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Old 02-11-2014, 03:52 PM   #1
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Recommendations/Advice Needed

I found a 2004 Rubicon with 44,000 miles for sale at local dealership. This will be my first Jeep purchase and I was wondering if anyone can recommend a place to have it checked out or if anyone with experience could check it out or tell me what to look for or what to test. It's a bright yellow Jeep and I don't want it to be a lemon... Thanks in advance!

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Old 02-11-2014, 05:14 PM   #2
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While I'm sure everyone has their own things they check out, this is what I looked at when I was looking for a Jeep a few months back.

1.) I always checked under the hood first. A few times the owner said it had the 4.0, but it was the 4 cylinder, depending on what you want, that could be an immediate deal breaker as it was for me.

2.) Crawl under the Jeep and look at everything. Also, this sounds strange but make sure both driveshafts are there. I looked at TJ at a large dealership and it was missing the front driveshaft. They offered to replace it once I paid for it, but I walked out.

3.) Check under the carpet. It's easy enough to do as the carpet really isn't held down. Rust is the main issue I looked for.

4.) I also do a walk around. If you ever trade in a car, most dealerships will have the salesman walk around and touch any imperfections while you walk with them. I suggest you do the same. While you're at it, might as well check and see if all locks, handles, windows, and lights work. Also, if it has the soft top, check the zippers on the windows and check for rips.

5.) At this point, if I hadn't walked out, I would go out for the test drive. Be sure to use every gear, and check out the 4 wheel drive.

6.) I would also recommend looking at the Carfax, if the dealership offers it, which they should. Though not all do.

7.) I'm not how the dealership would feel about taking their vehicle to another repair shop to get looked it, versus their own (if they have one). If you do have a mechanic check it out, two important tests are compression test and leakdown test.

8.) This is could just be solely me on this one, but if it doesn't feel right, it's not right.

Good luck on your search for a Jeep.

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Old 02-11-2014, 06:42 PM   #3
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The Jeep I'm looking at is a Yellow Rubicon with 44,000 miles on the clock. It's an automatic with a hardtop. Aftermarket winch and bumpers and everything inside appears to be stock. I feel stupid, but I've never had a 4x4 before and not even sure how to put a vehicle into 4-wheel drive mode. Under the hood is clean with a K&N cold air intake. I didn't see any leaks anywhere. The Carfax says the Jeep is from Colorado and there has been 2 owners. Apparently it was in an accident, but it doesn't say what was damaged or replaced. They're asking $19,777.
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sehnsucht View Post
The Jeep I'm looking at is a Yellow Rubicon with 44,000 miles on the clock. It's an automatic with a hardtop. Aftermarket winch and bumpers and everything inside appears to be stock. I feel stupid, but I've never had a 4x4 before and not even sure how to put a vehicle into 4-wheel drive mode. Under the hood is clean with a K&N cold air intake. I didn't see any leaks anywhere. The Carfax says the Jeep is from Colorado and there has been 2 owners. Apparently it was in an accident, but it doesn't say what was damaged or replaced. They're asking $19,777.
This part would make me most nervous especially at nearly $20K. Could be anything from "ding in a parking lot that crunched the sideview mirror" (which I hope for you this is more the case) to "frame scotch taped back together hope it holds".

I am a woman who has about 1.2 on a scale of 100 mechanical skills so I can't be of much help.

I see that you joined over on AZVJC. Put out a post there and see if one of the club members will volunteer to go with you if no one steps up here. Just offer to buy pizza or beer on the way home after the inspection and bet you get a TON of responses.

OOPS Edit: That may not be you on AZVJC?
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Before you Offroad ... Be Prepared! The very FIRST thing to do to your Jeep should go IN your Jeep - EMERGENCY AND RECOVERY GEAR!!!!! It may be the difference between getting home late and not getting home at all!!!!!!
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:36 PM   #5
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I'm on AZVJC as well. I'll copy and paste. Tentative plans are to go and check it out on Thursday after I get out of work.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:16 AM   #6
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Looks like that yellow one is at Trucks Only/Sullivan Auto. My advice (I have no skin in this game) would be to look at CL also. I just saw a private sale white '06 w/ 36k miles for $18,800 that has more done to it and claims he has clean car fax on hand. Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 02-14-2014, 10:23 AM   #7
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Well, I did some negotiating and I got them significantly below their asking price. I had the Rubicon checked out by a great bunch of guys at a local shop and they gave it a thumbs up. It is now parked in my driveway. Let the poverty begin!
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:39 PM   #8
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Woooohoo and congrats! Was that the shop that volunteered to inspect for you on AZVJC?
__________________
Before you Offroad ... Be Prepared! The very FIRST thing to do to your Jeep should go IN your Jeep - EMERGENCY AND RECOVERY GEAR!!!!! It may be the difference between getting home late and not getting home at all!!!!!!
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2014 JK Rubicon (Granite)
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Old 02-15-2014, 07:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sehnsucht View Post
Well, I did some negotiating and I got them significantly below their asking price. I had the Rubicon checked out by a great bunch of guys at a local shop and they gave it a thumbs up. It is now parked in my driveway. Let the poverty begin!


