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My car is getting up there in age and is starting to show signs so I'm looking for something different. Logic would dictate I get a newer car but part of me is really wanting to look into getting an older jeep instead. Looking for input...

What years are best... Ideally I'm looking for something in the 70s - 80's range more than likely... though I'm interested in other options.

Everything I've heard is that maintenance is fairly easy.. espeically for a 20+ year old ride. What types o f repairs should I be prepared to make.... (common probs?)

It would be a daily driver... but I have a 2 mile commute so it's not that big of a concern. I take occational road trips but not too often and we could take the GFs sedan if it was too long.... I'm aware they're not the best rides for long road trips.

Just basically looking for a fun ride to get around town. I live in Memphis, TN so the winters aren't exactly crazy... I've heard they don't have the best heating/AC systems.

Edited by [icon]
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How mechanically adept are you?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Basics but am moderately handy and have a buddy who knows his #### (ust rebuilt his scout from the frame up) so with a little assistance from him I could likely get him to show me how to do each repair as it was needed.

How often would you say they need work on average?

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How mechanically adept are you?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Basics but am moderately handy and have a buddy who knows his #### (ust rebuilt his scout from the frame up) so with a little assistance from him I could likely get him to show me how to do each repair as it was needed.

How often would you say they need work on average?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm clueless on Jeeps in general, and actually haven't gotten my hands dirty on an engine since H.S.

Just want to make sure that you're comfortable with a task such as rebuilding a carborator, messing with a distributer, etc.

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Personally, I wouldn't get an older one as your only DD. If you are going to get an older one, I would suggest it as a 2nd car only. Leave only a bikini top on it through the spring/summer/fall months and drive it on nice days. During the winter it's fine with the full top on (heaters usually work great from my experience). Drive your other car on rainy days during the warmer months.

I can tell you that if you plan on putting the top up/down on a consistant basis during the warmer months, you can think again. It's a pain in the ### on an older wrangler. Just get a bikini top and leave it on there 24/7 and drive something else when it rains. :2cents:

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upside: hold their value really well and are "fun."

downside: the ride isn't just "not the best for road trips," it's one of the worst possible rides for any length of trip.

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Personally, I wouldn't get an older one as your only DD.  If you are going to get an older one, I would suggest it as a 2nd car only.  Leave only a bikini top on it through the spring/summer/fall months and drive it on nice days.  During the winter it's fine with the full top on (heaters usually work great from my experience).  Drive your other car on rainy days during the warmer months.

I can tell you that if you plan on putting the top up/down on a consistant basis during the warmer months, you can think again.  It's a pain in the ### on an older wrangler.  Just get a bikini top and leave it on there 24/7 and drive something else when it rains. :2cents:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This is something else I'm considering as well... they're cheap enough to do this. Looking to spend 4-5k.
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I can tell you that if you plan on putting the top up/down on a consistant basis during the warmer months, you can think again.  It's a pain in the ### on an older wrangler.  Just get a bikini top and leave it on there 24/7 and drive something else when it rains.

the tops are relativley easy to take up and down starting in the late 90's models
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I can tell you that if you plan on putting the top up/down on a consistant basis during the warmer months, you can think again.  It's a pain in the ### on an older wrangler.  Just get a bikini top and leave it on there 24/7 and drive something else when it rains.

the tops are relativley easy to take up and down starting in the late 90's models

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes, '97 and later is a lot easier. '95 and older = PITA.
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I have a '79 CJ7 that I use on the hunting lease and in the offseason for short trips around town. I typically leave the top off all summer. It doesn't rain that much and besides it stays in the garage when it does rain.

As far as maintenance, there really isn't anything that you can't do yourself on these older models. It's all pretty straight forward and easy to work on. Get a good manual and if you have a handy friend to help, you shouldn't have any major problems.

A big deal to make sure and keep an eye out for, especially on older models, is rust on the body. These vehicles are notorious for rusting out. In fact, many owners choose to replace the tub with a new fiberglas tub to forego any later problems with rust.

If you can find a clean older model that's decent mechanically, you are gold. You can easily replace parts with after-market parts from suppliers such as Quadratec, who have everything you can imagine to outfit/upgrade your wagon.

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Couple things.

