Last post on Feb 12, 2013 at 3:29 PM
You are in the Jeep Wrangler
What is this discussion about?
Jeep Wrangler, SUV
#1480 of 23393 Newbie Intro and questions.
Mar 14, 2001 (2:11 pm)
Hi all! I've been following the board for several months now and have read all the 1400+ previous messages that have been posted here and thought I'd join in. Seems like a well informed group of enthusiasts, who like to exchange info, have fun, share stories, wisdom, opinions, and advise and generally get excited about the Jeepster aspects of their lives.
Plus, I have a couple of questions that have been addressed here already, but now I can't remember the answers and after going back and scanning through the messages, can't seem to find the topic.
I live in Austin,Texas (great Jeep'n in the surrounding hill country). I'm 35 years young (I'm trying to squeeze that into every communication possible since I can 'truthfully' say it only one more day). Tomorrow begins the next leg of my continuing journey toward the big 40, and beyond (I hope) and to help ease the pain, for my b-day (any excuse will do), I'm considering treating myself to a new (2001) Jeep Wrangler. I'm having a little trouble justifying it, because I have a 1998 Jeep Wrangler SE (4cyl) 5-speed, that I practically stole two years ago when I bought it new. I got it cheap. I paid $12,900, which even back then, was well below invoice, though I don't remember how much. Anyway, it only has 21,000 miles on it, and another year left on the factory warranty, so I don't really NEED another one. It was the last 1998 left on the lot in Feb. 1999. It's a deep green with a spice top and spice interior. It had about 5 miles on it when I test drove it. It is pretty well equipped for the price. Vinyl seats, tilt steering, full spare, flip and tumble back seat, full carpeting, am/fm stereo, etc (not the bare bones-steering- wheel-and-one-seat-only versions they bait you with in the advertisements). Still, it doesn't have a CD player, or cruise control, or an a/c, this being the biggie in Texas and why I think it was still on the lot and why I was able to get it so cheap. I intended to have a/c added by the dealer, which they said they could do for about $1,200 (have to include labor), but I never have gotten 'round to it. Just like I never got around to the cruise control, or the cd player and sound bar speakers. It doesn't actually bother me much that there's no a/c, because if it's not raining, I pretty much have the top down, which makes an a/c nearly useless anyway. There's a few times a year that it's hot and muggy and humid AND raining and I have a meeting with full suit and tie, dripping in sweat, I begin to HATE myself for not getting an a/c, but after the day passes, I forget about it, and the next day I'm cruis'n round soak'n up the sun and feeling that life is good again. BUT, I really miss a cruise control, and I'm a total audio file and tired of driving around jamm'n with headphones (although, at highway speeds, makes the whole wind noise debate moot).
So here's my logic. I love the jeep I have. It's great. But it's almost easier to just get a new one than to have to add an a/c, cd player, and cruise. Plus, I'm not very mechanical, and have no desire to be, I want to spend my time and money at play, and not having something repaired. So I don't plan to ever again own a vehicle that's not under warranty. Actually, I haven't had one single problem with my Jeep, yet. Pretty ironic because the car I had before was a Mazda Miata, and the car before that was a Honda Accord, and both were in the shop several times before they had 21,000 miles on them (the Honda had some pretty pricey stuff at 40,000 miles, hence my decision to never be without a warranty again, and why I traded it off for a new Mazda). The ol' Jeepster, hasn't been to the shop once, except for oil changes. And it's by far my favorite automobile of those I've owned. It's a good combo between toy and transportation. Still, though he's been great so far, I don't care what kind brand, there's no getting around the fact that bad things happen to good autos <smile>. So, since my warranty will be running out Feb 2002, I figure I better start planning on ordering my next one. Then there is also the fear they will either stop making them, or alter them to such an extent that the appeal is gone, in which case, I want to have one with low miles, and a renewed warranty.
I could keep this one and get an extended warranty, but again, I guess I'm kinda look'n for an excuse to get all the other goodies, like a cd player, the subwoofer and sound bar, a/c, the better and supposedly quieter soft top, cruise control, and maybe the 6 cylinder in either a Sport or Sahara. So, by the time I add all the cost and labor for adding all those to the Jeep I have, I figure it's be little difference in cost to just trade….or so my logic goes.
I'd consider the Sahara, since it's easier to find them loaded up on the lot, and then I wouldn't have to order, but I don't want cloth seats. I love the vinyl seats…so easy to clean up and durable and low maintenance too. So, I'm thinking I'll just get an SE or a Sport, with all the goodies, but with the vinyl seats. It's pretty easy to find SE's with, but virtually impossible to find a Sport, loaded, with vinyl seats, so I'll probably still have to order. I don't really like the word "sport" or "sahara" plastered over the vehicle though. Can these decals be omitted if ordered, or is there a safe way to remove them?
Which brings me to my other questions. As long as I'm probably going to have to order anyway, I might as well go down the list and check off everything I want, or think is a good safety feature.
Like I said, I'm not very mechanical, and I don't really understand how ABS works or what the Track-lock does. I know it's been discussed here before, but could someone give a basic summary of how each works and the advantages, and disadvantages (maintenance/ repairs, or special care that should be considered), if any, for both the ABS and the Track-lock options?
We don't get much snow, or ice here in Austin. In fact, it's rarely below 40 degrees, but we do have seasonal rain. Is ABS valuable in the rain, as with snow and ice? How about Track-lock? Does it help out in the rain? I don't do any serious off road 'n, just the beach, or mild to moderate trails….maybe a little mud, or a creek here and there, but predominantly just hopping curbs and laughing at speed bumps here in the urban jungle.
ABS and Track-lock are the two options that I am not sure about…just don't know if they would be of any value for me. I don't have them on my jeep now, but wouldn't mind shelling out a little extra if they are worth while options. Any comments, advice, or opinions will be greatly appreciated.
