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-   -   Good Deal? (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/good-deal-87971.html)

Bee509 04-05-2011 03:37 AM

Good Deal?
 
5 Attachment(s)
I'm about to take the dive and buy my first TJ :thumb:, in fact I'm set to complete the transaction tomorrow. I'm just having some last minute jitters :eek: I suppose and thought maybe this be the best place for some objective feed back.

Here's the scoop.
$5,800 - final after haggling.
1997 Jeep Wrangler SE (4cyl, manual, no a/c)
83-84,000 Miles
It's all pretty much bone stock except for the soft top, it's new with in the last year, also has a safari top, no lift (that I can tell) and looks clean compared to what else I've looked at.
No hard top :(
No rust, if any just a bit of surface stuff underneath nothing corrosive.
Auto-check/Carfax came in clean, title is also clean and clear.
New tires - nothing special however new.
New seat fitted seat covers front and rear - again nothing special just the wet suit material.

Runs & drives nice, felt a little play in the steering but on the other hand I drive a newer Subaru legacy regularly so it's a world of difference I suppose. I'm wondering if it would probably need new bushings.
Shifts smoothly, no grinding, no chatter and the clutch feels good.
No knocks, no noises when turning

Some of my concerns are there's a little bit of oil saturation around the pan, from what I've read it could either be maybe the pan it's self, rear main, or head gasket. I didn't notice any spots while it had been sitting out that afternoon - I supposed it'd been out for a few hours, and I was there for about an hour. There is a little bit of a leak on the rear diff, around the plug and where the seal is that connects to the drive shaft (?).

Another thing that sort of gave me this last minute panic was the seller has brought up twice now that he wanted to add to the bill of sale that there is no warranty, which I understand however I think that's be expected when you buy a used car, let alone a private party sale. I guess since he brought it up twice it gave me the spooks.

Anyway, I'd appreciate if you'd give me your 2cents for what it's worth.

dshafr16 04-05-2011 05:42 AM

I am in NY. But I just bought a 98 Tj 4.0L, 5spd, stock. Pretty much the same thing your are buying just with the 4.0L and without the Safari top. Mine is the sport model so it has the alloy wheels and is Chilli Pepper Red which they only used for 3 years from what my research shows. I only paid $5100 for mine. The one I bought did have a tiny bit of rust under the drivers door but thats it.

Hope this helps,
Dan

randy and teri 04-05-2011 07:51 AM

i just bought my 97 a month ago for $4100.
here are a few quick tips.
check the frame, dont be afraid to crawl underneath. take a hammer and smack it here and there to check for hidden flaky rust.
how is the exhaust and the brakes? these are items that can nickel and dime you later.
listen to the engine with the hood up, not from inside the jeep. now are there any noises?
what is the condition of the seats under the covers? is he hiding something?
check the bottoms of the doors and tailgate for rust. it wont be visible from any other perspective.
does it have carpet or rhino lining or nothing? are there floor mats? again, nickel and dime stuff.
oil leaking around the pan would be a leaking pan gasket. if its not dripping, then its slow seapage over time. ignore it. its not the head gasket or the jeep would run like ass. it may be the rocker cover gasket. easy fix. is the tranny covered in oil? if so then its the rear seal. that is pain and suffering if you arent a mechanic.
check the fluids. is there any burnt smell to the oil or tranny fluid? is there any oil or contamination in the anti-freeze? is the brake fluid and power steering fluid full and clean?
be sure to let it run till operating temp is achieved to be sure it doesnt overheat. is there a check engine light on?
what you feel isnt a front end wobble, its a tighter steering than you are used to. when i bought mine i thought the same but all my components are good, it just has tight steering with a short wheelbase.
how are the shocks? are they rusty or leaking, bent?
good luck bro.

Iceman 04-05-2011 09:43 AM

Doesn't sound bad top me!
 
If its in as good a shape as you describe I'd say its a good deal. I just bought a 97 TJ SE 5spd bone stock, new top, step bars, header, and 1 1/4" reciever hitch with 65k miles for $7900. I felt like i got a deal, after all the junk i sifted through to find it. I dont think $5800 is bad for what you describe and show in the pics.

Ice

BobKnake 04-05-2011 10:10 AM

hmmm...
I bought a '97 w/120,000 miles - 4 cyl, 5 speed, w/air, New top, and slider windows.

$3200 far from perfect
$450 fender & paint
$800 tires & rims - only needed tires ;-) could have saved 350-375 w/o rims
$300 shocks, stabilizer, brakes, fog lights, fluids, etc.
====
$4800 more or less, to get it in the shape I have it at now..

my seats are crap (thought about covers, but would rather replace them), the interior is faded and my carpet is beyond crap (the plan is to replace it with truck bed lining this spring).
I replaced the diff gaskets (front and rear) due to the fact they were leaking..

My wife thought I bought a piece of junk, but now likes it better...
No money for seats, so I'm making due.

The worst part about my Jeep when I bought it was lack of general maintenance, death wobble, and it's fender damage. A few bucks straightened it out.
The best about mine was... no rust (except the crinkled fender)

As far as the Jeep you are looking at...
It doesn't sound bad. I'm sure there may be a better deal out there (always is, especially right after you buy one).. But if you are comfortable with the price, and you like it, and you are willing to accept it's short comings (if any), then... go for it.
Not sure if that Jeep would sell for that hi here in Illinois, but it might.

swkenobi 04-05-2011 10:14 AM

Geez prices have not dropped at all in three years. I paid $5800 for mine in '08. 97 TJ SE 2.5, 5spd, 2.5 inch lift with hard top, sound bar, aftermarket stereo in excellent shape with 100k miles on it.

