I have gotten into the DIY thing on my TJ (and to a lesser extent on my JK) to the point that I am now completely rebuilding my backup sedan. Our 2010 Accord is fine and needs no help from my wife and me. But my 1990 Volvo 740 has been in rough shape since I bought it back in 1999.
The Volvo costs a lot to get fixed. Period. I bought it without fully understanding that. In fact, I spent $4,000 on it in 1999 and within two months had spent half of that again on repairs.
But as ratty as it has gotten at times it always ran. I had it parked for 18 months with a half a tank of gas in it. No Stabil or other additives, just the 10% corn juice crap from the corner station. After sitting untouched for a year and a half I jumped it and drove it 200 miles. After getting it charged up I added a bottle of Techron to a full tank and went on a road trip. It was fine.
Working on the B230F I4 2.3L 8 valve SOHC engine is a piece of cake, much like the Jeep 4.0L that I love so much.
The thing even has a live, solid rear axle made by Dana with a LSD. The car has constant issues since it has well over 300,000 miles on it. But it keeps running.
After installing TWO lift kits this summer on my Jeeps in my driveway, along with an SYE/DC driveshaft, ball joints, U joints, rotors and pads, etc, I just dropped a ton of $$$$ on the old Volvo and am waiting for the stuff so I can slap it on and fix up my old baby.
Had it not been for the TJ and JK I would not have decided to resurrect this old Volvo. I had it up for sale on craigslist and then pulled the ad. I am dropping the tank and installing a new pre-pump in the sending unit, replacing the main pump and filter, then doing new shocks, strut inserts and springs, stereo system, antenna, tires, rims, catalytic converter, cat back exhaust system, lots of engine sensors, all new hoses and belts, all new fluids, and LOTS OF GENERAL MAINTENANCE that I never did because (at the time) I did not know how or was afraid of this sort of work.
My 2003 TJ taught me to do all this stuff, caused me to buy tons of tools, and made me get outside and get dirty.
I love this stuff, man. I should have dumped college and become a mechanic and welder.