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To get a Wrangler... or not.

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Marlin
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Joined: 25 Mar 2004
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2004 7:33 pm    Post subject: To get a Wrangler... or not. Reply with quote

Up front, all of you should know that I am 16 years old. I am purchasing my first vehicle. I would like it to be a Jeep.

Ever since, at the age of two, I was involved in an 8-roll over accident being hit by a drifting old woman's car head-on on a two-way road in a Jeep Cherokee(XJ), I've had a particular affinity for these rugged vehicles.

Thus, I do believe I would like a Wrangler. Originally wanted a truck but then decided that it would be too large for my purposes, and too large to manage, considering I'm starting out here. But which one to get?

I am paying half of the purchase, thankfully my wonderful parents agreed to pay half, acknowledging that I'm not a crazy driver like most of the kids around this area(whose parents buy them BMWs and Mustangs... Rolling Eyes ).

I currently am on track to have(via work and stock market investments) approximately 13-14 thousand dollars. Thus, total, I should be able to afford something around 26-28 thousand, maximum. It's safe to say that I'm both proud of saving up and excited that I will be able to get a nice vehicle.

I was looking at Saharas... and at Rubicons. The Unlimited interests me, if I were to get a Sahara I'd just as well get an Unlimited, the extra space would be useful. Though, I don't plan to carry a whole bunch everywhere. Which is why a regular TJ would be more than sufficient.

And especially considering that most of my friends are getting vehicles in some capacity or another, I will not have a need to carry more than one other person the majority of the time, so I intend on just taking the back seats out for most of the time.

I'd like a hard top even though I live in Texas, I will be doing a good deal of highway driving, and also I would like a soft top for the hot summer months down here. My main concern is that the soft top is easily opened from the outside. I figured this out at the dealership one day when it was closed. Shocked

I'm considering a half top, as I said I would not need to probably carry more than one person. But most of the time I will use the hard top, so why get a full soft top, I figure...

My mother told me that she will help me build something to unload the hard top onto if I get it. How hard is it to take off and put on? The service people at the dealership showed us the removal of a soft top but would not do the same for a hard top... How do you manage this?

Does anyone switch between hard and soft top on a relatively regular basis(every month or few)?


What accessories should I get, too? This is a longer-term question. I've pretty much decided that if I do get the Rubicon(I hope to and do some recreational wheeling, and maybe build it up later), I will probably get it in Patriot Blue. We saw one while visiting Colorado for a ski vacation last week(spring break), and it looked great. I can't even fathom how wonderful a Rubicon would look with the chrome grill insert, chrome tubular bumpers, and chrome exhaust tip. Very Happy But that would be another longer-term upgrade set. When I get more money I'll upgrade the Jeep gradually.


So what is anyone's advice? I have asked this similarly in another forum, and got some good help and answers. But you guys are a particularly good set, and I would love every ounce of advice you care to pour me.


Thanks a lot,

Marlin. Very Happy
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Code3TJ
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I were in your shoes, I'd take a look at some of the used Jeeps. There are a lot of them around that have never left the road and are in good shape. Granted you're considering a long term investment, I'd also think about how much a brand new vehicle depreciates. Also, if you get a used one, you'll have plenty of money left over to do any mods you desire.
Having driven my last Jeep across TX in the middle of summer with a soft top, I'd probably look at a hard top. Yes, the soft top is pretty easy to get into but if somebody wants your stuff, they'll get inside no matter what. I strongly encourage everybody not to leave anything they value in their vehicle.
Hope this gives you some ideas and I'm sure there'll be more input. Wink
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Tx Outlaw
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Joined: 05 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where in Texas are you?

I originally started with a hardtop and sld it later - staying with a soft top now. A friend of mine has the sailcloth top with full doors and has no problem staying cool with the a/c on in 100+ degrees.

I wouldn't suggest getting a Sahara if you're planning on wheeling much. You'll either take off a lot of the equipment you just invested in, or tear it off (or up) on the trail.

Remember, you can order exactly what you want from a dealer when you get a new vehicle and it'll usually cost less than buying off the lot. I paid 1% over dealer invoice for mine by ordering it. Sometimes buying a used vehicle means you just purchased someone else's problems.

Good luck in your search and purchase.

