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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been lurking on Craigslist for a while now and this guy has had his post up for some time (renewed it a couple of times already) so I thought it would be worth a shot to contact him and see what axle it has. Ended up finding out it's a Dana 35 and I'm wanting a Dana 44. Even though it has a Dana 35, would it be worth buying it, running it until the axle goes out and then upgrading or should I just keep looking for one with the Dana 44 already equipped?

Here's a link:
1999 jeep wrangler with lift!! 4.0/auto

I'm looking for a Wrangler with:
4.0L
Auto Transmission (Don't mind a Manual if I HAVE to but I would prefer an auto)
Dana 44 Axle

Things I'll do to it:
33" tires
Zone 4.25" Combo lift

My MAXIMUM budget is $8,000 (which doesn't seem to get me much around here) but I would like to stay around $7,000.
Think I should hold out? If not, would this be a good price for a Dana 35 equipped 4.0?

I talked to my Jeep dealer and they said to come in when I had the cash and they can do a nationwide search of their partner dealerships for what I'm looking for within my budget. I'm thinking I'll come up short but you think that would be best or keep lurking on Craigslist?

Thanks guys!
 

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I wouldn't want to get an auto tranny with 160k miles unless you have enough $ to replace it when it goes out.

It looks like a nice jeep. It seems a bit steep ($) for the miles... But it's all up to you. It really also depends on what kind of condition the rest of the Wrangler is in...

I'd want something with a manual trans, or a lot less miles on an auto.

Just my $.02
 

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I'd hit up eBay, and "statewide search" -for craigslist, if I were you.

There are a lot of options out there... I'd want something with less miles if you're going to go back as far as a '99 anyway. And if you don't have a lot of repair $.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, I was a little hesitant on the mileage on it. Like I said, I'm still looking.
I have to sell my truck that's out front with a for sale sign first...

I'll keep looking though. I might go over to the dealer and see what they could get me. I don't mind a manual but I would prefer an auto.

As far as getting one with a Dana 35 and upgrading later (if I find one for cheap), would that be fine or should I just get one with a Dana 44 (pay a little more) and call it done?
 

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I waited over a year and a half before I bought my TJ. I had specific things I wanted, like a Dana 44 rear, hard top, 5 speed, I6, green body, Sahara model, not yet modified, no rust, and a budget of $10k.

Then one day she appeared on Craigslist. It was worth the wait. I didn't have to compromise. Be patient, and what you want will pop up.

Side note: I never buy automatic unless its new with a warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I waited over a year and a half before I bought my TJ. I had specific things I wanted, like a Dana 44 rear, hard top, 5 speed, I6, green body, Sahara model, not yet modified, no rust, and a budget of $10k.

Then one day she appeared on Craigslist. It was worth the wait. I didn't have to compromise. Be patient, and what you want will pop up.

Side note: I never buy automatic unless its new with a warranty.
You basically described what I'm looking for.

Why should I stay away from the automatic if it doesn't have a warranty (which is another reason why I'm leaning towards going through a dealer because I'll get a warranty)?

I don't mind it being modified but there are certain things I'm looking out for...
 

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Because auto transmission are known to fail and if they do it means the whole transmission needs replaced as to where if a manual transmission has issues it is usually the clutch..

Now I'm new to the Jeep world but I know one thing for sure, Chrysler/Dodge CANNOT make an auto transmission to save their life..
 

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KILRIK said:
You basically described what I'm looking for.

Why should I stay away from the automatic if it doesn't have a warranty (which is another reason why I'm leaning towards going through a dealer because I'll get a warranty)?

I don't mind it being modified but there are certain things I'm looking out for...
Used car warranties are well not that great. If your state has a lemon law then you don't really need a warranty. I've never placed any worth on a warranty unless its new and I read the fine print, which takes a while. Used warranties are complicated and I'm not a lawyer. Most dealerships have you sign an arbitrary agreement, which saves the dealership a lot of money since the claim will never make it to court.

As far as an auto, I only go with stick if it's used. It's the difference between a $300 fix or a $2000 fix. My brother, who is a mech recommended never buying an auto trans used. A car that you thought is $7k, could end up being $9k. I don't know about you, but I don't have the funds to invest another $2k in transmission.

Lastly, if you don't mind to travel, if you want a rust free rig, go to a desert. In Bend, OR most cars are rust free since there is little to no rain. On the coast, which is 3 hours from here is a different story. I don't know anything about a 4 cyl, but I do know a I6 will last to about 250k-350k miles.

