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Stringbuzz - Lowell - Hello

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Stringbuzz - Lowell - Hello

Post  Stringbuzz on 4/28/2016, 6:00 pm

Hi,

Heard about the group through word of mouth.

I am from Lowell.

My first Jeep I believe was a 1996 Jeep Cherokee Sport. Bought it with 13K on, think I put close $200K. I loved it.

I then bought a brand new Liberty first year they came out. It was a 2002 but I got it right when they came out in 2001. I had like 230K miles on that. For the most part, I loved it.

That was on it's way out, at the time gas prices where extra high, and I just got a job that I would have a round trip commute of 53 miles a day.. So I decided to get a 2008 Patriot, new. Patriot I had mixed feelings about, My wife hated it. It was what it was. I put 180K on it

Anyway, I was on my way up to the Bangor region of Maine on the first day of a 10 day vacation. It was 4th of July week 2013 in the Patriot. We have a nice place in Holden, Me on a lake maybe 10 miles outside Bangor.
I have my dog, kayaks, all my luggage, etc etc with me.
Patriot breaks down on the highway about 20 miles outside Bangor.

Long story short.. It is July 3rd. I just spent the last couple days getting the Jeep from a local garage to the Jeep dealer in Bangor.
It is in the morning, they call me into look at the Jeep. Without getting into details, I was looking at $1700 dollars in repairs to get me going again. I also new I needed upcoming maintenance on brakes and some other stuff needed and I had a lot of miles.

I ended up, and I really wasn't in position to do it at the time, but circumstance and being on vacation made me!!

I said get me a salesman..

because I always wanted one, I bought my first Wrangler..
I bought a 2013 Wrangler Sport.

Based on my budget, and inventory, but mostly budget, I ended up with the Standard Sport model.. Hard-top only, No power windows or locks, But I did get the Bluetooth radio. It had the 16 inch steel wheels. I was pretty happy, wife pretty happy..

My plan was to upgrade a lil as I go, as I can afford.. I figured I run the tires down, then do rims and tires, etc.. thoughts like that.


What I did do though, after the fact and right before 36K was buy a MOPAR lifetime warranty on the Jeep. Pretty much the same as a new car warranty.. Covers everything, with a $100 deductible. I put a lot of thought into that. It was $2.8K. They gave me a no interest 2 year loan to pay it off. This is my primary vehicle and I do a lot of driving. This includes commute and a lot of just cruising (think new England traverller... me and the wife). With the mileage I put on and past repair experience, and giving the fact that I hold on to vehicles as long as I can, I did it.

This is my only Vehicle.

Here is where I am at now..

I have 62K miles.. I am going to say 10K of this (could be more) due to travelling and where my place is in maine, is off road miles: Dirt Roads, logging roads, fire roads, ATV trails. Nothing super crazy, because I am generally alone, but fun enough where being in the 4x4 jeep really helps out. I've climbed a couple mountains via rock roads, etc. We spend many days out in the townships of maine. I have ran into a couple times where I slammed a rock with the bottom of the jeep.. No damage, but it scared the crap out of me..

I just switch out my tires and rims. I found a sweet deal off craigs list where I got the aluminum star 17 inch OEM rims off a 2015 Wrangler with just under 3k on them. All five for $900. I couldn't pass that up.. I was going to go a lil more custom, but the deal was just too good.. It did get me into bigger tires and rims.

I tubular Quadratec side rails I put on.. I like them..

I got some handgrips. LOL.

Now I have about 2K to invest in the Jeep.. Couple things come to mind, I know I am going to need brakes soon, prolly some other maintenance.

I kinda hate the hard top. I use the panels a lot. Even with care, I have had the leaks, and the rattling panels, and it has kinda driving me crazy. And I need to have someone to help when taking it off. My wife is too small to help with that... I know the lifts and that crap, but not an option for me and those are money to0. I like going doorless and fully topless whenever I can. Just taking the panels off is OK, but you know, not the same.

I keep thinking about investing in a soft-top. A nicer one.. There is a couple out there. Lets just say it'd be between 900-1000 depending on what I get. Unless I identify some crazy deal. I can take it down myself, eliminate the rattles from the Hardtop, etc etc.

