TJ or Willys? It depends!

by Karl Bauer
(Waidhofen Thaya, Austria)

The best and most universal on road/off road Jeep ever is the TJ for sure.

I drove thousands of miles in my TJ through off roads and went back thousands of miles on highways and never had a problem.

Now I have my second one and it is as good as the first. The engine is absolutely reliable going on the highest elevations or in hours long traffic jams in Mexico, through snow in Canada or water and heaviest rains in Florida. The thing runs and runs with relatively low maintenance and no failures for more than 160,000 miles in Europe and the Americas with good gas mileage.

The soft top is never leaking, and nor is the whole Jeep. This is the first Jeep I owned after 30 years without having wet feet while driving in rain. Greatest Jeep ever, no doubt.

If it is about the looks, I love my CJ3A. I could never make up my mind which is the best looking Jeep ever but the advantage (versus a girl) is that I store the windshield frame of a CJ2 and a MB grille, just in case I am changing my mind over night, I can change this baby in no time. Try this with a good looking girl.

I keep the old one because it looks good and my project now is to combine the beauty with the advantage of the good. I put coil springs in it and high tech brakes and other upgrades. The goal is to keep the looks as much as possible and still make it a daily driver.

The comfort of the roof, the wet feet issue and the poor seating is the compromise like dating the best looking but least modern girl.

Main thing is that you love it/her.

Larry's Comment: Good points Karl..but not too sure about the Jeep vs. Girl analogies..LOL!

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Still running
by: Karl

Hi Jeepers,

Just want to say that I again have my first TJ which I was writing about (the one with 160.000 Miles on the clock). I sold it when I left Mexico years ago and bought it back again when I came back in 2010.

It was very much beaten up but I wanted it back to write the story. I cut it in pieces and made it longer to make it an Unlimited, finally. It received a V8 (Chevy 4.8) and 9" axles plus Rubicon 4.5" lift and more.

What I wanted to tell you is that I am driving a second TJ which I converted from four to six cylinders using the engine with 160.000 Miles. It has now 180,000 Miles and still runs as great as before and recently I went to Las Vegas from Mexico City with no problem at all...and no oil consumption on the 5,000 Mile trip.

I love my TJ's.

Larry's Comment: Karl...send us some pictures of these cool sounding Jeeps.

I will
by: Karl

Hi Larry,
I will create a page if you dont mind because I would like to post the Willys's as well.

Larry's Reply: Karl, feel free to create as many pages as you have Jeeps. Looking forward to seeing and reading about them.

The JK (and not the JKU) is the Best
by: JP

The 2012 and up JK's are hands down the most capable and refined Jeeps ever produced. At 30 large or more they had better be!

Long time ago
by: Karl

Hi there! I am back.

Meanwhile I have a TJ Rubicon in addition to my Willys and my '99 TJ.

This TJ Rubicon is even better than whatever I had before. It is now 220,000 km old and the first thing I am changing now is the radiator for less than 70 bucks brand new from Ebay which includes shipping.

Since I wrote a lot about my Jeep tours I've got to add some more I did with the Rubicon. While I was working in Mexico I traveled to the south of Mexico to the Pacific coast. Lots of Gravel Roads and never broke down.

Then I did a few trips to the States again, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas and now I traveled to Vermont, pulling my '99 TJ and my Jeep trailer behind from Mexico. I started a job here in Vermont and will start to do some traveling from here if I get the time. Newfoundland, Nova Scotia is on the plan.

On Christmas I am going back to Mexico with the Rubicon again to pick up my Willys. I will pull it behind the TJ and if one sees me on the highway direction North, give me a honk!

Back in Vermont
by: Karl

I did it! Drove the Rubicon from Vermont to Mexico again and back with a 2.5t trailer with two Willys inside. The Rubicon is not the ideal towing vehicle but it did it. 7600 Miles with no problems again. What an awesome Jeep the TJ is. Took me 900Dollars in Gas plus about 2000 Mexican Pesos.

For the next journeys I decided to buy a small Camping Trailer like aT@G or a little Guy because I slept in the Jeep most of the nights which is, even on Leather seats, not very comfortable for a man in my age.


Larry's Reply: Wow, Karl. You are living the Jeep Lover's dream. Way to go.

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