Chuck
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XJ Fanatics Girl
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Joined: 23 Mar 2004
Location: allentown,PA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

definetly go to some used car dealers... pretty good stuff out there! just as Code3TJ said, you will get it at an awesome price and have some money to up your jeep later.. ha ha crazy jeep
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ehirner
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 2:19 pm    Post subject: Re: To get a Wrangler... or not. Reply with quote

Marlin wrote:
I can't even fathom how wonderful a Rubicon would look with the chrome grill insert, chrome tubular bumpers, and chrome exhaust tip. Very Happy

Did anyone else catch this? My advice, please don't do this to a Rubicon....actually, don't do it to any Jeep in general. You'll realize shortly thereafter that this stuff isn't worth the money. It rusts easily (although you probably don't see much rust in TX) and isn't worth the money they charge for the stuff. Seriously.

Ok...now for some more constructive advice, I'm with the others about finding a late model used Jeep for a couple reasons.

1) It will be cheaper. If you've got that much saved up, awesome. But don't drop your entire savings on a new vehicle. That's a very poor investment. And, you'll also look more responsible and frugal to the parents instead of buying the most expensive thing you can afford.

In addition, once the Jeep bug bites, you'll be scrapping every nickel and dime together to buy parts and make modifications to your Jeep. By purchasing a late model used, you'll spend less on the vehicle and have plenty left over for mods (do I hear a lift and bigger tires coming???)

The late model used Jeeps should still have plenty of warranty remaining as Jeep has had the 7 year/70,000 mile warranty now for a couple years. I think they started that in late 2001.

2) Not saying you're necessarily a bad driver or irresponsible, but I'm sure it'd hurt a lot more if you do something stupid and smack up a brand new vehicle vs one that you paid less for. You're 16. I don't care how responsible you believe you are, there's not a lot of experience driving and that can lead to problems. Trust me, I was there. I had 5 accidents in 5 years. After the last one (which wasn't my fault), I've been able to see a drastic change in my driving behavior. Granted, I'm still horrible when it comes to road rage, but my actual driving has changed.

If you're still looking to buy a new one, check out JeepWarehouse.com before you do. You will custom order your Jeep with the options you want, rather than a cookie cutter Jeep that DC thinks some buyer will like. Ordering through JeepWarehouse will save you thousands. The Jeep can be delivered to a local dealer, or you could travel to Indiana where JeepWarehouse is located and drive your Jeep home. I've ordered my Unlimited through JW and am very pleased with the service so far.
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Code3TJ
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, being 16, you'll save a bit of $$$ if you get a model that's a couple of years old as opposed to a brand new one. Wink
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qadhafi
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get a Hard top and Full Steel Doors, no matter what you get. There is always a market for these. You'll probably end up keeping them, but you can always sell them off.

I'd suggest buying used from a reputable dealer. I got my YJ (94 Sahara w/ Hardtop, A/C, 32" Tires, some Jiggy $1200 Wheels, and a 3" BL) For $4800. If you could find a similar deal (even up to $9000) Then you could even afford the down payment on a daily driver, which not everyone has but those of us who do are lucky.

Just some thoughts.
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Marlin
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Joined: 25 Mar 2004
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Code3TJ wrote:
If I were in your shoes, I'd take a look at some of the used Jeeps. There are a lot of them around that have never left the road and are in good shape. Granted you're considering a long term investment, I'd also think about how much a brand new vehicle depreciates. Also, if you get a used one, you'll have plenty of money left over to do any mods you desire.
Having driven my last Jeep across TX in the middle of summer with a soft top, I'd probably look at a hard top. Yes, the soft top is pretty easy to get into but if somebody wants your stuff, they'll get inside no matter what. I strongly encourage everybody not to leave anything they value in their vehicle.
Hope this gives you some ideas and I'm sure there'll be more input. Wink


I've been looking hard for good late model used Jeeps. There are a few out there, but most of them are Sports, X's, and then the Saharas for some reason are usually pre-2000.

Did I mention I'm an auto transmission guy? Yeah, though I could drive a manual with some practice, I'm going for an auto because I've grown up using autos, and also, apparently they are better for rock crawling in some cases.

The hard top thing is interesting... a lot of people had told me before that a soft top would be better because I could have the natural cooling effect of the wind on my side at a whim... but I had doubts that a soft top would be a lot of fun to drive long distances.

We have family all over Texas, mainly northward to the Dallas area, and that's a good 3 or 4 hour drive if you are going the speed limit, depending. Also, we go hunting usually a few times a year(more recent years have brought family circumstances that have prevented this), and I personally am the type who loves to explore and go places.

Simply said, I'll be going longer distances than most would on a more regular basis, and I think the hard top would be a better investment, at least for now. If I get good at taking it off and putting it back on, I may invest in something like a Safari bikini or a half top.

That gave me many ideas, and you guys have said as much important information in a few posts than the other board did in one hundred something posts. Very Happy
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ehirner
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's behind the desire for the Sahara? Aside from the different seating surfaces and slightly wider flares, they're the same as any other Wrangler. And the flares can be added to any Wrangler for $250 brand spanking new. I don't feel the Sahara is worth the extra money over a Sport.