I would get an 85 or 86 CJ7. If you want a smaller Jeep you have to go back into the 70's for a CJ5. I drove one regularly for a while and wouldn't recommend it, just too small.

Stay away from the 87-89 Wranglers. 87's had a mix of CJ/Wrangler parts and 88, 89 still had the 4.2 liter carb'd engine. If you want a little newer go with a 90-95.5 Wrangler with the 4.0 inline 6. TONS of available parts, bulletproof engine.

If you want to go even newer can't go wrong with a TJ. Softer ride and still carry the 4.0 engine.

I've had an 89 YJ, 76 CJ, 00 TJ, and now drive an 04 TJ Rubicon. My favorite was the CJ but just too much time to maintain. My least favorite was the 89.

Do it, Jeeps are so much fun.

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Funny this should come up. I just bought a jeep this weekend.

Its our third car, so I was just looking for something relatively cheap, soft top, very clean, good enough for my short daily commute on back roads, and otherwise fun for the family.

I originally thought that I wanted an older one, but I eventually decided to get a TJ. I don't have the time to put into an older one. I wish I did. I don't have the mechanical experience to just fix something on it quickly if needed. Plus, I did take a little safety into consideration, and the TJs have airbags and ABS. Also, from my experience, the TJs are a little easier on those few of us that have never owned a manual transmission.

That said, if this is a second car, get anyone you want. If its going to be a primary vehicle, get a newer one. JMO.

I'm going to pick it up tonight, BTW.

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I owned an '82 Renegade CJ5 from 88-93 and absolutely loved it. Great for cruising around in the summer with the top down or going anywhere in the winter. The main mechanical problem I remember having was the steering box. I know I had it replaced twice (rebuilt) and always had lots of 'play' in the steering wheel. Also, the U-joint on the driveshaft busted one time and left me stranded. The tub was getting rusty when I got rid of it. I am in no way mechanical, so I had a garage fix it. I was a poor college student at the time and it was never a burden.

But, I'd love to get one now. I keep telling my wife that I'm going to buy my son one when he is 14-15, so dad can drive it around for a year or two before he ruins it.

ALso, I had only the soft top with the soft doors. That meant it didn't lock. I left the original 8 track in it and put a better radio in the glove box. Didn't matter - radio was stolen twice. My friends used to enjoy drifting it across the parking lot if they saw it parked somewhere (usually on Fri/Sat nights at the bar).

I wouldn't suggest it for any type of road trips (at least not the old soft tops). I'd take it hunting/fishing every year and the noise was terrible on the highway.

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Icon, I forgot to mention that you can find some pretty good deals out there. If you put on 10k miles or less per year, you can get yourself into a used one and not lose too much to depreciation. I used to have a similar 3 mile commute.

I just bought a 2003 with 85k miles on it, for under $9k. I'll only put 3-5k miles on it for the next couple of years, and will easily be able to sell it before it hits 100k for what I have into it. There are loads of late-90's out there with 80-100k miles that go for as much or more than I paid.

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Bought a garage kept '94 Wrangler soft top 2 years ago for ~ $6 Gs. Love it - I've had zero problems thus far (only 80k on it) and I think I'll keep it for another 10 yrs. or so after it's paid off next month. Out here in Diego, I take the top off in April and don't put it back on until October.

I have the 4.0 inline 6 cylinder that someone mentioned earlier - Wranglers are so light that a 6 feels like an 8.

The one thing you have to do if you buy a Jeep is put big tires on it. I don't have chrome bumpers or cool spot lights, but I do have semi-big knobby tires. I can't think of something that looks more ######-like than a Wranger sitting on Dodge Neon sized tires. :thumbdown:

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The one thing you have to do if you buy a Jeep is put big tires on it.  I don't have chrome bumpers or cool spot lights, but I do have semi-big knobby tires.  I can't think of something that looks more ######-like than a Wranger sitting on Dodge Neon sized tires.  :thumbdown:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Agreed 100% on this... If I go this route it iwll hae some nice rubber on it. Not looking for something I need a ladder to get into, but something that's got some good proportional size to it.

Link to good "proportional" jeep >

Another shot >

:thumbup:

THIS jeep is sad >

Edited by [icon]
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The one thing you have to do if you buy a Jeep is put big tires on it.  I don't have chrome bumpers or cool spot lights, but I do have semi-big knobby tires.  I can't think of something that looks more ######-like than a Wranger sitting on Dodge Neon sized tires.  :thumbdown:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Agreed 100% on this... If I go this route it iwll hae some nice rubber on it. Not looking for something I need a ladder to get into, but something that's got some good proportional size to it.

