Used purchase, what to look for - Jeep Wrangler Forum
Jeep Wrangler Forum

Go Back   Jeep Wrangler Forum > TJ Jeep Wrangler Forum > TJ General Discussion Forum

Join Wrangler Forum Today


Reply
 
Thread Tools

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on WranglerForum.com
Old 09-07-2009, 09:30 PM   #1
Newb
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 8
Used purchase, what to look for

Looking for a used TJ 1998-2001. So far I have decided to get the 4.0/5 speed and I am looking for one with 75k-100k miles.

I would prefer to find one stock that has not been beat up offroad and mod it myself. My main concern is getting a reliable used unit. Seems that plenty of used TJs have can be found in around the greater Houston area so I can be a bit picky. I am also in no rush as I currently have my F-150 and a company truck while I search out the Jeep.

Now I more or less just need to know what to look for. The obvious straight body lines, clean carfax, original pain, no rust and no visible leaks will all be looked for but what past that? What are the common problem areas those would suggest I look for?

Seems to me the 4.0 is a reliable motor with many coming to 200k without issues. Since I am looking for a manual trans what should I feel for when test driving? Do they have a decent reliability records up to and past 100k?

Last any real advantage to getting a 98 vs a 2001 if the mileage and all other things are equal? Seems to me these TJ's age very well. These things are 10+ years and look just 4-5 years old.

Thanks guys

__________________
2006 F-150 4x4. Going to be replaced the 1st of the year by a Wrangler. Here to soak it all up before I purchase
scott1981 is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 09-07-2009, 10:41 PM   #2
Jeeper
 
csamn2007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Peterson AFB CO
Posts: 1,911
Send a message via AIM to csamn2007
When i was looking to purchase my first Jeep i took one of my mechanic friends with me. There is a list of things we looked for really. Noise in the rear we found a lot with bad noises coming from the rear end. Any "scars" on the frame or under body, you really want to go through every gear and get it to highways speeds. How well it shifts, if the 4wd works well and comes in and out without loud noises and with ease. Also after it has been running a while pull the dip stick see if there is foam on it, Foam equals bad.

If you are serious in getting everything looked over, most of the time you can get a separate shop to look at it for fairly cheap, if not for free.

You are correct is that they are reliable engines. One of the guys i worked with ran the crap out of his 4.0, never changed the oil. He had over 250k on it before he ran it into a tree.

I am fairly sure there is a lot i am missing. I hope i helped.

Good luck with your hunt!

__________________
2000 Wrangler Sport
2 in Procomp SL 1 in BL
33 in Procomp MTs
csamn2007 is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 09-07-2009, 11:02 PM   #3
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Bixby, Oklahoma
Posts: 439
X2 above.....Also, before you start the motor, have someone watch the tail pipe for smoke on initial start up.
Know going in that it's not a sports car, it's not a smooth ride, and it's not the quietest ride in the world.
I test drove one that didn't have a steering stableizer on it, and you could definetley tell. The jeep wanted to hug every dip in the road. That was actually one with a lift though. If you find one you really like that is lifted, make sure the tires aren't unevenly worn, due to them not getting the front end aligned after the lift.
The 6cyl is a very tough motor. And Jeeps are pretty easy to work on.
Multiple write ups on multiple repairs, either mechanical or other. You can modify these things to no end.
__________________
At some point during jeep ownership, you will BUST A NUT!!!
T-BONE N BIXBY is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 09-08-2009, 08:24 AM   #4
Newb
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 8
Thanks for the help guys, I plan to look at a couple later this week. Will keep ya updated
__________________
2006 F-150 4x4. Going to be replaced the 1st of the year by a Wrangler. Here to soak it all up before I purchase
scott1981 is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 09-08-2009, 09:16 AM   #5
Jeeper
 
mrcarcrazy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Midland/Odessa, TX
Posts: 3,862
play in the steering is one I always watch for being an ex suspension/front end mechanic.


Drive it. if it has any strange behavior either find out why, or walk away, depending on what your gut tells you. I've learned my gut never lies.

