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Old 12-19-2012, 07:20 PM   #1
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98 tj?

Seen a 98 TJ for sale today and was thinking about it. Anyone have any opinions on the year? I know everyone li es their jeep but are there any red flags I should look for on this year model besides obvious like rust, abuse, etc. Wife just got a 2010 jk and I have the jeep bug but can't really afford a newer jeep but an older model might be an option. Thanks for any input.

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Old 12-19-2012, 07:25 PM   #2
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1998 is a great model year for the TJ, and I'm not just saying that because I currently own one. There are very few "red flags" to look for; just check out out the usual stuff (rust, leaks, scars) and you should be good to go.

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Old 12-19-2012, 07:58 PM   #3
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Purchased my 98 TJ back in June, the only problem I have with
it is I can't believe I waited till I was 43 to get my first Jeep.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:00 PM   #4
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I love my 98.
What size motor is the one you found for sale? Auto or manual? Does it have a lift? What size tires?
My personal opinion, check the frame for any extreme rust or rot
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:53 PM   #5
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Thanks for quick replies. Haven't stopped to look yet but it does look to have maybe a 3 in lift with what looks like 33''. Might finally stop in tomorrow if I have time. It's been there a few weeks now so could be a bad sign or work to my advantage.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:03 PM   #6
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http://usedcars.autocheck.com/detail...ser=YXV0b2NoZW

Actually found it online...priced higher than I thought it would be. Hoping to be near the 5k range...man these jeeps hold their value! Might have to keep looking for the right deal or fixing one up myself.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:28 PM   #7
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I recently purchased a 98 with 120k miles. Exhaust manifolds have been a problem with this year. Luckily mine had already been changed. Make sure the frame is solid. Keep in mind they rust from the inside out. At that age and mileage I would factor in other repairs that will inevitably need to be done if not done already. U-joints, ball joints, brakes. Radiator, water pump, battery, etc.. Crawl under make sure the underside looks good, check fuel lines ad brake lines. Make sure there are no large dents in the gas tank which could have affected fuel pump, sending unit. I had one which threw my gas gage sending unit off. It never read full. I ended up replacing the full pump assembly. Wheel bearings could be near the end of life. These are all small things but add up quick, especially if you do not do the work yourself.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:53 PM   #8
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Can't say much bout the tjs, only owned yjs but am now looking for a older dd Tj. Where I'm at that'd be priced bout $10 maybe $11 just bc of lift. I've priced out sports, dealer/ind and they're all evenly priced no matter what mileage, obviously mint ones are more, just speaking on avg. if u think it's worth it, it's worth it
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:04 PM   #9
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Around here, 91s that are rust buckets go for 5k. A clean 98 with a 4.0 and miles under 100k will be 9 to 12k.
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:05 PM   #10
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Btw, I have owned my 99 for two years. Paid 9k for it and was offered 10.5 last week and said no. The market is goofy.
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:27 PM   #11
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Yep, I paid $9,000 for my stock '98 TJ Sport with automatic transmission and 80k miles. It wasn't the deal of the century but a fair price based on my research - it wasn't as easy at you might think to find one with A/T, full doors and a hardtop.

Here's what she looked like the day I brought her home...I've since gotten a 2" lift, 31x12.5x15 tires and ditched the grill inserts, milk jugs and dealer license plate frame.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:27 PM   #12
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Havent seen a drip, or burned any oil. The only break down i have had was due to my cps bolts working loose. All in all problem free. Got it for 5k, and not a single dent. When i got it that is.
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:35 AM   #13
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Remember, if the speedo gear hasn't been changed that mileage is way off. I wouldn't let that stop me from buying it, I just used that as a negotiation point when I bought mine
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:01 AM   #14
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I think that 98 in the link, seems a little high based on the pics and description. Now maybe he started high and will take less, but I think you could shop around and do better.

When I lived in Tampa there were Jeeps everywhere, I bet if you keep looking you find a better deal than that.

