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Old 07-30-2013, 04:56 PM   #1
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Breaking into Jeep ownership ... (and driving the Pan-American Highway!)

Hey all,

I'm currently prepping to drive down the Pan-American Highway (from Portland, OR to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina), making multiple stops along the way. My intent to drive in and visit every country on the continent (roughly 20 counties, 50,000 miles or more. Roads of questionable quality, etc.). The trip is likely going to be one way; with selling the Jeep somewhere in South America.

Last year, I did the Alaska Highway, and the Dalton Highway in my 2007 Hyundai Tucson; a trip that vehicle was *never* designed for. Incredible fun, but it did a fair bit of wear to the Tucson; this year, I've driven it to Newfoundland, and across the northern reaches of Mexico (MX-40/MX-15).

While I love my Tucson to pieces, it simply wasn't designed for what I've been doing with it, so with a heavy heart, I've been making preparations to sell it. This obviously leads into what to replace it with.

As I'll be making the trip overland and solo over a couple of years, I wanted something that's relatively easy to maintain, and reliable, and something above all else: FUN!

I've always been interested in Jeeps, and I've seen a few YJ Wanglers going for reasonable prices (currently in contact with a seller of a '92 for $4500). I saw the checklist on things to look for on used Wranglers on these forums, and I'll be checked all the above.

So, Wrangler forum, here I ask, is there anything special I should look at before diving into the wonderful world of Jeep ownership?

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Old 07-30-2013, 05:25 PM   #2
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I'm not a complete JK (newest generation of Wrangler) lover, but 50,000 miles in everything other than a JK would be brutal.

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Old 07-30-2013, 09:39 PM   #3
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^^^^^^^^^BS..... that trip... only WAY to go is YJ or OLDER. IF you need parts along the way, the best bet you have will be an older model. I have spent MANY weeks in rural Mexico and a few weeks in Chile and Argentina. You do not see newer ANYTHINGS there.

While I think $4500 for a 92 is a bit steep, you will have to judge for yourself.

Look for a model with both a hard and soft top, if possible.

If it is a manual tranny, think about taking a spare clutch/pp/tranny with. Avoid the models with INTERNAL slave cylinders because they would be a bitch to find AND replace on that trip.

Re-tire with something easy to find on the trip and take a couple of spare, unmounted ones with.

Fuel can be dicey in MANY of the regions. Might want to stock some HEET as well and MAYBE a kidney loop type fuel filter.

How is your Spanish???? Hablas muy bien y rapido, o despacio????

Insurance..... many of those countries can count an automobile accident as a felony and require MUCH $$$$$$ not to go to jail. Check with insurance company BEFORE.

Inverter for your electrical appliances.

Bueno Suerte.............
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"For Gawd's sake, put a RELAY in there or you could burn the whole damn Jeep to the ground" ...this quote brought to you by people who do not understand the law.....Kirchoff's, Ohm's, or Faraday's.
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Had 75CJ5, 89YJ, 93YJ. Have 82CJ7 & 95YJ____Not one burnt yet due to lack of relays.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:26 PM   #4
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I rode in a YJ and got car sick in minutes. I brought a TJ, and never got car sick. The YJ has lousy suspension, so don't expect to really enjoy long highway driving in it. YJ are better for short off road excursions. Get a True Jeep or a TJ for short. It's the best of both worlds. They basically fixed the problems of the YJ with the TJ. Thanks Wrangler forum for telling me what TJ stands for. lol.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:59 PM   #5
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I don't think I could drive 50k in a Caddy so for you to do it in ANY Jeep would be impressive!!
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Old 07-30-2013, 11:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bc3_Jeep View Post
^^^^^^^^^BS..... that trip... only WAY to go is YJ or OLDER. IF you need parts along the way, the best bet you have will be an older model. I have spent MANY weeks in rural Mexico and a few weeks in Chile and Argentina. You do not see newer ANYTHINGS there.

While I think $4500 for a 92 is a bit steep, you will have to judge for yourself.

Look for a model with both a hard and soft top, if possible.

If it is a manual tranny, think about taking a spare clutch/pp/tranny with. Avoid the models with INTERNAL slave cylinders because they would be a bitch to find AND replace on that trip.

Re-tire with something easy to find on the trip and take a couple of spare, unmounted ones with.

Fuel can be dicey in MANY of the regions. Might want to stock some HEET as well and MAYBE a kidney loop type fuel filter.

How is your Spanish???? Hablas muy bien y rapido, o despacio????

Insurance..... many of those countries can count an automobile accident as a felony and require MUCH $$$$$$ not to go to jail. Check with insurance company BEFORE.

Inverter for your electrical appliances.

Bueno Suerte.............
So I went and saw the 92, its in pretty good condition, though there's some rust on the underbody; drive train, leaf springs, brakes, and tires look to be in great condition, lots of work been done. Freshly replaced fuel injectors, etc.

That being said, there are some negatives, during the testdrive, he explained that there is a bad bearing in the A-frame that mounts the rear tire, so it bangs against the back. Its coming with the Hayes repair manual, towing harness, vest top, and additional "windows" (that's how he described it) for said top in case one gets slashed.

On the downside, the "REQUIRE MAINT" light is on, with the explanation that it was caused by a bad O2 sensor, but the owner couldn't get it reset. I'm not familiar enough with older YJ's to follow for sure; I haven't had a chance to fully look it up.

More in the negative column, dead radio (with a screwy harass; probably needs a complete rewire which I don't think I can do), dead AC (seems to only need a recharge, but its an unknown).

Still, I got to drive a Jeep for the first time, and I will simply say I'm in LOVE.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:00 PM   #7
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With just the problems you listed..... no way would I pony up that kind of $$$$$$.

Keep looking.... the one you love will be there eventually. If you are in a hurry, try ebay.... spend more but some good quality stuff in the YJ range.

I concur with all of the TJ lovers....... it does ride smoother than a YJ or older. It rides like a CAR..... if you are looking for comfort..... get a TRY JEEP (TJ)........ if you are looking for durability and easy to fix....... CJ....... the YJ is a happy compromise.....
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"For Gawd's sake, put a RELAY in there or you could burn the whole damn Jeep to the ground" ...this quote brought to you by people who do not understand the law.....Kirchoff's, Ohm's, or Faraday's.
Violation of KISS shall always ring false in TRUE engineering. - ME___
Had 75CJ5, 89YJ, 93YJ. Have 82CJ7 & 95YJ____Not one burnt yet due to lack of relays.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:43 AM   #8
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Tj is the way to go better ride (coil springs)
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:04 AM   #9
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love my tj but would never put my 2.5L through that. make sure you go 4.0
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:00 PM   #10
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For me it was the catalytic converter that was causing my Engine light. The dealership, rebuilt my heads, changed the sensor, did all the required maintenance, and two days later the check engine light came back on. I noticed there was a noise under my car. So, I took it to a suspension specialist, and he tapped the converter and you could hear it jingling inside. The insides of the converter had collapsed. This was the problem all along. The dealership charged me $2000.00 dollars, to fix nothing, and wouldn't correct their error. I can't believe that these professional Jeep mechanics didn't know the catalytic converter was bad, as it was directly below the o2 sensor. They just wanted to keep milking me for money. I will never go back to Long Beach Jeep. I had the suspension specialist install a new converter, and I never had another problem with the check engine light.
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Old 08-31-2013, 08:04 PM   #11
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What is your departure date? I will be making the same trip. I was supposed to be on it now, but some equipment delays have forced me to push my departure to April 2014. I will be heading to Prudhoe Bay, AK from Central NY, then the long road south to Tierra del Fuego.

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