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Old 02-14-2011, 12:55 AM   #1
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What would you do? Opinions?

So, I have a 2002 Jeep Wrangler Sport with 67,xxx miles on it and I bought it with a salvage title. I have been contemplating selling it and buying a 97-98-ish TJ and then buying a different vehicle to be my DD. I feel like I could get an older TJ for a pretty fair price and then I could choose between using a Jeep Liberty or a Rav4 as my DD. I feel like I could get a pretty good price out of my Jeep because it looks pretty good and it has low miles and runs great. It does need some things being fixed on it because it was wrecked before I bought it. So I am not sure if I should try to fix it right now or if I should sell it and buy an older one and just park it and go through it with a fine-tooth comb making sure everything is right how I want it. I think if I get an older TJ with the 4.0 even with high miles, I should be fine because even with low miles, if you wheel hard enough, things will break. I would like to not have to depend on my Jeep for my DD that way I can build stuff for it that takes longer than a day to complete. I think if I drove the Rav4 and got 30 MPG instead of 14 MPG that it would help me save up to buy stuff for my Jeep.

So would you rather drive a Jeep with a salvage title and fix it up how you want it now and probably have it last you for a very very long time?

Or would you rather buy a Jeep to have it parked for quite a while, while you get everything you need for it (lift, rock sliders, tube fenders, bumpers, winch) and be able to go through it and Por-15 all the rust and make sure everything is in tip-top shape from top to bottom?

I am completely undecided so anybodies opinion would be nice...
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:16 AM   #2
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Your plan sounds great on the surface: sell your current Jeep, buy a cheaper one to replace it, then use this financial "windfall" toward the purchase of an economical commuter. However, I see one major flaw in this strategy.

After nearly 13 years in the automotive sales field, the general rule of thumb is that a salvage title vehicle's value will be cut in half compared to the same vehicle with a good title. There are a few exceptions--and maybe a TJ is one of them--but the fact remains that your Jeep's value has been substantially compromised. Because of that, I have to wonder: how much money would you really end up pocketing by selling this Jeep and then buying one a few years older? Particularly when you consider how TJs hold their value, I just don't see this being a fiscally smart move.

Since you've already got a Jeep you like, keep it. However, go ahead and buy another car to save money on your daily commute. If you were counting on your sale profit to help pay for the commuter, I suggest lowering your shopping budget.

In the end, I think this is your best bet.
Dempsey Bowling
My fleet: 91 Miata, 98 Wrangler Sport, 01 Suburban 8.1L, 14 Impreza, 80 Grand Prix LJ 454
Jeep mods: 4" longarm + 1" BL, 35" KM2s, 4.56 + ARBs, M8000... and lots of scratched armor
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