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-   -   Buying tips for a used tj (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/buying-tips-for-a-used-tj-211805.html)

Squid90 01-14-2013 08:54 AM

Buying tips for a used tj
 
Hello all,

I am new to the forum and am looking to get in to my first jeep. I have been reading on the forum for quite some time now so I know I am lookin for a tj with straight 6 automatic with out many mods to it. I don't want to buy into something that has been wheeled hard already and already has all kinds of mods on it as I would like to ride it as close to stock and mod it myself as I figure out what it is I want.

This will by my daily driver with mild trail use. Can anyone provide some tips of what signs I should be looking for when inspecting? Common problems with older jeeps (98-06), signs of hard wheeling abuse, etc.

Any advice is appreciated!

MarkGLHS 01-14-2013 09:27 AM

if you do a search on this forum i bet you find dozens of similar posts as yours, that said i'll throw out these again:

1. look at LOTS of used wranglers in person before selecting, its the only way to recognize a good deal. don't rely on internet ads to be accurate.
2. get underneath them w/ a flashlight and inspect all areas for rust
3. lift the carpeting in all areas and check for rust
4. test drive each one at highway speeds to detect suspension problems
5. get on a soft surface and check operation of the 4wd system
6. operate all the heater and a/c controls to be certain they work
7. educate yourself on the differences in TJ models: SE, Sport, X, Sahara and Rubicon and each model has a different set of standard and optional equipment...for example a stripped down Sahara is going to have a lot more content than a fully optioned SE.
8. buying a used wrangler is not a lot different from buying any used car, so use the same techniques.

good luck, do not be in a hurry and you will do well.

Squid90 01-14-2013 10:33 AM

Yes, i have been searching and reading up on everything I find. I just want to be as informed as possible. Thanks for the advice!

MarkGLHS 01-14-2013 10:57 AM

glad to help, the #1 item i suggested is the most important, look at and drive plenty of them before buying. i am on my 1st wrangler and i spent over 7 months looking before making a choice. it is amazing how many internet wrangler sellers grossly imbellish the description of their TJ's.

NCJeepin 01-14-2013 11:04 AM

If you have aspirations of lifting it and adding larger tires, consider the rear axle. A D44 rear will be much stronger than a D35 and you won't have to worry about an axle swap when you get to that point. Inspect skids, control arms, steering components, tie rod, etc. for damage that may indicate previous offroading. A low rust TJ would be better also. Good luck!

RevCo666 01-14-2013 11:51 AM

If i might add, if your not mechanically inclined like myself, bring it (with the sellers permission) to your trusted mechanic. If sellers says no, walk away.

Dextreme 01-14-2013 12:20 PM

Stay clear of any "salvage titled". While they might be fine for a dedicated trail rig project, you don't want the nightmare for a Daily Driver.

Also check body lines carefully for any unusual gaps or bondo fills.

I would "find a bone stocker that was the pride-n-joy of the owner who did regular fluid changes"...and did not do goofy things like plasti-dip and bad wiring jobs. You will likely unravel lots of other goofy things and hack jobs.

Squid90 01-14-2013 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NCJeepin (Post 3226970)
If you have aspirations of lifting it and adding larger tires, consider the rear axle. A D44 rear will be much stronger than a D35 and you won't have to worry about an axle swap when you get to that point. Inspect skids, control arms, steering components, tie rod, etc. for damage that may indicate previous offroading. A low rust TJ would be better also. Good luck!

Thanks for all the great advice! I do not plan to do a lift but I would like to eventually put on larger tires. I believe 31" will fit stock from what I have gathered. I would probably go a size below this to avoid any rub. In this case is the Dana 44 a necessity or will the 35 be ok?

Squid90 01-14-2013 12:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RevCo666 (Post 3227123)
If i might add, if your not mechanically inclined like myself, bring it (with the sellers permission) to your trusted mechanic. If sellers says no, walk away.

I am not the most mechanically inclined, however, my dad used to have a CJ7 Renegade that he did all of the work on so I will definitely be bringing him along to help with the inspection. It still will likely be worth it to take it in to a mechanic just to be sure.

Dextreme 01-14-2013 12:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squid90 (Post 3227311)
Thanks for all the great advice! I do not plan to do a lift but I would like to eventually put on larger tires. I believe 31" will fit stock from what I have gathered. I would probably go a size below this to avoid any rub. In this case is the Dana 44 a necessity or will the 35 be ok?

D35 is okay for 31's. Don't let all the hype about the D35 "being crap" worry you for what you are intending as and Daily driver and mild off roader. Yes a D44 is stronger, but don't not buy a good/clean TJ because is has a D35.

RevCo666 01-14-2013 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squid90 (Post 3227360)
I am not the most mechanically inclined, however, my dad used to have a CJ7 Renegade that he did all of the work on so I will definitely be bringing him along to help with the inspection. It still will likely be worth it to take it in to a mechanic just to be sure.

When i picked my 01' TJ this summer, we ended up travelling 6 hours to get my jeep. Everything local to me was rusted or badly abused by off roading. So i had my father help me out when checking it out. Mind you i gambled and didn't bring it to a mechanic to inspect as the seller was selling it certified (safetied) and not as is. Drove it home and got my mechanic to look it over. Turns out it was a borderline safety and there wasn't much i could do except pump another 600$ for proper brakes, rotors and re-seal the rear differential as it was leaking slightly. i havent had any major problems since except the cord to the block heater was non existing as it must of been burned off somehow and just replaced as needed.

RevCo666 01-14-2013 05:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dextreme (Post 3227372)
D35 is okay for 31's. Don't let all the hype about the D35 "being crap" worry you for what you are intending as and Daily driver and mild off roader. Yes a D44 is stronger, but don't not buy a good/clean TJ because is has a D35.

I got lucky as mine came with d44 and didnt even know it lol

eatdirt 01-14-2013 05:49 PM

Bought a salvaged Jeep looks great and frame was checked before I bought it. 1997 4.0 sport 97,000 miles, 33s, extra parts, aftetmarket bumpers(sold), sidesteps(sold), and a few other things for $5,000. Drives great! Although if your not comfortable with it don't buy it.

steve_plunkett 01-14-2013 06:13 PM

If its possible check the VIN. I was an inch away from buying an 03 wrangler sport. It ended uo being a rental in hawaii and got shipped over the country and went to many dealers and could never sell. Glad i stayed away from that.

DrKenser 01-25-2013 07:54 AM

You should definitely test-drive the car before buying it, of course it will be better if you have it inspected by a mechanic, and as someone has already said, you should see a lot of wranglers to estimate what it's worth (depending on mileage and so on) I also bought used wrangler 3 years ago when I didn't have much money and could afford only cheep jeep, it had 60,000 miles on it and I've also read many tips on the internet and got a decent car, it was a daily driver for 2 years and still drives quite well.

WeekenderATX 01-25-2013 08:37 AM

My 31s look great and have just the right clearance, with a small (1-2in) lift. I do get rubbing at full turn, despite having added one washer to each turn stop. Probly gonna add one more.
Take ur time, and don't "fall in love". If ur willing to go slow and ur willing to walk away, you'll get a better deal


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