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Old 04-23-2012, 04:34 PM   #1
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Is this a good buy? Opinions needed

I posted in another thread to find out what model it was. Now that I know that, I need some opinions to help sway me on this thing. This would be my first Wrangler, and I think this is a good deal. It is a '03 X with 77k, 4.0 5spd. This thing is filthy dirty and doesn't look like it was very well taken care of. There is really no rust to speak of on it. Tiny little bit on some of the floor board seems, just surface. The frame is really clean compared to what I have seen, no scaling at all. I do all my own work and this thing needs maybe $1,000 - 1200 in parts, mostly suspension stuff, and pinion seals. That would probably be including tires, depending on what I buy.



They are asking $9,000, lowest I can get them right now is $7500. Says he won't go lower, but we will see about that. I am trying for $7000, which might be a good buy if everything checks out. Not sure I want to spend more than that on something so dirty. I just feel that if someone trades something in that dirty, how well did they take care of it, right???? Maybe it is too much of a risk, even at a good price. I have crawled under it, looked it over, but really don't know specific Wrangler stuff to look for. Is there anything else you pro's recommend I should look for?

Thanks for your help! Steve

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Old 04-23-2012, 04:44 PM   #2
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I would say 7500 is a fine price. Sell the wheels and tires and use $ to replace. As far as dirt. Jeeps are made to be used. But just because it has been used doesn't mean it's been abused, if that makes sense. I take great care of my wrangler but it will never be as clean as it was before the first time I went in the mud. I would look for major wear and tear to see if it was abused offroad like paint scratches, leaking shocks chipped paint, messed up control arms , bend or badly scraped skids etc.

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Old 04-23-2012, 04:56 PM   #3
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where you are in the country....and availability of Jeeps will determine the price.....IMO assuming Dana 44 rear end and what gearing (3.21 or 3.73) even with the weaker rear end and 3.21s $7500 around here would be a "good" price. If it has 3.73s and the Dana 44 $9000 WOULD BE A GOOD DEAL AROUND HERE!! I have an '04 with 155K that is as good as when I got it in '04...at least to me. Same set up 4.0 5spd soft top, but I know I have a Dana 44 and 3.73s

I understand the concern over how it was taken care of being dirty and all, often does translate to neglect of other issues, but if everything seems "good" than probably would be OKAY.....77K in 9 years is a little more than 8K a year. I would GUESS??? it was a second or "sometimes" vehicle and sat most of the time. I would give it a good once over and drive it out.....and if no major issues, buy it planning on seals, and ALL fluid change, air filter and plugs...think it has coil rail would replace the little springs at same time I did the plugs.

Just my .02
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:47 PM   #4
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Thanks guys! I am in Maine.

When I said dirty, I meant like it was lived in nasty. My wife couldn't stay in it because it was so smelly. I understand they are meant to be used and get dirty, but this takes it to a new level. Like I said, it is not so much the fact it is filthy, but that if someone can't even keep the inside somewhat clean, probably they weren't too worried about maintenance. That's what worries me. I am willing to overlook this because I know with a lot of effort it will come clean. Here is an example:



I did not even think to look at the control arms, but I did notice the skid plate had some good gouges in it. The paint is actually pretty decent, not a lot of scratches. It has the Dana 35 with the standard 3.07 gears. I was planning on selling the wheels like you mentioned, because I don't really care for them.

The unfortunate thing about this, is that they are selling it to me as-is wholesale, which means they won't put a dealer plate on it and let you drive it on the roads. Which is total BS, but that's how dealers are around here with wholesale stuff. They are going to retail it if I don't buy it wholesale, and probably ask $10,900 he said

Maybe I will post the list of stuff they failed it for, and stuff I found.
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:00 AM   #5
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I paid 8200 for a 99 Sport with 160k on it, after months of searching I thought I got a pretty good deal.
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:09 AM   #6
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Friggy I would say get it if you can for 7500 or below. Bigtx you paid way to much for yours. I hope it had a ton of stuff done to it.
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:32 AM   #7
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So ok, they won't let you test drive it, but you can sure start it up and tool around their lot in it to test brakes and tranny and 4X4....First crawl under it and look for rust...if no real rust, then start it up, pull radiator cap and see if it foams or bubbles to check head gasket, then relace cap and let it heat up...see if it over heats...once temp gauge reads straight up, pull the oil fill cap on the valve cover and disconnect the small hose on valve cover that goes to the intake tube, then reach over to throttlebody and rev it-look for belching fumes from oil fill cap hole...If it belches oily fumes, the rings are shot....if it overheats, pass it up.

