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Old 09-15-2012, 01:06 PM   #1
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Possible TJ purchase (again)

About a month ago I made a thread about possible purchasing a TJ wrangler, but a good bit of time has passed and most members suggested I skip over the examples I had found on craigslist. This week I found a wrangler on craigslist I may go look at, a 1997 4.0 I6, 5spd manual sport with 170,000 miles.

Here is the ad:

1997 Jeep Wrangler 4.0 Sport

A couple things I have questions about:
1. Is the transmission issue really a common thing with the ax15 that poses no real threat as the seller claims?
2. The soft top it comes with has a small 3" tear in it, the seller claims it can easily be patched with a tent patch kit, is that true?

Other things to be noted:
It doesn't come with any doors, needs a new windshield (crack wont let it pass inspection)

Through emails I have negotiated him down to his rock bottom price of $3,000. What do you guys think? Good deal or not? The only thing that I'm weary of is possible transmission issues.

Thanks for the help.
Brady

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Old 09-15-2012, 01:23 PM   #2
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A windshield is problably only $100, but new doors will cost most of a grand. (what happened to the doors in the picture?) But you could trade the hard top for a set of doors if you had to.
The transmission might just need a fluid change to work fine again, but you won't know until its done if that will help or not. Otherwise it could be and expensive repair.
What are you planning on using the jeep for? If you have a high mile daily commute it might be better looking for a lower mileage jeep.
If the soft top has a tear in it, it's probably time for a new top anyway even if it can be repaired. That would run up to $500 depending on what type of top you get.
It would probably be a great buy for someone who just wants a second car for having fun in the summer; sell the hardtop and you have a fairly nice jeep for less than $2500!

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Old 09-15-2012, 01:37 PM   #3
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Ahhh forgot to mention that it does not come with the hard top, as he sold it and the doors. Do half doors or full steel doors really cost close to a grand?

Edit: The jeep would be a second vehicle to me, I have a jetta for daily driving and extended trips.
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:42 PM   #4
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Doors are hard to come by, so expensive.
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:28 PM   #5
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Yeah that really changes how much I would want to pay since the doors are so expensive
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Old 09-15-2012, 03:08 PM   #6
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170,000 mi. Ok, so your not expecting a bumper to bumper warranty right? For, 3k it might be worth the deal. I would expect another 30,000 out of it before a complete engine overhaul, transfer case and tranny rebuild, and 15000 more before rebuilding differentials, and changing out universals all around.
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Old 09-15-2012, 04:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Evpjr View Post
170,000 mi. Ok, so your not expecting a bumper to bumper warranty right? For, 3k it might be worth the deal. I would expect another 30,000 out of it before a complete engine overhaul, transfer case and tranny rebuild, and 15000 more before rebuilding differentials, and changing out universals all around.
You really think it has that little life left in it? I figured it might need some eventual work being the high mileage vehicle that it is, but having to rebuild practically everything in the drivetrain around 200,000 miles seems a bit excessive to me, but I'm no Jeep expert.
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Old 09-15-2012, 06:15 PM   #8
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With that many miles on it you just have to accept the fact that although it will problably last another 75,000 miles it could go out at any time. If you would have to pay someone to rebuild or replace the engine that could get really expensive. If you can do it yourself it would be less of a worry.
If the owner is setting up to build a kit car I would assume he is somewhat mechanically inclined and kept up with the maintenance on the jeep or at least didn't do a bunch of hack jobs on it.
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:03 PM   #9
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With that many miles on it you just have to accept the fact that although it will problably last another 75,000 miles it could go out at any time. If you would have to pay someone to rebuild or replace the engine that could get really expensive. If you can do it yourself it would be less of a worry.
If the owner is setting up to build a kit car I would assume he is somewhat mechanically inclined and kept up with the maintenance on the jeep or at least didn't do a bunch of hack jobs on it.
Very true, I just hear so much about the 4.0's reliability I'm hoping it holds true if I got this jeep . Is there any credibility in the owners statement that the transmission issue is common in the older ax15's? That's my main concern right now...as well as finding a set of doors
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:42 PM   #10
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There's a guy that posts on here that has 360k on his jeep with no major repairs that I know of. Being that it's not your primary vehicle I wouldn't worry about it anyway. If you're not planning on driving it in the winter just get a spidershade ($200) and forget about the doors.

Dunno about the ax15 question.
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:18 PM   #11
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I planned on using it a lot in the winter so I'm not sure if the spidershade would be right for me. Looks like a really neat product, not expensive either.

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