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Unread 10-27-2013, 09:08 PM   #1
pcarr01
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Barling, Arkansas
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Potential Jeep Owner Needing Advice

Hi guys. I'm pretty new to the forum so I'm gonna go ahead and apologize for anything out of line. I'm still learning forum etiquette. I also apologize if what I ask has already been covered. There's so much helpful info on here that it can be a little overwhelming if you're not looking for something specific.

I don't own a jeep yet, and never have. But I have wanted one for a long time. Unfortunately, depending on what way you look at it, I had some one total my Harley Sportster with me on it. I'll be ok, just have some bruised ribs. On the brighter side, I think I'm going to take the pay off value of the bike and throw toward the next adventure.

I've spent a bit of time on this sight (for info on the different models etc.) and looking around to see what's available in the area. I've pretty much decided that whichever I get, I want the 6 cyl and preferably 5 speed tranny. And I'm trying to find one as close to stock as possible. And 31x10.5 approx tire size. I'm in college and work so this will be a DD. Pretty much my only form of transportation. It'll also be used hunting, camping, etc. So, gas mpg is a concern for me. Not looking for 40 mpg, but anything under 14 mpg mixed isn't going to work (which is what I get in my Nissan Hardbody right now).

Now the part that I get stuck on and i guess what I'm getting down to is, I need advice on which to buy. I'm really torn between a CJ (5 or 7) and a TJ. I'm going to be limited to about $6k, maybe a bit more for initial purchase. I'm fairly good at doing things mechanical, or at least figuring them out once I get some grease on my hands. However, I'm not looking for something that I have to break into every weekend, unless it's planned. And I'm sure, if owning a jeep is anything like owning a bike, there will be plenty of those weekends.

What are some pros and cons of each? I love the older, no frills look and build of the CJs but is that going to be outweighed by maintenance? I'm all about picking up a project, but I honestly don't have time for a restore right now. Maybe I'm just looking for someone to convince me not to bight into more than I can chew... or convince me to jump in head first.

Sorry for the long introduction

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Unread 11-02-2013, 06:27 AM   #2
uberxj92
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1992 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: umatilla, florida
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Welcome and sorry bout your ribs and bike.
You might be better off looking for a tj over a cj.
Nothing against cj's but they are classics and you get into cash there.
Tj's make better daily drivers I believe. Look for a 4.0 they can get around 15-18 in town if you drive right and drop in a good air filter.
There is a ton of aftermarket support for them. And if you wanted to lift and do axles its easier in a tj dye to part availability
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Unread 11-02-2013, 08:29 AM   #3
WDNewman
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Uberxj92 is right on. If you want a DD then forget the CJ's. You WILL be into them every weekend and sometimes during the week. Kind of like buying a Model A. You work on them,drive them a little, then work on them again.

For $6 grand you should be looking at an early TJ with around 100K or more miles on it. Be forewarned that all vehicles will be needing replacement parts at that point, although Jeeps are tough units in that regard.

No jeep is going to get great gas mileage, but the unmodified units will be better as the 4 litre won't be trying to push oversized tires.

Good luck, and keep us posted.
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Unread 11-02-2013, 08:47 AM   #4
horaceunit
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Buy back the Sporty and use the remaining $ from the payoff and fix it back up OK, get a TJ over a YJ or a CJ. As the other posters have said it will be a bit easier to work on than either a CJ or a YJ, and you should find a decent runner for $5-6,000.00. I would try to keep a little back from what you will have in $ from the payoff for either initial repairs, or to replace tires or other mods. Check this link for a good article on buying used Wrangler TJ's. I know they also did articles on CJ's and YJ's so do a search on their site: http://www.fourwheeler.com/project-v...-buyers-guide/ Good luck!
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Unread 11-02-2013, 09:00 AM   #5
horaceunit
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Oh! Forgot to mention- RUST!!!! Really check out under the vehicle and see how much REAL rust there is. Surface rust is to be expected but frame or body rot will cost you dearly later on so be careful! Always wear clothes you don't mind getting dirty, bring a good flashlight, and expect to crawl under the truck and take a hard look!
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Unread 11-03-2013, 10:06 AM   #6
pcarr01
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Thanks for the input guys. I have been looking around both at what's available and the pros and cons of going either way. I have pretty much decided to steer away from CJs, I can take on a project later on. Not in a rush to get into a cash sink hole and most of the jeeps for sale around here (West/Northwest Arkansas) are either ragged out and thrashed or super upgraded and the price reflects that. Seems like even trashed wranglers are around $6-7k asking price.

My current daily driver is a '94 Nissan Hardbody 4x4 with a little over 160k miles, so I'm used to having to replace things periodically. I'm also used to more or less having to figure out how things work and what it takes to fix/modify/ change them on a budget. I will say that it has always started and gone exactly where and when I told it to. I guess I just caught the Jeep bug and want something I can take the top off.

I may have found a '98 TJ worth taking a look at that is within my price range. I know to look for rust and obvious issues like major leaks, but anything else to specifically look for on that model?

Thanks again for the feed back. I'm also looking at a 1985 CUCV Mil Surp Blazer, but those are about as hit and miss if not more so than CJs, just a little lower asking prices.
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Unread 11-03-2013, 01:45 PM   #7
uberxj92
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Look for the rust, check the oil, smell it too, all fluids, grab the drive shafts give em some shaking and twisting, looking for too much play there. Take your time with the inspection.
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Unread 11-07-2013, 07:32 PM   #8
pcarr01
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I'm still looking around and possibly test driving a 98 this weekend. As far as staying within my budget goes, it seems that a Cherokee might be a better way to go for now. Any thoughts on that? Year models or specific things to look out for?
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Unread 11-07-2013, 07:42 PM   #9
Nick05
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if you go down 22 there is a little car shop with two wranglers, but i don't know price. cherokee's can be picked up for a fraction of the price of wranglers, even modded cherokee's are fairly cheap right now. if you are set on a wrangler or cj there is a carlot in alma that has a 95 yj 4.0 5 speed and a 79(?)cj. they want 6900 for either but would probably go down on price for cash. the cj has upgraded ignition, don't know what all goes with that but that's what they said.
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Unread 11-07-2013, 11:35 PM   #10
uberxj92
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91-95 Cherokees are your best bet. 96 1/2 up become harder to work on due to each year most parts are year specific.
stay away from 2000-2001 bad heads.
84-90 xjs are ok but they were messing with drive trains a lot then.
side note xj's are cheaper to mod. And they hold alot more beer
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Unread 11-08-2013, 07:30 AM   #11
WDNewman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uberxj92 View Post
91-95 Cherokees are your best bet. 96 1/2 up become harder to work on due to each year most parts are year specific.
stay away from 2000-2001 bad heads.
84-90 xjs are ok but they were messing with drive trains a lot then.
side note xj's are cheaper to mod. And they hold alot more beer
AND XJs are quieter, ride smoother,carry more people, etc. BUT they are not "real" jeeps are they? The tops don't come off. The windshields don't fold down. The doors stay on. Whats all that about?

More like a SUV. But if I had to have only one vehicle for everything, I'd buy the XJ.
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Unread 11-08-2013, 05:20 PM   #12
uberxj92
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I go to jeep events in Florida a lot. The toy boxes all tolerate xjs. But the majority of the own or have owned xjs and will admit that the xj I'd a true Jeep and the biggest reason for owning their wranglers is cause they're more fun to drive in fair weather.
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