Link to good "proportional" jeep >

Another shot >

:thumbup:

THIS jeep is sad >

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

for function, right? Not just because it will look "pretty"?

haha!

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,May 8 2006, 02:27 PM]

The one thing you have to do if you buy a Jeep is put big tires on it.  I don't have chrome bumpers or cool spot lights, but I do have semi-big knobby tires.  I can't think of something that looks more ######-like than a Wranger sitting on Dodge Neon sized tires.  :thumbdown:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Agreed 100% on this... If I go this route it iwll hae some nice rubber on it. Not looking for something I need a ladder to get into, but something that's got some good proportional size to it.

Link to good "proportional" jeep >

Another shot >

:thumbup:

THIS jeep is sad >

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

for function, right? Not just because it will look "pretty"?

haha!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There are a LOT of offroad trails/clubs out here in TN... :thumbup:
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,May 8 2006, 02:27 PM]

The one thing you have to do if you buy a Jeep is put big tires on it.  I don't have chrome bumpers or cool spot lights, but I do have semi-big knobby tires.  I can't think of something that looks more ######-like than a Wranger sitting on Dodge Neon sized tires.  :thumbdown:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Agreed 100% on this... If I go this route it iwll hae some nice rubber on it. Not looking for something I need a ladder to get into, but something that's got some good proportional size to it.

Link to good "proportional" jeep >

Another shot >

:thumbup:

THIS jeep is sad >

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

for function, right? Not just because it will look "pretty"?

haha!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There are a LOT of offroad trails/clubs out here in TN... :thumbup:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Excellent!!

:thumbup::thumbup:

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downside: the ride isn't just "not the best for road trips," it's one of the worst possible rides for any length of trip.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Reminds me when 10 of us drove to Aspen, Colorado from Upstate, New York in 3 Jeep Wranglers for Camp Jeep. The trip was the best thing I ever did. We went to some amazing cities, took in some great sites and were drunk the entire time. It was during the season McGwire/Sosa were in the home run race. We went to a game in Chicago but unfortunately neither of them hit a HR that game. The driving in the Jeeps sucked but the trip kicked ###

As for the older Jeeps, I have no idea but I do know my Jeep was a lemon piece of crap. I believe I bought it in 97 or 98. I had so many problems with it.

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downside: the ride isn't just "not the best for road trips," it's one of the worst possible rides for any length of trip.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Reminds me when 10 of us drove to Aspen, Colorado from Upstate, New York in 3 Jeep Wranglers for Camp Jeep. The trip was the best thing I ever did. We went to some amazing cities, took in some great sites and were drunk the entire time. It was during the season McGwire/Sosa were in the home run race. We went to a game in Chicago but unfortunately neither of them hit a HR that game. The driving in the Jeeps sucked but the trip kicked ###

As for the older Jeeps, I have no idea but I do know my Jeep was a lemon piece of crap. I believe I bought it in 97 or 98. I had so many problems with it.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Is this a recomendation....? :unsure:
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I just spent the last hour and a half (supposed to be a one hour lunch) driving all the dirt roads around the office. I am dusty, a little sun burnt, and have a permanent smile on my face.

Icon, go pick out your jeep today and don't look back. I can't believe it took me so long to realize it.

I can't wait to slap some better tires on that sucker and hit the trails.

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I'd do it. They hold their value well enough that you could offload it easily. I helped a guy rewire an 80s one in college. He bought it for 2500 and got it a decent paint job. Redid the electrical and covered the seats. 10kmiles later and maybe 3k in repairs he sold it for 6k.

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I just spent the last hour and a half (supposed to be a one hour lunch) driving all the dirt roads around the office.  I am dusty, a little sun burnt, and have a permanent smile on my face.

Icon, go pick out your jeep today and don't look back.  I can't believe it took me so long to realize it.

