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Jeep Wrangler



  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Think of the 'X' as a bare bones Sport. The biggest difference is that the Sport can be optioned with the heavier duty D44 rear axle, though most aren't.

    Go here Wrangler Comparisons and click on 'Compare Models' to see the differences between them all.

    As Tom said, do the research, both online and in your local area, as prices vary as you move around the country.
  • I don't know what market you're in but I just picked up an '01 sport with dual tops and 30 inch canyons, D44 and AC for less than $15K in Chicagoland. IMHO the important points are how does that particular vehicle look (inside and out, look over the undercarriage for leaks/seeps), and which options are important to you (hard/soft top, cd, ac, etc) and find the best deal that you can on the jeep that meets your needs. If, after heeding the Tomster's advice, you determine that a wrangler will indeed meet your need.

    They are fun little rigs whether you're offroading or not though, I used to have a YJ with the 2.5l and only the soft top. It was plenty peppy for running around town and much better on gas than my current 4.0, although security was useless if it didn't fit in the console it had to be carried in each night. You can find the 2.5s for much less on average as well. Something to think about.

  • It looks like I may finally be joining the Wrangler family after 16 years of wanting one. In the past I either couldnt afford one, the wife veto'd it, or we had child seats I didnt want to mess with. At long last I have the green light, the kids are out of child seats, and we have a minivan for primary transportation. Even though I am going to be murdered on an upside down trade, I am going for it.

    Anyway, I am trying to decide between a couple available options while the rebates are in effect. Here is the thing I am struggling with. The one I can more comfortably afford is in the "X" package. This would cause me to give up disc brakes, upgraded gas shocks, ravine wheels, the Dana44, the fog lights, the Trak Lok, and the compass/thermometer. The upside is it is 2000 cheaper, and it is in my preferred color of Solar Yellow (comes with the ecco wheels).

    The one that stretches my budget a little past the comfort zone is a Sport that gets me the above features, but is in my second choice color of black.

    I know that I could shop longer distances, but I have done that in the past and I really enjoy the comfort of dealing with a local dealer. It has proven to be a headache in the past when I purchased in other states and had problems.

    My question for the good folks of the board is how much value do I put on the extras listed above. I will not be offroading for fun, although there will be occassional drives on washed out forest service roads and some off the path jaunts. I guess this makes the Dana44 not so essential, although all I read is "get the dana 44 or regret it later". How much value is there in the rest of the package? Again, I am balancing it against 2000 dollars and the love of that solar yellow color. Both the sport and the x are 3.73 gearing.

    I plan to keep this jeep until it dies. The only upgrades I can foresee are 31" MTR tires. Not planning on a lift, at least until it is out of warranty and doubtful even then. My primary purpose of the Wrangler is an unexplained love of the vehicle, the desire to be as out in the open air elements all the time (i hate roofs!), the joy of the wrangler driving experience and the bare-bones simplicity that comes with older technology, the ability to be able to get to some off the path places when necessary, and did I mention I have just been obsessed with these vehicles for 16 years?

    Any thoughts are appreciated! Either way, I am crossing my fingers I can finally join the group after being close several times in the past but not being able to make it happen.


  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    There is no absolute right answer to your question - it all depends. Personally I won't do without the fog lights, but you can always add them to an X later on. So that wouldn't be a deal-breaker for me. I like the mirror with temp and compass, and I miss it when I don't have it, but again, I wouldn't use that as a deal-breaker. And the Dana 44 is only really necessary for hard-core off-roading stuff - it isn't that important for forest service roads and easy/moderate off-roading. It's nice to have even for that type of thing but isn't as necessary. If you are going to be adding lockers at some time then it is highly recommended - lockers add quite a bit of force and you need the extra strength.

    Just my opinion, but it doesn't sound like you really need to put the extra money into the Sport. And you really want the Solar Yellow. So get the X and have a great time with it.
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591

    Color would be VERY important to me. If your "dream Jeep" has been solar yellow ever since you first saw one in that color, then that's what you ought to get.

    The Dana 44 would be a super good option, and if you could get it as an option on the X, I would be telling you to by all means get it. It's just something that you MIGHT need sometime, and it would never be cheaper to get than to get it to start with.

    The majority of the Jeeps I wheel with every weekend run Dana 35's. As long as a person uses some common sense, that 35 will probably hold up to some fairly tough obstacles. You just don't want to go with huge tires and a full locker for sure. You don't want to get too crazy with the skinny pedal either. Spinning and grabbing is what very often snaps the axle shafts in the 35s.

    If you get into SERIOUS wheelin' down the road, well, then you can consider upgrading your axle. Of course it won't be as cheap as getting one to start with, but it CAN be done.

    That 3.73 gearing is GOOD. Glad to hear the Jeep has 3.73's.

    Get that yellow Jeep, Keith, and make your dream come true!


    Keep us posted!


