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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, I'm having a b-day on Sunday and wanted to buy myself a present in the form of a YJ, my first jeep. Since I am new to the Jeep game, I wanted to ask for a little advice on things to look for. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, I can't wait to get into the hobby.
 

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Feels like this is an everyday thing on here but glad to help nun the less. First off if you buy one the search engine on here is your best friend. What are you looking to do with it? Pure street, street n 2 tracks, pure off-road? Main thing is checking for rust on frame and body. Holes are bad! Second yu need to make sure it doesn't have any leaks ANYWHERE. Third make sure all mechanicals work. Just because it's big and flashy n jacked up with a fancy paint job don't be afraid to walk away because the frame is rusted out. Plus it all depends on the money you have to spend
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I should have been more specific, I spaced out before I was finished. The three Jeeps I'm going to look at are all pretty different. One is stock for the most part but does have a new body. Not sure about rust on the rest of the Jeep. The next is mildly customized, on 35" tires with a 4" sus lift, not sure about much other than it runs great. The last is one, no rust from what I understand, and also has a lot of mods, Ford 302 conversion with a lot of extra parts, a lot more done to it. All three are in the 3000-3500 range.

I like the idea of the more built one, but it sounds like I can be getting into a big headache. It is probably the cheapest of them all. What do I look for with a V8 conversion?
 

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Weld on the engine mounts hacked up wiring.. angles the shafts are at and parts used for conversion.. I would stay away from the 35s
 

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Sounds like all 3 have been screwed with in one way or another so basically you need to just look them all over very well
 

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Sounds like all 3 have been screwed with in one way or another so basically you need to just look them all over very well
+1

Unless you have the expertise to inspect them properly, you may be buying a hack job. Buying a stock Jeep and building it is generally better, but would end up being more expensive.

35s on the stock Dana 35 rear axle is a timebomb waiting to explode. If the previous owner did that, I'd question everything else that they did to the Jeep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input. I can honestly say that this is uncharted ground for me. I am pretty clueless about Jeeps, or 4x4s in general. I have always been around enthusiasts, but never paid too much attention to the hobby because I never had the money to consider it until now. I have even put some time behind the wheel and more time as a passenger on trails, but always in stock vehicles. I owned a 4Runner that I loved, but ever since I went up a "goat trail" in a Jeep about 15 years ago, I always knew I wanted a Jeep when the time is right, and I think the time is now. I am just terrified about getting into a headache, which is why I kinda want to start from scratch, but I guess I won't have a good idea about what I want until I actually look at what's out there.
 

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Like others have said on this sight, buy stock, take it out n get it stuck n decide what you need next time to not get stuck. Don't be dumb and listen to the person you buy some jacked up yj from because they will lie to you and tell you anything you want to hear. Sellers love ignorance. If they tell you it has 33's and does 70 down the highway but don't know if the rear axles have been regeared run. "which is a lie" they know.
 

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I just bought my first Wrangler today! 89 YJ Islander !
New to the forum, and this is my first post. Cant wait to dive into this site.

Jeep On!
 

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Like others have said on this sight, buy stock, take it out n get it stuck n decide what you need next time to not get stuck. Don't be dumb and listen to the person you buy some jacked up yj from because they will lie to you and tell you anything you want to hear. Sellers love ignorance. If they tell you it has 33's and does 70 down the highway but don't know if the rear axles have been regeared run. "which is a lie" they know.
come on.not all jeeps go 70 down highway..some go 80 :)
 

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This is how i would look at it..... buy stock and build it how you want it to be. If you're buying a modified Jeep, assume everything is done wrong or severly abused and will need to be replaced or re-done correctly.
 

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I'd go with the stock jeep, as long as it's got no rust issues and is mechanically sound; you can then build it how you want it and learn from the build as you go. I might add that an old jeep, should never be your primary or only vehicle; they are unique and fun to drive, but they break a little more often than any modern daily driver. I've been a mechanic my entire adult life and have rebuilt mine from the frame up in the last ten years, not because I wanted to, but because I had to; the difference is that since it is not my primary rig, I was able to take my time and rebuild and modify it as I went, with out the hassle of being a foot because of it. Jeeping is fun and a great hobby, just make sure you keep a spare rig around to get back and forth to work when you break things on your jeep. Here is my ol' YJ, you become pretty attached to them after crawling all over and under them through the years; I plan of keeping mine.

 

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It all depends on your situation man. If you have a garage buy stock and build. If you don't (like me), then you may be better of buying something closer to where you want to end up but like others have said, be very very careful, ask many questions, and for God sake, inspect it thoroughly. I inspected mine for a good two hours before I even started the negotiations. Still be ready to do a lot of work to it when and where you can... I say this as I'm finishing up rebuilding my transfer case. My parting advise once you buy one... If in doubt, get your lazy ass out, lock the hubs and throw it in 4WD!!
 

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First off....what year are all these? It can be a deciding factor by itself some times.
Also, I see you are in Hawaii? That complicates things greatly. What island?

Stock is usually best but if you are dead set on making a giant R/C car out of it, the cost of getting things shipped out there is pure craziness. Keep in mind that the mechanical aptitude of the PO is highly suspect everywhere. In Hawaii it is reported to be non existent so BEWARE any jeep. Especially anything on 35s or with an engine conversion.

Personally, I would be looking for a 91+ 4.0L 5 speed with A/C. The only way I'd consider a four cylinder is if it was bone stock and unmolested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for all the advice. I looked at everything, and ended up going the stock route. It's an '87 engine and chassis that is really clean and rust free, and he is in the process of dropping a new tub and windshield from either a '92 or '93 that was very straight and rust free. He's actually a Jeep mechanic specializing in YJs, has a cool little shop, tons of spare parts, and just hearing him talk and show me the Jeep, I can tell he knows his stuff. It was fun picking his brain a bit too. I got to drive it with the rusted out body and runs and sounds great. It has an upgraded carb and ignition, but is stock otherwise. He said the tub swap will be done by Wednesday or Thursday. Can't wait, I'll post some photos when I got it.
 
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