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Posted: 9/2/2009 5:25:02 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/11/2009 8:12:57 AM EST by Jus_Ad_Bellum]
Well, after a lot of thinking and working on my older truck to make it right, my wife and I decided we didn't need a new car. We would like to get a used jeep for a fun and winter driver to save on our normal commuter car in the winter.

Plans are to leave it stock, so offroading mods and rock crawling stuff is not needed. Mostly, we want a semi-comfortable 4x4 that can double as a weekend warrior and short range commuter. I may eventually want a push button locker, but that's it. Don't want to go past 31" tires. Auto or stick doesn't matter. Just about the only concern is rust free (dealt with too much rust on other trucks of mine ).

What should we be looking for in a $5k wrangler? We are willing to travel for it (as we travel a lot anyway). Thus far, I've been thinking 1997+ jeeps. Any tips would be greatly helpful.

Thanks a bunch,

Ben
Link Posted: 9/2/2009 6:17:03 PM EST
5 k should get you a nice Wrangler around 100 k miles maybe less but they tend to go well past 170 k in my experience . One thing about them though their short wheel base make them dangerous on icy slick roads they will break traction and lose control much easier than a loner say truck or bronco , ta-ho type vehicle . So in short they are good in snowy weather but you have to be careful and are a blast in the hills you most diffidently want a 4.0 6cyl. the 4 clys don't have much power with 31 10.50 x 15 tires and a 5 speed if off roading to help with breaking but not mandatory if someone has trouble driving a standard . oh yea 31 10.50 x 15 tires will fit on a stock wrangler nicely without any kind of lift also and looks nice .
John
Link Posted: 9/2/2009 6:42:06 PM EST
Thanks for the tips. Definitely want the inline 6. I would prefer a stick and my wife and I drive them mostly, but an auto would be fine I guess as long as they don't have many problems later on.

In our neck of the woods (either the north shore of duluth mn or buffalo ny when at grad school), snow is the biggest concern.
Link Posted: 9/2/2009 6:46:32 PM EST
Watch for cracked exhaust manifolds on the I-6's. My Wifes was cracked on her TJ (forget the year sorry) and there were a few in our Jeep club with cracked manifolds.
Link Posted: 9/2/2009 6:52:08 PM EST
If you avoided 4.0's with cracked manifolds you'd never get to own a jeep.
Link Posted: 9/2/2009 6:55:48 PM EST
Originally Posted By Krochus:
If you avoided 4.0's with cracked manifolds you'd never get to own a jeep.




Not a mechanic or very mechanically inclined... expensive fix?
Link Posted: 9/2/2009 7:03:15 PM EST
Be careful using a locker in winter. If you lock the differential it will move off the road following the crown.
All of what you want is stock on the Rubicon- 31" tires, push button locker, and a small lift.
Since you mostly want it for winter I would look for a hardtop.

Jim
Link Posted: 9/2/2009 7:08:57 PM EST
Originally Posted By pepperbelly:
Be careful using a locker in winter. If you lock the differential it will move off the road following the crown.
All of what you want is stock on the Rubicon- 31" tires, push button locker, and a small lift.
Since you mostly want it for winter I would look for a hardtop.

Jim


Thanks, hard top is a must I'd love a rubi, but prices on used ones are a bit too steep- build as you go for me

My parents had a 92 wrangler when i was younger, so I'm familiar with the druthers of soft tops in the winter
Link Posted: 9/2/2009 8:48:46 PM EST
Originally Posted By Jus_Ad_Bellum:
Originally Posted By Krochus:
If you avoided 4.0's with cracked manifolds you'd never get to own a jeep.




Not a mechanic or very mechanically inclined... expensive fix?


Every once in awhile one will get loud. But most of the time you'll only hear a slight tick. Mines been cracked for I don't know how long now.

The replacment part can be bought for less than 150 McChickens the expensive part will be the labor if you don't DIY
Link Posted: 9/3/2009 3:03:47 PM EST
thanks for all the tips. I'm glad i've got some time to look
Link Posted: 9/9/2009 7:09:39 PM EST
97and newer with a hard top smoother ride then the older leafsprung wranglers
Link Posted: 9/11/2009 8:15:02 AM EST
Ok, so after pricing things and comparing jeeps, now it looks like a liberty might work out better for us Again, we're not looking for major offroading, just something comfortable with decent 4x4 for light trails rough weather. Looking at 02-04s.

Anyone have one that would like to chime in?
Link Posted: 9/11/2009 9:31:26 AM EST
I would only consider the Liberty if it had the diesel. And Chrysler doesn't offer it anymore...
Link Posted: 9/11/2009 9:48:11 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/11/2009 9:59:41 AM EST
Originally Posted By Jus_Ad_Bellum:
Ok, so after pricing things and comparing jeeps, now it looks like a liberty might work out better for us Again, we're not looking for major offroading, just something comfortable with decent 4x4 for light trails rough weather. Looking at 02-04s.

