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Jeep questions


Lazy WP
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School me on Jeeps. I would like something fairly modern, that could be a run around vehicle as well as a toy. Probably want a 4 door, since we take the 4 legged kids everywhere. I thought I wanted a manual transmission, but the automatic in my Dually has somewhat spoiled me. I have been around the inline 6 cylinder, 4 liter and truly believe that might be one of the best engines ever built. Are the current v6 motors any good? Pretty sure I want a hard top, but would be fun to go topless too. 
What do all the letters mean? 

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If you are looking for a 4 door you are looking for a JK 2008-18 or a JL 18-22’  the 8speed in the JL is a great transmission in terms of behavior and performance, i cant say how it will hold up over time. If you go with a JK you want to avoid the 3.8 , apart from being a pig they were prone to low mileage failure, the Pentastar 3.6 is an awesome engine, the JL have the 3.6, I think a 2.0turbo and a diesel. No input on the later two. Myself I would go with a manual, but that’s just me. In a JK you will be looking at a Dana 44 front and rear, I believe you will find the same in a JL. 
personally I prefer a TJ or LJ 97’-06’ to newer models, but everyone has their preference. 

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The 4 doors are JKU (Jeep 2007-2018 model years JK Unlimited) or JLU (current Jeep JL model). The JKU came with two different V6 engines. 2007-2011 had the old pushrod V6 that was also used in Caravans, amongst other models. The Pentastar V6 in 2012+ models is much more powerful than the old engine. Early ones had cylinder head issues that would have been replaced under warranty by this point. 
The JL models have some different engine options- plug in EV hybrid, turbo 4, V6, V8 and a diesel. 
Hard top comes off with a few bolts. 

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Got an '08 jk, 6 spd, 3.73 drive gears, 3.8, rag, a/c, 2 dr, 16 inch wranglers, front hookup for tow bar, uses include daily mall rat, off road hunt wagon, toad behind dooley and camper. 

No problem other than air bag recall and replacing the bags, actuators and clock spring, got 136,000 kms, second set of wranglers, second set of brakes, religious oil, air, tire rotates, did all checks up to 100,000 kms, at 100,000 did a full tilt boogie front to back inspection and replacement of all needed parts, gonna start 15 years on dec 8th, bought it with 30 km on it, has never missed a beat and Im not quite so anal about the jeep as I am with the dooley but its close though.

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Go with the newest JK (really means about '14+) you can afford.  The JLs suck.   I think the 44 axles vtfireman mentioned are Rubicon only (maybe manuals trans as well? not sure).  The lower trim levels (which I think are 30F /35R axles) the rear, if posi equipped, will bust up the spiders and strip the clutches, usually at about 40k+.   Radiators leak.  Engine oil coolers leak (3.6 issue).  Keep up on your oil changes (if not, expect cams/rockers/lifters).  We have some plugged heater core complaints.  Those didn't really start till the 3.6 went in.  That job really sucks.

Wranglers leak wind and water.  Part of Jeep life.

I'd go auto.  The manuals are about 1 in 50 these days, and no one wants to work on them.  3.8 had 42rle auto trans (truthfully a derivative of the old minivan 604, but not bad) or 3.6 gets the German NAG.  If you jack it up and think you're driving Bigfoot's illegitimate Jeep grandson you'll wreck the torque converter.  That job really sucks too.

Front and rear axle seals leak.  Rear brakes seize up if not maintained.  Some lock actuator issues, but not alot by any stretch.

Myself I'd like a '17 blue Chief edition, but I'm cheap and won't pay Jeep money for one.

Best of luck.

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4 hours ago, 5088 said:

Go with the newest JK (really means about '14+) you can afford.  The JLs suck.   I think the 44 axles vtfireman mentioned are Rubicon only (maybe manuals trans as well? not sure).  The lower trim levels (which I think are 30F /35R axles) the rear, if posi equipped, will bust up the spiders and strip the clutches, usually at about 40k+.   Radiators leak.  Engine oil coolers leak (3.6 issue).  Keep up on your oil changes (if not, expect cams/rockers/lifters).  We have some plugged heater core complaints.  Those didn't really start till the 3.6 went in.  That job really sucks.

Wranglers leak wind and water.  Part of Jeep life.

I'd go auto.  The manuals are about 1 in 50 these days, and no one wants to work on them.  3.8 had 42rle auto trans (truthfully a derivative of the old minivan 604, but not bad) or 3.6 gets the German NAG.  If you jack it up and think you're driving Bigfoot's illegitimate Jeep grandson you'll wreck the torque converter.  That job really sucks too.

Front and rear axle seals leak.  Rear brakes seize up if not maintained.  Some lock actuator issues, but not alot by any stretch.

Myself I'd like a '17 blue Chief edition, but I'm cheap and won't pay Jeep money for one.

Best of luck.

I went and looked , real early 07’ might have had dana 30/35 but everything after got Dana 44 rear with 30 front in trim level below rubicon. I will disagree with you on the manual transmission however, I dislike autos off-road (actually I dislike autos on road too), luggable maneuvering is made very difficult in an auto you are either going too fast or not at all and by the time you get the thing to move you are way up in RPM and immediately need to back off.

its a jeep, it ought to have a manual, thats a hill i am willing to die on. 

