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Jeep-Short Wheelbase All discussion of short wheelbase Jeeps: CJ, TJ, YJ and JK

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-10-2001, 10:30 PM
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Stock TJ or buy a built one already???

Dilema, buy a 97 TJ on 33's and rubicon 3 inch lift for 10,200 or a 97 TJ for around 11,900, with 74,000 miles. They both have 4.0's and 5 speeds. The 11,900 one has the dana 44 rear. I havent found out about the lifted one yet, but it said both axles have been rebuilt. Im wondering why??? The stock one has never been off-road, and has the 30 inch tire package and soft top. The lifted has hard top. The more expensive one has 74,000 miles, the 10,200 doesnt say and I will have to find out. Buy stock and save for awhile to lift and tires, or buy already built so Im atleast started?? What to do???

Mooseykat
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-10-2001, 11:37 PM
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Re: Stock TJ or buy a built one already???

I'd say go with the stock one. It's got the 44 out back, which is a good starting place. Plus, if the other one has had it's axles rebuilt, don't touch it. No sense dealing with a potential headache. Plus, it's a hell of a lot funner building her up yourself!!! Then you get it the way you want. Might cost a bit more, but you get more self gratification that way!


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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2001, 04:29 PM
 
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Re: Stock TJ or buy a built one already???

Yes go with the Stock. IT has not been tampered with and no possiblity of stuff fallling apart.

-Our 2000 TJ came with a soft and hard top standard. It is not anything special-

Headed for Gunnison, soon....

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2001, 04:30 PM
 
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Re: Stock TJ or buy a built one already???

Yes go with the Stock. IT has not been tampered with and no possiblity of stuff fallling apart.

-Our 2000 TJ came with a soft and hard top standard. It is not anything special-

Headed for Gunnison, soon....

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2001, 04:45 PM
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Re: Stock TJ or buy a built one already???

I agree with stock. It's very capable off-road with highway manners. It would be a good rig to learn to dirive off-road and as you want to start taking more challanging routes... then upgrade accordingly.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2001, 05:48 PM
 
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Re: Stock TJ or buy a built one already???

I wouldn't buy a built rig unless you know exactly what has been done to it, an example would be the jeep elusive is buying he know's it's been built right w/ d60's, nv4500, atlass 2, the works, though a medioker rig i wouldn't go for here's an example of a horror story my friend bought a nice looking '96 bronco w/ a 6" lift and 36's, it looked nice and drove well, but it came from a car dealer and he didn't know much about building trucks and what had been done to it. So he has put probably what he paid for the truck originally on the truck just in reapairs and it's turned out to be a pile of work. He's had the tranny rebuilt (probably 36's and stock gears, also old spedo gear), rear axle re-built (36's and an 8.8, not he best combo), think he's at 6 rear drive shafts (probably 6" blocks and a led foot wouldn't help), new break lines (guy didn't extend them w/ the lift), new 33" tires since the 36's were too wide and he got a ticket, lots of small stuff and he currentally hates the truck, it eats parts left and right and is in the shop more than on the road. I would vote for the stock tj and talk him down some, how long has it been on the market? wait for the price to go down a little bit, i personally would have liked to have a soft top instead of a hard top (easier to take off, no worry about storing the top for the summer, lighter). There's got to be a reason the guy is selling the built tj, most people don't let go of built rigs (too much into them, time and money, they fall in love w/ them) and when they do it's because they need more reliable transportation, can't afford to keep repairing their built rig, they have beaten the rig to a point where it's becoming a pile of trash and other not so good reasons, stay away from a built rig if at all posable.

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-11-2001, 09:50 PM
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Re: Stock TJ or buy a built one already???

Ok guys, found out more info on jeep today. The reason they are selling it is his son went into the army, and wanted to sell the jeep. It has 33 inch ssr's and a single air locker in the rear. It has 70,000 miles and the axles have new bearings and seals after he hit something and I guess broke one or the other. It has the Dana 35 out back which I no isnt too strong but then again Im nto into anythign extreme. I like the 97 with the dana 44 allot, it is cherry, but it seems that If i do drive the lifted one, and it checks out ok, it would be allot cheaper to get it than the stock one. It would take me forever to be able to get tires, rims, and a lift for the stock one. Im going to actually LOOK at it tomorrow, so Ill see the undercarriage and check for wear from beign off-road. They both seem to be in pretty good shape. The lifted one is not actually "built" but just a lft and tires and an airlocker. The least I can do is take a look.