Anyone have one that would like to chime in?


If it were me I'd Rather spend the same money on a nice as I can possibly find low mileage 10 to 20yr old XJ Cherokee or ZJ Grand Cherokee than I would the newer and in my opinion much less capable (to modify, and offroad) Liberty.

Then you at the very least still have a huge afermarket, solid axles and best of all the 4.0
Link Posted: 9/11/2009 10:35:55 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/11/2009 10:39:14 AM EST by ZR2]
My Girlfriend has an '03. It is a good little SUV, and decent offroad for what it is. If it only had the 4.0 and the D30...

Lifted 2.5" with 1.5" springs in the front to offset the 90# ARB bumper. 245x75/16 BFGs on 16x8 steel wheels. She loves it.

Link Posted: 9/11/2009 11:00:27 AM EST
Originally Posted By Krochus:
If it were me I'd Rather spend the same money on a nice as I can possibly find low mileage 10 to 20yr old XJ Cherokee or ZJ Grand Cherokee than I would the newer and in my opinion much less capable (to modify, and offroad) Liberty.

Then you at the very least still have a huge afermarket, solid axles and best of all the 4.0






The last time I went out, I heard that same bs from everyone out there. "I wouldnt take that up there", "Oh you wont be able to get through there with that.".

I think everyone up there, us & others, had a strap on them (everyone except me).

I saw broke Grands & Wranglers, I didnt break anything.

The Liberty is just as capable, as a matter of fact in my outings it seems more capable.


And iirc my lift was $200 shipped.
Link Posted: 9/11/2009 11:25:09 AM EST
Originally Posted By CavVet:
Originally Posted By Krochus:
If it were me I'd Rather spend the same money on a nice as I can possibly find low mileage 10 to 20yr old XJ Cherokee or ZJ Grand Cherokee than I would the newer and in my opinion much less capable (to modify, and offroad) Liberty.

Then you at the very least still have a huge afermarket, solid axles and best of all the 4.0






The last time I went out, I heard that same bs from everyone out there. "I wouldnt take that up there", "Oh you wont be able to get through there with that.".

I think everyone up there, us & others, had a strap on them (everyone except me).



I saw broke Grands & Wranglers, I didnt break anything.

The Liberty is just as capable, as a matter of fact in my outings it seems more capable.


And iirc my lift was $200 shipped.



That's nice do you want a cookie or something. I can only imagine the caliber of your buddies rigs if they got outwheeled by a boosted liberty
Link Posted: 9/11/2009 1:43:45 PM EST
I agree- a Cherokee or Grand Cherokee will make a very capable trail rig and still have a lot of storage. At least it has more than a Wrangler.
I believe the Grand Cherokee won the best off road vehicle for several years in Off Road magazine, or Road and Track, or some other magazine. They said all that was needed was decent off road tires and it was gtg.
The older style Cherokee still has a strong following for very good reasons. If you will do more than drive down a dirt road you want solid axles and good diffs.
I am not trying to flame Liberty owners but it just isn't as capable as the Cherokees or Grand Cherokees.

Jim
Link Posted: 9/11/2009 6:34:12 PM EST
My BIL has a liberty and my Nephew had one. My nephew is a jeep fanatic and hated it. I would avoid that thing, I also would not own a Wrangler made after '06, but that's just me.
Link Posted: 9/11/2009 6:41:09 PM EST
CRD Liberty is a nice little SUV - friend of mine recently bought one and really likes it. I've driven it and been passenger in it without any problems - I'm 6'4"/245. I agree that the Grand Cherokee is a better offroad vehicle IF we're talking anything more than fire roads.

BTW - I drive a '00 Dodge Cummins and I think the CRD is a great application in the Liberty and it gets close to 30 mpg on the highway.

Brian
Link Posted: 9/11/2009 7:48:56 PM EST
How many guys of the opinion the Liberty isnt a great offroad vehicle have ever taken one offroad even driven one?


Read a little bit.


And that was all on one of the "more difficult" trails around.


Link Posted: 9/11/2009 7:54:56 PM EST
Originally Posted By Garandboy:
My BIL has a liberty and my Nephew had one. My nephew is a jeep fanatic and hated it. I would avoid that thing, I also would not own a Wrangler made after '06, but that's just me.



