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Old 12-20-2015, 09:48 AM   #1
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Jeep Wrangler

More Jeep Wrangler questions....
I am pretty convinced the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited will be our tow vehicle of choice. 2012 vintage or newer, but not new. Base, Sahara(preferably), don't think we need a Rubicon but who knows what we find.
So, what types of things should I be cognizant of in terms of assessing the mechanics? Electronics? Things to avoid? Etc.
I found a 2012 this summer that looked brand new and seemed to drive as much. Unfortunately, I was not ready to buy but will be late summer, next year. I do know this much, they are overvalued for the most part and prices trend to the high side around WI. I have time on my side so can be patient.
Figure those with a Jeep have seen and done most everything with them and could shed light on evaluating.
Thanks.
Tom
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Old 12-20-2015, 09:55 AM   #2
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Good luck finding an "undervalued" Jeep Wrangler that is in good condition--they all come at a premium, especially in 4-wheel drive country [eg snow or desert]. Curious about your choice of the unlimited? If you want to go back country--the two-door Wrangler is probably a better option--IMHO. If you are just looking for a 4-door SUV--then you have a lot of choices, besides Jeep. Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old 12-20-2015, 10:15 AM   #3
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Yes.....Jeep Wrangler are always at a premium price and worth it. With that said.... they are probable the easiest to tow and the most fun to explore in. We use to tow an 04 Wrangler behind our Phaeton and it was the easiest to get ready to tow. Hook up the tow bar/lights.....put the transfer case in " N " and GO.


Good luck in your search for a undervalued Wrangler....they are out there......just be patient.
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Old 12-20-2015, 10:37 AM   #4
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Wranglers: you may pay more than you want, but they hold value very well.
I bought my 12 Sport new, as it was not that much more than 2 year old used.
Sahara has glitz but for more $. Rubicon has toys on it I will never need.
Get out there and get em dirty
Best wishes!
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Old 12-20-2015, 10:39 AM   #5
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There is just something about a wrangler. I have a 2004 and love it. I ask a friend that had one before I bought he told me it would be the most expensive piece of nothing you will ever own. He was right but I'm taking my to my grave. I went the other way than what you are talking I pay top price for my like new with every options and low miles can get my money back every day complete strangers ask to buy it.
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Old 12-20-2015, 10:42 AM   #6
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If you're not set on a specific year you can get better prices looking at "new" leftovers from the previous model year. Originally We were looking to buy an 05 Rubicon with all the goodies. The only stipulation the wife had was that it had to be YELLOW.


I went through the whole process of lining out the options and was all set to order one when I found out there was no YELLOW Wrangler for 2005. This was in December of 2005. Back to square one looking for a 2004 Wrangler. We finally found on in Fond du Lac. It was a 2004 Sport with a lot of options. It wasn't as nicely equipped as a Rubicon, but it had all the features we needed. The nice thing was that it was available at a substantial discount from the original sticker price.
As you might expect we went for it and still have it today.


Fast forward to 2014. It was rear ended by a kid texting on his phone as we were towing it to Florida . Originally the insurance company was thinking about totaling it because of it's age. When we did a search for a comparable replacement the best we could find was in the $18,000.00 range for one with triple the mileage and in far worse shape. Keep in mind this was a 10 year old vehicle.


In the end the insurance company had the Jeep fixed and we still drive it on a regular basis. While they aren't the least expensive vehicles on the road, they do hold their value far better than most. Ours is now over 11 years old, has about 50,000 miles on the odometer and another 120,000 miles being towed behind our motorhomes. It still looks and drives like new. So far it's only needed normal maintenance like tires, a tune up, and oil changes. We plan on keeping it for many years to come.
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:43 AM   #7
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Hello Everyone,
Thanks for your comments.
We had a Jeep Cherokee back in '96. Liked it a lot. Had no issues. Many vehicles later, still driving a 2003 Murano. Been a nice urban assault vehicle. Knock on wood, we will have about 250k on it when we are done.

We are fairly active and Wrangler has a lot of advantages that most small suv's can't touch, as you know.
For us, I want the Unlimited to carry our bikes on the inside of the vehicle. We will have kayaks to deal with as well, but now looking at inflatables. Not too keen on the idea of having stuff hanging off the back of the coach or toad if I can avoid it and like the 'security' the hard top can provide.
Yes, the two door Wranglers would offer more flexibility in off road destinations but right now, I don't see myself chasing over serious terrain.
I don't mind paying for a quality used vehicle, and I agree, the resale value helps justify the purchase of such a niche vehicle.

I was more curious about any issues I should be aware of while searching. One thing about the base unlimited, there are less electronics to go wrong.
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Old 12-20-2015, 05:03 PM   #8
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2dr vs unlimited - many state the smaller 2dr is more capable off-road however do a search on YouTube and you will see numerous videos where similarly equipped 4dr are able to pass areas where the 2dr can't make. I have owned both and prefer the versatility of the unlimited.... I can carry a lot more stuff inside.

I considered getting a used one however for not much more money I purchased new. I was able to negotiate approx 9.5% off msrp which worked out to what people were asking for 2-3yr old wranglers, thus I went new. The dealership I purchased from told me January is the only time of the year that wranglers go on sale In the attempt to clear out leftover models. 0% for 3 years is what they typically do. I would also expect you could get over 10% off msrp. There is also a rumor that 2017 will be a all new wrangler, good chance that next fall if it is released JK wrangler values will possibly increase due to some not a fan of the changes to thinnest gen.

