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Discussion Starter #1
So I took the plunge this past weekend, and bought my first Jeep, a 1999 Wrangler Sahara. It already had a 4 inch skyjacker lift, mickey thompson wheels, and super swampers (which I was planning to change anyway). I got it home after purchasing, parked it, and the drivers side rear wheel had 0 lug nuts left on it, and was about to fall off! Needless to say I was quite upset, I had only owned the Jeep for an hour. I brought it to my mechanic today (on the back of a tow truck) and after he looked it over he realized I needed about 3k, yes you read that right, $3,000 worth of work! (essentially a whole front end rebuild, 2 new wheels, 5 new tires, ETC) because it was about to collapse/ fall out . Anyone have something similar happen to them? what do you guys suggest I do? go after the guy legally? or just drop it and fix it out of my own pocket? would love some varying opinions
 

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Best thing would to have had a mechanic look at the Jeep before you bought it

But since you didn't do that....

I would have a second mechanic look at it to get a different quote and second opinion. Depending on the laws in the state you live in you may not have a legal case against the seller, after all you bought a used vehicle.

Best of luck to you
 

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If you purchased it from an individual, it is AS IS. Now you can approach the seller nicely and tell him whay you found and MAYBE he can do something for you. If you purchased from a used car dealer or lot, unless there is a warranty, it will be states, AS IS.

Hat to say it, you should have had your mechanic check it out first.
 

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You always have to look over a vehicle throughly before purchasing, especially if its not from a dealer. You bought it privately so there really is nothing you can do about it. The biggest thing with Jeeps is when something breaks we upgrade it, consider that 3k your first upgrades. Theres over 10k in my Jeep not including the Jeep itself.
 

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I would probably get a second opinion as mentioned. I read this and thought that you screwing was coming from the mechanic. Pictures of the "defective" areas would help too, we love pictures on here!!!
 

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In Ontario, a vehicle that is being sold privately can go into two catagories. One being As-is/where-is which is risky in itself unless you take the proper precautions and have it looked at before buying or option two: Certified. Meaning it is safe to drive and had gone thru a certified mechanic to pass minimum safety requirements. Now safeties don't always mean its tip top shape mechanically. When I bought my jeep last year, I gambled and kinda evened out. Even though the seller sold it certified/safetied, I still had issues that needed to be looked after. The seal on rear differential needed to be replaced, the brakes/rotors were at borderline (so I had those changed out as well.)

Since my purchase, not too much else has been needed a side from replacing the steering gear box and thats it. So I hope the OP can find some even ground with the seller but in reality if I was buying something as-is, I would of taken it to the garage first before flashing cash...
 

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+1 on getting another mechanic to quote the repairs and then approaching the seller in a sympathetic manner because the seller is not on the hook legally.

sorry you got burned, hope it does not permanently sour you on used wranglers because there are a lot of very nice used TJ's out there for sale at decent prices. You did not indicate what you paid for your 99 Sahara....if you got it for say 1/3 NADA and it needs 3grand on repairs, you actually did not do so badly.
 

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Caveat Emptor...I wish you luck
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone for the advice. here are the best responses I can come up with to everyone. The mechanic is my close personal friend, so he is actually giving me a discount on the labor already. and ideally i would have had him him come check it out but being me I thought I could handle it alone. Big Mistake. I don't have pictures a the moment because I didn't even know of the problem till I dropped it off at my shop. I was told by my mechanic that the law is something to the effect of because I didn't sign anything that said AS IS that doesn't apply. The guy I bought it from said he could possibly help pay for the repairs as he is a good guy and feels bad because he had no idea, and I am only 18 and it could have potentially been a life/death situation if the wheel could have come off while driving or anything like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Also, I paid 6800 for it initially. thought it was a good deal since it had the lift and decently low miles for a 99 (113k) Looking back that was really stupid by me. This just seems to be the kind of luck I have with cars, as this is my 4th vehicle.
 

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yep.. bought my first jeep Rubi from a dealer for a steal! but unknown to me it had over 2 grand worth of work that needed to be done to it.. they wouldn't do the work to it telling me I bought it as is so I took it as an opportunity to work on it myself and upgrade what needed to be replaced..
 

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I would probably get a second opinion as mentioned. I read this and thought that you screwing was coming from the mechanic. Pictures of the "defective" areas would help too, we love pictures on here!!!
X2.

If you bought from a dealer, check the bill of sale for the "as-is" statement, if you bought private, oops. Still pondering how you drove home without lug nuts and didn't "notice" anything; even more interesting is the wheel still being there. Also I'm trying to understand how a test drive in a jeep goes that's about to "collapse".

Trying to put kidding and scarcasm aside here, I think pictures are a good idea; maybe include a scan of the first mechanics quote? I can't even imagine what would amount to $3,000; no really, I can't. The whole front end rebuild is simple....and cheap. Two new wheels should have been apparent, and all five tires is apparent before the sale. At the least we need a list of everything that makes up $3,000.