I agree with a Wrangler made before '06. I have an '08 Wrangler X and I don't like it nearly as much as I did my older Wrangler Sport. The newer Wranglers have a V-6 instead of the inline 6 cylinder engine. The top is noisier and the front passenger seat does not fold and tumble to allow entry into the rear seat. The newer Jeep's seat folds and slides forward, but not enough.
The '08 also has a damn plastic grill. I couldn't believe it when I noticed that.
My Wrangler X did come with a Dana 44 rear differential so it's not all bad, but overall I would much prefer an '06 or older TJ instead of this JK.

Jim

Link Posted: 9/11/2009 9:40:36 PM EST
The stock libetrys are doing pretty good on the river in winter.
One guy stuck some 31's on and he gets around good on the snow/ice.
The people up here are not nice to vehicles.

If we had the money it would be on the list.
Link Posted: 9/12/2009 2:33:22 AM EST
I've owned the following jeeps:

1949 CJ3A
1980 CJ5
1980 CJ7
1993 YJ Wrangler SE
1997 TJ Wrangler Sport
2004 KJ Liberty Renegade
2005 WK Grand Cherokee Limited

The Liberty would be a perfect vehicle for your uses. It's major drawback is a lack of rear cargo space. It's smaller than the XJ rear. We didn't own it long enough to get into longevity and reliability issues (traded it in at 60K or so for the GC, needed more space for the second child). I was impressed with it's offroad capability, limited though it was. It handled well for a stock vehicle, was very nimble. Had bad blind spots in the rear, though. It was a comfortable vehicle and I would own one again.

If I may hijack for a second, would anyone walk away from a 97 XJ 4.0L Sport with 160k miles to use as a DD? Very clean, appears to have been well maintained. Just high mileage.
Link Posted: 9/12/2009 5:27:33 AM EST
I looked into getting a used Jeep Liberty about 2 years ago..but didn't buy one. I guess it's good to hear from people who haven't chosen them as well as owners? Anyways, I wanted a daily driver 4x4 that also could do some trails. I ultimately decided on a 3rd gen ('96-'02) 4Runner.. They're about the same size/weight/power.. I also looked at Nissan Xterras and probably would have also chosen the Xterra over the Liberty. Also started out looking at Chevy Blazers ZX2 but quickly dropped them - reliability problems and horrible safety/death rates.

These are the things that caused my to not choose the Liberty -

Seemed lighter duty - Uniframe contruction, maximum towing capacity 3500 lbs. 4runner had fully-boxed frame - 5000lbs towing. Nissan was similar.

Smaller tires - The largest tire that fits without a lift is 30" (235/75r16).. the 4runner came stock with 31" tires and the largest size tire without a lift is 32" (265/75r16). Xterra also came with 31" - I think 32" would fit, but rub.

Ground clearance - was quite a bit lower than the others. Not all of the difference was because of the smaller tires.

Rear locker - Liberty's didn't have one, 4runner had them as an option, so did the Xterras.


So, these are the main reasons I didn't choose the Liberty.. they might make a difference to you or not. Good luck and have fun looking!

Link Posted: 9/12/2009 7:41:55 AM EST
Originally Posted By pevrs114:
I've owned the following jeeps:

1949 CJ3A
1980 CJ5
1980 CJ7
1993 YJ Wrangler SE
1997 TJ Wrangler Sport
2004 KJ Liberty Renegade
2005 WK Grand Cherokee Limited

The Liberty would be a perfect vehicle for your uses. It's major drawback is a lack of rear cargo space. It's smaller than the XJ rear. We didn't own it long enough to get into longevity and reliability issues (traded it in at 60K or so for the GC, needed more space for the second child). I was impressed with it's offroad capability, limited though it was. It handled well for a stock vehicle, was very nimble. Had bad blind spots in the rear, though. It was a comfortable vehicle and I would own one again.

If I may hijack for a second, would anyone walk away from a 97 XJ 4.0L Sport with 160k miles to use as a DD? Very clean, appears to have been well maintained. Just high mileage.



How much are they asking? If it has been maintained the mileage alone would not scare me away. I would, however, pull the oil pan and check, or just replace, the oil pump and screen. I had a '95 YJ that had apparently only had Pennzoil in it. That oil tends to develope sludge if mostly driven on short trips. The oil pump pickup screen was plugged and cut off the oil flow and pressure. I installed a new pump and cleaned the screen, then put in Castrol GTX and had no firther issues.
I would check everything carefully- radiator, etc. but like I said I wouldn't walk away just because of the miles on it.

Jim
Link Posted: 9/12/2009 10:42:43 AM EST
Ok, again, not looking for a trail rig. We have a couple atvs for off roading and a 91 dodge 4x4 ctd. Just want something that can hit fire roads/ light trails for camping and hunting and (most of all) take my wife and I home safely from Buffalo Ny to Duluth MN through blizzards.