Test A/C, heater, defrost, all fan speeds, wipers, lights, horn...look everwhere to see if wiring underhood and under dash has been butchered or modified in anyway.

If it passes all that, then jump on it with both feet for 7.5K and laff all the way home cause you just made money.

A very smart, very rich old man told me something long ago..He said "Boy, you make yer money when you buy something, not when you sell it." What he meant by that was to never pay more for something than you can sell it for....In this case, it looks like you stand to make money when you buy this one.
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:24 AM   #8
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There may be a real reason why they will not let you take it out on the road for a test drive. You are are right in thinking that the excuse they gave you is male steer excrement. And, it probably smells much the same. I can't think of any reason why a dealer would wholesale a vehicle like that when it has such a good profit potential. There may be something there that does not quite pass muster. Beware of Death Wobble and Ditch Divers.
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:50 AM   #9
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:10 AM   #10
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No test drive....NOPE. Keep looking.
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:23 AM   #11
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You guys don't understand the whole 'wholesale', 'retail' thang.

That Jeep WILL get bought by a used car dealer who will clean it up and fix a few little things and RETAIL it for NADA/KBB clean retail price....At least 10K

The dealer who is offering it is offering it at wholesale because it doesn't fit his floorplan or business model, or he would clean it up, fix it up and get retail for it.

For him to slap dealer tags on it and let you test drive it under his retail license and insurance would be a regulatory and jurisdictional violation...when a dealer has one offered for wholesale, they are often bought by wholesellers sight unseen.

It's not often you get lucky and get in the middle before a trade or repo goes to used car dealer for wholesale price.
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:03 PM   #12
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All the time I spent searching around North Texas that was the best deal I could find. It has a 4" lift and had aftermarket wheels and 33's, and a Warn 8000.
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:29 PM   #13
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Well unfortunately, the dealer did not accept my offer. So it doesn't look like I'll be getting this one.. I offered $300 less, mostly due to a stupid $300 doc fee which is ridiculous in my opinion on a wholesale/cash sale vehicle, and I couldn't drive it on the street. I was willing to buy without driving, but I suppose with my luck, something major would be wrong. It is probably for the better. Oh well, I will keep looking, probably wait till mid summer when prices start to come down a little. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:46 PM   #14
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Take a look on Kansas city craiglist, I've seen a few 2000 or newer w hardtops sell for $2000. ALMOST Makes me wish I would've waited, I got my 98 with 87000 miles, a 5.5 in lift, and new 35's for $7900 2 years ago. It wasn't the best taken care of then but it is now!
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:20 AM   #15
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No loss Friggy, that was a nasty looking interior and there were probably some mold issues in the carpet. In the northeast try to buy a used Wrangler with a hard top. Fewer leaks and the top can hold up to your winters.
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:33 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by JeepsterCT View Post
No loss Friggy, that was a nasty looking interior and there were probably some mold issues in the carpet. In the northeast try to buy a used Wrangler with a hard top. Fewer leaks and the top can hold up to your winters.
Carpet can be pulled and replaced ... Hard tops are nice for bad weather, but a soft top is really the way to go for nice days. EH, no loss, just keep looking, YOUR jeep will find you when it's meant to be. I was looking for one for over 6 months or so before I found my first one.
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:03 PM   #17
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Yeah thanks guys. I have way too much going on to enjoy it right now anyways. I am doing an LS1/T56 swap in my Camaro, plus building my 2nd garage for my toys. I will wait, for now, until I find a good deal, and until people don't want top $$$$$ dollar $$$$$. But, I will have one! In the meantime, I will keep searching the forums, so when that time comes, I will know way more about them.

*** On a side note, I drove buy and looked at this Jeep I made the offer on, and they did detail the inside, but are still selling it wholesale. So the whole line of "we are going to retail it", makes me think there is more wrong then meets the eye if they don't want to put the money into it.
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:37 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Friggy View Post
they did detail the inside, but are still selling it wholesale. So the whole line of "we are going to retail it", makes me think there is more wrong then meets the eye if they don't want to put the money into it.
Apparently wholesale to them means as is, where is, no warranty. They are free to charge any price they choose, even if their wholesale terms of sale just happen to include a "retail" level price.

In an earlier chapter in my life, my best friend was teaching me how to buy and sell big used boats. The most important thing I learned was to get past what you can see on the outside and find out the condition of the things you cannot see, e.g. engine compression, auto trans interior seals, a/c compressor interior bearings and on and on.

So, as far as cleaning the interior goes...All that glitters is not gold.

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