Re: $5000 Budget for "New-to-Me"
I have to imagine you can get into a nice TJ for that money. You're already pretty far south in NC, so you should be able to find a few in your price range that aren't completely rusted to death. Are you strictly shopping JKs or is a TJ doable? If so, I'd target the 6cyl with little or no lift kit on it and then do with it what you want from there. A TJ for that price will probably even have some options on it. Expect them to be around 100k miles at that price for a 2000 model. They aren't the most comfortable highway ride in the world either, but I did it too in my 99.
Tony-13 JKU Sahara, Black. LED white fender lights & signals, JW Speaker LED heads and fogs and tails, LED windshield and rear bumper lights, retrofit Homelink GD opener, LED interior lighting, shorty antenna, weathertech liners, Drake gas filler. 67 Designs phone mount, Rugged Ridge hood catches, dead pedal, ventshades, rampage windshield tie down & stops, solid stainless lugs, 20% front tint, sill guards, FMF spare delete kit, OffRoadHeros cargo top, K&N FIPK intake, Smittybilt Molle roll bar covers, and lots of carbon fiber hydrographics. ToDo list: programmer, exhaust, and a bunch of other stuff.
15 Cherokee KL Latitude Edition with cold weather package. Bone stock.
PAST JEEPS : 99 TJ Sport, 98 XJ Sport, 04 WJ Limited, 06 WK Laredo, 09 KK Liberty