While I'd love to have a "nice beater" that I could work up and turn into a wicked trail rig, I just don't have the time or the money for that sort of toy. The main reason for this thing is we're getting sick of driving the truck on 2200 mile round trips when the vw tdi is too small and I just don't like driving the truck around in traffic with the cost of a new cummins being too high to rack the miles up on this one.

For those that own the liberty, what transmision would you all suggest? I'd like a stick, but it seems the autos are much easier to find with low miles.
Link Posted: 9/12/2009 5:19:12 PM EST
Originally Posted By Jus_Ad_Bellum:
Ok, again, not looking for a trail rig. We have a couple atvs for off roading and a 91 dodge 4x4 ctd. Just want something that can hit fire roads/ light trails for camping and hunting and (most of all) take my wife and I home safely from Buffalo Ny to Duluth MN through blizzards.

While I'd love to have a "nice beater" that I could work up and turn into a wicked trail rig, I just don't have the time or the money for that sort of toy. The main reason for this thing is we're getting sick of driving the truck on 2200 mile round trips when the vw tdi is too small and I just don't like driving the truck around in traffic with the cost of a new cummins being too high to rack the miles up on this one.

For those that own the liberty, what transmision would you all suggest? I'd like a stick, but it seems the autos are much easier to find with low miles.



For your purposes any of them should be good. I haven't had a Liberty but they might be more comfortable, although I like the Grand Cherokee most of those 3. Of course it is probably the most expensive. The Liberty should run light trails with no problems, IFS or not.
As for manual or auto? It wouldn't make any difference to me personally. I would go with the lowest mileage and best condition.

Jim

Link Posted: 9/12/2009 7:26:26 PM EST
Originally Posted By pepperbelly:
Originally Posted By Jus_Ad_Bellum:
Ok, again, not looking for a trail rig. We have a couple atvs for off roading and a 91 dodge 4x4 ctd. Just want something that can hit fire roads/ light trails for camping and hunting and (most of all) take my wife and I home safely from Buffalo Ny to Duluth MN through blizzards.

While I'd love to have a "nice beater" that I could work up and turn into a wicked trail rig, I just don't have the time or the money for that sort of toy. The main reason for this thing is we're getting sick of driving the truck on 2200 mile round trips when the vw tdi is too small and I just don't like driving the truck around in traffic with the cost of a new cummins being too high to rack the miles up on this one.

For those that own the liberty, what transmision would you all suggest? I'd like a stick, but it seems the autos are much easier to find with l,ow miles.



For your purposes any of them should be good. I haven't had a Liberty but they might be more comfortable, although I like the Grand Cherokee most of those 3. Of course it is probably the most expensive. The Liberty should run light trails with no problems, IFS or not.
As for manual or auto? It wouldn't make any difference to me personally. I would go with the lowest mileage and best condition.

Jim



Thanks. Initially, when I decided the wrangler was too small and wanted something larger, I wanted a cherokee, but found out that a similar priced liberty was about three -four years newer than a cherokee.
Link Posted: 9/13/2009 1:24:35 PM EST
My sister bought a 06 liberty, hers is 2wd though. I drove it for about a month while she was on vacation and I found it to be a decent daily vehicle. It's not something I would buy for myself but she is very happy with it. Gets about 16-17 in town and about 21-22 on the highway. Probably could get a bit better if driven easier. Only "major" problem seems to be that the cable window regulators have a habit of self destructing. I'm not sure if there is a update/fix for these.
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 7:15:04 PM EST
anyone have problems with the diesel/crd?
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 2:11:35 PM EST
Originally Posted By Jus_Ad_Bellum:
Ok, so after pricing things and comparing jeeps, now it looks like a liberty might work out better for us Again, we're not looking for major offroading, just something comfortable with decent 4x4 for light trails rough weather. Looking at 02-04s.

Anyone have one that would like to chime in?


Wife drives an '08 Liberty, and I drive an '08 Wrangler 4dr. Sahara.We both like them a lot. No issues thus far. Both work good in snow also. We are old farts, thus don't off-road, so I can't speak to that issue. I do frequent JeepForums.com and these vehicles are well liked by the younger owners as well. Everyone there is obviously biased toward Jeeps, but check that site out. Each model has its own thread/section.

Link Posted: 9/18/2009 2:21:27 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 5:28:32 PM EST
Have you looked at the 4 door Wranglers?

Jim
Link Posted: 9/19/2009 3:05:24 AM EST
Originally Posted By pepperbelly:
Have you looked at the 4 door Wranglers?

Jim


Yep. I'd love one but finding one with 7/70 left = mucho$$

If I find one for a good price, I'd snap it up instead of a liberty.
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