Keep '98 TJ or Buy '06 TJ? Pros & Cons -

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post #1 of 13 Old 02-21-2006, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Keep '98 TJ or Buy '06 TJ? Pros & Cons

After a frustrating incident with my 1998 Jeep Wrangler Sport (it cuts itself completely off, and no one seems to know why) I have found myself considering a new Jeep. I still want a black Sport (I don't need or want a Rubicon), just like I have now, only THIS time, I am better educated on axles!

I like the fact that my Jeep is paid for. I am just weighing the costs of axles, gearing, and new paint in the future (mine is beginning to crack under the clearcoat) versus just buying a newer Jeep with all of those problems solved. I have made a list of pros and cons; tell me what you think!

1998 TJ Pros / 2006 TJ Cons:

- I really like the Mist Gray interior color that is no longer available
- I like the Pueblo Mist Gray seat design better than the newer ones
- Seat height is higher in my 98
- I like my 1997-1998 steering wheel (circle in the middle with "JEEP") MUCH better
- Instrument cluster gauges and needles looks better in my opinion
- Center stack looks better (square intead of rounded)
- I prefer the push/pull headlight knob
- I like the fog light switch better as a seperate switch like on my 98 rather than
the newer Jeeps that have the the headlights and fog lights on the same "stalk"
- For some reason, I like the slider climate controls better (vs. the rotary)
- I prefer the 3-speed automatic over the 4-speed automatic
- PAID FOR!!!!!

1998 TJ Cons:
- My passenger side floorboard fills up with rain (only) HALF the time?
- In the summertime, my radio often cuts out and gets "lost" and I have to turn it
off and back on again
- Black paint is cracking under the clearcoat, and I will eventually have to repaint
- D35
- 3.07 gear ratio

2006 TJ Pros / 1998 TJ Cons:

- Factory Warranty
- Dana 44 rear axle
- MUCH better gear ratio
- Shiny new paint
- Engine codes Key Trick
- Reliability of being a vehicle 8 years newer

2006 TJ Cons:
- see above "1998 TJ Pros/2006 TJ Cons"
- Factory Warranty (we all want our Jeeps lifted, don't we?)
- Ugly wheels (I don't have my factory wheels anymore, so mine will have to go
with my Jeep
- I HATE those gay plastic panels surrounding the windshield on the inside
- Higher Insurance
- Higher taxes

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post #2 of 13 Old 02-21-2006, 08:49 PM
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It seems like all your cons have to do with the cosmetics of the Wrangler. Everything you hate about the newer Jeeps, I like. The plastic trim lets you hide wires, the seats are better imo and I like the Ravine wheels over the Canyons.

That being said, I want to say keep your current TJ and fix it up... make it your pride and joy.

2004 Jeep Wrangler Sport - 5 speed

Silver Metallic finish with black dual tops - Dana 44 Rear
2.25" Suspension Lift with Old Man Emu Shocks
Performance Accessories 1" Body Lift
Daystar 1" Motor Mount Lift
Spidertrax 1.25" Wheel Spacers - 32"x11.5" MT/R Tires
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post #3 of 13 Old 02-21-2006, 09:16 PM
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You say you "don't need or want a rubicon" so do you really need a Dana 44 rear? You didn't really say what your future plans are for the jeep. If you you're not planning on going over 32's or 33's and not wheeling very hard and not that often the D35 will hold up just fine.

The cost of re-gearing or getting another set of axles from an SE which have 4.10's, will be close to your first few payments of a new jeep. It doesn't seem as crazy when you think about it that way.

And your passenger side floorboard filling up with water is actually common and an easy fix. There's all kinds of threads on that issue.

As for your radio, mine was doing the samething. If you want to stay factory as I did, search on eBay, pretty cheap.

Now you say that you want the engine code key trick. You can go almost anywhere and get your codes read for free. Or if it's really bothering you that you can't check you own codes, you can buy a code reader...which is way cheaper than just one new jeep payment.

And the problems that you're having with your jeep now can be fixed. Just need to patient and play the trial and error game. When your jeep starts to get some mileage on it problems will happen.

Sounds like to me you wanna keep your 98. And I think you should too. My opinion....


97 Sport 5sp, 2"BB w/DT3's, AR-767, 32" Mud Rovers
01 Sport 5sp, stock
03 Rubicon
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post #4 of 13 Old 02-21-2006, 09:26 PM
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jeez, sounds real familiar to my post from last night

98 forest green wrangler
custom 2" suspension lift... (custom means i made it mysefl :D) & 1" body lift
Black rock crawler copies

