1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

what jeep to buy?

Discussion in 'Jeeps' started by beantownrocks, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. beantownrocks

    beantownrocks Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    I have been plowing with a friend's Dodge RAM diesel for 2 winters and always see jeep wranglers running around with plows. I am looking to buy a Wrangler and put a plow on it for this winter. I think it's the perfect vehicle. You can get a convertible, a plow and a tow vehicle all in one! But i know very little about Jeeps and the variations between them. My questions are:

    1) What Jeep do I want to buy? I've heard about TJ, YJ, Rubicon's and Wranglers etc. It seems there are differences between these and I don't know what they are. So which one is good. I can spend between $4,000 and $10,000 or more if I HAVE to.

    2) Do I want an automatic or a manual. The Dodge I plowed in was obviously an automatic. But i've seen jeeps with plows running both manuals and automatics. Which one is better? Or doesn't it matter? I drive a manual car and have a motorcycle, so getting a stick is preferable to me. But is it easier to plow with an automatic?

    3) It seems like from research that I want a Snoway MT with downpressure. I'll put somewhere between 100 to 200 lbs of balast in the back. But what about all the other bits that need to go on the jeep... like Timbrens, springs, frame stiffeners...etc. What do I need to put on the jeep besides the plow and mounting kit itself?

    Thanks very much,
  2. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    Check my recent post about towing, lot of people say it cant be done, or at least not very much. As far as plowing, I agree the CJ/Wrangler should be good. Bear in mind they have extremely ligh duty drivetrains, they will not take the abuse of plowing like the Dodge. But if you use your brain you can do it. I've always plowed with 3/4 and 1 ton trucks, beefed up for working hard. But I have a couple friends who plow with S-10 Blazers and never break anything. One thing I would love for plowing is the maneuverability of a short wheelbase. Not a lot of weight so it will get stopped faster, can't carry a big plow so it will take longer, but everything is a tradeoff.
    I like the automatic for plowing, much easier and faster, and if you plan on doing much plowing the manual becomes a giant PITA pretty quick. As far as plows go, I am a recent convert to Blizzard, I love my 810 and would like to get another Blizzard if I do get a second plow rig. But any 6 or 7 foot plow will work on a little Jeep. The Sno-Way with downpressure might be the overall best choice the more I think about it. I looked at them and really liked a lot of their features, but my truck needs the 810.
    As far as which Jeep, the newer it is the less problems you'll have with rust, newer stuff is better as far as galvanized body and so forth. CJs are super cool but rot faster than a banana left on the counter. Also the TJs have a far superior suspension system. 4 cylinders come with better axle gears to make up for the torque difference, but most everybody recommends the 6 cylinder.
    Where in Mass are you? I know of a early 90s Wrangler with an automatic and a Meyers plow on it, up here in southern NH. I've been thinking about it, but I really don't like Meyers plows. It is at a used car dealer, they say it has some rust and they want too much I think, but it might be worth trying to beat them up on the price. They were asking $3500 last I knew. If you're interested I'll dig up their website and get you the pic and info.
  3. beantownrocks

    beantownrocks Junior Member
    Messages: 6


    Thanks for the info Dan. Actually i am looking to buy a jeep from down south in the warm and put my own plow on it. i don't want a jeep that's already been used for plowing. i think it will be too beat up already. plus, like you said, if you plow with a light duty vehicle like the jeep, you have to be careful. i think i am going to look into the automatic more than the manual.

    does anyone else have an opinion on the manual vs. automatic jeeps?
  4. Donny O.

    Donny O. Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    I had always plowed with an auto then last winter I put a plow on my 98 wrangler which is a manual. it took a bit of getting used to but then it was no problem. i'm normaly very easy on stuff cuz it's to expensive to fix so with a little finess I think i manage just fine.....but some are inherently harder on equiptment. so driving style will depend a lot on how fast you go through clutches. but i love plowing with my wrangler....small and manuverable, convertible in summer as you said. now lets see if i can give you some info on what model is what.....off the top of my head so might not be 100% correct.

    97-06 = TJ
    87-95 = YJ
    notice there is no 96....late model year change so made it a 97.

    CJ's are AMC and came with a variety of engine/tranny/xfer case setups. for autos they used TH400s and chrysler 727's....and maybe one more that I dont' remember. quadratrack is full time 4wd with no 4lo. most common engins were the 258 straight 6 and the 304 v8. for manuals it seems like most v8's i've seen were 3 speed manuals and the 6 banger got 4 speeds.....that is jsut what i have seen...nothing official on that.

    YJ's came after Chrysler took over and got a 4 banger or a 6 banger and were still leaf spring suspention. fuel injection came in around 93. dont' know a whole lot about these as i have only had cj's and tj's.

