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Thread: expected Wrangler lifespan?

  1. #1
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    Question expected Wrangler lifespan?

    Almost two years ago my wife and I bought a 2001 Grand Cherokee (WJ). It will be paid for at the end of 2003, and we've started talking about what we will do then.

    One of the possibilities we're considering is buying a new Wrangler (perhaps a Rubicon) to park next to it and selling her car. She would get the WJ, and I would get the Wrangler.

    Assuming I don't abuse the Wrangler, and give it a reasonable amount of care and maintenance, how long can I expect it to provide reliable transportation? Is it too much to expect that 15, 20 or 30 years from now it will still be going strong?

    Another possibility is finding a late model Cherokee (XJ) and upgrading it for occasional off-road play while still serving as a daily driver.

    Neither vehicle would be called upon for heavy off-road chores. We're in Omaha, Nebraska, so we have to travel a ways to go off-road. Still, I want the ability to go see America without having to worry about whether my vehicle will take me there and back again.

    I'm still new to the Jeep world and would appreciate your thoughts and advice.

    Thanks,
    Dennis (the Menace) Mitchell

  2. #2
    Registered roadkill's Avatar
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    I'd be looking more in terms of mileage for longevity rather than yrs, that said I still use a 48, 53, (and hopefully I will soon have a 50 model willys) every year on the deer lease and they have been realiable.

    I hope to get 150,000 out of my 01 4 banger before i look into engine swaps, wild mods etc. driving style has a lot to do with it and i'd say that you could probably get 100,000 easy with no major trouble just take # miles you drive per year and divide that by the expected mileage you want to have with no problems and you should have your "RELIABLE" life span, of coures there should be no reason that theses newer jeeps can't last as long as the older flatfenders

  3. #3
    Registered cabletow's Avatar
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    Normal use; ie regular service and not too high mods, 200,000 miles
    Abuse it and you get less. I have seen a 4 litre melt after 70,000 miles but that engine never saw new oil in its life.
    You pays your money you gets yur choice. Look after your investment and it will look after you.
    From the home
    of warm beer





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    My guess is that the TJ will survive at least twice as long as the grand cherokee.. but 15 or 20 years? That's a LONG time for any vehicle... seems like most cars and trucks these days are designed for about a 6-7 year lifespan before they start turning into rolling junkbuckets...
    99 TJ Sport, RE 2" Spacer Lift, 325/60 BFG ATs.

  5. #5

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    My 87 Wrangler (YJ) has 238,215 miles on it I do an oil change every 2500 miles and tranny twice a year and diff's about 3 times a year still have the stock motor, tranny, and clutch. only thing is carb. has to be adjusted every couple weeks but still mint. mostly city driving twice a week on the highway for 15 miles both ways.

  6. #6
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    How long a vehicle will last is purely a function of how much money you are willing to spend over time. Dont expect it to keep running for as long as you want without some rebuilds etc but that isnt really that much money compared to a car payment over X years. Jeeps are especially favorable for a long life span compared to many vehicles, frames, tub style bodies, few curves to contend with if damage or rust occurs, a design that allows fairly easy swaps of components. Plus the number of them and activeness of the offroad community will probably keep parts available well into the future baring major market changes (the establishment of a hydrogen infrastructure, gasoline prices through the roof etc). And if parts arnt available many things can be fabbed. The biggest concerns imho for longevity are the computers and sensors everything else is relatively easy to fix, or replace with an alternative item.

    For example my 1950 studebaker truck, Driven as a delivery truck for the local department store for 10 years then driven as a beater truck till 1985 when its wiring harness caught on fire and it was parked and sat there till 2000 when I dragged it out with a tractor. The frame is still perfect, though obviously alot of components are replaced or being replaced (miraculously when rewired it RAN!) however I will have to probably put about 4 thousand in work to repair the body. Everything else could have been put back together stock and been fine.

