To be honest - you're going to be lucky if you find a ZJ with 50k miles on it. Ours is at about 120.xxx now (5.2), and the engine runs like a champ. (minus a steering gear, the A/C does not work, and the parking brake does not work)
If you're looking for something good - get one with a 5.2 V8. Those engines, if you treat them right, are damn good engines. They've got lots of torque- particularly at low range. Ours in 4lo jumps forward just releasing the brake pedal on a flat surface. They also sound good when they go fast :P Although they're not quite as broken-in and tested as the 4.0 (which was a standard for many many years, unlike the 5.2 which was only available for 7-8.) I think it's worth the money. Also 5.9's are cool and I'm really looking into getting one.
2wd can really get you places you can't get out of without 4lo. - Ratmonkey
I was thinking like you a few months ago. I've got a 98 ZJ 4.0 that I've had for about 12 years, I've got other DDs so only have 125K on it. It had a bunch of maintenance due (brakes, shocks, tires, and some other stuff) and I was thinking that it was old enough that I should start looking for a used WJ or whatever was the best bang for the buck.
But after researching I've changed my mind. I can expect to get at least another 100K out of the engine. I've never had any problems with it, parts are easy to find and maintance is pretty easy, plus the gas milage is decent for what it is (around 17-19 depending how hard I drive it).
So as long as you don't have anything major wrong with it I would drop whatever money you need to keep it ticking. If there's something major then I would look for a 98 Lorado, I personally think Limiteds have too many options that's just more things to go wrong.
Thanks all. Didn't know ZJ begot WJ. Important info. Need to learn about Quada-Trac, AWD, V8s etc.
The laundry list for the 96 ZJ is growing too big….leaks and electrical.
Cracked exhaust manifold, rear pinion seal leaks, won’t pass smog (ECM sensors won’t reset after dead battery…..hundreds of miles & “Drive Cycles” later, door locks intermittent, distributer sensor died while towing, Phantom Battery Drain, Mini-Death Wobble at 48-50 MPH, A/C won’t hold charge…on and on.
No longer ultra reliable. Have ’86 CJ7 with 56K for Rubicon Runs (bought new), ’66 Volvo 122S and '67 BSA Thunderbolt for Daily Drivers.
Thanks for all the input.
Tried sister’s ‘04 Grand Cherokee on for size….that may do it.