You have no idea, it becomes an addiction to the 10th degree (and you never need rehab!)


However... We now demand photos!!!


That is all!
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:39 PM   #10
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Yeah, the guys at Knuckle Busters in Mesa checked it out and gave me the go. Happy as can be, is me.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:05 AM   #11
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Glad they got you hooked up! There really are some standout folks in the offroad community in Phoenix area - and a number of good shops. I see you got the nice poser pic up in your avatar! Check for some runs on AZVJC. We are doing Box Canyon in Florence today a "noob" level run - my biggest accomplishment will probably be the 70 miles getting there from Scottsdale lol! There will be others next week - hopefully one to Tip Top Mine (cool place with old mine artifacts and I think an Indian fort somewhere along the way and stuff). A few of us were going to do Tip Top today but one of the Jeeps had some mechanical probs.
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Before you Offroad ... Be Prepared! The very FIRST thing to do to your Jeep should go IN your Jeep - EMERGENCY AND RECOVERY GEAR!!!!! It may be the difference between getting home late and not getting home at all!!!!!!
________________________________________________
2013 JKU Sport (Flame Red) RETIRED
2014 JK Rubicon (Granite)
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:02 AM   #12
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Knuckle Busters is a good shop.

I believe we ran into your group in Box Canyon MMC. We were backed up on the left in a couple old Cherokees waiting for you to pass. How did you like the trail? There are lots of trails in that area ranging all over in difficulty.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:01 PM   #13
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Hey Matt! I bet we did sorta indirectly meet. :-) Iremember some Cherokees on the trail. I liked the trail itself-it was definitely a LOT easier than Raw Deal up a Table Mesa! Other than not getting hung on high center rock in the box and hugging enough wall to get up the waterfall, basically a scenic gorgeous loonnng bummmmpy dustttttty hilllly leddddgy kinda trail. Had a great time! The two experienced guys were great (the red leader and yellow wing man in the rear). Our 4th was a young girl on her first trail - she clunked a bit and wayyy too much skinny pedal, but made it through still driveable.

That whole area is beyond gorgeous!

They were talking that Montana Mountain is a nice easy trail-and mentioned Elvis which I understand is wayyyyyyy beyond my noob abilities.
__________________
Before you Offroad ... Be Prepared! The very FIRST thing to do to your Jeep should go IN your Jeep - EMERGENCY AND RECOVERY GEAR!!!!! It may be the difference between getting home late and not getting home at all!!!!!!
________________________________________________
2013 JKU Sport (Flame Red) RETIRED
2014 JK Rubicon (Granite)
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Old 02-20-2014, 08:17 AM   #14
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So you went up the waterfall in your stock JKU? You didn't scrape? I'm trying to imagine how....
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Old 02-20-2014, 08:28 AM   #15
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So you went up the waterfall in your stock JKU? You didn't scrape? I'm trying to imagine how....
We took the easier line up the left hugging the wall. I did get in a decent scrape or two at the top angling over the rock but nothing bad or that my sliders couldnt deal (I have the Fab Fours that bury the seam all the way around and come up the rocker panels), and may have a scratch or two on my control arm mounts (which I will remedy with some armor). The harder line to the right, now those guys scraped serious metal even in JKs on lifts.For real. I would never have made it up that line if that is what you are thinking.

And folks have been stacking the bottom at the easier line boo hiss.
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Before you Offroad ... Be Prepared! The very FIRST thing to do to your Jeep should go IN your Jeep - EMERGENCY AND RECOVERY GEAR!!!!! It may be the difference between getting home late and not getting home at all!!!!!!
________________________________________________
2013 JKU Sport (Flame Red) RETIRED
2014 JK Rubicon (Granite)
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Old 02-20-2014, 08:36 AM   #16
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Yeah I commented on your sliders when you went by. Very nice. We're going with Ace on ours eventually along with full under belly skids.

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