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Unread 01-26-2008, 11:08 PM   #1
JeepinGirlCT
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I need help choosing something fun to go Jeepin in

Okay-all of you Jeep savvy folk out there, please help me out. I bought a Jeep as my daily driver and really like it. After I bought it, I stumbled on this site, and really became interested in wanting to go wheeling with the family. Now, my husband and I are looking to pick something up just for that purpose.

My question to you all... is it better to find something that's already lifted or are there drawbacks to that? He can do the work, but his time is limited and his shoulders are bad, so I'd feel bad about asking him to do all of that work modifying a stock equipped model. He's very knowledgable about mechanical things, but I wanted the opinion of people that go wheeling on a regular basis and have learned what works better, and what doesn't.

My next question...Cherokee or Wranger (including all of the various types). Are there benefits to choosing one model over the other? Does either type handle better on certain terrain? I'm really eager to hear what you have to say.

Thanks in advance for your help and input.



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Unread 01-26-2008, 11:14 PM   #2
AlTheKillerr
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id try and find one that is stock. that way you dont have to worry about an abused vehicle or one that was put together poorly. its a tuff choice between the two though. either will do wonders offroad.
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Unread 01-26-2008, 11:18 PM   #3
JeepinGirlCT
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That's a really good point. Ultimately it will come down to price and the condition it's in. If I were to find one that was already lifted, are there certain key problems I should be looking out for? My mom is a sailboat freak, and she's a blood hound when she checks them out especially when someone she knows is thinking of buying one. I figure I should learn all I can to know what I'm looking at before I get in over my head. (Come to think of it, I'm probably there already.... ) Ah well, it's never stopped me before!
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Unread 01-26-2008, 11:22 PM   #4
AlTheKillerr
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id take alot underneath it and see how beat up it is. maybe even call lemonbusters and see what they have to say about the vehicle. someone who knows more about what to check will chime in soon and be able to help you more than me.

good luck finding your future jeep

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Unread 01-26-2008, 11:26 PM   #5
RockWoRM
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Welcome to the club...

All good questions, but U could get a hunderd different answers.

What type of wheel'n do U want to do? Country back roads, mud, dirt trails, moderate trails, extreme rock crawl???

How big is the family?

There is more to a built Jeep than just a lift... ya need to reasonably know your stuff. JF is a good place to start... but the tech forums, instead of here, would be better for that kind of info., once U know which vehicle U want. IMHO, either or, make good trial/off road family rigs. They each have their advantages... and again, it really depends on what your overall needs/wants are.

I have a Wrangler YJ, so I have a small bias, but U may even want to look at the JK's.

hope that helps some.




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Unread 01-27-2008, 08:02 AM   #6
JeepinGirlCT
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I'm thinking back roads-dirt/mud with some rocks. Probably not extreme rock crawl (at least not yet). There are 4 of us (we have 2 boys), and I want to be able to put a cooler and some trail gear (I figure we should have some tools with us in case something breaks). I've been checking out Craigs List, and have seen some nice rigs. Forgive the newbie question, but is a YJ a Cherokee? I'll take your suggestion about the tech forum, but I was wondering if a Wrangler style Jeep would be better on small trails due to it's size.

Also, we usually buy manuals, but would there be any advantage to buying an auto for this? My husband almost burned up the clutch while trying to park our camper last year (on my X-terra, glad we dumped it). Has anyone experienced clutch problems with wheelin off road with a manual transmission?
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Unread 01-27-2008, 08:07 AM   #7
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Get a cheap YJ. They're super capable in stock form, inexpensive and easy to mod if you want to go that route. Plus they have more SPG than anything else, (Smilage Per Gallon) and we all know square headlights are the coolest.

Either way, starting with a YJ is a very inexpensive way to learn and figure out what direction you want to go.

