Hello!! Been a few years without a Jeep and I can't stand it any longer. I've decided to get another as a 2nd vehicle, since they just don't work well as my primary. The last I had was the 2008 Unlimited, which I bought new and was my primary vehicle, but pulling a trailer and limited interior space led to selling it. The V6 winding out struggling to get up hills and pulling the trailer got to me.
That leads to my question. I'll occasionally be pulling a small trailer, 2,800 pounds max. My budget is $20,000 max, but prefer $15,000. That range can get me a 2004-2006 Unlimited or a 2007 Unlimited. Would the Inline 6 of the TJ be a better puller than the 2007 V6? I test drove a 2005 Unlimited a few days ago, and was well pleased with the ride and handling, although not as good as the 4-door, it was much better than the short wheelbase TJ I had. I also liked the power band and torque better than what I remembered of the JK. Like I said, its been a while, and want to get others opinions.
I know the newer engines have more power, but another reason I'm leaning towards an older Jeep as second vehicle, is that I found myself more and more unlikely to take the top down as I had owned the JK a couple of years. When I had the TJ as a second vehicle, I kept the top off, I could just jump in it and go. I enjoyed the TJ(with Bikini top most of time) as a Jeep/convertible much more than I did with the JK. I had both JK tops, but found them both to be a pain in the ***. I'm thinking keep it simple.
Love my 06 tj unlimited. You could really tweak it to your liking and be well inside your budget. Grab a dorman opda, and you will be good to go. I would check the cam also un case it had a bad opda gear wear issue.
I should add that I don't do heavy off roading, a little mud and woods when hunting. I usually put on a 2" lift, some good tires, sometimes a winch and the rest stock and have never got stuck. Since my last Jeep, I have stuck my Z71 Tahoe twice, once a front wheel fell off in a hole with the other three on dry ground. I was completely shocked that that POS could get stuck with 3 wheels on dry ground! Anyway, either Wrangler will work fine for my off roading. I'm mainly concerned with the engine and pulling.
I have been a jeep owner for 15 years and have pulled utility type trailers with a zj,yj,tj,2 door xj, jk and tj unlimited. I recently sold my 07 jk unlimited because it was such a dog. The 3.8 is really not the right motor imo. ......So, I ended up buying an 05 six speed lj and run 33's and the stock 4.10's for now. Truck pulls way better than my jk did. The Jk was the worst..handled well but couldn't get out of its own way
Thanks Gearbury, confirmed what I was thinking. The 4-door is easily the most stable of the Wranglers, but pulling a load or any hill at interstate speeds it would downshift at least one gear, and a lot of times jump down to second. That screaming V-6 just wasn't right in a Jeep, and it really irritated me. I drove a 2005 Unlimited a week or so ago, and I was thinking I liked it much better. Its been 2 years since I had the JK, and 6 since I had a TJ, so I wanted to make sure I'm thinking right.
I've been looking for a 04-06 Unlimited, but they are hard to find around here, and seem overpriced, which I think is seasonal. I'm also preferential to white, so I'm just biding my time.
I decided to keep my Tahoe and get a TJ as a second vehicle, which lowered my budget to $10,000. Because the TJ's were so high, and I've been to busy to search much. I messed around long enough to find an 05 Unlimited for $11,000, so I stretched my budget a little. Good thing is, its an unmolested, never off road, never towed anything with average mileage(100,000). Bad thing is its bone stock, so I'll be spending some more money. Overall, I think its a good find, and its what I was wanting and didn't have to settle for a short wheelbase.