    TJ's had a 2.5L 4cyl or a 4.0l 6cyl and went to coil spring suspention. the SE model was the 4 banger, and the sport, sahara, and rubicon got the 6. only real difference between those models is the sahara gets nice painted flares, and some other apearance goodies. the rubicon got the D44 rear end(optional on sport and sahara), factory lockers and i think was a tad higher with bigger stock tires, lower geared xfer case....and maybe 4:10 gears, but not sure. 3:07 and 3:73 gears were the choices. 98 was the first year of cruise control....which is a must for me. as for the auto trans I think 05(maybe 04) was the first year they were 4 speed with OD....before that was a simple 3 speed auto. no idea how tough they are. also abough 05 they came out with the unlimited.....longer wheel base and actually made some room behind the back seat to put stuff there.

    hope that shed some light on the difference between models and years and such. i'm no expert but if you have any other jeep plowing questions I will tell you what i know.
  5. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    I didnt know there was no 96 Wrangler. Kind of like an 83 Corvette I guess.
  6. Donny O.

    Donny O. Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    yup pretty much the same thing going on there.
  7. bnrhuffman

    bnrhuffman Member
    Messages: 83

    Donny gave a good rundown on the different Jeep models. I will add some info on the 3 spd auto that was used in Wranglers, as well as some CJs. Its a Chrysler TF999 for the 6cyl and TF904 for the 4cyl. The TF999 was also used in many CJs before the YJ and TJ and has been used as Chryslers med duty auto for a good long time. Its a pretty nice tranny. It does have some drawbacks, no overdrive and no vent tude. The later of which doesnt really matter if you dont do deep mud or water though. The later years have a torque converter lockup. Throw a nice big tranny cooler on it and it would be fine for plowing.
    Keep in mind that Ive been a Jeep person for a number of years, so I know Jeeps, but Ive never plowed with one. Im looking at plows for my YJ as we speak so with any luck, I will be plowing with it this season. I did have an F350 plow truck until I sold it last year.
    What Jeep you choose depends alot on how you plan to use it. If you want to drive it around alot through the summer, I say get a TJ. They ride better, more comfortable, the top is easier to deal with,basically they are more "everyday" friendly. If you want mainly a plow truck, I think a good choice is a YJ. The suspension (leaf spring) is better for the added weight of a plow and ballast than the coil springs that TJs have. Throw an extra leaf in the spring packs and you will be fine. With a TJ you will probably want to invest in an airbag system for the front to support the plow.
    CJs are great and I have a warm spot for them. Most models of CJ have a stouter drivetrain compared to the Wranglers BUT plan on putting some time and/or money into it to keep it running and keep it from rusting away. Consider that the newest CJ is at least 20 years old now. If its a project you want, then a CJ you should get.
    If your $10000 limit is for both the Jeep and plow, you are probably looking at a YJ or project CJ. If the $10000 is for vehicle alone, then you can get yourself into a pretty nice TJ.
  8. Donny O.

    Donny O. Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    tht added some good info that I was lacking on. but as for this price thing....I talked to one guy about posibly selling my jeep/plow setup and he basicaly told me i was nuts for the price i threw out. he obviously knew nothing about jeeps. mine has 143K on it, fully loaded with everything except the D44 rear end(but does have the tracklock...factory locker)....both tops, ac, cc etc...and lots of aftermarket goodies(I know not worth much) and the plow has one season and i do our parking lot that fits 10 cars, our driveway and about 3-4 friends driveways. the biggest drive is about 100' long. so not much use at all. off the top of my head I threw out $9000 for a number and he said i was rediculous and hung up on me. and i was actually thinking that was a low price. I still owe over 3000 on the plow!!
  9. bnrhuffman

    bnrhuffman Member
    Messages: 83

    $9000 seems like a reasonable price for your rig.
    The original poster was talking about buying a new Snoway plow. I think its optimistic to think he can get a new Snoway and a TJ for $10000. Thats kinda where I was coming from. Now if he shops for used plows, thats a different animal.
  10. beantownrocks

    beantownrocks Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    thanks everyone!!!

    Thanks a lot for the info! I definitely want cruise control... so i want a 98 or newer.

    $10,000 max was for the jeep alone (not with plow)

    According to Kelley Blue Book, a good 1999 wrangler sahara with 80K miles is worth about $7,500

    I guess i'm not opposed to the idea of a manual. I'll probably go that route.

    So I need new stiffer springs up front?
    Tranny cooler?
    Plow kit?

    Is that everything? those 3 things?
  11. Donny O.