In regards to what to look for, I do not know of any problem areas. i would just get one that's been properly cared for (oil changes and other service work) as well as the options that you want.

I wouldn't want a unlimited w/o power windows

Rubicon hard rock is what I purchased. I wanted the heavier duty drivetrain components as well as the vented hood for added cooling. I also wanted leather interior as well as the alpine stereo and by the time these were added to lower models sometimes it was cheaper getting the HR
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Old 12-21-2015, 11:02 AM   #9
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I'm not aware of any problems - mechanical or electrical - with the Wranglers. It sounds like you've driven one already so you have an idea what they're like on the road. A bit different from most other vehicles but not nearly as bad as some of the scathing reviews would tend to suggest. The Wranglers dropped the steering lock in 2008, I think... so if you're looking at something around this age or older, keep that in mind.

If you're not going to be doing any off-roading, the Rubicon may have more stuff than you really need. Plus it comes with a 4.10 rear end, which compared to the Sport and Sahara's 3.73 (optional) and 3.21 gearing may result in higher RPMs at highway speeds. But if you put large tires and a lift on it, the 4.10 will be a good match.

You will need to set up the Wrangler for towing, which will require either a towbar baseplate or bumper with towbar brackets. If you install an aftermarket bumper, it will not work with most baseplates. There are a few things to be aware of, but lots of resources here to help.
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Old 12-21-2015, 12:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NC25T View Post
2dr vs unlimited - many state the smaller 2dr is more capable off-road however do a search on YouTube and you will see numerous videos where similarly equipped 4dr are able to pass areas where the 2dr can't make. I have owned both and prefer the versatility of the unlimited.... I can carry a lot more stuff inside.

I considered getting a used one however for not much more money I purchased new. I was able to negotiate approx 9.5% off msrp which worked out to what people were asking for 2-3yr old wranglers, thus I went new. The dealership I purchased from told me January is the only time of the year that wranglers go on sale In the attempt to clear out leftover models. 0% for 3 years is what they typically do. I would also expect you could get over 10% off msrp. There is also a rumor that 2017 will be a all new wrangler, good chance that next fall if it is released JK wrangler values will possibly increase due to some not a fan of the changes to thinnest gen.

In regards to what to look for, I do not know of any problem areas. i would just get one that's been properly cared for (oil changes and other service work) as well as the options that you want.

I wouldn't want a unlimited w/o power windows

Rubicon hard rock is what I purchased. I wanted the heavier duty drivetrain components as well as the vented hood for added cooling. I also wanted leather interior as well as the alpine stereo and by the time these were added to lower models sometimes it was cheaper getting the HR
You have to consider when and where you plan to use the vehicle before you order some of the amenities. Several times We've gone topless on nice days. One time the weather turned on us and we were glad there were no power windows, door locks, or leather interior.

It was the heaviest rainfall in the shortest time period I've ever seen. There was about a 6" rainfall in less than 2 hours. It was raining so hard the interior filled to the door jams. Even after the rain stopped we were plowing through water higher than the running boards. This was one time I was glad there were no electronics in the doors.

We had to remove the carpeting and open the drains in the floor to get all the water out. Surprisingly the seats shed the water so as soon as the sun came back out they were relatively dry. I wouldn't care to repeat the experience, however the Jeep took it better than the passengers. It was like driving through the car wash with the top off and the doors open.
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Old 12-21-2015, 01:27 PM   #11
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The biggest factor is gear ratio. My 2004 came with 3.07s. I am getting 456s. The 307 is just to high in 4th and 5th gears for my liking.
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Old 12-21-2015, 01:54 PM   #12
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You have to consider that you are not going to be pulling it exclusively.

There is a significant difference between the 2 door and the 4 door when driving it down the freeway at 70 mph. The 2 door requires constant tending to stay on track. You can't just sit back and cruise with one hand on the wheel. The 4 door is much better behaved at high speed because of the longer wheelbase.
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Old 12-21-2015, 02:49 PM   #13
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You have to consider that you are not going to be pulling it exclusively.

There is a significant difference between the 2 door and the 4 door when driving it down the freeway at 70 mph. The 2 door requires constant tending to stay on track. You can't just sit back and cruise with one hand on the wheel. The 4 door is much better behaved at high speed because of the longer wheelbase.
That may be true of the JK models, but we have no trouble cruising @ 65 mph with our TJ. Ours has the 4.0 engine, automatic transmission and 3:73 gears. Originally I wanted a Rubicon with the 4:11 gears. I think that may have been a bit much for long stretches of highway driving. With the 3:73 gears it's quick off the line but winds a bit at 70 mph. That's why we generally keep it to 65 and below unless we need to keep up with traffic.
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Old 12-21-2015, 03:11 PM   #14
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I have no problem at all with tracking on my JK 2dr. It's an easy one hand or even one finger down the freeway. The only ones I know of that have tracking problems are those that have been lifted, maybe improperly.

To the OP, check out some of the lease return dealers in your area. I bought a 2012 in February that was still in factory warranty and only 35,000 miles. It was actually less expensive than some '07-09 models I found that had up to 175,000 miles on them. Lease returns generally have to be kept in good shape.

There were two active factory recalls on that year model. One was to re-route the transmission cooler line and the other was to change the wiring harness to the power mirrors. I had both of those taken care of by a local dealer.
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