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Old 01-23-2014, 02:50 PM
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Should I buy this YJ?

Hey guys not sure if this goes here or not so I apologize in advance. I do not own a jeep but am looking to buy one. I want a wrangler and a minor fixer upper. Nothing serious, but when it breaks, my dad and I would love to work on it. I also already have a DD but I would also drive this around on the street on nice days as well as on the trails. I have been looking for a while now and I'm just not coming across a cheap wrangler. Anyways ill jump right into it. I came across a 1990 YJ 2.5l 4 banger 5 speed manual. I know I know. 4 banger. Its already got a suspension lift and body lift and 35s. (I believe) Its only got 110k miles. Which is crazy for a 1990. little rust here and there but nothing serious at all. it has back seats too. It has a metal custom front and rear bumper with tow hooks. It looks good in the pictures and it runs perfect right now (so he states.) He has the title and tags! Im pretty sure it has not been beaten to death, but Ill have to check better in person. My price range for a jeep has got to be 3500 or below. This guy is asking 4000. It has also been posted for 2 months and is still for sale. Would love to pick it up for 3. What do y'all think? Anything to watch out for? THANK YOU!





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Old 01-23-2014, 03:42 PM   #2
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Jeep prices vary by location, but 4k seems a little steep. I would not give 4k for it myself. I found a bone stock 95 model to build up for less than that.

I would rather start off with a bone stock Jeep that hasn't been abused & dosen't have a bunch of modifications I know nothing about.

Things to look out for will be frame rust & tub rust first & foremost. It looks like it's lived outside in the weather without a top. That is a sure fire way to attract rust in the floors of the tub. A hot spot for rust on the frame will be in the rear of the frame around the back tires.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad looking Jeep, but pictures can only do so much. In the end, you'll have to look the jeep over, drive it & make the call.

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Old 01-23-2014, 04:11 PM
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Jeep prices vary by location, but 4k seems a little steep. I would not give 4k for it myself. I found a bone stock 95 model to build up for less than that.

I would rather start off with a bone stock Jeep that hasn't been abused & dosen't have a bunch of modifications I know nothing about.

Things to look out for will be frame rust & tub rust first & foremost. It looks like it's lived outside in the weather without a top. That is a sure fire way to attract rust in the floors of the tub. A hot spot for rust on the frame will be in the rear of the frame around the back tires.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad looking Jeep, but pictures can only do so much. In the end, you'll have to look the jeep over, drive it & make the call.
Okay I appreciate the advice. I might see if hell take 2500. And go up to 3 as a top dollar. I see where you are coming from on building it up from stock. But I don't have enough money to buy a lift and tires. So I figure buying a jeep that already has that; as it does not go into the value of the jeep.

I see you have a 4 banger? Does it do all right on the highway?
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:17 PM   #4
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I would not get in a hurry and keep looking until you find the right one for you! There are hundreds of these for sale everyday at all different prices and yes some folks stole a couple of them but owners with good rust free jeeps know what they have and what they are worth. This jeep may be the one but mechanicals are much easier to fix then RUST!
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Old 01-23-2014, 04:47 PM   #5
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I paid $5250 for mine.



Mine has a Rebuilt engine with about 26,000 miles(current miles now)

It also has 2" Body Lift, and a 2" Suspension Lift
33 size tires
10s Bass System
Hard Top
Soft Top
New Radio
Aftermarket Bumpers for front and back
Aftermarket Fog Lights
Rear Fog Light (It helps when backing up in the dark)
Protective Covers for lights
New Back Seat

I don't think i paid much at all for mine.

I think 4000 is too much for that. The paint looks like crap, 110,000 isn't a lot, but was it taken care of during its time? I got every receipt for my jeep, and there was A LOT.

Oh, and mine was a 4.2L (2.5 has less HP)

I'm a 16 year old and got this for my Birthday. I contributed 2000 towards it, and chose it.