Felt like it was a good deal then, I would expect you could get the TJ for less but you have to do what you feel is best.

Nobody overprices their vehicles like Jeep owners!

T

zeus8582 04-05-2011 10:17 AM

Seems like a good deal bro!!!!!

BobKnake 04-05-2011 10:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by swkenobi (Post 1158914)
Geez prices have not dropped at all in three years. I paid $5800 for mine in '08. 97 TJ SE 2.5, 5spd, 2.5 inch lift with hard top, sound bar, aftermarket stereo in excellent shape with 100k miles on it.

Felt like it was a good deal then, I would expect you could get the TJ for less but you have to do what you feel is best.

Nobody overprices their vehicles like Jeep owners!

T

Harley Owners do too... :D

techflork 04-05-2011 10:28 AM

seems good to me o.O but please if you get it, take those ugly fog lights off :P hope it works out! i think you'll be pleased

vekrause 04-05-2011 10:42 AM

With the concerns about the warranty, maybe take it to a trusted shop for a once over. The Carfax won't show anything if the damage wasn't reported to the insurance, so look for mismatched bolts (different styles or one rusted, one new) or rust/flaked paint at creases in the metal. Also, make sure its a true Carfax, not some knock off.

Could also be the guy got burned by another sale, so maybe ask him why he's so concerned.

randy and teri 04-05-2011 10:52 AM

lol, that is the truth. that is one of the many reasons why we buy them though, they hold their value unlike other imitator bikes.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BobKnake (Post 1158947)
Harley Owners do too... :D


Bee509 04-07-2011 03:24 AM

Took the plunge
 
Sorry for the delay in replying I've been enjoyin' myself..:dance:

I spoke with the guy about the "warranty clause" and vekrause hit it on the head, burnt on a past deal. So we included in the bill of sale to make compromise I supposed that he believes the vehicle to be in good mechanical and operating condition with no defects to his knowledge. Not that it makes a difference but a good mans agreement in there.

All in All I think I paid a fair price for a vehicle in good condition. I looked seriously for over 6 months, and kicked tires for over a year so I've seen my fair share of good and bad deals pass. I live in the Eastern Washington and we seem to have inflated Wrangler prices all round - for example my local craigslist. I was all packed to take off this last weekend to go shop in Seattle and Portland even. BobKnake the midwest by far has some of the cheapest car prices!

I did leave out a few things such as the sound bar, newer stereo, alarm, full doors, carpet, and two tops (safari top and new aftermarket soft top). Also left out somethings I might have been jaded by such as a few scuffs, and scratches that thought no big deal. And trust me randy and teri I was in that thing like a gynecologist. Surface rust was a min. I'll post pix this weekend. And techflork those fuglights are the first to go - they dont even work :nonono:..

Oh and the kid loves it, she's loving the view from the car seat so high up compared to the suby. The wife... :hide: oh she loves it.

BobKnake 04-07-2011 07:20 AM

awesome....

congrats...

Amw2210 04-07-2011 08:45 AM

Congrats man i think you'll enjoy it

randy and teri 04-07-2011 09:12 AM

thats awesome bro, my gf daughter is the same way, she is 8 and just using a booster and loves the up high view!
im a big time tire kicker myself and see many ads that say "no tire kickers" which basically means "my car is crap so if you know cars, dont come look" lol

Bee509 04-07-2011 08:06 PM

8 Attachment(s)
Undercarriage pix

Sherpa 04-08-2011 12:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bee509 (Post 1164775)
Undercarriage pix

Congrats on your purchase--it sounds like a decent deal.

NOW you get to do some routine maintenance! The first thing I would do is have the rear differential serviced (and also the front one just on general principle). Your rear diff cover is leaking, and so is the rear pinion seal... so I'd fix those right away.

Next you might replace the oil pan gasket (assuming that is the source of the seepage on the pan), have the trans and transfer case fluids replaced, and the other usual things.

Bee509 04-08-2011 12:39 AM

I was going to take care of the rear end for sure - I wonder if it'd be just the same to replace it w/one thats better for hwy mileage, any ideas or is it best to keep what I have? I was thinking about replacing it, and fixing the current one and try to sell it to try and make up for the cost.

Any tips on power washing? I was going to rent a power washer, soak it with rust remover and blast the undercarriage & engine bay (after covering up the vitals) to source out the leaks. Of do some touch up w/some flat black or something to prevent rust or at the very least slow it down. I figure at 84k I'll be pretty busy getting it in shape.

Sherpa 04-08-2011 12:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bee509 (Post 1165353)
I was going to take care of the rear end for sure - I wonder if it'd be just the same to replace it w/one thats better for hwy mileage, any ideas or is it best to keep what I have?

The stock Dana35 doesn't have a good reputation on this forum, but it should live a long life behind the 2.5L engine. I wouldn't spend the money replacing it unless it actually breaks. You should have 4.10 axle gears, and those are good for your setup. So in other words, I'd just fix the leaks and leave the internals as they are.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bee509 (Post 1165353)
Any tips on power washing? I was going to rent a power washer, soak it with rust remover and blast the undercarriage & engine bay (after covering up the vitals) to source out the leaks.

Surface rust on axles and the frame isn't a concern. To help pinpoint a leak, I like to use brake parts cleaner to easily wash off the current goo. Then just wait to see where the fresh oil appears.


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