Mike and SYN ACK, thanks for the advice. This is exactly the stuff I'm trying to dig up before I go and plop down money on something that I can CHOOSE my options for the most part. I have been to the Cartersville Jeep place..decent stuff, just HIGH miles on most of it. What other problems have people found there? Just curious as it is so close to the house?.... Also, would someone suggest finding a YJ or a TJ as a base for something with nothing bigger than 33" tires and a few other upgrades...oh, and I think I will get the 4.0
I would definitely recommend a YJ or TJ. Some people love the YJs for their leaf springs, others love the TJs for their coils. Personally I think the coil springs ride a lot better on the road than the leafs. Also, you have the think about the age of the vehicle; The older the vehicle, the more wear and tear you'll have to deal with.
If you plan on nothing bigger than 33s, then your options open a little, because you could get the D35c if you think your wheeling will never be too extreme. But if you DO get the D35c, you don't want the lock it. This can break the axle a lot quicker with anything bigger than stock sized tires. A D44 with 33s and a locker will hold up just fine.
But the reason I don't like the Cartersville Preowned store is because of the rediculous prices. Let me reference a few of their current Jeeps and prices....
(All are stock, some on stock tires, a couple on 31s. All have soft tops, no hard tops included.)
97 SE Half doors. $8450 (miles unlisted)
01 SE Half doors. $8995 (miles unlisted, but I got a feeling it's pretty high)
99 Sport Half doors. 3spd Auoto $8997 (miles unlisted)
Now, and early model TJ 4.0 with Full doors (Cheapest one on the list)
99 Sahara $10997. (KBB Suggested retail w/ 100k miles is $8400)
Ok, I understand dealerships have higher prices than private sellers, but nothing says they should be at least $2-3k over KBB Retail price. Retail price is the suggested point to begin the negotiation process.
I walked in a sometime last year and said I was looking for a 4.0 TJ for nothing more than $7000, and I'll be paying cash. The guy smirked and began the ramble on about how I won't be able to find that anywhere... What an idiot...
Well, I bought my 98 Sport in almost perfect condition with 146k. No rust, super clean inside and out, just has a slight dent/scratch on the front fender where the fender flare connects, and windshield had a crack in it. It had never been offroaded, and was a Florida jeep most of its life, but no where near the beach.... I was very confident in paying the $5k I did, and I still don't regret it.
Also, you need to watch the private sellers too. They'll see the price of their Jeep as it would sit stock (Say $6000), then they count all the add-ons (lift, tires, wheels, bumpers, winches, lights, etc) And the price of their 99 Sahara with 120K miles goes from $6k to $9-10k. Not to mention, its been offroaded.
So I just recommend finding a stock, never offroaded, privately sold Jeep, preferably from an older seller, and build it yourself.
This forum has an endless amount of Knowledge about Jeeps. So just search around, read older threads, and soak in everything you can. (Just don't resurrect old threads unless you want to get hassled