And last but not least, remember a blue book value is the highest point of a negotiation price. Not the purchase price. I walked from the deal when I found my rig. 6 excruciating hours later, they called with an agreement of what I wanted to spend. The price was $12k I offered $10k and we settled at $9800 out the door. Again, patience won.

You might have to "play the game", but its worth it in the end. If you win, every time you hop on Craigslist, you will be happy about your purchase, when you see what similar Wranglers are going for. I walked for this dealership before in the past, so I'm not sure if that had anything to do with negotiations.

Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've been watching that post man. Nice rig but out of my price range.
If I could, I would!

I may just look at getting a manual then. I've heard that the '98 and '99 auto is near bulletproof (which those would be the years in my price range) and that was my main reason for wanting an auto. Also, I'm going to try and offroad as much as I can and I've read that the Auto has it's benefits...
 

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KILRIK said:
Ok, I found a new listing that peaked my interest. Am I getting desperate or would this be a good idea to pick this up?
04 Damaged Jeep Wrangler 4x4 6 Cylinder With Manual Shift

Even though it doesn't have a Dana 44 rear, I could always do an axle swap and because it comes with a donor Jeep, I'll have spare parts.

Thoughts??
He'll yeah. Now your talking. That price is great since damage is cosmetic. Plus you get a hard top. If she was in my neck of the woods, I would've already bought her. Take for a spin, check 4WD, if its all good, buy her. The parts are like icing on a cake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Called the guy today and told me they don't take trade-ins (I still have to sell my truck) but they will hold it for up to 120 days if I put down a $500 deposit.
He also told me the second Jeep is JUST the Jeep body, frame and roll cage. No motor, transmission, etc.
I'm pretty sure that would include the hardtop and full doors though.

Should I still pursue it? Only problem is that they're almost 5 hours away from me so I want to be sure before making the trip. Also, do you think I would be able to pull the parts Jeep behind the driveable Jeep or would that put too much stress on the Dana 35?
 

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The Dana 35 isn't that weak. It's just when you add bigger tires/ lockers it is guaranteed to break. On the street you will most likely (won't say will because they have been known to break on the street) be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The Dana 35 isn't that weak. It's just when you add bigger tires/ lockers it is guaranteed to break. On the street you will most likely (won't say will because they have been known to break on the street) be fine.
Ok, I'll make sure the hard top and full doors are included then. I should be able to pull my grandfather's trailer down there with me. I'll just have to check and see if I could borrow his truck or put a tow hitch on the back of our minivan :nonono:
 

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I'll disagree with some folks here. Autos are fine, as long as you have it tested by a good transmission shop for line pressures and possible leaks..
Auto's are mostly bullet proof in the TJ, including the later TJ's too.
I know there are a lot of older Grand Cherokee's 94-04 out there with the same engine 4.0 and auto trans as we have with 200K on them with no rebuilt trannies..

If you want an auto get it. But have it checked out.
 

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Ok, I'll make sure the hard top and full doors are included then. I should be able to pull my grandfather's trailer down there with me. I'll just have to check and see if I could borrow his truck or put a tow hitch on the back of our minivan :nonono:
Now that I look at the pictures, you will definitely want to make sure the frame isn't bent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Now that I look at the pictures, you will definitely want to make sure the frame isn't bent.
Which is my biggest concern at this point. I'll have a spare frame to work with if it is but it's a factor. Having to travel that far away and find that out would suck...

Another option I have is there is a dealership here in town (guy has 3 locations) and when he gets something in on his lot that he wants to move quick (probably got it in a trade in), he will put them in his car auction. I've been watching there sales list after the auctions and they've had a '97 sell for $4,500, '98 for $5000, and another '98 for $5,500 the past three times they've ran the auction.

The nice thing is that he offers a warranty with whatever is auctioned so if there is a problem I just take it to his dealership and they'll have it sorted out.

Would this be a good idea to hit up that local auction?
 

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have to check it out as it modded. and don't want someones problems.. but not bad if it had the 44 rear.

Lifted wrangler only 83k miles!

Don't rush into buying a jeep, its better to wait and get what you want...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
have to check it out as it modded. and don't want someones problems.. but not bad if it had the 44 rear.

Lifted wrangler only 83k miles!

Don't rush into buying a jeep, its better to wait and get what you want...
I've been checking Craigslist for a while now and never saw that. I've been putting "Jeep Wrangler" into the search though so him having "Wrangler" in the title threw the search off...

That looks like a sweet deal. A little out of my price range but if he can go lower, I would be interested. I'll send him something.

Like I said before, have to sell this truck...
 
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