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hellas momento mori 09-03-2006 01:57 PM

97 Sport with 4" lift...
Hey everyone, me and my wife are kinda new to wranglers so we figured this would be the place to ask the important questions!

My wife's truck just died and we have about 7 grand to work with to get a used car, we checked out this wrangler and we love it, the only problem is, my wife thinks the steering is loose and the shifting is alittle akward, that sound normal?

Everything lift-wise and all the underneath of the car looks great, everything was properly done, not a hack job. There are numerous dents and cracks and stuff in body, but nothing big. The engine looks good, the only problem is the amount of miles. This jeep has got to last us about 4 years, used as a DD and off roading every other week.

How much does it usually run to replace the whole engine and transmission should it end up dying on us in like two years? If 3000 would cover it, we would be good, becuase everything else looks in good shape! We figured we'd ask around and see what you guys think, if you have any questions we will be checking constantly to answer and see replies! Thanks!!

bluvikng 09-03-2006 02:13 PM

Welcome to this forum, and the world of Jeep'n. There are a lot of very knowledgeable folks on here, and I hope you will find contentment with this Jeep. The price is not bad, and they will probably take less, as he/she stated, "OBO". That means the price is negotiable. I would offer them $5,000 and see what happens. I bought a 350ci Chevy engine for a lot less than 3k, so I am sure that you could get a 6 cylinder for under 3k. Good luck on your purchase, and keep us updated on your negotiations.

jeepersandcreepers 09-03-2006 02:53 PM

Generally the drivetrain (engine and tranny) are very rugged on the TJs and I would be very surprised if they would give out before 200K. The exception is the nut behind the wheel (aka: driver). The rig looks like it has been wheeled so the things I would check is the clutch, leaks and dents and dings on the engine and front of the tranny for the driveline worries. Look for leaks from the oil pan (rear main seal) and oil from the tranny and transfer case (input and output seal leaks). These are some of the things we have seen in the shop and can be a major pain to replace. Some of the other leaks to look out for is the rear axle seals and the steering box for leaks.

It is always a good idea to look for major dents and ding underneath from the off roading and to make sure the frame is straight and no potential problems from the driveshaft. Also check for cracks around the track bar mounts on the rear axle and on the upper control arms. We are starting to notice these types of cracks on the heavy usage TJs and they will require a welding fix.

For any used vehicle it's always a good idea for a buyer beware because you never know what the owner was like behind the wheel or for maintainence.

mrbigjeep 09-03-2006 07:51 PM

my buddy got the whole drivetrain out of a corvette for $2,000

4Jeepn 09-04-2006 05:38 AM

take it to a shop had have it checked out for what you think might be wrong. Lots of jeep out there forsale, don't rush into something.

Tdad 09-04-2006 11:36 AM

Looks like it was pretty well maintained and 135k is not out of line for a '97 (look at the label on the driver's doorjamb for the mfg date - it could really be a "96")
One thing that caught my eye - most people don't put on a 4" lift to run 31's. My guess is that it had 33 or 35 tires on it at one time, and maybe for a large portion of its life. If the speedo wasn't recalibrated, the odometer would have been reading low, so it may have alot more than 135k on it.
That wouldn't scare me off if the price was right.

mrbigjeep 09-04-2006 03:19 PM

wouldn't be way off if he just had 31's...actually quite a bit of people have been runnin 31's with 4" lifts although most don't

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