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Old 11-11-2009, 03:57 PM   #1
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buying this jeep, are these problems normal?

I test drove this wrangler today:
Cars for Sale: 1998 Jeep Wrangler 4x4 Sport in BATAVIA , NY 14020: Sport Utility Details - 269653324 - AutoTrader.com

I like the color. And I like the quality of the engine, seems it was taken care of very good over the years. Has 120k miles, had oil changed every 3,000 miles exactly according to car fax. I also like how it comes with a 4" lift (I'm assuming it was a body lift not a suspension lift) and the big tires.

But I have some questions about things I don't like about it, and if you guys could tell me if they would be easily fixed or not.

1) The steering wheel is tilted to the right. The jeep drives straight, but the wheel is turned to the right for some reason. Could this be fixed by taking the steering wheel off and putting it back on straight? Or would I need an alignment?

2) The shifter, for some reason seems to be angled toward the driver, and not straight like most cars seem to be. Is this normal? Also, when I shift, the shifter goes really close to the dash(?) where all the air controls are, when it's in first gear, third, and fifth, and I actually hit my hand on the dash while shifting and it hurt a bit. Is this normal for it to be so close to the dash?


3) It's very loud. I realize it has 35" mud tires on it, and a soft top, but it is REALLY loud, like it deafens me. But I like the big tire factor and the lift, it makes it look cooler. Is it possible to get a quieter set of 35" tires, that would also be better for regular driving and MPG? I plan to offroad a little bit, but not a whole lot, and I think the mud tires would be a waste for me. I'm thinking all terrain tires instead of muds?

Which kind of tires should I get? With the 4" lift, can I go bigger than 35"? Or is 35" the biggest I can go? And what size rims will I need? 15" or 16" or can I go bigger? I want to sell the mickey thompsons and get some aluminum rims that are black and silver and look a bit cooler.

4) The air vent in the center above the console is broken, kind of, it won't turn left or right to change the direction of the blowing air. Can this be fixed or replaced easily?


Thanks guys. I think that's all I have. Thanks for any help.

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Old 11-11-2009, 04:21 PM   #2
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You need to give us a lot of info- Pics would help too. Softtops on 33-35 in tires are noise it could also have loud exhaust on it. Air vent is easily fixable. you probably have a body lift on it if you have 35's. If your not going to wheel the piss out of it then do not go over 35's. The money involved to even think about running bigger then 35's will scare you if your worried about gas mileage. No such thing as quiet 35's either. Nature of the beast. Gas mileage should never ever ever never ever ever ever ever ever be in the same sentence with a wrangler. I drive mine everyday I average out about 13ish with 33's 5.13 gears and dana 44's.

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Isn't the JK just a rebodied PT Cruiser?!

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Originally Posted by coyote_94yj
Just a few more inches Red. You can take it.


If you haven't gotten more out of the insurance company than you deserve, then you haven't screwed them nearly as much as they have been screwing you for the past xx years.
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Old 11-11-2009, 04:25 PM   #3
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1. It will need an alignment. $75 not a big deal, judging by the pictures.

2. That's not normal, you're hand shouldn't touch the dash at all. It is most likely a short throw shifter, especially considering that the shift boot is sunk down, not level with the console like it is supposed to be. It's hard to judge by these pictures, but if it is an aftermarket shifter, an OEM one will cost you $100 junkyard, and it's not a difficult swap. Ask what's up with the shifter, because I have never seen a short throw on a Wrangler.

3. If you're using it as a DD, 35" is way too big. Go down to a 31" or 33". I'd even be concerned with the lift and ask if the gearing was redone, the speedometer recalibrated, and is the rear axle a Dana 44 to make sure you're not going to snap the axle with a lift/tire combo like that. The noise is the mud-tires that are on it, and realize the softtop will never be quiet. Think about investing in a hardtop if it is your only ride.

4. Air vent is a simple fix. Bezel is like $50 at a junkyard and it's two bolts and then you yank it out and put the new one in. Nothing to worry about.

Other then that, looks good to me. See if they'll let you take it out on the highway and go above 65mph. That's the real test to see if you're okay with using a Wrangler as your DD. The shifter boot will need a holder/adapter thing, $15 at your local dealership.

Price-wise, talk 'em down a little. I just bought mine w/ similar specs, a 1999 (better interior, but relatively the same) upgraded wheels, etc. and came with both a hardtop and softop for $6000, so def. work magic.
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Old 11-11-2009, 04:27 PM   #4
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Umm the shifter looks normal too. My hand is really close to the dash with my truck- before the link was not working.
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Quote:
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Isn't the JK just a rebodied PT Cruiser?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by coyote_94yj
Just a few more inches Red. You can take it.