I can't wait to slap some better tires on that sucker and hit the trails.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Where's your office at again?
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I just spent the last hour and a half (supposed to be a one hour lunch) driving all the dirt roads around the office.  I am dusty, a little sun burnt, and have a permanent smile on my face.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I had an 88 Toy back when I was teaching. I knew where all the trails were between my job and my house. :D
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Icon, I don't know if anyone has clued you into the huge responsibility that goes along with a jeep. You will be required to give the 'I-see-you-buddy' wave to all other jeeps you see on the road.

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Icon, I don't know if anyone has clued you into the huge responsibility that goes along with a jeep. You will be required to give the 'I-see-you-buddy' wave to all other jeeps you see on the road.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ah, yes, the two-fingered steering wheel wave + nod. :yes:
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I just spent the last hour and a half (supposed to be a one hour lunch) driving all the dirt roads around the office.  I am dusty, a little sun burnt, and have a permanent smile on my face.

Icon, go pick out your jeep today and don't look back.  I can't believe it took me so long to realize it.

I can't wait to slap some better tires on that sucker and hit the trails.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Where's your office at again?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Southern Grand Blanc. Very close to Holly. Lots of construction on Holly Rd. and Fenton Rd. so everyone is avoiding the area. I probably saw less than a half dozen cars on the dirt in that time.
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I just spent the last hour and a half (supposed to be a one hour lunch) driving all the dirt roads around the office.  I am dusty, a little sun burnt, and have a permanent smile on my face.

Icon, go pick out your jeep today and don't look back.  I can't believe it took me so long to realize it.

I can't wait to slap some better tires on that sucker and hit the trails.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

:thumbup::thumbup:
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Icon, I don't know if anyone has clued you into the huge responsibility that goes along with a jeep. You will be required to give the 'I-see-you-buddy' wave to all other jeeps you see on the road.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I just learned of that yesterday. :bag::bye:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yep... I've heard of the "jeep wave" :thumbup:

No probs there.

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I'd do it.  They hold their value well enough that you could offload it easily.  I helped a guy rewire an 80s one in college.  He bought it for 2500 and got it a decent paint job.  Redid the electrical and covered the seats. 10kmiles later and maybe 3k in repairs he sold it for 6k.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Absolutely.

I bought a 2003 with 85k miles for $9k after taxes. I'll put less than 5k miles on it per year for the next three years and I'll sell it for the same as I paid.

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meh...

I bought an '83 CJ7 when I was 17 for 3 grand. It needed a lot of work. Great in the summer, chicks liked it, but even with a bikini top, those seats can get HOT, especially in the south. I burned my bum a few times getting in. Winters can be a hassle and taking tops on and off suck in older models.

Road trips are awful. Getting on the highway is awful, unless you like the sound WRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR at deafening levels. There's very little room and they aren't very safe, but I had fun. I took mine off to college for a year, that was cool. I also sold it for $4500, so I made a profit of $1500 after owning it for 3 years. That was good.

I think they're cool at times, but I'd never ever want one as my main car. I like comfort and jeeps are rugged. Newer ones might be better, but I think Jeeps got softer after the mid/late 80s and if you're going to do it, get a CJ7 - they are collector's items and if you keep it running well, put some work into it and make some cosmetic adjustments, you'll be able to turn a profit down the line.

Edited by General Malaise
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I just bought an '02 TJ a few months back. It's my daily driver, and while I don't put a ton of miles on it it's no where near as loud with the soft top up as I thought it would be. The first week I got it I took it on a five-hour freeway trip and it wasn't that bad at all. The new sailcloth they make the tops out of in the recent models is really heavy so you don't get the same wind noise as before. And if you can, get the 4.0L. Big difference from the smaller engine.

Seriously, I also wonder why I didn't do this years ago. I put the top down last weekend and am loving it!

:bye: (Jeep wave).

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BUMP >

Okay... considering pulling the trigger here this spring. I'm also looking at the Toyota FJ Cruisers but would wait till next spring if I go that route.

The Jeeps I'm now looking at are 1999 - 2002 TJ Wranglers. Prefer Automatic tranny with the Inline 6. Ideal setup will be a 3" lift with 32-33" tires on it.

One thing... curious bout the rep Jeeps get as money pits. Is the cause:

1) People always wanting to add stuff to them

2) People owning older models

3) People pushing the limits off road and breaking ####

Or, is it that even newish models (ie the ones above) are going to need constant maintenance even from minimal (soft) trail riding?

Edited by [icon]
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