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Old 04-05-2013, 03:56 PM   #1
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Buying a TJ, many questions

Hello wrangler buddies,

First let me start off by saying I'm very new to the whole wrangler scene. I've been a car guy my entire life, but my boy racer days are over and I've always loved jeeps and they fit my outdoor lifestyle perfectly. So why the hell not?

I've been looking at many wranglers for sale in the socal region, but recently I've been getting overwhelmed by all the choices out there. I just want a tj that's as close to stock as possible(I want to start from a clean slate and mod from there), there just aren't many clean stock ones out there.

Pretty much, I'm seeking some expert advice on what to look for when buying a used jeep. I want to avoid anything that may potentially have anything to do with the infamous death wobble. So maybe you guys could point me in the right direction and anything specific to pay attention to when looking at and test driving one. But my biggest question to you all is what seems to be the main cause of death wobble? Is it the over sized tires?

I've been eyeing a 2000 4.0L wrangler Sahara with 180k miles on the chassis, the engine was rebuilt 200 miles ago by a reputable shop, the differential was replaced recently, and most of the suspension was also replaced. It has a 2in lift(fabtech lift I think). It seems to be a very clean jeep. He's asking for 12k but said he is very flexible on the price. I will attach some photos of it. Do you think this jeep could be a death wobbler? I have not test driven it yet.

I look forward to seeing your responses and I thank you for helping me out.
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:59 PM   #2
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Well we can't tell anything about possible death wobble from some street pics.. You have to go check it out to tell that. Check for loose track bar ends and control arms. Then take it on a test drive where you can hit 45-50 or so and be sure to hit some bumps if you're worried about DW. Those are the two things that most often trigger it. I lifted mine and got DW from a bolt that wasn't installed properly by a friend. Honest mistake. But I just replaced it and no more DW. So it's not always as bad and hard to fix as it sometimes seems.
Other than that its a nice looking jeep.

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Old 04-05-2013, 04:01 PM   #3
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Good looking Jeep

tweek it.....cash is king

I have a rubi HD 5.5 LA lift on 35's and a 2" BL. I took it once to 90mph w/o any problems. But, mostly it just purrs down the freeway at 60 to 65 mph
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manbartz View Post
Hello wrangler buddies,

First let me start off by saying I'm very new to the whole wrangler scene. I've been a car guy my entire life, but my boy racer days are over and I've always loved jeeps and they fit my outdoor lifestyle perfectly. So why the hell not?

I've been looking at many wranglers for sale in the socal region, but recently I've been getting overwhelmed by all the choices out there. I just want a tj that's as close to stock as possible(I want to start from a clean slate and mod from there), there just aren't many clean stock ones out there.

Pretty much, I'm seeking some expert advice on what to look for when buying a used jeep. I want to avoid anything that may potentially have anything to do with the infamous death wobble. So maybe you guys could point me in the right direction and anything specific to pay attention to when looking at and test driving one. But my biggest question to you all is what seems to be the main cause of death wobble? Is it the over sized tires?

I've been eyeing a 2000 4.0L wrangler Sahara with 180k miles on the chassis, the engine was rebuilt 200 miles ago by a reputable shop, the differential was replaced recently, and most of the suspension was also replaced. It has a 2in lift(fabtech lift I think). It seems to be a very clean jeep. He's asking for 12k but said he is very flexible on the price. I will attach some photos of it. Do you think this jeep could be a death wobbler? I have not test driven it yet.

I look forward to seeing your responses and I thank you for helping me out.
I personally think $12,000 is way over priced for this vehicle. I have a friend who just bought a 99 Sahara, bone stock with 140,000 miles for $6,000 and this is in SoCal. Death wobble is not from over sized tires but from worn or loose parts so with those many miles it is a good idea to check some of those areas for play, etc.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sinbob View Post
Good looking Jeep

tweek it.....cash is king

I have a rubi HD 5.5 LA lift on 35's and a 2" BL. I took it once to 90mph w/o any problems. But, mostly it just purrs down the freeway at 60 to 65 mph
Not sure how this gives the OP any good advise.
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:04 PM   #6
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Welcome. You will find a tremendous amount of information here. I would agree with the other post here. The asking price does seem high. I would start off asking several thousand under his asking price. You can always negotiate up. You can't negotiate down.

