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Old 04-06-2011, 08:43 AM   #1
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Need help buying 1st Jeep!

Hi all,

So I'm in the process of trying to find my first Jeep, and I'm anxious to pull the trigger but don't want to make a bad decision. Most of the Wranglers in my price range have high miles, but from what I've read it sounds like that's not an issue, especially with the 4.0L, providing he's kept up with the maintenance. I'm going to look at this one today but thought I would see what y'all thought based on the info I have already. Here goes:

2003 Wrangler Sport, 4.0L V6, Auto, Towing Pkg, Hard + Soft top, pretty much all the options you can get for a Sport, 119k miles, $9900. I tried to attach some pics but it wouldn't work. It looks pristine though.

I can probably haggle him down a few hundred. The only thing I'm worried about is the mileage. Is that really high? I know that's standard for a car that age, but wasn't sure if it's too much for the price. Thanks in advance for the help!

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Old 04-06-2011, 08:52 AM   #2
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I have an '03 sport with almost 80k miles on it. It runs like a tank. It was maintained very well before I bought it, and I have continued that. The only thing I have needed so far is a new exhaust manifold - which is common.

I did a search on Kelley Blue Book, and the Suggested Retail Price for a jeep as you described (same mileage, options, etc) in Excellent condition is over $13k.

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Old 04-06-2011, 09:01 AM   #3
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Kelley Blue Book also lists Private Party Values at: Excellent - $11.4k, Good - $10.5K, Fair - $9.5K
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:18 AM   #4
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My 03 has about 110 thousand on it and runs strong. Goes anywhere I want it to and only has a 2" B lift and 33's. Its all in the maintenance. I keep it in pristine condition!!! Wash it throughly after wheeling it and keep up on the oil and tune ups.
Get it... And you'll never regret it!!
It'll be the most fun thing you've ever driven!
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:21 AM   #5
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thanks guys...from what i've heard it seems like these engines run forever with the proper maintenance. if he's kept up with that then i should be a jeep owner by the end of the day!
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:44 AM   #6
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x2 on Meijin's comment. It really is the most fun you've ever had driving. It sounds stupid, but it really does turn even the smallest and most common trips into an adventure. It gets pretty addicting. You'll find yourself inducted into a great community. JUST DON'T FORGET THE JEEP WAVE!
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:59 AM   #7
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That sounds like a food price and the miles aren't bad they last forever with the proper maintenance as everyone else said. Post pics if you get it..and as kyle03sport said..don't forget the wave! Good luck
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:28 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies guys!

Ok so I just drove it and it's very clean, no cosmetic damage, no rust and runs strong. Only thing I saw was a small gap between the top of the steering column and the instrument panel where I could see a few wires. Is that normal? Also the AC only worked when it was on full blast. Is that expensive to fix?
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:51 AM   #9
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did you check under the jeep for rust or scratches and dents to see if the owner went 4wheeling with it. also pop the hood and check it out see if the bolts on the side have been replaced or been turned.

if you have any questions post a pic of it and we will do our best to answer it.
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackalopeATX View Post
2003 Wrangler Sport, 4.0L V6, Auto, Towing Pkg, Hard + Soft top, pretty much all the options you can get for a Sport, 119k miles, $9900. I tried to attach some pics but it wouldn't work. It looks pristine though.
So this Jeep is coming with both the hard and soft top?
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:15 AM   #11
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Yeah hard and soft
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:17 AM   #12
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By the way...
What color is it?
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:18 AM   #13
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yeah check the underneath for rust along with mud anywhere underneath to see if they took it 4wheeling bc that mud doesnt come out. make sure the 4wd works! and who needs ac when the tops off?!
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:21 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by JackalopeATX View Post
Thanks for the replies guys!

Ok so I just drove it and it's very clean, no cosmetic damage, no rust and runs strong. Only thing I saw was a small gap between the top of the steering column and the instrument panel where I could see a few wires. Is that normal? Also the AC only worked when it was on full blast. Is that expensive to fix?
Gap on the column...look on the left side of the steering wheel column for a lever-the column can be moved up and down to suit the driver if the lever is there. When moved down you get the gap.
AC on full blast-bet you the fan alone does the same thing. It's the fan control-hidden behind the dash, accessed by taking out the glove box. VERY common problem in jeeps for years. My rubicon is on it's 3rd one. Inexpensive, easy to replace. Somewhere on-line or maybe even in the Wrangler forum is illustrated instructions to replace it.
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:43 AM   #15
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yeah check the underneath for rust along with mud anywhere underneath to see if they took it 4wheeling bc that mud doesnt come out. make sure the 4wd works! and who needs ac when the tops off?!
When I bought my 99 sport, there were 2 fan speeds that didn't work. A few months later, I lost the rest of the fan speeds.

