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Old 01-27-2013, 12:44 AM   #1
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Help me with this buy, should I buy it or not?

Ok, so today I test drove a 2004 Jeep Unlimited with a 6 inch skyjacker lift kit, and I liked it a lot. From outside it looks good, very little rust, and runs good. It has 59k miles on it and the owner is from Long Island NY where theres basically no off road. It looks like it never seen real dirt. The lift kit looks great. It's a stiff ride but I liked it. It'll run me $17k. I have pictures of it and I just want experienced jeepers to give me some advice on what to look for and overall advice. It's a 4l I6 engine which is really clean. Only rust i've seen is the steel clamps on the tubes and intake valves etc. I'm not car parts literate so If you can please be specific and just tell me whether I should buy it or not.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:02 AM   #2
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:15 AM   #3
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the fact that you mention rust and I see alot of aluminum oxidation going on with the alternator and thermstat housing and other aluminum parts on there makes me think this jeep saw salt on the roads or was ran on the beach. otherwise it looks good and I did not see alot of rust. check the wheel wells and floor and any other hidden areas. have the dealer put it up on the lift and go under it and inspect. looks good though in the pics. I am jealous. thinkin about buyin one and I gotta wait till after the divorce. sell my cherokee and upgrade to a wrangler
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:28 AM   #4
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I checked under carpets and interior, and it's near perfect, I did notice the oxidation too and would it be possible to remove it so it doesn't corrode the parts? I did look under it and there was mild rust mostly on bolts and thats about it. I'll have a second look at it soon and ill try to get more pictures up. The lift kit is perfect without any rust what so ever, a few nicks here and there but overall great shape. And sorry to hear about the divorce, thanks for the help I appreciate it.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:28 AM   #5
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Looks good from the pics,
You've got to allow for a small amount of corrosion on a car that's 9yrs old, providing its been serviced regular and check out its not been smashed up in a crash, buy it
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:30 AM   #6
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my policy has been "never buy someone elses project", meaning like i would never buy an already lifted jeep or already tweeked mustang i bought a raced up beamer once and i payed for it...hard. but in the pictures it looks like it was well maintaned and he cared about it which says something. i seconds squrrelnw in taking it to a jeep dealer and let them check it out. you can't get and more certain than that... forums are great don't get me wrong but no one knows more than the people who work on those day in and day out.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:33 AM   #7
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Got full carfax, 1 owner from NY, no accidents, regularly serviced. Dealer performed full maintenance, Four wheel alignment, Electrical system checked, State inspection completed, steering/ suspension checked and more. I think I'll go with the buy. Thanks!!
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:34 AM   #8
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mike25 I'll do that. thanks
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:48 AM   #9
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Seems like a high price for a regular Unlimited. At $17K you should almost be able to get a LJ Rubicon. You shouldn't pay a premium just due to the fact that its got a lift.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:09 AM   #10
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I'd love a Rubicon ,but 17k is as much as I can afford.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:42 AM   #11
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Seems like a high price for a regular Unlimited. At $17K you should almost be able to get a LJ Rubicon. You shouldn't pay a premium just due to the fact that its got a lift.
Almost is no good when your already at your $ limit,
Also if its as good as you say and 1 owner, well looked after and well maintained it's worth paying a little bit extra $, than a possibly cheap and abused Rubicon.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:06 AM   #12
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You should be able to find an unmolested Unlimited Rubicon for that price. The generic lift kit does not add any value to the rig. You are paying a premium for a cheap lift that functions poorly. If you buy the rig, I would suggest replacing the suspension with quality components.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:33 AM   #13
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Look on ebay, better yet go to this link, Jeep : Wrangler Unlimited Ru in Jeep | eBay Motors , it would be worth the flight to Texas and the ride back would be a great adventure. I'm sure you could get them down a little with the price too.
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Old 01-27-2013, 06:37 AM   #14
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There are also a bunch of others on CL under the New York section.
