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Old 09-07-2015, 04:39 PM   #1
lone_wolf025
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Rebuilt top to bottom oldie Jeep or "new" used under 20k

I'm starting a search for a new car for my wife. She's in the MN guard and drives halfway up into the state to go to drill every month. Summer months she's fine with her Mazda 3, but the thing is crap in the snow. She's got her heart set on a Jeep in a Wrangler.

My crazy idea is to buy an old CJ-7 Jeep ('82 or older) that isn't a tetanus shot waiting to happen and rebuild it top to bottom. End game I'm thinking $17-20K. The other option that I don't like is buy a used '03+ for around the same price from carmax and just deal with any problems that pop up.

My way of thinking is with a full rebuild done by the right place I can get a guarantee that the thing won't have any problems for a few years or they fix it for free, plus with a rebuild the thing could last for another 10yrs. Compared to a used Jeep I'd be lucky to have it last 5 most likely before problems start getting bad.

So am I crazy?
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Ahhh but that would be in the land of "Makes Sense"...you forget that we live in the land of "DUHHH"
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Old 09-07-2015, 05:41 PM   #2
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My idea is this.


Why build an old jeep from basically ground up, and dump 20k into it, just for it to be a winter vehicle and get eaten up? Its just not worth the time and money for it to be used in that fashion....


If you really need a second vehicle for winter, just buy one.


Me, i would tough it out and just buy good winter tires.... Cheaper in the long run....


But i have driven through a rough winter with bald tires in a FWD car and i managed just fine... Hell, my daily now has no ABS or trac control. And i push through just fine.
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:36 PM   #3
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The CJ was the stumpy wheelbase that was prone to roll over, right?

I sure as hell wouldn't use that for a winter DD. The grand cherokee is part billy goat. my cousin had 1, bald tires, and it'd go where I couldn't with new AT tires and 450lbs in the back of a 2wd truck. And I got around pretty decent with that.

But I would stay away from the CJ for a winter. Don't seal up well, it'll be cold, I personally wouldn't do it
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no sht it's spreading like a disease..and you guys aren't even picking decent cars to turn into garage queens..
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the resulting violent shake at highway speed may cause loss of control, white knuckles, loss of dental fillings, urinary incontinence and sudden religious conversion.
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Old 09-07-2015, 08:48 PM   #4
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I would just get it for winter use, but my wife is really pushing for the offroad capabilities. Basically we'd be using the Jeep for trails and stuff in addition to being a regular vehicle. Personally if I had $40k I'd just get her a 4 runner, but $17k is my budget and I want something that'll last for quite some time. Were I to get a crap vehicle for just the snow, how much money would I have to sink into it to make it safe and reliable for 1000 mile round trip every month? Even getting to that reliable field starts pushing the price much higher.

Frankly though even with snow tires the mazda "suffers" from lower ground clearance. Makes for great handling but the thing just plows snow greater than a few inches. My GA I have no problems with driving in snow and is reliable for anything up to say 6" but still would be a problem if a storm hits. Not to mention it has its own issues.

The gist is she wants a Jeep and there's no convincing her otherwise at this point. I can't tell you how many mechanics and knowledgeable people have told her Jeeps nowadays tend to be crap quality and constantly in the shop.
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Old 09-08-2015, 05:08 AM   #5
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Well what usually goes bad on jeeps is ball joints, quite often actually... And rear main seals just start dumping oil.
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Old 09-08-2015, 06:56 PM   #6
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bricooper78 has made plenty of valid pointsbricooper78 has made plenty of valid points
Buddy of mine keeps his shop open with all the newer jeeps, and as he said "Its not little stuff with these things, it's always end of the world type stuff"

Shuddup Sleepy! my 5.3 has the rear main leak, like most of the GM 5.3s have
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no sht it's spreading like a disease..and you guys aren't even picking decent cars to turn into garage queens..
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the resulting violent shake at highway speed may cause loss of control, white knuckles, loss of dental fillings, urinary incontinence and sudden religious conversion.
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Old 09-08-2015, 07:37 PM   #7
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A Wrangler purchase is a lifestyle decision, and not one made of concern for economy or reliability. The spartan, nothing-complicated-to-break ethos of the Jeep's heyday simply does not exist in the modern automotive manufacturing climate, and repair costs -- like those of any new vehicle -- reflect this in the JK.