U might have dealers/P.O. run a carfax...I think its 90% worthless, but if you can get one for free go for it.

If you plan on wheeling look for one with a D 44 rear end.
mrcarcrazy is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 09-08-2009, 09:48 AM   #6
IITYWTMWYBMAB

WF Supporting Member
::WF Administrator::
 
4Jeepn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Florence, KY
Posts: 10,211
Images: 5
The two biggest difference is the year range you are looking at comes in the 2000 model. The transmission changed to the NV 3550 vs the AX-15. The NV3500 is stronger, though nothing wrong with the AX-15 as both will last a while. Also in 2000 the 6 got the rail system ignition vs a points type.

As stated find one with a rear dana 44 axle it has the metal fill plug vs the round plastic one of the dana 35.

Check fluid etc.

Also check the HVAC units heat and cold.
__________________
79.96.85.00.01.97.00.97.93.97.95.94
CJ.XJ.CJ. TJ. TJ.ZJ. TJ.TJ. ZJ.ZJ.YJ. XJ
4Jeepn is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 09-08-2009, 03:00 PM   #7
Newb
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcarcrazy View Post
play in the steering is one I always watch for being an ex suspension/front end mechanic.


Drive it. if it has any strange behavior either find out why, or walk away, depending on what your gut tells you. I've learned my gut never lies.

U might have dealers/P.O. run a carfax...I think its 90% worthless, but if you can get one for free go for it.

If you plan on wheeling look for one with a D 44 rear end.

Good advice about the play in the steering. Many of the places I am looking were offering free CarFax reports so I figured it couldn't hurt. I have also heard mention of a Oasis report I believe it was called, are these any more worthwhile?

Since it will see some off road the 44 is a must, thanks for reminding me to put that on my list.



Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Jeepn View Post
The two biggest difference is the year range you are looking at comes in the 2000 model. The transmission changed to the NV 3550 vs the AX-15. The NV3500 is stronger, though nothing wrong with the AX-15 as both will last a while. Also in 2000 the 6 got the rail system ignition vs a points type.

As stated find one with a rear dana 44 axle it has the metal fill plug vs the round plastic one of the dana 35.

Check fluid etc.

Also check the HVAC units heat and cold.
Fantastic info about the transmission model year differences.

Any real reliability differences between the ignition systems?

I know exactly what you are talking about on the plug differences, thanks for that reminder. Def something on the "must have" list.

I do plan to purchase one with A/C, I will make sure to give it a thorough test on the test drive.
__________________
2006 F-150 4x4. Going to be replaced the 1st of the year by a Wrangler. Here to soak it all up before I purchase
scott1981 is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 09-08-2009, 03:26 PM   #8
Jeeper
 
mrcarcrazy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Midland/Odessa, TX
Posts: 3,862
Quote:
Originally Posted by scott1981 View Post
Good advice about the play in the steering. Many of the places I am looking were offering free CarFax reports so I figured it couldn't hurt. I have also heard mention of a Oasis report I believe it was called, are these any more worthwhile?

Since it will see some off road the 44 is a must, thanks for reminding me to put that on my list.


I do plan to purchase one with A/C, I will make sure to give it a thorough test on the test drive.
Never heard of Oasis...so I can't comment. I wouldn't put a lot of stock in any of the reports. They are ok at finding problems, but don't let them give you a false sense of security.

On the A/C check all the speeds on the blower, as well as the ability to blow COLD/HOT
mrcarcrazy is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 09-08-2009, 03:57 PM   #9
IITYWTMWYBMAB

WF Supporting Member
::WF Administrator::
 
4Jeepn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Florence, KY
Posts: 10,211
Images: 5
Biggest advantage I can see with the non points ingnition would be water troubles.. but then again cars had that type for years and did fine..
__________________
79.96.85.00.01.97.00.97.93.97.95.94
CJ.XJ.CJ. TJ. TJ.ZJ. TJ.TJ. ZJ.ZJ.YJ. XJ
4Jeepn is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 09-08-2009, 08:36 PM   #10
Newb
 
