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Unread 07-24-2013, 01:40 PM   #1
vm_boy
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"new" '98 5.9L ZJ, "new" '04 WJ Overland, or keep current '05 TJ

I wanted to get some thoughts and opinions on this issue. I currently have a 2005 TJ "Rocky Mountain Edition" with about 58k miles on it. I've taken good care of it and I'm the original and only owner. Well, I'm at the point in life where my wife and I are about ready to have kids and it might be time to get something a little more family-friendly and "creature-comfortable" than my TJ. Although I don't really go offroading, I would still like to...but I still want the capability, especially for snow/ice that we get here occasionally.

So I started doing some research and discovered the rare 5.9L Limited ZJ and I found one for sale less than 30 miles away. It has 80k miles on it and the guy is asking $6300 for it. Here is the link to the autotrader ad: http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-s...gIndex=2&Log=0

I realize that it's a very rare version and has really low mileage, but I'm thinking $6300 might be a bit much. It seems like a very capable and versatile vehicle and it looks like it has more bells and whistles than my '05 Wrangler. I know that ZJs have a large aftermarket infrastructure available which is important to me because I would like to add some lift, tires, etc and really get it trail-ready. With the difference in price between my TJ (KBB says ~$17k) and this ZJ, I think that could be pretty easy to accomplish.

What do you think? Is this a good price? If not, what should I offer? Is it really that much "family friendly", etc? Is it really that "trail-capable"? What other issues should I consider? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

With the same idea in mind, I'm also considering a 2004 WJ "Overland". I haven't actually found one close by, but I've got my eyes out for one. What do you think about that alternative?

Thanks in advance.


Last edited by vm_boy; 08-06-2013 at 12:13 PM.. Reason: Title Change to include WJ Topic
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Unread 07-24-2013, 02:47 PM   #2
WhiteOut
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Do you have a firm budget that you’re looking at and are you in a position to own two vehicles?

Personally, I’d never have a 16+ year old Jeep that needs premium as a DD for wife and kid. Especially if I was going to wheel it. If you have the TJ paid off, maybe look at selling it and buying the ZJ as a wheeler/your DD and then get the wife a different car. Or buy the wife a vehicle and build the TJ up a bit.

Also, the doors on an SUV are not the best things to have to work with if there are car seats in the back and you’re in a parking lot. Plus, newer cars have all the fancy side curtain airbags and stuff in them that the ZJ won’t.
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Unread 07-24-2013, 03:06 PM   #3
vm_boy
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The TJ is paid off. My wife has a paid-off '09 Altima so I'm not concerned about that side of things. This ZJ or WJ would replace the TJ. I probably wouldn't have to take the kid(s) places too often, but just the off chance I do. Also if we decide to go somewhere rugged for vacation (Colorado, skiing, camping) or if it snows or something, it might be nice to have something nicer w/ 4 doors. Another feature that is appealing is the roomier storage/hauling space. I realize it's not a whole lot, but it's quite a bit bigger than the TJ or my wife's Altima.

If I do this, I would take any price difference and I would put some toward lifting/souping-up and the rest I would do something else with (e.g. save, home improvement, pay down mortgage, etc.).
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Unread 07-24-2013, 03:20 PM   #4
WhiteOut
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Perfect then!

I’d sell the TJ and buy the niner. Then spend maybe $5k in upgrades to it and you’d have a nice daily that will go a lot of places. Probably a quality 4” lift, some 32” JK takeoffs, front bumper, winch and some lights.
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Unread 07-24-2013, 04:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteOut
Perfect then!

I’d sell the TJ and buy the niner. Then spend maybe $5k in upgrades to it and you’d have a nice daily that will go a lot of places. Probably a quality 4” lift, some 32” JK takeoffs, front bumper, winch and some lights.
Having run them, I would not suggest JK takeoffs on anything over a budget boost. Not wide enough for any real wheeling.
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Unread 07-24-2013, 07:52 PM   #6
dnuccio
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hes pretty high on price for that 5.9. id offer him 5300 and see if he bites
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Unread 07-25-2013, 10:53 AM   #7
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Are there any issues I should be concerned about or certain features I should look for or avoid when I go look at these?

