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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2002, 01:28 AM
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what year jeep to buy

Hey guys, im thinking of buying a jeep and would like some info. I dont want to spend more than 10,000 and im looking for something someone has already done some work on. Im thinking i probably wont get any thing newer than a 1990. I would like to know what years to steer away from. Where there any with weak trannies or transfers, things like that? Also what are some of the good lifts to look for and what are the ones just for show. I know i want a suspension, but wich ones are better. I REALLY appericiate any help you guys can give me.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2002, 02:10 AM
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Re: what year jeep to buy

75? - 85? CJ7. Old, going to take a lot of upkeep. Cheap.
86-90 YJ. 4.2L Carbed. Again, lots of maintenance. Cheap.
91-95 YJ. 4.0L EFI. Less engine maintenance, but if it goes wrong you need more knowledge then us carb guys.
97+ TJ. 4.0L EFI, Coil suspention. Likely still under or just out of warrenty. Not much to go wrong. Expencive in most cases.

Personally, I sprung for a pre-lifted '89. I didn't have the knowledge when I started to do something like a sus lift.

the 88-89 is cheapy cheapy.. fairly reliable, comes with alot of the bells and whistles and depending on the person your not going to cry when you put some bolts through the tub.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2002, 02:43 AM
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Re: what year jeep to buy

First off, let me say you should probably stay away from any Jeep with round headlights. They've always been known to have troubles[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif[/img] And to narrow it down, I'd say go with a '91 or newer YJ. I know it's EFI, and that may be more complicated, but it's all in all a WAY better system than that Carter carb crap! You can pick one up for a pretty good price, too. And might I suggest you try and get an as close to stock one as you can. That way you know it hasn't been thrased on, and you can build it up your way. If you're set on '90 or older, keep in mind that the YJ's had the Peuogot tranny, nuff said. Other than that, they were built well. As for CJ's, I don't know too much about. Good luck!

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2002, 02:44 AM
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Re: what year jeep to buy

79 CJ 5 w/ 304 and a t18
86 cj7

79 CJ 5, 258, dana 30, model 20, T18, dana 20, 2.5" rancho lift, 1" shackles
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2002, 07:19 AM
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Re: what year jeep to buy

[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img] '79 or earlier CJ-7 with the V8 engine. A lot easier to work with when you swap in a better V8. They also had the TH400 tranny which then would provide the parts for connecting to a GM automatic if you swapped in engine and tranny. OR......how about buying a 3/4 ton FS GM pickup, and then just pulling off the body and shortening the frame to the long wheelbase CJ length and setting on a fiberglass CJ tub. That way you do it all at once and it's over and done with. The biggest axles (10-bolt front, 14-bolt rear) the best t-case(NP205), and then a SM465 and a SB350 up front......you'd have it all![img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif[/img] THINK ABOUT IT! We end up with our Jeeps in that condition anyway! Might as well do it right from the start.[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img][img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/laugh.gif[/img][img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif[/img]

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2002, 08:24 AM
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Re: what year jeep to buy

I vote for a 97 tj sport.
I have seen several with lift kits and larger tires for under the $10000 mark.
heres the low down.
you get a galvanized body (cj's dont have that)
you get a far stronger frame than a cj
you get a fuel injected engine (sorry cj's dont have that either)
you get a 4.0 that makes as much power as a 304 and in better rpm range
you get coil suspension that rides really nice
you get a jeep that probably doesnt need every part replaced
I'd be willing to bet buying a tj will save you $$$ in the long run over a cj.
dont get me wrong.. I have owned many cj's and i loved every one of them, but its hard to beat a tj.

everything good in life is round, breasts, halos, and headlights
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2002, 09:32 AM
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Re: what year jeep to buy

for under 10K you should be able to get a 97' TJ without a problem. Getting one with some work might be a little harder.
If I could make any suggestion about year, try to stay away from a stock 87, they came with the Ba/10 transmission, and the NP207 x-fer case. Neither of which are very strong, and in order to upgrade the ba/10, you will need a different x-fer case.
I own an 88, and If I could do it again, i'd try for a 89-90, with an AX-15 transmission. Their a lot stronger then the BA/10. I believe anything 90' and above has a AX-15.
If you hold out for a, I believe 94, you get the better roll cage, but someone please correct me on that. I THINK the extended roll cage started in 94.
So in my opion, your best best, 90-94. Good transmissoin, good chance they have done some mods on it.
Downside, your looking at a jeep with potentialy 2+ owners. I got lucky, and mine has all it's service records since 88. GO figure.

that's my $.02

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2002, 09:42 AM
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Re: what year jeep to buy

Elusive has some good points . I`ve seen 97 TJ`s go for a steal around here . Try and get one with the D44 in it and you have a great starting rig . The only real concern I`ve heard about them is the manual trans have tendencies to shift hard or pop out of gear . I think there is a TSB about that and a fix from DC . Get the 4.0L and start with the chassis build up . Otherwise if your handy and like body work , I would go 76-79 CJ . I put about 300 hours into my CJ5 tub making it look factory new again , and it does and will outlast me , but you have to be into that kind of stuff . Then came the rest of it , chassis , drivetrain etc... Hey , with the TJ or the CJ you get the most important feature , Round Headlights [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

<font color=black>Jeff [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif[/img] </font color=black>
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2002, 10:45 AM
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Re: what year jeep to buy

I bought a CJ because I liked the classic look, but everything needed to be replaced, body tub, frame, suspension, w/s frame, and on and on. The only thing that remains original is the drivetrain. I thought a CJ would be cheap, but I wanted it to be reliable and last a long long time, so I ended up spending $16,000 plus and did all the work myself! If I were to do it over again, I would get a '97/'98 TJ with a 4.0/auto, spend the cash on a nice lift and tires and have less money into it, less work into it, and fuel injection to boot!
Like the others have said, stay away from the YJ's that have the French trans, you can identify it by looking under the Jeep. The trans case splits on the top/bottom down the long axis of the transmission (clamshell style). I know guys with stock Jeeps that never go off road and their trans is junk! My vote would be for the newest Jeep you can afford that has fuel injection and a 4.0 litre.

Mike H.
1983 CJ-7 Laredo, 1991 Cherokee Ltd.
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