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Unread 07-04-2012, 07:17 PM   #1
gojack
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College Student / Army ROTC Cadet, 1st Jeep Expert advice please

I'm a college student and Army ROTC cadet-
I've no experience, and I have no background in mechanics
I'm starting my second year at Alabama in the fall
very interested in getting into off-roading
I have $10K saved for my first Jeep
I'm thinking I should get one that has been lifted and modded already
this will also be my daily driver I do prefer manual transmissions
what should I get?

Thanks in advance

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Unread 07-04-2012, 07:23 PM   #2
ramthis426
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If you want a manual you don't really have a choice other then a wrangler. And You can't go wrong with a rubicon ^_^
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Unread 07-04-2012, 11:09 PM   #3
Texas ZJ1
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As a previous ROTC instructor....buy a cheap TJ. Realize that you should only go "muddin or rock crawling" as fast as you can pay for repairs. There should be several Jeeps in that college town that Daddy's little girl drove and didn't like after it started getting hot down south.

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Unread 07-04-2012, 11:13 PM   #4
Texas ZJ1
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Wranglers, Cherokees and some Grand Cherokees (ZJs) were manual.

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00 4.7 Laredo...stock

94 5.9 Laredo 6.5 RE lift with 35 Maxxis Bighorns
and 33 Bridgestone Duelers
Detroit and true trac
Red Jeep Club Member
REDNECK JCM
Texas Jeep Owner #6
USN Jeep Club #4
http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/
602.841.3355

For your performance needs:

kolak@kolakperformance.com
480.998.3661
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Unread 07-05-2012, 03:23 PM   #5
BamaRolln
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I just bought my second jeep very recently from someone in Tuscaloosa. It is a 2005 Sport with 32 inch tires, never been lifted. It only has 50k miles and looks brand new in and out. For $10k there are a lot of options out there but you won't get anything as new as an 05 unless something is wrong with it. The jeep I sold to buy the 05 was a nice 97 with a 6cyl 5 speed with 91k miles, cold AC and spray on bedliner replacing the carpet and 32 inch tires with no lift. You might consider something like that and even get it for under $10k and then pay to lift it later if you really think you need to. I'm not trying to sell you my 97, its already gone. I'm just trying to give you an idea of what you can find.


I may lift mine in the future but with both jeeps I was really looking for something that wasn't already lifted and modded because I get concerned about what that jeep has been through. I tend to believe there is some truth in what Tex said: Realize that you should only go "muddin or rock crawling" as fast as you can pay for repairs. I test drove a 2003 with a 4 inch lift and I think something was done incorrectly because it didn't drive very well at all.
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Unread 07-05-2012, 05:54 PM   #6
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buy the first one you thinks look pretty
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Unread 07-06-2012, 02:10 PM   #7
critterjeep
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Some basic tips for the original poster:
If you're buying one that's modified, be careful because some people don't know what they're doing or cut corners. I personally would not buy one that was heavily modified. new springs, shocks, bolt on additions are usually ok. but if you see one with a 3 inch body lift, I'd steer clear. Make sure it looks proportional. If the tires are way too big or too small for the amount of lift, you might question it. I'd also ask if any gearing was done if the tires are 35" or bigger. Obvious stuff applies too, so check for rust, paint overspray, torn seats, wires in odd places, and basic fitment of things like doors, hood, dash panels, etc. Have the guy or girl selling it to let you take it for a drive, and maybe have them take it to some loose gravel and check all the parts of the 4x4 system. check the a/c and heater. finally check out autotrader, edmunds, and kbb for value. you don't want to pay 10K for a jeep that is probably only worth 7K. Good luck!
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