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Old 06-13-2012, 11:11 PM   #1
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Looked at a wrangler for sale today, not quite sure what to think

Its a 98 with 3.5" procomp lift and a few extras. The sound is aftermarket but leaves something to be desired, and the overall jeep was semi dirty looking.

But I figured most of that was fixable for the steal of a price ($9500) the guy is asking for.

Now, the problem. When I checked the rear diff. I saw what looked like loads of oil build up. Saw some in other places as well. Looks to be at least a blown rear main seal, possibly more.

I had called a mechanic near by ahead of time and he warned that oil leakage was a problem with this year and should I find some I should "shy away".

I know the seal is like 15 bucks, but labor is going to be the killer here. DYI is not an option because I won't purchase the car without it being fixed and I can't very well take it apart in his driveway.

Is this likely to be the only culprit? Or is it possible I'm looking at a blow transmission seal or something as well.

I'm not overly mechanically inclined, so I'm not entirely sure.

Its not like oil was gushing out or even steadily dripping, but it was definitely visible on the underside of the car.

Any thoughts?

Thanks

OH I'm having the car looked at by a mechanic a few days from now to get an exact damage report, just curious in the meantime so I'm not totally ignorant when I get the report lol.

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Old 06-13-2012, 11:48 PM   #2
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I paid $8500 for my 2004....here is the pic I took just before I bought it in April 2011...almost mint..... keep looking.....


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Old 06-13-2012, 11:52 PM   #3
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I bought my 97 with 4 inch lift 33s for 6300 and that was high. No problems though. Just needed one new tire.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:52 PM   #4
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I paid $8500 for my 2004....here is the pic I took just before I bought it in April 2011...almost mint..... keep looking.....

I guess I should have added in my area, most similar jeeps go for 13-14K.

Should also mention 71K miles, 33" muds, and multiple tops.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:54 PM   #5
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Private owner or dealer?
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:02 AM   #6
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don't purchase, your just looking for trouble. perhaps the reason no oil is leaking, gushing of dripping is because it's all leaked out and all that remains in metal to metal somewhere you can't see it..
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:03 AM   #7
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Its from a private owner,

Planning on taking the cost of the fix (as I'm sure theres something to fix) and get at least half of it detracted from the asking price.

Two other things as well actually:

Is it possible to relocate the rearview mirror? On the test drive it looked like it was mounted IN the windshield but I'm fairly tall and it kind of blocks my field of view.

Also, I've never really gotten the chance to drive a jeep before this, but it seemed fairly squirrely - best thing I can equate it to is the Indiana Jones ride at disneyland.

Is this normal, I would imagine it has something to do with the short wheel base, 33's, and lift but I dont really have much to compare it to. Hoping to drive a friends jeep before saturday to use as a baseline, although its much newer.
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:05 AM   #8
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don't purchase, your just looking for trouble. perhaps the reason no oil is leaking, gushing of dripping is because it's all leaked out and all that remains in metal to metal somewhere you can't see it..
Thats why I'm having a mechanic do an inspection on saturday, I would imagine they would be able to determine if something like that was the case?
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:00 AM   #9
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While I think the price is a bit high for what you are looking at, here is what I found out when I was looking. I also learned not to shy away from Jeeps with these issues because they are very common and also VERY easy to fix yourself.

Rear main seal: costs about $25 bucks. Book labor is 7 hours. You can do it yourself. Its easy, but takes time.

Oil pan gasket: Costs about $30. Takes a bit to get to. Do it in conjunction with the RMS.

Valve cover gasket: costs about $30 and takes about 2 hours. I thought I had a RMS leak, but I believe mine turned out to be the valve cover gasket. Changed it and have had no more oil leakage.

Pinion seals: Parts are about $10 per seal(one front, one rear). Labor isnt bad. A local shop quoted me $125 to do both.

Axle seals: Parts are about 10-15 per seal(2 front, 2 rear). Labor is a killer here also. The seals themselves are EASY to change and really the job is easy, just takes time. You also will need to do a gear oil change so that is a little added cost.

