Keep in mind you are asking about a vehicle that was built over 19 years ago, and for the past 19 years you do not know the history or life that it has lived to begins with. In my opinion, who gives a crap about factory problems with a 19 yr old vehicle. Even if the factory recalled the ball joints, and the first owner got them fixed in the summer of '97, then since then his snobby nose little shit of an ungrateful son went mud riding often, then the owner sold it to a young woman who constantly drove it hard and went through brake pads once a month, then her thug drop-out boyfriend smoke pot in it while driving it through ditches and other areas that would severely stress the frame and suspension over time. It was repo'd by the bank in 2003, sat for a year and a half til a college guy bought it as a daily driver. After college, a marriage, and 2 kids he had to sell his baby to by a Dodge Caravan. So in 2008 when the guy you are considering buying from has done nothing to it but maybe change the oil 4 times since then.
Does factory problems matter now? By it bc you want a YJ wrangler. Then fix it and mod it or even RESTORE it to BETTER than factory conditions and let it make you happy for YEARS, even DECADES to come.
i agree with scottie, it doesnt matter factory problems they shouldve been fixed by now. look up the recalls on it, and just enjoy it when you buy it. If i could do it again i would look for a 6cyl vs my i4 but thats a minor gripe
Like Scottie was referring to, most of it goes back to who owned it prior to you. I have a 94 I6. I bought mine from a bit older single lady who had owned it many, many years. She told me the only time she ever put it in 4wd was when it snowed....and, since we live in Central Arkansas, that's MAYBE once per winter. She had bought it from a guy who had used it for duck hunting. Funny, she told me that when she bought it that "it had these big tires on it, and I hated that, so I took it to Walmart and told them to put the smallest tires on it that would fit". *L*
If you've not owned a Jeep before, especially an older Jeep, then make sure to consider this.... It's not a car. It rides rough. I can drive over a quarter and tell you which side is up. It's loud on the road. Environmental controls aren't exactly your new car quality. (although, I'm guessing that a hard top instead of a soft top would help quite a bit with the road noise and winter heating issues). It gets terrible gas mileage....You're driving a brick into the wind. I average around 14-15 mpg. Even with the I6, it's still not a power demon, although much better than the 4 cyl.
Now, with all those negatives considered, I'll also tell you this. This is, without a doubt, the funnest vehicle I have ever owned. I love it. My wife was shaky on the idea when I bought it, but she is now a 100% convert. In fact, if we were to get divorced she'd probably fight for the Jeep *L*. I love the topless, doorless driving time when on pavement, and that fun triples when off in the woods on old trails. Do I regret buying it? Oh hell no! Would I buy it again? In a heartbeat! But be aware of the negatives before buying, and make sure you're good with them.
Its good you looked before leaping. Definitely do your homework, there are some beat to hell jeeps selling for more than others in better shape. These things have lived almost 20 years out in the wild, there is a huge difference between a neglected one and a pampered one. Biggest thing really is rust, the frame is a big safety issue, but the body is a huge hassle, the price difference between a rust free Jeep and a rusted out one isn't nearly as much as it should be.
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