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Old 11-05-2013, 12:57 PM   #1
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Need opinions and help on buying a 03 TJ

Here's the credentials according to the seller:


2003 Artic Silver Jeep Wrangler 4.0 V6 with 5 speed and 109,000 miles. Jeep has a 4" Zone Offroad lift and 1 1/4" body lift. Other items are a Smittybilt XRC 8,000 lb winch, Smittybilt XRC Rocker panels, Smittybilt XRC front bumper and 7 year O'reilly AGM battery less than year old. 35" Kumho MT tires, black Helo wheels, Teraflex slip yoke eliminator kit and Heavy duty Tatton driveline. Asking $9K

Here are my questions:
1. Is that a decent price
2. How much $$$ does this jeep have just in extra upgrades?
3. What is a teraflex slip yoke eliminator kit?
4. What is a Tatton driveline?

5. Most important question. I asked the guy if it had ever had any engine or tranny work done and he said no. He did however say "after the lift was put on it made the tranny sag so second gear is kinda tricky. It just needs the tranny bolt mount spacers and that's it. It's a cheap fix." I then asked if 2nd gear was hard to find or hard to put in, his response was "hard to find".

Does this sound legit? My question is why would it just affect 2nd gear? Also, if its a cheap fix, why not already have it done. What would it cost me to get this fixed if that's all it needs. This is just out of my knowledge realm.

Any help, thoughts, or comments would be much appreciated. I'm suppose to look at his jeep on Thursday 11/7.

Thanks,

Travis

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Old 11-05-2013, 01:11 PM   #2
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1. yes its a decent price
2. probably around 2500-3k
3. slip yoke is "required" for a lift over 4"
3a. i put required in quotes because you should absolutely have one if you go over a 4" lift otherwise you'll have a large tcase drop. Most everyone on the site will agree they're needed.
4. slip yokes require new dc or cv drive shafts

5. he's wrong...its most likely from the body lift, remove the rubber boot and it should fix the problem. He also skipped the adjustable rear upper control arms to let you dial in the pinion angle. You can run a leather boot instead of the rubber.

Also...its an inline 6, not a v6...

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Old 11-05-2013, 01:12 PM   #3
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1. Price is decent of the body is in good condition and the rug functions well mechanically.
2. The mods add no value. The seller installed low end parts.
3. SYE and tatton DC shaft help correct vibes from lift kit. Make sure he also installed adjustable rear upper control arms
4. 2nd gear is probably hard to find because of the body lift. Remove the rubber shifter boot and see of it shifts better.
5. Verify whether the rig was regeared. Should be set up with 4.88 gears. Also make sure it has a Dana 44 rear not a Dana 35. Search for pics on Google.
6. Steering and brakes should be upgraded from stock to handle the 35 inch tires.
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Cole View Post
4. 2nd gear is probably hard to find because of the body lift. Remove the rubber shifter boot and see of it shifts better.
5. Verify whether the rig was regeared. Should be set up with 4.88 gears. Also make sure it has a Dana 44 rear not a Dana 35. Search for pics on Google.
6. Steering and brakes should be upgraded from stock to handle the 35 inch tires.
was just editing my post to write these...
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:21 PM   #5
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Big Cole,

As far as the rear goes, what would have come stock?
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:23 PM   #6
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2003 Wranglers didn't have a V6, they were all I6.
Sometimes a body lift will effect the tranny shifter and the transfercase shifter. raising the body will sometimes make the shifter shorter making it harder to get your gears.
Smittybilt is in the lower end of the aftermarket parts. Some guys say they're OK and some guys call them junk. I don't have any experience with Smittybilt so I can't say.
A slip yoke eliminator is for the driveshaft after doing a suspension lift. It keeps your driveline in alignment.
As you can tell I'm no expert but I'm sure someone will chime in, who knows what they're talking about.
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:25 PM   #7
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Big Cole,

As far as the rear goes, what would have come stock?

Stock could be either a d35 or d44...most common is the d35.

If the fill plug is rubber, its a d35. A d35 should not be used to run 35" tires.
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:26 PM   #8
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He said the tires have about 20-30% tread left. If this jeep has a d35 rear end, would 33" tires work or is the slight difference irrelevent?
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:33 PM   #9
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He said the tires have about 20-30% tread left. If this jeep has a d35 rear end, would 33" tires work or is the slight difference irrelevent?
It all depends how you intend to use the rig. For street use and mild offroading the D35 and 33s will be fine. If the rig has not been regeared it will be a dog with larger tires.

