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Old 07-25-2011, 03:15 PM
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Looking to buy 1987 YJ

My brother found a 1987 YJ that he's interested in getting, and I'm looking for some advice. I currently have a 2010 JKU as my DD, so I'm familiar with Jeeps, just not YJs specifically. Here's what I know about it:
  • $5500 asking price
  • 6cyl engine
  • "extended range fuel tank" (whatever that means)
  • automatic
  • full metal doors with hardtop
  • nice seats
  • some dents in the passenger door and front quarter panel
  • 8000lb winch up front
  • 31" tires (I believe)
  • power steering
  • power brakes
  • no rust that I could find
  • rear tow hitch

We drove it today, and it seemed to drive really well for its age. We got it up to about 55, and it didn't really struggle at all. I was very surprised at how soft the brakes were, though. It was bad enough that I was afraid I was going to go right through the intersection, but luckily it turned out ok. I didn't hear any squeaking or shaking, so maybe that's just how the brakes normally are on an '87. I don't know.

The odometer doesn't work, and it's stuck at 48k miles. We know that it has more miles than that, but he had no clue how many more. The owner says he has owned it for about 7yrs, and he guessed that he has only put about 1,500 miles on it total in that time. So that makes me a little scared about dry rot and stuff like that.

I feel like his asking price is pretty high, but I don't really know how much too high. I believe blue book on this vehicle ranges from about $2900 - $5000. He said someone had already offered him $3500, and he turned it down. I feel like he was probably lying about that, though.

Anyway, I know that's a lot of text, but I basically have two main questions:
  1. What kinds of things should I look out for and/or have checked out?
  2. What is a decent price for a vehicle like this?

PS: We didn't get any pictures of it because I wasn't smart enough to take any. Sorry. Thanks for any help!

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Old 07-25-2011, 03:18 PM   #2
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If its rust free its worth 4500 in parts alone easy.

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Old 07-25-2011, 05:17 PM   #3
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I'd say check the radiator for any oily substance and check the oil for any foam around the cap...these are usual signs of a cracked head gasket and if you can do the fix yourself you can definitely offer him half of what he's asking. I'd also check the brake master cylinder for cracks or leaks...could be losing fluid since the breaks were soft yet no squealing.
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Old 07-25-2011, 05:26 PM   #4
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If it has carpet, pull it back and look under it for rust. Get on the ground and check the back frame, especially the rere part right by the exhaust hanger. Push on the metal to see if you can break through. I have pushed through more than a few soft frame rails. Good luck, but I would offer $3500 if it is rust free.
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:55 AM   #5
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I bought mine in Florida about 3 years ago for 3600.00 150k ish miles. Where are you located? Price varies a lot with locations.
*Check for rust
*With soft breaks check the fluid lvl in the master cylinder. If the pads are good it may just need to be bled.
* Extended fuel range tank most likely means it has the optional 20 gallon tank vs the std. 15 gallon
* Put it in 4wd see if it works
Good luck..
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