Jeep Starter Kit - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-06-2020, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
ppine
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Jeep Starter Kit

I have made a living driving pickups, Broncos and Ram Chargers in the dirt for around 30 years. Lots of mine roads and remote country, but I have never owned a Jeep except an old Wagoneer. Now I am retired and have lots of time and some money. There are great places right in my backyard. I would like to be able to get down the highway an hour or two for new places to explore. I have learned to be careful driving in the bush. I have only walked out once after breaking a front axle on a Wagoneer.

I am thinking about an Xj or Tj with the 4.0 liter engine, manual trans and fairly stock drivetrain for a first Jeep. Some bolt on parts would be good. There are a lot of Dana 30 axles out there on good used Jeeps. Since I drive like an old guy, would they be alright or do I need to look for a Rubicon model or built Jeeps with a Dana 44 axles?. What gear ratios would be best for reasonable off-road travel?

I am tempted to buy a stock looking jeep that has probably spent little time in the dirt, and then add some parts like a winch, armor, etc.

What do you guys recommend for a first Jeep that will not see hard use? I am reluctant to consider a built Jeep with lots of custom parts. Am I on the right track?

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post #2 of 7 Old 03-06-2020, 12:06 PM
cranbiz
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Yes, you are on the right track.

A D30 is fine if you don't go huge tires, locker or get really stupid. Yes the D44 is better and if you found a Rubicon in the condition you want and the price you are willing to pay, buy it.

Gear ratio depends on type of use and tire size. A Rubicon will come with 4.10's in a TJ. That will be great on 33" tires.

An auto is much easier to off road with but I wouldn't get one in a 05-06 TJ.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-06-2020, 05:40 PM
2jhanna
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I was also looking for a manual tranny, 4.0l when I got my TJ. While base gearing is 3.07, there are many out there with optional factory 3.73 gears. This can come in the standard D35, as well as rear D44.

I kept shopping until I found this, and I think this configuration works well, even with 31" tires. No mods or lifts required, and with the 5 speed, you have all the spunk.

Start looking around Craigslist, cars.com, etc. go look at and test drive as many as you can. Also, don't be afraid to go out of your area. I went from Dallas to Charlotte to get mine.
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jhanna
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-06-2020, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
ppine
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thanks. I drove a couple of newer Wranglers today, one was a 2010 Rubicon and I took it in the dirt. Very civilized suspension on the pavement and in the dirt. I like the nostalgia of the manual trans. Autos seem to be very practical. I wanted to see what this vehicles felt like in good shape so I have something to compare the older ones to.

I drove a 1998 tj with 90k miles. It was clean and ran great. It had manual 5 speed and Dana 30 in the front and Dana 35 in the rear. It had the 4 cylinder engine but came with 4:11 rear. It felt like it had enough power because of the gears. In low range it has a ton of torque.

I know everyone likes the 4.0 engine a lot, so it makes sense to get one. Do people have strong preferences about auto or manual trans in the tjs?
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-07-2020, 04:39 AM
2jhanna
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Auto vs manual, 4cyl vs 6 cyl, chicken or the egg, those debates will go on till longer than the coronavirus.

Most off road uses like auto better, only 2 peddles gives better control over 3 on rough grounds, rocks, etc.

The earlier 4 cyl, the 2.5 is a little brother to the 4.0, is pretty hardy. The later 4cyl, 2.4 many call the mini van engine.

You should go to the TJ tech section chatter, there's one member, armyRN, who has a 4 cyl, see his set up. Read the link below, he has some posts in there. Read down through the thread to see army's different post.

https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/2...think-4386807/
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I am multi-talented, I can talk and piss you off at the same time.

jhanna
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-07-2020, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
ppine
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Thanks to 2jhanna.
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-22-2020, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
ppine
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thanks.
I have given up on Jeeps and back to driving the old Ford 7.3 diesel.
Jeeps get complicated when they get modified. the knee bone is connected to the thigh bone.
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