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Unread 11-22-2013, 08:10 AM   #1
lmike6453
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 1
Best Wrangler model/yr for 12k price ceiling?

Hello all I just joined this forum in hopes that you guys can help me out with shopping for my very first Jeep after selling my car.

My situation is that I don't need a daily driver, and will only drive this thing on the weekends/grocery store type stuff. Very interested in off roading without messing the thing up, just to keep it's value if possible. If not, oh well lol. I don't want to put countless thousands of dollars into it though to make it off road-able.

I did try to do a lot of research before posting here and this is what I found:

-I should get Dana 44 axles all around, and this would limit my choices to the Rubicon, some Sports, and some Sahara's as an option from the dealer. The Unlimited has it only on the rear?

-The 6 speed stick only comes in 05 and up, although I guess a 5 sp would work as well but worried about highway just in case. LSD in the trans should be a must have, and automatic isn't an option LOL. V6's 235 torque doesn't seem to hard to come by, in most Jeep models/yrs

-I should put big tires on it and lift it for suspension/chassis clearance off of the ground as much as possible.

Aside from the above, what do you guys think for a $12,000 price limit? And also, what is the max mileage you would buy one at?

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Unread 11-23-2013, 06:31 AM   #2
WDNewman
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Central Mississippi, Mississippi
Posts: 735
Something in the TJ line, around 2005.
Where you are make sure that is completely rust free. I don't mean just surface rust, I mean NO rust of any kind anywhere! Where you are rust is the major enemy of jeeps. This is so important that it could be worth a drive to the south or southwest to check out interesting units. Make sure that it is completely stock. By that I mean no lifts of any kind by anyone anywhere. Lifts are an unknown factor as to both quality of parts and installation.
If, as you say, you want to off road "without messing things up", then I wouldn't worry too much about Dana 44 axles or lifts. Unless you are going rock climbing, a stock jeep works beautifully. Part of the fun is modifying to suit you.
Big tires with lifts ruin gas mileage, jeep value, and in some cases handling also.
Figure total mileage on a jeep at 10,000 miles per year, but also judge on an individual basis.
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Unread 11-23-2013, 07:08 AM   #3
Tdog02
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2002 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Near the heart of TX, Texas
Posts: 320
Quote:
Originally Posted by WDNewman
Something in the TJ line, around 2005. Where you are make sure that is completely rust free. I don't mean just surface rust, I mean NO rust of any kind anywhere! Where you are rust is the major enemy of jeeps. This is so important that it could be worth a drive to the south or southwest to check out interesting units. Make sure that it is completely stock. By that I mean no lifts of any kind by anyone anywhere. Lifts are an unknown factor as to both quality of parts and installation. If, as you say, you want to off road "without messing things up", then I wouldn't worry too much about Dana 44 axles or lifts. Unless you are going rock climbing, a stock jeep works beautifully. Part of the fun is modifying to suit you. Big tires with lifts ruin gas mileage, jeep value, and in some cases handling also. Figure total mileage on a jeep at 10,000 miles per year, but also judge on an individual basis.
What he^ said. TJ, anything under 150,000 miles and a rubicon if it fits your budget. I would say an 03 or 04 model LJ would be desireable.
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Unread 11-23-2013, 07:11 AM   #4
Tdog02
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2002 TJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: Near the heart of TX, Texas
Posts: 320
Should say OR an LJ
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Unread 11-23-2013, 09:17 AM   #5
222Doc
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2012 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Lake Havasu City, AZ
Posts: 4,466
no other jeeps have a d44 in front stock excepting a Rubi. not all tj's have the 44 rear. Lj's are alot more money too, harder to find. i know of a cheery one like 33k on the clock, but its kkb is more like 16k rust free south west jeep 2004. A/c still has stock tires. but is a auto. hardtop etc.. winch bumpers its the real deal. i would rate that one a 90 point for a jeep.

looking at you wish list of mods its going to get expensive depending on what tire are big to you. i see the front 30's break all most every run if they are 35"s or more. we do mostly crawling around here. easy trail fix just pita.

where you live watch the rust as said as most have sickness. Many people cover it up with bed liner or other cr@p. it is far and away cheeper to pay a bit more for a clean one than to go through it nut by rusted nut. rusted panel by rusted panel.
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