If you haven't gotten more out of the insurance company than you deserve, then you haven't screwed them nearly as much as they have been screwing you for the past xx years.
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Old 11-11-2009, 04:31 PM   #5
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Umm the shifter looks normal too. My hand is really close to the dash with my truck- before the link was not working.
I don't know I can't picture it without being in my jeep. I've never had a problem or noticed that my hand was too close.
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Old 11-11-2009, 04:32 PM   #6
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I have went to grab the shifter to put the truck into 4th gear and almost put my fist thru the dash it was funny - I was tired and forgot where the dash was I found it in a hurry.
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Quote:
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Isn't the JK just a rebodied PT Cruiser?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by coyote_94yj
Just a few more inches Red. You can take it.


If you haven't gotten more out of the insurance company than you deserve, then you haven't screwed them nearly as much as they have been screwing you for the past xx years.
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Old 11-11-2009, 04:33 PM   #7
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The shifter problem is most likely due to the body lift, my last jeep did that too
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Old 11-11-2009, 04:45 PM   #8
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Agreed - lift causes the shifter to move. That's just the way it is... I wanna say a suspension lift would not cause this problem.

I think you might be able to fix the steering wheel if you play with the tie rod.
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Old 11-11-2009, 05:00 PM   #9
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looking at the ad,, the asking price seems reasonable.

I would be more concerned about the major components.
engine, drivetrain, BRAKES, differentials, transmission, t-case, ignition....LIFT OFF !

I bought 1999 TJ Sahara and SE used and still JUST EMPTY EVERY POCKET.... LOL
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Old 11-11-2009, 06:04 PM   #10
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Looks okay.

Down side, body lift, and tires are way to big for the amount of lift.

Shifter issue, due to bodylift.

Steering wheel can be fixed without alignment, just need to do adjust the drag link.. or get full alingment if it needs it.

Make sure HVAC works for both AC and Heat
Check the tranny fluid if you can.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:35 PM   #11
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Ok thanks guys.

I just love the 35" wheels because I like the lifted look, and like being higher up when driving and I can't really spend $2,000 for another suspension lift on top of the body lift, and if I downsize to 33" or 31" tires I'm going to lose at least 2" of lift. But I suppose if smaller tires will fix the noise issues, it will have to work.

Anyone know if these tires will work with these wheels?

Tires:
Kumho Road Venture AT KL78

Wheels:
Helo Series HE842 Wheel and Other Jeep Parts and Jeep Accessories by 4 Wheel Drive Hardware

Looking to not spend more than $130 per tire if possible.
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:31 PM   #12
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Actually if you downsize to 33's you will only lose one inch of lift (roughly)

And if your suspension is stock you can just get some coil spacers and new shocks for a super cheap couple inches of lift. (up to 3", but 2" is the highest amount you will see recommended here.)
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33" BFG A/T's 15" soft 8's
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:38 PM   #13
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how can I tell if it's go a body lift or suspension lift? I mean, where exactly to look. And how can I measure ? The owner doesn't seem to know. He also doesn't know if it has DANA 44's or 35's.
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Old 11-11-2009, 11:18 PM   #14
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see the gap between my bumper and tub? its about 3 inches(I have a 3 inch body lift)



these can be found all around between the frame and the tub

the rear will have 44 marked into it
and looks like this

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Old 11-11-2009, 11:32 PM   #15
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Easiest thing to do is to crawl under the rear and look towards the right tire. See the axle? Now look for a black plug towards the right (you can see it in the picture). Press it, if it's rubber its a Dana 35, if its metal it's a 44. Don't consider it the biggest upset or deal breaker. You'll hear some horror stories, but finding a 44 on TJ's can be difficult. You can always swap out later, and really, I don't think the 35 is all that unreliable from everything I've read.
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Old 11-11-2009, 11:44 PM   #16
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Not to hijack or anything, but, can the D35 with 3.07 Gears Handle 35" tires?

or d35 with like 4.56's? then could it handle 35's?
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:37 AM   #17
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So would I be better off swapping out the 4" body lift and 35" mud tires and putting on a 2" body lift, 3" coil spacers, and 33" all terrain tires? Do you guys think that would fix my issues?

How hard is it to install body lifts and coil spacers? Can I do it at home with just a simple jack or will I need to take it to a shop? Can any jeep dealership do it or does it have to be a body shop that specializes in doing modifications? Thanks guys!
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:57 AM   #18
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So would I be better off swapping out the 4" body lift and 35" mud tires and putting on a 2" body lift, 3" coil spacers, and 33" all terrain tires? Do you guys think that would fix my issues?

