I'm Thinking I want a Jeep Wrangler, but why do you love yours and which year? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 15 Old 12-03-2018, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
mattiep321
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I'm Thinking I want a Jeep Wrangler, but why do you love yours and which year?

I recently became frustrated with emissions on my 04 Tacoma, which now has the wonderful check engine light that I'll have to fix before inspection again in 2019. So I thought "why not just run an older, simpler vehicle?" and while it's a funny thought with all the rust/rot we have in Upstate NY with all the salt in the winter, I think it's something that can be done successfully if you're smart about it.

Fast forward a couple months to a ride in a Jeep Wrangler that a friend let me drive and I'm almost hooked: Obviously, no winter driving can happen with the Jeep but where do I start? I'm not asking anyone to make a decision for me, just more why is your Wrangler so great and which year is it?

Also, I would prefer that it stay an adult discussion: none of the "YJ's are better than TJ's" or any of that, everyone has their preference so I'm just interested in what yours is and why.

I'm still not sure I'm going to pick one up, but I really enjoyed the way it went down the road: it was a TJ frame, automatic transmission, 4.0 engine, 180k miles, no lift or anything...so it was a custom Jeep but no off-road changes/upgrades.

My thought is this: if I can pick up a rust-free Jeep TJ the maintenance can't be as bad...can it?

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post #2 of 15 Old 12-03-2018, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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One other thought I had: I've heard where you can avoid emissions by running a YJ, but I haven't driven one - do they drive/handle similar to a TJ?
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post #3 of 15 Old 12-03-2018, 09:24 AM
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I was never really a car guy. Never liked those little hondas or cared for the beamers, even when i had one, only cared about the comfort of it. Never got into trucks, motor bikes, or classics. I was always a utility guy. Jeep never caught my interest until i saw the 4d jk. The convertible top, the non conforming style, and its iconic history is what makes it a great car to own. My ownership cost is low. Mpgs are at 17-19. Parts are aplenty. Easy car to work on even for a non car guy like me. The car is uncomfortable for road trips its doors are thin and wont protect you in a high speed accident. If you flip, you’ll probably die. High end girls don’t like the basic interior. Its not a quiet soft ride. Only guys stare, unless a girl likes who’s at the wheel. But hey, like i said. Im a utility type of guy. The jk has been a wagon, a truck, a cruiser, a motel, and a learning tool for my little sis. Its a car to make memories with and its very photogenic. If you do get one pick the interior trim you would like because everything that goes on the outside can be added easily and cost effectively.


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post #4 of 15 Old 12-04-2018, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
mattiep321
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I thought Jeeps were relatively safe? I guess it makes sense that side impact they'll fall short. A buddy of mine in Texas bought a 4 door jk and it's a cool ride but I'm not ready to spend that kind of cash

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post #5 of 15 Old 12-06-2018, 11:25 PM
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My first Jeep was a '98 XJ (Cherokee). I loved it and have many fond memories but it met an unfortunate demise. When I received the insurance money, I stared looking for another and while I was looking for another XJ, I, at a friends suggestion, drove a TJ. I had, previously, owned an 84 Toyota truck and assumed, incorrectly, that all Jeeps were leaf sprung and rode like that truck and I loved the comfort of my XJ (it was a Limited, which makes a difference).

After driving the TJ, and discussing with Ms. I decided to include TJ's in to my search and ended up getting great deal on a 2003 TJ Rubicon. I was doing a fair amount of wheeling and the Rubicon had all the "upgrades" I'd want to put in a wheeler. Already had decent axles (44's) gear ratio (4.10:1), Lockers, an awesome transfer case (4:1 in 4lo). The selling point, for me, however, was the iconic topless/doorless look.

I've since thought about getting rid of my TJ (I really like the newer Taco's) and this feeling gets greater during the winter...Then spring rolls around, the top and doors come off and I can't imagine driving anything else.

I live in KY and we get a fair amount of salt (doesn't bother me, I just get my hose out and rinse the underside out or run it through a local car wash regularly during the season). When it snows, I barely notice. I do drive more carefully in the snow, but that's because of the idiots around me, not because I worry about my Jeep losing control. I also use mine, often, for getting in the woods to get fire wood, ect. IMO, can't ask for a better vehicle for that.

Practical side? Turning radius makes other vehicles envious. Driving through a Walmart parking lot and there's a spot going the opposite direction? Just whip it in, NBD. Need to make a U-Turn and the road isn't that wide, you can probably make it. Want to customize it, easy and inexpensive to do. Don't know much about working on vehicles? There is probably a youtube video on how to do anything and if there isn't, you can ask the fine folks here.