You're 16...how many autos could you have really driven and grown up in? I think everyone should learn how to drive a manual at some point in their life. I also really feel the driver pays much more attention to actually driving with a manual than with an auto. It would certainly work to your advantage in increase your driving skill and ability by getting a manual.
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Marlin
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Joined: 25 Mar 2004
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tx Outlaw wrote:
Where in Texas are you?

I originally started with a hardtop and sld it later - staying with a soft top now. A friend of mine has the sailcloth top with full doors and has no problem staying cool with the a/c on in 100+ degrees.

I wouldn't suggest getting a Sahara if you're planning on wheeling much. You'll either take off a lot of the equipment you just invested in, or tear it off (or up) on the trail.

Remember, you can order exactly what you want from a dealer when you get a new vehicle and it'll usually cost less than buying off the lot. I paid 1% over dealer invoice for mine by ordering it. Sometimes buying a used vehicle means you just purchased someone else's problems.

Good luck in your search and purchase.

Chuck


The Greater Houston area.

I'd rather not get a Sahara if I could get a Rubicon, this one site that someone here mentioned just saved me about $2000 bucks on one, fully loaded, with all the comfort options of a Sahara. Shocked


As far as ordering what I want, I did not know I could save that way, but that's what I planned to do all along. I would have options anyway that would call for getting it straight from Jeep. Especially if I got a Rubicon.
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Marlin
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2004 11:59 am    Post subject: Re: To get a Wrangler... or not. Reply with quote

ehirner wrote:
Marlin wrote:
I can't even fathom how wonderful a Rubicon would look with the chrome grill insert, chrome tubular bumpers, and chrome exhaust tip. Very Happy

Did anyone else catch this? My advice, please don't do this to a Rubicon....actually, don't do it to any Jeep in general. You'll realize shortly thereafter that this stuff isn't worth the money. It rusts easily (although you probably don't see much rust in TX) and isn't worth the money they charge for the stuff. Seriously.

Ok...now for some more constructive advice, I'm with the others about finding a late model used Jeep for a couple reasons.

1) It will be cheaper. If you've got that much saved up, awesome. But don't drop your entire savings on a new vehicle. That's a very poor investment. And, you'll also look more responsible and frugal to the parents instead of buying the most expensive thing you can afford.

In addition, once the Jeep bug bites, you'll be scrapping every nickel and dime together to buy parts and make modifications to your Jeep. By purchasing a late model used, you'll spend less on the vehicle and have plenty left over for mods (do I hear a lift and bigger tires coming???)

The late model used Jeeps should still have plenty of warranty remaining as Jeep has had the 7 year/70,000 mile warranty now for a couple years. I think they started that in late 2001.

2) Not saying you're necessarily a bad driver or irresponsible, but I'm sure it'd hurt a lot more if you do something stupid and smack up a brand new vehicle vs one that you paid less for. You're 16. I don't care how responsible you believe you are, there's not a lot of experience driving and that can lead to problems. Trust me, I was there. I had 5 accidents in 5 years. After the last one (which wasn't my fault), I've been able to see a drastic change in my driving behavior. Granted, I'm still horrible when it comes to road rage, but my actual driving has changed.

If you're still looking to buy a new one, check out JeepWarehouse.com before you do. You will custom order your Jeep with the options you want, rather than a cookie cutter Jeep that DC thinks some buyer will like. Ordering through JeepWarehouse will save you thousands. The Jeep can be delivered to a local dealer, or you could travel to Indiana where JeepWarehouse is located and drive your Jeep home. I've ordered my Unlimited through JW and am very pleased with the service so far.



I'm sure that once I actually get the Jeep I'll be less keen on making it look any different than it already would be, but you never know, at some point I may buy at least the grill just to see what it looks like, if I can ever get that much. If I don't like it I can always sell it.

As far as the used Jeep, I've answered that.

But the advice you gave about the new Jeep... I can't even express in measly words on a message board how much that will help me. Jeep Warehouse.com, I configured the Rubicon to my specifications, hard top and all the Sahara standard options, and you know how much I saved over Jeep? $1500!!! And if I were to add the dual top group(which I easily could for all the money I'm saving), I'd save around $2000.

But when you get the quote from JW and it is: $25,266.00

Versus what Jeep would have me pay: $26,785.00

That's really, really incredible. I'm going to look up how easy it would be for me to actually get me that Jeep. Or can anyone tell me?

