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Because I did one drive I know know I will eventually need a sturdier ride

I like the Jeep Wrangler and there seems to be plenty to go around, but how to choose one?

I guess I will ask here, maybe also an occasion to get to know a few of you. 

Me I am Italian, moved to Dubai in June, work in the oil and gas and ready to explore the UAE.

Grazie

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Thanks to all who engaged and suggested, now time to announce the winner. Mitsubishi Pajero 2014, 101K km, 3.8 GLS. SWB I checked it has 1 tow point in front and 2 in the back

My fav - Toyota FJ. The one I drive, biggest flaw is visibility at certain angles  - Nissan Patrol Y61. The biggest flaw I see is the price and an used one that has not beaten up may be hard

Stats said someone? These are another set of Stats - showing how many others were there in the drives and in what level of drives. I have done 53 drives till now and there were 535 others in those dri

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Let's start with having a look at the different Jeep Wrangler generations:

Jeep Wrangler YJ

image.png.664f200db9b8ce1e8d8b63c21243f175.png

The YJ (very difficult to find in UAE) was made from 1986 till 1995. I would not consider or recommend this model, mainly due to the lack of any comfort. A car from this era will also come with a guaranteed marriage between you and your mechanic :) 

 

Jeep Wranger TJ

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The TJ, made from 1996 till 2006 is an amazing offroad toy, mainly because it's so light yet so powerful (4.0 inline straight six engine). The ride to your offroad drive will be noisy, hot, bumpy, and uncomfortable, but you will forget all these things once you are in the desert. It is not so easy to find a clean one (not abused in the desert). Few members in the club like @Arman @Jeepie and some others can tell you all about the ins and outs. 

 

Jeep Wrangler JK

The JK was made from 2006 until 2018. Two engine models were made, first the 3.8 engine which was relatively powerful but had a very poor reputation for being unreliable, and later the 3.6 Pentastar (2011 onwards I THINK). The 3.8 has around 200hp, while the 3.6 has 285hp. A big difference in performance. Most Jeeps are a bit prone to overheating, and you will see most owners adding some additional cooling fans or transmission coolers to keep this under control.

image.png.cad7d256e20beb1b22d556ded80b9b09.png

 

Jeep Wrangler JL

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The JL still has the 3.6 Pentastar engine, and some improvements were made in comparison with the JK.

 

 

You also need to consider the different trims:

1) Sport

2) Sahara

3) Rubicon

 

The Sport trim is the most popular one, as it's the cheapest and keeps things basic on the inside. The Sahara is more suited to luxury, and costs quite a bit more, and then you have the Rubicon which is the ultimate off-road beast with front and rear diff lockers and other gizmos. Most people i have seen get the Sport model and then start upgrading / modifying from there as per their liking. 

You also have the Unlimited Series, these are the 5 door models. I personally prefer the 3door models but that is only a personal preference.

 

If you start the search for a Jeep Wrangler, try to get a STOCK one that has not been modified or abused offroad. The reason is that you simply do not know what crazy stuff the previous owner has done, and it's simply not worth taking the risk if you can find a clean Wrangler that has spent most of its time driving to the mall. 

Finding a clean TJ is difficult, and some owners ask crazy prices. Due to the age you also have more risk to wear and tear (bushings, suspensions, etc..), but the engines are bulletproof and built to last. 

Many of us spend quite some time DIY'ing on our car or sitting on the couch of our mechanics, and the older the vehicle, the more time you will be spending looking for parts and fixing it. If you like that kind of stuff, then a TJ or YJ could be really fun. If you want to be hassle-free and have a powerful 4x4, i suggest you to have a look at the Wrangler JK models with the Pentastar Engine.

 

Good luck !

 

 

 

 

 

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"Go as far as you can see; once you get there, you'll be able to see further."

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Many thanks for the very clear and comprehensive reply. I know understand why the already modified Jeep have very attractive price. Too early to say, but I am not really planning to do any mod in the car so as long as a decent jeep sport will allow me to join the advanced drives eventually I am good to go, hence the follow up question. With a non mod Jeep Wrangler sport/Sahara is it possible to do advanced stuff?

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1 hour ago, Enrico Biscaro said:

Many thanks for the very clear and comprehensive reply. I know understand why the already modified Jeep have very attractive price. Too early to say, but I am not really planning to do any mod in the car so as long as a decent jeep sport will allow me to join the advanced drives eventually I am good to go, hence the follow up question. With a non mod Jeep Wrangler sport/Sahara is it possible to do advanced stuff?

Absolutely. In stock version you will be able to take on every level. One of the most important things however is to get good All Terrain Tyres. They will allow you to deflate down to 10-12psi which will improve flotation. Avoid the very heavy BF Goodrich tyres, a Yokohama Geolandar works better in my opinion.

We have plenty of stock Wranglers in our club, with most of them only going for different tyres and some minor upgrades. Most of them will put a kill-switch that allows them to easily disable the ABS and Traction Controls. This is an easy fix that any offroad minded garage can do.

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"Go as far as you can see; once you get there, you'll be able to see further."

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Welcome @Enrico Biscaro to join Italian gang with @Ale Vallecchi @Lorenzo Candelpergher and @Luca Palanca Falsini .

For buying any off-road toy, there are two most important things.

  1. First you answered above, that you wish to drive at Extreme level in the sand, its clear.
  2. Second is your final budget that you plan to spend on this off-road toy?

Please share your budget indication and we can advise further.

And just to give you some perspective you can take 20K car to extreme level too instead of 100-200K worth, but lower the budget, more time you will spend (initially) to bring her to desert worthy state. More expensive and newer model will come with tension-free ownership.

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6 hours ago, Frederic said:

Absolutely. In stock version you will be able to take on every level. One of the most important things however is to get good All Terrain Tyres. They will allow you to deflate down to 10-12psi which will improve flotation. Avoid the very heavy BF Goodrich tyres, a Yokohama Geolandar works better in my opinion.

We have plenty of stock Wranglers in our club, with most of them only going for different tyres and some minor upgrades. Most of them will put a kill-switch that allows them to easily disable the ABS and Traction Controls. This is an easy fix that any offroad minded garage can do.

Thanks for the tip. Time to hit some dealers. At the moment I am browsing dubizzle. While I seem to get many nice hits, most are not stock and I now doubt I can really trust any of those ads. 

Is there any good dealer you would recommend ?

 

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16 minutes ago, Enrico Biscaro said:

Budget 50-70K

Means 90 - 120K, just like all of us start low and keep stretching on weekly basis, lol.

Jokes apart, in 70K you can get decent Wrangler JK 3.6 with 280 hp (post 2014) and similar year FJ Cruiser 2014-2015.

Both are quiet capable and comparable and 100% fit for any extreme drives, with very minimal underbody protection and mods.

FJC being Toyota, will def offer better reliability and resale VS Wrangler, but if your heart is set on Wrangler, go for it as after 2012 Wrangler has improvise on reliability a lot.

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28 minutes ago, Enrico Biscaro said:

Thanks for the tip. Time to hit some dealers. At the moment I am browsing dubizzle. While I seem to get many nice hits, most are not stock and I now doubt I can really trust any of those ads. 

Is there any good dealer you would recommend ?

 

Have a look below:

 

 

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"Go as far as you can see; once you get there, you'll be able to see further."

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