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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been on the forum for hours reading as much as I can about my new Jeep. I look forward to some answers that I am not sure I have specific direction on yet.

I am purchasing a 2001 Jeep TJ SE with 2.5 engine and 5 speed. It has 78K miles and looks like it needs a tire change first thing. It has sat in a barn for nearly 10 years being only driven a few times in those years. So some newbie questions. (I think I want to keep it as original as possible.)

I know I can put 235/75R15 on with no problem, But can I - should I put 31/10.5R15 on it ($100 more? Pros/Cons please.

Also please advise as to other things I might do to make it healthy and useful. I plan to change all the fluids/filters - maybe belts? Any other suggestions from you experts. This is my first Jeep. In addition to driving around town, we have several acres in the mountains of Tennessee - I plan to drive to/from several times a year - 4 hours away. 76 years old and kinda excited to join the club.
 

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You want to insure the tire you're looking at has an appropriate Load Rating. For a vehicle with the weight of a Wrangler a C Load Rating is the most appropriate. D and E load ratings ride significantly more stiffly. Metric Jeep size tires are more likely to have a D or E load rating, inch-size Jeep size tires are more likely to be available with the more desirable C Load Rating. And dang, someone slightly older than me at 74, welcome to the forum!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you Jerry. Both BFG KO2's are load range C - Great, per your note. The 31's being a bit taller and wider. Wondering how this affect rubbing on the fenders, road load/speed on motor, and off road performance?
 

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I've driven a TJ with the 2.5 and a 5 speed and I don't think I'd put taller tires on it. Not unless regearing is in a future plan. That can work if you have the 4 liter six but the 2.5 has way less torque. A 235/75-15 "C" rated tire is a good choice. They are about 29" tall. We have 30x9.5-15 "C" rated General Grabber Ats on our old ZJ with stock gearing (4.0 liter auto, 3:55:1 gears) and that's as far as I'd go on that vehicle.....without a lift and re-gearing.
 
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I'd also take a good look at rear drum brake hardware/springs etc. Rust could cause a brake shoe to come loose/dislodge/bind etc.

Congrats and welcome to the forum.
 
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Definitely do a complete fluid swap, check for wiring issues (mice like wires for some reason), belts, hoses, filters, etc. Anytime I purchase a "new to me" vehicle, I change oil and have transmission fluid checked/tested, and or changed...just so I know. On the ole 2.5 (that is what I have in mine...pushing 168,xxx miles), a freshen up, new plugs, wires, etc wouldn't hurt it or the bank...
 

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I've driven a TJ with the 2.5 and a 5 speed and I don't think I'd put taller tires on it. Not unless regearing is in a future plan. That can work if you have the 4 liter six but the 2.5 has way less torque. A 235/75-15 "C" rated tire is a good choice. They are about 29" tall. We have 30x9.5-15 "C" rated General Grabber Ats on our old ZJ with stock gearing (4.0 liter auto, 3:55:1 gears) and that's as far as I'd go on that vehicle.....without a lift and re-gearing.
don’t forget, a 4cyl TJ might very well have 4.10s. Mine did. I had 33s on a 4cyl TJ…it worked decent. 31s are perfect. Any 4cyl TJ runs out of steam on the highway though, and the taller the gears the worse they get lol
 

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don’t forget, a 4cyl TJ might very well have 4.10s. Mine did. I had 33s on a 4cyl TJ…it worked decent. 31s are perfect. Any 4cyl TJ runs out of steam on the highway though, and the taller the gears the worse they get lol
My '97 has 3.73 (if I remember correctly)...I am running 30x9.5x15 on mine (wrapped around Gen 1 welds)...Been wanting to re gear mine to 4.10's or ???? Mine is more of a ride around, grabbing ice cream with the family, spring/summer riding around...little to no off Roading...only if we get snow (very, very little in central AL), or if someone gets stuck when it rains and floods...
 

