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Jeep guys, what do I check for


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There is nothing wrong with waiting until the time is right. Wranglers are a blast and pretty darn good vehicles; I highly recommend them. Unfortunately, they bring rediculous prices. I have been assisting a good friend with selecting a wrangler. Late model TJ's are selling for the same price they were 10 years ago. I think that they are in higher demand than ever without enough to go around.

I have already chimed in with the engine and transmission thoughts, but without a doubt the Dana 44 rear axle is the preferred axle. I wouldn't pass up an otherwise perfect wrangler that had a Dana 35. In fact, I have broken a Dana 44, but never a Dana 35. Just know that the Dana44 is stronger but not bulletproof. The popular thing is to find a junkyard Ford 8.8 from an explorer to drop in to replace the Dana 35 or 44.
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If it hasnt been said already, the rubicons and saharas are the only 2 with dana 44's. Main difference is the Sahara has limited slip differentials and the Rubicon has lockers. I had a sahara and it was fine in the mud of Tennessee but when I went to Colorado it was a PITA. If you are going to do any off roading I strongly suggest a Rubicon or adding front and rear lockers to whatever you get.

If you are just going to do light off roading you will be fine with a Sahara or any other one down the line.

As for other things to look for: new soft top (they last 5-7 years on avg), bed rust, water electrical damage (i would buy one from an owner who looks like they liked the "idea" of a Jeep...not one where there is mud in every nook and cranny) May just want to drop it by a mechanic for a once over.

The biggest thing is make sure average Joe didnt do all the work. Don't buy one with a "Built by Youtube" bumper sticker.

I had a late model (03) TJ and it never had any issues. I did some mods myself but had my neighbor mechanic help with the complicated stuff. fccbc3297dd5ee0dde60937472ba141e.jpg

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

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If it hasnt been said already, the rubicons and saharas are the only 2 with dana 44's. Main difference is the Sahara has limited slip differentials and the Rubicon has lockers. I had a sahara and it was fine in the mud of Tennessee but when I went to Colorado it was a PITA. If you are going to do any off roading I strongly suggest a Rubicon or adding front and rear lockers to whatever you get.

If you are just going to do light off roading you will be fine with a Sahara or any other one down the line.

As for other things to look for: new soft top (they last 5-7 years on avg), bed rust, water electrical damage (i would buy one from an owner who looks like they liked the "idea" of a Jeep...not one where there is mud in every nook and cranny) May just want to drop it by a mechanic for a once over.

The biggest thing is make sure average Joe didnt do all the work. Don't buy one with a "Built by Youtube" bumper sticker.

I had a late model (03) TJ and it never had any issues. I did some mods myself but had my neighbor mechanic help with the complicated stuff. fccbc3297dd5ee0dde60937472ba141e.jpg

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

Off road in will be limited to very light trail riding as long as it's a daily driver. If I want to beat on it to bad I've got a high Pinon Dana 44 and a Ford 9" in the garage with 5:13 gears and spools in them I could probably stuff under one lol. I'll make sure to check the top. Mall crawler is define try the one I want, I don't need some bodies beat to death headache. I feel pretty confident checking one over, I'm ASE certified, just wanted to make sure there wasn't Jeep only stuff to watch for. Thanks for all the replies everyone, I'll update this thread when I finally do make the purchase, even if it is down the road some.

Sent from behind the anvil
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I agree to check all these things but what are you buying the Jeep for? You need to think about these things. I bought mine as a toy and knew I would be changing out a ton of parts so the main thing for me was price and condition of all parts I planned to keep.  I have totally changed my Jeep from the stock setup. The only stock parts I still have are the engine, frame, gas tank, rear seat, dash and steering wheel. Basically everything else is different , yes including the roll bar. The nice thing about a Jeep is they are pretty easy to work on. I changed the Axles in my driveway. Just identify your needs and go from there.

