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Old 01-11-2011, 02:19 PM   #1
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New here - any advice? 1997 Jeep Wrangler.

New here! 1997 Jeep Wrangler with 104K+ miles on it. Learned to drive on my baby. No major modifications, just a nicer set of tires a few years back. Replaced catalytic converter about 60K miles, no major repairs since then. Overheated at end of cross-country drive this fall. Replaced smaller things (coils, wires, sensory board), but no major repairs yet. Finally took it in & engine replacement is suggested - new head gasket, cracked exhaust manifold, etc.

The Jeep is in Indiana, I'm headed back out to California in 2 months. It is not driveable. My husband is in Afghanistan and has left the decision up to me. So it's been sitting in our garage. It seems like my 2 options are to pay to put in a new engine or sell the Jeep for parts.

Any advice on any part of this? I'm a bit overwhelmed without knowing a lot about the actual workings of Jeeps. I've got a deadline to figure it out before the move. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 01-11-2011, 02:24 PM   #2
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When your husband gets back tell him thank you for me and the rest of us for what he does.
As for the engine, it depends on how much it will cost to fix it. If it will cost more than a new engine replace it with a new one. But if you will get more money for parts then go that rout. Personally I like to keep it and work on it, but given your situation do whats easier for you.

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Old 01-11-2011, 02:28 PM   #3
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I would say part it out, but I doubt you have the time to package and deal with orders on all of the stuff. your better option is to pay for the new engine. ;( goodluck!
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:28 PM   #4
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Welcome to the Forum.

I can't really tell you what you should do, but in reading your post, the words "My Baby" stand out as a sign that you will probably regret selling her out for parts. If you have the funds and a trustworthy mechanic, I'd try to keep her. With 104,000 miles she's still a baby.
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:42 PM   #5
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Welcome. Have you gotten the cost to fix it? Also for the exhaust manifold, get an aftermarket one with expansion joints as the stock replacement one will just crack again, common problems until it was fixed in the 2000 models.
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:50 PM   #6
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Welcome to the Forum and good luck with your decision. Looks like all the TJ guys are giving ya some good ideas!
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:13 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone!

Just feel like we're at that crossroads where you decide if you're truly a Jeep owner :/. I'm going to keep pricing options & snooping through these forums, these are pretty info-rich!
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:50 PM   #8
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Easiest solution is to list the problems and add a few really good photos to Craigslist. Someone into Jeeps would come get it for parts. You don't have to do anything other than clean your things out and sign over the title.

But, make sure you get your moneys worth. Based on what Im reading (without seeing any photos and given there is no major body damage) you should be able to get $1000-$1500 for it overnight if you list it for that. It may sell for $2000-$3000 if you waited for the right buyer. Depends on how much hassle you want to put into it IMO.
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:56 PM   #9
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Thanks - I added a few photos, just what I could do in the lighting of the garage. There's zero body damage beside a few tears on the drivers seat & 2 rust spots on the hood. She's a good-looking Jeep. I've got a quote of about 1200 for the engine w.1 year warranty through LKQ & a mechanic willing to do the swap for about $350 labor. I was quoted $1000 to buy as is, but that was a first offer without any negotiating. New battery this fall, tires still have a lot of life, soft-top is only 3 years old & bought an extra set of hard windows last year (got tired of my soft ones getting cut - I leave the doors unlocked, its a Jeep people...).

I've got the money, but what's the long-term outlook like for a 100K+ jeep after a new engine?
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:00 PM   #10
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It certainly sounds like your TJ is worth replacing the engine.
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:47 PM   #11
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How is the body???? The floors???? Frame???? If all is well......definitely replace engine. I have seen these with way over 200K on them...... and.... way cheaper than a car payment......
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:54 PM   #12
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New Engine! New Engine! New Engine!


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