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Old 11-12-2009, 03:18 PM   #1
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Buying a TJ need input...

This is my first post and would love some input. I have been reading for over a month now to try and narrow down my search and have found many things to watchout for when buying a Jeep. My goal is to pay cash so I am limited to about $5500. I will be using the TJ as my daily driver and I drive 20 miles to work on the highway each day.

My last 3 vehicles only saw a mechanic for tires and alignments so I am not afraid to do almost anything as far as repairs.

I have driven both the 6 and 4cyl versions and must say fell in love with the power of the 6.

I have narrowed my search down to 2 97 TJs. One is a Sport with just under 150K miles on it. Here are some pics....

Pictures by cfrisch1 - Photobucket

Obviously replacing the rear seal will be needed now or in the near future and there looks to be some seapage in the rear diff. What worries me though is the rust. Does it look like there is alot of rust or is this fairly normal for a TJ of its age in the midwest? Also from the side, is it me or does it look like it rides higher than stock?

The other is an SE with 118K miles that comes with both a hard and soft top, full and half doors, a light bar and sound bar. I don't have pics avaialble yet of this one but have seen a few. Whats appealing about this one is the hard top and full doors but not sure that I can go with a 4 cyl now that I have driven the 6.

They both are 5-speed and have similar options such as AC, tilt, CD, ect.

Sorry for the long post but would love some feedback before I make a decision.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 11-12-2009, 03:39 PM   #2
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Rust you want to look for is on the rear
frame,body mounts,by the power steeriing
pump,trans skid bolts

I bought and sold a 4 cyl like you are looking at 97
5sp 4 inch lift/33s 120,000miles
paid 3100 then sold for a profit
Stay with a 6 cyl you wont be sorry
I think For 5500 you could move up a few years
stock ,then up grade as needed

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Old 11-12-2009, 03:54 PM   #3
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Yeah if I go with the 6 I will be offering closer to $4500... then have a bit of money left for repairs and such right away.
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:02 PM   #4
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definitely get the TJ up on a lift and give it a look see.

I would start with the brake lines as they are thin and prone to rust
or just plan on replacing them as a safety precaution.

Frame and floor panels and then body panels.

I have 1999 SE and 1999 Sahara and both have rust....it is the age and winters...
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Old 11-14-2009, 12:38 AM   #5
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go with the 6cly looks good to me, just try and talk him down
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Old 11-15-2009, 08:30 PM   #6
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U definitly want to go with the 6cyl.
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Old 11-15-2009, 08:47 PM   #7
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I'd so go for the 6 because the 4 cylinder in that Tj doesn't do well past 55 mph. As a high way driver, I would def say the six. The only thing you'll hate on the highway is those plastic windows. They are very unwieldy on the highway. When you go to open them they will flap out the window, and their nearly impossible to close when on the highway. You might want to start hunting down some full steel doors, or maybe some fiberglass door halves.

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