We’ve had a soft spot for the Wrangler TJ of 1996- 2006 ever since we ran one here as a long-termer. It was the popular 4.0 Sahara with a removable hard-top. There’s a 2.5 petrol, too, but the 4.0-litre, although thirstier, is the engine to have.
Jeep Wrangler TJ 4.0 Sahara, £6500: We found a 2001/51-reg 4.0 Sahara with 89,000 miles for £6500. It sounds like strong money for a private sale, but never underestimate the power of a handful of readies and a determined stare.
It has a full service history, too, the last fettle being a major seeing-to less than 100 miles ago. Surprisingly, the seller hasn’t thought to put a year’s MOT on it. It expires this month. That’s fine: it’s the perfect excuse to chip the price further still.
So we’re interested. Time to poke around. First, we’ll check the water pump isn’t leaking and that oil isn’t weeping from the engine’s rear main seal and crankcase vents. We’ll inspect the exhaust manifold for cracks and the radiator seams for splits and leaks.