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-   -   Buying a Used TJ in Sacramento or Bay Area (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f55/buying-a-used-tj-in-sacramento-or-bay-area-196894.html)

TahoeBen 11-01-2012 03:46 PM

Buying a Used TJ in Sacramento or Bay Area
 
Hey Y'all :wavey:

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
A/C
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?

I have read on other WF threads that the 4.0 for certain years in the early 2000s had cracking issues. How can I tell if it's cracked and what else should I look for? I will take it to a mechanic, but if I can tell before hand it will save me a $100.

This is 1 of 2 Jeeps I'm thinking about checking out:
2002 Yellow Sport (Sorry that doesn't open directly to the Yellow 2002 TJ)

Larger Pictures

Listed retail price: $9,899
Kelly Blue Book: $11,975

- Obviously you can't tell everything from pictures, but does this seem like a good deal or a potential lemon?

- What top 3-5 things must I absolutely check out?

- Has anyone dealt with Brother's Auto Connection in Manteca, CA?

I am hesitant to purchase from a dealer because of the sales tax and transfer issues. I live in Nevada, but will have to pay either a delivery fee to have it driven to NV, or I would have to pay CA tax and registration and then pay any difference plus NV registration.

- How much wiggle room do you think there is in the price at a dealership of this size?

Kelly Blue Book Trade In:
Excellent: $8,250 Very Good: $8,125 Good: $7,700 Fair: $6,775


Please also include any tips or ideas that you think will be relevant or helpful. If you are so inclined, please also look at a follow-up post about Jeep #2

Thanks

bobthetj03 11-01-2012 04:47 PM

This one looks a lot better than that red one you posted on your other thread. Check to make sure it doesn't have vibes at hwy speeds. Take it over rough road at 45-50mph to check for death wobble. Engage 4hi and 4 low to make sure they engage smoothly. If you can, find one with rear disc brakes and a D44 rear axle. Some "Sport" models had them. Other than the normal checks, look to make sure the front track bar mount at the axle side(right side) has not been drilled out and relocated. Make sure the transfer case skid is flush to the frame(no TC drop pucks).

Rocky Bar 11-01-2012 05:48 PM

Looking
 
I agree with Bob also. If it was me, I'd look in Nevada, since your already living there. CA is a pain. Check Craigs List Reno & Vegas for TJ's. I found my 97 TJ on the Sac CL, it had 75k on od, ARB lockers, super 35 rear, 4-1 transfer case mod, winch, 3"lift, 33" BFG's, etc. Got it for 9k two and a half years ago. Since then have spent about 11k on it. (RE extreme lift, new brakes, Toyo 33"(BFG wore out), rock sliders, OR Fab cage, Rockman fuel tank skid, diff covers, engine skid, Viair air compressors, tube doors for summer, Bestop new soft top, CB set-up, Poison Spyder hood louvers (lets heat out when crawling), Rancho 9000 shocks, Currie anti-rock sway bar set-up, Warn 10k winch (Ramsey shot) ETC, ETC. Got my hard-top hanging in garage, like the lighter soft top set up for hard wheeling, summer time just bikini top and tube doors. The TJ goes down the road up to 70mph, or can crawl Rubicon all day. 90k on od now. Good luck in your search, their out there.:thumb:

TahoeBen 11-01-2012 10:57 PM

I've been trolling Craigslist, cars.com, autotrader, carsforsale.com for a few months.

It seems like Reno has dried up recently. About a month ago I was screwed over by a guy who was selling my dream Jeep, I mean met everything to a T. We talked a few times during the day, he said I could come check it out after class, then as I was driving up he called and said he just sold it...aargh! So, the search continues.

Are there any other sites or papers I should try? Out of curiosity, besides the tax/state transfer issue, why would I want to avoid buying in CA?

bobthetj03 11-02-2012 12:36 PM

Here's one I found in my area.
http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-s...18844152&Log=0
Theres another red one not far from me. I'll try to get a look at it and take some pics of it.