Texas Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Rockwall, TX
Posts: 12
How much are you willing to spend? I just bought my first Jeep last weekend, its a 2000 Wrangler Sport. I bought it completely stock with 57,000 miles, hard-top, soft-top, hard-doors, 4.0, 5spd for just $7800 on Craigslist! Yes, KellyBlueBook said $8500 which was what he was asking but at the end of the day if someone needs the money bad enough they are usually willing to work with you! But keep looking there is always one youll like for a really good price.
__________________
4'' Black Mountain Suspension Lift, 33x12.50x15 Pro Comp Xterrain's on Black Rock Crawler Wheels, Tow Hooks, Two Kicker L5 Subs in Probox, Focal Speakers in Sound Bar.
Texas Gypsy is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 09-09-2009, 12:24 AM   #11
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Tehachapi Mountains - Ca
Posts: 172
Be patient...very patient.
In addition to all the good detailed advice already given, here is an overall strategy that worked well for the TJ we recently purchased.
You can help yourself a lot by only looking at 'one owner' vehicles with relatively low mileage that is owned by mature people. Often they will have used it as their second or third vehicle...maybe even as their 'towable' for a Motorhome. I would listened carefully to how they said they used it and then study the rig to make sure its condition matches the story. If the TJ is as stock as the day they bought it and if they never had it off road you have a good chance for a winner. These deals are out there..and are worth the effort to find...it just takes time.
Good luck
Bill J
specbill is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 09-09-2009, 12:51 AM   #12
Newb
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 12
Got mine in June 03 Red Freedom Edition hard top - $8500, 86xxx. Now I know a little more than I did then, but still good overall purchase. Body was good, rear carpet removed (don't care). A few little dents, scratches (don't care - intend to offroad it). Worn 32" tires.

I painted the frame (hard to find rust free frames) and cargo area. Put on new 31" tires. Bought hi-lift jack and few accessories and general clean-up (made a big difference but hard to keep clean).

Downsides - gears 3.07s suck. Look for 3.73 or maybe 4.10s. If your only into trails, mudding I think the Dana 30/35 is up to par provided you don't gear too low. Definitely go with 6 cyl.

Not sure when fuel injection was put in, but personally I'd want that and the direct rail ignition. If you want to spend more (could be a lot more) look for clean Rubicon. One here (at local air force base) on Craigslist with Royal purple synthetics and looked well cared for around $16,xxx. With that you get a very good off-road machine - lockers, larger tires, little taller, better axles.
jpconard is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 09-09-2009, 01:23 AM   #13
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 663
Orange gasket sealer...

I bought a 98 4.0 manual with 84000 miles two months ago for 4400. Bought it from an older lady that didn't keep up on the maintenance but being the second owner she said she never drove it much. Anyway, as I was changing all the fluids I noticed orange,(not original), gasket sealer on the rear differential cover.
Guess what, broken tooth on the ring gear. At least there was no metal in the oil so I'm going to guess it's been that way for a while.

This one had little things wrong with it, the carpet was trashed,(spilled cokes).the 4wd light was always on, needed a new soft top, passenger door handle was off. It's been a great unit so far and we are having a great time with it. Good luck finding yours !!

NVRDLMO is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Jeep Wrangler Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
jeep purchase mikey30067 TJ General Discussion Forum 5 05-07-2009 12:14 AM
Advise on Jeep purchase capestriper TJ General Discussion Forum 3 05-05-2009 08:39 PM
New here.need help on jeep purchase 74360DUSTER TJ General Discussion Forum 25 03-24-2009 10:15 PM
Purchase via fleet program??? ferndog JK General Discussion Forum 1 03-28-2008 04:31 PM
Besttop Hardware, anywhere to purchase these parts?? josh General Jeep Discussion 1 06-12-2007 06:32 PM



Download our Mobile App

» Network Links
»Jeep Parts
» Featured Product

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:16 AM.



Jeep®, Wrangler, Liberty, Wagoneer, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee are copyrighted and trademarked to Chrysler Motors LLC.
Wranglerforum.com is not in any way associated with the Chrysler Motors LLC