TJ Sahara Parts: Fenders, & Side steps for sale

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post #5 of 13 Old 02-21-2006, 09:34 PM
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I am not one for purchasing new vehicles, so I would say stick with your 98 and fix what is wrong with it. Most of your complaints are about things that could be replaced a lot cheaper than buying a new Jeep. Knowing that the 07 is going to be a redesign, I wonder why people even bother with the 06. If you don't like the stying of the 07 then go with an 03-05 and save yourself a bundle. If the 07 is a success it'll really kill the value of your 06 that you won't even have paid off. And since payments are listed as a big con with exclaimation points then I say a new Jeep is a definite no-no.
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post #6 of 13 Old 02-22-2006, 02:27 PM
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keep your jeep and use the money that u would spend on upgrading to an 06 and upgrade your current jeep
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post #7 of 13 Old 02-22-2006, 02:33 PM
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Keep it and spend the $$ you would on a new one on mods then you have new/old jeep because the only thing that should be left stock is the grill with that much $$$ thrown at it

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post #8 of 13 Old 02-22-2006, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by 98Sahara
jeez, sounds real familiar to my post from last night
I had to look again, I thought it WAS your post from last night!

still think the same, however. for less than one years' worth of payments on a new rig, you can basically do just about anything you want to your current rig... (within reason, of course)

hell, it'll probably cost you more in sales tax (if you have to) to buy a new rig, than to fix whatever you want on your current.

keep what you got, set a budget, and do what you want. (and you won't be locked into the next 72 months, either )

"Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped."
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post #9 of 13 Old 02-22-2006, 03:07 PM
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If I were in your shoes with my Jeep...Id do a Clayton LA, full width 60s, an Atlas II, and a custom cage, then wheel the snot outta it...heres why real quick, its paid for so you dont have to buy something every month if you cant afford it unlike a payment.
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post #10 of 13 Old 02-22-2006, 03:08 PM
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Although I love my 05, I would also say keep what you have. For me, it was my first so the warranties and all were more appealing than my buying Jim-bob's jeep down the street (and who knows how he treated it).
No one has addressed the issue concerning your Jeep shutting down - so I will. When did it start? Does it happen more during any particular time (i.e. accelleration, in the rain, September, etc.)? Has everyone ruled out fuel pump/filter, engine grounding, a short in the ignition? Any background would help. As for your wet floor, do the search. I have read about others who have had clogged or faulty venting (at the windshield) that causes water to poor into the cabin. Radios can be replaced.
If you have to ask, don't get rid of yours. It would appear that you really like what you have. Not many can say that - well outside of a Jeep owner.

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post #11 of 13 Old 02-22-2006, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Allow me to apologize, 98Sahara. I overlooked your post and I now see that it is very close to mine. I did not intend to steal your thunder.

however. for less than one years' worth of payments on a new rig, you can basically do just about anything you want to your current rig... (within reason, of course)

hell, it'll probably cost you more in sales tax (if you have to) to buy a new rig, than to fix whatever you want on your current.
Thanks, Joonhoss71. From that perspective, I am thinking of keeping my '98 once again. I just got caught up into thinking about the costs of a D44 and gearing and paint versus just buying a '06 with the better axle/gearing already there.

Killian - the cutting off problem was the fuel pump. I didn't think it was because I had just replaced it last summer and it wasn't acting the same as it did then, either. I tried to save a few bucks and bought the $80 Carter fuel pump last time from Advanced Auto...this time, I am going for the costly (but warrantied) OEM replacement.

As for your wet floor, do the search. I have read about others who have had clogged or faulty venting (at the windshield) that causes water to poor into the cabin
I did the search, and thanks to it and my own tinkering, I KNOW where the leaks are coming from:

#1 - Water drips along the seam on the passenger side hood/cowl body panel gap, runs down the firewall, and leaks into the heater gasket,
#2 - is the large foam cushion that the heater hoses run into the firewall,
#3 - is the foam around the infamous A/C drain tube that sticks out from the firewall

All three of these leaks show up on the passenger side, where the water comes in around the heater box, trickles down the passenger footwell, and settles on the passenger's side floorboard, effectively SOAKING the carpet from UNDERNEATH.

The thing is, I am STILL trying to figure out HOW water is getting into my engine bay during a rainstorm to cause these leaks with the hood closed and a good hood-to-cowl weatherseal when the Jeep SITS overnight? (And NO, it is NOT coming in through the cowl panel!)
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post #12 of 13 Old 02-22-2006, 04:59 PM
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A Jeep is a Jeep IMO... From 97-06 nothing but creature comforts were changed.. A few new colors, a few discontinued colors here and there.. D44 is a nice thing to have. 3.73's are a nice thing to have. 4.10's are a nice thing to have. I'm not complaining with my D35 and 3.07's... I think this is a question that you ust ask yourself... A new warranty comes in handy though...

Coming soon: 2000 Jeep Sport (modifications soon after) :-)
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post #13 of 13 Old 02-22-2006, 05:14 PM
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For what its worth, keep the '98. Yeah, a warranty would be nice, but for the money that you will spend EVERY month on a payment and extra insurance is money that could be spent on mods and the occasional repair. Hell, go out and spend 125 bucks on a decent new stereo and you may feel better about keeping the paid off Jeep. HTH

'99 TJ, '03 KJ and a '53 CJ3B sitting in the barn waiting on a restoration... @
Gone, but never forgotten... 1973 DJ5C, 1964 CJ5, 1953 M38A1, 1971 Hurst Special Jeepster
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