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Unread 05-06-2012, 08:21 PM   #1
bigredhawkeye
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2000 WJ 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Bettendorf, IA
Posts: 148
Buy upgrades for the WJ or save up for another car?

Hey guys, today I'm coming to you asking for your advice and opinions.

I currently just finished my first year in college and drive a 2000 WJ with 150k miles. The WJ is in fine mechanical shape but due to me living in the midwest it is starting to develop some rust. Overall I'd say the car is in like 6/10 condition.

Anyways this summer I've got some cash to spend. Originally I was going to start building a semi-modded WJ that would be sort of an expedition rig. Plan was a 4" lift, new wheels and tires, roof rack, bumpers, etc. However being a college student...my cash flow is pretty weak despite being an employee of the Army haha.

My question is, do you think it is smart to smart dumping thousands into a 12 year old vehicle that has 150k miles on it? It isn't an immaculate vehicle either. I was all set to start dumping money into it, but stepping back from it I'm not sure if it would really be worth it. I'd hate to invest $4k into it and then have to rebuild the tranny or engine.

I know everyone here would probably want to see me build up the WJ, but from a realistic stand point what would you do? If I didn't spend money on the WJ, I'd just put away money for the next 3 years and buy a newer SUV with less miles after I graduate and get commissioned.

Opinions, advice, etc!

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Unread 05-06-2012, 08:30 PM   #2
Rocklobster
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Keep yours and buy a newer GC like 04 put money into that. :-) From soldier to soldier, Thank you.
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Unread 05-06-2012, 08:32 PM   #3
Fiosman
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I would save money and buy an 04 Limited or Overland WJ
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Unread 05-06-2012, 08:44 PM   #4
McCloudsZJ
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If the Jeep is already in bad/not terrific condition, you could keep everything DIY. Use it to practice and learn how to weld, paint, do wiring, or whatever. I had a pickup that I got for $500 in highschool. For another $500 I recarpeted it, I learned how to paint with it, I learned how to wire speakers and amplifiers, I fixed the window regulators, rebuilt the carburetor, made my own exhaust, and just had fun with it.

On a totally unrelated note, look into the USAA Pre-Comissioning/Life-Starter loan. It's up to $25,000 at less than 2% interest and only available for pre-commisioned cadets. You don't start paying it back until 6 months after you commission. I took it, put $20,000 into an account that made interest and put the other $5,000 towards the down payment on the Jeep. The interest that the 20 almost paid for the interest on the whole thing. I worked for the summer and paid off the other $5,000. I've seen some people take it and turn a profit just by putting it into an account that made interest.

Just some ideas
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March 2014 GCOTM. 1998 Deep Slate 5.9
On the Jeep:Hot intake, 52mm TB, Summit 8mm wires, catch can, 703s, insulated fuel rails, indexed Champions, Bilstein 4600s, Eibach lowering springs, Moog SS, Ironman mounts, Lotek 2GP, lots of gauges, sparkly paint.
In the garage: M1 4bbl
In the works: Addco/Hellwig sway bars, nitrous, full polly bushings, full exhaust, data logging, billet UD pulleys
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Unread 05-06-2012, 09:04 PM   #5
cuttysark
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^ this too but

I was in the same position as you, albeit my ZJ was going to need some major repairs soon, maybe not major repairs but ALOT of minor ones. it was last year I came into some money and said to myself i wasnt going to spend any more on the old girl, just buy a newer one.. Im happy I did.

I really dont think your tranny/engine will necessarily blow and screw you over, although that can happen, but as you say, its getting old. IMHO if you already rate it 6/10 and are having second thoughts, you could probably spend half if not most of that 4K in just body work and repairs needed currently.. I would definitely buy a newer jeep, as others have said 04 !

its what I bought :P

good luck.
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Unread 05-07-2012, 07:37 AM   #6
bigredhawkeye
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Bettendorf, IA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocklobster View Post
Keep yours and buy a newer GC like 04 put money into that. :-) From soldier to soldier, Thank you.
Thank you for the advice. And thank you for your service!
__________________
2000 Black WJ | 4.7L V8 | IRO 3" | Pro Comp MX6 Shocks | IRO Trackbar | KOR A-Arm Spacer | Carolina Driveline Front DS | 265/75/16s

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Unread 05-07-2012, 07:41 AM   #7
bigredhawkeye
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Bettendorf, IA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McCloudsWJ View Post
If the Jeep is already in bad/not terrific condition, you could keep everything DIY. Use it to practice and learn how to weld, paint, do wiring, or whatever. I had a pickup that I got for $500 in highschool. For another $500 I recarpeted it, I learned how to paint with it, I learned how to wire speakers and amplifiers, I fixed the window regulators, rebuilt the carburetor, made my own exhaust, and just had fun with it.

On a totally unrelated note, look into the USAA Pre-Comissioning/Life-Starter loan. It's up to $25,000 at less than 2% interest and only available for pre-commisioned cadets. You don't start paying it back until 6 months after you commission. I took it, put $20,000 into an account that made interest and put the other $5,000 towards the down payment on the Jeep. The interest that the 20 almost paid for the interest on the whole thing. I worked for the summer and paid off the other $5,000. I've seen some people take it and turn a profit just by putting it into an account that made interest.


Just some ideas
Some really good advice here. I think I've decided to just keep the WJ for the next 3 college years and keep it running. I will definitely look into the USAA loan, as I know a few guys that have used that out in West Point (though they bought new cars instead of investing, haha).

I really like my WJ, but I'll probably just save my money and buy an '04 or overland in a few years when I can afford to. It just wouldn't make sense to put that much money into something I put 15-20k miles a year on when it is already at 150k. It just sucks since I have the constant urge to work on my vehicles...but I guess being financially responsible is more important in the short term
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WJ Expedition Build Thread

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Unread 05-07-2012, 07:42 AM   #8
bigredhawkeye
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2000 WJ 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Bettendorf, IA
Posts: 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuttysark View Post
^ this too but

I was in the same position as you, albeit my ZJ was going to need some major repairs soon, maybe not major repairs but ALOT of minor ones. it was last year I came into some money and said to myself i wasnt going to spend any more on the old girl, just buy a newer one.. Im happy I did.

I really dont think your tranny/engine will necessarily blow and screw you over, although that can happen, but as you say, its getting old. IMHO if you already rate it 6/10 and are having second thoughts, you could probably spend half if not most of that 4K in just body work and repairs needed currently.. I would definitely buy a newer jeep, as others have said 04 !

its what I bought :P

good luck.
Thank you for the advice! Sounds like you're happy saving up and buying your newer WJ!
__________________
2000 Black WJ | 4.7L V8 | IRO 3" | Pro Comp MX6 Shocks | IRO Trackbar | KOR A-Arm Spacer | Carolina Driveline Front DS | 265/75/16s

WJ Expedition Build Thread

My Travel Thread
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Unread 05-07-2012, 09:25 AM   #9
cuttysark
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