    Donny O. Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    well depends on how heavy the plow is i would say. my plow is like 270# which is the lightest i found....and the front sags about 1-1.5 inches and i have no plans on adding anything to stifen it. I do have a 2.5" rancho spring lift on there so they might be stiffer than the stock ones but they didn't look any thicker just longer than the stock ones. I would also like to point out I put 33" tires on there and my 2.5" lift isn't really enough for that so I have less clearance than stock and with the plow I still don't rub. I posted a few pics on another thread if you care to see.


    as for the tranny cooler that is only with an automatic. DISCLAIMER: most of this is opinion....mine!! to me whether it is a safety precaution or a neccessary thing depends on how much plowing you do. don't get me wrong it definitly cant hurt to have it but if your going to fire the jeep up do your drive and be done....not a big deal, but the more you use it the more heat will get generated and the more you will NEED a tranny cooler. every automatic vehicle made has a tranny cooler from the factory....the lines run to the radiator and get cooled there. the least it can cool it down is to whatever temp the coolant in the radiator is though. aftermarket coolers can cool better cuz they are air/fluid coolers and when it's 20 degrees outside they can remove more heat from the fluid than a radiator that is at 180 degrees. that make sense? having said that the factory one should be more than adequate to handle daily driving(even in the 115 degree desert where they test stuff at) and whatever you can normaly throw at it. even the added stress of a plow might be managable to a point, but could become more than it can handle if you do a lot of plowing.

    sorry if I babble too much....shy and quiet most of my life then I came out of my shell now i don't shut up!!
  12. jax1013

    jax1013 Senior Member
    Messages: 114

    98 Wrangler W/680 Blizzard

    I sold my jeep to my friend tommy.. he thought he was going to use it and he never did..It had about 83000 miles on it.. I bought it from a couple of girls in NJ and i put the Blizzard680 on it. I only used it for large sidewalks and a 1/2 dozen resd. driveways. Only one season. I know he didnt use it b/c he started a limo company and is very busy...you can contact him at aladdin63 @aol.com. Make him an offer in your range including the plow. He will probably take it b/c its just sitting in his parents driveway for months. Its blue 6 cyl w/ air and auto. good luck you wont be disappointed. Also, i already installed the tranny cooler....
    Good luck,
    (917) 417- 6611
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2006
  13. beantownrocks

    beantownrocks Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    perfect jeep

    Thanks for posting the link to the pics of your jeep Donny. Your setup is exactly what i am looking to do myself...

    hard top for the winter, softtop for the summer
    nice color
    cool fender flares
    cool rims
    headlights on top...

    i really like it. Sounds like it has the skills and it definitely has the look.
  14. Donny O.

    Donny O. Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    well if that is what your looking for I would sell it to ya!!:bluebounc
  15. beantownrocks

    beantownrocks Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    thanks though

    well... i think i'm going to get one that isn't kitted out just yet... plus i am going to get a florida or texas car. i live in boston and my father lives in minnesota and cars really do take a beating up here in the north. but i really like what you've done with it... you're going to sell it? gotten your use out of it? going to get another one or trade up?
  16. Donny O.

    Donny O. Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    actually problby going to trade down. i could use to pay some bills off. might go a year or so without a plow. dont' really use it for anyting other than the lot at our salon(10 cars) and our driveway at home that if we pack them tight we can fit about 6 -7 cars and a few neighbors drives....and only one season on it of about 4 snowfalls that were plowable. so don't use it much....mostly got it cuz it's fun for me.

    So why not get one that is ready to go....let someone else take the loss on it. including purchase price I have about $15,000 in this jeep in the past 2.5 years i've owned it with the plow and accessories.....and looking to get about $9000 for it. i'm not trying to talk you into it or anything just pointing out another side of it.
  17. beantownrocks

    beantownrocks Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    i checked KBB.com. According to that, the Jeep without the plow is $5800 and with a plow is $6500. But I don't think they are right. Especially since you haven't had the plow on since the beginning...only one season. I would say you take the $5800 + half of whatever you spend on the plow (probably $6000) = ~$9000. I think you were pretty close to about the value of your vehicle. That guy that told you you were crazy for asking $9000 is crazy too. Anyway, let me think about it. I might be interested... I'm not sure... But you do offer a good counterpoint.....
  18. Donny O.

    Donny O. Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    were you checking trade in or private party? private party in 'good' condition I get $6840, trade in is $5135 and retail is $9335.....all without the plow that was $3500 last october. plus they don't give a dual top option...I have both hard and soft tops...actually 2 soft tops for it...and hard and soft doors as well....plus 3 sets of rims/tires...and all the other stuff i added. so I didn't think I was as crazy as he thought I was.