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Old 01-31-2014, 01:13 AM   #1
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New to Jeeps - what to look for when buying?

Hello all on the WranglerForum!

I am very new to the Jeep world, although it has always been a childhood dream to own one.

I've been trying to search on the forums for things to look for when buying a TJ. To my surprise, there doesn't seem to be a sticky or a thread dedicated to something like this (unless I'm THAT new and do not know how to use a search properly).

I know the usual rust suspects are things to look out for, but I know fenders can be inexpensive to swap out. What about rust on the back hatch door? Would that be an issue?

What kind of other things should I ask about/look out for when buying a preowned TJ? What are all of your experiences?

Thank you very much in advance! I really appreciate it.

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Old 01-31-2014, 01:31 AM   #2
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Climate controls fail all the time. Make sure all the fan speeds work and the vent selectors change. I have been through 3 wiper motors. (1st owner) make sure EVERYTHING works. You would be surprised at the dumb stuff previous owners do that might have you figuring why your horn won't work even after you put a new one in. Frames rust easy on jeeps. If the body has rust look the frame over even more. Rust on a tailgate is an eyesore a rotting frame isn't. I'm sure others got more to add. They are great vehicles. I love mine. Almost feel bad saying nothing but negative stuff but hey that's what to look for.

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Old 01-31-2014, 08:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Majnoon View Post
Climate controls fail all the time. Make sure all the fan speeds work and the vent selectors change. I have been through 3 wiper motors. (1st owner) make sure EVERYTHING works. You would be surprised at the dumb stuff previous owners do that might have you figuring why your horn won't work even after you put a new one in. Frames rust easy on jeeps. If the body has rust look the frame over even more. Rust on a tailgate is an eyesore a rotting frame isn't. I'm sure others got more to add. They are great vehicles. I love mine. Almost feel bad saying nothing but negative stuff but hey that's what to look for.
Well, that is the answers I am looking for. I love the community behind the jeep world and that's why I'm going to pursue one! You have a million more positive things to say, it's just my question was asking the "negative" things. I will be sure to check over all of those parts to make sure they work properly. Even if the don't, I'm still very interested in jeep! Haha.

Thanks for your answer and I'll keep the community posted on my purchases etc.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:29 AM   #4
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Your primary concern should be frame/undercarriage rust. I suggest spending a significant amount of time inspecting every square inch of the underside of any potential purchase. Also inspect the floor pans under the carpet, which commonly rust.

Try to find a rig with a Dana 44 rear axle. Pics of the diff cover are readily available online for identification purposes.
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Old 01-31-2014, 09:22 AM   #5
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Yeah. I'm definitely looking for the D44 differential. I've heard only good things about it rather than the 35C? Is that correct? I've been looking at other lightly modified jeeps and one has 4.11 gears but the body is in bad shape. I'm gonna try to find one with minimal rust and hope for the best! It's tough to find. The good ones are owned by enthusiasts! Haha
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Old 01-31-2014, 09:57 AM   #6
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4.0 motor is a must. Decide whether you want manual or auto trans. Manuals are usually more common.
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Old 01-31-2014, 12:06 PM   #7
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My experience? Look at (in person) and drive LOTS of TJ's before selecting.
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2002 Wrangler Sahara, all stock, 5-speed, Dana 44, duel tan tops, 2nd owner.

2008 Hemi Grand Cherokee Limited 4X4, Quadradrive II, original owner, 22,000 miles.
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Old 01-31-2014, 12:44 PM   #8
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My experience? Look at (in person) and drive LOTS of TJ's before selecting.
The thing about that is that if you wait too long, they're all gone! Haha. But yes definitely the way to do things.

And manual is what I'm truly looking for. Don't know if I want to get the newer 6MT though. I feel like the extra gearing is too much.
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:51 PM   #9
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Check the 4x4, put it in 4HI and Lo make sure it switches into it and actually works. Get under it and check out the transfer case. Stick your finger in the larger holes on the side of the frame to feel for rust, these guys rust INSIDE OUT. My favorite is checking the engine bay for mud, plenty of people will tell you its a DD highway vehicle thats never seen offroad and that theyve owned it for 10 years, but cant explain how the mud got all under the hood.

Good luck!

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