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I agree to check all these things but what are you buying the Jeep for? You need to think about these things. I bought mine as a toy and knew I would be changing out a ton of parts so the main thing for me was price and condition of all parts I planned to keep.  I have totally changed my Jeep from the stock setup. The only stock parts I still have are the engine, frame, gas tank, rear seat, dash and steering wheel. Basically everything else is different , yes including the roll bar. The nice thing about a Jeep is they are pretty easy to work on. I changed the Axles in my driveway. Just identify your needs and go from there.

Yep, I've had both of mine out several times now for different reasons. I've learned not to do it piece meal......what a PITA.

[URL=http://s1170.photobucket.com/user/JeepMurphy/media/MJ/DSCN1151_zps6014c4b0.jpg.html]DSCN1151_zps6014c4b0.jpg[/URL]

 

New engine going in mine when I get around to it-

[URL=http://s1170.photobucket.com/user/JeepMurphy/media/MJ/DSCN1399_zps67469653.jpg.html]DSCN1399_zps67469653.jpg[/URL]

 

[URL=http://s1170.photobucket.com/user/JeepMurphy/media/MJ/DSCN1441_zpsab375e6d.jpg.html]DSCN1441_zpsab375e6d.jpg[/URL]

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If it hasnt been said already, the rubicons and saharas are the only 2 with dana 44's. Main difference is the Sahara has limited slip differentials and the Rubicon has lockers. I had a sahara and it was fine in the mud of Tennessee but when I went to Colorado it was a PITA. If you are going to do any off roading I strongly suggest a Rubicon or adding front and rear lockers to whatever you get.

If you are just going to do light off roading you will be fine with a Sahara or any other one down the line.

As for other things to look for: new soft top (they last 5-7 years on avg), bed rust, water electrical damage (i would buy one from an owner who looks like they liked the "idea" of a Jeep...not one where there is mud in every nook and cranny) May just want to drop it by a mechanic for a once over.

The biggest thing is make sure average Joe didnt do all the work. Don't buy one with a "Built by Youtube" bumper sticker.

I had a late model (03) TJ and it never had any issues. I did some mods myself but had my neighbor mechanic help with the complicated stuff. fccbc3297dd5ee0dde60937472ba141e.jpg

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

 

Sport models can also have a D44. I think it was an option - but I know my Sport has one.

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Sport models can also have a D44. I think it was an option - but I know my Sport has one.

Yeah i think maybe i read that on a forum once. I think the sahara and rub are stock. I didnt know anything about it before i bought one and kinda backed into it.

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I think he's going for the 'cool factor'.

Us MJ/XJ people don't quite measure up to Wrangler people..........[emoji14]

It being an open top is one of the draws. That way I can cruise in the summer with the wife and the top off. She refuses to ride a motorcycle with me, and I don't blame her one bit.

From what I can find, the D44 was an option if the 30" tire package was. Of course at this point your talking vehicles with huge aftermarket support that tend to be bought by people who love to tinker with stuff, so it's not a suprise at all to find D44 in Jeeps that came factory with D35's.

Sent from behind the anvil
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Yeah i think maybe i read that on a forum once. I think the sahara and rub are stock. I didnt know anything about it before i bought one and kinda backed into it.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

 

I think it's hard to find a Sahara without a D44. I've read they exist but I've never seen one. Sports can have either the D44 or the D35 so you have to be careful. X and SE models didn't have the D44 option.   

 

Dang, all this Jeep talk has me wanting to do some wrenching.

Edited by bubbadavis
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It being an open top is one of the draws. That way I can cruise in the summer with the wife and the top off. She refuses to ride a motorcycle with me, and I don't blame her one bit.

From what I can find, the D44 was an option if the 30" tire package was. Of course at this point your talking vehicles with huge aftermarket support that tend to be bought by people who love to tinker with stuff, so it's not a suprise at all to find D44 in Jeeps that came factory with D35's.

Sent from behind the anvil

 

You'll see lots of Ford 8" axles under TJs. It was a common upgrade, especially from the D35 if you were going to wheel it hard.

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