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Old 11-01-2012, 04:04 PM
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Buying a Used TJ in Monterey


This is a follow-up/additional post about 2 Jeeps I'm hopefully looking at this weekend.

I'm looking at a few TJ's in NorCal this weekend, and would love a little advice and paternal guidance. This will be a daily driver in Lake Tahoe; I will be driving in snow most of the year, and will occasionally take it on forest trails but not rocks.

First, my Christmas wish-list...
Red or Yellow
Sport, so 4.0L straight 6
Under 100K
Hard doors
Soft Top
$10K range

Now, my questions:

My HOA will not let me store the hardtop outside, and it's too big to fit in my house. Does anyone have experience with soft tops and the amount of snow I'll be getting in Tahoe?

My first TJ was stock, so I'm wary of purchasing something with a lift. I have driven one with a 4" lift, but it shook/wobbled and handled poorly on-road. A mech saved my wallet a few grand by looking it over and showing that the differentials were shot, the lift wasn't done right, alignment was out, etc.

- How can I tell if the lift is done correctly?

- What other additions should I look for on a lifted Jeep that will ensure a smoother on road ride? Lockers, stabilizers etc?

- Is it even worth looking at lifted Jeeps?

This is a private sale for a 1998 Red TJ with full doors and hard top. I've pasted the email description I received from the seller:

Transmission: 5 SPEED
How many inches is the lift: 4 LIFT KIT 2 BODY LIFT
Tires: 70% TREAD
Does it wobble or shake when you drive on-road? NO
Noticed any problems: NOTHING

My main concerns with this is the lift and tire size. I don't want to drive 5 hours for a repeat of the last Jeep. I may be cynical, but I don't really trust people upfront about vehicles.

- What would be a fair asking price? I think he's way high, and I've talked with him about that. He said he can go down some, but I doubt it will be $3,000. How much would the lift kit add in value?

Kelly Blue Book:
Excellent: $8,530 Very Good: $8,230 Good: $8,080 Fair: $7,380

- What are the top 5 main things I should look for when buying a used, lifted Jeep?

Any advice or tips are appreciated.

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Old 11-01-2012, 04:35 PM   #2
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I suggest staying away from lifted jeeps. You never know what your gonna get into. That one you pictured looks littered with potential problems. A 2" BL for one. I saw a yellow and a red jeep for sale in my home town, both looked stock. I'll check on them to see if they meet your $$ criteria.

Project Frankentrailer:
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:08 PM
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Thanks, I had a bad(ish) feeling about it, and my wife doesn't like the height of the lift. I want to avoid putting a few K in mods and repairs to correct someone else's lift mistakes. I might as well spend the extra on a newer TJ.

Please, do check on the Jeeps you saw; any help is appreciated. Let me know the price even if its above my price. I may be able to raid our piggy bank
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buying a used jeep , buying used tj , lift advice , lift decision , norcal

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