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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I guess you could say the Jeep bug has bitten me.

I need to know the basics of finding my first Jeep.

I'm wanting to go with a newer Jeep.....probably a 98 or newer.

I want to know what I should look for when buying one.......any known problems, areas of concern, what to expect when test-driving, and so on and so forth.

If there's any particular models or years that I should really shoot for, please let me know.

I'm not doing any SERIOUS rock crawling, and probably will never upgrade it much beyond enough to run 33" tires.
I don't need air lockers, and all that jazz. The trails around here are easy enough to tackle with a basic Jeep that's equipped with tall tires.
I want a newer one cause I want something that's dependable, lower miles, and still very street worthy.

Also, I would like to know how easy it will be to tow a 5x8 utility trailer with two dirtbikes. I don't think I've EVER seen a Jeep towing a trailer, some I'm wandering if the short wheelbase makes that bid of a deal. I had assumed that as long as you get the tongue weight right, it'd be fine. However, I'd like to hear from some people with experience.

So, bottom line, I want to know what to look for when I go shopping the next few weeks.

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated
 

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6 cyl not the 4.

Look for one with the Dana 44 rear axle not the D35

Don't tow with it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Elaborate a little more if you don't mind.


How will I differenciate between the different rear-ends if I'm looking at primarily newer Jeeps?


Why do you say "don't tow" with it? If I can't or shouldn't tow at all, then I probably don't need a Jeep.
I'll be towing the small trailer and bikes at least once a month.
 

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6 cyl and 4 cyl get about the same gas mileage. 4 cyl gets guttless at highway speeds, especially with bigger tires. Re gearing the axles will help, but you still have to move the mass of the tires.

Axle facts page , gives you pictures. The TJ's (Wranglers from 97 to current) had a Dana 44 as an option on some models. Much stronger than the Dana 35.

Towing with a short wheel base vehicle is ify at best. You take a big chance on the tail wagging the dog. There a lot's of people out there that tow behind a SWB Jeep...I wouldn't.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
There a lot's of people out there that tow behind a SWB Jeep...I wouldn't.

[/ QUOTE ]

I did, without problems. It was a 14' fiberglass boat with a 60HP outboard. Towed it all over southern Illinois with my '64 F-head 4-popper. A small trailer with a couple of dirt bikes should be no problem.
 

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I tow a 5'X 9' trailer with either a golf cart or lawn mower on it without any problems. Braking is the biggest issue, so be careful to watch in front of you and pay close attention to your distance behind the person you're following. For mild trails and no lockers, I wouldn't pay the premium for the D44 rear axle.
 

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Over the weekend, my 88 YJ died. I borrowed the neighbors trailer (the one I towed behind the dodge last year to the bash) and towed the YJ home with the green CJ. One time that having the 360 wasn't overkill.
 

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Good advice -- don't get a 4 cyl, especially if you want to tow with it.

Learn how to tell the difference between a dana35 and a dana44 rear end. As you go looking at jeeps, know that the 44 is way better than the 35, even for simple trails and no lockers. Plus you will be towing. 33" tires aren't small, and if "the bug has bitten", you may want to go to lockers or bigger stuff later. Get the 44 rear end if you can, hands down.

My opinion -- You can tow the bikes with the jeep, but it ain't a full size pickup. It may push the jeep around some, and you may or may not feel confident or comfortable towing with it. You will need to be more careful. It's like they say - a jeep's not a sports car. It can't take offramps at 60. But it can still be driven. Same deal. Be careful. Also make sure your brakes are in top condition, if your trailer won't have brakes.

Good luck
Pete
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys........this is all interesting advice.


I guess I should have mentioned that I did plan already on only settling for the 4.0, and a 5spd.

As for towing, that all sounds interesting. I'm sure my towing days will only be for a year or so at most. Once my fiance get's out of nursing school, and the cash flow is better, we'll get another truck again, regardless.

I'm fixing to go look around at some today. Judging from the blue book, and what I've seen on the net, I should be able to find some fairly nice around around 10k, hopefully.
 

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Not that my opinion matters much, but I tow a work trailer all over the Mississippi coast several times a week behind my 89. On the interstate I get a little sway so I stay on the smaller roads... never had a problem at all. Definately get the 6. Will agree with the breaking issue but thats always an issue so go for it. We have jeeps towing landscaping trailers full of mowers, pool equipment, small skiffs, and jet skis everyday down here... just don't drive it like you stole it.
 

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I used to tow a utility trailer behind my 95 YJ - lifted, 33's and 4 cylinder/5-speed. It wasn't ideal especially pulling through the mountains (slowwww in 2nd gear) but I managed. I would definitely get the I6 and stick with stock tires or up to 31's (sounds like you're going for looks) if you're not going to wheel it anyway.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm not sure really how much "wheeling" I'll do to be honest.

I used to LOVE going offroad with my Yota, but I got sick of screwing up CV joints......mostly boots. In addition, we (my fiance and I) went alone alot, and always had to be extra cautious about the hard stuff, cause we didn't want to spend the night there. At the same time, even if I did have some "TOTALLY CAPABLE" there's not much of a challenge to the trails here.
We all like to dirt bike, and ride ATVs at a place called Windrock, near Knoxville. It looks like it would be a blast there in a Jeep, but then I have to factor in the fact that I don't have a hauler and trailer.......I'll have to drive it home still. So, that goes back to the "careful" factor.

I guess that's why this is very much a "trial" for me. Depending on how well we like offroading in the Jeep, and how well it holds up, I might love it, and end up going all out.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
lol..............OK, maybe i have too much of a dirtbike, ATV perspective.

Like I said, once I get a Jeep, it will be a trial period.........not just for the Jeep itself, but for how fun local areas are to offroad in.

When I was into offroading my Toyota, there was enough to keep you busy here in Greene County at the time. However, since then, are lovely, brainless forestry service has closed down 90% of our trails.
 
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