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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone I am buying my first Wrangler sometime this month and I think I've found the one I'm into for the right price.

Some background:
I have done most of the basic wreching on my vehicles since I was 16 (now 21) I.E. water pumps, belts, lights, sound systems, brakes, etc. I'm a technician by trade but wranglers and Jeep mechanics are a whole other world, so pardon any ignorance on my part.
I live in the Northwest so this vehicle is going to get play, not a street Jeep. However it will mostly be mountain trails and beach runs.
I have a dog, a big siberian husky who is always co pilot.
I haven't driven stick since I was 16.

That being said I've always been a fan of the TJ and honestly pretty much all around sold on that model. My budget is no more than 12k and my only musts are hardtop and an I6.

I did find a nice 98 TJ that I'm very much considering buying. So far I have talked them down from 11k to $9,750 out the door with the condition they buy my vehicle at $12,750 (It's worth about 10-11 so I can square away everything with the bank). So realistically I've got them down to about 7k. It's a great little ride. Completely redone interior, sound bar, no interior rust, hardtop, A/C, clean engine and tub.

My hesitations come with a few things I saw while getting a look underneath. I noticed a leak the first time I went to look at the Jeep and wrote it off as A/C runoff due to no smell or color. But now a few days later I went back to check it out after hours without a pesky dealer around and saw a dried spot and residue all over one particular area I'm not familiar with. I have two youtube links to some video I took. The rest of the body looks great for being a 98 very minimal rust with no signs of rusting through, clean alternator, good looking belt, everything functions mechanically, etc.

98 TJ part 1 - YouTube

98 TJ - YouTube

I also had my buddy test drive it with me (He has a stick and has more recent experience than I do) and he said he feels like 2nd is hard to find; not necessarily slipping but just kind of off (note that he drives a sissy 2013 honda something or other that probably shifts like a dream compared to any Wrangler). Me not really driving stick much in the past 5 years can't really tell.

That last part is that the A/C was definitely redone as you can see from the video which is inconsequential to me because I never use A/C up here. Just wondering if that would be the runoff?

Fluids also are ridiculously low for coolant leading me to believe the run off is coolant?

All in all I dig it but also don't want to buy a fixer upper mechanically just yet. In your guys experience would this be a good buy or any general advice while shopping around

Here's a link to some photos

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?...952.1073741864.150302515157864&type=1&theater
 

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Discussion Starter #2
It also has a clean carfax with 1 owner. Only thing odd is a faulty ODO that was recently replaced. difference of about 2k miles. Currently has 65k miles
 

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I take it this is a dealer selling? Tell them to fix the issues you've noticed or drop the price even more to compensate having someone else get it up to par...

I found 1st to second gear is always abit twitchy but everything else is normal (atleast in my jeep which is 2001 4.0 TJ). So it might be a common issue but I've not driven any other TJ's to compare, but plenty of standard trucks and cars.
 

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I noticed from your second video there is no AC compressor... There's no AC. Be sure the check the frame completely for rust I can't stress that enough, and from your first video in the beginning just looks like the rear main seal leaking a bit I think that's pretty common their are tons of write ups on it.
 

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Would the rear main seal be a deal breaker?
I don't think so didn't look too bad from the video, but I would get a better opinion from somebody who has done a rear main seal replacement and knows more about it, I'm sure that person will be along momentarily. You should google it while you wait there is tons of information out there just gotta search.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok perfect. When you say checking the frame for rust are you mainly referring to the tub? To the best of my ability I didn't see anymore than the normal amount of oxidation an rust beginnings I would expect from a 98.
 

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And if you get a chance test 4wheel drive and the fact that it's doesn't have the air conditioning compressor is kind of shady unless they didn't tell you if it was there or not.
 

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Ok perfect. When you say checking the frame for rust are you mainly referring to the tub? To the best of my ability I didn't see anymore than the normal amount of oxidation an rust beginnings I would expect from a 98.

No, what the tub sits on top of especially in front of the rear control arms that's where they all have a very bad spot this is what mine currently looks like it's not pretty and gives me a head ache thinking about it
 

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Gotcha. As far as the A/C goes these guys are purely salesmen. It's a small lot and I get the impression none of them know a lick about any of their vehicles. When I said it was supposed A/C runoff they ran with that and said "That amount of A/C runoff would be completely normal". What fluid would the rear seal be leaking? Coolant?
 

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Gotcha. As far as the A/C goes these guys are purely salesmen. It's a small lot and I get the impression none of them know a lick about any of their vehicles. When I said it was supposed A/C runoff they ran with that and said "That amount of A/C runoff would be completely normal". What fluid would the rear seal be leaking? Coolant?
Oil, as far as coolant check out the the radiator I've heard they tend to leak
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you so much guys. I'd love to hear anyone else's advice but for the time being I sent them a revised offer for $1,000 less taking into account the A/C mistruth, leak, fluids and oil & filter change unless they plan to fix them all in house.
 

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Thank you so much guys. I'd love to hear anyone else's advice but for the time being I sent them a revised offer for $1,000 less taking into account the A/C mistruth, leak, fluids and oil & filter change unless they plan to fix them all in house.
Stick to your guns, if they say nay... walk away.
 

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Rear main is an easy fix for an experience mechanic. Just requires dropping the oil pan. Check for rust, anything deeper than surface rust and its not worth it. And test EVERYTHING. Jeeps have a weird tranny as it is so sounds normal. Also check the rear axle, if its a dana 44, snatch it up, if its a dana 35. Pass. Unless your staying with stock tires, that 35 will be a nightmare.

Also, the frame is the steel construction the tub and driveline of the jeep is mounted too. You can see the rectangular shaped rails running from front to rear parallel to eachother on opposite sides of the transmission/transfer case.
 

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