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Unread 07-03-2013, 01:14 PM   #1
goofiefoot
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Austin, TX
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Considering an LJ

I posted something similar in the Texas forum, looking for local advice and contacts, but would like a broader range of input.

I have been out of the 4x4 community for a couple of years (too long), and want to get into a Jeep. I have been running numbers, trying to justify buying a newer JK Unlimited, but just can't bring myself to pay that much off the bat, especially knowing I will continue to spend money in mods.

I've always liked the TJs, and I would like to consider an Unlimited, but have never really had any contact with one. I've got a one-year-old daughter, so I'd like to get input on how feasible this would be for a secondary family vehicle.

Here's what I've been pondering, and would love some input:

Cost
I'm looking at keeping my purchase well under $20k. I will be selling (or trading) my BMW 330i and don't want a big cash price difference between the two. I've seen LJs for sale around the $15k-16k range, with lower miles and some upgrades, so I think that's realistic.

Model
Of course, I'd love to get into a one-owner, low-mileage Rubicon with fresh mods that's never been off-road, but I'm realistic. I know the TJ platform is nice and solid, so I won't be disappointed in an unlocked front D30, but I'd like to get as much as I can for my money. A hardtop would be best, and I won't go without A/C.

Drivetrain
6-speed only. I won't consider an auto.
The fewer the miles, the better, but good maintenance records are just as important. If I can find a well-cared-for model with under 75k miles, I'd be happy. From a longevity standpoint, what is an ideal limit? What preventative maintenance should I be asking about, and at what miles?

Mods
I'm not looking for a rock crawler, but a nice lift and tire combo that's already been done would save me money down the road (assuming it's been done right and not beat to hell). If I were to begin with a fresh build, my focus would be more toward expedition travel mods than boulder climbing. Capable, without sacrificing on-road ability and comfort. Any thoughts toward what to look for and what to avoid would be helpful.

I appreciate any help or advice I can get to get me into my next vehicle. I drove and built up a 2001 4x4 Xterra for over 10 years and I miss the lifestyle. I just want something nice and capable that I can travel with my family around the country.

Cheers!

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Unread 07-03-2013, 01:33 PM   #2
Tonellin
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Bought my one owner meticulous condition 06 LJ rubicon with just under 100,000 on the clock for 16g.

Sounds like a lot for 100,000 miles but with how few LJ rubicons are floating around out there I was willing to bite on the price because I knew the guy had probably never even put it in 4wd. Besides what's 100k on the 4.0? They're barely being broken in at that point

Got a used BDS 3" lift with all the goodies and a bumper for under $700 from a guy that was trading in his TJ for something with better gas mileage. Holding out for a rubicon might not be worth it for you, but it is nice to know that they are always in demand makes it easy on the wallet when you pay a bit more than similar TJ's

good luck
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Unread 07-03-2013, 02:58 PM   #3
b0b11
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good choice.

you have a supply problem though.
any numbers i've seen state around 12,000 - 13,000 total made lj rubi's.
how many were manual? never seen a number. guess half just for fun.
how many are left after accidents? how many are sitting in garages that people have no intent to sell (i know of 2)?

sure you can get lucky and find a great deal down the street. definitely not typical. odds are you will have to work for it.
ebay has none, cars.com has 23 in the US.

be prepared to travel and good luck!
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Unread 07-03-2013, 04:40 PM   #4
goofiefoot
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Thanks, y'all. There happens to be a low-mileage 2006 in my area of town (non-Rubi), but I am perfectly willing to travel for the right vehicle.

With my BMW, I found it in Denver one morning on craigslist, sent a buddy that lived in the area to look it over for me that evening, made the deal the next morning, flew out at noon, and was driving it home that night. The hunt is certainly part of the fun!

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Unread 07-03-2013, 05:32 PM   #5
madduck
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what airline do you work for?
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Unread 07-03-2013, 05:58 PM   #6
lumpster
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Buy an lj, they are the perfect size IMO, I wish I wouldn't have sold mine!
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Unread 07-03-2013, 06:19 PM   #7
goofiefoot
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what airline do you work for?
Cute. It was certainly a case of all the pieces falling into place at just the right time.
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Unread 07-04-2013, 06:20 AM   #8
cjheap
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I just went through this and I am from Texas. Bad news is Texas is the worst market for LJs. They are viewed as gold.

