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Old 09-07-2016, 09:12 AM
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$5000 Budget for "New-to-Me"

Group,

I know this will sound crazy, but here it is...

After years of wanting a Wrangler, I'm finally in a position to get one. I have a softish $5000 budget (can stretch it a bit, but not to $6000). The biggest catch...this will be my DD ride and I drive 60 miles to work (120 miles round-trip) daily, with the majority being highway miles, at 70+ mph.

Obviously, I know the Wrangler is a brick, as far as aerodynamics, so don't worry about how much I'll pay for gas - my problem.

So... where does that leave me? I'm looking for a "stock-as-possible" Jeep (I think - please correct me). What years/condition can I expect to look for? Engine rebuilds okay? Salvage titles? Mileage? 6 cyl vs. 4 cyl ?

Best places to look? Craigslist has been a little disappointing, since almost everything I'm seeing is a project or has clearly been lifted/modified.

I'm in North Carolina, if that helps any.

Looking for ideas.

Thanks!

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Old 09-07-2016, 09:24 AM
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Re: $5000 Budget for "New-to-Me"

At Jeep.com you can click on "Find A Dealer". Put in your zip code, then narrow down your search to 50 mile radius, 100 mile radius, etc. Then you can search all the used inventory in all the dealerships in your target area. You can get an idea of comparable prices, find some "cherry" low mileage little old lady rides, search only the ones up to $5000.00, compare features and options, etc. This is how I found my 2011 GC about 90 miles away.
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Old 09-07-2016, 10:36 AM
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Re: $5000 Budget for "New-to-Me"

I was in a similar boat a few years back. My searching found very few good-condition Wranglers under 10k. Those in that price range tended to have some pretty serious issues.

Now, that said, I was looking in Maine. Our winters (and the salt that comes with it) are very rough on vehicles. So they age faster than more temperate climates. So you might have better luck in NC.

I'd also agree with Governor: use online tools to check dealers near(ish) to you. While buying from a dealer might be a bit more expensive than buying private-sale, you're also much less likely to end up with hidden mechanical defects.

Good luck!
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:40 PM
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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.
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Old 09-10-2016, 10:37 PM
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Re: $5000 Budget for "New-to-Me"

Guys,

I've decided to go against an older Wrangler as a long distance commuter.

Thanks for the advice and thanks for listening...
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