Welcome to the party!
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Unread 01-27-2008, 09:53 AM   #8
JeepinGirlCT
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Thanks for the insight. We're going to keep shopping around. I want to keep it under $5K, because I know any mods will add to the cost. My husband has a project car that's been rusting comfortably in the garage for the last 4+ years (a 67 Camaro that he's very intent on breathing life into. He wants to make it into the "Better Off Dead" car.). Anyway, I would like to have a back up vehicle that's a fun car. (Our neighbors already think we're nuts, so why hold back now!!)
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Unread 01-27-2008, 10:03 AM   #9
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If price is a factor, Wranger owners tend to think thier vehicle is made of gold when reselling, but you can get a 97+ XJ (Cherokee) with all the options and low mles for aroud $5,000 if you shop around. Parts and lift components for XJs are also plentiful and fairly cheap. There's also the extra room (both for passengers and cargo) and comfort assocated with an XJ over the Wranglers. As far as trail capability goes, neither is any better or worse than the other.
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Unread 01-27-2008, 10:18 AM   #10
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Stock 2006 Rubicon FTW
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Unread 01-27-2008, 11:26 AM   #11
RockWoRM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel0129
I'm thinking back roads-dirt/mud with some rocks. Probably not extreme rock crawl (at least not yet). There are 4 of us (we have 2 boys), and I want to be able to put a cooler and some trail gear (I figure we should have some tools with us in case something breaks). I've been checking out Craigs List, and have seen some nice rigs. Forgive the newbie question, but is a YJ a Cherokee? I'll take your suggestion about the tech forum, but I was wondering if a Wrangler style Jeep would be better on small trails due to it's size.
The YJ was the first Wrangler. '87 to '95. Then the TJ Wrangler. YJ's are leaf springs, TJ's are coil springs.
But since you've got a family of 4, and you'd like a little space, an XJ Cherokee may better fit your needs. Since your not looking at extreme stuff, a Cherokee will take U where ever ya need to go. The main difference between the two, IMHO, is the XJ is unibody and is more prone to body damage in extreme stuff, simply because of body design, but I'm talking very extreme... and since U did'nt mention price range, XJ's can be found pretty reasonable, as mentioned above.




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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80 CHOPPER View Post
Knowledge is a tool, without knowledge, you are just a tool.
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Unread 01-27-2008, 11:29 AM   #12
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honest to god, the Cherokee is going to be the most bang for your buck. Lifts can be from $200 to $2000, and you can pack the whole family in it (and a cooler and tools)
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Unread 01-27-2008, 12:10 PM   #13
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A tj with coils will ride better than a yj, I've had both, you can buy an early tj cheap if you shop around and if you disconnect the front swaybar you will have all kinds of articulation. I believe a tj and yj are better in hills than something like a cherokee because of the short wheelbase and sharp cornering, you would be amazed at how tight of spaces you can get into, also your less likely to get body panel damage in this style of jeep. As for the family my wife and two kids wheel with me all the time, in the summer with the top off they just jump over the sides, which is one other nice thing about a yj or tj there a convertable, kind of like two toys in one. What types of damage I would look for is scrapes in the transfer skids, diffs, and frame rails dints in oil pan diff covers, damage to body panels that may be covered by body armor, yj's may have bent shakles on leaf springs, tj's may have bent control arms, drive shaft damage (will vibrate at higher speeds) if you can check diff fluids if they are milky may have been in lots of water, also check sidewalls on tires for cuts or signs that they have been stuck lots, like wear on the lettering etc. Check trim around doors etc. for overspray, may be a sign of previous accidents or body damage. Hope this helps.
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Unread 01-27-2008, 12:18 PM   #14
JeepinGirlCT
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Thanks for the great feedback. There's a local place that we've bought from before that has a 2000 Cherokee for $3995. It's got 171K (kind of high, but they claim it's one owner, so I'm thinking they're highway miles). Since we wouldn't be driving much more than for fun, the milage didn't phase me too much.
http://www.bargainnews.com/ct/2084/l...TheDealer=2084

I've seen others that we lifted, and even one that had a roof rack for carrying gear. Anyone have any experience dropping in a new engine into one of these? Mike has done that in the past. Was wondering if that was a reasonable option if I find a cheap one with a good body.

thanks again...
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Unread 01-27-2008, 12:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel0129
Thanks for the great feedback. There's a local place that we've bought from before that has a 2000 Cherokee for $3995. It's got 171K (kind of high, but they claim it's one owner, so I'm thinking they're highway miles). Since we wouldn't be driving much more than for fun, the milage didn't phase me too much.
http://www.bargainnews.com/ct/2084/l...TheDealer=2084

I've seen others that we lifted, and even one that had a roof rack for carrying gear. Anyone have any experience dropping in a new engine into one of these? Mike has done that in the past. Was wondering if that was a reasonable option if I find a cheap one with a good body.

thanks again...

There's a few guys in the XJ section who're looking at 300,000 miles. I think that's second motor, first trans. The 4.0 is a cheap, easy motor, so you could fix/replace it with basic tools.

And the 2000 is nice (save for the usual cracked aluminum intake manifold).

Lifts are easy too for them, the rear only has a sway bar and two leaf springs.
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