Axle cover leaks. About 30 minutes and a tube of RTV.

Transfer case input/output seals. Again cheap parts, labor is where the cost is.

Other leaks that were not as common were the trans input/output and the transfer case seal(between the two halves of the transfer case). Neither are expensive parts wise, but take labor.


Again, that was what I found out. I looked at a ton of Jeeps and almost all of them had one of the leaks above. If you are ok with doing a little wrenching(as I was) you can use the above to negotiate a lower price. I ended up getting $2500 off the asking price of mine because it had multiple seal issues plus needed a clutch. I have fixed all of my issues(front and rear axle and pinion seals and a clutch), did full fluid changes in everything(f and r axles, engine oil, trans, transfer case) and am into it for about $1000.

What would scare me away from a Jeep is frame rust. Everything else is fairly easy and straight forward to take care of.
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:34 AM   #10
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where do live where TJ's 13 - 14 k? i live in the southwest new mexico to be exact, and i traveld all the way to colorado where 4x4 and jeeps are considerd gold, to buy my TJ lifted on 33s with warn winch and bumpers , and alot of other upgrades not leaking anything , for $4,500, if i was going to drop almost 10 large on a tj, it better be exactly what i wanted , eather talk him way down , or travel a little to get exactly.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:09 AM   #11
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9,500 sound extremely high, where are you at where that's a good price, milage is very low, but still
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:16 AM   #12
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I live in Denver & like bearbonesjones said Jeep's are like gold here. I bought my '04 Rubicon fire $10,000 3 weeks ago & that was from a dealer. It was bone stock mint condition. Id keep looking if I was you.

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Old 06-14-2012, 10:46 AM   #13
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killer hard top rubi, thats a TJ ide be able to drop 10k on ,
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:12 AM   #14
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my father in law bought his jeep last summer, 00 sport 4.0 auto 4 inch currie lift with johney joints 1.25 bl, 35" mickey thompsons, ar sway bar, oba, d44 rear d30 front, detroits front and rear, sye, full poisen spider roll cage, warn hs9500I currie front and rear bumpers and tummy tuck skid plates with 35000 miles and only paid 10k for it, so I would keep looking
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:14 AM   #15
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killer hard top rubi, thats a TJ ide be able to drop 10k on ,
Thanks. An old man owned it from new and used it as his winter snow vehicle, then moved to AZ (got love the snowbirds lol) and just sold it to the dealer.

I'll post more pics later today or tomorrow after I get my new 17" wheels and 35" tires put on. I put a Teraflex 1" body lift, M.O.R.E. 1" MML, Belly Up kit, and Teralflex 4" long arm kit on it over the weekend. No small tax when done on th side of the street in front of the house lol.

I can't wait to test the flex this weekend!
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:24 AM   #16
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Sounds way too high! I agree with everyone else, keep looking!
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:27 AM   #17
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I paid $7500 for my 98, but it had a Warn winch, new tires, hard and soft top, only 106,000 miles and no leaks. Keep looking.
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:48 AM   #18
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While I agree that you should pass on this one...some of you guys forget that the Jeep market differs greatly depending on where you are....sure you can find a great deal once in a blue moon everywhere but in my neck of the woods Wranglers are expensive, Im not saying he should buy this one at all....Im just saying I love how everyone says too expensive, walk etc without taking in account for how the market varies. OP buy something with less baggage....keep and eye out it takes time.
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:31 PM   #19
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While I agree that you should pass on this one...some of you guys forget that the Jeep market differs greatly depending on where you are....sure you can find a great deal once in a blue moon everywhere but in my neck of the woods Wranglers are expensive, Im not saying he should buy this one at all....Im just saying I love how everyone says too expensive, walk etc without taking in account for how the market varies. OP buy something with less baggage....keep and eye out it takes time.
Yeah, I live in southern California, the land of overpriced everything. Most every one I can find in those price ranges has some serious damage or serious mileage. And driving states away to look at a possible car is going to add up to nearly as much anyways.