Do you know the exact model of the TJ? The D44 was optional in the sport and sahara. The "X" only came with the D35
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:38 PM   #10
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I'm pretty sure its the "X". So lets assume it is a D35 and let's assume he's done nothing with the gears. What's it going to cost to get the 4.88 gear upgrade and to uprade to a D44?
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:41 PM   #11
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Like 1500-2k
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:46 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Fletcher34 View Post
I'm pretty sure its the "X". So lets assume it is a D35 and let's assume he's done nothing with the gears. What's it going to cost to get the 4.88 gear upgrade and to uprade to a D44?
IMO you don't wanna know the answer to that question....even dropping down to 33"s and not switching the axle you would still need to regear...figure $2k for regear
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:51 PM   #13
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So if all I plan on doing is street driving, are you telling me I should stay away from this jeep unless I upgrade the gears and rear end?
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:56 PM   #14
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IMO if all you are doing is street driving look for a bone stock Jeep...less chance of questionable parts (I have some "smittybuilt" they are not high quality) and switch tire and rims and BL MML and spacer puck lift and still run 33"s and have less money than what this one costs.
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:02 PM   #15
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Well the reason I'm interested is the guy is wanting to trade his 03 TJ straight across for my 99 cobra which I payed $5,900 for lol. Before this conversation I thought is was a nobrain decision.
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:05 PM   #16
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I just googled " '99 Cobra" you need to do that also unless yours is really rough he is gonna make out like the fat rat IMO!!
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:06 PM   #17
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Gonna sound like a dumb question but isn't everything he listed as "smittybilt" exterior/cosmetic gear? I could understand if it were driveline parts but we're talking about a winch, bumper, and rocker panels. Is it really that big of a deal?
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:08 PM   #18
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The cobra could use some body work and paint. I figured its worth about 7k. KBB has it for around 11-12K but there's no way man.
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:14 PM   #19
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I'd trade and upgrade to an 8.8 (if its a D35) and gear it accordingly.
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:18 PM   #20
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I was offered $7000 for my TJ when I was CONSIDERING trading for the JKU....granted dealer is gonna make some money but my TJ is '04, I6, 5 speed, factory danna 44rear, KC lights OME lift, JKS BL and MML, Sye regeared to 4.56s on cragar soft 8s with Duratracs, and a less than one year old Frameless from Bestop.....I also mentioned it was worth $10 on a couple of Jeep boards and got no offers....granted I have 165K miles but with where I am now I wouldn't sell it. It is crazy around here saw an 2000 go for $3500 at auction saw a bone stock Rubi go for $12k at a used car dealer. That being an x and cheap mods done to look good I wouldn't buy it.
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:47 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Well the reason I'm interested is the guy is wanting to trade his 03 TJ straight across for my 99 cobra which I payed $5,900 for lol. Before this conversation I thought is was a nobrain decision.
That is a no brainer. But also remind yourself that a jeep is a never ending expense lol. No matter how fixed up of a rig you buy you will always want to add or change something. Then again, where is the fun in the 99 cobra?

I wish I did this much research before buying my jeep, but you live and you learn. To me, it sounds like a nice rig. But the guys are right.

1- you can never include upgrades in the price you're paying. I know I'll never get back a penny in any of my mods when I decide to sell it.
2- I agree he chose the cheaper route in most of the things you listed. But it doesn't mean they're going to break down on you.

Just go with your gut! If you've never owned a jeep you're going to love it regardless. If you have owned a jeep before you know I'm right.
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:51 PM   #22
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That is a no brainer. But also remind yourself that a jeep is a never ending expense lol. No matter how fixed up of a rig you buy you will always want to add or change something. Then again, where is the fun in the 99 cobra?

I wish I did this much research before buying my jeep, but you live and you learn. To me, it sounds like a nice rig. But the guys are right.

1- you can never include upgrades in the price you're paying. I know I'll never get back a penny in any of my mods when I decide to sell it.
2- I agree he chose the cheaper route in most of the things you listed. But it doesn't mean they're going to break down on you.

Just go with your gut! If you've never owned a jeep you're going to love it regardless. If you have owned a jeep before you know I'm right.

Thanks GK for your input. I guess I just look at as if I had to sell the jeep I could easily get my $5900 back and probably make money on top of that. I just don't want to get the jeep and the rear end go out on me.

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