So I'm a wrangler guy, I've had a TJ and currently have an LJ. I am in the process of selling my LJ because I just had a youngin and am looking to have a 4-door vehicle. I cannot afford a JK so that is off the table. I am looking into getting a WJ or XJ as daily driver and wheeler. Help me decide which.
If I get a WJ I want a Laredo, so the components will be similar no matter if I get the WJ or XJ. So in my mind here are the pro's and con's.
-Newer vehicle, lower miles, I am looking at the 2004 year model
-Rides better (so I've been told)
-Slightly bigger, more cargo room
-More rigid unibody
-Seems I can run a 3" lift, and squeeze some 32's with no SYE (based on research)
-Laredo has a D35 rear axle.
-Doesn't seem to have the aftermarket support that a XJ has.
-More aftermarket support, which means more bolt on stuff for a guy like me
-More aftermarket support means I can build a meaner vehicle easier
-Chrysler 8.25 axle
-Cheaper as far as construction (I've had an XJ before, thing rattled like a can)
-00 and 01 has head issues, so that puts me looking for a 99
-Unibody seems to flex more
This ride will be seeing 95% on road, hitting some trails 4-6 times a year but when I go I like to play hard. I think I have decided on a WJ but am open to having my mind changed.
Short term Build plan:
2004 WJ Laredo
3" IRO Lift (maybe some hybrid parts in there, such as JKS trac bar and such)
JCR Rock Rails
"Lunch box locker" in the D30. Leave the 35 stock.
JK Rubi take off 32" wheels and tires (with spacers)
Second phase would be:
Custom front and rear bumper with winch and tire carrier
Gears and upgraded axles (at least rear, maybe front)