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Old 05-30-2013, 08:25 AM   #1
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The future for TJ prices???

I watch the forum daily and almost daily I see someone has an issue with frame rot. It is nearly impossible to find a rust free frame here in IN. I am just wondering what the future holds for the prices of TJ's. Will the price for a good rust free TJ go up or will the fact that the frames rot so badly drag the prices of all of the TJ's down? We looked at 8 different TJ's and several YJ's before we found our 99 TJ. All 8 TJ's we looked at had frame rot ranging from bad to severe. I am still baffled why the '95's were the only year to have galvanized frames and tubs? My personal thought is that at some point the frame rot issue is going to weigh heavy on the prices of the TJ's in general. I am seeing reports of ones newer than our 99 being scrapped because of frame rot issues.
That said, anything can be repaired. Currently I do not know of a company making complete TJ frames yet. There are companies making frame repair sections to repair your existing TJ frame. Surely with the number of TJ's on the road and the number of them with frame rot it will only be a matter of time before someone produces a whole frame to replace the rotted factory frames. But then you are looking at 2 grand plus for a frame plus the cost of installation. Are current owners that are trying to sell going to be willing to eat 3-3500 grand to offset the cost of frame replacement on rotted frame TJ's? I guess time will tell.
I like to think that the market for TJ's will remain strong as there is nothing on the road that can really replace a Jeep. Last night we took the top off and just cruised the back roads to a nearby town about 30 mins away for dinner then took more back roads on the way back. No top, just the half doors, tunes turned up, temps near 90, helped make the evening everything we thought it would be when started our search for a TJ. Sure there are convertibles on the market but nothing that can completely replace a Jeep. A couple hours before we left I had to get the Jeep out, put her in low 4 and pull my Tracker that had my utility trailer hooked to it with a 2800lb trencher on the trailer. I had backed the trailer up to a hill in the yard to load the trencher and once loaded the trailer sunk in the mud. It was more than my 2 wheel drive Tracker could pull so out came the Jeep. It pulled all three pieces with ease. Then two hours later we cruising with the top down. We got a really good deal on our TJ and the smile on my GF's face as we cruised along made every penny we have spent on it totally worth it. But with all the frame rot issues I can't help but wonder which way our investment will go, up or down? Really doesn't matter as I think we are hooked and Juicy the Jeep will have a place in our garage for a long time.

Sam in IN

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Old 05-30-2013, 08:44 AM   #2
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TJs are not collectible vehicles thus prices will continue to drop until they hit YJ levels. Another 10 years and I wouldn't expect to find any TJ/LJ worth more than $7K.

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Old 05-30-2013, 09:26 AM   #3
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That is debatable depending on where you live I think. Jeeps have always held good value out here in the west. We get sunburned not rusty.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:56 AM   #4
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They seem to depreciate out to about $5k for a clean minor rust Wrangler. Where most other small suv 4x4 will be worth 1/2 that....heck, go look at what a 97 Ford Explorer is going for.
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:27 AM   #5
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They seem to depreciate out to about $5k for a clean minor rust Wrangler. Where most other small suv 4x4 will be worth 1/2 that....heck, go look at what a 97 Ford Explorer is going for.
Your right. And to compound the math the Explorer probably cost twice the wrangler when new
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:40 AM   #6
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I seen a complete new TJ frame online the other day for about $1800.00. Can't remember the site right now but I will try to find it and post in case some one needs it.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:30 AM   #7
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TJs are not collectible vehicles thus prices will continue to drop until they hit YJ levels. Another 10 years and I wouldn't expect to find any TJ/LJ worth more than $7K.
Hey I think that's pretty good since the newest TJ will be 18 years old!

I don't know, it seems like a good condition YJ in this area won't drop below 5-6, which is good in my opinion considering the age. I guess only time will tell if our TJs will get into the price brackets that fully restored CJs go for up here. Maybe if the frame rot keeps making them rarities by the day!

It's funny to think what has become a collector's item; for example I'm sure no one was thinking broncos and scouts would become gold mines; we could get lucky.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:37 AM   #8
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OP, you need to shop douwn south. My 98 has basically no rust on it.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:43 AM   #9
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At some point I would expect them to rubber band like the CJ's did. For example... You think a Rubicon LJ one day might bring Scrambler-like collector prices? I've seen mint CJ-7's get close to $20,000. When Fiat has dismantled the Jeep brand entirely into what we've seen from the new Cherokee I would expect the demand for a "classic" TJ to be there.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:52 AM   #10
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Mine had a little but hardly none. The little it does have I am going to treat it with Por15. I am pretty handy so when it gets real bad I will just cut it and weld in new plates to patch the pieces. For the prices as long as people still want them they price will still be high. You will always find a deal if you wait long enough but some YJs around here are just as high a TJs in price. I live in SLC UT.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:56 AM   #11
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JeepsAreUs.com has new complete frames for $1799.99 if any one is interested.
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:43 PM   #12
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I think the LJ will continue to be highly sought after and will hold up to depreciation quite well. Long wheel base, relatively few made, 4.0 liter engine, classic looks, etc. it is the essence of all things that make a Jeep a Jeep.