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I know a lot of things, most of them are only correct in my own head...
Better to be judged by twelve then carried by six. I'm sure this is going to get me in trouble down the line
2000 sport, 5speed, 1-1/4 body lift, 3" zone, metal cloak front fenders, metal cloak control arms, 4.88, 35" cooper stt.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:33 AM   #15
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Hmmmm. For such low miles, that amount of rust in the engine compartment and undercarriage concerns me. Remember that it will only get worse along with the hidden rust that can't be evaluated right now. I would expect for $17k, no repairs will be needed along with a better lift and tires for street driving if those are m/t.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:48 AM   #16
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I personally think the prices is way to high. Its an awesome looking jeep though. Its an LJ which makes it cost more but for that price it should be a rubicon. Im going to tell you what I got mine for and Im not trying to have a compitition of who has payed the least. I got mine about amonth ago, bone stock with 30k miles for $12k from a dealer and it came with a soft top and hard top. It didnt look like that jeep has a hard top. Those are very pricey of you ever wanted to get one. Its just a thought. Why dont you see how low they will go for it.
I got mine for that price because the dealer had it on the lot forever and wanted to get rid of it.
However everyone can tell you what they think its worth but the real question should be what is it worth to you?
Cheers and good luck.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:50 AM   #17
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Hmmmm. For such low miles, that amount of rust in the engine compartment and undercarriage concerns me. Remember that it will only get worse along with the hidden rust that can't be evaluated right now. I would expect for $17k, no repairs will be needed along with a better lift and tires for street driving if those are m/t.
Dude, your from Texas, the only salt you guys use is on your food They use salt on the roads up here like crazy... The original jeep that was posted is clean when it comes to rust, at least from what I see the original jeep posted looks clean.
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Better to be judged by twelve then carried by six. I'm sure this is going to get me in trouble down the line
2000 sport, 5speed, 1-1/4 body lift, 3" zone, metal cloak front fenders, metal cloak control arms, 4.88, 35" cooper stt.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:10 AM   #18
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I would find one elsewhere rust free and drive or ship it home and still come away cheaper and worryfree in the long run. Rust is not something to take lightly. OP, check the undercarriage and tub thoroughly and drive it on the highway to evaluate for vibes along with checking all a/c heat,lights,engage 4wd,etc. Along with making sure that skycrapper lift was done right.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:35 AM   #19
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It's a great looking Jeep. $17k does seem high though. See if he will go 15.5k. I got my 05LJ with 85k miles for 14.5k last year, and that was at a dealer. At least with the 04 you will not have the OPDA concern. He probably knows that LJs hold value, but that's a lot of pride.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:50 AM   #20
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Just to chime in here on the price......I just purchased an o6 LJ Rubicon with 78K miles and hardtop the week after Christmas for $13,500. It was a little rough on the inside but the mechanicals were almost perfect (I did the front brakes).

I've been cleaning it up and adding a few things and I'm now in the Jeep about $15K.....and a little elbow grease.

While I did need to fly to get it and drive about 10 hours to get it home the trip was well worth it in my opinion and in the end I have a Rubicon......I think you can find a Rubicon for the money you will spend on the LJ you have found.......it's a much smaller world these days with the Internet......I suggest you use it to find what you are truly looking for and hang in there for EXACTLY what you are looking for.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:57 AM   #21
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Look on ebay, better yet go to this link, Jeep : Wrangler Unlimited Ru in Jeep | eBay Motors , it would be worth the flight to Texas and the ride back would be a great adventure. I'm sure you could get them down a little with the price too.
Great price, but based on seller's description, looks like a prior border patrol jeep with a prior accident. The low miles are most likely all 4wd miles
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:02 AM   #22
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Could that jeep have been in the storm ?
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:07 AM   #23
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Could that jeep have been in the storm ?
Could have been but since it was previously owend by the federal government, I assume it was used for off road patrols , and govt got rid of it to update fleet.