I got on AutoTrader.com and started making calls. It took about a month but I found My 2006 LJ Rubicon in Minnesota. I flew up there and drove it home last week.

I got a loaded 06 6 speed, 125k, with both tops that did not have a dent or scratch for $13500.

One of the local dealers I was working with offered me $16000 for it when he saw it.

I have the 4 inch Currie springs / fox shox from Savvy delivered yesterday for my holiday weekend project.
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Unread 07-04-2013, 06:47 AM   #9
HAMR26
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Looking outside your market is a great idea. Last year I was shopping for an LJ and found my 42K mile Rubi 3 hours south for the same price as higher mileage non-Rubicon LJs in town. I was using online search engines, autotrader advanced search I think, to email me when new listing matched my criteria. Dial up the search radius and go for it.
My jeep is a secondary vehicle that we use on weekends with our 6yr old. Its the perfect size for a small family with young children.
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Unread 07-04-2013, 06:50 AM   #10
Savvy
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Be patient and keep searching. There are gems out there. You are making the best choice (I'm biased towards them) in the LJ. i only have two now! Probably should not have sold the other two! Good luck in your search! Any questions about the LJ, feel free to contact me.
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Unread 07-04-2013, 07:54 AM   #11
cjheap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savvy View Post
Be patient and keep searching. There are gems out there. You are making the best choice (I'm biased towards them) in the LJ. i only have two now! Probably should not have sold the other two! Good luck in your search! Any questions about the LJ, feel free to contact me.
This is true, Once you have one, you will not want to go back . I had a 2006 LJ when new but had to sell it in 08 due to my need of a truck for work. ( I will never be without a truck again ) .

I missed that LJ shortly after selling it and finally got to a place where I could drop the cash to buy another. It is going to be my DD / light trail rig with 33's .

My Cj on 42's will take care of the nasty stuff.
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Unread 07-04-2013, 08:27 AM   #12
goofiefoot
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Once I can actually get my hands on one to drive and test out car seat space, I can get a little more aggressive in my search. I have no doubt that I will love it, but I do need to make certain that it will meet my needs. How has it worked out for you with small children, particularly for road trips? I would use mine daily, and while I only have a 2.5 mile drive each way to work, I drop off my daughter at daycare each morning.

I started searching craigslist yesterday and found some good examples, and even reached out to find more information on a few. There are good examples out there, and a lot of them are in cities or regions I want to visit, so traveling would be fun. I know on other forums, there are local "can someone check out a vehicle for me?" threads. I would hope to find something similar here if I found one out of state.

If anyone is reading my thread and has one for sale, feel free to let me know!
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Unread 07-04-2013, 08:36 AM   #13
blackjeep05
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Well I will sell you mine for 18k. It has 102k on the clock but, this Jeep is as showroom new as one can get. I have all kinds of goodies on it. If you're interested in knowing more about the Jeep let me know. Price might seem high but, I will bet my life you will not find a nicer Jeep period except a brand spanking new one on the lot.
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Unread 07-04-2013, 08:46 AM   #14
goofiefoot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackjeep05 View Post
Well I will sell you mine for 19k. It has 102k on the clock but, this Jeep is as showroom new as one can get. I have all kinds of goodies on it. If you're interested in knowing more about the Jeep let me know. Price might seem high but, I will bet my life you will not find a nicer Jeep period except a brand spanking new one on the lot.
That is a pretty Jeep! However, black (and red) are at the bottom of my color list, I'd like a hard top, and I will not consider an automatic. Thanks for the offer, though!
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Unread 07-04-2013, 08:53 AM   #15
blackjeep05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goofiefoot View Post
That is a pretty Jeep! However, black (and red) are at the bottom of my color list, I'd like a hard top, and I will not consider an automatic. Thanks for the offer, though!
No problem its all good man. When looking for Jeeps stay away from Collin bros in Wylie they get junk Jeeps and throw pucks with 33s on everything and call it custom lol. They fail to actually put a full size spare because they say its to heavy for the hinges but, its more like they are cheap and want people to see there collin bros tire cover on there.
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