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stobob1 02-08-2010 08:50 PM

Looking For My 1st Jeep
Hey all, I am just south of Boston but like to spend some out door time in NH. I am looking for a cheap Jeep (<$2000). I have found several on Craigslist and some other sites. I am not affraid to travel for the right Jeep. I am just wondering what Year/ features I should hold out for. ie '85 for the drive train, '95 for the fuel injection, 6 vs 4, modded vs. stock, ect.

Well I would appreciate all in put. and yes I know $2000 is not going to get me a show winner.

thaduke2003 02-08-2010 09:59 PM

Just to let you know, I'm a bit away, but I'm a trained mechanic, and will offer up my services as a broker and mechanic to help you look at a vehicle if you'd like- PM me if you're interested- Mark W.

thaduke2003 02-08-2010 10:03 PM

Otherwise, you want a stock(ish) rig- you never know what corners were cut in modding. Also, if you can find a 4.0L in that price range, go for it. Rust is a big issue up here- knowing the difference between surface rust (no big deal) and deep rust-through is a biggie. Checking fluids for proper coloration (clean is good) is also a wise decision. Beyond that, drive it like you own/stole it for a bit. No test drive=NO BUY. No exceptions, unless it doesn't have an engine :) Mark W.

BestopTeam@Bestop 02-08-2010 10:16 PM

I think you're in trouble, to be brutally honest, especially if this is a car you need to get to work or school. Remember that a $2,000 Wrangler will be WAY worse off than a $2,000 Honda. I can't imagine you'll find a 4.0 liter TJ (97-06) in your price range. If you do, it will have something big wrong with it.

A older YJ or CJ? Maybe. I've seen decent running CJs for $2,500-3,000. But they're almost always worn, old, and not too impressive. And they'll take a few thousand to get them reliable and safe.

I'd recommend a great deal of patience, and pray for a find. A person selling their kids car cause they forgot about it. That sort of thing. Every once in awhile you see rigs priced below value.

And at your price point I think the biggest feature to look for is "runs good."

Hang in there! We've all been in your shoes. My first Jeep took a full summer to get running. I bought it for $1,000 from a farmer. But that was a loooong time ago.

stobob1 02-08-2010 10:28 PM

Thanks so far. Im not worried about rust on the body or anything like that. I have some mech. skills and lots of friends in the car buss.
Would a car fax on something like this even be worth it. I mean if I was using it off road and "totalled" it I might just repair with out insur. so that wouldnt show on a carfax.

Thanks Duke. Where abouts are you. Just in case I find something in your area.

Also this would be a second car. Well kinda.. if it breaks the Wife would just have to stay home!

Jp90Talon 02-08-2010 10:28 PM

I would def hold out and save up for something nice but here is a few ideas of what you are looking at in that price in my area,,

84' jeep 4x4 CJ

stobob1 02-08-2010 10:36 PM


Originally Posted by Geoff@Bestop (Post 541727)
My first Jeep took a full summer to get running. I bought it for $1,000 from a farmer.

where are those generous Farmers when I'M looking!:)

stobob1 02-08-2010 10:39 PM

1997 Jeep wrangler
1994 Jeep Wrangler - YJ
93 jeep wrangler

here are a few that I am looking at!

thaduke2003 02-08-2010 11:30 PM

Hey- I'm over in NY, but willing to travel- Mark W.

thaduke2003 02-08-2010 11:32 PM

As for the 3 listed, run like hell from the '97- or buy it for parts, and make some $ back- #2 with no pics- can't say anything there- #3 was a toy, and ridden harder than a 60-something former porn-star- stay away from someone's cribbed-together project that "needs work"- never a good thing- Mark W.

BestopTeam@Bestop 02-08-2010 11:34 PM

OK, I've written a ton of car ads in my time, and I'm a professional marketing writer. Would you like me to translate these ads for you?


Originally Posted by stobob1 (Post 541744)
1997 Jeep wrangler
Rare 3/4 from rear shot is only photograph. Means passenger side looks like Paris Hilton at 55. 180K miles - there are rubber bushings on this Jeep that look like cartilage in a retired NFL linebacker. Rebuilt Engine - swapped at junkyard.

1994 Jeep Wrangler - YJ
No pictures, about ten words of text. Minimalist ad. You can't say this guy lied about anything!

93 jeep wrangler
Here in Colorado they always call these "rockcrawlers." It means "I did the work myself and f*ked this up so badly that at speeds above 20 miles, the steering wheel is whipping faster than Madonna on date night."