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    ".......I will not be offroading for fun, although there will be occassional drives on washed out forest service roads and some off the path jaunts. I guess this makes the Dana44 not so essential, although all I read is "get the dana 44 or regret it later"........................................................................I plan to keep this jeep until it dies. The only upgrades I can foresee are 31" MTR tires. Not planning on a lift, at least until it is out of warranty and doubtful even then................"

    If the above is correct then the standard D35 will be absolutely fine. :shades:
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    "Does anybody know where I can find decent prices on the military M416 trailers? I've found one for 1000.00, but that is more than the wife would let me spend for a trailer."

    Here you go, a nice 1966 M416 still in camo:


    eBay link

    Still two days to go and no bids.
  • Thanks, appreciate the feedback. I frequent several jeep boards but always enjoy the edmunds one because it has always seemed a little more level-headed.

    The ravine wheels are nicer than the ecco, but not by a huge margin in my opinion. I do really like 4 disc brakes, but again...2 grand.

    One other question. The dealer was really trying to steer me away from the yellow. They claimed they could sell that on color alone so they didnt want to deal on it as much as they would a black X. The even went so far as to claim that yellow was discontinued for a while because Jeep is having trouble with the yellow paint and there have been continual issues with the yellow flaking. I have never heard this before regarding solar yellow and I used to spend alot of time on Xterra boards as well. Has anyone else heard any rumblings from anyone that Yellow was any more problematic than any other color?
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591
    I have never heard anything about problems with the yellow paint quality.

    Try to make those people express their prices in relation to invoice! Of course, the mark-up is more on a Sport, so they would have more room to back off a little, but that's the beauty of having deals quoted in relation to invoice. They should be willing to offerr either vehicle for the same $$$ above (or below) invoice.

    You will have no trade-in, right? This REALLY makes the deal simple. Call around and ask the various dealers how close to invoice they will come on a new Wrangler. Make them show you the invoice before signing anything. Also, get the "out the door" price, after agreeing to an amount above or below invoice to be sure a particular dealer isn't throwing in some outrageous "document fee."

    Good Luck! Keep us posted.


    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Jeep did discontinue the yellow for a while this year but brought it back when so many asked for it back. I've not heard anything about problems with the paint, though. They probably are trying to get you to buy the Sport - it is a more expensive vehicle. I'm not sure where you are, but here in L.A. black is the most popular color. Dealers would be more likely to try to get you to buy the yellow one. I talked to 2 dealers when I bought my electric lime green Unlimited and both tried to talk me out of it (both would have had to trade for it, there was only 1 configured how I wanted in SoCal). The one that I bought it from was about $1000 less - and that was for the exact same vehicle!

    Now if the dealer would offer the Sport for the same price as the X, then I'd go for that. Otherwise, get the X!
  • durability05durability05 Posts: 142
    $18900 for a 03 Wrangler X is high. I think a brand new "X" with incentives can be had below $20,000, I think that is what I paid for my 04 "X" 5 speed with a soft top.
    Anyway added a Mopar hardtop, bigger tires etc soon after. If the main purpose is as a daily driver , with minimal off roading, I see lot of College kids here in LA with 4 cylinder softop Wranglers with the same intent of use as you probably have and they are having a blast, and these guys only paid $16,000 for their Wrangler SE with airconditioning, If I did not need the towing capability and bigger tires, a 150 hp 2.5 liter OHC SE would have sufficed. However the 4 cyl. probably only gets an extra 1 mpg.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    If you have a floor jack, a buddy, and some mechanical knowledge, you can drop the tank yourself. You could probably even replace the fuel pump and gasket stuff yourself. Just buy the parts and do it.

    A writeup for dropping your gas tank can be found here, as part of a gas tank skid plate install.

    I have done it myself (not the fuel pump and gaskets), and I did it TOTALLY solo and had no issues with doing so.

    As far as cleaning the fuel injectors, try the STP engine/gas treatment for cleaning fuel injectors. I'd also run some Techron through your system. That may help get things clean enough. If it is an issue after that, THEN consider going to an independent to have the fuel injectors cleaned.

  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Here is a pic of my new OME suspension in action. Well, it was actually sitting still, but I had stopped on a trail while I was waiting for a Land Rover to go up... (that took a while).

  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    And after the wheeling was done and Kermit was cleaned!

  • keatskeats Posts: 412
    Hey, Paul, looks good. Are you still running 30 inch tars or is the lift just making those tars look small? Btw, I ordered the Jeeperman light bar the other day. Will probably get the Jeeperman bumper at some's very sharp.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Yeah, they are still 30" tires. :) Maybe a bit less with some of the spinning they did over the weekend. :)

    I'm probably going to stick with 31's. They'll stuff in the fenders just fine and I don't have to worry about rubbing.