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Old 05-30-2013, 12:54 PM   #13
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At some point I would expect them to rubber band like the CJ's did. For example... You think a Rubicon LJ one day might bring Scrambler-like collector prices? I've seen mint CJ-7's get close to $20,000.
interestingly enough, Jeep made half as many LJ's, for half as long, as they did Scramblers....
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:11 PM   #14
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"........ I am just wondering what the future holds for the prices of TJ's........."


I'd guess 99.9% of the TJ's out there will depreciate at a rate consistent with the YJ and CJ models. The super clean cream-puff low mileage TJ's could hang in there (especially the Rubicon model) and might one day get a nice pop in pricing like some of the classic older CJ's are seeing. But don't bet on it.

I bought a TJ last summer that has spent it's entire life in Corrosion Alley: The Northeast. The frame is nearly totally rust free and the floor pans don't have any evidence of even minor surface rust. Still, I expect it to depreciate, and that is fine by me.

Re-framing a TJ that is otherwise nice might not be a bad idea, if the supplied frame is up to excellent standards (better than OEM).
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:13 PM   #15
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I think the LJ will continue to be highly sought after and will hold up to depreciation quite well. Long wheel base, relatively few made, 4.0 liter engine, classic looks, etc. it is the essence of all things that make a Jeep a Jeep.

Flash
I agree with you on most everything except "classic looks". Hey no offense I kinda like the LJs extra room and towing capacity, but TO ME they are severely lacking in the looks dept. One fixed up right with a lift and big tires looks ok, but no where near as good looking as a similarly equipped standard TJ. Don't even get me started on the horrendous stock LJs...
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:17 PM   #16
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:27 PM   #17
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OP, you need to shop douwn south. My 98 has basically no rust on it.
We actually lucked out and found one that had spent the first 8 years of it's life in TX, then a few in southern Utah, then southern Kentucky. Pretty much rust free, just some light surface rust on the frame that I have already treated. Getting ready to internally coat the inside of the frame with Eastwood's frame products.

Sam in IN
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:01 PM   #18
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I agree with you on most everything except "classic looks". Hey no offense I kinda like the LJs extra room and towing capacity, but TO ME they are severely lacking in the looks dept. One fixed up right with a lift and big tires looks ok, but no where near as good looking as a similarly equipped standard TJ. Don't even get me started on the horrendous stock LJs...
LOL! I have always thought that.
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:30 PM   #19
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Here in TN Wranglers seem to be at a premium. 2003 - 2006 120K miles + $12k easy, closer to 14 if you want to get down on the 70 - 80k mile range... in general.
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Old 05-31-2013, 05:13 AM   #20
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on the TJ price subject: there was a totally mint condition Sienna Pearlcoat 2003 Rubicon out here in CT last July at a dealership that sold for $18,000! But, it had only an amazing 10,050 miles on it. Meanwhile a 2006 Rubicon with 30,000 miles sat on a different dealer lot ALL SUMMER with an asking price of $23,000. It finally sold in Sept/2012 but not sure what they finally got for it but it was beat up very badly for such low miles. Wranglers are wicked expensive in CT especially in the summer months. I had to pay $1,000 over NADA to get mine in July in CT last year.

I am going to get that Eastwood internal frame coating product and hit the frame on my TJ just to be sure it stays rust-free. I already drilled drain holes on the underside of the frame.
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:07 AM   #21
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I am going to get that Eastwood internal frame coating product and hit the frame on my TJ just to be sure it stays rust-free. I already drilled drain holes on the underside of the frame.
Do you have any pics of the placement of the holes and feedback on how well they drain for you...are there any you would change the placement of? Also, how big of a hole did you go with? I'm doing this in a week or so but am having a hard time working up to drilling holes in my frame.
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:17 AM   #22
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I drilled (1) .187" hole on the bottom of the left and right frame rail just forward of where the rail transitions over the rear axle. This ensures no substantial amount of water can collect inside either rail since the rails are wide open inside from front to back.