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True dual flomaster 40 series mufflers.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-12-2001, 06:16 AM
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Re: Stock TJ or buy a built one already???

Moosey, you've been given the correct advice from 4 different members of this forum, but you still seem to be leaning in the wrong direction. Don't get over anxious, the trails willstill be there next year. You can still have fun in a stock TJ.
There are too many issues with the lifted one, like, it,s been wheeled by a young male, the ssr's aren't that great of a tire, the D35 sucks with stock tires, with a locker and 33's it's bound to break AGAIN. The chances of you being happy with this Jeep are 10 to 1 at best.
Get the stock one with the D44, I bet it's got better gearing, (3.73's would be nice). As long as a vehicle has been taken care of, milage doesn't matter. NEVER pay asking price, go there with a bank check for 10 g's and some cash in your pocket, start at 10 grand and work your way up, and be prepaired to drive it home.
I'm sure you could do a better job of modifying a stock Jeep with all the help you get from this board. You have to look at the big picture, have patience, it's a large investment. Very rarely will you go wrong with a totally stock Jeep that's been taken care of. A lot of us have already made the same mistake at one time, listen to the voice of experience.

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You had to do what to fit those little tires?
I'm sure glad I own a CJ!
post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-12-2001, 10:32 AM
 
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Re: Stock TJ or buy a built one already???

I think I'd go toward the stocker. Unless you know and trust the guy that built it, you never know what's been mucked up.
I bought a mildly built (33's, recently rebuilt 258, and couple of inches of lift) CJ about 6 months ago, and every single thing the PO did, I've had to redo since I got it. The brakes were screwed up so bad, I'm supprised he didn't kill himself in it. (He even went as far as to put SILICONE on the caliper guide pins)
You'd be better off getting something reliable and building it a little at the time than something that's gonna fall apart every 100 miles, especially if it will be you daily driver.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 12-12-2001, 01:36 PM
 
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Re: Stock TJ or buy a built one already???

Mossey I'm a 17 year old w/ a tj and i beat the [email protected] out of it, most of my friends are the same way w/ their trucks. I know the work i do on my tj isn't prefesional grade and sometimes it shows it.

I would say that TJ is built, not just a locker, tires and a lift and not many people are going to put an air locker in and not wheel it. If i was looking at a built jeep to buy i might consider it if: the owner took it to a quality shop to get all the work done, was a mechanic or had automotive reapair training (highschool auto shop doesn't count, you don't learn a ton there, i'm auto II now and we don't learn a ton besides fluid changes), recpts have been kept for all the work and parts and the parts used were quality ex. spicer u-joints instead of $5 auto zone ones, timkin or spicer bearings were used in the axle re-build, synthetic oil all the time, most of the parts came from napa and name brands were used when ever posable. The jeep was built right not just lift tires and a locker, skid plates, rocker skids (if they are angle iron type pull one off and make sure it's not hiding trail damage), tow hooks (a good way to tell if a jeep is a wheeling rig (but not always) is if it has tow hooks it probably goes offroad, a cb (required for just about every trail ride), there's a spare tire that's the same as the other 4, componets were upgraded when their stenght was questionable (dana 35 and 33's ain't cutting it). The owner really cared about the jeep and took really good care of it, washed it every time after wheeling, buffed out all the scratches and got trail damage fixed (i know i don't do this w/ my tj and it shows).

To check out this jeep i would spend hours looking at it, pull off the diff covers (bring spare gear lube and cover gaskets) and make sure they are in good shape, find out the gear ratio. Pull off any rocker skids or corrner guards and see what's under them. Check the undercariage for scratches from rock crawling and the like. Pull back the little plastic cheeasy guards and see if 4 pounds of mud falls out. If the parents won't let you check around or get really worried and give off weird messages let some stupid person buy it. Ask to go and talk to the kid's mechanic ans see if it has a reapir record 6 pages long. You are looking at a jeep that's going to need work and is probably a basket case, wouldn't he want it when he got out of the service? You know it's been wheeled you are getting in to lots of trouble. Don't buy it just because you think it will save you cash in the long run.

BarrelRoll

97 TJ

Wheel it or drive a minny van

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