Many will probably disagree with me but I would find a TJ (97 and newer) nothing wrong with a YJ (95 and older) but the ride in a TJ is much better. And I believe a TJ is easier to modify with lift kits, etc...but I'm still new to this as well so I'm not positive about that. That's just what I've heard and read on forums like this.
I agree TJ is a a much nicer ride, we own a 91 YJ and a 05 TJ. The biggest difference in suspension between the 2 is the YJ's have springs, the TJ have coils.
When buying a used car, you want to look for rust on the body and frame,( sometimes they will try to hide this with painting over the rust) any major leaks, listen to the motor for any funny noises. Smell the oil to be sure there is no gas in it, and if possible take to a mechanic to be looked if you are not mechanical. If buying from a privet party and they tell you ,xyz has been done recently ask for receipt.
It drives dealers nuts when my husband and I buy a used car he gets down and crawls under it and checks it out top to bottom.
I'm sure some of the other guys can give you more things to look for .
Yjs are by far easier to do almost anything on.. Lifts, axle swaps, motor swaps, everything.. I've done quite a bit of work on tjs, and even more so on yjs and there is a big difference, even in price.. And you can get a lifted yj to drive just as nice as a lifted tj..
Well since the OP says there looking for a TJ for street and trail.
03-06 rubicon but if ya want more room then get a rubicon unlimited 04-06. You can put 33's on them without re-gearing ( I'm on 36's stock gears but no street time) and there built stout right outa the box. They come with 4 wheel disc breaks d44's front and rear geared to 4:11, lockers and a 241 transfer case with 4:1 gears
If your budget isn't there then I would look for a sport or Sahara with a d44 rear end and a 4.0L.
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