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CJ-2A. No doors to worry about. Easy to work on. Not fast enough to get a ticket. 2 guys can pick the entire body off. Just teasing you. I hope you find a good one. Both mine had V6’s but they were implants.  The newest one was a 63’ model so I missed the “trail rated” badge by a couple years 😊

895F6FDF-A5B5-4612-A065-351407E7905D.jpeg

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7 minutes ago, Sledgehammer said:

CJ-2A. No doors to worry about. Easy to work on. Not fast enough to get a ticket. 2 guys can pick the entire body off. Just teasing you. I hope you find a good one. Both mine had V6’s but they were implants.  The newest one was a 63’ model so I missed the “trail rated” badge by a couple years 😊

895F6FDF-A5B5-4612-A065-351407E7905D.jpeg

My TJ has a couple “trail rated” badges it has picked up along the way 😂

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We had a TJ. Manual transmission and I agree with VT, a Jeep should be a stick. That said, my kid managed to snap a rear axle. I could only smile remembering all the axles, U-joints, gears, etc. that I broke in my hot rod youth.

I put a new clutch and brakes all around when I bought it as it was for the kids to learn to drive. Being in the rust belt I looked at a half dozen before I found one with a good frame.

My kid said he could leave it in the school parking lot with the keys in it with no worry as none of the other kids could drive a stick. I bought a Jag X-Type stick for my daughter. She learned at first on the Jeep and then she and my son would swap car depending on who needed a car for a date or the Jeep to the beach.

I wish I kept the Jeep as it had started to appreciate in value and was a good parts runner.

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Personally, if i were in the used market I wouldn’t be looking at anything that didn’t have the 3.6, they are dead reliable and very powerful. As to leaking radiators weve had a couple dozen or more Jeeps here from 46’-2021, I haven’t found one yet that held water. 

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36 minutes ago, New Englander said:

my kid managed to snap a rear axle.

I have 33x12.5 on mine with dana 30/35c so far no carnage, i also have the advantages of not being a throttle jockey due to spending all my time growing up with my grandfather.

he always had a CJ5 or 2 and a full size Jeep J10 pickup and a modern GM pickup with a manual all. Drove them all like a 3 speed, no matter how many gears they had, liked to lugg them, i remember he wouldn’t ever shift down until it was lugging so bad the shifter was just a blurr . Retrospectively he might have been somewhat deaf, but his theory was that if you didn’t give it enough throttle to spin, it wouldn’t spin and make ruts, and spinning and making ruts was sinful in his mind. Using that mentality i can do with my TJ what better equipped ones can’t and with less carnage. 
 

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6 hours ago, vtfireman85 said:

I went and looked , real early 07’ might have had dana 30/35 but everything after got Dana 44 rear with 30 front in trim level below rubicon. I will disagree with you on the manual transmission however, I dislike autos off-road (actually I dislike autos on road too), luggable maneuvering is made very difficult in an auto you are either going too fast or not at all and by the time you get the thing to move you are way up in RPM and immediately need to back off.

its a jeep, it ought to have a manual, thats a hill i am willing to die on. 

Yeah I just logged on and see that is correct.  I just used 2015 as an example, it lists 2 front axles (so gotta be Rubi axle, then lower trim axle) and a single '226RBI' rear, which is the 44.  I knew the front was smaller because I do a set of the axle seals probably once a week, and the rear diff carriers probably about once every month.

My statement on the manual was based on experience at the dealership.  Not many out there.  Can't even recall the last time I prepped a manual Wrangler, although I did do a stripped down Gladiator a couple months back.  It was an order and the only manual Gladiator I've seen.  Keep in mind a small percentage of these ever leave asphalt.

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My brother has a 2003 CJ equivalent at about 120,000 miles I6 automatic. He has towed it behind his RV for 40,000 miles. Mechanically IMO it has been good.  His latest issue is the heater core leaking. SIL wants something easier to get into, that doesn't smell of antifreeze.  Like all lateer model vehicles the heater core is a major expense,  in time and effort.

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Barsleak an option?

I'm pretty sure my buddies Dad would go from 1st directly to 3rd on his old binder, 2nd gear must have been pristine, must have been some shuddering considering the gear spacing 🤔

Watched an old modified CJ at a Jeep Jamboree idle down into a mud hole and then punch it and immediately blew one tire off a rim, guy running the event said your gonna need bead locks for that kind of hp

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17 hours ago, Lazy WP said:

I have been around the inline 6 cylinder, 4 liter and truly believe that might be one of the best engines ever built.

The 258 in my '78, gutsy, burns less gas than today's SxS's and bullet proof. 

With 3 on the floor and no power anything, the first real vehicle all three of my boys learned how to drive with. 

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My TJ has close to 180k on it, i would hop in and drive to Alaska without thinking twice. I have done some stuff to it, nothing more than what I consider a maintenance item. I did valve seals a while back, it did have the shift fork clip break and it slipped off the ball, the input bearings ended up boogered up, it got a clutch at that point because i was in there. 

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4 hours ago, oleman said:

My brother has a 2003 CJ equivalent at about 120,000 miles I6 automatic. He has towed it behind his RV for 40,000 miles. Mechanically IMO it has been good.  His latest issue is the heater core leaking. SIL wants something easier to get into, that doesn't smell of antifreeze.  Like all lateer model vehicles the heater core is a major expense,  in time and effort.

TJ heater core actually isn't that bad.  I haven't done one in years but I'd guess it could get done in a 1/2 day.  A newer JK though, Heaven help you.

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I'm fully with vt and others about the stick in a jeep, being small and easy to drive both on and off and off off road the lugging ability is great, and being our toad we've driven many hiway miles and even with the 3.73 ratio (that was one out of four options when I bought it, the other three were a/c, run boards and 16" aluminum wheels) it is comfortable driving albeit a little noisy with the rag, but with  the dooley I'm glad glad glad its the auto, even though its the four speed Ive had it redone so my shift points are really spot on loaded, towing or empty, mom and I always laff how sitting in her is like sitting in easy chairs at home.

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only thing not mentioned is the wiring

got 2 TJ 97 and both have wiring issues

1 has ''frame cancer real bad

its running the winter up here then getting parted out

but they are a blast to drive

Mike

 

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