  • keatskeats Posts: 412
    Paul, I agree. I don't see any reason to go larger than 31s.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    While riding at TB this weekend with my lift installed, I found myself able to go everywhere everybody else did. I had the lift and the Kilby gas skid (and it's 1" gain) helping me clear a lot of areas I scraped on just a few months ago. A few people asked me if I was locked front and/or rear, and my differentials are totally open on both ends. They seemed surprised that I was able to go some of the places I did w/o them.

    To me, anything larger than a 32" tire, is probably too big for my use. I daily drive it a LOT more than I take it offroad, so streetability is very important to me. With my smaller tires, I just have to be more judicious in the line I take and be smart with the gas pedal.

    I came away from the day with ZERO damage, just a lot of dust and a bit of mud.

  • myboybluemyboyblue Posts: 56
    Dont forget the interest rate. There can be 2 - 8 points different (depending on your credit score) from a used to a new. This could help offset the price difference from that used overpriced 03 X to a new 05 X (and don't forget the SE, great vehicle for the money.)

    Also dont forget the price of the 06 jeeps are going up. So if you do get an 05 this should help up the resale price if you decide to sell in a couple of years. (just my 2 cent, and if the 06 price increase does not help up resale value please dont yell at me.)


    Tom, you are completey correct about a jeep in college. I had an unpractical jeep in school and you are right about things getting stolen :cry: and the gas :surprise: , but from experience it was worth it. We took her mudd'n in the fall and winter (corn fields and such, not much to do in indiana) and then camping in the spring and summer. Some of the best memories of my life.

    Good luck in your decision making.
  • ravagerravager Posts: 20
    How high is that lift? I'm thinking budget 3" for mine but yours looks really balanced.
  • embeedueceembeeduece Posts: 260
    And, of course, there's the most important reason to have a Jeep in college: chicks dig 'em!

    (For the record, I drove an '81 Chevy Monte Carlo in college.) :cry:


    Tom, you are completey correct about a jeep in college. I had an unpractical jeep in school and you are right about things getting stolen and the gas , but from experience it was worth it. We took her mudd'n in the fall and winter (corn fields and such, not much to do in indiana) and then camping in the spring and summer. Some of the best memories of my life.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    It is a 2.5" OME lift with the Heavy Duty shocks. While the lift is stated at 2.5", I got about 3.25" with the lift on. I need to measure it again as I think everything has settled in, especially after the wheeling I did.

    I have no body lift at this time.

  • ravagerravager Posts: 20
    Perfect! that's exactly what I want. Also, can you link how you're attaching your mirrors sans doors? Thanks.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    lists this under mirror relocation bracket.


    Some people do not like them. The passenger mirror can be hard to see if you have soft upper doors. I love them personally. Some states do not require mirrors outside, but after living in Cali, I can't go w/o em.

  • Well, I just got the IMC hoist for my new Unlimited. I've used it once, and everthing seems to have worked fine. It was easy to install... I was just a little nervious about the first time I lifted the hard top off... saw the "S" screw flex a little bit with the weight of the hard top, but everything seems to have worked fine.

    Helpful hint: If you do decide to buy a hoist from IMC. Decide what you want to do with the top after it's off (i.e. I've got a dolly I put mine on to push in the corner of the garage). If you're just gonna pull it up to the ceiling of the garage, everythings fine with what you normally order. If you're gonna drop it down to the floor, and move it around like I do, be sure and ask them to supply you with the extra cable you'll need to retract it to the floor. Otherwise, you'll only get enough cable to pull it up to the ceiling of your garage!

    Let me know what you decide to do!
    Scott Y
  • 99tj99tj Posts: 187
    For the record, I drove an '81 Chevy Monte Carlo in college

    LOL...I went through 3 beaters in college: '78 Ford Granada, '86 Plymouth Horizon, '87 Dodge Shadow. The chicks were not flocking to any of those cars :cry:

    Good things come to those who wait, right? It took me quite a few years but I've got my Jeep. Still waiting on the chicks though :P

  • ravagerravager Posts: 20
    One last thing...
    Is there a law in cali saying we must have doors and mirrors? What about the other states.
    Kind of a bummer, but we can always lobby for motorcycles to have doors too...
  • koolbreeze2koolbreeze2 Posts: 252
    Hey Keats. Your really adding on the mods. Fins? :) Go Easy, John
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    Most states have laws covering this. Often it's a minimum of two, either both outside or one inside and one on the drivers side.

    While I'm all for a reduction in legislation, I find it hard to argue against this one. So many times people have performed inane maneuvers in front of, or to the side of me, without using the mirrors they do have, that I can't justify lobbying for the legal removal of them (on road at any rate).
  • redrocker15redrocker15 Posts: 102

    Noticed you haven't had any suggestions from the group; I'd guess it's because we've tended to leave the exhaust system standard and put money into other mods. I can't offer any suggestions as to what you might consider adding, but I'd recommend against the types of large diameter exhausts which are popular on the little "jazzed up" Japanese cars! :P
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