Oh wait, also...axle ration 3;73, vrs the standard? What does the axle ration have to do with anything?
I know this was long, but I figured a little background was in order for my first post.
I'd be too embarrassed to ask these questions in other forums, but you
Mar 14, 2001 (2:37 pm)
ABS is a great option because if you lock up your brakes, you still have the ability to steer around the obstacle you are braking for. (Rather than skiding in a straight line.) However, you are most likely to lock up your brakes when driving on wet pavement. I would base my decision on how often you have to slam on your brakes to avoid idiots where you live and how often the roads are wet.
Trac-Lok is another feature that provides the best benefit when driving in wet conditions or off-road. Have you ever noticed in your current Jeep that when accelerating from a dead stop while making a right hand turn how the inside rear wheel will spin easily? Trac-Lok takes this "escaping" power and transfers it to the outside wheel with the most grip. Also, you mentioned that you sometimes tackle mud obstacles. Trac-Lok is also beneficial in this situation since torque is more evenly distributed to both rear wheels, lessening your chances of getting stuck. Hope this helps!
Mar 14, 2001 (2:47 pm)
For got to address rear axle ratios. Say you are traveling at 55 mph, with a higher ratio, your engine is at a higher rpm than the same engine with a lower ratio. The advantages of a higher ratio are better acceleration and more torque at lower speeds. The trade off is lower MPG and more engine noise, as well as the potential for the engine to wear out faster. With a lower rear axle ratio, acceleration is slower, but freeway cruising is more pleasant, and you get better MPG. Whew!
#1483 of 23393 Thanks milt721
Mar 14, 2001 (2:58 pm)
Thanks milt721! Just what I was looking for. I had a vague idea about ABS and Track-lock, but completely clueless about the axle. What I was going to say in my post, that got cut off (I was too long winded I guess) is that I would be too embarrassed to ask these questions in most of the other, heavily testosterome driven, jeep forums, but this group seems to be very forgiving of my style of ignorance.
Thanks again, sounds like I want ABS, Track-lock, and a low axle ratio.
#1484 of 23393 roll bars and windscreens
Mar 14, 2001 (3:00 pm)
Are any of you familiar with roll cages for Jeeps? I know they come with a bar, but I thought that was not for rollover protection. If that is the case, who is familiar with ones which ARE for rollover protection?
Also, how many of you drive with the windscreen down? Where? Highway (meaning pavement)? Sand (desert or beach)? or woods/mountain?
If you do drive with windscreen down, comments? goggles? sunglasses? nothing? bugs in teeth?
Keep on jeeping, and hug 'em if you got 'em.
#1485 of 23393 ABS, tracloc etc
Mar 14, 2001 (4:17 pm)
Well, I have a '98 Wrangler and it's my second Jeep in a row, since I had a '94 bare-bones model before. I was looking at getting a hard top for my '94 and just sort of realized I might as well spring for a new Jeep, esp. since the trade-in would pay almost 1/2 of the cost of the new one. Also I currently live in a state w/o sales tax so I figured I'd eventually buy a new car here.
Realize if you want ABS you have to get the 6-cylinder, it is not an option on the SE. It is worth it I think in the rain; I live in the Pacific NW, so trust that I've had numerous opportunities to learn. Ditto on trac-loc, though it is not the best limited slip available and you will eventually have to replace the clutch packs inside it ~70K I've heard. I'm only at 28K myself right now.
You should go for the 6 cylinder (MUCH better than my old 4) though beware that Chrysler has raised the price of it since 1998 compared to the SE. When I bought mine the price difference was only around $1200 when you subtracted all the other stuff that was standard on the Sport (rear seat, stereo etc). It's quite a bit more than that now.
I hear that the new manual trannys are even worse than the old ones, a concept which I have a hard time grasping. The crappy 3-speed auto tranny is still there. I think what DC needs to do more than anything else for the Wrangler is to find a decent transmission for it.
#1486 of 23393 windscreenless driving
Mar 14, 2001 (4:26 pm)
I don't know about the roll cage, but I have driven with the windscreen down on several occasions. Only cruis'n down the beach and around in some wooded trails, never on the highway…not sure that's legal. Probably never been over 30 mph, but it is very exhilarating…kinda like swim'n naked…no real point to it, but it feels so good. (I guess it would be useful for hunting, fishing, or flying a kite from inside the Jeep). I just wear sunglasses to protect the eyes...but goggles would be better...and I did once see a guy cruis'n about 40 mph on a local city street here, and he was wearing goggles.
#1487 of 23393 ABS/Track-lock
Mar 14, 2001 (4:36 pm)
I didn't know it wasn't available on the SE, so thanks for that tip...I was leaning toward the 6 cylinder anyway, so that's just one more reason to go with the Sport. The 4 cyl has been ok, I'm not looking to hotrod, but more power would definitely be better. From what I've read on here, the MPG isn't much different from the 4 to the 6. I get 20 to 21 on the highway IF I drive 65ish, AND there aren't any strong head winds, AND/or hilly country, but I mostly averg 17-18 highway, or city...doesn't seem to vary much between the two...but as has been correctly pointed out on here before, if MPG is the priority, shopping the Jeep lot is a mistake.
Mar 14, 2001 (5:01 pm)
Guy welcome to the club...join us tomorrow night for wrangler chat...
i've only been onboard only a week..
I'm in the Shopping phase of buying a TJ myself..
leaning more to the sahara..or the 60th anniversary edition...
Mar 14, 2001 (6:00 pm)
I live in East Texas. Probably a couple of weeks from the time the JEEP ships before it arrives. The dealer said it should be here around March 30th. Hopefully he is wrong and it arrives a week earlier. Counting the days....