You should call on that 94 YJ. It's a possibility. But prepare yourself for disappointment.

thaduke2003 02-09-2010 07:14 AM

^HAH- indeed... :) Mark W.

stobob1 02-09-2010 08:21 PM

Hahahahah OK So #2 if any. I am still searching and definatly will consult here with any prospects.

as far as the BEST YEAR issue. Ive gotten tons of input from friends but none from Here.

Some say the 85 cause it has a better stock rear. some say Fuel Injection is a must.
any thoughts. I am not partial to any but would LOVE to score that cherry in some unsuspecting Gramma's Garage.

stobob1 02-09-2010 08:23 PM

:eek:However I would like to see PH @ 55 and a 60-something Porn star but I have a feeling they are One in the Same!!:eek:

BestopTeam@Bestop 02-09-2010 08:42 PM

The first years of the YJ had some Peugeot parts that some builders suggest staying away from.

The CJ changed in 81 to a wider track that is popular.
The pre-78 (or so, I'm doing this from memory) CJs had some tough transmissions, especially if you want automatic.

Obviously lots of changes once you get to a TJ.

Axles changed enough, with special editions, etc., that I don't keep track.

But all this is still moot - you want the best shape, best running you can get. The details of axles and tranny's - trivial compared to finding one that hasn't been beaten to death. A rusted frame is way worse than a weak two piece axle!

yjingit 02-09-2010 09:57 PM

yeah jeeps especially yj hold value so 2 grand will most likley be a project jeep, i just got one 4 months ago a 95 yj with over two thousand miles for 9 grand and im finding several different things that i got to replace on it. But i work on my own vehicles so i planned on it before i bought it.just put a new radiator in it and now the rear oil seal on the transfer case is leaking...probably because it was sitting for along time before i got it. which can be one of the hardest things on a vehicle.......never driving keep that in mind, ask how long its been just sitting. good luck

stobob1 02-09-2010 10:17 PM

Well Thanks All. I am still searching and will update here with any changes.

also anyone know why I cant post in the Wanted Section? I figured that would be the best spot to cast my net on this Forum.

Geoff I noticed your comments on the Newb thread.....would I be unable to post in the wanted section because I commented there as well??? This Forum thing is "new" to me!

BestopTeam@Bestop 02-09-2010 10:37 PM


Originally Posted by stobob1 (Post 542430)
Geoff I noticed your comments on the Newb thread.....would I be unable to post in the wanted section because I commented there as well??? This Forum thing is "new" to me!

I think there are some rules about where "newbies" can post. But I don't know the details.

Stick around. Post a bunch of crap in the "next person wins" type of threads and get rid of that newbie tag.

I like seeing young people come by and ask us how to spend their money! Plus you'll want to be a regular once you get that awesome Jeep you're hunting for.

stobob1 02-11-2010 08:00 PM

1991 Jeep Wrangler YJ RENEGADE
1990 jeep wrangler
1995 Jeep YJ Wrangler

Any thoughts on these Three. That last one might be the same as one I had posted already. Dont think so but I have been reading TONS of ads and they are all looking the same!!!

BestopTeam@Bestop 02-11-2010 08:25 PM

The last two don't have enough information to make a judgment on. The first one has tons of words, almost trying to hide these two lines:

front brakes are good, but back brakes are non-existant.
Most of the frame is good, but the last few inches are rotten around and after rear leaf spring shackles.
The brakes are probably out because the brake lines rotted away along with the frame.
Rotted frame where the springs attach - you will die if you drive this without fixing it. And fixing it will cost A LOT

Plus the Renegade package is not super desirable anymore. (sorry Navy Chief).

The others may or may not be in better shape.

Can you get out of New England to look for a car? An older 4x4 in states that use's tough. What's a plane ticket to Texas cost?

thaduke2003 02-12-2010 08:16 AM

Agreed- Renegade YJ=on-roader/mall crawler- the fiberglass bits are only good for snagging on rocks and shattering :)
Agreed- or Arizona- tons of great vehicles out there for your price range. Just check if the heater works! ;) Mark W.

stobob1 02-19-2010 08:30 PM

ok I have a few more that I am off to see tomorrow. If you see anything that raises flags let me know and let me know what questions to ask other then the normal. Oil changes (they say oh yeah every 3000 miles religously), ever take it off road ( No. actually my mother drove it the most) You know all those BS lies. I more need to know where to look to find the damage and see HOW Bad they beat on it.... so here they are

1987 JEEP WRANGLER YJ 4-lift
1988 Jeep Wrangler
1989 Jeep Wrangler Islander -automatic
1985 jeep cj7

the last one i dont have a link for..... its a 87 with 126k miles he says no rust or rot on body or frame, lots of cosmetic extras like after market Rims/tires, extra doors, and other extras that he will sell for more $$$.

not to big on the last one... But I will check it out and see.