In the end, make sure it runs great and is what you are willing to take on.
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:37 PM   #6
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The diamond plating on the side is almost always a rust coverup. That is one of the major rust spots on yjs along with the rear of the frame. It's no looker but there are better jeeps that can be had for the price. When winter hits anything 4x4 normally has a higher price tag. If you can hold off wait till winter ends, find something cheaper and better.
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:44 PM   #7
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If you are going to make an offer, take cash and be ready to buy. I got a real good deal on mine by having the cash ready.
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:51 PM   #8
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If it has stock gears you won't hardly ever use 5th gear. I have a 95 with a 2.5l and it has 32 inch tires and I can't shift to 5th unless your running about 60 to 65. So with 35s it will be higher. I've read a lot of people put 488 gears with 33s and 35s to help it. I drive 60 mile round trip a day in mine and only use 5th a few time on good flat highways any hill at all and you have to down shift. But you learn to drive it like that. Taking off isn't bad at all it's just highway speeds. But you. An run in fourth gear if needed. And does it have a top. Their not cheap. My frame for the top was bad so I got a frame and top for $800. So keep that in mind. In four low it will do great. So it depends on what your going to do with it. The 2.5l is bullet proof but don't have much power.
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:07 PM
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I don't believe its got a soft top or a hard top. I guess I could use that as a point to lower him down on price. Clearly I am not paying 4 for it. Do y'all think 2500 would be a reasonable offer? Ill bring cash money in person. If theres no rust thats serious then I can't see a reason for me not to buy it. Especially if I could get him in the range of 2500-3000. The motor only has 110k so I will be replacing other stuff before the engine goes out!! It is going to be a cruiser and off roader on nice days so going super fast on the highway does not matter to me. How serious is a little rust? and how much does it cost to fix?
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:25 PM   #10
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Just repeating what everyone else has already stated but I have a 90 2.5 with 5 speed. Had 130k on it and only a bikini top. It's an az car so rust is never an issue. However, even az people worry about diamond plate on a jeep tub. It's a good chance they just covered up some cancer.

Also a decent hard top or soft top with hardware will set you back anywhere from $300-$800. Keep it in mind. If its that old, check for oil leaks. ESP valve cover, timing cover, and underneath at the oil pan. Check steering box and rear diff pans for wet stains.

It's been sitting for years obviously, do the math, and if not properly maintained will have a lot of hidden issues that won't pop up until you start driving it regularly. Expect to dump cash into it. It's a jeep.

I payed $2k for mine because the 4x4 didn't work. Broken vacuum lines. Unavoidable with age and heat though.
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:31 PM   #11
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The diamond plating on the side is almost always a rust coverup. That is one of the major rust spots on yjs along with the rear of the frame. It's no looker but there are better jeeps that can be had for the price. When winter hits anything 4x4 normally has a higher price tag. If you can hold off wait till winter ends, find something cheaper and better.
Maybe for fourwheelers, lol. Summer is the time to ride jeeps around here.
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:53 PM
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Jeeprich25: what do you mean by it's an az car so rust is never an issue? I expect to drop money it. About less than the money I would drop on a stock jeep and out a lift tires and all that. Say I check it out in person, and I can't find much rust and it starts up fine and shifts and drives fine. Is that mean there can still be other stuff mechanically wrong with it?

K117: yeah I would think it would be the other way around. More people around here are wanting to buy jeeps for the spring/summer.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:04 PM   #13
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If it runs and drives ok and only needs a top it's worth the 2500 or 3000 rust can always be fixed. Do check the frame as stated above though. You can buy complete tubs at quadratrac.com they are pricey though. Id go check it out
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:01 PM   #14
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Jeeprich25: what do you mean by it's an az car so rust is never an issue? I expect to drop money it. About less than the money I would drop on a stock jeep and out a lift tires and all that. Say I check it out in person, and I can't find much rust and it starts up fine and shifts and drives fine. Is that mean there can still be other stuff mechanically wrong with it?

