Looking to buy a used Jeep TJ 4x4?
Written: January 27, 2011
WARN's Customer Service team
suggests some things to consider.
Many people do not find it necessary, but the 4.0L (inline 6 cylinder.) motor is superior to the 4 cylinder. option. Just not enough power in the 4 cyl. to get things done!
The Jeep TJ manual transmissions are decent, especially on-road. The automatic transmission will lack a little performance on-road but are undoubtedly easier to drive off-road as it is much smoother and less abusive to the drive train. The choice in manual vs. automatic transmission comes down to personnel preference. If you do select an automatic transmission be sure and check the fluid, if it is a dark reddish color you can expect to rebuild the transmission in the near future, if it is clear and red it probably has had regular service.
If possible, try to find a Jeep TJ with a Dana 44 rear axle, this will be adequate for an oversize tires and is a durable axle for off-road challenges. The Dana 44 was offered as an option starting in '98 models and should be plentiful for the average off-road application.
Mechanically Jeeps are solid. Some things to look for though: inspect for any obvious oil leaks from rear main seal located at the back of the oil pan where it meets the transmission bell housing. A little oil build up is normal on a higher mileage 4.0 but visible dripping oil means a repair bill or at least a day in the garage if you replace it yourself. Check the engine oil if it is a lighter brown color it could have a damaged head gasket or been over heated, a clear clean oil would be a good indication of regular maintenance.
If you have plans to eventually build this up for trail use, you will be way ahead of the game to find a "Rubicon" model (offered '03-06). These came from the factory with the 6 cyl. motor, Dana 44 axles front and rear with selectable lockers, and a low range (4 to 1 reduction) transfer case. Basically you end up with upgrades from the factory that will cost thousands of dollars to do through the aftermarket. More money up front, less money in the long run.
The vehicle body should be clear of any major rust areas, look closely if it has corner covers or additional armor on the body, this maybe hiding rust or significant body damage. See WARN Body Armor
And last if it does have a winch, be sure it is a WARN Winch
, the best winch made.
Need help picking the right winch? Try reading this article How to choose the right winch
or Contact our Customer Service Team
Filed under: Truck/Jeep/SUV