BestopTeam@Bestop 02-19-2010 08:49 PM

That first one - 1987- says "4 inch shackle lift" and that's a bad sign. Shackle lifts can be really scary, and are not the best way to allow big tires. Recently repaired floors? Yikes. Plus you'd need to buy five new tires almost immediately. I'd skip this one, except for the fact that he may just be really honest, and you can't fault him for that!.

The 88 with the 6 cylinder and the bad carb? Maybe. You just won't be able to tell if it "runs great." But it looks stock and not horribly torn up, and 120,000 miles is nice.

The 89 looks a little more abused. But an automatic with a hardtop (even if it is wrong color) might be nice. Another bad carb. I'm assuming this means it runs, but wont' pass emissions? That would be a gamble, but it might pay off. You won't get any cheaper for a 6 cylinder w/ auto and hardtop and hard doors. You could probably sell the top and doors for close to that price. Is the 89 auto that Puegeot thing? If you like this one, ask the YJ guys some specific questions about it.

The 85 CJ is the best looking to me, but that's a personal thing. The last year of CJ models, so it's collectible. The new motor has 80k since he installed it, but probably lots more than that! (I'm guessing) . Trying to tell from the inside picture if the floor boards are really rusted or barely rusted. Can't tell. Also can't tell what engine he put in. Probably the 6, which is a good engine. Horrible truck runnign boards, but you can take those off.

stobob1 02-19-2010 09:00 PM

The CJ is why I started looking for Jeeps. I love that look. I know its older but if its in as good of shape as he says I will have a hard time looking at the others. the Autos would be nice so I wouldnt need to teach the wife standard. I will let you know tomorrow. Any spots that I should really check out.....engine mounts, ball joints, ends of frame near shackle mounts, thats all I really know of other then the Engine, Tranny, diffs.

Thanks for all your help. once I own one of these beasts Ill have to get some Bestop gear for it! :punk:

BestopTeam@Bestop 02-19-2010 10:33 PM

The last CJ I bought had a bent front axle -- the whole tube was bent, and I didn't even notice (I thought the bad handling was steering box related). So I'm not sure I'm the guy to ask! But you've got a nice list going there. Expect crappy steering on all of these, especially compared to a nicer front-drive car. Fuel pumps - lots have been replaced with aftermarket electric pumps. Not necessarily a problem. And a Jeep that's been sitting can have fuel related issues, gunk in the tank, etc.

stobob1 02-27-2010 05:42 PM

Hey all I think I have found a GEM. From all I can see it is Stock and there is really NO rust to speak of. A young girl ( 20's) owned it and she never took it off road. The Tires that where on it almost looked like Low Profile tires. She drove alot of Highway miles but I'll take that over beaten it in the woods.
The main spots that first show rust , seat belt mount, rear end of frame near shackle, under doors, is all solid. tiny bit on the drivers side under door.
Her Dad was in charge of keeping it mantained and looks like thats what he did.
I had to stretch on the price but I think it is worth it. This way I wont need to spend $$$ on getting it on the road.
The only problem is she cant sell for Two weeks as it is her Daily Driver!!! I hate waiting!!!!

1994 Jeep Wrangler

Let me know what you think!

BestopTeam@Bestop 02-27-2010 06:13 PM

I'm looking at the photos on my phone so can't see great. But that looks nice and clean. Miles are high. But if it's been maintained it might be a great deal. Congrats on sticking with your search. Send email to one of the techie yj guys like jpdoc and they can give you focused advice on what to look for in that year.

stobob1 02-27-2010 07:41 PM

Thanks. I am wicked excited to pick her up. I am head back tomorrow for a more involved road test and inspection so I will need to stock up on as much information I can get.

stobob1 03-14-2010 07:05 PM

Purchase Made! Search over! I am wicked pysched, she looks and drives great. I'll have some minor things to take care of like the leaks and such. Nothing to bad. I will have some photos up as soon as the rain stops!!!

copleydad 03-14-2010 07:42 PM


If you need any pointers, don't hesitate to ask. I'm up in Woburn and am in Boston all the time. Where are you?

Put up some pics when u can, and try and stay dry tonight and tomorrow.


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