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Old 05-06-2013, 09:14 PM   #1
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Question: What to look out for when buying a TJ.

Hey guys,

I'm sure this question has been asked a thousand times (I know because I've been lurking the forum for a couple hours now trying to gather information) but what are some specific issues that I should be cognizant of when test driving used TJs?

A little bit of background, all of my experiences working on Wranglers has been primarily with the JK, although I love them, I think a used JK is out of my price range. So I've set my sites a little lower and I'm going to be test driving an '06 Rubicon.

I've compiled a list of potential problems that I've gathered from other threads, is there anything that I'm missing?
  • Rear main seal leaks
  • front u-joints
  • front driveshaft CV - the "angry sparrow" issue
  • ball joints
  • exhaust manifold cracks
  • leaky pinion seals
  • rear axle whine
  • loose t-case chain
  • tracking bar wear - "Death wobble"
  • frame rusting/pitting and rotting floor panels

Are there any tests that you guys recommend to check for some of these issues? I realize some are pretty self-explanatory, but any info would be greatly appreciated.

Some specific info on the TJ I'm testing:
- 120,000 miles
- 4.0L
- 6 speed manual
- soft top
- Rubicon

Thanks,
- J

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Old 05-06-2013, 09:27 PM   #2
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You already have a good list, a couple of things I can think of:

1) OPDA issues that 05/06 had

2) With the rubicon make you get to test the lockers and make sure the compressor is working

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Old 05-06-2013, 09:29 PM   #3
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Rust!
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:53 PM   #4
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The OPDA is commonly a squealing on cold start?
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:55 PM   #5
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Lift the passenger side carpet and check for rust. Look hard at the top of each front fender for rust repairs. Make sure you start and listen to a cold engine, a lot of things can be masked when the engine is nice and warmed up before you get there. Check carefully for chassie rust where the trans skid bolts to the frame and at the base of the coil springs.
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