TahoeBen 11-02-2012 03:13 PM

I'm not even going to look at the Yellow one; too many compromises. It says it's a 5speed but another part says auto. The pic isn't clear, but I think it is indeed auto.

Thanks for the link, and I'd love to see pix of the other one if you get the time.

bobthetj03 11-02-2012 04:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TahoeBen (Post 2954075)
I'm not even going to look at the Yellow one; too many compromises. It says it's a 5speed but another part says auto. The pic isn't clear, but I think it is indeed auto.

Thanks for the link, and I'd love to see pix of the other one if you get the time.

I just took a quick look at the other red one. It's auto with a hard top, but no lift and looks bone stock. It has a tow bar setup in the front and a winch, so I'd guess it was towed behind an RV. That is the kind you want to find, mostly towed miles. The auto and hard top might be the deal breaker for you though. It's a 2004, and the sticker says $12,900. Don't know the miles, just took a quick look at it. Looks very clean though. I you think it has potential, let me know and I'll snap some pics of it and question the guy on the lot. It's a very small consignment lot I think.

TahoeBen 11-02-2012 06:41 PM

Pics and info would be great. Harp top isn't the end of the world bc I can sell and buy a soft top and still have $ leftover. I'm trying to think of some creative ways to store a hardtop, but I live in a town home with strict rules and retired nosey neighbors.

Thanks for the help

bobthetj03 11-02-2012 08:18 PM

I'll get pics and more info on it Monday. Gonna be out of town for the weekend. You could always rent a small storage unit to store the hard top during the summer months. You'll really like the hard top for the winter, especially if you get a lot of snow.

TahoeBen 11-03-2012 11:25 AM

I've thought of that. I have a friend with a boat locker, so I may be able to hoist it up out of his way. I also may get an aftermarket two piece top; I think that might fit in my loft.

Rocky Bar 11-03-2012 11:27 AM

Red 98 TJ
 
Was driving past Liberty Motors here in Grass Valley, they got a real clean 98 TJ with low miles. Heres their #530-477-5454.

TahoeBen 11-03-2012 01:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rocky Bar
Was driving past Liberty Motors here in Grass Valley, they got a real clean 98 TJ with low miles. Heres their #530-477-5454.

Bummer, it sold yesterday. Thanks for the heads up though :wavey:

Sccafire 11-03-2012 01:36 PM

Check these guys out. http://www.reno4x4.com

They may be able to help you find a Jeep in Nevada

TahoeBen 11-03-2012 05:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sccafire (Post 2956789)
Check these guys out. RENO4X4.COM - Northern Nevada's Offroad Forum

They may be able to help you find a Jeep in Nevada

Thanks!

I had just pulled some $ out of the Bank and was going to scout out Reno this afternoon. I know I would have impulse bought something... On the way out the door a guy texted me from Vallejo with pretty much what I'm looking for. Yellow, Stock, 70K miles, 4.0, A/C, soft-top, custom tube bumpers, black body armor, tow-hitch, and a good deal. I may have found "the one"!

If this doesn't work out for some reason, after I have a good cry, I'll check out 4x4 Reno. If it does work out, after I scream for joy, I'll check out 4x4 Reno. I'll be a little under budget, so I may be getting a few extra Christmas presents. :dance:

TahoeBen 11-03-2012 05:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobthetj03 (Post 2954934)
I'll get pics and more info on it Monday. Gonna be out of town for the weekend. You could always rent a small storage unit to store the hard top during the summer months. You'll really like the hard top for the winter, especially if you get a lot of snow.

Jimbob,

Hold off on checking out the Red Jeep, unless you are like me and just like looking at Jeeps. I really appreciate your help, but I may have found it! I'll let you know if it works out, and of course I'll post pics.

bobthetj03 11-09-2012 05:32 PM

No problem. If that yellow one doesn't pan out, I found another red one. Private seller. Looks bone stock and really clean. 5sp.


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