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Old 05-03-2011, 07:28 PM   #1
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Thinking of buying a 1999 Wrangler with Rebuilt Title

I am looking at a 1999 Wrangler 4x4 with 154,000 miles, stick shift, 4.0L and a 6" lift. The vehicle is pretty decked out with extras. There's very little rust on the body. But it has a rebuilt title.

The owner is asking $5,400 but says he will go down to $4,000. I suspect he will go even lower - maybe $3,500. I used to own a 1994 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L 4x4 so I'm familiar with Jeeps, the 4.0L, etc.

A couple of questions:

1) What are some specific big ticket items that frequently go wrong with a 1999 Wrangler, ignoring the fact that it has a rebuilt title.
2) What are some things I should be looking for in a rebuilt Wrangler that supposedly had serious front-end damage?
3) I am thinking I should have it inspected by a body shop and a mechanic. Anyone have thoughts on this plan? Anything else I should do?
4) Any overall thoughts on this potential transaction? Would you buy it for $3,500-$4,000?

Thanks for any thoughts.

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Old 05-03-2011, 07:43 PM   #2
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If you are going to use it strictly for off-road use and not a daily driver, I would talk him down a little more and go for it. Personally I would steer clear of anything with a rebuilt/salvage title for an on road daily driver. You could be buying yourself a can of worms. Get it checked out thoroughly if you plan to buy it.

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Old 05-04-2011, 12:24 PM   #3
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Rubi2 has it right and I would add on my two experiences with Rebuilt/Salvage titled trucks. One was a good deal all around and one was a disaster, constant problems. It can be very difficult to turn up in an inspection the number and seriousness of short cuts and/or cost cutting taken with the rebuild which can drive you crazy on a DD. Examples like a new radiator that was too small for summer months, paint that started lifting off, and on and on. In short if I trusted the guy to have done quality work then it could work out for you.
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Old 05-04-2011, 12:27 PM   #4
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It won't be a daily driver. I already have four other vehicles. It would be a toy. I just feel a little incomplete without a Jeep. I'm sure many of you know what I'm saying...

I still don't want it to have tons of problems, but it won't be like I will have problems getting to work if it does.

I contacted my body shop and mechanic and am going to have both check it out before I buy it.
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Old 05-04-2011, 12:43 PM   #5
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Check the frame, does he have copy of what was fixed, and who did the work? I would start there. As for the price rebuilt title is no better than 50% of trade in value.
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Old 05-05-2011, 05:58 AM   #6
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Find out why it was salvaged/totaled. Wranglers are very easy to total these days. Remember this is an 11 year old Jeep, a front end hit will total one of these in a heartbeat.

Focus on how it drives, does it track straight, have any uneven wear on the tires, what does the front suspesion look like (welds, bent tabs, etc).

As far as price, anyone who says 50% off is a bit abmitious on price, at some stage in any vehicle's life the difference between a salvage/rebuilt and clean title vehicle becomes less and less.

If you can get it for 4,000 and its built the way you want (lift done right, wheels/tires, gearing) I'd say its a good deal if the body is in good condition.

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