    Heck my 1993 Jeep wrangler has been used hard and has no frame or body corrosion whatsoever, sure some components are due for replacement but not that many and it is edging on 10 years and frankly I intend on having it (in a more modified form) in another 10 years.
    Afterall all components can be continously replaced till you have build a whole new vehicle.
    Just my nickel (was $0.02 darn inflation )

    - 2006 Liberty Sport CRD "Smogger", Dark Khaki, stock and staying that way. P.S. I am slowly getting addicted to SIRIUS.............

    - 82 CJ-8 Light Khaki metallic restored. 4.0L engine and fuel injection rebuilt and ready for transplant.

    -99 TJ "sport" 4.0L auto sold to my father, oh well I can still borrow it.

    -93 YJ (RIP 9/6/04) oh well the 4.0L 32RH will nicely replace the CJ8s 4.2L TF999.

  7. #7
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    4LIFE My dad's had his '68 Jeepster for about 30 years now.
    -Tas
    '89 YJ, 4.2L, AX-15, B&M short shifter, TJ flares, 1" BL, MSD coil, big ford cap and rotor, 31" BFG AT KOs, LSD, Flowmaster 40series, Euro/Aussie tail-lights....
    '68 Jeepster

  8. #8
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    I'd wager to say that if you bought a new TJ, stayed reasonable on mods, and were a nazi about maintainence, 15 years would not be a stretch. Jeeps are excelent in terms of longevity because it's easy to work/replace parts on them, and there are a broad variety of common parts year to year on them.


    There are several TJs on this board with over 150,000 miles on them, aside from wear items like clutches etc, no other problems that I know of. I was at a dealer today and spoke with a tech who told me he'd just replaced the original clutch in a 97 TJ with right at 200k on it. That may have been BS but there are alot of people who drive 30k plus a year and the early TJs are now 6 years old.


    My Jeep came with a 7/100,000 warranty on the engine/tranny/computers So if they don't last me that long, DC will handle it for me. I probably average about 12-14k a year, so if that stuff lasts me seven years, I'll be satisfied. I have already upgraded just about every other part on my Jeep so I've got no warranty on that stuff, but who cares, it's a Jeep

  9. #9
    Registered Chazz Layne's Avatar
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    Get a well taken care of, early '97. It will last much longer than a new one.


    Daimler has ruined the TJ.



    In all honesty, I have beaten the crap out of my '97 (Oct. '96 build). It was purchased in December of '96 and it has 100,000 miles on it. I have spent maybe $1,000 total in repairs over that period of time (going on 6 years). It is still in excellent condition and continues to run great. I've followed the service schedule in the manual to the letter (oil changes, etc.). I have been running a 2.5" susp. lift with 31x10.50 Duelers for 3 years now, along with an upgraded intake and exhaust. I see no reason why it wouldn't continue to perform this well into it's 10th year of service. Ask me in 4 years if I think it will make 15 without a problem .

    Aside from regular maintenance, another thing you can do is follow a simple rule: Don't replace, upgrade! One of the repairs included in the above mentioned $1,000 was the radiator. The factory one is plastic, and it has 2 rows. It developed a slow leak about 10 months ago. I upgraded it for $350 to a brass/aluminum one with 3 rows. I expect it to last twice as long as the factory one did.

    Many will bitch and moan about having to replace items as time goes by. Think of it this way: when you replace something, you don't have to worry about it again for the life of the new part...
    The time has come.

  10. #10
    Registered ksdaoski's Avatar
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    cool thing about wranglers, you can still actually 'build' the vehicle. seriously, there arent many parts that can't replace yourself or piece back together. 'damn, my door is dented! think i'll check out ebay, the local yard, etc and put a new one on!'
    15 yr old YJ, SOA, waggy front, TRD rear

