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Northern Virginia Jeepers Association
May 25, 2018, 05:01:10 PM

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jack.haefner
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« on: February 08, 2018, 04:50:08 PM »

My name is Jack from Herndon. I've never owned a Jeep. I helped a buddy rebuild a CJ3A when I was a kid about 35 yrs ago. But 32 yrs of combined military service have not been conducive to owning a Jeep of my own. I'm about 9 months from military retirement and would like to use that time to find my first Jeep. I still havent found a permanent home, so extensive DIY is not possible. I don't even have a garage. Ha!

Any help and suggestions navigating a first Jeep is appreciated!
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 05:41:22 PM by jack.haefner »

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sirjames186
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2018, 06:35:31 PM »

Welcome! Are you looking for a new jeep, used jeep, older jeep? Post a couple options of things you are looking at and people will point you in the right direction.

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"I'm no longer ashamed to wheel with you." - Jeremy
TrailBird
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2017 WK2 Trailhawk®
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2018, 06:47:52 PM »

Welcome from Springfield, Jack from Herndon.  Jeep Wave

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jack.haefner
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2018, 07:11:29 PM »

Welcome! Are you looking for a new jeep, used jeep, older jeep? Post a couple options of things you are looking at and people will point you in the right direction.

Thanks! Looking for a used Jeep. Maybe 10-15 yrs old. Occasional minor off-roading, camping, som commuting. Been mostly perusing Craigslist, but, frankly, I'm not sure what to look for. Maybe a 2003 or later Wrangler.

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sirjames186
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2018, 07:16:00 PM »



Welcome! Are you looking for a new jeep, used jeep, older jeep? Post a couple options of things you are looking at and people will point you in the right direction.

Thanks! Looking for a used Jeep. Maybe 10-15 yrs old. Occasional minor off-roading, camping, som commuting. Been mostly perusing Craigslist, but, frankly, I'm not sure what to look for. Maybe a 2003 or later Wrangler.

That puts you right around the TJ model. Biggest thing with those is rust problems. You should be able to find a 4 cylinder 2.5 liter model pretty easily, but most folks want the 6 cylinder 4 liter.

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"I'm no longer ashamed to wheel with you." - Jeremy
jack.haefner
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2018, 07:22:29 PM »



Welcome! Are you looking for a new jeep, used jeep, older jeep? Post a couple options of things you are looking at and people will point you in the right direction.

Thanks! Looking for a used Jeep. Maybe 10-15 yrs old. Occasional minor off-roading, camping, som commuting. Been mostly perusing Craigslist, but, frankly, I'm not sure what to look for. Maybe a 2003 or later Wrangler.

That puts you right around the TJ model. Biggest thing with those is rust problems. You should be able to find a 4 cylinder 2.5 liter model pretty easily, but most folks want the 6 cylinder 4 liter.

Thanks! I was thinking the same. Understand that the 2.5 L  version is a bit of a toad on the open road, so looking for the V6 4L. Do you suggest I just screen Craigslist?

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packinnova
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2018, 06:21:41 PM »

 Jeep Wave As the saying goes, jeeps aren't just a vehicle, they're a lifestyle and with that lifestyle comes responsibilities...and wrench parties. Grab a Wrench! 

I have 2 97 TJ's myself and 2 friends that both have 04 TJ's and mine are definitely bigger money pits than the 04's, but they still have their own share of issues to deal with.  There's clearly a lot of factors involved.  IE, previous owners maintenance or lack thereof, previous location(dry vs humid, salt etc...), history of wheeling vs not...

If you can snag a relatively low mileage TJ that hasn't been wheeled and has been well maintained then you should be good, but again, that's homework time and knowing what to look for when you go look at one(like frame rust issues particularly around the rear upper control arm mounts or those damned rear upper shock bolts that rust and break off when you go to work on them - bar pin eliminator kit is your friend there). 

I'd say stick with the 6.  I think I can safely say that knowing I have TJ's with both the 4cyl and the 6.  The 4 even with 4.88's in the diffs is a bit of a drag.  It's fine for put putting around town or even crawling and granted I have 33's on it, but heaven forbid you ever decide you need to tow something that weighs more than a push mower or move faster than the speed of farts or ... uphill. Big Eyes

And the second you start modifying things...now your required wrench time has just expanded exponentially. Cheers

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'97 SpamCan
2.5" OME Lift and 31's
'97 Franken-TJ
6" lift and 35's
sticksout
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2018, 11:18:14 AM »

 Jeep Wave from Centreville

I have an '01 4.0L TJ and have found myself replacing more of what the previous owner neglected, it's also not my DD.

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2001 TJ Sahara - black
jack.haefner
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2018, 11:29:06 AM »

Jeep Wave As the saying goes, jeeps aren't just a vehicle, they're a lifestyle and with that lifestyle comes responsibilities...and wrench parties. Grab a Wrench! 

I have 2 97 TJ's myself and 2 friends that both have 04 TJ's and mine are definitely bigger money pits than the 04's, but they still have their own share of issues to deal with.  There's clearly a lot of factors involved.  IE, previous owners maintenance or lack thereof, previous location(dry vs humid, salt etc...), history of wheeling vs not...