I was also thinking about maybe lifting the jeep. I am not a mechanic, but I have a friend that owns Wratchets in Pelham, NH. Specializes in Jeeps and would do my work very reasonable.. Lets say a couple inch lift prolly be around $1300. That would help with some height for the rocks (I've only bottomed out a couple times doing a ton of off road mileage). Lift prolly will void the suspension warranty coverage I have with the life-time though, although whatever gets put in will have a warranty. Then there is the gas mileage thing..

I can't really do a lift and get a top and do the maintenance though.

My goal will be to own this Jeep as long as I can, after I pay it off etc, I am going to do everything to keep it as long as I can.. I may end up buying another vehicle, keeping the Jeep if it is still roadworthy.

I'd like to get involved in a group trade ideas, maybe do some runs, meet some people. I don't see myself outfitting the Jeep at this time for the extreme stuff, but like I said, I am out in the woods quite a bit.

Other thing I have had issue with is a way to transport kayaks around. I don't have a rack. I haven't just tied them down to the jeep when the top is fully off (my other idea. LOL)

So. That's me.. The situation I am in. Hello. Any thoughts? Suggestions of what to do here? LOL. I have like $2K
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Stringbuzz
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Re: Stringbuzz - Lowell - Hello

Post  Tonellin on 4/29/2016, 3:22 pm

I like the idea of no power windows/locks...simplicity! I definitely wouldn't ditch the hardtop especially since it's your daily driver, makes for a much more comfortable drive

Would the lift void your warranty? I'd definitely check on that since you spent a good chunk of change on it. Since you plan on keeping the jeep for a long time I'd advise doing everything right the first time which means tons and tons of reading and research on sites like jeepforum and jk forum, I can't really recommend much as I'm more of a TJ guy

We do plenty of stock/moderate friendly runs in the southern and central NH area be sure to keep an eye out for those postings. Welcome!
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Tonellin
Rausch Creek

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Re: Stringbuzz - Lowell - Hello

Post  Ryan McKee on 4/30/2016, 9:34 am

What an awesomely thorough introduction! Welcome to North Shore Jeeps!

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Ryan McKee
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Re: Stringbuzz - Lowell - Hello

Post  Stringbuzz on 5/5/2016, 5:36 pm

So. HAHA

I spent some money..

I decided after talking to numerous friends, to start with a soft top.
I did my research, etc.
My choices came down to the Bestop Supertop NX and the Quadratop Premium.
I went with Quadratop. Longer Warranty, Better Window quality, and it is made by Bestop. In fact the whole frame system is the Bestop NX frame. This made me happy. $880.
I bought some nice Jeep fitted Coverking Neoprene Seat Covers.. Two for the front and then it came with a promotional free backseat cover. $189
I got some adhesive applied rugged ridge cowel cover hardware (yes I am stupid and have some mirror dings from the doors swinging. I will say it happened in a crazy hurricane situation!! LOL). $48.00
I bought a whole new set of lug nuts.. I hated the ones with the jeep that had the aluminum covers. I went black. Think that will look good with the white black trimmed jeep. They came with locks from Quadratec (see a pattern here?) 40 dollars
I also bought this Bestop duffle that rolls up and holds all the softop windows. Protects them and it first right in the back.. This was $80.
I have some money left for brakes..

And then off to saving again..

I really want a new bumper (I scraped my factory plastic one.).. IDK if it is winch time though. Haven't needed one.. Maybe overkill until this really becomes just my Jeep toy and not my main vehicle.

Really thinking about going to Tops Off in Rumney this weekend, but the rain has sucked and wife doesn't want to be cold and raw feeling if we camped. Might go for day Saturday. I have a lot of friends camping though..

I need to get out in the woods.

I'm an avid backpacker and love to hike everywhere in New England.

I have 4 mountains left to completed the New England 67 4K Footers.

I freaking need to do some kayaking too!!

I need to get off my butt.

I did hardly any winter hiking this year (17 summits of Washington in Winter season BTW!!)

Later.
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Stringbuzz
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Re: Stringbuzz - Lowell - Hello

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