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Old 04-20-2008, 11:25 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Post PLEASE HELP - Undercarriage Rust/ New buyer question

I'm reposting from the General Discussion Board here - Need some help as I'm buying SOON!


Hi All,
NewB here. Looking at purchasing my first Wrangler after having owned a '93 Cherokee Laredo and a '98 Grand Cherokee Laredo. I've got my eye on a 1997 4cyl, 5spd manual. This TJ does not have any surface rust. Under carriage is solid w/ typical surface rust, but no rust holes. Brake line was replaced in August. Entire Exhaust & Catl. was replaced recently, front to back along w/ Oxy sensor. It has 165k miles on it, but it's obvious that the car has been taken care of - really clean with no dents or scratches anywhere (int or ext), NO rust in the interior incl floorboard, and it drives really, really strong.

My concern is with the undercarriage, particularly with rust and oxidation on the axles and driveshaft from New England winters. Nothing is rusted through (no holes), but a bit of topical rust.

Will this affect the vehicle's performance?
Am I going to have to end up getting this replaced soon?
Is $4300 a fair price for a Jeep in this condition?

Thanks for your help. I've learned a lot already from reading posts in other areas!

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Old 04-21-2008, 06:32 AM   #2

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How does it compare to other jeeps you have looked at as far as rust? If your concerned tell the seller you what to have it looked at by a shop. As for the price.. seems okay for a 4 banger.

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Old 04-21-2008, 10:26 AM   #3
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Price is a bit high for a 97, but if the top and such is good it might be worth it.
Rust is normal on the driveshafts and axles, make sure the frame is solid which means getting under there with a flashlight and looking in all the nooks and crannies. I have a 97ZJ and a 97TJ, the TJ came out of Conn, the ZJ from NJ, the TJ has some surface rust but still has about 80% of the paint on the frame, the ZJ looks like it just came off the showroom floor underneath, I don't think it was ever driven in the snow or even in the rain it's so clean under there.
I bought the TJ on 2004 or so for $3K but it took a new top and an optima red top plus a front bumper right off the bat which was close to $1000 bucks.
Check the defrosters, cycle the temp controls from floor to vents to defrosters with the fan on high, there is a little lever in the mix door that breaks and when it does the defroster vents won't work with the fan above low, you will actually hear the door slam and dump the air out to the floor vents.
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Old 04-21-2008, 05:45 PM   #4
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Thanks guys! I appreciate you taking the time to respond!
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