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Old 01-03-2013, 01:52 PM   #1
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Check it out thoroughly if you buy a used Jeep

I've owned my 98 TJ for a couple of months now, and I'm totally new to Jeeps in general. But after learning FROM YOU GUYS on here, I'm getting better acclimated to the vehicles. And after learning how a Jeep SHOULD be, I've found a lot of things that needed attention or were just plain wrong.....

Installed a winch today. Being a newbie at Jeeps, I had no idea what battery should be installed. So when I was checking to see if I had enough CCA capacity to handle the new winch, I found that the PO had installed a tiny group 26 battery! Needless to say, Sears Platinum is going in there tomorrow.

Underneath the Jeep just "looking around", I found a loose shock. Always wondered what that clanging noise was ...

When installing the switch for my new fog lights, I found a wad of wires (all red, btw) under the dash that were taped together and wire nutted. I have no idea what was connected to them, but they went to the fuse panel and a ground. Obviously they had something installed that they removed. Can't believe that they just left the wires in there like that. I removed them all.

The spare tire was average, and it will serve the purpose if needed. But when I gauged it, it had 56# of air in it ......

The oil was almost 3/4 of a quart overfilled. I blame this on the dealership that sold it to me though instead of the PO.

Top radiator hose was TAPED UP with black electricians tape where it had a pinhole leak. How can people drive a car knowing that?

Moral of story: To all you new Jeep owners, check that thing from one end to the other after you get it home. I'll almost assure you that you'll find some weird stuff that some person did to it before you got it.

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Old 01-03-2013, 03:05 PM   #2
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Unraveling the mystery of PO's work can defiantly be interesting, but on the otherhand fixing simple things to make it right can be fun too.

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Old 01-03-2013, 03:17 PM   #3
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I was pulling out the remnants of something that a PO had installed under the dash one day when I found an ignition kill toggle switch taped up in a loop of wire under the dash. Counted my lucky stars that I hadn't bounced the rig just right to stitch the position of the switch and found myself sitting somewhere with a dead ignition.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Unraveling the mystery of PO's work can defiantly be interesting, but on the otherhand fixing simple things to make it right can be fun too.
I'll go along with the "interesting" description, but I don't know if I'd call it "fun". After the initial cursing, I usually laugh at the situation. My dad always taught me to take the time to do things properly. He said .... "The next guy will appreciate it". I guess that's why it irks me so badly when I see careless or inattentive work.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:05 PM   #5
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Haha looking into mine after I bought it, the rear track bar mount had been grinded off, but the left the track bar still connected haha, doing an soa found out I had a chrome diff cover after cleaning it, and a rats nest of wires
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:20 PM   #6
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Yeah, I once found an amp wiring job that had about 4-5 short pieces of differnt colored wire taped together (1 section was speaker wire). I guess the goal was to get power to the amp in a hurry with whatever materials were on hand. lol
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:42 PM   #7
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My '87 Ranger was a trip. It had auxiliary lights and gauges. On day I was driving down the road and the whole cab filled with smoke. A wire for one of the light switches shorted out. That wire happened to run across the oil line for the oil pressure gauge. I spent that weekend pulling wire. There was wire running to places that never would have had something useful installed.

My '78 GMC was a fun one, too. The PO just installed AAL in all 4 corners but put them between the spring pack and the perch, instead of in the pack. The head of the center pin was just long enough to hold the pack in place for about a month. One day I was taking a corner. The wheel turned and the whole front end shifted to the right. Thought I was done right then and there.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:52 PM   #8
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Used Jeeps are often used up........Buyer beware
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:14 PM   #9
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LOL, going through this right now....kind of a mystery...fun
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:27 AM   #10
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not surprising to read of these issues. i am certain you will work thru it all and have a good vehicle.

your experience once again reminds us all why unmolested, unmodified, not-tinkered-with and all-stock used wranglers are still the best value out there, if you can find one.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:17 AM   #11
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This is why I haven't sold my '93. The previous owner didn't leave me any surprises. They did a poor installation on some lights on the bumper, but that was the only issue. I doubt I'll find another Wrangler of a similar year with only 80k and as well taken care of as this. It sits largely unused while I am overseas but it will make a damn good first vehicle for my son later this year.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:31 AM   #12
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Found $40 wedged up under my glove box the other day. Definitely wasn't mine (Very weird about leaving loose bills/change in places) so I consider it a good find!
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:33 AM   #13
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I'm glad I'm not the only one. I have to admit, I have not "taken delivery" of my Jeep yet, but I'm still a bit anxious of what I might have missed when I looked it over.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:49 PM   #14
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Always have to be weary of modifications done to a vehicle [any vehicle]. What parts did they use, how where they installed and how the vehicle was used. Who knows what Billy Jo-Bob did to it before he sold it.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:18 PM   #15
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I looked at a few Used Jeeps before I bought my new one. Some "looked" really nice, but when test driving they were so far off that I wondered why the dealership even had them on the lot. Let's just say it brought back the term "Unsafe at any Speed"
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:12 AM   #16
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Who knows what Billy Jo-Bob did to it before he sold it.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:46 PM   #17
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I picked up a completely unmolested 2001 SE with only 31XXX miles on the odometer a few month ago. It seemed mint at first. I pulled the car fax and it all checked out good. It's been trouble free so far (except small Evap leak engine light), but I keep finding weird things. It had a full quart too much oil in it when I got it home. I flipped up the back seat and found junk-yard yellow writing on the seat frame. I found similar yellow writing on the Evap canister. When I took the top down the roll-bar padding fabric was really faded. Finally I counted over 10 mud-dobber nests (kinda like a wasp) hidden in various locations throughout the vehicle (between roll-bar and sound bar, in the vents, up under the tub rail, etc.).

I think I got it all straight now. I figure It must have sat with the top down in a car-port or other type open garage for much of it's initial life-time.

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