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Non JL purchase help.

Rubi SoHo

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Son is in the market for his first Jeep, he’s saved up a long time and I want to help him get the best vehicle for his money. We’re narrowed down to 3 at the moment. 2 YJ’s and one TJ. Wondering what the general wisdom of the board is. Which would you buy? Of course option #4 is to buy none of them and keep looking so feel free to choose that option if need be.

#1). 1994 YJ SE, 193k miles with a 4.0L engine. Jeep has probably the best “bones” out of the 3. It’s clearly been meticulously maintained, there’s essentially no rust, and where there is, it’s on the body, and is very superficial (under rock chips on the fenders etc). Undercarriage has been treated with fluid film it seems. Seller picked it up in an estate sale, wants $7400. It’s lifted, on good condition 33’s, and all and all is a looker. It doesn’t have a slip yoke converter, so that would need to be done. Needs the space cylinder on the clutch replaced, seller will do that before sale. It’s only got a soft top, but the top is a bestop

Jeep Wrangler JL Non JL purchase help. 2F01C9AD-D4CB-4D24-AF17-B08639B93CF3


Jeep Wrangler JL Non JL purchase help. 6B4EE9D6-D7DA-4F22-8808-417F646B794A


#2). 1993 YJ. 190k miles on 4.0L engine. Similar overall setup lift wise, 33” tires. Has records. One family owned for its entire life. Build by MEPCO, the Utah shop that became Teraflex. Has had a LOT of 4wheeling upgrades. D44 rear axle that’s locked, transfer case modified for lower range, etc. owner admits there are some oil leaks, and that it has some trail damage but overall very clean. I go see it in person tonight.

list of upgrades:
Dana 44 rear with Detroit locker
Rear disc brake conversion
4in leaf lift (Rubicon Express and Teraflex)
33's
Reverse boomerang rear shackles
Teraflex revolver front shackles
Led headlights
Teralow transfer case gearing (4 low is very low)
Headers and full Magnaflow exhaust
AEM cold air intake
Slip yoke eliminator
Poison Spyder front bumper
Warn winch
Smittybuilt rear tire carrier
Highlift jack, axe, and rotopax gas cans
Poison Spyder rock sliders
Led rock lights
Two led light bars
Reupholstered grey and black interior
Led gauges (some leds need repair)
Alpine bluetooth stereo
Sound bar
Alpine amp
Hard top and full hard doors
Soft top with hard half doors
Bikini top

Asking price is $9k

Jeep Wrangler JL Non JL purchase help. D7355244-067E-4EE2-A8FB-A14F243A9D8B

Jeep Wrangler JL Non JL purchase help. EB2EAE3A-AF3F-49C6-B1F9-3A220D6DA280

Jeep Wrangler JL Non JL purchase help. 29109F61-F47D-4B4C-A9EB-F62885EEF1D8


#3). 1998 TJ sport, looks clean, haven’t yet seen it in person. 144k miles and 4.0L motor. Lifted, 35’s, no leaks, mild superficial rusting, rear locker, original axles though (35’s on a Dana 30/35?).

owners upgrade list:
  • 3 1/2 inch lift Bilstein 5100
  • Rancho lower adjustable control arms
  • 35 inch Wheels Mickey Thompson MTZ
  • Teraflex adjustable track bar
  • Steinjager crossover steering kit 0-4 inch lift
  • Teraflex ball joints
  • Yukon differential cover front and rear
  • Jeep air AC unit
  • Banks ram air intake
  • Airaid poweraod throttle body spacer
  • New radiator
  • Gen right hood louver
  • Hardtop with new weather stripping and soft top
  • Barricade rock sliders
  • 1.25 inch daystar body lift
  • Smitty built x2o 12,000 winch with wireless remote
  • Lock rite locker in the rear
  • Jks quick disconnect sway bar links
  • Bed rug carpet
  • Rugged ridge mirrors
  • Tuffy security full console
  • Steel front and rear bumper
  • RC seat covers
  • Vouke headlights
  • Tecniq round tail lights
  • RC 1.50 inch spacers

  • Jeep Wrangler JL Non JL purchase help. A2004678-8A9D-4D93-9EBB-82216DD673A8

    Jeep Wrangler JL Non JL purchase help. 91D7F20C-8EC5-4C6E-A184-2788DC7EEA95

    Jeep Wrangler JL Non JL purchase help. 87F176E9-7328-4B1B-A2A2-ECC90EAE3DE9
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Stl-Rubicon

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I've owned 2 YJ's and an LJ (long wheelbase TJ). The TJ is a much better daily driver (and often better off-road for that matter). You didn't mention how old your son is but if he's a new driver the TJ will have airbags which would be peace of mind for me as neither the YJ or TJ has the best handling especially when lifted.
 
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Rubi SoHo

Rubi SoHo

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I've owned 2 YJ's and an LJ (long wheelbase TJ). The TJ is a much better daily driver (and often better off-road for that matter). You didn't mention how old your son is but if he's a new driver the TJ will have airbags which would be peace of mind for me as neither the YJ or TJ has the best handling especially when lifted.
Yes, son will be a new driver. Hadn’t thought of the airbag difference (shamefully). He’s partial to the YJ, but rational enough to recognize where money is better spent most of the time. I like the sound of the TJ more, personally. But YJ’s are only increasing in value, and fairly quickly these days. I think that first YJ (the Navajo) one could fetch $12k - $15k for a patient seller, so maybe it’d be an investment vehicle.
 
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Rubi SoHo

Rubi SoHo

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Well, we ended up buying a YJ, a pretty great one actually. After writing this we had a chat, he let me know he really really wanted the YJ over the TJ, he was willing to do what I thought was best, but he was super hopeful to be able to get a YJ. Given that it will be his purchase, and that he’s worked so hard to be able to make it, I couldn’t stand in the way of that.

We ended up with option #1 from my first post; and so far it has been great. Solid little jeep that he can learn to maintain and use properly. He’s a a very responsible young man, and I’m confident he can take proper care of it, and with it. I’m pumped that he’s been able to see the results of his labor born out in something he’s so excited about.
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