Before an offer, make sure this has the basics of what you want. Drivetrain, color, a/c hardtop/soft top etc. Second, make sure you go over it very well. Especially underneath. Check for rust in the floorboards framrails, etc and assess if its clean or something you can repair or have repaired. A good base always makes a great build. It sounds like you've been looking. Take your time and you'll do fine. best of luck to you.
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 530ktm View Post
I personally think $12,000 is way over priced for this vehicle. I have a friend who just bought a 99 Sahara, bone stock with 140,000 miles for $6,000 and this is in SoCal. Death wobble is not from over sized tires but from worn or loose parts so with those many miles it is a good idea to check some of those areas for play, etc.
Cool. I'll offer him somewhere between $8 to $9.5k depending on how it looks in person, and how it drives. Although this wrangler has the majority of my attention, there is a plethora of other wranglers that are also good candidates that I will be looking at.
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Old 04-06-2013, 05:01 AM   #8
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my tip would be to not buy your TJ unless and until you have gone out and inspected and test driven at least a few candidates. it is the best way to protect yourself from over-paying, or, regretting your purchase for other reasons.

i literally test drove/inspected about 15 TJ's over 7 months before i let go of my money and my patience really paid off.
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Old 04-06-2013, 06:55 AM   #9
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my tip would be to not buy your TJ unless and until you have gone out and inspected and test driven at least a few candidates. it is the best way to protect yourself from over-paying, or, regretting your purchase for other reasons.

i literally test drove/inspected about 15 TJ's over 7 months before i let go of my money and my patience really paid off.
Don't rush your purchase! At first you wanted stock.Now your worried about wobble? Don't know your finances but,I believe in paying extra for lower miles.TJ'S are getting rare for low miles.Last yr.manu. is all ready 7yrs.Stay away from rusted shit boxes.You either pay now with least fixes or later with parts and breakdowns.If you buy with mods your saving money only if done right.Do your homework before you listen to the bullshit story's.If your not a mechanic bring one.
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:00 AM   #10
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While oversize tires do increase the effects of death wobble, it is almost exclusively caused by worn steering/suspension components.
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:05 AM   #11
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Does this rust look concerning? Please take a close look, I will be driving about a 200 miles to look at this.
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:22 AM   #12
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The miles on the first one are high, but if the engine is in good shape and as indeed rebuilt theres no reason not to. Price is high def start low. Also, ask why they are selling it. It appears to be in good shape but there are some mods. A lot of jeeps are abused and neglected, normally it shows cosmetically. When you done take care of the motor, you neglect the rest. Jeeps are noisey but if you know what to listen for you shouldn't have an issue. The green one..maybe its the color and those god awful rims, but I think you'll appreciate having a hard top. Make sure u get a 4.0L!!! and, if a beggar can be a chooser, find out what axles it has. d35 is just not worth the time..Just me. Diggin that white one!
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:24 AM   #13
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mile to high for the price imo.. keep looking
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:48 AM   #14
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I bought a stock Rubicon, I wouldn't again. The more mods installed by a competent shop/person, the better. Don't let those deter you -- and just get a shop to check everything out before you buy.

Like this bad boy, 2004 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon BUILT!

For 3 grand more to get something like that I wouldn't, now, be spending 10k+ for the privilege "just to do it myself". Don't get me wrong, it is nice to build it up the way you want it, but there are 3980239 things you can tinker with to make it your own.

And FYI, I got my '05 rubicon with 40k mi for 15k last year, with a hard top. The jeep you listed is way too much, keep looking. The one I listed above I think is a steal.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:20 AM   #15
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I guess I should have updated you guys.

The white one, while it looks clean on the Internet is far from it. The owner was a super nice guy who's in love with his jeep and doesn't want to see it go for cheap, but we was asking way too much. About $7k too much. I passed on the white jeep.

This green one I posted pics of has relatively low miles(for my budget of $10k) at 73k. I was just wondering if that rust looks concerning... And what's wrong with those wheels?
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:48 PM   #16
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Just got my 2002 tj
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:55 PM   #17
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Just got my 2002 tj
Congrats, that one looks way better than the two above, good work!
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:43 PM   #18
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Nice!
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:25 PM   #19
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congrats! Welcome to a bottomless pit up upgrades and spending for years of enjoyment to come! haha but seriously welcome to the wrangler fam dude, keep us all posted on upgrades!
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:03 PM   #20
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Our first day bonding
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:29 PM   #21
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Our first day bonding

That thing looks really clean; year, miles and price?

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