I think we definitely need more information because none of this even sounds right. Do you know this mechanic personally? I'm sure you didn't check this thing out pre-sale with a blind-fold on, so $3K in repairs sounds ridiculous.
 

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yep.. bought my first jeep Rubi from a dealer for a steal! but unknown to me it had over 2 grand worth of work that needed to be done to it.. they wouldn't do the work to it telling me I bought it as is so I took it as an opportunity to work on it myself and upgrade what needed to be replaced..
Interested in knowing what the $2K worth of repairs were.

Add a shop's labor and a couple hundred bucks worth of needed parts turns into a quote with a comma in it pretty quick.....
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I only noticed something wrong as I pullen into my driveway when I got home after purchasing. Found one lug in the street, so that explains how it stayed on. They had to fall off while I was driving home. As for the 3 grand, It was an estimate for 2 wheels, mounting, balancing, new pitman arms, control arms, the whole front end steering basically. When my mechanic called me to break the news he said that the pitman arm was about to fall out, needed a steering box, front SS was put in wrong. Me being new to jeeps I really wouldn't have know all of these thing and when I test drove it it seemed solid. hope that helps clarify
 

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Interested in knowing what the $2K worth of repairs were.

Add a shop's labor and a couple hundred bucks worth of needed parts turns into a quote with a comma in it pretty quick.....
yep majority of it was shops labor...

-front diff seal
-track bar and tie rod ends
-front axle u joint
-rear lower shock adapter
-front sway bar link mounts
-trans mount
-exhaust re-welded
-3 lower control arm bushings
-all 4 ball joints
and some other small stuff here and there

shop quoted me just over 2k for parts and labor..
I bought all parts myself for under 6 hundred and my time (including new currie front set up :thumb:
even with all the stuff I had to repair on it I still consider it a good deal!


 

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Discussion Starter #17
I wish I did but unfortunately I am really just starting out this being my first jeep and my only car, as well as having a day job so looks like i'm riding my bike to work for a while
 

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I only noticed something wrong as I pullen into my driveway when I got home after purchasing. Found one lug in the street, so that explains how it stayed on. They had to fall off while I was driving home. As for the 3 grand, It was an estimate for 2 wheels, mounting, balancing, new pitman arms, control arms, the whole front end steering basically. When my mechanic called me to break the news he said that the pitman arm was about to fall out, needed a steering box, front SS was put in wrong. Me being new to jeeps I really wouldn't have know all of these thing and when I test drove it it seemed solid. hope that helps clarify

-Pitman arm: There is only one (1). It doesn't fall out, it's got a tapered hole on one end and a splined hole on the other; tighten the nuts. is the spline stripped?
-What's wrong with the 2 wheels? Bent? Cracked?
-How bad are the tires? Bald? You bought it like this, do you think they're needed right now?
-How was that front Steering Stabilizer (SS?) put in wrong? Backwards?
-Control arms? Are they Skyjacker? Are the bushings worn? Is he trying to get you to buy new ones? Are they stock?
-"Whole front end steering": What's worn? There's not much going on up there. The only wearing parts are ball joints and tie rod ends. Both are cheap items. These trucks don't have racks.
-Steering box? Is there a ton of play in the wheel? You drove it. Either way, a rebuilt is 150 bucks.

Honestly, with all that the mechanic is claiming it needs, it would have never felt solid. You're on a forum with people who build and repair these things, we know for the most part what things cost, and how they fail. It's still not adding up, even replacing everything you've referenced; with the exception of the tires.

Are you figuring in the price of 5 new 33"+ tires with this 3 grand?
 

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yep majority of it was shops labor...

-front diff seal
-track bar and tie rod ends
-front axle u joint
-rear lower shock adapter
-front sway bar link mounts
-trans mount
-exhaust re-welded
-3 lower control arm bushings
-all 4 ball joints
and some other small stuff here and there

shop quoted me just over 2k for parts and labor..
I bought all parts myself for under 6 hundred and my time (including new currie front set up :thumb:
even with all the stuff I had to repair on it I still consider it a good deal!


I'd have to agree that yours adds up.....
 

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Discussion Starter #20
all of this I am being told by my mechanic, but I do trust hi he is a long time family friend. One rim was broken from driving with no lugs, as well as the axle needing new studs. I needed to buy a spare as well. Thats 220 for the wheels. It had a dual steering stabilizer which needs to be changed to a single now, the steering box was worn out, but I figured that was caused by the lift. The pitman arm was a typo, my mistake. the tires I just didn't need super swampers and they were pretty worn so I knew I was gonna need that. control arms are skyjacker but bushings are worn out. Like I said I am new to jeeps and I didnt really have a comparison from this one to the next. I figured it was a bit loose the steering from being so high lifted.
 
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