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Old 05-17-2017, 07:22 AM
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Looking at a wrecked JKU Rubicon

Thinking of picking this up for my next project. Going to look at it today and see how bad it really is. It's a 2008 with 112k on it and has a clean title for $8k under blue book. The spare and some other parts are in the back.

Thoughts? Anything I should look for? I know TJ's well but I am new to JK's.

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Old 05-17-2017, 07:27 AM   #2
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Looks like an easily repair to me. As long as the frame is straight and the front axle isn't bent then the rest is a bunch of bolt on parts.

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Old 05-17-2017, 07:38 AM   #3
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Hard to say without looking at it up close, but I would have to believe the money you are going to put into it, you could buy a 2008 with less miles and no damage for the same amount of money. Just a quick search on autotrader I see 2008's in the 100k mile range going for 10-12k.
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Old 05-17-2017, 08:34 AM   #4
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If it is a salvage title I wouldn't fool with it. Like others said, make sure frame is straight. By the time you spend several thousand dollars repairing it you could have just bought a clean title jeep with no damage.
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Old 05-17-2017, 08:48 AM   #5
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Take notes and do your homework.. Mines a rebuild and if they're done right it's a great savings. KKB value isn't always accurate so be sure to check real market values.. ebay completed listings can give you a good idea of low and high values.

A OEM frame will run you about $1200 (new)
A OEM front axle I believe was aroung $1600 (new)

I see that the top is broken as well so be sure to figure that in as well. Check the door gaps and make that body hasn't been twisted..
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Old 05-17-2017, 08:57 AM   #6
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Hard to say without looking at it up close, but I would have to believe the money you are going to put into it, you could buy a 2008 with less miles and no damage for the same amount of money. Just a quick search on autotrader I see 2008's in the 100k mile range going for 10-12k.
Where do you see Rubicon Unlimited's on Autotrader for 10-12K at any mileage? Am I blind? I see a few around $15K...

I'd be cash in hand at 11K.
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:04 AM   #7
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Where do you see Rubicon Unlimited's on Autotrader for 10-12K at any mileage? Am I blind? I see a few around $15K...

I'd be cash in hand at 11K.
non rubicons are selling for over 12K here. my buddy just sold his 2007 sahara 2 door with over 100,000 miles and good condition had an aev 2.5 but never offroad for 14000 to a private party.
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:12 AM   #8
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non rubicons are selling for over 12K here. my buddy just sold his 2007 sahara 2 door with over 100,000 miles and good condition had an aev 2.5 but never offroad for 14000 to a private party.
I see the non-rubicons, I thought he'd found a Rubicon Unlimited in that range.

To the OP, depending on condition when you can physically inspect it and what you actually plan to do with it (trail rig, crawler, DD etc) it may be a good deal.
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:16 AM   #9
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Careful, these wholesalers know what they're doing, if it was worth fixing, they have buyers at the ready, and also the resources to fix themselves. Ask yourself: "If they don't want it, why would I?"
Some of them will tell you "we sell em, not fix em". But rest assured, they've got a black book of buyers waiting for vehicles that need minor repairs, and can be flipped for profit. A childhood friend of mine, works at his family's autobody shop, he's third generation. All the vehicles they drive are fixed up nearly salvaged vehicles, and they all bought before they hit any public market.
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:21 AM   #10
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Weird impact pattern for sure. It looks like it was hit in the left front and also the windshield frame.

Anytime something is hit on a corner like that, I'd automatically look at the opposite corner for bent/warped stuff. In the last picture, it looks like there could be a crack on the hard top at the top right corner of the back window.

Also, unless that stain on the concrete is left over from some other car, it's leaking something which makes me think that the radiator and/or tranny cooler are shot.

Based on what I see in the pictures, I think that even if you go with all junk yard parts, you're going to eat up that $8k savings in a hurry.

For sure:
-2 front fenders
-at least 1 fender flare
-hood
-windshield & frame
-front bumper
-fog light
-right front door
-left front inner fender

Maybe:
-radiator support
-radiator/tranny cooler
-hard top
-?

Personally, I'd pass.
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:36 AM
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Thanks guys for the suggestions and tips. It does have a clear title. I have a full set of JK silver flares already and would put an aftermarket bumper on it.

I don't think the frame or axles are damaged but will crawl under it with a flashlight and check it over very carefully.

Blue book is just over $19k. I can get it for $11k.
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:39 AM   #12
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FYI- Even if it has a clean title, If there was an insurance claim or police report made, then sooner or later it will show up on the car fax as having been wrecked.

It could be a fun project for sure, but you would definitely need to know what you were getting in to and buy it cheap, or just go at it with the attitude that you were rebuilding it for a fun project that was going to cost some cash that you couldn't recoup.
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:43 AM   #13
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"Weird impact pattern for sure. It looks like it was hit in the left front and also the windshield frame."