As a comparison, here is a jeep on cl around me. Seems like a great price based on description.
07 JEEP WRANGLER - $12500 (GETTYSBURG)
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:08 AM   #24
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Great price, but based on seller's description, looks like a prior border patrol jeep with a prior accident. The low miles are most likely all 4wd miles
Yea, I didn't see that until after I posted the link. Again, on the op's original LJ, I don't see any of the rust everyone else is talking about?? Good night all, I'm a night shift worker and its time for bed, good luck to the op on your purchase.
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Better to be judged by twelve then carried by six. I'm sure this is going to get me in trouble down the line
2000 sport, 5speed, 1-1/4 body lift, 3" zone, metal cloak front fenders, metal cloak control arms, 4.88, 35" cooper stt.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:10 AM   #25
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Dude, your from Texas, the only salt you guys use is on your food They use salt on the roads up here like crazy... The original jeep that was posted is clean when it comes to rust, at least from what I see the original jeep posted looks clean.
Agreed, up here in the Northeast that thing is pretty damn near perfect rustwise. Oxidation is no concern on the aluminum parts.
Right now is a buyers market for Jeeps, in a few months that'll change. If you really like the Jeep shoot a lowball offer and see where they stand. You are in control of the negotiations at this point.
My advice is to read here daily to learn a bit then make an educated guess as to what to do. In a month from now if you buy the Jeep and there is something wrong with it will you tell your mechanic, "Well, the guys on WF told me to buy it"?
Look in the classified section here to see what folks are selling/buying Jeeps for around the country.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:13 AM   #26
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I like the looks of the rig, but the price does seem a little high. I bought my 2004 Rubicon, with three tops,hard,soft,and bikini,a 9000# warn winch and a 4" lift for $14K. It has 85,000 miles,straight 6 cyl,5 sp trans. The owner was asking $15K, but a little dickering got the price down $1000.00. And having a Rubi has been wonderful.
They say a Jeep is better than a car, but a Rubi is better than a Jeep. It was registered in Texas and I live in California,so the re-registering was a bit of a drag. But I love my ride.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:29 AM   #27
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Right now is a buyers market for Jeeps, in a few months that'll change.
I have seen a few more LJ's on the market lately - Why is that? Is it a seasonal thing?
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:40 AM   #28
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Seems like a high price for a regular Unlimited. At $17K you should almost be able to get a LJ Rubicon. You shouldn't pay a premium just due to the fact that its got a lift.
i agree 17 sounds a little steep man granted the it is under mileage by about 30,000 miles. i hope hes not asking 17k and your giving him 17k, if so hes making out like a bandit dude. you gotta haggle him a little bit throw a stupid offer at him first like 15 see what he says then get a kbb and compare the prices. what it comes down to for me is gut instict about a car im buying. im my personal experience i get real excited and atrracted by a car that i like so i need to take a step back and really check out the jeep and only judge it on how well maintaned it looks to me and if it will hold up. if you get a good feeling then buy it and rock on man
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:44 AM   #29
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also ask him what gear ratio hes got if he never re geared the jeep and hes runnin a 6 inch lift and 35 inch tires your gunna have sheeeet gas milage and have trouble going up hills. also have a buddy or someone drive along side of you in a different car have your buddy do 40 or so mph and see how fast the speedo in the jeep says your going if your going faster or slower then the speedo was never regeared for those tires and the jeep actually has much more miles on it than the odo says
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:11 PM   #30
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Sorry I got the price wrong, right now it's selling at 15,900. And he said he'll be able to bring it down a bit. He says the engine and gearing is stock, and I took it out on the highway and it seemed to be quicker than I'd expected it to be. It goes up hill very easy and has no problem going over 50mph quickly. How much would re-gearing cost if I wanted to get 4.56 or 4.88? Currently it has 3.73 if I'm not mistaking.

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