    1999 WJ Tera 4"

  11. #11
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    Well, my son has a 1989 Cherokee 4.0L engine nearly 200k miles and going strong. Natch normal stuff wears out but the good news is jeep parts are normally pretty inexpensive compared to imports. Replaceable items over the years include things like water pumps, brakes and all.
    We have a 1996 Grand, 75k miles, runs like a top, looks brand new.
    I drive a 2001 TJ 34k miles, already have been out west three times already in it. However, I am a fanantic about maintenance. I use only the best fluids and I change them even more often then the manual calls for.
    I wouldnt worry about the longevity of your jeep. It will last as long as you want it to last IMHO. John
    John, 2001 Sahara,Warn 9500 ti winch; Cobra 75 CB; OME suspension, Daystar 3/4" spacers, Currie ANTIROCK, Currie MM and track bar, JKS body lift, fully armored,RE chrom/moly tie rod, Superior Super 44 rear, Superior chrom/moly D30 front, OX Lockers front and rear; 4.56 gearing; 34" TRXUS M/T tires; hilift jack; fire extenguisher; yellow top Optima Battery, turbo city air tube and filter; QuickAire III OBA; Rubicon Express Hand Throttle; On Board Shower ; Jeeperman bumper/swingaway tire carrier/rack and gas can holders; AA SYE; Tom Woods HD C/V rear driveshaft; Nth Mobility Tummy Tucker; Nth Mobility rear upper adjustable control arms.

  12. #12
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    my 02cents, break in, break in, break in, how long a drivetrain will last is very dependent on break in, that's my thoughts. i might not get mr. popularity for saying this but i THINK there are alot better manufactured outo's out there..i have owned a small dealership and later, a repair shop. again, just my opinion.. on the plus side there are very few vehicles that are as EASY and CHEAP, to maintain... the best thing about a jeep is that they are WIDELY interchangable, like the above said.. windshield frame rots, unbolt it and get a new one.. ect.. the RIBCON is an owsome investment if you are looking in those terms. allready dubbed on o the best jeeps ever built.. gas millage. i've owned almost a dozzen jeeps to date and i can't get how a small vehicle with a little 2.5 can get such horrible gas millage...then again there is practicality. in the N.E. i have 4wheel drive in the winter, and convertable in the summer..so why would anyone want aero dinamics of a brick, horrible gas millage, ride like a duce and a half, creeks and rattles???? CAUSE IT'S A JEEP THING...

  13. #13
    Registered Chris142's Avatar
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    Dang! You guys are getting some pretty good mileages,heres my scoop.

    My last Wrangler was an 89,4-cyl,5-speed....stock.I live on a dirt road which is the only way in/out,it's 1.2 miles to the street one way.At about 62k the tub started cracking in various places(tailgate hinges and door striked area).Had a rear spring break at 70k.Trans died at 84k.96k the tub began to crack around the body mounts,by 99k the rear mounts were totally disconnected from the body!

    What was left of them was still bolted to the frame.I traded it in at 99k.

    I live in the desert so rust is not part of the problem,just started falling apart.



  14. #14
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    91 YJ "Renegade" 4.0, 5spd. Just getting ready to turn 70,000 miles. Coming up on 12 years old, near showroom condition and still runs like a freakin top. No major breakdowns. Only noteworthy problems / neccessary replacements: a catalytic converter, one brake job, a new starter, and about one tiny drop of engine oil per day on my garage floor from the back of the valve cover. One of these days I'll get to that gasket.

    I don't baby it, but at the same tie I don't beat the living crap out of it either. When things start to break or wear out, upgrade with bigger and/ or better.

  15. #15
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    Smile

    Thank you one and all. You've given me a bunch to think about, but it's nice to know that even if I don't know which one it will be, the next vehicle in our garage will be a Jeep.

    I appreciate the time you took to answer my question.

    Dennis
    Dennis (the Menace) Mitchell

  16. #16

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    ummm my jeep lives one month at a time- I think the board knows about my terrible luck tho. Who knows maybe after the 3rd time replacing everything it will work for 3 months. Hell im giving mine till christmas to get in tip top shape, after that i will just run it till it blows (everything has been warrantied AND rewarrantied- right?) Of course i will continue my naziness as far as fluids and maintence tho. We will see- wish me luck!
    Well, the jeep has been gone for a while and I miss it dearly. I learned alot from the first jeep, mainly "do it right the first time". I am starting the search for one again...

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