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Old 05-22-2009, 03:14 PM   #1
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what to look for when buying first jeep

I'm looking at buying my first jeep wrangler probably a 1997 or 1998 model. Can you experienced jeep guys to me some things to look out for? When I found one I like I'm going to take it to a shop and put it on a rack to look underneath it. What would you pay close attention to if you were buying another one?

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Old 05-22-2009, 03:34 PM   #2
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r u looking for stock jeep?? or anything that crosses ur path.?

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Old 05-22-2009, 04:40 PM   #3
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Looking underneath, as you said you will do, is at the top of the list. Interior items to look for are rust underneath the carpet. Actually pull the carpet back and look underneath to see if the interior has been flooded before. This can easily happen if caught in a rainstorm with the top off or down. Make sure every switch works. Check the horn; that may sound silly, but I bought a 1997 assuming everything worked and evidently the clock spring in the steerings wheel got wet and the horns did not work at all. I'm skeptical now if my airbag would have worked if it needed to. Just something to check. Another thing that goes out pretty often on TJs is the fan speed switch. I happen to have a 2001 that all 4 fan speeds still work, but when I was looking I came across several Jeeps of varying age that only one or two fan speeds were working.
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:47 PM   #4
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Do not be afraid to crawl around underneath the Jeep.
Check Axle U-joints, Drive Shaft U-joints.
Check front & rear diffs to see if they are scrapped or gouged from rock crawling and especially bolts near the bottoms of the housings, especially the front diff.
Check t-case rear output shaft to make sure no leaks, also look at t-case skid to see if any sign of harsh rock rash or bashing/bending.
Check the engine fan & fan clutch... grab fan while off and see if it wiggles front to back or has excessive play.
If your able to test drive it, find gravel road or even edge of road gravel or grass and put it in 4H & 4L to make sure it shifts into and there no strange sounds while in 4H or 4L.
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