I've had this YJ for a few years now and its been my daily driver the whole time. Its a little rough, which is to be expected for something with 171,000 miles and 15 years old. I'm from Michigan, so I got quite a few rust spots and holes. The engine seems to fire up nicely, never failed to start when it had a good battery. My friends laugh at ut, but over all I like it (other than my no power 2.5L)
I've gotten to a point in life now where I can think about getting a second vehicle. My delima is that I love the YJ, and just about any Wrangler, but I wouldnt mind a sport sedean or hatchback either. My question to this group is this: Is my YJ to old to get into the game? It is as close to stock as I think you can get. No suspension changes, no engine mods, 28" tires, original bumperettes. I do not go off roading with it as none of my current friends are into this, and being in southeast Michigan, there really isnt a lot of place to off road at, without being a huge hike to get to.
If I get a sedan or hatchback, I'd love to keep the Jeep, but I'd like to make it more "jeep like", it seems so small parked next to other jeeps.
My other route is to buy a newer Jeep, which seems to be a TJ, as YJs in decent condition seem to be either to far away or out of my price range.
Never too old to play. My '93 has 296,000+ miles on the 4.0L. The 2.5L isn't the best but with proper gearing I don't think it's that bad. I say build the YJ. If you're unhappy with the 2.5L you can do a 4.0L swap. What do you want to ultimately do with your jeep?
If you get a second driver and have a place to let your jeep site for awhile then you have a project. That means your money pit is born. The best thing to do is your want to fix up you jeep. Start doing the research and go from there. Its worth it, but it can get costly.
I think if I had the 4.0L, I'd be more inclined to mod it. Really what I want is a fun looking jeep with some bigger tires, a little taller suspension and non-stock bumpers. I just didnt want to drop a lot of money with an engine that might give way. I thought about looking into a 2.5 to 4.0 swap, but that seems very inefficient money wise. Course I do have friends trying for a V8 push too.
Where are you at in the Metro area? I am Downriver. I have an 89 2.5L with 135,000. The 2.5L is perfect for trail hopping and 99% of the stuff you find around here if your not looking to mud it. Silver lake has a bunch of 2.5L crawling over the dunes. I am still piecing mine together again, but the 2.5L is staying in it for now. My Charger is my DD and the Jeep is the toy.
From Saint Clair Shores Que. I wish I was more out west, seems all we have in Michigan is Silverlake, or a 10 hour trek to Indiana and what not.
Other than the body slowing turning rusted, most of the vehicle seems pretty sound. Do have a nice 6x8 inch hole in the floor, but its between the seat and the door frame, and the carpet covers it pretty well.
There are a bunch of great trails to ride it on. There is one just north of 10 that cuts across half the state. There is one near Flint, another near 22 mile, Drummund Island, and if you go to Great Lakes 4x4 on line you will find a bunch of scheduled events at a bunch of other places. If you are rusting you really need to check the rear frame around the shackles. If you have the rust killing your frame back there then you are coming to the end of what makes sense to deal with unless you are a capable welder. I am not a welder at all.
My 2.5 has 230K on it. It's not a daily driver, but it is dependable.
Mileage on a vehicle is not one of my primary concerns, as is overall condition of the body and frame.
I think you just need to appraise your mechanical skills, and if your OK with working on it to replace the things that eventually will wear out- you'll be good.
I'd recommend you take that sucker right down to the bare frame and build it up from there- just like you want it, as slowly as you need to do it right and of course as your finances allow.
My 2.5 has 190,000 on it and I beat the snot out of it and it won't blow. I have done donuts in sand with it bouncing on the redline, 80 mph on the freeway in 4th gear for 150 miles and it keeps coming back for more.
"Our lady of blessed acceleration don't fail me now"