K117: yeah I would think it would be the other way around. More people around here are wanting to buy jeeps for the spring/summer.
Sorry for the confusion. Mine is an Arizona jeep and there isn't any rust. But I know when I bought mine it had sat for 4 years without running. Considering the low miles on yours I'd expect it hasn't been driven that much, obviously. It is a very old jeep at this point and expect some issues. That's all. But if it runs and drives well, shifts well, I'd say its worth it. Make sure you drive it on the freeway. Nothing like getting up to 60mph to let you low if there's a drivetrain problem or shoddy lift job.
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:15 PM   #15
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Maybe for fourwheelers, lol. Summer is the time to ride jeeps around here.
I'm in pa and jeeps or 4x4s double in price when winter rolls around. Back in October 2 years ago when I was looking for a yj I found a decent project, I waited hoping the price would drop. Winter hit and it went from a $2500 yj to a $4000 sold yj. When winter hits we go into a panic state OH GOD SNOW GET THE BREAD AND MILK!!! Now its oh god snow I getta be a kid again and have jeep fun. It is also a major selling point for any vehicle though.
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:23 AM   #16
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I bought this one in South Texas for $3,500 dollars in November. It has 31's on it and on all four sides everything from the bearings on out is new. Same as your example. 4 banger; 117,000 miles; 5 speed; 1990 YJ. Not a lot of power in 5th but I don't drive much on the Interstate. Mostly on county and city and dirt roads in the mountains here in Arkansas.
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:04 AM   #17
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I bought this one in South Texas for $3,500 dollars in November. It has 31's on it and on all four sides everything from the bearings on out is new. Same as your example. 4 banger; 117,000 miles; 5 speed; 1990 YJ. Not a lot of power in 5th but I don't drive much on the Interstate. Mostly on county and city and dirt roads in the mountains here in Arkansas.
Could you tell me what brand that half top is? I've never seen one for a sport bar before
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:32 AM   #18
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I'm in pa and jeeps or 4x4s double in price when winter rolls around. Back in October 2 years ago when I was looking for a yj I found a decent project, I waited hoping the price would drop. Winter hit and it went from a $2500 yj to a $4000 sold yj. When winter hits we go into a panic state OH GOD SNOW GET THE BREAD AND MILK!!! Now its oh god snow I getta be a kid again and have jeep fun. It is also a major selling point for any vehicle though.
Ah, I'm in GA. I can see why it doubles in price for winter. It's easier to drive in snow due to 4WD.

Sorry for the confusion..
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:05 AM   #19
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Could you tell me what brand that half top is? I've never seen one for a sport bar before
I dunno. It was on the jeep when I bought it and I never asked.
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:27 AM   #20
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Prices vary by location. Out here in SoCal it is way overpriced.
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Old 01-25-2014, 03:26 PM
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I appreciate the help everyone. What has got me concerned is the fact that its got a carburetor rather than fuel injection? Also, the guy said 3500 is his lowest but I MIGHT be able to get him to 3200. Should I take it if there is not much rust and drives well?
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Old 01-27-2014, 02:09 PM   #22
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My 88 is a carburtored engine and honestly its fine. Gotta pump the gas pedal to start and stalls once in a while in the cold but its a good engine and a fun jeep. Paid 3 for minem 2 inch lift, 31s, cable locker on the front diff, hard tops & doors, and a sound system upgrade. Granted mines also the 4.2 straight 6 with a manual trans. And mine still needs work. Bought with a rear main seal leak, needed a new fuel pump, may need a head gasket, gotta clean the cat. But well worth it
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Old 01-27-2014, 03:36 PM   #23
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I say yes, don't let 2-3 hundred dollars make a difference . If u like it that's all that matters
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Old 01-27-2014, 03:47 PM   #24
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FYI, I searched for awhile before I bought one, it WILL pay to be patient, I paid $3100 for an 87 yj with 3.5 lift 33's and ARB lockers front and rear. Got about $4500 in it now with new tires, shocks, brakes and front end, few other things. LOVE IT.

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