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Unread 09-24-2003, 01:10 PM   #1
RandyS
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2003 Se

Hi Guys. New to Jeeps and I'm just wondering if anyone can tell me if the new 4 cylinder on the base SE is adequate for medium-duty off-roading. I know it;s hard to quantify, but I thought I saw a spec that noted that the new I4 made significantly more hp than the old one. Is it a big enough difference to negate the need for the 6 for someone who doesn't have a lot of cash?

I know buying used 6 cylinder would also be a viable alternative for the cash strapped, but I'm wondering about new comparisons of the '03/'04 I4 vs. the 6 cylinder. Looks to be about 5K diff minimum in price. Thanks.

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Unread 09-24-2003, 01:16 PM   #2
TJx2
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You would probably be happier with a '6 in the long run, but there is nothing wrong with a 4 banger off-road. I have yet to see a 4 banger not be able to go someplace a six did just because it was missing two cylinders.

On-road they are a little more pokey, but you get used to it.

My suggestion would be if you are looking at a five spped, the 4 banger will be fine, even though the six is preffered. If you are looking at an auto, get the six and forget the four. The wife had an auto 4banger and it could barely get out of it's own way on road. My 5 speed 4 banger does just fine on road, even with 33s and stock gearing.

Last edited by TJx2; 09-24-2003 at 01:19 PM..
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Unread 09-24-2003, 01:58 PM   #3
JenHolley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyS
Hi Guys. New to Jeeps and I'm just wondering if anyone can tell me if the new 4 cylinder on the base SE is adequate for medium-duty off-roading. I know it;s hard to quantify, but I thought I saw a spec that noted that the new I4 made significantly more hp than the old one. Is it a big enough difference to negate the need for the 6 for someone who doesn't have a lot of cash?

I know buying used 6 cylinder would also be a viable alternative for the cash strapped, but I'm wondering about new comparisons of the '03/'04 I4 vs. the 6 cylinder. Looks to be about 5K diff minimum in price. Thanks.
Hello RandyS, I'm new to the Jeep world as well. I'm a muscle car girl and just got rid of my 5.7 V8 for a Jeep. I test drove the I4 and the I6 and found for on road I like the I6 better. I too have a limited cash flow and really payments are that bad on the I6, but then again I was paying double for what I am now. So I would suggest test driving one and finding out for your self.
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Unread 09-24-2003, 02:24 PM   #4
SlinkyTJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JenHolley
Hello RandyS, I'm new to the Jeep world as well. I'm a muscle car girl and just got rid of my 5.7 V8 for a Jeep. I test drove the I4 and the I6 and found for on road I like the I6 better. I too have a limited cash flow and really payments are that bad on the I6, but then again I was paying double for what I am now. So I would suggest test driving one and finding out for your self.
Hehe, I did the same thing. I sold my Z28 (high 12 sec car) to pay for my lift and tires. Even the 6 is pretty pokey to me, but I didn't buy the jeep to go fast. The 4 will do just fine offroad. You won't notice much of a difference at all. On the highway is where you'll feel it, so just like she said. Go drive one and see what ya think.
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Unread 09-24-2003, 02:28 PM   #5
SpitNine
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2003 Se

Five speed:

I have had one since last December but don't go off-road much. But, as one of the posts said, I can't really see that it would make any real difference off-roading.
As far as on-road, I think it has adequate power.
It cruises the interstate at 70mph effortlessly, which is fast enough for me in a Wrangler.
Gas mileage has been consistently in the low 20s in mixed non-interstate driving.
Last weekend I did a 260 mile trip and got a calculated 27 miles per gallon. This might be a one-time fluke but I was careful filling it up and doing the math. Since there aren't a lot of Wrangler SEs out there, it will take awhile for the few that are in service to build a gas mileage data base.
Drive one (if you can find one-you don't see any on dealer lots) and decide for yourself.
Thanks.
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Unread 09-24-2003, 02:31 PM   #6
JenHolley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlinkyTJ
Hehe, I did the same thing. I sold my Z28 (high 12 sec car) to pay for my lift and tires. Even the 6 is pretty pokey to me, but I didn't buy the jeep to go fast. The 4 will do just fine offroad. You won't notice much of a difference at all. On the highway is where you'll feel it, so just like she said. Go drive one and see what ya think.
That's too funny. What year was it. I drove an '02 SOM TA.
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Unread 09-24-2003, 02:37 PM   #7
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I have a 2002 SE and am happy with it. Off-road I can do anything my friend in his TJ I6 Sport can do. On the highway it feels a little pokey compared to the cars flying by but as other have said you get used to it. I would buy another if I were in the market. Drive one and see how you like it.
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Unread 09-24-2003, 03:26 PM   #8
SlinkyTJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JenHolley
That's too funny. What year was it. I drove an '02 SOM TA.
Mine was a little older... Couldn't quite afford a new LS1 at the time. It was a '94.
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Unread 09-24-2003, 03:40 PM   #9
JenHolley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlinkyTJ
Mine was a little older... Couldn't quite afford a new LS1 at the time. It was a '94.
I know what ya mean $400 payments kinda knaw a ya and not to mention that $150 insurance that tags along w/ it. Then again, being a girl mine was still prob cheaper than yours was. She's pretty.
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Unread 09-25-2003, 12:10 PM   #10
Warrior8
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2.4liter

I have a 98 Tj but have the new 03 2.4 liter engine because of a crash. I find that both four cylinder engines provide plenty of power for offroad use. When offroading one should be more concerned about useable torque instead of horsepower. On highway use i noticed that the 2.5 liter was a bit underpowered on highway driving, but the new 2.4 liter rated at 150 horse provides better highway driving. Passing still requires downshifting, but the new engine is definately an improvement.

No I did not wreck my TJ, I salvaged it.
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Unread 09-25-2003, 04:35 PM   #11
KaiserJeep
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There is only one model year SE to avoid and that is 2003. The 2002-and-earler SE used the 2.5L engine and 4.11 gears. This engine produced considerable torque at low RPMs, good for wheeling steep terrain. When the 2.4L was introduced it was better on the highway than the 2.5L due to increased horsepower - but sadly deficient in low RPM torque. In 2004 the axle gearing was changed to 4.56 to return the offroad performance to prior levels with the 2.4L.
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Unread 09-25-2003, 09:42 PM   #12
Warrior8
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i never have had any low end problems with the 2.4
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Unread 09-25-2003, 10:05 PM   #13
KaiserJeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warrior8
i never have had any low end problems with the 2.4
You probably wouldn't notice unless you drove them side by side in the rocks. I had a '97 SE and liked it a lot - the real advantage is much better fuel mileage - and longer range - in low range offroad. I wheeled with 6-cylinder TJs and those guys would use a whole tank and an extra 5-gallon can while I had fuel left in the tank. The EPA doesn't measure offroad mileage but it makes a real difference.
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Unread 09-26-2003, 12:27 AM   #14
my_tj
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mainly i drive hwy/at hwy speeds (yes, i'm a fast driver...) and so i've concidered swapping for an I6, but at the same time the only time i need much more speed is when i sadly watch ford focus' and neons pass me along straights on the hwy (140km/h is about my top cruising speed......150 if i have an apointment)
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