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Old 03-17-2014, 07:52 PM   #1
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What do y'all think?

Hi there, I just joined the forum today, I don't currently own a jeep.. I actually have a 2011 F150 with all sorts of goodies as my DD but i've been thinking about getting into a TJ to build a trail rig. I found this one on auto trader, obviously without a test drive you can't really know but i wanted to hear from y'all with experience if this rig seems worthy of further inspection..
Cars for Sale: 1998 Jeep Wrangler 4WD Sport in GEORGETOWN, TX 78626: Sport Utility Details - 364644656 - AutoTrader.com

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Old 03-17-2014, 08:05 PM   #2
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If u can go check it out in person, I would say check it out. Jeeps hold their resale very well. I bought a 99 model with 96k six years ago. I wouldn't trade it for anything. You should go test drive it for sure.

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Old 03-17-2014, 08:15 PM   #3
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Price seems a little high to me, but 10k is just a jumping off point for negotiations. As reference, I just sold my 99 with 125,000 miles and a lot more options (full doors, two tops, full size spare and more) for $7,000.
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:29 PM   #4
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Good to know, thank you both so far. I think I'll definitely be making the trip out to see it when I get the chance. I'll certainly negotiate the price as well if it comes down to purchasing.
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:43 PM   #5
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See what rear axle it has. If you are going to build it for 4 wheeling, it would be worth a little extra if it has a Dana 44 in it.
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:51 PM   #6
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It looks nice, a little high but avg. for central Tx market. I like the 98 model and it would make a real nice trail rig. You can blast them with some of the description material in the add to let them know you know your jeeps. First, no 4.0 jeep wrangler came from the factory getting 20 mpg in 1998 (downhill in neutral maybe), add 33's and you will be lucky to see 15. Several other tidbits in the description that raise an eyebrow... doesn't mean anything is wrong with the jeep just do a little searching on the forum to get all the details of the 98 model.

Edit: no spare carrier, all that has been removed. The seats have a cover on them, check underneath to see the seats. What lift was used? It's a sport model so you might have a Dana 44 in the rear. One thing that bothers me... How many times can you mention rust free? Minor stuff but haggle worthy for sure.
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:56 PM   #7
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I'm not saying it would be a deal breaker but I would defiantly want to knock off the price of putting a spare tire back on it.
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Water Dog View Post
See what rear axle it has. If you are going to build it for 4 wheeling, it would be worth a little extra if it has a Dana 44 in it.
FYI
From factory it has a 35 rear and 3.73 gears

if that hasn't been changed already.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:00 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by abouzahrr View Post
...but i've been thinking about getting into a TJ to build a trail rig.
That you want to build a trail rig is cool. Based on that fact alone, there is one VERY key component you would be wise to hold out for... that is to make sure its rear axle is the optional and significantly stronger Dana 44 model.

A basic TJ came standard with a Dana 35 rear axle, you could optionally order the stronger Dana 44 as an upgrade for something like $255 back when that 1998 model was made. The Dana 35 is certainly adequate for mild wheeling/offroading but it is too weak to install a locker into and it's too weak for tires bigger than 33". Many have broken their Dana 35 axle shafts when they wheel a little too hard.

If that '98 TJ has the standard Dana 35, it'd cost no less than $1000 to replace it with a used Dana 44 configured for a Wrangler TJ... when you can find one that is because most Dana 44 axles are not configured to bolt into a TJ.

Most people who buy a Wrangler to offroad are VERY disappointed when they learn about the difference between the base Dana 35 and stronger Dana 44 axle only after they bought a used TJ and then discover it only has the Dana 35. I was one of those, I had to replace my Dana 35 with a Dana 44 back in '99 or so.

Don't bother asking the salesman for that Jeep what rear axle it has, he won't know and he won't care. But if you look at the Jeep and it happens to have the Dana 44, don't let the salesman know it has the better/stronger axle you want. He'll then hold his price firm since he will then know it's a "special" and very desirable/rare model.

The only way to know for sure is to look at the rear of the rear axle yourself. The base Dana 35 axle will have a perfectly oval differential cover with a black plastic snap-in lubricant fill hole plug. The stronger Dana 44 will have a threaded steel bolt plugging its more angular nearly stop-sign shaped differential cover.

I personally would pass on it if it has the base level Dana 35 rear axle since you want to build it as a trail rig.

This first pic shows the Dana 35, the next pic shows the far more desirable Dana 44.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:18 PM   #10
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What Jerry said times a million
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:26 PM   #11
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Wow, thank you all so much for the info ! Double thanks to Jerry that's a great deal of helpful tips.. I'll definitely make sure I have all my research done and check on everything before I settle, I'm in no rush so it's certainly worth taking the time to get it right . Thank you again.. Just 2 hours on this forum so far and I love it already
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:38 PM   #12
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One more hint... probably fewer than 1% of people selling a used Wrangler know if it has a Dana 35 or Dana 44. That means you likely will not have to pay extra for a used TJ that happens to have the coveted Dana 44. So if you find a good TJ with the Dana 44, keep your mouth shut and negotiate hard like it had the undesirable Dana 35.
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:05 PM   #13
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I like the way you think Jerry
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:07 PM   #14
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I dont know.Ive done some pretty rugged trails with my Dana 35 with super 35 axles & a Eaton locker.I aint scared.
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:15 PM   #15
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I dont know.Ive done some pretty rugged trails with my Dana 35 with super 35 axles & a Eaton locker.
You're not wheeling with a stock Dana 35, that Super 35 kit installed into yours is an expensive upgrade. Better to buy it with the Dana 44 already installed than buy one with the Dana 35 and be forced to pay the significant $$$ to install a Super 35 kit. As already said, there is seldom a cost difference in a used TJ with a Dana 44 vs. the weaker Dana 35 so he might as well hold out for one that already has the Dana 44 that won't need upgrading.

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