Yeah, what AZ said. I would bet the frame has been uniquely skewed on that one. But if the frame is straight, really check the undercarriage for rot. What popped out at me was the amount of rust(?) under the paint and peeking through the wheel openings. If it's a Michigan Jeep, 9 years can really take a toll.
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Old 05-17-2017, 11:29 AM   #14
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Front axle looks off, driver front tire sits more to rear of Jeep compared to passenger front.
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Old 05-17-2017, 11:42 AM   #15
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something is not right. undamaged bumper so they slapped one on to cover some other damage most likely. strange having sahara steps on a rubicon but that could happen I guess if the previous owner put them on. I would be skeptical to say the least. does it start and run and drive? probably lots of hidden problems. If it runs good and drives and you are just buying it to make a buggy with it then that might be ok. I would not be looking at it to fix up as a dd if my goal was to save money.
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Old 05-17-2017, 11:58 AM   #16
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3rd pic also looks like the front passenger door has a dent above the handle almost the same height as the dent on the passenger side windshield frame. Are you sure it's a Ruby and someone didn't just put a Ruby hood on and MT's?
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:15 PM   #17
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And the passenger side shows damage in various areas when you blow up the pics.The top is also cracked on the rear pass. side. That poor thing could have rolled.
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:16 PM   #18
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Thanks guys for the suggestions and tips. It does have a clear title. I have a full set of JK silver flares already and would put an aftermarket bumper on it.

I don't think the frame or axles are damaged but will crawl under it with a flashlight and check it over very carefully.

Blue book is just over $19k. I can get it for $11k.
I recently purchased a rebuilt title 2014 4x4 Limited Patriot for my teenage son. The $ I saved definitely made it worth the risk. $15k vs the $8700 I paid for it.

I looked at quite a few. One thing, I would highly recommend to anyone purchasing a used vehicle and especially one that has been in an accident is to buy the Bluedriver OBD2 scanner. Even if there are no check engine lights showing on the dash, it will provide a lot of additional insight of potential problems. It's different than your typical OBD2 scanners in that it goes a lot deeper in reading from other modules outside of the ECM including ABS and Air bag codes as well as mode 6. This is dealer/manufacturing level stuff.

As a prime example, one of the cars I looked at, the seller was only aware of it needing an air intake temp sensor when he pulled the codes with his scanner and replaced that sensor. When I scanned it with bluedriver, he was shocked when I showed him 10 other codes related to power train, emissions, and brakes.

You can find it on Amazon for $100. I can tell you it's already paid for itself in preventing me from making a potentially bad purchase. It will cost that much to have a dealer do that type of scan as well.

The PAT I bought, I pulled 2 codes. Which didn't show on other scanners.
1. Fog lights open circuit. Sure enough the fog light wiring harness was missing, likely from the accident.
2. Fuel injector cylinder 12. Likely cause, partially clogged fuel injector.

I replaced the fog harness and had a fuel injector flush performed. Both codes are now gone and the PAT runs great.
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:24 PM   #19
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Thinking of picking this up for my next project. Going to look at it today and see how bad it really is. It's a 2008 with 112k on it and has a clean title for $8k under blue book. The spare and some other parts are in the back.

Thoughts? Anything I should look for? I know TJ's well but I am new to JK's.
You see that extra gap between the hard top and door frame on each side?, mostly the driver side. The tub is slightly bent and it's a booger to straighten unless you have access to a frame machine.

The firewall is designed to bend in a front end collision and they nearly always do. Price a few hours of frame work into the repair before you make a final offer. You will be happy you did.
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:27 PM   #20
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3rd pic also looks like the front passenger door has a dent above the handle almost the same height as the dent on the passenger side windshield frame. Are you sure it's a Ruby and someone didn't just put a Ruby hood on and MT's?
Also has side steps. Most who get one do not replace the rock rails. Did you run a VIN through the decoder?
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Old 05-17-2017, 04:09 PM
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There's way too much weird stuff going on with it. I passed. Weird dents and gaps everywhere. I think it rolled in the snow. One quick walk around and I left.
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Old 05-17-2017, 07:06 PM   #22
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No cowl dents. I say go for it.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:06 AM   #23
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There's way too much weird stuff going on with it. I passed. Weird dents and gaps everywhere. I think it rolled in the snow. One quick walk around and I left.
Smart! These hawks love to sell stuff like this! From a distance and an untrained eye, it looks like you could bolt on parts to fix, but that Jeep is bent this-a-way and that-a-way! Again, these guys know what they're doing, and they're not going to sell a high profit easy bolt on fix kind of job.
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:05 AM   #24
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I'm wondering if I could pick up a wrecker like this and part it out... I only want the rear half of the tub (for a trailer project) and would sell off all the other parts. Hell, I might even make money on the deal, would just need a place to store the parts waiting to be sold...

If anyone out there is interested in doing something like that, I have no idea what a fair offer on just the tub / back half of the tub would be. ideas?

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