Do they have to ship it here?
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Marlin
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*cough* Does anyone know in detail how Jeep Warehouse works? Or has anyone actually purchased a vehicle from them?


Very Happy
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ehirner
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marlin wrote:
*cough* Does anyone know in detail how Jeep Warehouse works? Or has anyone actually purchased a vehicle from them?


Very Happy

I'm in the process of buying my Unlimited from Bill Shoemaker at JeepWarehouse. Let me dig up the email he sent me that describes the process.
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Marlin
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2004 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ehirner wrote:
Marlin wrote:
*cough* Does anyone know in detail how Jeep Warehouse works? Or has anyone actually purchased a vehicle from them?


Very Happy

I'm in the process of buying my Unlimited from Bill Shoemaker at JeepWarehouse. Let me dig up the email he sent me that describes the process.



That would be great!
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ehirner
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2004 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's what Bill from JeepWarehouse sent me describing the process.

Quote:
The procedure is really pretty simple. It starts with a vehicle submitted by you. I respond with any corrections or suggestions as needed. Once we are both on the same page a $500 order deposit starts things moving. At that time I also need a credit app. or if you are using your own financing an approval from your source.

I then order your Jeep from the factory and if you wish set up a delivery in your area. I can't promise a specific dealer since not all will work with me or have reasonable fees. I can stay away from a dealer that you don't like and also would like to stay away from a dealer whom you have been negotiating with. I usually can find a dealer which is a little drive for you, but still reasonably convenient.

Generally it is up to you to handle the registration and title with your state's DMV. I have some dealers I use often that will handle paperwork without additional fees, but many want another $200 if they handle paperwork. Regardless of point of delivery, you will only pay your own sales tax based on where your first register your Jeep. Even if you picked it up at our dealership you always sign an Indiana form that you won't be registering it in Indiana and this exempts from all Indiana taxes and fees.

I try to keep you informed of movement when your Jeep is assigned a VIN and again when I can confirm that it has been shipped. Once it has arrived there, I send out a FedEx pack with all the paperwork and a return envelope. You sign off on the paper work including contracts and send any additional downpayment you wish in the return. When it arrives here it gets checked over and I phone the other dealer to release the vehicle and put you in contact with someone there to set an appointment for the delivery. If you wish you are free to go and inspect the Jeep before returning the FedEx. You will pick it up with a 31 day Indiana temp tag that was in the FedEx. The actual titlework will be mailed to you via certified mail about 10 days later. You then take that paperwork along with your Bill of Sale to DMV and they will collect the tax and register the Jeep. The other dealership is strictly a delivery agent and is never any part of the sale. Fleet buyers and leasers have been doing drop ships or "courtesy deliveries" for years. It isn't anything new to most dealers. Like I said, I avoid your neighborhood dealer or any dealer that you have been negotiating with to avoid any hard feelings.

The days of dealerships supporting loosing service departments to support sales are long gone. A dealership is actually 4 different and management wise independent businesses. Believe me, when the sales department here needs something done to any new or used vehicle the service department charges us and the "in house" discount is only 15%. The service manager in any dealership you would go to wants and needs your business both in and out of warranty and couldn't care less where you purchased. All franchised dealers are expected by Chrysler to honor all factory and factory extended warranties. That doesn't mean that the owner's best friend doesn't go always to the top of the list, but it does mean that you will get good and proper treatment as you can always go to another dealer for service. This isn't to say that all dealerships or departments within a dealership are created equal. In the case of my dealership, Polo Jeep, I would consider the downstairs retail sales department to only be average while the service department is one of the best. I have also seen more than one dealership where sales was very good and service awful. Remember they are actually different businesses with different management only serving under one umbrella. We are a Jeep only dealer and do a lot of Dodge and Chrysler service in and out of warranty since the other dealer in town has a so so service department. Much of your work could actually be done by a Chrysler only dealership, just don't ask him to work on a transfer case since he has no one trained in that item. The only Chrysler products that we don't service are Dodge diesels and Vipers as we don't have anyone trained in those areas.

I have been selling Jeeps this way over the Internet for 4 years now and only a few times have I had a problem with another dealer and those were all NYC metro or Texas. I don't know why, but that has been the way it has worked. I don't do deliveries in the New York metro area any more. I sell a lot into NYC, but deliver them in western New Jersey or mostly Hartford, CT. I even have a lot of people make the trip to Indiana. I especially see a lot of people from the DC area. They catch a flight from Baltimore to Dayton for under $100 and can actually save a buck and get an adventure for free. We pick up in Dayton and Indy airports. I even had a guy fly in from Los Angles last winter, but he had friends to visit in the area and spent a week skiing in Colorado on the way back home.


Hope that helps.
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