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Theo44 03-08-2012 01:57 PM

Looking at 98 TJ, worth it???
I have not owned one but want to. Have read up and talked with a friend who does so have an idea of what to look for...Looking to get a 97-2001 or so TJ in good shape that has not been beat on....
Want a DD that is going to be reliable...

Have been looking for about a month now and have seen some good ones but many people are ridiculous about what they think their TJ is worth compared to condition and things that need or will need to be replaced soon.

1998 Jeep Wrangler - MJM Auto Brokers Gloucester, MA

Looking at this one. Talked a little to the guy but have not been able to get a good in person look at it. Said he would take $5,800. From a quick look around I don't think I would pay more than $5,000 and would probably offer around $4,700.

It is bone stock from what I understand, so I know I will have to do some maint.. Told me muffler will need to be replaced soon...

Thanks for any help...

Dextreme 03-08-2012 02:09 PM

Looks like it might have a Dana44 rear...for $5800, I'd buy it. :thumb:

Check the frame and engine compartment for signs of road salt rust.

Jeep_guy3 03-08-2012 02:16 PM


Originally Posted by Dextreme
Looks like it might have a Dana44 rear...for $5800, I'd buy it. :thumb:

Check the frame and engine compartment for signs of road salt rust.

X2 I spotted the Dana 44 rear.

If its rust free, in my area that thing would probably be listed at $8999, looked like it was well cared for from the pics.

You gotta love the chili pepper red color!

ou812 03-08-2012 02:17 PM

At that price if there's no rust I wouldn't pass it up

It's very clean and mileage is low for that price

My 98 is in far worse shape with double that mileage and it's value is close to$5000

mrobinso 03-08-2012 02:20 PM

$5800 is a fair price dude considering it looks clean underneath, has the 4.0L and a Dana 44. Where exactly are you pulling your comps from to think this is overvalued?

Theo44 03-08-2012 03:35 PM

Ok, first thanks for everyone who responded... I was just valuing the vehicle by talking to the dealer, from other similar ones I have looked at, talking with some car people, and what I am figuring I would have to do for maint. fairly quickly...

I went and took a quick look at it on lunch and it looks pretty good. The engine and compartment has some salt/rust on it. I looked at the carfax and it has been in MA it's whole life, so not surprising. The drivers side fender/door was painted by dealer as he said it was scratched up/vandalized. Hood/front end has some scratches on it. Did not see any rust on the body. Painted area does not match exact, as expected.

hardtop looks like no leaks and he said it does not. Take that as you may. Hardtop has some fading and scratches on it also... When I looked underneath suspension and front end looked all original. So I know I will have to do some work on that at some point, if not right away.. Gas tank has some rust on it and skid plate needs to be replaced...Also couple of rims have some damage/rust on them...

Crawled under for a quick look and the frame is coated. Was told he sand blasted it and rust proofed it. I looked and banged around on the frame and it looked/sounded ok. I did not have time to get into detail on the frame/underside, need to look more closely at it and other problem areas and inside the frame...

Him coating the frame makes me leery about the condition of it. To me I take that he is trying to hide something. I may be wrong but need to really go over the underside, panels, and floor boards very closely.

Did not get to drive it, no time. Still interested in it and will try to go back Friday and really check it out...

So what does everyone think now? I really would like to hear as much honest opinions as possible... Does $5,800 sound fair or can I go lower?

Thanks you to all who lend their knowledge, really need it...

Theo44 03-08-2012 04:25 PM


Dextreme 03-08-2012 04:42 PM

Little things like the hardtop fading can be easily fixed with Krylon Fusion.

Without seeing pics of the rust areas....I think you are going have to ask yourself, "how excited are you about it?" If you have concerns, then they may continue to haunt you and you won't be happy.

Boone 03-08-2012 04:43 PM

That's a terrible deal. Hey, how long do you think it would take me to drive from Alabama to Massachusetts?

Kidding. If it drives out good and has no major rust issues, its a good deal. Jeep like that would go between $7500-$8500 all day long here.

Plowboy1970 03-08-2012 04:57 PM

$5800 for a 4.0 Dana 44 hard top full doors and 113K on the clock!!!! If closer I would buy. I passed up the same but with a bad soft top and 170K for $6900 It sold in 3 days!!!!!!

kshaws21 03-08-2012 04:58 PM

Yeah its a great deal! They have no idea what they have. Heck they list it as a V6 so its evident they are clueless.

Theo44 03-08-2012 06:24 PM

Thanks guys, really appreciate it. I am new to these and not used to dealing with their value. I will go back and give it a thorough check and drive.

Thing is this guy sells lots of Wranglers, so I don't understand how he does not know what he has? It seems like he knows these vehicles when I was talking with him.
Maybe he does not know them all that well...

Will keep you updated after I look tomorrow. I will have cash in hand...

XJ Knight 03-08-2012 06:36 PM

Nice Find..

MountainRoad 03-08-2012 08:33 PM

Seems almost to good to be true

if you know what I mean ....

Inspect it closely ...

territt13 03-08-2012 09:03 PM

I have a 99 and only paid 650 for it. Body is in great shape, didn't have a top tho. Put about 2k into it so far, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Hammerdown 03-08-2012 09:07 PM


Originally Posted by MountainRoad (Post 2118988)
Seems almost to good to be true

if you know what I mean ....

Inspect it closely ...

My feeling exactly. A dealer would never sell at that price. Don't be fooled. They know what they have.

WaterDR 03-08-2012 09:30 PM

There are plenty of near perfect TJs of the same year and miles for a few grand more.

Theo44 03-08-2012 10:51 PM


Originally Posted by WaterDR (Post 2119253)
There are plenty of near perfect TJs of the same year and miles for a few grand more.

I only have about $6,000 to spend... I have seen but can't afford them...

Theo44 03-08-2012 10:59 PM


Originally Posted by Hammerdown (Post 2119120)
My feeling exactly. A dealer would never sell at that price. Don't be fooled. They know what they have.

Believe me I am very leery after having him tell me he sandblasted and rust proofed the frame and underside... I am going to be all over the underside, body panels, and floor boards of this Jeep...

Granted he sells lots of Wranglers and seems many have had the same done to them. I looked the place and guy up online and have not found anything negative. Will call the BBB tomorrow also...

The price listed is $6,500 and I asked him his leeway and he then told me $5,800... I am just being very careful as I do not want to make a costly mistake

With the frame and underside being under coated how difficult will it be to tell condition of frame and underside? Do I just bang around and see what happens? Will try and look and feel inside the frame and any other areas that are covered...

Any help and suggestions would be great as I am no expert on Jeeps. Give me an Audi and I'm at home...

Thanks for any and all help...

jeepjones 03-09-2012 06:14 AM

Scrape some of the undercoating off and take a look what's underneath or find out who did the sand blasting and ask them. I highly doubt he sent it out for blasting, he would have to completely dismantle the jeep to do it properly. He probably just used a ton of rattle can undercoating or rocker guard to hide all the rust. I'd be very leery about this jeep, I'd just walk away from this deal if I were you, that way you can watch and see how long the jeep stays on the lot. Don't trust the salesman, he has to make sales to pay his bills and will pretty much say anything to do so. Find another one to buy.

Theo44 03-09-2012 09:18 AM

ok here are some underside pics...

1jeeplvr 03-09-2012 10:31 AM

Well I just did a frame swap on mine.Check & inspect closely in front of the rear tires where the factory oblonged hole is.this is a spot that rusts early on in the game.Also look closely at where the t/c skid shield bolts to the frame.If it all looks solid & you recheck it again then I say thats a fair price,5800 that is.

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