Wanted a wrangler since I was a kid. Had an xj for the last 8 years but modded it too much to daily drive anymore. Now I have 4000 dollars and I'm looking at getting my first wrangler, used of course. So here are the options that I'm looking at:
87 yj with 200000 on the clock but a rebuilt engine that runs smooth for somewhere in the 3000 range with straight 6
A 97 tj with 181000 on the clock with a 4 cylinder. Has cracked exhaust manifold and a leak in radiator to the point that it needs to be replaced. Also needs new wheel cylinders in the rear. Estimate for repairs is 1257 and he is asking 2500 but next to that he says make me an offer, all offers considered. So I was thinking of offering 2200 and fixing issues. also has full soft top and cd player
92 yj running but windshield is rusted out and power steering pump is dying. Has 149000 on the clock and he is asking 3000. Has a 4 cylinder engine not running as smooth as the other.
I got my 87 for 2000, which was kinda high, but I'll tell ya 87 was the bastard year for the yj. Not that I don't love my yj, but a lot of little things like the soft tops you gotta get the frames from a newer one, and half door rails or something. I just traded my doors for half doors and bought a used soft top with hardware lol. Anyway also the 87 has the Peugeot transmission with a 207 transfer (some have a 231 I wasn't so lucky). I got a transmission (ax-15 from a 97 tj) for $500 with the external slave cylinder. I love the interior and everything about my yj, but it takes patiences. And if that yj has a rebuilt motor that's a deal. I'm spending ~$3000 just to rebuild mine lol. Put a motorcraft carb on it and HEI distributor and cruise it for a while!
That's what I'm nervous about, it was the first year for the yj and I always fear that
I dove in. If you plan on modding it anyway you won't have a problem I guess lol. Mine has 260k on her and she was running alright before the rebuild. As for a 4 banger people like them, but want a 6 lol. I am glad I went with the 6 but that's me. I'm biased though since that's the same year as mine lol
Where are you located? I would keep looking. The 86yj would be okay, but its already seen a long life and then there are the other issues previously stated. Hardware ext. But if the frame and body are in condition and it runs solid under pressure, then its not a bad option.
I didn't read past 4 banger on the other two..
I got my 94 yj with the inline 6 for $4000. 170k, but a new tranny and many mods already. I think I got a good deal, but I had to travel nearly 1000 miles to get it and I did a LOT of looking before I found the one I wanted. Lots of pros and cons to consider.
Get one witg mods already, cheaper to.upgrade than to start from scratch. Don't worry about milage though. The 6's are invincible. I also wouldn't consider anything less than the 6 either though.
I think you should keep looking though. Don't be affraid to drive to get a good deal though in my opinion. Its worth it. Especially in my inflated city
Yeah there is one other and it's lifted already on 35's. I had a 99 Cherokee with a 4.0 and I did all my work myself and knew that car like the back of my hand. But the 87 is a different make and build and I'm nervous about buying something with that many miles when I don't know the make up of it. What should I be looking for in a yj? Tips are appreciated cause I'm trying to get this guy to show me. He listed it at 3700 with no doors and a bikini top. But the engine has been rebuilt already.
Even if it was rebuilt people still have trouble with the Carter carb so check to see if it's that one. Swapping isn't a huge deal, but you'll at least know to have some extra money for it. That and with that many miles the bearings. If the ba10 transmission runs into problems you're better off to swap to the ax-15. That transmission is not good enough to rebuild. And possibly wheel bearings with that many miles. And make sure the gauges work.
So steer clear of the 4 cylinders? How much y'all think a good running 87 with broken gauges is worth?
The gauges could just be the circuit board on the back I hear those go out pretty easily so it's like 100 dollar fix. And I know the engine itself isn't expensive so check the body and frame really good
Check for rust and misshaping? I'm really considering buying it but don't want to get taken to the cleaners because I'm desperate for a wrangler
Try offering lower price then maybe. Look for rust mainly especially where the frame bends for the axles. I missed my rust on my frame because I overlooked it. My bumpstops are all gone due to rust lol. Check the steering and everything up front make sure it isnt lose or bent up also. It's a tough call, but if you do buy it we can all help with anything you may encounter
Edit: the suspension is probably going to be pretty worn due to the mileage too If you plan on lifting it no big deal though.
I bought my 88 yj 4.2 carb stick shift for 1500. Has a rusted window frame, cracked windshield, rusted upper door frames and a soft top only. Tires were 31's with lots of knobby tread but cracked to hell. Body rust is actually pretty minimal. There is some, but not bad at all for the year and price.
I prefer the yj because of the more basic/utility looking interior, thought a fuel injected 4.0 would be nicer than a carbed 4.2. I'm changing my 4.2 over to fuel injection with a leftover efi kit from a previous project.
I prefer a link suspension over leaf type. I haven't owned a TJ so I've never looked but I find it hard to believe that parts are easier to come by for YJ's. Not saying you're wrong by any means. They only made YJ's for 8 years and TJ's for 12 years. So based on that alone I would think there is plenty of TJ stuff out there. Or you could look at it as TJ's are newer and better built and that's why you don't see as many out there to source parts from. Don't get me wrong I'm all about square headlights.'87 is such a bastard year to. If it were a newer one with a six in it I'd probably say it.
That all depends on what you like, what you can work on, cost, and what the intended purpose of the vehicle is. Lift kits for TJs are expensive and you always have the death wobble scare no matter what you do. I just did a YJ for my dad that outdoes his 05 rubi in every single way for half the money.