1987- 1995 Jeep WranglersAmericans and Canadians love trucks. Small pick-ups to full size SUVs we love them all. That being said Jeep Wranglers may be the the best deal on the pre owned/used market. Jeeps in my opinion have always been a "Everything you need, nothing you don't" approach to driving. Yes Jeep YJs are a little bare inside but they do have everything you need to drive 365 days a year. Jeeps definatly have a cult following. If you own a Jeep, you love your Jeep. Lets looks at the facts. Most Wranglers can be had for in the range of $1500 to $5000cdn. They come with excellent ground clearence from the factory. Unless you like in Alaska or Russian in the winter, its probably enough clearence. They also have big high profile tires.Shiftable 4 wheel drive with a Low Range. So even if your 4 wheel high isnt good enough and some how get stuck, you still have 4 Low. You can also tow your friend out of the ditch with 4 low aswell.The choice of a hard top and a soft top for the same truck. You can put a hardtop on in the winter or for extra security when needed. You can use the soft top in the summer for going to the beach, enjoying the sun or just having fun. Long road trips in the summer with the top off are just more enjoyable. This in my opinion is what makes a Jeep so attractive to buy.Team that with a windsheild that folds down and doors that can be removed with in seconds and you something that is like nothing else on the market.Fuel economy is always at the top of people's minds these days and this is especially true when it comes to trucks. Most light to Mid duty trucks like Ford Rangers weigh about 3600lbs where full size F-150s, Silverados, Escalades, etc can weight 4500lbs or more. A Jeep YJ with a 4 cylinder engine, soft top and still have 4 wheel drive is well under 3000lbs making for a very fuel and power efficient truck. a 3000 pound truck in 2010 is basically unheard of due to the demand for more crash protection and electronics. The lower curb weight also means the truck uses the engine power more efficiantly. Since the all Wranglers have such a short wheel base it turns tighter than a Honda civic and makes it feel very "nimble".When it comes to engines there were 2 choices, the 2.5 litre 4 cylinder and the 4 litre 6 cylinder. When buying a used YJ the 4 cylinder can be very attractive option because of the good fuel economy and the fact you will never get a speeding ticket. I promise. The 4 litre engine on the other hand is a very good engine and if you are going to tow anything you don't have a choice, you need the larger engine. The 4 litre engine does not have to work as hard as the 4 cylinder to do the same job so the 6 cylinder engine usually has a longer service life. The 4 cylinder with a manual transmission also comes with a higher gear ratio in the differential which makes sort of makes up for the power difference.
For any Jeep owner they will tell you that a manual transmission is the obvious choice. All of them are 5 speeds and are made by Aisin who make a very durable product.Jeep Wranglers are also pretty easy on the wallet when it comes to service/reapairs/maintenance. If you own a Jeep you probably work on it yourself. If you don't its important you have a mechanic who knows Jeep well. He will save you a lot of money with the knowledge of common problems and service recommendations. I promise.It is important to have the vehicle inspected before you buy. Especially by a Jeep Mechanic or Jeep dealership. This could save you a lot of money in repairs down the road. A lot of jeep do have their tops removed in the summer time so the interiors tend to looks faded and worn. Jeeps are also not the most maintained vehicle. Try to find one that has been serviced by a shop or dealer on a regular basis. Although lots of Jeeps from the late 80s to mid 90s have more than 200,000km it is not uncommon for a well maintained Jeep to go 350,000km on the original Engine and drivetrain. There are a few common problems. Exhaust manifolds are iron and will rust and crack which can cause a host of problems. Idle air controls can up and die causing idle problems. Excess oil in the intake and PCV vlave problems are common. Cracked vacuum hoses for the engine and transfer case are also common. The body and frame are very important to inspect. Excess rust can be a big problem. Bent frame rails and body panels from excess off roading and abuse are also common. If the truck has any kind of lift kit.. body and/or suspension lift it has probably been off roaded. Jeep ride choppy and fairly harsh on and off road, but that is just part of the Jeep experience. Fuel injected engines are the only way to go. More durable, reliable, and less maintenace than anything carbureted. Plus fuel injected means better fuel economy and more power.Jeeps do have a rugged image but until you own one on a regular basis its hard to see the flexability of a jeep. With easy of maintenance and lots of parts available Jeep YJs are still a great choice for having the flexability of a truck that has the utility of a truck yet still drives like a car