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Old 12-17-2013, 11:36 PM   #1
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Purchasing another TJ(:

Well I found me another TJ, a 97 model.
Here is the description on it..
Tell me what you all think

1997 Jeep TJ, 114K miles, 4.0 with automatic. It is street legal with clear title, 5.5" short arm lift locker in rear chromoly axles front and rear, 8000 lb smitty built Xrc winch, 4 KC lights on winch bumper, custom cage, hard and half doors. Also has new 35" BFG KM2's.

The guy did tell me it has a wobble around 45 mph?



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Please let me here everybody's input and opinions. Is this a good buy or no?
He's asking $8200 for it.
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:40 PM   #2
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Aside from my extreme dislike for the brass knuckles welded onto it, looks aggressive and mean. I dig it. Though it does strike me more of an offroad toy. Are you planning on using this as a daily driver ?

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Old 12-17-2013, 11:43 PM   #3
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Aside from my extreme dislike for the brass knuckles welded onto it, looks aggressive and mean. I dig it. Though it does strike me more of an offroad toy. Are you planning on using this as a daily driver ?
Yes I would like to use it as a daily driver and I completely agree with you the brass knuckles makes me think a "punk" drove it. They must go lol.
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:53 PM   #4
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Yes I would like to use it as a daily driver and I completely agree with you the brass knuckles makes me think a "punk" drove it. They must go lol.
Glad we're on the same page. haha. I think it's worth more like $6k. And definitely looks more like a dune buggy than a daily driver. Where abouts do you live state wise ? Someplace that gets snow ? Also, do you have a family ? That "custom cage" looks like it dramatically decreases cargo access from the rear. You'd have to have the top removed to put anything bigger than a copy paper box back there. Back seat looks out of the question, so if you're single, forget about putting more than 1 lady in this Jeep. No taking the coworkers out to lunch for you !

That "wobble" at 45mph could be a huge process of solving too. Or it could be a simple tire balance issue. I had wobbles at 45 that went away at 50 with my old tires. Balancing fixed it. But you could also have some joints going bad.

I know I'm being a debby downer here, but that TJ looks more like a serious rock crawler than something I'd want to drive to work every day. I'd just constantly want to play in it !
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:59 PM   #5
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Glad we're on the same page. haha. I think it's worth more like $6k. And definitely looks more like a dune buggy than a daily driver. Where abouts do you live state wise ? Someplace that gets snow ? Also, do you have a family ? That "custom cage" looks like it dramatically decreases cargo access from the rear. You'd have to have the top removed to put anything bigger than a copy paper box back there. That "wobble" at 45mph could be a huge process of solving too. Or it could be a simple tire balance issue. I had wobbles at 45 that went away at 50 with my old tires. Balancing fixed it. But you could also have some joints going bad. I know I'm being a debby downer here, but that TJ looks more like a serious rock crawler than something I'd want to drive to work every day. I'd just constantly want to play in it !
No I live in Louisiana so no slow, I also agree with you again I would want to go climb everything I see off the main road. Lol! But I will give you more information tomorrow when I actually go look at it in person, I hope the cage doesn't effect me putting a backseat in it due to the fact I have two little girls that love riding in my current TJ.
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:39 AM   #6
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No I live in Louisiana so no slow, I also agree with you again I would want to go climb everything I see off the main road. Lol! But I will give you more information tomorrow when I actually go look at it in person, I hope the cage doesn't effect me putting a backseat in it due to the fact I have two little girls that love riding in my current TJ.
Just cargo strap them in ! haha
It would be remiss if I didn't mention this, even though you seem like a relatively intelligent individual:

Check the frame for rust. Well, check everywhere, but particularly the frame.

