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Old 03-07-2012, 10:43 PM   #1
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How much to value low mileage?

Hi!

I have never owned a modern Jeep (CJ5 v8 and a '70's Cherokee in my past) and am struggling a bit with working out values on TJ's, especially when it comes to mileage.

As an example, I'm looking at two '97's in overall similar cosmetic condition...

Jeep #1 is a 4L/5sp stripper with 192K on it. Needs nothing, but noting really recent either. Asking price $3900.

Jeep #2 is also a 4L/5sp needing nothing, but only has 85k on it. (It also has a newer top, shocks/springs, recent services, non-working AC, and a LSD rear) Asking price $6500.

Cosmetically similar (except for the newer top) and both sellers similarly motivated (meaning I can likely buy either for a good bit less than the asking price)

Generally speaking, which is the better value for a weekend driver?

Thanks!
Bill

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Old 03-07-2012, 10:57 PM   #2
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Sight unseen makes it a crap shoot. I think I would go with #2 for $5500- 6000. It seems to have been taken better care of or dressed up to sell? and the d44 is worth a lot to me. I figure the less miles the better too but not the highest on my list but over 100,000 is a bunch. The air con. compressor you might be able to turn into a compressor for air lockers. jmo.

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Old 03-08-2012, 01:34 AM   #3
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I would buy the high mileage one if it seems solid because you will have more money to put into lift tires etc the 4.0 is a stout engine if taken care of and can easily go 3 or 4 hundred thousand miles.
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:28 AM   #4
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Personally, I think low milage is of great value. I found my TJ on Craigslist, a 2003 Sahara, 4.0, 4 spd auto, with 16,800 miles on it, 4" lift, 33" tires, 2 tops and a bunch of other good aftermarket add-ons for $15k. That price may sound high to some of you, but in AZ, Jeeps go for quite a bit more than other places.

Anyway, I chose that one over a couple others that I test drove, not only because of the low milage, but that did weigh a lot on the decision making.
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:21 AM   #5
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Thanks for the interesting replies... seems my question was not as simple as I had thought... I feel better now that I was struggling with making a best value decision.

The discussion has also been informative... not being conversant in newer Jeeps, I hadn't realized that the posi in the low mileage Jeep meant a D44... I was looking at it only from the advantage of having a limited slip rear. I would also add a lot more value for a D44 axle...

Now I just have to stop obsessing over this sweet low miles and only moderately rusty 304/4sp Scout that an acquaintance is selling. Should be a no brainer (I've always thought the TJ was the best American 4x4 ever built... possibly the best ever anywhere) but those high school memories are tugging at me.

(I'm not a serious offroader, but I've enjoyed a lot of interesting 4x4's... a couple Auto Union Mungas, an Austin Gipsy, an ex-MOD S3 108 Landie, a Laforza, a couple of big Broncos, a Dodge Snow Fighter, several GM trucks and Suburbans, a Europa G500, etc in addition to the Jeeps)

Thanks!
Bill
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:59 AM   #6
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I haven't seen anything to indicate that either of those has a D44. The D35 has a limited slip as well. You'll have to look at the diff to see which one it is.
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Powertrip
Personally, I think low milage is of great value. I found my TJ on Craigslist, a 2003 Sahara, 4.0, 4 spd auto, with 16,800 miles on it, 4" lift, 33" tires, 2 tops and a bunch of other good aftermarket add-ons for $15k. That price may sound high to some of you, but in AZ, Jeeps go for quite a bit more than other places.

Anyway, I chose that one over a couple others that I test drove, not only because of the low milage, but that did weigh a lot on the decision making.
I would be just of wary of low miles on an old vehicle as high miles. Low miles means it sat a lot, sitting a lot can be very damaging to a vehicle without proper care.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:03 AM   #8
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Ah, thanks Bone!! Going to look at the low-miler this evening in more detail (guy has already indicated that he's extremely soft on price)... the high miler tomorrow.... will definitely get under to see that axle. (The guy with the high miler seems to know so little about his Jeep I'm not convinced that it doesn't have a limited slip as well... any easy way to tell short of jacking up the rear and spinning the wheels?)
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:20 AM   #9
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Just for grins I ran KBB to see the valuation difference based on mileage alone... for the same options and same "good" condition, it put a trade in value of $5443 for the 86k mile TJ and $2968 for the 191k example. That's a $2475 or 45% difference!
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Old 03-08-2012, 11:29 AM   #10
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#2 for $5k.
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:43 PM   #11
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Common knowledge, but it bears reminding that high mileage affects a lot more than just the drivetrain. I'd rather do engine work than replace #$!#! worn out bushings any day!
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:07 PM   #12
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It's been an interesting week! First the low mileage Jeep was terminally rusty underneath... and drove horribly. The 86k miles on it must have all been offroad. Next I ventured off to check out a '69 Commando V6 (pretty cool but sold out from under me), an awesomely cool early Bronco 302/3sp (the metal patching the rust holes was already rusted through itself and the engine had the typical Ford bottom end knock), a 304/3sp CJ7 with a YJ body... very cheap and attractive... sold while I was considering it) and then I drove the 191k TJ. It was by far the best of all the above, Original paint and top, only a little rust in a couple of body mounts, 2" lift, nice throaty exhaust, really a great driver. Not looking at the odo I would have thought this was the 86k Jeep. And as I suspected the price was soft. So I bought it... in for a set of tires and a MD inspection... hopefully on the road by the weekend! Thanks for all the advice!
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:13 PM   #13
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Good for you! Good luck with everything.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:44 PM   #14
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Pics or it didn't happen!!

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Old 03-14-2012, 05:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freeskier View Post
I would be just of wary of low miles on an old vehicle as high miles. Low miles means it sat a lot, sitting a lot can be very damaging to a vehicle without proper care.
I've been driving it 70 miles round trip to work and back, and several off road trips, including some pretty serious rock crawling. It runs like a top, and has absolutely no problems. In fact, i just turned 29,000 miles yesterday. That's 12,000 miles in 8 months. I think it's ok.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:31 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gate53 View Post
Sight unseen makes it a crap shoot. I think I would go with #2 for $5500- 6000. It seems to have been taken better care of or dressed up to sell? and the d44 is worth a lot to me. I figure the less miles the better too but not the highest on my list but over 100,000 is a bunch. The air con. compressor you might be able to turn into a compressor for air lockers. jmo.
Do we know if that "newer" stuff on the one Jeep is because it was taken care of or abused and HAD to be replaced?

Otherwise,
I'd probably do the lower mileage one. 192,000 IS getting up there, regardless of how bullet proof a 4.0 is.

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