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Old 04-18-2011, 12:02 PM
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What to look for in a used YJ?

I recently saw a yj on craigslist. It is an 88 with a 4.2l carb 5 speed. I am not buying it, but rather trading my used toyota valued around 4.8k on kbb. It has 88k original miles, and everything is original. It looks very well maintained. What problems should I be looking for since this is a 20+ year old car.

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Old 04-18-2011, 12:15 PM   #2
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Depending on your location rust would be a concern. You want to check the frame (especially the rear), floor pans, lower fenders and the tub itself. Check to make sure it hasn't been fixed already with bondo or something.
Obviously check the mechanicals to make sure they are in good shape. Depends on how serious you are...you might want to drain the differentials and check for water in the fluid.

Also I may be off but $4,800 for a '88 YJ seems high to me. Does it have hard top and soft top, hard doors, etc? Just up to the buyer if you are going to leave stock or modify.

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Old 04-18-2011, 12:28 PM   #3
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For what your truck is worth, I would be looking for a 91 and up with the 4.0 and fuel injection with hard top and possibly a/c. That might mean that you need to sell your Toy first and take a wad of cash when looking at Jeeps. What are your plans for the Jeep, what size tires and type of wheeling will you do, or is it going to be a daily driver? You will probably get some better info that way. Good luck.
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:05 PM
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It has a hard doors and also a hard top, might also be including a soft top. It might also be the sahara edition. From the picture online, it looks very clean and not much rust damage. I plan on checking under and around the sides. I had a 98 tj which had terrible rust near the fenders so that is what I am going to look for first. I plan on adding a 4 inch suspension and 33 tires. It will become my main vehicle, but as a college student t I will only use it less than 3 miles a day.

My second option is 95 with a 4cyl atk engine with around 50miles on it with a brand new clutch, but I am likely going to add 1k with that.
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:22 PM   #5
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The issue with a carb is if you do start to wheel it they will stall on climbs or offcamber situations.
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:43 PM
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I'm not planning on going to an offroad park anytime soon. The most I will do with it off the road is maybe the wooded trail or the beach.
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Old 04-18-2011, 03:23 PM   #7
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90% of us start by saying that. You might encounter a washout in the trail or crossing a stream bed.
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Old 04-18-2011, 05:50 PM   #8
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it better be pretty dang nice for 4800. my 87 with hard top, hard doors, ac, auto trans, and 4.2 i got for a trade for my 87 cherokee that i paid 22 or 2500 for and put about 1500 bucks into lifting and tires.

so, total: maybe 4k and mine has no rust and cruise even works
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Old 04-18-2011, 05:50 PM   #9
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and my wife's 93 sahara we paid 4k for also and it came with hard and soft top and full hard doors.
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:42 PM   #10
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make sure the 4 wheel works well, if your limited to a short test drive, find a blacktop parking lot, put it in 4h and drive in a tight circle slowly. The front tires should buck and chirp as they go around... If not and they freewheel, somethings wrong.

Aside from that, make sure the frame is solid up front and in the rear. Between the bumpers and the frame.

Listen to engine, rev it just a little (not over reving, maybe just to 2,000 or 2,500) then listen closely as it decelerates when you let up on it. Thats when you'll hear a rod knock at its loudest.

Check the oil, it should be brown or black. No white milky stuff in there and you're all good!
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:10 PM   #11
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and, i try to buy cars at least 20 years old because they have less crap to worry about and mess with (plus they are cheaper, my number one driver) i buy 100 to 200 dollar bmws and drive them for a year or two and sell them for 2500, cheap cherokees and sell them for 1k more then i pad for them. if its cheap, i buy it. they are so easy to work on, its a no brainer to pick them up and fix them for less then one month's car payment and then resell them after i put 100k on them for whatever i feel the market will bear.

and, you are totally safe with a wrangler. the market here is 4k min for tore up old wranglers.
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:33 PM   #12
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Main thing is to look for rot on the frame near the shackles.
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Old 04-19-2011, 11:07 AM   #13
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??? i don;t know why i put this
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:41 AM
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Decided not to get it. The jeep actually have very little rust. The only rust I found inside the car was about the size of a quarter. The leaf suspension was very rusted and had to be replaced soon. Engine was fine and sounded good but the clutch was a little off (he had new clutch bearing but wasn't installed). Also found out my toyota was actually valued at 6k (private value), so good thing I didn't trade. There is actually a jeep I am looking at 2001 hard top with 155,000 miles 6cyl 5speed that I am trying to acquire right now.

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