifes Wrangler in the spring of '98 when the TJ was still a relatively new model with all the excitement that brings.

    We had a couple of items we had to have (6 cylinder, Air, 5 speed, cruise...), with everything else as "nice to have".

    Also, I did the negotiating since it wasn't my vehicle, and I was very willing to walk away. Give my wife credit for not blowing a gasket during the negotiation process, 'cause she really wanted the Wrangler.

    Well, we drove a Sahara with way more goodies than we wanted. We very vocally (but politely...)told the salesman we didn't want the full doors, 30 inch tires, ABS and other stuff.

    But, we might consider them if the price was right...

    Long story short I negotiated it to $50 over invoice with an additional $500 knocked off with the rebate. Felt like it was a fair price for all concerned.

    So, put simply, know your product, be flexible and (hardest of all...), be willing to walk away.

    Now, having said all that, let me add my 2 cents worth in the Dana 44 debate. If you end up going custom, definitely go for the 44. But also remember that a stock non 44 Wrangler is still a better off road vehicle than 99.9% of the 4 wheel drive vehicles on the market. It's up to you to decide whether it is a "must have" or not.

    Good hunting!

  • anonymous02anonymous02 Posts: 1,538
    Go for the 3.73. You can always use 5th. I rarely use 5th with my 3.07 gears.

    Skip the steps. Buy a little plastic stepstool at your local whatevermart store. You can remove it a lot easier from your jeep. :-) PLUS, you can use it for washing the windshield or top or whatever, and also use in the garage or whatever.
  • davids1davids1 Posts: 411
    Buying off the lot is not always the way to get the absolutely best price. This time of year though it certainly is. Dealers are wanting to clear out their 02's to make room for the 03's. In the middle of the model year it is usually cheaper to order exactly what you want, if the dealer is willing to do so. The vehicles that sit on their lot for months rack up insurance and other significant overhead costs. An ordered vehicle hits their lot and goes out the door. Some dealers won't acknowledge this, and try to get more money for ordered vehicles. If a dealer tells you it is cheaper for him to sell you a vehicle that has been on their lot for months versus ordering exactly what you want, just walk.
  • shill3shill3 Posts: 124
    Skip the standard floor mats. They look nice with the logo, but slide all over the place. I am replacing mine with some rubber floor mats that I found at SAMS. They hold 2 quarts of water/slush/cinders/etc. and are pretty inexpensive ($20 for two last time I looked).

    If you have the hard top, consider getting a nice summer top (safari, bikini, etc) and skip the standard soft top. I will be taking my hard top off in April and plan to keep it off until September. But, I love going topless and doorless for months at a time, that may not be for you. If you do go aftermarket, you can get a different type of top (fastback, etc.) that would set you apart.

    Good luck.
  • larry18larry18 Posts: 48
    When I ordered my 02 Sahara last December I paid invoice and still received the option of the rebate or the 0% financing. The 7/70 warranty was also included. I ordered the 5 speed with the Dana 44 and trac lock, even went for the dual top option. Being a Sahara it came with most of bells and whistles. I haven't found anything I would change if I ordered another Wrangler. I just wish the 4 wheel disks were an option in 2002.

    The Wrangler has been over the mountain passes near Ouray, CO and on the trails at Camp Jeep 2002. It is amazing what these vehicles are capable of doing! I would recommend a trip to next year's Camp Jeep for any Jeep owner. It was well worth the money and the time.
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    Everyone run out of something to say?

    Gosh, I liked all the posting we were having the last couple days. Why is everyone so quiet all of a sudden?


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • lvcheflvchef Posts: 52
    Boy oh boy did I have a Terrible weekend! I went off roading in the BLM land near my house. i was doing some average wheelin, when I saw a trail heading up one of the numerous mountians. I went up it and stopped on a flat plato to take some pics. The next stage of the hill was VERY aggressive with lots of LARGE Rocks. I was over 3/4 the way up when BAM!!! My tire blew out. This quickly became a huge problem as I had almost zero space to back up and turn around. This was a chore, I creept down the hill to the place where I took the pictures and got out to evaluate the situation. While I was going up the hill, the side wall of my tire slammed into a VERY large pointed, sharp rock and punctured the tire. I began to look for my Jeep supplied Jack and get to work.Granted this is not a big deal, but I am out of Cell phone reception, no water, no gloves, I was wearing shorts and tennis shoes, and miles from a road and the sun is going down. To make a long story short, I jacked up the Jeep w/ the jack supplied changed the tire and went home Very Pissed. I have learned a very valuable lesson:
    1. Never go off roading in the Desert without Water!
    2. Never go off roading with out long pants and boots. (Scorpions, snakes and sharp rocks)
    3. Always have a off road emergency kit with you. Mine now consists of gloves, a flashlite, knife, tow straps, Duct Tape and Zip Strips (never know when you'll need zip strips or Duct tape)
    And finally...
    4. I have replaced my stock Jack with a HiJack!
    The stock jack is made for paved roads, not the desert..

    This has been my most important lesson in my short off roading adventure and I hope this information will help to prevent this from happening to anyone else.

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