For here, with all of the extras that's pretty much a steal. I was figuring if it was JUST the main seal and all other engine components and drive train checked out fine then I would talk him down and consider myself lucky. From what I understand these oil drips are exceptionally common on this year range, just like cracked heads on the 00-02(?) and the newer OPDA problems.

Looks like you get to pick your demon, lol.
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Old 06-14-2012, 12:31 PM   #20
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Thanks. An old man owned it from new and used it as his winter snow vehicle, then moved to AZ (got love the snowbirds lol) and just sold it to the dealer.

I'll post more pics later today or tomorrow after I get my new 17" wheels and 35" tires put on. I put a Teraflex 1" body lift, M.O.R.E. 1" MML, Belly Up kit, and Teralflex 4" long arm kit on it over the weekend. No small tax when done on th side of the street in front of the house lol.

I can't wait to test the flex this weekend!

nice man,
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:40 PM   #21
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Anyone else think its odd on of the window advertising stickers says its "V^ Power"? Now I'm still new to Jeeps but as far as I know an '04 TJ didn't come with a V6 option.
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:54 PM   #22
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I paid $8500 for my 2004....here is the pic I took just before I bought it in April 2011...almost mint..... keep looking.....

WOW...even has the very rare "V-6" too. lol
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:13 PM   #23
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well, I decided to go with a model a little bit newer (04) similar lift and accessories, and I actually like the color scheme much much better. Small oil drip, but nothing even remotely close to the previous vehicle.

Is at the mechanic now, based on the report I will attempt to haggle down the dealer.

currently 13.4K which I know you guys think is overpriced, but I really have been scouring for a solid wrangler for at least 2 months, and the price ranges have been consistently higher here than wherever most of the posters are coming from.
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:22 PM   #24
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well, I decided to go with a model a little bit newer (04) similar lift and accessories, and I actually like the color scheme much much better. Small oil drip, but nothing even remotely close to the previous vehicle.

Is at the mechanic now, based on the report I will attempt to haggle down the dealer.

currently 13.4K which I know you guys think is overpriced, but I really have been scouring for a solid wrangler for at least 2 months, and the price ranges have been consistently higher here than wherever most of the posters are coming from.
How many miles?
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:34 PM   #25
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I bought my '04 Rubicon fire $10,000

Attachment 131724

Thats a good deal. I would have jumped on that too
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:40 PM   #26
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How many miles?
About 100K even. IMO this does seem expensive, but theres something about the southern california car bubble that makes all jeeps 20-30% more expensive than they are anywhere else.

But if the mechanic comes back and says its clean it has most of the extras I want, and with no car payment I can easily make the rest of the upgrades I'm looking for down the road.

So I guess its a win win unless I want to cross state lines in search of something comparable thats cheaper.
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:47 PM   #27
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it's weird that someone would put a 3.5 inch lift on a car....
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:02 PM   #28
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it's weird that someone would put a 3.5 inch lift on a car....
Im not sure I'd want much more than a 3.5 inch lift with 33's. That puts you pretty high up there unless youre planning on some serious offroading.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:44 PM   #29
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So, scratch that one. Mechanic said it was a total hack job and would need somewhere in the ballpark of 5K minimum to undo what had been done.

Dealership of course had no clue about any of the problems.

Starting to think it may be easier to buy something stock and then lift it and add tires myself.

Anyone have a ballpark on what a decent 3.5" lift would entail? Specifically what parts and adjustments would be needed to do it the right way. I would imagine 3.5 would require some kind of SYE and maybe regearing for 33's (?) but I really dont know what other parts would be necessary to do it 100% properly.
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:15 PM   #30
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I bought my '06 in February for $10.6k with 69k miles. Runs great, no leaks, nothing to complain about. Everything else I looked at was $15k+... you just have to be patient.



Four months later.....

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