The 'Jeep Thang' culture ensures values of all generations remain inflated. Unless it's a recent *proper* resto (good luck...) with a ridiculous asking price, a CJ will be a rotten, clapped out crapwagon bearing the scars of the last three owners' misguided 'mods.' A 'top-to-bottom' rebuild will be affordable to Average Joe only in the DIY paradigm, and on that timeframe, probably won't be ready until winter 2017-18. No shop in its right mind will put any kind of breakdown warranty on a classic like that; furthermore, professional restoration costs on top acquisition costs make checkbooks wilt.

A classic Jeep doesn't sound a good candidate for a reliable, comfortable winter beater. Even if the rare, well-done stock restoration (or virtually non existent survivor) is pressed into winter duty, it's still a thirty year old clanky, drafty, carbureted relic. When the wind blows, the snow flies and the plows are out, fuel injection, weatherstripping, insulation, antilock brakes and a heater with a capacity exceeding that of a lizard fart are awfully attractive features.

The purpose of this rant isn't to imply Jeeps are foolish, worthless or not worth owning. The wife wants a trail toy? Buy a CJ and invest time and money making it fun. Jeeps are cool. Need a winter mobile? Find a grandma-owned Subaru, T10 Blazer or something of the sort, and the $20k budget still has $17k left to blow on the trail toy.
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I'm pretty sure you don't need 600HP to merge safely onto a freeway. and if you do, you're doing it wrong.
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how do you think i ever got girls to show up? i'm only paying for so many of them
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Old 09-09-2015, 06:08 PM   #8
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I completely forgot about a blazer/jimmy. the little ol' S10 lineage are CHEAP, and I mean DIRT CHEAP to buy and rebuild, a billion parts around for them, a million in scrap yards, they're cheap, easy, and if you tank it in a snow drift, who the hell cares? you got a good shot at pulling yourself out, and if not, you bend some stuff, there are PLENTY of spares out to be had!!

And they're not much bigger than a jeep, they got the ground clearance too!
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no sht it's spreading like a disease..and you guys aren't even picking decent cars to turn into garage queens..
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the resulting violent shake at highway speed may cause loss of control, white knuckles, loss of dental fillings, urinary incontinence and sudden religious conversion.
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Old 09-17-2015, 07:50 AM   #9
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A Wrangler purchase is a lifestyle decision, and not one made of concern for economy or reliability. The spartan, nothing-complicated-to-break ethos of the Jeep's heyday simply does not exist in the modern automotive manufacturing climate, and repair costs -- like those of any new vehicle -- reflect this in the JK.

The 'Jeep Thang' culture ensures values of all generations remain inflated. Unless it's a recent *proper* resto (good luck...) with a ridiculous asking price, a CJ will be a rotten, clapped out crapwagon bearing the scars of the last three owners' misguided 'mods.' A 'top-to-bottom' rebuild will be affordable to Average Joe only in the DIY paradigm, and on that timeframe, probably won't be ready until winter 2017-18. No shop in its right mind will put any kind of breakdown warranty on a classic like that; furthermore, professional restoration costs on top acquisition costs make checkbooks wilt.

A classic Jeep doesn't sound a good candidate for a reliable, comfortable winter beater. Even if the rare, well-done stock restoration (or virtually non existent survivor) is pressed into winter duty, it's still a thirty year old clanky, drafty, carbureted relic. When the wind blows, the snow flies and the plows are out, fuel injection, weatherstripping, insulation, antilock brakes and a heater with a capacity exceeding that of a lizard fart are awfully attractive features.

The purpose of this rant isn't to imply Jeeps are foolish, worthless or not worth owning. The wife wants a trail toy? Buy a CJ and invest time and money making it fun. Jeeps are cool. Need a winter mobile? Find a grandma-owned Subaru, T10 Blazer or something of the sort, and the $20k budget still has $17k left to blow on the trail toy.
I couldnt agree more, and I'm an old jeep fanboy. I had an 88 wrangler and I loved it, in fact I want another, but a good winter vehicle it was not. I had the hard top, which never sealed well. drafty is an understatement. If I got a jeep now it would be that first gen wrangler (yj?), and I'd go crazy with the dynamat and carpet to help insulate it. Then I'd go nuts with weather stripping. The motor can be rebuilt and will last for 300k (the 4.2L) but the rest needs attention. Not to mention the fact that these have been used and abused for 30+ years, good luck finding one with a straight frame and any usable body panels.

I suggest an early 2000s Subaru Outback or like earlier suggest k10 blazer.
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