First Jeep Buying Advice - $5k or less -
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Ruffstuff 10 year saleBDS 4-1/2" Suspension Lift Kit - Jeep Wrangler YJRough Country Lift Kits and Parts!

Unread 11-28-2007, 03:03 PM   #1
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1998 ZJ 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Indiana
Posts: 26
First Jeep Buying Advice - $5k or less

I'm looking to pick up a second vehicle for my household. I want a Wrangler because I think it would be fun to drive and do some light, very occassional trail driving. It will probably only get driven 1 - 2 times per week, and then we will probably tow it behind our RV when camping.

I don't want to spend a ton of cash, I'm trying to go no higher than about $5k, so obviously I'm going for an older one. I like the idea of getting a 97 because of the upgraded suspension, the airbags, anti-lock breaks, etc. I'm finding a few 97's in that price range, and I honestly don't care much about how it looks if it's mechanically solid.

My question is should I stick with trying to find a 97 in that price range, or should I go for an older one? I'm not terribly mechanically inclined, so most repairs I'll probably have to take somewhere to get done. This may make my endeavour a foolish one from the get-go.




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Unread 11-29-2007, 02:02 PM   #2
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1999 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Illinois
Posts: 515
I just bought a 98 for under $5K. It took a little looking to find one that I liked. I would have preferred the 4.0L and an automatic but couldn't find one in that price range that was worth buying.

BTW, not all TJ's (97 - 06) have antilock brakes. Neither of mine do. The 99 has the optional (at that time at least) key shut off for the passenger airbag.

Having both a 6 cylinder auto and a 4 cylinder stick the 4 cylinder isn't to bad for around town. Haven't wheeled the 4 cylinder yet so I can't speak to that side.
1998 2.5L 5Spd - Sold
1999 4.0L Auto - Mine
2010 JKU - Sold
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Unread 12-16-2007, 08:35 AM   #3
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: , NJ
Posts: 4,966
Condition means more than age. How it's been driven and maintained is everything.

Find a mechanic to deal with personally, not a chain store or dealer. One that will tell you what repairs need to be done and which can wait, and to look over you potential purchase.

[one more thing, though I may get some daggers for saying this, don't buy one that's been lifted or significantly modded. Properly done, those mods are fine.... but too many are done by amateurs. At least with a factory equipped one, you know what you're getting]

Last edited by jay-h; 12-16-2007 at 08:47 AM..
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Unread 12-16-2007, 02:42 PM   #4
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Santa Rosa, Ca
Posts: 6,699
i agree with jay-h, buy it stock and build it up the way that you want it. it will cost a bit more that way but you will learn a lot and know how to work on your vehicle if something goes wrong.

IMO if the airbags mean a lot to you then your going to be stuck with an older TJ, but if thats not a big deal im sure you can find a very nice YJ for a reasonable price and trust me you can find any part you need very easily for that vehicle.

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Unread 12-18-2007, 09:13 PM   #5
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Posts: 567
Hold out for a TJ 97-06. YJs 87-95 are ok but it's worth the wait for a TJ you will find one for that price.
99 Jeep Wrangler built on 35's
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