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Old 07-13-2015, 06:05 PM
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95 Wrangler Rio Grande - Good Deal?

This is my first Wrangler, 3rd Jeep (Had a 91 Cherokee and a 2004 Grand Cherokee). Always wanted a YJ and finally decided to get one. Found this 95 Wrangler with the Rio Grande option with 135,000 miles and no modifications. It's a 5 speed manual, 4-cyl (I think the Rio Grande only comes in 4-cyl).

Anyway, I'm really enjoying it and its running really well. I got it for $3500. The only issue I've seen is it has a small amount of rust in a few areas on the body (right above the fender flares, and a little on the top of the rear gate). The frame is a little bit of rust, but I tapped it with a screwdriver and it's still very solid.

I live in Colorado and I'm going to garage it and only drive it as a 3rd vehicle, mostly in city, do some light jeep trails. The only modifications I might make is adding some larger tires down the road. I rode the 91 cherokee hard so this wrangler is going to be treated light with lots of care. Only plan to put about 5,000 miles on a year.

So I wanted to ask if I got a good deal? Any specifics to look out for? I attached an image of the jeep, not sure if that's the correct way. Thanks.

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Old 07-13-2015, 06:20 PM   #2
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If it's just surface rust on body and frame than I think you did DAMN good! Love to hear someone on here getting a nice yj and not paying for someone else's hack work modifications aka 7 or 8 grand. I would suggest repairing the rust before it gets worse also the 2.5 is known to be a dog once you get bigger tires so plan on regearing your axles in the future

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Old 07-13-2015, 06:46 PM   #3
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I picked up my rio in NM. For $7300 with no rust, so yeah, I'd say you got a steal! Get ready for all the four cyl haters to beat on you, lol
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Old 07-13-2015, 07:12 PM   #4
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Congrats on the ride. I picked up my first ever 4x4, a Rio Grande a few weeks ago. I paid $4k in Indiana. My frame is good but it has a few rust holes in the body but I'm fine with that. Mine only has 107k miles, it also has a lift and bigger rims with 31" tires.

Sounds like you got a great deal. I wanted one closer to stock but this one was done right and everything else around at the time was too much money and/or junk.
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Old 07-19-2015, 12:05 AM   #5
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Nice, I like it. Good deal
My base 95 YJ is white also
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Old 07-28-2015, 11:01 AM
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Thanks everyone for the feedback.

As suggested, I have worked on the surface rust on the frame and the rust on the passenger side front fender. I sanded down the surface rust on the frame, cleaned those areas and then sprayed Rustoleum rust reformer and a chassis black coat on top of that. For the Fender I sanded down with a grinder. I didn't do a great job on keeping it smooth but all of the rust is off and the rust did not eat all the way through. I cleaned the bare metal and then primed, painted and put on a clear coat. I was surprised by how close the color match for the white was to the original white.

Here are the before pictures.

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I'll attach the after pictures in the next post.
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Old 07-28-2015, 11:07 AM
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And here are the after photos for the rust removal and painting:

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The Jeep has been running great. Haven't seen any issues besides one minor thing, I need to replace the parking break. I've just been parking it in gear for now but will replace that ASAP.

The tires will have to be replaced sooner than later, no rush, but I'm thinking about using BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO Tires in the 17-22in range. Does anyone know if I would need to re-gear the axles for those tires?
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Old 07-28-2015, 12:23 PM   #8
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That paint looks nice! You shouldn't need to regear for those tires, I'm running 31s and haven't regeared.
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Old 07-28-2015, 12:37 PM   #9
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That looks pretty good. I say you got a good deal. The frame looks solid from what you posted. Need to see around the shackles to really know for sure.

Some of the fender rust will probably require sheet metal work. You'll know for sure if you pull off the flares. Reproduction bolt-in fenders can be had for under 200 bucks per side.
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:46 AM
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I attached pictures of the passenger and driver side rear frame where the shackles mount. I haven't seen what a brand new frame looks like in that area but this looks close to normal right?

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As for the Fender, I don't think i'll need any sheet metal. Once I shaved off the rust with a grinder I got down to bare metal with no rust. The rust had not gone all the way through. I don't care too much about the ragged look since it's a very small area and I sealed it up with primer, paint and a clear coat.
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Old 07-29-2015, 02:25 PM   #11
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the PO could have done a better job with the fresh paint on the frame, but it looks to be pretty solid. All the bolt heads and nuts still have nice sharp edges, and if they just painted scaly rust, you'd be able to tell. Looks good. Nice find! I'd be tempted to get the frame coated with something a little more robust as insurance for the long haul.
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Old 08-04-2015, 12:41 PM
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My current tire size is 235/75R15. Is that a 29'' tire in diameter? I'm looking at the BF Goodrich All Terrain tire and I was originally looking at their 235 but I might consider the 255 which according to their site is 30.2" in diameter. Would that tire fit as well? I've read on the forums to generally not go over 30" on stock suspension so not sure if that is too close.

Current tire:

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Old 08-04-2015, 02:01 PM   #13
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I run 31s on stock suspension. They rub the plastic part of my fender flares, but that's pretty much it. If your springs are shot you will probably get rubbing. It just depends on whether you need the articulation or not.
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Old 08-04-2015, 02:01 PM   #14
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You should be able to run up to a 31x10.5, but it is tight. You will be fine on the street, but any off-roading will result in tire rub for sure.

30.2 should be fine. Most sizes are nominal anyway. If you take one brand of a size and another brand of the "same" size, even with similar tread designs, they will likely be slightly different in measured diameter.
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Old 08-05-2015, 03:22 PM   #15
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I bought a 95 YJ last fall from a local kid for $3k, had to do a few things to it but she runs just fine now & climbs like a goat! All stock, no rust. Had to replace the radiator, clutch, and installed a manual cable for the front transfer case. Also replaced the aftermarket aluminum rims & big tires with stock steel wheels & tires. Enjoy!

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