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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the market for a used TJ and I came across a '97 Sahara with a 4 inch lift, 33s, and 228,500 miles for $7,900. It looks and drives great, but I am concerned about the very high mileage... Mechanic said it needs a new rear diff, but aside from that it is very solid for age and mileage. I am thinking about offering $5-6k for it. The jeep would be my daily driver and used for light wheeling while I am in school. What do y'all think about buying a TJ with this many miles? Is it worth it? Thank you very much.
 

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Well $7900 is WAYYYYY too much for sure. Where are you located? Prices vary by market. If it is the 4.0 I would not be concerned with that kind of mileage if it runs well and isn't clickety clacking or making any other strange noises. If its the 4 cyl find out when it was last replaced. The rear axle being bad could be a blessing in disguise as it should be regeared if it hasn't been already but again the price needs to reflect that.

Without pics or details it is hard to guess what it would be worth. Auto or manual, tires new or shot, 5 or 4 of them. Interior condition, title clear or salvaged, 4 or 6 cyl, air or no, hard top or soft top or both
 

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Well $7900 is WAYYYYY too much for sure. Where are you located? Prices vary by market. If it is the 4.0 I would not be concerned with that kind of mileage if it runs well and isn't clickety clacking or making any other strange noises. If its the 4 cyl find out when it was last replaced. The rear axle being bad could be a blessing in disguise as it should be regeared if it hasn't been already but again the price needs to reflect that.

Without pics or details it is hard to guess what it would be worth. Auto or manual, tires new or shot, 5 or 4 of them. Interior condition, title clear or salvaged, 4 or 6 cyl, air or no, hard top or soft top or both
FYI...A Sahara would be the 4.0L.

$6K would be reasonable from a Private Party. $7900 is typical from a Dealer. Figure $1000 to fix the rearend. When the motor goes south, you can get a reman for around $2200.

Check the Frame carefully for nasty rust.
 
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As stated, they are asking way to much, especially looking at a new dif right out of the box. That's a lot of miles. There is a lot with the jeep that can work in your favor at getting a very good price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's a 4.0L with 4 brand new 33 inch Hercules trail digger M/T tires (spare is a older, worn 33 inch tire). Brand new besttop trektop NX frameless top. Frame is clean and recently protective spray lined. It's an automatic transmission.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
All in all it's got some scratches, paint fading, and the interior isn't in the best shape, but our mechanic said it was a solid jeep for the age and mileage aside from the rear diff. It has a/c but needs a new compressor so as of now it doesn't work but a/c isn't a huge factor for me in a jeep. Does $5-6k seem like a safe offer? I know the 4.0s are bulletproof if you treat them right
 

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If the interior was clean, the paint was decent, & the a/c was good the asking price isn't too crazy. Clean YJs list for that all day long. However, with the noted issues I'd say the 5K range is reasonable. I probably wouldn't go more than 5500. That said, even though she's mechanically sound for now, don't be surprised if you have to drop some coin on a tranny or motor rebuild down the line.
 

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Take $500 right off so lets start with $7400.

The rear diff is a $1000 investment = $6400.

A/C = $500 with labor =$5900

How are the brakes?

When was the Transmission last serviced? What transmission does it have?

When was the rear main seal replaced? Oil pan and valve cover gasket?

What condition are the U-joints in...all of them?

What condition are the front ball joints in?

are the shocks in good shape? Sway bar links?

How do the gears in the front differential look?

When was the water pump replaced? belts? pulleys?


At 200K miles, these are things that would have normally been serviced at least once if not multiple times. Knowing these things helps gauge the price otherwise you could end up putting $$ into it every few months.

I'd offer $4500 and work upwards to a max of $5500...which is still too much in my opinion. I wouldn't go over $5000.
 

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That's way too much for those miles. If the motor has those miles then so does most everything else. Maybe they hold their value much better where you're located. Around here you can get 5 years newer and 100,000 less miles for less $$$ than that.
 

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I would walk away and I would have someone who knows about TJs look at the 4" lift on it. There are plenty of disasters driving down the road.

Keep looking, buy a stocker and modify it correctly how you want it.
 

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Hey VTHokie! Knowing your neck of the woods you are prolly getting it off one of your local NRV club members lol.

Depending, I would say around 5-6k sounds fair, but I havent seen it. You say it was recently frame sprayed, to me that sounds almost like a cover up, if it was recent and then sold.

Like Wdkirk said, those prices are about right. I just recently had my rear axle bearings in the wheels and pumpkin done, and it was $900. The AC cost me around $500 too, I HAD to replace it cause the pulley went bad. All my rubber bushings in my control arms are toast, thats $250 plus me putting them in. What brand lift kit is on it? Some are cheap, some are quality. New tires and top is a blessing. That saves you $1500. You can also plug in the vin number on the Jeep site and it will tell you everything it came with. You could also ask what else has been serviced.

If something dont feel right about it after going over it well, hold out for a better one.
 

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Hopefully your mechanic has checked control arm and track bar bushings, ball joints, front axle shaft u-joints, front and rear differentials, shocks, drive shafts, all steering components for slop or excessive play. Do you know when/if the front axle hubs or the rear axle bearings were replaced?

A 4" lift system should have a slip yoke eliminator installed on the output of the transfer case, and a rear CV driveshaft, unless transfer case lowering bushings have been installed (not desired).

With that many miles, it may have been maintained fairly well but probably will have some underlying issues ready to arise and potentially cost you a significant amount of money to upkeep.

Obviously, plan on replacing things as issues arise. You never know when something will happen like your harmonic balancer craters, the radiator forms a leak, rear main seal leaks, or your heater core goes bad.

I don't know about prices in your region, but good luck.

TJ's are fun to own and drive.
 
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