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Old 01-18-2012, 02:29 PM   #1
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Is this 1998 even worth considering?

Hello everyone. I'm new to the forum and new to Wrangler's as well. I'm looking for my first Wrangler and I don't mind something that needs a little work. I found a 1998 2.5L 5speed with a soft top for $3,500, may be able to get it for less. So, the downside is the body has crazy high miles (242K) but the engine has 60k on it. The clutch was replaced within the past 100 miles as well. Since I'm new to Wrangler's not sure if this is even worth considering with so many miles on the body. The overall condition is pretty good, could just a little work but nothing major. Any thoughts? Thanks for the input.

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Old 01-18-2012, 02:37 PM   #2
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If the body and frame are not rust buckets, then I think it would be a good jeep.

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Old 01-18-2012, 02:40 PM   #3
Knows a couple things...

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I prefer older TJs like that, they seem to have fewer issues than later model TJs have. The only caution I have is if you drive on the highways much and plan to stay up with 65-70 mph traffic, that 2.5L engine is going to struggle to do so. If you do, I'd instead hold out for the stronger 4.0L engine. Both get about the same mpg because the 4.0L doesn't need to be driven nearly as aggressively as the smaller 2.5L engine does when you're trying to keep up with traffic.
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Old 01-18-2012, 02:42 PM   #4
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My 93 wrangler has over 230,000 on the ticker and still has the original motor in it, and was wheeled hard by the previous owner(my brother)and the only thing that has been replaced is the rear end(because the previous owner thought it was cool to get 2nd gear rubber everytime he drove it). for that price I would buy it if I was looking for a 4 cylinder. not too much to worry about with the BODY having such high miles, and if it is still stock and not lifted, it probably hasn't been beat on.
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Old 01-18-2012, 02:43 PM   #5
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Make sure you check the frame real well. Most of all right in fron of the rear tires they are known to rust out there. Like dextreme said as long as it is solid i would buy it. The transmission and axles have alot of miles on them. I paid 7600 for my 2002 and i am getting ready to pay another 1200 to put a dana 44 in the rear. Just because i want to up grade. The way i look at it is if you want to build a jeep the way you want it that would be a good jeep to start with. Why pay 10000 for a jeep you want to tare apart and build up anyways.
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Old 01-18-2012, 02:49 PM   #6
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Thanks for the quick replies. It's completely stock and I don't think it has spent much time off-road. As far as the 4 cylinder goes I don't spend much time on the freeway, the majority of my driving is around town or out on rural roads so I think the 4 cylinder would work for now. Thanks for the advice on looking for the rust, I will take a close look at it.
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Old 01-18-2012, 02:50 PM   #7
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Some good info above. If you want to have something to fix up, get something less expensive like this as long as it is worthy. Keep in mind what Jerry said about the engine and the power. I have had both and it is true, but depending on where and how you are going to drive, it may be no issue to you.
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:42 PM   #8
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Can buyer prove 60K on engine. IF NOT: It has 242k as far as I am concerned. Be careful
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:00 PM   #9
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Can buyer prove 60K on engine. IF NOT: It has 242k as far as I am concerned. Be careful
Good point. He says he has the paperwork on the engine, but from what I'm getting now it was a used engine thought to have 40k on it when it was installed and not a remanufactured one. So, not knowing how many miles this current engine really has on it may change things up a bit. Thoughts?
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:05 PM   #10
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ME; Id hold off on it. I wouldnt want a $3500 4 cylinder with 1/4 million miles on it. You cant trust people with used cars...And im a dealer! There are plenty of jeeps out there...keep looking!
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:07 PM   #11
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ME; Id hold off on it. I wouldnt want a $3500 4 cylinder with 1/4 million miles on it. You cant trust people with used cars...And im a dealer! There are plenty of jeeps out there...keep looking!
This sounds like good advice. I'm not in a rush, so I think passing on this one may be the best option.
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:11 PM   #12
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Just chiming in...Over years of buying and selling for a living, I have gone to look at high mileage vehicles with supposed replaced/rebuilt motors that were not. I looked at a Jeep Sahara YJ in Raleigh NC just a year ago with only 88k on the odometer... yet there just happened to be years of registration cards in a box in the back of the Jeep showing that she had over 200k miles on the odometer in 2007. I should have known because the place looked like a chop shop and the men working there were Yemenis.

I'm just saying, check his paperwork and if you have doubts take it for a private inspection somewhere reputable. Otherwise sounds like a decent deal.
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Old 01-18-2012, 05:03 PM   #13
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I would pass on this too, i paid $1000 for mine with the 4.0 and put another $1000 in it to get it running and up to spec. It had 118,340 when i bought it and its at almost 119k now. The frame/underside doesn't have much rust at all but there is a few spots on the body but hey its a jeep. The 4.0 is an amazing motor, way better than the 2.5 so look for one of those. And just because a car has high miles doesnt mean its not worth buying, just buy cara that can last that long. Besides our camaro the jeep has the fewest miles. The next lowest is 153k, then 172k, then 261k, then an old 4.3L v6 GMC 1500 with over 300k that has had the living shit beat out of it. It was a fleet truck for a heavy duty truck parts distributor. They would load it up with so much weight that they had to replace the rearend 2x and add a lot of helper springs. Anyway my point is high miles isnt always bad.
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Old 01-18-2012, 05:11 PM   #14
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FYI - I faced this exact same situation in October (almost identical in fact) and went for it. No regrets at all. The car runs strong and has many add-ons and things updated. The question as many have mentioned is you need to make sure you are getting a deal, versus getting screwed. Mine had 240000 on the body and 50K on the Jasper re-built 2.5 engine - no body rust, lift, rubicon rims, flat off road fenders, new seats, wiring for tow and fogs, brand new unipanel bucket panels and rear door, new clutch - I paid $4000. I just so happened to have got a great deal. If the car you are looking at is beat to hell but runs, it probably is still worth the money - just make sure the engine was re-built by a reputable company and they have the paperwork to prove it (as someone else mentioned)!

Check my past posts about the car.
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Old 01-18-2012, 05:58 PM   #15
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Thanks for all the advice everyone. Since the miles on the engine can't be documented I'm definitely going to pass on this one.
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:00 PM   #16
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Thanks for all the advice everyone. Since the miles on the engine can't be documented I'm definitely going to pass on this one.
smart move.

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