Also, what are your thoughts regarding the '98 5.9 ZJ vs. the '04 WJ Overland?
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Unread 07-25-2013, 10:44 PM   #8
dnuccio
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5.9 is a more durable engine
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Unread 07-26-2013, 03:06 PM   #9
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I found another 5.9L option on Craigslist. He's asking $1800 for it. ~200k miles on it. Says the a/c compressor is out and the front differential needs repair. It's currently undrivable because of the front diff and would either need to be towed or possible have the front driveshaft removed to get it home. I asked about the extent of the front diff and he said the shaft pin came out...probably because some worn pieces (I couldn't understand which ones over the phone). I looked on Quadratec and I can get a full "differential case with gear set" for $310. What do you think about that deal?
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Unread 07-26-2013, 09:03 PM   #10
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98 5.9 zj and 04 wj overland aren't really fair comparisons. 6 years apart but also different beasts. 5.9 was king, in 98. 04 wj has more creature comforts and more modern look. For me, I'd shoot for the 04 just cause a 6 year newer vehicle for family uses is desirable. Can't speak to pricing since I haven't monitored the market. I'd say go drive it, and go with your gut. Good luck! I've had a 95 zj and 96zj......solid vehicles but they show their age
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Unread 07-29-2013, 02:51 PM   #11
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Are there any issues I should be aware of as far as the four-wheel-drive systems go. The '98 GC has Selec-Trac and the '04 GC Overland has Quadra-drive. The Quadra-drive seems pretty effective since it automatically sends power to the wheels that actually have traction. I'm a little concerned about the life of the gerotors. Has anyone experienced problems with these? Are they easily repaired/replaced? Are there any similar issues with the Selec-Trac? Is one system preferable to the other?

Also, what about replacing these systems with lockers like Truetracs, Air Lockers, Lock Rights, etc?

For the front diff on the '98 that is $1800, would it be a good idea to go ahead and install some sort of locker while I'm repairing it in the first place?

I appreciate any help and advice you can provide.
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Unread 07-29-2013, 03:43 PM   #12
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selec-trac is a helluva lot simpler system.

lockers are always a good idea if you have the money. id go with either an ARB air locker or an eaton e locker
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Unread 08-02-2013, 09:13 AM   #13
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Well I've found a 2004 WJ Overland nearby and we're meeting up tonight so I can look at it. It has 150k miles on it and he's asking $5500. Here's the Craigslist ad (link). It says the tires are at 70% wear, new Magnaflow performance exhaust. He says there's an error light because of the catalytic converter, but he's going to try and get that fixed today.

I'm studying the "Ultimate WJ Buyer's Guide" and plan to be fully prepared when we meet up. Are there any other issues/concerns that I should be warned about? My brother-in-law had a Grand Cherokee...not sure what year or trim, but I'm pretty sure it was a WJ...he said he had all kinds of fits with it and so did everyone else he knew that had one. I'm not exactly sure what these fits were, but it concerns me a little bit.

Also, over the weekend, I plan on looking at about 3 other GCs - a couple of 2002 Overlands and a '98 Limited (not a 5.9L, but it will at least give me an idea of the feel of the vehicle).
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Unread 08-02-2013, 06:01 PM   #14
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It's a lot of how they've been maintained, and what options you've got. Though desirable at purchase, fixing a fully loaded vehicle out of warranty can be pricey. Good luck with your test drives.
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Unread 08-02-2013, 06:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vm_boy
Also, over the weekend, I plan on looking at about 3 other GCs - a couple of 2002 Overlands and a '98 Limited (not a 5.9L, but it will at least give me an idea of the feel of the vehicle).
If you drive a 4.0 ZJ and it has 2wd along with 4wd, it will drive completely different compared to a V8 all time 4x4. Atleast between mine and my sisters ZJ, the feel is so much different. But mines faster.
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