How hard is it to install body lifts and coil spacers? Can I do it at home with just a simple jack or will I need to take it to a shop? Can any jeep dealership do it or does it have to be a body shop that specializes in doing modifications? Thanks guys!
1st if it does have a 4" body lift.. walk.. run from this jeep.. bad news. Hell even a 3" body lift screws stuff up if not done correctly.

You can install a lift yourself at home. The hard part is going to be taking off the big body lift, things like fuel lines, steering other things may have been extended or relocated due to the body lift.

As for adding a new suspension. 3" coil suspension and 1-2" body will work if you feel you need that much lift. You may need to lower the T-case as well. Keep in mind unless the gears have been changed pushing 35s you need 4.56 gears or there abouts. Thus, by running say a 33 things will be much nicer on the stock gears, plus stopping 35's on the stock brakes is not easy.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:27 AM   #19
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What do you plan on using the Jeep for? You have some of the info above. To do 35's right, you have to spend a lot of money. The axles may be an issue and unless the gears have been changed, it will be a total dog.

Don't plan on taking it on any trails other than a smooth dirt road. The tires will likely rub badly.

Don't get it because it "looks cool"
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:10 AM   #20
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What do you plan on using the Jeep for? You have some of the info above. To do 35's right, you have to spend a lot of money. The axles may be an issue and unless the gears have been changed, it will be a total dog.

Don't plan on taking it on any trails other than a smooth dirt road. The tires will likely rub badly.

Don't get it because it "looks cool"
I plan on it being my daily driver, my sole vehicle. But I need off road capabilities too, I do nature photography for a hobby and like to explore the wilderness around here, and my car isn't cutting it.

it's the best jeep under $7,000 I can find within 100 miles from me, as far as shape goes. Rust free, and taken really good care of, oil changed precisely every 3,000 miles, etc, and documented. And the color happens to be the exact color I would have picked if buying a new jeep, "emerald green." Only color I like as much, is black.

Do you guys think this is that bad of a jeep? Even if I take off the 35" tires and put 33" tires on?

Hmm I never thought about having to relocate all the parts with a body lift. That sucks cause I would totally take out the 4" body lift and put in a 3" coil spacers and 1" body lift or something.
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:20 AM   #21
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Buy it, swap tires for 33's (I really like my BFG A/T TA KO's for on road behavior)....trash body lift (or go with a 1-1.25'') and get a budget boost lift.

I too love Emerald Green...so I understand the "OMG I WANT" feeling.

Oh and don't expect even decent mileage out of the Jeep. high teens at best is what most get.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:24 AM   #22
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Do yourself a favor...Keep looking at other rigs 'cause you are looking at a lot of unknowns here...no, let me correct myself..you are looking at a lot of stuff you know you will need to change, the question is 'to what extent' and how expensive will the surprises be.
You can do better...keep looking and learning...you'll be bettter off for it. Either way - good luck.
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:44 AM   #23
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personally i would keep looking. most of the stuff that needs to be done is minor but it does add up and a new set of A/T tires and rims wont be cheap. that body lift scares me to, theres so much that you have to modify to make it work correctly that theres almost no going back.

i know of a good one for you, mine, lol. its lifted almost the same amount but done with no body lift and it is done with very good components. its my daily driver and the extent of off-roading that it has seen is me going down a few fire trails. its your other favorite color too might be a little far from you tho
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Old 11-12-2009, 06:45 PM   #24
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wrong lift for the tires and wrong gears for 35s ,not to mention you don't want a body lift any larger than 1.25 " on a TJ , steering wheel is out of adjustment or alignment problem , shifter has not been fixed after body lift install . Don't that little bit tell you enough about the owner to tell you to keep looking . it would me
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:01 PM   #25
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I would keep looking,I would get something stock,That way you can build the Jeep you want to suit your driving style.The best part of building your Jeep is you actully know your Jeep.Buying a prebuilt or wrongly built Jeep seems like a bad idea,However I will say the price is decent,despite all the lil issues that will need to be solved the right way.
I'd keep a body lift no higher than 1.25 but then again I really dont want any BL

buy something Stock man......my 2 cents
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:52 PM   #26
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:11 PM   #27
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:18 PM   #28
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:52 PM   #29
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I tell you what, you'll need new tires if you buy that black one. Those tires are beat to hell.

$7000 for a jeep with a broken flare, cracked windshield, bald tires, mismatched spare, leaking radiator, scratched paint...STAY AWAY!
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:28 PM   #30
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I tell you what, you'll need new tires if you buy that black one. Those tires are beat to hell.

$7000 for a jeep with a broken flare, cracked windshield, bald tires, mismatched spare, leaking radiator, scratched paint...STAY AWAY!
Im just a sucker for Black on Black,I wouldnt pay the buy it now price,I think its a good starting point,plus I didnt notice the leaking radiator.My point was theres plenty decent Jeeps for sale that can be built how you want it

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