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Unread 03-25-2013, 04:36 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 3
New guy looking for a Jeep

I've been toying with the idea of purchasing a Wrangler for many years. However I couldn't drag myself away from my 2 seater sports cars. With a growing family things have changed and I need more space but yet something I can have fun with and wrench on. The Wrangler is my first choice so here I am. I've started looking at the forums and watching local for sale adds. I will have about $20k cash to spend. I would really like to keep the vehicle purchase around $15k so I can spend some of the left over on parts. I figure that puts me in a used TJ Rubicon or similar. It will mostly be used for beach trips and the occasional offroad adventure but nothing too serious (unless I get hooked.... it's been known to happen... lol) Any thoughts or advise for the new guy?

I will be lurking on the forum so I just wanted to say hello!

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Unread 03-25-2013, 05:09 PM   #2
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2005 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 140
Welcome First, is this going to be your daily driver, or just a weekend toy? How often do you plan on wheeling it? That will go a long way in determining what year, miles, options, etc. you will be looking for. I take it from your username that you're in SC somewhere?

Also, IMO, if you really are planning on using the Jeep as you stated in your post, I don't think you need to be looking at a Rubicon. A stock Jeep with a few small upgrades will take you all kinds of places you wouldn't expect to be able to go. The Rubicon has some awesome features, but unless you are planning on seriously wheeling your Jeep through some very difficult terrain, the reality is you will seldom, if ever, need the expensive lockers and TC that come with the Rubicon. I think your $ would be better spent finding a clean, mostly stock Sport or Sahara with the Dana 44 rear, figuring out what you want it to be, and using the extra $ to upgrade from there. Or better yet find an LJ if you're looking to use it for family trips. Lots more room and comes with the D44 standard.

If you see any specific Jeeps you're looking at, feel free to post them here. People around here are always eager with advice for new Jeepers.

Oh and BTW, you WILL get hooked, it's only a question to what extent. All the more reason to spend a little less initially to save for the endless mods that will inevitably follow

Edit: Just noticed this was posted in the SOUTH CAROLINA forum. Didn't mean to intrude fellas lol
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Unread 03-26-2013, 02:47 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 3
It will not be my daily driver. Just a toy. Wheeling a few times a year (again that is my thoughts now). I'm in South Carolina. I realize the Rubicon might be overkill for my intended uses but I would rather have more than less. As you said, it's just a matter of time before I get hooked. Althought I'm not ruling out the Sport or Sahara. I actually test drove an 08 Sport (14k miles) with 2" lift and 33s today. I liked it they just wanted too much for it. $22k. After doing some reading I really like the LJ. Might have to see if I can find one to test drive. Thanks for your advise. I will let you know what happens.
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Unread 03-28-2013, 01:34 PM   #4
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Greer, SC
Posts: 261
Keep looking you can usually find JKs well with in that price bracket. I've got a tj and the jk's have a little more space and defently have a more comfortable ride. They also have a better stock suspension and come with close to a 33 stock. Put some MTs new shocks and 2 coil lift and front adjustable trac bar and upper arms to correct caster and it'll be perfect for your needs. If your dead set on a TJ/LJ look for rust at the body mounts, make sure it comes with a dana 44 rear axle. 05-06 have been known to have a OPDA problem so read up on that. LJs were only built btw 03-06 and can be pretty rare they'll defently have a Dana 44. The TJ/LJs come with LPD30 up front and people usually swap in a XJ HPD30, JKs come with a HPD30 up front stock and it has a larger ring and pinion and larger outers than the XJ Dana 30.
1998 TJ 35's Metalcloak Front Fenders 3" Currie Springs 4.88 Spartan Rear D44 front HPD30 under construction.
[URL=""]My Build Thread[/URL]
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Unread 03-29-2013, 02:00 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 3
Great info. Thanks SCchilipepper! My current car is almost back to stock so I will be out seriously shopping for my new Jeep soon.
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