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Unread 03-22-2015, 07:00 AM   #1
Texjm
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NooB looking for some help

Hi all,
I have spent the past couple days reading through the forum and learning as much as possible.

I’m not a Jeep owner at the moment, but looking to buy a project TJ for my 14 year old and I to fix up.
I want him to invest blood sweat and tears into his first vehicle. What better vehicle than a Jeep that father and son build up together?

We live in the DFW area and I’ve seen a couple 98-01 Wranglers for about 6,500. Good/Bad?

So I would like to get some input from everyone. We have looked through hundreds of Jeep pictures and I have a pretty good idea of what he wants and what he likes

Manufactures and estimated prices Manufactures to stay away from and ones that are proven. I’m not looking to experiment with new things or be a test dummy. So I’m asking you guys and not listening to a sales man at the parts house
3” lift kit
Shocks
Wheels and Tires size
Tops
Exhaust once we lift
Bumpers
Wenches

I understand that not everyone has the same views on each manufactures, but give me ones you have now or have used in the past that was reliable.
Once I get the Jeep I will most likely have a ton more questions

One thing I have not been able to find is ride heights with or without lifts

Thanks for any help you have, Tex

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Unread 03-22-2015, 07:16 AM   #2
Ironhead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texjm View Post
3” lift kit
Shocks
Wheels and Tires size
Tops
Exhaust once we lift
Bumpers
Wenches
savvy, currie, metal cloak, zone in that order

15x8 aluminum wheel of your choice. tires are more situational, what will it be used for?

frameless tops are great and you really cant go wrong with bestop

pass on the exhaust unless something is damaged. you can change the muffler to get the tone you desire but you will not gain performance or economy from an exhaust

bumpers are largely selective, personally i like the less is more mentality and stay away from giant bumpers

winches go warn if you can, if not, check out engo


as for your jeep, i would suggest getting a 6 cyl with 3.73 gears.
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Unread 03-22-2015, 08:51 AM   #3
rsurran
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You have a lucky 14 year old. I second the 6 cyl. motor. I would also consider fuel injected/distributorless or with a distributor. Coming from back in the day, I've seen my last distributor (IMO) but for basic education you may prefer it. Also, you want bone stock if at all possible due to the fact that many lifted Jeeps are cobbled together and loaded with complex technical issues. Stock may cost you more but you will get better results. I think the price range you posted is typical but Jeepers in the area will know what they go for in your area. Texas is not exactly the rust belt but Jeeps get around. Look under anything you are considering to look for rust. A rust free stock 6 cyl. Jeep would be a good bet. When you go looking, make sure you are ready to buy, don't think you can wait a few days on a really good deal you may find. It will be gone quickly. Good luck and keep us posted. We love pictures.
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Unread 03-22-2015, 09:10 AM   #4
Texjm
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Ironhead,

I have a good friend (jsukey) that talks about rocking all the time. He has got my attention and it sounds like a ton of fun, but mudding for a kid is probably high on the list
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Unread 03-22-2015, 09:12 AM   #5
98jackdTJ
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I personally love my AEV/Nth Degree 3" coils, with my Rancho RS7000mt set up.. Running 33x12.50/15 BFGs, gonna move up to 35/37s with my homebrew flat fenders!
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Unread 03-22-2015, 09:48 AM   #6
Ironhead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texjm View Post
Ironhead,

I have a good friend (jsukey) that talks about rocking all the time. He has got my attention and it sounds like a ton of fun, but mudding for a kid is probably high on the list
Make him clean it after each time out muddling, and really clean it. The thrill of mud left me some time ago with just the mess that is left behind. Not to mention the broken parts
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Unread 03-22-2015, 10:17 AM   #7
WhiteMtnJeep
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Don't forget good brakes if you're adding oversize tires. Blackmagic is nice.
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Unread 03-22-2015, 11:08 AM   #8
BigRodney
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A 2" spring lift and 1" body lift is a pretty good start and will keep you out of all the expensive parts associated with taller lifts like slip yoke eliminator, DC driveline, adjustable control arms, and more. Not that adjustable control arms aren't desirable. Look for a jeep with a Dana 44 rear axle, avoid a Dana 35. Like has been said bone stock is desirable.
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Unread 03-22-2015, 11:11 AM   #9
BigRodney
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Also I think it's 2005 and 2006 that have an OPDA issue, just web search it. It's not a fatal flaw but you should fix it immidiaty if you buy one.
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Unread 03-22-2015, 11:20 AM   #10
Ironhead
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Also I think it's 2005 and 2006 that have an OPDA issue, just web search it.
not all of them are affected, only do the fix if you have the symptoms
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Unread 03-22-2015, 11:57 AM   #11
BigRodney
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Quote:
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not all of them are affected, only do the fix if you have the symptoms
I realize it's a risk either way but you might not have symptoms until the shaft seizes, snaps, and destroys your engine. Buddy of mine bought a Rubicon with one, it wasn't making any noise but be swapped it out anyway. When he took the stock one apart to check it out it had obvious wear and galling, it was only a matter of time.
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Unread 03-22-2015, 01:27 PM   #12
Texjm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRodney View Post
A 2" spring lift and 1" body lift is a pretty good start and will keep you out of all the expensive parts associated with taller lifts like slip yoke eliminator, DC driveline, adjustable control arms, and more. Not that adjustable control arms aren't desirable. Look for a jeep with a Dana 44 rear axle, avoid a Dana 35. Like has been said bone stock is desirable.
Not to offend anyone, but I'm not a fan of body lifts and being able to adjust is how we learn.
Dana 44 compared to a 35, pros and cons?
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Unread 03-22-2015, 01:33 PM   #13
26679cj5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texjm View Post
Not to offend anyone, but I'm not a fan of body lifts and being able to adjust is how we learn.
Dana 44 compared to a 35, pros and cons?
Yeah,but unfortunately on a TJ, your options are really hindered by not doing a 1" body lift.

You can do the H&R 1" suspension lift, a 1" body lift, and go with higher clearance fenders, and that will save you from having to use a slip yoke eliminator and you can reuse your factory track bars. This will give you a really nice stance and look while keeping your center of gravity low.

Later on,you can do a motor mount lift, tummy tuck, slip yoke eliminator, and adjustable arms and really open up your offroad capability.
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Unread 03-22-2015, 01:47 PM   #14
Ironhead
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texjm View Post
Not to offend anyone, but I'm not a fan of body lifts.
Dana 44 compared to a 35, pros and cons?
Quote:
Originally Posted by 26679cj5 View Post
Yeah,but unfortunately on a TJ, your options are really hindered by not doing a 1" body lift.

its true, just keep them short. adding 3" shocks lifts the frame 3", but the stock shovel is still 4.5" below that. doing a 1.25" BL allowed me to do this



which allowed me to climb up this






the d35 shouldnt run larger than 33" tires and shouldnt be locked

while the 44 can run 35" tires

if you want to run 35" tires, it will save you an axle swap. theres a lot of things that are needed to run larger tires, this is one you can get as a factory option
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Unread 03-22-2015, 01:58 PM   #15
26679cj5
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Here is my jeep when I was running the 1" H&R with a 1" body lift and front metalcloaks. The first two pics are with 34x9.50 super swamper narrow SS tires, which were wore down some by time i took these pics. The third pic is the same setup with 33x10.50 bfg's.





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