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Old 05-15-2011, 07:00 PM   #1
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Seeking advice on possible '99 TJ purchase

Hi all - new to this Forum, but not new to Jeep ownership.

I was the proud owner of a lifted black custom Wrangler YJ years ago, hands down the best, most fun vehicle I've ever owned. Regrettably sold it after my first son was born for something "more family-oriented", but there hasn't been a day that passed without me missing that Jeep... once you get the bug, it never does leave your system, does it?

Flash forward 19 years to today - family is all grown up or off to college, and I FINALLY can get a Jeep back in my driveway!

I'm going to look at this '99 Wrangler Sport TJ in a few days, and was hoping some of you could offer some advice or share some insight, as I've been "out of the loop" for some years now...

4.0 6 cyl manual 5 speed

162,000 miles

Comes with both new soft top with tinted side and rear windows & hard top.

I ran the VIN, it has a clean CarFax.

Current owner has had it for three years, claiming the Jeep has been "meticulously maintained and runs perfectly".

Items added or replaced during his ownership:

Tires, 9.5x30x16 they still have plenty of tread and the spare has not touched the ground
Windshield wiper motor
Headers to improve fuel economy add a little more horsepower
Exhaust system from the cat back with Flowmaster muffler (sounds great!)
O2 sensor
Cold air intake
Brake pads, rotors, drums, shoes, fluid & brake line
Steering box and power steering fluid flush
Front universal joints
Front ball joints on one side
Front and rear shocks
Gas tank shield
Alternator
Serpentine belt
Running boards
Hurst T shifter knob
Upgraded Safari Carpeting
JVC head unit with CD and aux input / New speakers in the dash as well as in the soundbar / Rear speaker enclosure with 6" speakers for better bass

The interior seems to be in good condition, with the exceptions of a vertical split along the lower side of both the driver and the passenger seats.

The only engine work has been a tune up a couple of years ago and oil changes every 3,000 miles. There no known issues with the engine or any of the drive train.

No idea of estimated life left in the clutch. All he can say is it grabs as if it were new.

There is some rust on the tops of the fenders but the owner has purchased two brand new fenders that will be included with the Jeep. There is also a bit of rust in the back panel under the tailgate that he states would be an easy fix.

I'm told the frame is rust free.

I understand for a '99 Jeep, there's bound to be some rust - but this concerns me - he replaced the gas tank shield because it was rusted.

Asking price is $6K.

I bought my YJ new, so don't really know what to look out for in this used TJ - are the things he's already replaced typical for a '99 TJ with 162K, or do you think they suggest something happened that is not reported on the CarFax?

Any insight or advice you experienced owners can share would be most appreciated! Thanks in advance, looking forward to spending much time here!

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Old 05-15-2011, 07:03 PM   #2
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You seem to already have the proper "concerns" (more like areas to look at) It seems with the records you have that it was well taken care of. Haggle the price down closer to $5000 (at least in my area) and enjoy jeep life!!!


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Old 05-15-2011, 07:06 PM   #3
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sounds good for the most part. post some pictures
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:35 PM   #4
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I have an 88 that I am putting back on the road, in looking for parts I have been looking at newer jeeps and in my area that seems to be about or below average price for that year and milage.
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:41 PM   #5
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Thanks for the fast response, so you think all that was added/replaced was typical for a '99 TJ with 162K - nothing unusual then? Replacing the rug and a rusted gas tank shield seemed odd to me.

Here are some pictures, the last is the only pic he sent of the undercarriage (was trying to see what the axle ratio was, but I guess the metal tag fell off) - again, any insight or advice before I go to see/test drive most appreciated!
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:43 PM   #6
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That thing would bring 6k all day in my area of VA. I bought my 99 TJ with 140k back in Feb. I paid 8k and that was a deal. I have no idea what has been replaced on it, it hasn't really concerned me much since I've been dumping money into lift, wheels, tires... The list goes on. I did replace the plugs, wires, cap and button as they looked original but it still was getting 17mpg!! The items you listed don't seem to be out of the ordinary parts/things to replace. I'd say go for it and obviously try to get the price down, who doesn't these days?! Welcome and good luck!
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Phil05LJ View Post
That thing would bring 6k all day in my area of VA. I bought my 99 TJ with 140k back in Feb. I paid 8k and that was a deal. I have no idea what has been replaced on it, it hasn't really concerned me much since I've been dumping money into lift, wheels, tires... The list goes on. I did replace the plugs, wires, cap and button as they looked original but it still was getting 17mpg!! The items you listed don't seem to be out of the ordinary parts/things to replace. I'd say go for it and obviously try to get the price down, who doesn't these days?! Welcome and good luck!
I got a super deal in that case here in MD
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Old 05-15-2011, 08:06 PM   #8
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With a meticulously documented maintenance record like that, and dual tops, I'd pay the $6k, and thank him for the bargain.
The rear "valance" I think that's what it's called, can be had for a few bucks, I think Quadratec carries them.
I am a bit surprised though, that he already bought the fenders to put on, and now wants to sell it.