It amazes me why the factory did not include such holes in the manufacturing process given the fact they did include numerous holes on the sides of these rails, which is the path water enters.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:07 AM   #23
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Bigger is better when it comes to drain holes and here is why. Chances are there is already rust inside your frame. If you drill a small hole the rust flakes will probably stop up the drain holes as the flakes can become suspended in the water and float to the drain hole. Mud never stops up drain holes LOL. I would go at least a 1/4" hole and drill several along the underside of your frame in the low areas. If you are concerned about drilling a couple 1/4" holes in your frame just look at the size of the holes the factory punched in it. There is more than enough reserve strength in the frame to handle 1/4" holes, unless your frame is already almost rusted through, which in that case, means you are drilling drain holes way too late. Make sure you debur the hole on the inside of the frame. Sometimes you can create a lip up to an 1/8" tall when you drill through the metal and that lip will act like a dam and not let the water out below the level of the burred lip. Use compressed air with a long blow tool or a shop vac with a 3/4" hose attached to help clean out the inside of the frame too while you are at it.

Sam in IN
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:08 AM   #24
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good info thanx.
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:43 AM   #25
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JeepsAreUs.com has new complete frames for $1799.99 if any one is interested.
Link? Don't see them listed.
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:07 PM   #26
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Thanks for the info...couple of questions on that...

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Bigger is better when it comes to drain holes and here is why. Chances are there is already rust inside your frame. If you drill a small hole the rust flakes will probably stop up the drain holes as the flakes can become suspended in the water and float to the drain hole.
Should I still go big if my frame has no rust (not bragging just looked a very long time before finding the "right" one)


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Mud never stops up drain holes LOL. I would go at least a 1/4" hole and drill several along the underside of your frame in the low areas. If you are concerned about drilling a couple 1/4" holes in your frame just look at the size of the holes the factory punched in it. .
My concern was that they did not drill holes in the bottom but multiple 1/4" holes will not hurt?


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Sometimes you can create a lip up to an 1/8" tall when you drill through the metal and that lip will act like a dam and not let the water out below the level of the burred lip.
Sam in IN
Good point!!! How do I get to the lip to remove or can I just wallow it out by moving the bit around?

After I have drilled, what is the best thing to coat the nekked metal holes with to prevent them from rusting?

Thanks!!!
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:11 PM   #27
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Sorry...didn't mean to steal the thread!
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:18 PM   #28
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there is always a few LJ haters in every group, but I love mine, looks and all. I have a lift on mine but loved it from its stock beginnings. I like the TJ, YJ, CJ and JK too.. but I am betting my LJ will out perform all the others in resale as time goes on..
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:04 PM   #29
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there is always a few LJ haters in every group, but I love mine, looks and all. I have a lift on mine but loved it from its stock beginnings. I like the TJ, YJ, CJ and JK too.. but I am betting my LJ will out perform all the others in resale as time goes on..
Meh. I hated the Scrambler when they came out. I thought it was the silliest looking thing I'd ever seen. Now, I'd jump at the chance to have one. I like the LJ, personally, and wish I had one.
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:16 PM   #30
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Thanks for the info...couple of questions on that...



Should I still go big if my frame has no rust (not bragging just looked a very long time before finding the "right" one)




My concern was that they did not drill holes in the bottom but multiple 1/4" holes will not hurt?




Good point!!! How do I get to the lip to remove or can I just wallow it out by moving the bit around?

After I have drilled, what is the best thing to coat the nekked metal holes with to prevent them from rusting?

Thanks!!!
A 1/4" hole is the size I would go with even with a new frame. It is big enough to drain and even if it gets stopped up it is big enough to poke a screw driver or piece of wire up in it to get it opened up. A 1/4" hole in the bottom of the frame will not weaken it unless it is so badly rusted that area of frame u just drilled through is all that is holding it together. In that case you have bigger problems. Like most have said, they can't believe it came without drain holes from the factory. They put multiple large holes in the side of the frames that water, mud, and salt can get in but zero provisions for it to get out. Pure genius!!!!
AS far as removing the burr, they make a de burring tool that is designed to go inside hole and remove the burr. You hardware store should sell them for probably less than ten bucks. Let me see if I can find on online. General Tool 482 Swivel Head Deburring Tool with Metal Handle - Amazon.com
Just insert the blade end into the holes, put pressure to the outside of the hole and spin it around. They work very well.
As far as where to put them, just lay under your jeep and look at the frame and determine where the low spots are where would water go if the jeep is sitting level. Drill drain holes at those locations. Good luck and don't forget to wear safety glass when you drill.

Sam in IN

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