Join Date: Dec 2002
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Re: Two part question from a Jeep very very newbie.
It sounds like it's stock except for a lift. I don't know much about the new generation of TJs but if the price is reasonable, it is in good shape and has relatively low miles, I don't think you can go wrong. I do know that they went to all coil springs instead of the leaf springs the CJ and YJ have. I hear that this improved the ride and also articulation off road. But the suspension is also much more complex than the old leaf springs. There is very good parts support in the aftermarket world for buth YJs and TJs. The only reservation I would have is the auto transmission. I think that manual transmissions give you much better control on the trails.
I personally went for an old (37 years to be exact) and mostly stock CJ because I wanted to work on it and I wanted it to be very simple and straight forward. Whatever the case, this sounds like a good entry-level Jeep and has the potential to be built up.
As for the wiggle in the transfer case, it should have some minor flex because it is attached to the frame with rubber mounts, but there should be no clunking when you tug on it. If there is, a mount is probably broken.