If possible, raise up the front end on jacks/jackstands (wheels off the ground) and have the owner move the steering wheel from left to right, from 2/3 o'clock to 9/10 o'clock, and FEEL the components of the suspension. If there's ANY give to them (should be able to hear an audible "click" everytime slack is reduced on the steerage), could be the cause of the wobble (at that point it's death wobble, btw, and will require replacing of whatever component is loose)
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:54 AM   #7
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Just cargo strap them in ! haha It would be remiss if I didn't mention this, even though you seem like a relatively intelligent individual: Check the frame for rust. Well, check everywhere, but particularly the frame. If possible, raise up the front end on jacks/jackstands (wheels off the ground) and have the owner move the steering wheel from left to right, from 2/3 o'clock to 9/10 o'clock, and FEEL the components of the suspension. If there's ANY give to them (should be able to hear an audible "click" everytime slack is reduced on the steerage), could be the cause of the wobble (at that point it's death wobble, btw, and will require replacing of whatever component is loose)
Oh yes, that is always rule number 1. Check for rust, but the death wobble does scare me a tad bit. From past experience it could be caused from NUMEROUS stuff and it's hard to pinpoint but the actual main cause is. I know in my current TJ I can roll 90 mph on the highway and take my hands off of the steering wheel and it goes straight as a gun barrel but then again I know what is all done to my TJ. Lol. Any more suggestions?
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:57 AM   #8
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Just cargo strap them in ! haha It would be remiss if I didn't mention this, even though you seem like a relatively intelligent individual: Check the frame for rust. Well, check everywhere, but particularly the frame. If possible, raise up the front end on jacks/jackstands (wheels off the ground) and have the owner move the steering wheel from left to right, from 2/3 o'clock to 9/10 o'clock, and FEEL the components of the suspension. If there's ANY give to them (should be able to hear an audible "click" everytime slack is reduced on the steerage), could be the cause of the wobble (at that point it's death wobble, btw, and will require replacing of whatever component is loose)
But what you just told me does bring up a off topic subject, my current TJ makes that "clicking" sound whenever I'm turning it. Not always, but sometimes ?
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:15 AM   #9
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Oh yes, that is always rule number 1. Check for rust, but the death wobble does scare me a tad bit. From past experience it could be caused from NUMEROUS stuff and it's hard to pinpoint but the actual main cause is. I know in my current TJ I can roll 90 mph on the highway and take my hands off of the steering wheel and it goes straight as a gun barrel but then again I know what is all done to my TJ. Lol. Any more suggestions?
Twist the driveshafts by hand to see how much play is in them. Shouldn't be much. The vibrations COULD be an improper pinion angle on the rear DS. Conventional 2 joint (stock DS) should be parallel with output of tcase. The angle of the DS itself should be no more than 13* MAX. If it's an upgraded CV Shaft, it should be pointed directly at the tcase output. All TJs have CV shafts for the front driveshaft.

Obviously ake sure it drives nicely. Have the current owner start it WITH the hood up and listen for... anything strange. Possible laughing monkeys. Seriously. You'll know what I mean if you hear it. That's a sign of the oil pump going. Common in my year, but not in 97s. Make sure there's nothing crazy going on with the drivetrain.

On the DW, agreed:


Also, I have to point something out: If your TJ is in perfect working order and you know everything done to it, why get rid of it in favor of some new demon ? Or are you keeping both ?

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Originally Posted by ShinnyOrangeTJ View Post
But what you just told me does bring up a off topic subject, my current TJ makes that "clicking" sound whenever I'm turning it. Not always, but sometimes ?
So many possibilities... I suggest getting it off the ground, parking brake engaged, chocking your rear wheels, putting tcase and tranny in N, then turning your steering wheel to almost full (never good to full turn. Full turn is that wining sound), and then rotating your tires by hand. That should let you narrow it down. Listen for that clicking sound. Could be your sway links... Or brake lines... Or any number of things hitting something that's turned while your wheel is turned.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:25 AM   #10
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Twist the driveshafts by hand to see how much play is in them. Shouldn't be much. The vibrations COULD be an improper pinion angle on the rear DS. Conventional 2 joint (stock DS) should be parallel with output of tcase. The angle of the DS itself should be no more than 13* MAX. If it's an upgraded CV Shaft, it should be pointed directly at the tcase output. All TJs have CV shafts for the front driveshaft. Obviously make sure it drives nicely. Have the current owner start it WITH the hood up and listen for... anything strange. Possible laughing monkeys. Seriously. You'll know what I mean if you hear it. That's a sign of the oil pump going. Common in my year, but not in 97s. Make sure there's nothing crazy going on with the drivetrain. On the DW, agreed: Also, I have to point something out: If your TJ is in perfect working order and you know everything done to it, why get rid of it in favor of some new demon ? Or are you keeping both ? So many possibilities... I suggest getting it off the ground, parking brake engaged, chocking your rear wheels, putting tcase and tranny in N, then turning your steering wheel to almost full (never good to full turn. Full turn is that wining sound), and then rotating your tires by hand. That should let you narrow it down. Listen for that clicking sound. Could be your sway links... Or brake lines... Or any number of things hitting something that's turned while your wheel is turned.
I'm very very familiar with the evil laughing monkeys!!! Gosh... Lol, but on a side note, I would be keeping both TJs