Am I a fanboi...yep, sure am. I've wanted a wrangler since MacGyver drove one way back in the day. I like the wave. I like the topless/doorless look. I like the capabilities. I like that I've learned more about working on it than I ever thought I'd know about working on a vehicle. There's a reason they say, "It's a Jeep thing, you wouldn't understand"

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'16 KL Latitude
'97 Grand Cherokee Laredo, Stock (for now)
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post #6 of 15 Old 12-07-2018, 02:44 AM
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i have a mint condtion 99 TJ. Almost 20 years old and absolutely nothing has gone wrong with this vehicle. That may not be the norm, but I have a gem. I will have to say that it has never seen salt. It is also an OEM Sport; no mods. Overall it’s a Jeep thing. Good luck with your search.
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post #7 of 15 Old 12-07-2018, 08:51 PM
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Oddly I thought owning a jeep just about meant you are a mechanic or you are paying one, in general.

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post #8 of 15 Old 12-08-2018, 09:41 AM
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Maybe it is for the 20 year old jeeps. Sometimes i have to do things myself on my mothers old minivan. It just depends on the repairs and wether a car is worth keeping for the long run. Apparently jeeps are like toyotas, except theyre more of a cult vehicle? Hahaha no idea what im saying rn.


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post #9 of 15 Old 12-09-2018, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
mattiep321
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Great comments all, keep them coming. I'm excited to try a TJ this year and take my sons camping with it. I'm thinking we'll have an amazing time. It's funny but used TJ's seem to be about $2000 more in NY than neighboring PA, and the PA Jeeps would generally be less prone to root from salt ... My assumption anyway. Doesn't make sense to me.

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post #10 of 15 Old 12-15-2018, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mattiep321 View Post
One other thought I had: I've heard where you can avoid emissions by running a YJ, but I haven't driven one - do they drive/handle similar to a TJ?
Uhm....let me think about that...nope, not even close. Control arm/coils vs. leafs...
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post #11 of 15 Old 12-15-2018, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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So one is better than the other? Not sure what you are trying to convey...

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post #12 of 15 Old 12-16-2018, 04:34 PM
astjp2
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So one is better than the other? Not sure what you are trying to convey...

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The TJ is a nicer ride, YJ is like riding a lumber wagon in comparison. Shocks make the difference in the ride on coils but not much can help a leaf sprung jeep in comparison.
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post #13 of 15 Old 12-25-2018, 11:54 PM
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Theres positives to all generations. Cjs are simplistic, yjs are a middle between Cj and Tj. And Tjs are more refined and have coils and the 4.0 is reliable. I have a yj but have essentally replaced everything and made a v8 cj. I would by a CJ7 if i was to do it all over. I like the simplicity. In the end you could entirely build an older jeep for approx the same as a newer one. Depends on what your looking for out of the jeep as to what gen. is appropriate for you. But buy once and wait for the one the fits what you want.

If i could find one at a good price, I would get a cj8 or possibly an LJ.
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post #14 of 15 Old 01-02-2019, 12:39 PM
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Real Jeeps have leaf springs....


...That being said, if I were to advise someone who is new to Jeeps and wants to enjoy the experience while enjoying the "must have's" of modern technology than a TJ is the way to go. It is very much the iconic Jeep of old with a smoother suspension, great engine (4.0L), MPFI, and can be taken on longer trips more comfortably than a CJ or a YJ.

Go for a TJ with a mileage total and maintenance history that suits your budget and desires. You will love it.
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post #15 of 15 Old 02-06-2019, 04:08 PM
bharris68
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I have an '89 2.5 YJ with 230K on the odometer and plan to keep it forever - I do work on it when it needs it, and I've owned it since 2002 or so. I bought it with 140k on the meter and I've been hooked ever since.


My wife has a '97 TJ with the 2.5 and she's in love with it as well.


Are they different? Yes


The YJ has a far more "Spartan" feel to it, in that the leaf-springs are akin to a covered wagon ride.. Every God **** mile.. a Covered wagon ride.. That said - better seats and the upgrade to larger tires should (may) smooth that out. Even if not, I don't care! What's nice about the spartan feel of it is that - for example - while I don't have OBD2 onboard I do have the relative ease of removing 4 bolts to change my heater core! Just about everything is supported in the aftermarket and there are a LOT of people here whom I swear worked in the factory building these things and know everything about them.


The TJ has coil springs, OBD2 and far more "car like" ride, while still being able to take chains for snow travel and generally be as tough as my YJ with improvements like multiport fuel injection and other accoutrements. When her heater core went out - because it was a 10 hour job, she vetoed the "Do it myself" plan only because she refused to see me dismantle the dash and waste a weekend doing it. No harm and no foul, really.


Both types have advantages. To your point - once my YJ hit the magic age of 25, the state of Washington decided that I no longer needed to take emissions testing. As a matter of fact, Washington state intends to do away with the whole system next year.


Luke makes a GREAT point: make sure you get one from a private party and they have all the records. You'll be able to tell if they really loved it or not.
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