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Old 09-04-2012, 10:56 AM
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Looking at a 97 Sahara...expert oh-pinions?

New member here...with new member questions. I checked in and wanted to get my first real post up and see if I can gt any feedback.

I am looking at a 97 Sahara...from a dealer. I already know I will be paying a premium but my bank won't float the difference after my down payment and I don't want to plunk down all the cash at the moment. Listed at 11,788.00.

Its a 97 Sahara, 50,533 miles, 6cyl, automatic, hardtop, interior looks clean. Carfax ( link below ) looks clean as well, however it is a PA vehicle so I will need to give it a solid once over for rust I am sure. Seems ok to me, but I am new to the Jeep world. The only thing its missing that I would want is a tow hitch and a better stereo ( this girl has a sweet cassette deck but I think I may want to upgrade at some point...I can only get so far listening to my old GnR tapes ).

I was planning on getting out to look at it this week, just wanted to get some advice if I could ( thngs to look for in all jeep, things to look for in 97's, issues with 97's, etc... ). I have read quite a few posts on the forum and it seems like this is a helpful place. When I picked up my 07 Tacoma I found a helpful community on tacomaworld, hoe the same is true here. Thanks!

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Old 09-04-2012, 12:08 PM   #2
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a 97 Sahara is a good choice as described but the asking price might be a tad high, I would expect a nice '97 even with just 50K miles to be around $10,000 unless it is exceptionally nice inside and out.

look for a Dana 44 rear axle, identified by having a steel filler plug, the Dana 35 rear axle will have a rubber fill plug. You want the D44.

lift all the carpeting and check for rust.

make sure all the heater control work, they are known to have issues.

and if you can get an experienced Jeep mechanic put it up on a rack for an inspection that would be a great idea. but you have to look at many wranglers in person to be sure you are getting a good deal.

2002 Wrangler Sahara, all stock, 5-speed, Dana 44, dual tan tops, 2nd owner.

2008 Hemi Grand Cherokee Limited 4X4, Quadradrive II, original owner, 24,000 miles.
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:14 PM   #3
Knows a couple things...

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$11K for a '97, no matter how nice, it too much in my book. When my '97 was stolen 2.5 years ago, its value was something like $6500 and I found several nice nearly pristine '97 TJs on both sides of that price. I ended up buying an '04 Rubicon (salvage title but in good shape and well built) for close to the asking price of that '97 you're looking at.
When you have a choice, buy American.
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:56 PM   #4
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It seems high to me also. I paid 10k for my 02 and it had 30 k miles and 33's on it .spend the money on a trip and come down south and get you one a little cheaper .
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:34 PM
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I was thinking in the 9 to 10 range, but it is from a dealer.

Jeep prices here in Maryland seem to run high. There have been a few on Craigslist in the 8-9k range but they were already lifted and had 150k more miles on them.

In the end I will probably pay more and not get that "great" deal.

I may take a look see anyway. Its probably good to start looking, poking, and prodding at a few jeeps to get a feel for what I am looking at.
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