If you can snag a relatively low mileage TJ that hasn't been wheeled and has been well maintained then you should be good, but again, that's homework time and knowing what to look for when you go look at one(like frame rust issues particularly around the rear upper control arm mounts or those damned rear upper shock bolts that rust and break off when you go to work on them - bar pin eliminator kit is your friend there). 

I'd say stick with the 6.  I think I can safely say that knowing I have TJ's with both the 4cyl and the 6.  The 4 even with 4.88's in the diffs is a bit of a drag.  It's fine for put putting around town or even crawling and granted I have 33's on it, but heaven forbid you ever decide you need to tow something that weighs more than a push mower or move faster than the speed of farts or ... uphill. Big Eyes

And the second you start modifying things...now your required wrench time has just expanded exponentially. Cheers
Thank you very much. I found several online articles about what to look for when I examine a prospect in person. At least 6 cyl limits my search criteria.

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jack.haefner
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2018, 11:33:18 AM »

Jeep Wave from Centreville

I have an '01 4.0L TJ and have found myself replacing more of what the previous owner neglected, it's also not my DD.

Good to know. What specifically did you replace...or what would I expect to replace if the owner neglected? Tranny, differentials, etc?

jwh

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sticksout
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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2018, 11:53:58 AM »

Jeep Wave from Centreville

I have an '01 4.0L TJ and have found myself replacing more of what the previous owner neglected, it's also not my DD.

Good to know. What specifically did you replace...or what would I expect to replace if the owner neglected? Tranny, differentials, etc?

jwh

Here's my list (bought it in '14):
front and rear sway bar links
long and short tie rods
water pump
headlight arm switch (the original wiring harness literally melted) causing the headlights to stop working
steering stabilizer
front left u-joint
front left upper and lower ball joints
front left wheel hub
battery
transfer case
steering gear box
starter



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2001 TJ Sahara - black
jack.haefner
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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2018, 01:47:18 PM »

Jeep Wave from Centreville

I have an '01 4.0L TJ and have found myself replacing more of what the previous owner neglected, it's also not my DD.

Good to know. What specifically did you replace...or what would I expect to replace if the owner neglected? Tranny, differentials, etc?

jwh

Here's my list (bought it in '14):
front and rear sway bar links
long and short tie rods
water pump
headlight arm switch (the original wiring harness literally melted) causing the headlights to stop working
steering stabilizer
front left u-joint
front left upper and lower ball joints
front left wheel hub
battery
transfer case
steering gear box
starter
 
Thanks!



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sticksout
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« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2018, 08:42:29 PM »

Jeep Wave from Centreville

I have an '01 4.0L TJ and have found myself replacing more of what the previous owner neglected, it's also not my DD.

Good to know. What specifically did you replace...or what would I expect to replace if the owner neglected? Tranny, differentials, etc?

jwh

Here's my list (bought it in '14):
front and rear sway bar links
long and short tie rods
water pump
headlight arm switch (the original wiring harness literally melted) causing the headlights to stop working
steering stabilizer
front left u-joint
front left upper and lower ball joints
front left wheel hub
battery
transfer case
steering gear box
starter
 
Thanks!



Oh yeah and when I first got home with it the RPMs would randomly jump while at a stop and then I'd stall out. Turned out that the transmission fluid had never been changed (had 153K miles when I bought it) to the point that I needed to use a flathead screwdriver to literally pry the filter off the bottom of the tranny.

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2001 TJ Sahara - black
Gr8Dain
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I HATE RUST!!!!!
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2018, 08:56:36 PM »

Welcome from Ashburn.  Looking for a Jeep that old, the most important thing is RUST.  Check the inside of any old Jeep you look at.  if there is a lot of flaking inside, it is rusting inside out.  BUt, I made that mistake and ended up doing a frame swap on my CJ.  Still well worth it to me.  I learned a ton.  But I would rather have not done that particular repair.

Ask away here.  We are a friendly group and will answer questions. 

By the way, a friend of mine had his TJ on ebay last week.  It is no longer available there, but I don't know if it sold yet.  I can ask.

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Dain

1984 CJ-8 Scrambler
3.5" lift
DD and trail toy

2015 JKU - Completely stock - Family mobile
jack.haefner
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« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2018, 05:36:23 PM »

Welcome from Ashburn.  Looking for a Jeep that old, the most important thing is RUST.  Check the inside of any old Jeep you look at.  if there is a lot of flaking inside, it is rusting inside out.  BUt, I made that mistake and ended up doing a frame swap on my CJ.  Still well worth it to me.  I learned a ton.  But I would rather have not done that particular repair.

Ask away here.  We are a friendly group and will answer questions. 

By the way, a friend of mine had his TJ on ebay last week.  It is no longer available there, but I don't know if it sold yet.  I can ask.

Gr8dane, thanks for the advice. I haven't started scouring ebay yet. Am looking on autotrader.com as it was suggested that finding a Jeep south of VA or out west might have less rust--less salt on the roads during winter. Yes, please feel free to inquire on your freind's rig.

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