I picked up a stock 97 TJ SE (2.5L, 5-speed, No A/C) with 140k for $4k. I then spent $8k and two years of hobby time on full lockers, gears, suspension, winch, rack, bumpers, etc, etc.
It is highly reliable; starts fast and never hicups. The engine is easy to work on, and striping out the interior bits is also quite easy for upgrades and fixes.
A Reman motor will only cost you $1500 and a
weekend to swap it, or half that for a transmission, so long term cost to run it is dirt cheap, vs. the 6cyl w/auto at twice that price, or my 1/2 ton truck, which costs three times that to rebuild.
It's not plush or fast, but it crawls up anything, gets lots of admiration and ride requests! FUN!
- Lots of elbow room in the engine compartment
- Simple and durable interior
- Lots of aftermarket support
It's a Jeep. Any "improvements" will just be pricey comfort and convenience items for city folks trying to look like they off-road. Keep it simple, Keep it Jeep!
Bought my 97 wrangler SE a couple weeks ago with 115k miles on it. it had a 4" lift and 33x 12.5 tires on it. over all it is a fun ride and even better when i drop the soft top. the only issue i have is a common one with jeeps. the infamous death wobble. every now and then i the jeep will go into a violent shake that is only stopped by slowing down. after plenty of research i have found that is a moderatly easy and cheap fix. about $375. kevinsoffroad has kits for this specific problem that are supposed to fix it completely. i will be installing mine tomorrow and im sure ill see an improvement. even with this problem i still can rely on it for a everyday driver.
easy to drive, easy and cheap to fix, and its unstoppable offroad.
I have only had her about a month, and this is my first car. I always wanted a jeep and waited until I found a good deal, and I can honestly say it was well worth the money even though she's 15 years old. My boyfriend calls her "the tank" and makes fun of me for driving it, but he just doesn't get it! It's not the smoothest ride, it doesn't accelerate fast, and she has her quirks, but we'll see what he says when I'm pulling his brand new chevy cruze out of snowbanks all winter, offroading by myself all summer and mowing down zombies during the apocolypse. It runs like a top and so far, I am very pleased. I'm officially a Jeep Girl!
Jeeps are great, fun, and reliable cars.
The ride is bumpy, but if you buy padded seat covers you will be VERY comfortable.
Don't, and I repeat, do not, get a Jeep with
4 cylinder engine.
My jeep has the v4 and honestly, I can barely pass cars on the highway at 60mph
Reminds me of Jurassic park, no joke, favorite movie :D.
Fun and can go offroad.
I got this wrangler with 68K Mi about 2 years ago. I know have over 90K and it feels like it could go on forever. It was only supposed to be a weekend car, but after I lost my job, it's my everyday driver, and I love it. I live in Florida and people always look at me with envy when driving it down the road. I got an automatic because I blew 3 clutches in in 4 years on my previous jeep... I found out later it's due to a minor and fixable repair in the master cylinder... I do miss the 5 speed though, better power and much better MPG's.
Even young girls love it (not as much as my old mustang, but hey)... and I'm glad it's slow because fast cars are def not a good idea for me (i.e. 3 clutches)
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.