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Definitely do a complete fluid swap, check for wiring issues (mice like wires for some reason), belts, hoses, filters, etc. Anytime I purchase a "new to me" vehicle, I change oil and have transmission fluid checked/tested, and or changed...just so I know. On the ole 2.5 (that is what I have in mine...pushing 168,xxx miles), a freshen up, new plugs, wires, etc wouldn't hurt it or the bank...
This, Brake system and check for leaks after you get it running. Seals and gaskets have a habit of leaking after sitting dry for years.

Keep an eye on the engine temp too, the thermostat may have gone bad after not cycling after so many years.
 
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Post some pictures! Would love to see this Jeep

4:10 (or similar) gearing works great, especially around town. With them, a 4cyl TJ has nearly the same get up and go as a 4.0…at least a 4.0 with 3.55s anyway (4.10s were a no-charge feature in the 2.5 4cyl TJs to help compensate for the lack of power). Mine came stock with upgraded 29” AT tires and 15” Ecco alloy wheels…so a 30” tire is barely bigger than that and would work very well. I think 31s are perfect.
 
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3.73 - 1998-2006
* Standard ratio used with most 4 cyl automatics

4.10 / 4.11 - 1997-2006
* Standard ratio used with 4 cyl 5 speed manual

4.56 - 2003-2006
* Standard ratio used with 4 cyl automatic
 
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The rad fluid and its hoses are all past date. if that is real old stuff might want to be sure its has not went toxic. I would avoid running it if the fuel is say 10 years old if there is any it should be removed. People even pull plugs and shoot in some wd and hand turn just to be sure it turns, free the rings. new oil etc. If you can i on other sitting stuff would see if oil pressure comes up at crank. but they have mechanical gauges. once i see it even just move up a bit. then fire it. On older chevy i have a made up distributor by pass tool that can use a drill to power the oil pump. really should not just toss on to tires and drive it home. bad fuel can cause injector issues and other issues. lack of any one of the fluids under neath could cause a expensive issue. Fix it there? its all basic stuff hopefully.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Thank all of you for your immediate reply. The farm hands, knowing I was going to buy it, checked the oil and what else I don't know, bought a new battery and fired it up. Started right away, they said. Then drove it to a gas station (10 miles away) and filled it up with 93 octane, added double doze of Sea Foam, put on new wiper, drove it through a car wash (exterior only), and drove it back to the farm for me. Nobody remembered the color as it was so dirty sitting in the barn and covered with "junk". It is a black exterior - inside is so nasty, I still do not know what color it is. I have researched from the VIN and have the build data - some of which I still don't understand. But I do note the 4.11! I have ordered the 235/75R15 although I can swap them for the 30x10.5/15. I just do not know what would give a better ride, work better when I go off road, etc.?

Now that it runs (and apparently runs well) I need to know what to do to insure it is back in top performing condition. I have mentioned belts, oil changes, filters - you have mentioned plugs, wires, check brakes (should change fluids of course) - what else do I need to put on my list of things to do so I don't mess up something (get stuck somewhere) or not do something so that it is constantly destroying itself as I drive?

You guys are the experts! I am the novice/neophyte! Help me please! At 78K miles, no rust, one small dent in the hood, I think it will last me a long time. I am not interested in a speed demon (or any demon for that matter) - just a solid vehicle I can enjoy for years to come.
 

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As others state start off with a full tune up.
Get some oil for the transmission to top it off(make sure to get the correct fluid for the 5-speed manual). I wouldn't change it completely unless you find it shifting poorly.(plenty of info on doing this here)
Check all the zerk fittings and look at the rubber boots to make sure they aren't cracked.
Drive it a little before you change the bakes. If the rotors are still in good shape use the current pads to take off any surface rust. If the rotors and drums seem fine just install a new set of pads and shoes. Then this is a good way to look at the calipers and rear brake components to see there condition. Bleed the brakes if you can to get fresh brake fluid in the calipers.

For the interior you may be better off just removing everything(seats, center console, carpets).
Maybe paint the floor to prevent rusting.
Then either clean the carpet while it is out or just replace it. Replacement carpets are really not that expensive.

If you have a decent air compressor get this attachment from Harbor Freight:
Bicycle part Font Circle Triangle Titanium

This thing is amazing you stick it in every crevice in the dash and air vents to blow out the dust and debris.
You can also use this to clean out the frame rails.
 
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