There's an issue with the switch itself melting - behind the knob. There's too much voltage running thru the switch (the way Jeep built it), so they melt after a while.

There are a few threads on here about it, do a search for "fan speed" or something like that, you'll find them.

You can buy this switch for about $25, and replace it yourself.
Some dealers will tell you that you have to buy the whole climate control assembly, and that individual switches are not available. They are incorrect.

I wish my Jeep came with both tops Does it have full doors and/or half doors?

It sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
Don't worry about the mileage too much. There was someone on one of these Jeep forums a few months back, who pulled a piece of a piston skirt out of his oil pan about the size of a quarter. IIRC, the Jeep was running still, just making some noise.

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Old 04-06-2011, 11:57 AM   #16
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pics

Thanks so much for your help guys. It sounds like the problems are easy to replace. I'm going to make sure that gap is just the tilt and then I think I'm going to buy. There is a Jeep specialist in town that will do a complete buyer overview for $90, so I'm thinking I might do that as well because the guy showing me the Jeep is not the owner so I want to make sure it has been taken care of. Here are some pics...
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:06 PM   #17
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Son of a gun - that thing looks spotless. Looks like an aftermarket stereo? Geez...I'm jealous. Now I have to spend this weekend shining mine up.

You might consider a spare tire cover. I've been told from some people that the sun beating down on that same part of the tire can lead to deterioration over time. Sounded plausible to me. Plus a black wheel cover is less than $20.
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:48 PM   #18
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Nice Looking jeep. I am jealous both soft and hard top.
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:20 PM   #19
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Son of a gun - that thing looks spotless. Looks like an aftermarket stereo? Geez...I'm jealous. Now I have to spend this weekend shining mine up.

You might consider a spare tire cover. I've been told from some people that the sun beating down on that same part of the tire can lead to deterioration over time. Sounded plausible to me. Plus a black wheel cover is less than $20.
not to threadjack..but where can i find a 31x10.5 black spare cover? thanks

and those pics look immaculate
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:29 AM   #20
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Ok, so this guy is aaapppaaarently selling this Jeep for his father's friend, so he won't let me take it to the Jeep specialist in town, or any shop for that matter, to have it looked at because he says he doesn't want to have to put any work into selling it since it's not his. He said I could bring a mechanic to take a look at it, but I don't know any that will do that.

So, that being said, is there a checklist somewhere on this site or anywhere that I could use to check the main problem areas myself? Keep in mind I'm not that good with Jeeps, yet. Thanks
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:05 PM   #21
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Sounds bogus. Have him go with you to the mechanic. Did he let you drive it alone or did he go. Check the title for ownership/salvage. It looks sweet but I didn't buy mine until I had it checked out, saved me $1500.
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:16 PM   #22
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Won't let it be taken to a shop, hmm, red flag, bright blinding red, run, run fast. Not worth the trouble.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:49 PM   #23
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Check with your bank/ credit union. My credit union has flyers for a mobile mechanic that comes to the car. The guy is certifeid and comes with all sorts of recommendations. It looks clean, but I would be careful if the owner doesn't want a mechanic to look at it.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:06 AM   #24
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he won't let me take it to the Jeep specialist in town, or any shop for that matter, to have it looked at
This sounds very suspicious. Did you happen to get the Jeep's VIN?
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:16 AM   #25
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don't know where you are but i saw this and it looked like good deal for someone.

"2004 Jeep Wrangler Sport; used as a tow vehicle; 5-speed manual shift, 4-wheel drive, hardtop & separate softtop, tow equipment; many extras; 31K miles. JEEP ONLY: $13,900"

thats exactly what mine was listed at and i bought it for $12.5 mine had 25,000 miles, no hard top, an auto and is X model.

2002 Travel Supreme Class A Motor Home & Jeep

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