Why are Jeep Wranglers so expensive?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Imyourzero, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. fbrdphreak

    fbrdphreak Lifer

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    danger, will robinson, danger! Fanboy alert!!
     
  2. dainthomas

    dainthomas Lifer

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    Someone at work was selling a nice 98 Wrangler (with the straight 6) last year for around 4500. Thing looked like it was in great shape, I kick myself for not snapping that up. :(
     
  3. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Lifer

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    You can't use the Wrangler's 4WD on the road, whether it's icy or snowy or rainy. It's for loose surfaces only. On the street you are stuck in RWD mode.
     
  4. v8envy

    v8envy Platinum Member

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    Just chiming in as an owner of the 'new' (08) jeep with the minivan engine.

    First: the expense. Mine was something like 18.5k brand new fall '07, but I got a version without AC and with vinyl seats. Jeep always overprices options, and requires 10 options nobody would ever want with useful ones. I wanted the better tires and wheels and 4:11 gearing but had to buy cloth interior and a ton of other unwanted crap to get it. Aftermarket it is for the offroad capable goodies. Anyhoo, for 18.5k, what other car gives me 2 tons of metal, a 6 banger with a 6 speed, a decent sound system, rag top and 4x4?

    Second: the ergonomics. New jeeps are nothing like classic jeeps. The ride is cushier than most other trucks, it's quiet, and nothing leaks. It's very civilized and livable with, unlike the CJ5 I had decades ago. The plastics look cheap but are surprisingly rugged.

    Third: lineage. This thing is *SO* Chrysler it's not even funny. Mine's been in the shop twice for transmission issues, and wife's got a new transmission at 6k miles. But other than that it's never left me stranded and gets 20 mpg. Comparable to family sedans.

    Anyhoo, if this thing dropped in value like typical cars I'd be looking at like 12k for it 3 years later. 12k for this vs anything else in the price range is a no brainer -- I'd pick the Wrangler in a heartbeat. Hence higher prices for the used hardware.

    If you want one, get a new one stripped.
     
  5. StageLeft

    StageLeft No Lifer

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    18.5k for that is a steal, no argument.
     
  6. Imyourzero

    Imyourzero Diamond Member

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    Why is that? And why hasn't that been brought up way before now? That's kind of a major reason I was even considering the vehicle, as mentioned in the OP.

    If that's truly the case, there's no point in buying a Wrangler for the 4WD since I'd be using it in snow more than sand/dirt/mud/etc. If I can't use the 4WD in snow, I might as well get the 2WD version or another vehicle altogether.

    I don't understand why the surface would matter; I thought 4WD was 4WD and it just made all four wheels pull so that you were able to negotiate whatever difficult surface you were on, e.g. hills, mud, snow. But I certainly don't proclaim to be an expert on the Wrangler's particular system, so school me. I'm genuinely interested in learning more about this.
     
  7. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

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  8. v8envy

    v8envy Platinum Member

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    Packed snow qualifies as loose road surface. A bit of slush or wet pavement doesn't. You *can* use 4x4 in those conditions, but you'll be wearing your drivetrain and tires pretty hard and get worse than no benefit.

    Just like off roading you wouldn't shift into 4x4 unless you're in trouble (or a park ranger is yelling at you for tearing up the trail in 2wd). Because just like off roading, if you get stuck while in 4x4 you're well and truly screwed.

    That said, I've never "needed" 4x4 even after a several foot overnight snowfall. Between traction and stability control and aggressive tires you're simply good to go.
     
  9. bruceb

    bruceb Diamond Member

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    I agree. They were intended as more of an 'off road' vehicle and a lot of people are modding them with lifts and bigger tires for 4 wheel off roading fun. Hence they keep a good value. And drivetrain parts to either repair the original or upgrade to something better are easy to get. GM engines fit in nicely, as does many heavy duty axles and transfer cases. Check out episodes of Xtreme 4 x 4 on Spike TV (cablevision CH#41) or the web site: http://www.powerblocktv.com/site3/index.php/xtreme
     
  10. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Lifer

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    It's because the transfer case is set up so in 4WD mode the front and rear axles are locked together. They can only spin at the same speed. That's fine on loose dirt or mud, but not on a surface with traction like a road, because the front and rear wheels need to turn at different speeds when you go around corners. It's like driving without a differential.

    On dry pavement it causes binding in the system, and parts can wear out or break. On wet or icy pavement, it can cause loss of traction.

    The only time you'd want to use the part time 4WD is on dirt, or if you're literally on top of the snow, or if you just need to go straight forward or back to get unstuck.
     
  11. Imyourzero

    Imyourzero Diamond Member

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    OK, that makes more sense. I never intended to use 4WD on wet roads (lol) or even slush. It would be for snow only, and there would have to be a lot of it (and there was, this past winter). I realize that using 4x4 when it's not needed wears the drivetrain & tires unnecessarily but it's not as if I would wake up one morning, see an inch of snow on the roads and think "Oh man, I've gotta use 4WD all the way to work!" or use a light dusting as an excuse to throw `er in 4 high.

    I'm kind of surprised that you haven't ever needed 4x4 even after a large snowfall, but the tires can make or break you. I had an Isuzu Trooper with nice truck tires on it, and it did provide a lot of grip even in 2WD. I was slipping and sliding all over the place this past winter even with my Maxima's FWD, but the tires are all-season. I realize I would do far better with dedicated snow tires like the Blizzaks.

    What threw me off was Throckmorton's statement that I couldn't use the Wrangler's 4WD on the road. I see now that you can, it's just not a good idea, at least not for any extended period of time.

    Considering I'd probably only utilize 4x4 once or twice a year, honestly I'd probably be better off with an AWD vehicle + decent tires; that way I'd get the traction and stability benefits in rain, slush, etc. year round in a system that was designed to run all the time (or as needed). Not sure how many AWD verts there are that don't cost a fortune, but it's something to look into.
     
    #36 Imyourzero, Aug 9, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2010
  12. Imyourzero

    Imyourzero Diamond Member

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    Thanks man, that completely clarifies things. I already knew how 4WD worked, but like I said what threw me was your statement that I couldn't use it on the road. I can...just wouldn't want to unless I enjoy replacing parts much sooner than I would otherwise. ^_^
     
  13. roguerower

    roguerower Diamond Member

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    I've been wanting to get a wrangler for a very long time. My dad had a '98 that he traded in for a civic when we moved to Northern Virginia and he was commuting to DC every day. That said, I remember having a blast with him in it.

    Unfortunately the new models (07+) now looks like every other piece of compromised jeep crap coming out. When I end up picking one up it'll be an early to mid 2000s or late 90s TJ or if I can find a decent LJ Unlimited I would be extremely happy (want to be able to tow and the short wheelbase can make that difficult).

    I won't use it as a daily driver, I have my motorcycle with it's amazing gas mileage (55-60, suck it dumbass prius) to do that. Oh, and riding makes driving interesting again.

    I'm really glad to see that Ford and *maybe* GM are pulling their heads out of their asses and putting out some good looking and useful cars, but Chrysler is still a toss-up to me.

    EDIT: I also think the new unlimited looks stupid. Really stupid.
     
  14. Pacfanweb

    Pacfanweb Lifer

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    If yours doesn't leak water into the interior, consider yourself VERY lucky. The current JK Wronglers are FAR more prone to leak water than the previous TJ's.