BTW, that rear axle is a D35, if you didn't already know. If you plan to do big tires / serious off-roading, many people say it isn't up to the task.
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Old 05-15-2011, 08:19 PM   #9
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Thanks for responses everyone!

Yes the current owner seems very meticulous, I feel very good about him - but those new fenders do seem a little odd.

He's the third owner btw, who got the Jeep around 130K and had all that work done - have no idea what the previous two owners did, if anything.

Monkee2002 - thanks for IDing the axle, how big a tire do you (or others) recommend I can go with that D35?
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Old 05-15-2011, 08:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTWarrior66

I got a super deal in that case here in MD
I don't travel out of state to buy my Jeeps. I support my local dealers, several owners are friends of mine. I know what he paid for it at auction, a one owner none the less. Go to Autotrader and search with a VA zip code, the prices will make you puke.
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Old 05-15-2011, 08:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sorko View Post
Monkee2002 - thanks for IDing the axle, how big a tire do you (or others) recommend I can go with that D35?
d35 w/o a locker should be good for 33's
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:01 PM   #12
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Welcome back to the addiction.

I'd agree $6k is a little high. I paid $6k for my 1999 with 119k miles and dual tops. However, it is getting warm and I bought mine in November not summer. Nothing seems out of the ordinary. Fenders are an easy bolt-out replacement. And a rusty gas skid plate isn't an issue... it's typical. I've got plans to paint mine soon. It's just seems to be status quo with them.

The D35 is the standard rear axle so don't stress that you don't have a D44, it's always easy to upgrade later. With the D35, a 33" is probably as large as you'll want off-road, and 35" is the largest on-road. Although, I blew my pinion gear on-road with 31s about two months ago (and now am swapping an 8.8 in).

The deal with the fenders, I wouldn't be concerned. It's not the easiest task for a beginner. There are other components that need to also be addressed with. Don't let this deter you, I'm sure you can do it no problem.

The only thing I'm not sure about is the under-tailgate rust. Are you talking about on the body itself. If so, that's a typical spot where paint bubbling occurs. It can be addressed, but if you're not familar with bodywork I'd leave it to a professional to address.
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:35 PM   #13
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Welcome back to the addiction is right! Thanks everyone, great advice and info - I'm going to love this place!

burton160w, here are two pictures of the under-tailgate rust from the owner... most likely let the body shop handle if not too much $$$ since the front fenders need to be painted anyway before attaching.
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Old 05-16-2011, 01:18 AM   #14
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I feel you. It took me 8 months to find a deal, I found two in one week, someone flew from Chicago and got the first one, I snagged the second one. 140k/lift/tires/radio/new soft top/new catasomething converter/ new muffler clean inside and out almost no rust $6700
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Old 05-16-2011, 01:51 AM   #15
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That makes me feel good about getting my 99 4.0 sport for $3800 with 2 sets of wheels
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:21 AM   #16
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Monkee2002 - thanks for IDing the axle, how big a tire do you (or others) recommend I can go with that D35?
Like everyone's already said, you should be good to 33's. I think I remember seeing a couple of people stating they run 35's on a D35, but I'd be leary of that.

I have 31's on mine. I prefer driving skill over monster tires, and I really don't want to lift her if I don't have to.
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:55 AM   #17
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Just my .02 but the fenders if Mopar and the 2 tops one being "new" ---to me would add about $1-2K to the basic value of the jeep-i.e. even fenders at $500 and a cheap top would be worth a grand. Try buying those 3 parts deduct that from the Jeep price and see where you are. All of a sudden $6k looks real good to me.

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