I will do that first thing in the morning and let you know what I find out(on my current tj).
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:29 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by InvictusDecretum View Post
Twist the driveshafts by hand to see how much play is in them. Shouldn't be much. The vibrations COULD be an improper pinion angle on the rear DS. Conventional 2 joint (stock DS) should be parallel with output of tcase. The angle of the DS itself should be no more than 13* MAX. If it's an upgraded CV Shaft, it should be pointed directly at the tcase output. All TJs have CV shafts for the front driveshaft. Obviously ake sure it drives nicely. Have the current owner start it WITH the hood up and listen for... anything strange. Possible laughing monkeys. Seriously. You'll know what I mean if you hear it. That's a sign of the oil pump going. Common in my year, but not in 97s. Make sure there's nothing crazy going on with the drivetrain. On the DW, agreed: Also, I have to point something out: If your TJ is in perfect working order and you know everything done to it, why get rid of it in favor of some new demon ? Or are you keeping both ? So many possibilities... I suggest getting it off the ground, parking brake engaged, chocking your rear wheels, putting tcase and tranny in N, then turning your steering wheel to almost full (never good to full turn. Full turn is that wining sound), and then rotating your tires by hand. That should let you narrow it down. Listen for that clicking sound. Could be your sway links... Or brake lines... Or any number of things hitting something that's turned while your wheel is turned.
Oh btw, is this normal/common?



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Old 12-18-2013, 01:37 AM   #12
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Oh btw, is this normal/common?



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Sarcasm ? haha. I'm gonna say that is not normal... But I can't exactly tell what it is. Do you have a wider shot of it ? I'd be very cautious about fording water with that.

Also, let me know what you find out ! If not on here, a PM !

If you're getting this other TJ as a toy, I think you'd be happy with paying $6k !
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:50 AM   #13
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Sarcasm ? haha. I'm gonna say that is not normal... But I can't exactly tell what it is. Do you have a wider shot of it ? I'd be very cautious about fording water with that. Also, let me know what you find out ! If not on here, a PM ! If you're getting this other TJ as a toy, I think you'd be happy with paying $6k !
Haha slightly! I think that's the T-case, it has the huge circular device with teeth on it. Lmao!!
I will def PM you in the morning, you better be awake! I also agree that 6K is a fair price, that might be a low ball depending on how the jeep looks/functions in the morning.
Later gator.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:20 AM   #14
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It's the back side of the bellhouseing. There's suposed to be an inspection cover covering up the flywheel that is currently exposed Not too bad of a thing since its not a water tight cover anyways.. How ever it should still be there...
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:28 AM   #15
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I know I'm being a debby downer here, but that TJ looks more like a serious rock crawler than something I'd want to drive to work every day. I'd just constantly want to play in it !
Don't judge a book by its cover. Seen my TJ? It drives nicer than a stock TJ on the road.

But just by looking at the stats, I can tell you that that TJ isn't gonna drive very nice. It wasn't built particularly well and unless it has a selectable locker in the rear, get ready for some interesting handling characteristics. Being that tall on short arms isn't helping anything and if all of the shortcuts I'm seeing and reading about are any indication, you're gonna need to put some work into that thing to make it a comfortable driver.

Not many Jeeps are actually built smart and that one is no exception. In regards to the picture above, that "huge circular device with teeth" is the flywheel and it's nowhere near the t-case......you're missing the inspection cover. That Jeep is a mess and the owner clearly isn't too bright.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:52 AM   #16
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Don't judge a book by its cover. Seen my TJ? It drives nicer than a stock TJ on the road. But just by looking at the stats, I can tell you that that TJ isn't gonna drive very nice. It wasn't built particularly well and unless it has a selectable locker in the rear, get ready for some interesting handling characteristics. Being that tall on short arms isn't helping anything and if all of the shortcuts I'm seeing and reading about are any indication, you're gonna need to put some work into that thing to make it a comfortable driver. Not many Jeeps are actually built smart and that one is no exception. In regards to the picture above, that "huge circular device with teeth" is the flywheel and it's nowhere near the t-case......you're missing the inspection cover. That Jeep is a mess and the owner clearly isn't too bright.
I'm not sure if you caught the gesture of me joking with the other P or not but I was. I'm aware of what it is but thank you for answering my question and yes the owner of that jeep seemed to be a mess on the phone, he most likely couldn't tell me the difference between his butt and butt hole.

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