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What to look for ???

Discussion in 'Jeeps' started by scottL, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,600

    Hey Jeep folks!

    I've been kicking around the idea of getting a jeep wrangler style for plowing to complement my trucks for tighter spots. Don't really know what to look for in a wrangler style jeep. I'm thinking used, I'd use a snoway plow. I know I have to have some suspension work, I'd like a slightly wider wheel base and automatic. But, what year's, engine sizes, soft or hard top :dizzy::confused:

    Your thoughts????? ( THANKS! )
     
  2. MikeRi24

    MikeRi24 Senior Member
    Messages: 563

    you could go with a standard, nothing says it has to be an auto. Personally, I am partial to the TJ (98-06). Within that, I am also partial to the 03 and up ones. If you get the automatic, they have the 4 speed OD rather than the 3 speed. I would also definitely get the inline 6 4.0, lots of power and even more torque. You would probably have a hell of a hard time finding one, since I am told that less than 10% of non-Rubicons had this, but SOME had a Dana 44 in the rear from the factory with 3:73s (I was lucky enough that mine has this). Also, the Sport or the Sahara model will come with the factory Upcountry Suspension package which is a little more heavy duty. I wouldnt plow with a soft top either, theres no way to defrost the windows and the WILL fog up. The hard top will better insulate the jeep than the soft top anyway. As far as the body goes, they like to rust all around the windshield and door hinges, the bottom part of the windshield will rust from the inside out, so it you see rust on it, theres no saving it. It will also rust on the back just under the tailgate on the right side. the area below the doors will rust too. Pull up the carpets (not hard) and check the floor boards for rust, especially around the drain plugs. If you're going to plow with it, I would recommend a transmission cooler for the automatic. Other than that, the drivetrains on these things are pretty much bulletproof and will tun forever and a day. I could go on and on about these things, but that should be enough to get you started.
     
  3. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,600

    Thanks! That's a huge start in the right direction.

    Can you give me a little more insight into the suspension. The SnoWay's are around 400-450 lbs - Can the stock sport or sahara handle this for a period of time?
     
  4. MikeRi24

    MikeRi24 Senior Member
    Messages: 563


    no. you are going to need to put air bags inside the front coils either way. If you plan on running a rear plow you will want bags out back too. The Upcountry Suspension is basically just beefier and higher quality shocks for off-roading, but they will be a little nicer no matter what. It also adds skid plates and tow hooks (which some lower model wranglers dont actually have believe it or not), they come with nicer all-terrain tires too, and supposedly the ride height is about an inch higher but thats debatable.
     
  5. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,548

    I prefer air shocks, if the plow is heave enough to need them. with a light weight plow like the homsteder you should be OK. I'd put some weight in the back also. Hard top definitely, I prefer the manual tranny.
     
  6. hillbillydeluxe

    hillbillydeluxe Senior Member
    Messages: 142


    I believe a 7' 6" Sno way series 22 comes in at 284lbs plus what ever your subframe mount would be for the vehicle. I'm running it on a stock 04. I picked the sno way after looking at several differant brands. I picked it for the strength and the weight factor. So far so good.Then again we only do 6 parking lots and half dozen drives. I think more brands are begining to take the small vehicle plow issue more seriously. That's good for all of us.
    Whatever you decide, good luck. There are some incredibily fantastic guys on this forum.
    They are very knowledgeable and openly share much needed information.:salute:
     
  7. Saltydawg

    Saltydawg Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    If you're buying a used Jeep make sure you check for rot on the frame. The frames on Jeeps are a boxed design with lots of holes in the rails. This means it's easy for crud to get inside the frame and hard for it to get out ... the frame will rot from the inside out.
    I wouldn't worry about widening the Jeep, that would kind of defeat the purpose of using one to get into tighter places. A wider wheelbase may improve cornering stability at high speed but it doesnt help for plowing and almost always creates a larger turning radius.
    Be careful with lift kits because they can cause your plow a-frame to not sit parallel with the road surface. People run plows on lifted jeeps but they are usually using custom fabricated/modified mounts.
    Big tires make your engine work harder and greatly increase the stress on drivetrain and steering components. The bigger your tires get the faster your suspension and steering components will wear out. They also don't help with traction in the snow.

    Jeeps are a pretty solid setup right from the factory. I would concentrate on improving the quality of your driveline components rather than altering them if your primary purpose is snowplowing. Big tires and lift kits are great for rock crawling and mudbogs but pretty much suck for everything else.
     
  8. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,600


    Lot's of great insight I had not really considered the wheels being such an issue - I definitely do not want to give up turn radius. Thanks!
     
  9. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,548

    What Saltydawg said:D

    widening the Jeep:dizzy:

    I'm thinking of taking an F250 and shortening and narrowing it:nod:
     
  10. Ggg6

    Ggg6 Senior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 521

    I too am partial to the TJ models 1997+ I would run the skinniest Cooper ATR tires I can get. Look at the drain plug on the rear diff. If it is a threaded plug it has a Dana 44 rear axle it is desirable, and the only one available with posi from DCX. If it has a rubber plug then it is a Dana 35, and will be a open diff. Hard top and full hard doors for reasons already stated. Forget the Rubicon models way over priced and the "Dana 44" front axle is a Dana 44/Dana 30 hybrid that isn't worth the price increase for the rubi option. The rubi diff lockers are problematic. I would also try to find a dual battery tray and install a second battery.
    The statement about only 10% non rubi TJ's getting the 4.0 is news to me.
     
  11. MikeRi24

    MikeRi24 Senior Member
    Messages: 563

    I was told this by my local mechanic/Jeep specialist who seems to know more about Jeeps than Jeep does. Not sure how true it really is, but I know they are far less common and would have to be special ordered on the Jeep when it was new. Figured I'd throw it out there.
     
  12. Ggg6

    Ggg6 Senior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 521

    No offense meant, I was just saying I hadn't heard it before.:drinkup:
     
  13. MikeRi24

    MikeRi24 Senior Member
    Messages: 563

    none taken! the more I look into it, the more I think my Jeep is a factory freak....the options it has do not line up with what it should have according to the brochure and options list. Then again, Jeep seems to do a lot of things I dont understand.