If your wife's JK is all you know, I'd suggest driving a lifted and stock TJ just to see the differences in ride, power, driving fun, etc. From my experience (former 94 GC, 97 TJ, 02 KJ, 07 JKU, and current 02 TJ) the JK is a little softer and more comfortable than the TJ. Not in a good/bad way, just different.

Good luck, and remember drive as many as you can to find what things you like and don't like.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:39 AM   #15
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Assuming the Jeep is in decent shape, that price is in line with what I saw earlier this year when I was looking (also from Tampa). That Jeep is probably going to ride much differently than your JK. I would suggest looking for a stock TJ and then building it the way you want, bit by bit, as the budget allows. Also, stock Jeeps are less likely to have been wheeled hard.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:15 AM   #16
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Assuming the Jeep is in decent shape, that price is in line with what I saw earlier this year when I was looking (also from Tampa). That Jeep is probably going to ride much differently than your JK. I would suggest looking for a stock TJ and then building it the way you want, bit by bit, as the budget allows. Also, stock Jeeps are less likely to have been wheeled hard.
Yea probably a good idea. At least then I could set up how I want. Gonna keep looking...thanks to all who chimed in. Great advice. Loving this forum. Full of good people just trying to help each other out and have fun!
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:19 PM   #17
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I love my 98! the only problem ive heard of with the 98 is the switch in the steering column sometimes trips and can fry the computer but as long as you don't leave it in the pouring rain forever with no top on or drive it under a pond you should be all set. i got mine for 5k and slowly built it and i couldn't be happier! greatest car ive ever owned. good luck with it!
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:14 PM   #18
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^^^Nice jeep!!!
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:41 PM   #19
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I've been casually looking for a TJ for quite some time, and it's my experience that finding one with the 4.0/automatic, and under 100K miles is virtually impossible. If you find one around 100K, they'll want around $10K for it. The Sahara package/air doesn't seem to make much difference, nor do any modifications that might have been made. It's my opinion that the value of a host of mods is negated by the perception that anyone who needs long-arm lifts, winches, 37's, etc. has probably beat hell out of it off the road.

And of course, the biggie is rust. If it has rust, you can lower that by a minimum of $2K and possibly more. Nobody wants a rust bucket....and believe me, what the OWNER thinks is significant rust is almost never what the prospective buyer considers significant rust.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:42 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by 1998 white tj View Post
I love my 98! the only problem ive heard of with the 98 is the switch in the steering column sometimes trips and can fry the computer but as long as you don't leave it in the pouring rain forever with no top on or drive it under a pond you should be all set. i got mine for 5k and slowly built it and i couldn't be happier! greatest car ive ever owned. good luck with it!
Very pretty.
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:43 PM   #21
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I'd rather have a '97 like was stolen from me or a '98 than my present '04.
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:08 PM   #22
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Care to briefly explain why Jerry? Advantages? Disadvantages ? Just personal opinion?
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:37 PM   #23
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I've had my 98 TJ for 3 months now and love it! Had to do u-joints, and I changed the oil. I sitll want to do some other maintenance items, but a couple at a time.

Needs a good bath but, it's a jeep.

I paid $7k for mine, 88k original miles, 5 speed, a/c, cruise, etc. I looked for a while and this one wasn't perfect but the guy I bought it from had put only 4k miles on it for the 4 years he owned it. (weekend vehicle)
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:15 PM   #24
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Love my 98 TJ
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:03 PM   #25
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Bought My 98 for about 7k Been happy so far. Make sure the owner took care of it though.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:09 PM   #26
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love my 98 too!!

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Old 12-22-2012, 10:18 PM   #27
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Micah, what size tires and lift do you have?
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:48 AM   #28
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Micah, what size tires and lift do you have?
4" lift with 33x12.5" tires.
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:16 AM   #29
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98's are a good year!

Up here in the north east frame rust is a major problem so I would look for that carefully. Another thing to check for is a coolant leak. If the jeep overheated even once then you run the risk of a blown head gasket/cracked head. Lastly, check the brake lines, they tend to rust / rot away.

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