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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Don't you just hate it when some newbie joins the forum to ask questions before contributing anything?:)


Well I'm about to look at a few TJ's 2000 - 2006, specifically the Sahara 4.0 auto model under 75000 miles. It's a retirement present to myself.



Living England there are only a few Wranglers about so I'm looking at low mileage Japanese imports (they have the steering wheel on the correct side).


I've owned 4.0 auto 1997 Cherokee and 2002 Grand Cherokee before.


I would be grateful for any pointers regarding Wrangler specific points to check before purchase?


Thanks in advance
 

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Mechanicals can be fixed so don't sweat those, a rusty frame is something that can't be fixed cheaply. Look at the holes in the frame, if they look like pictures of the Titanic walk away. Avoid ones with "armor" that can hide rusty body panels.
 

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Mechanicals can be fixed so don't sweat those, a rusty frame is something that can't be fixed cheaply. Look at the holes in the frame, if they look like pictures of the Titanic walk away. Avoid ones with "armor" that can hide rusty body panels.
This exactly.
Specifically, check inside the frame near the rear control arm, stock your finger inside the hole. They tend to rust from the inside out. Also look carefully near the skid plate frame area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for your replies.


Unlike here in the UK the Japanese don't use road salt so I hope that frame corrosion will be minimal, but it's good to know where to look.


Any drive train issues or recalls? Importers want top money and it's good to have bargaining points.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks again, I've ruled out a couple of 2005's and am now concentrating on 2000 - 2004.


There are 6 available for me to test drive early next week.


I'll check all the usual things like emulsion under oil filler cap, steering or brake judder, hi-lo operation and so on, but are there any Wrangler specific things to check?
 

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I usually don't buy a car without getting a dealer inspection done first. It costs around $150. And they go thru the entire car and give you a report of everything that needs to be fixed. I work on my own cars from time to time. But I'm no mechanic. I know my limitations. MAke sure they pull all the engine codes too.

This has saved me time and again. I shopped long and hard for my sons Honda two years ago. And my own Yukon. ARound the same time. And several cars in the past 20 years. And I avoided several vehicles that had more wrong with them than the sales price. Simply by spending a $150 on a vehicle inspection that your going to spend 10k plus on. Or even more.

Having said that. I just got kind of screwed over on my last one for this Jeep I just bought. They missed a code and subtle transmission issue that may cause me to have it rebuilt. So take someone with you when you pick up the Jeep. Someone knowledgeable. Maybe even your personal mechanic. Or even have your personal mechanic do the inspection. It doesn't matter who you have do the inspection as long as you trust them. And they have enough of an advanced shop to inspect everything. I just usually went to the Dealership as I depended on their greed for identifying things needing repair. So they could get the job after of replacing everything.

This also separates the men from the boys so to speak. Or the scammers and the honest folk. I always ask in a very nice way. "If they would mind me paying for an inspection at their local dealership." If a seller stalls or questions this or just generally has a blank stare or negative reaction. I assume they are hiding something. And it's usually something to hard for me - the not a mechanic guy - to diagnose. The people who are honestly representing their cars don't have any problem with having it inspected. And sometimes it uncovers stuff I personally don't think they were even aware of. So it kind of helps both parties. I had one guy fix everything that was wrong on the spot at the dealership and then sold me the car for the original negotiated price. Stand up sellers do exist. But alot of people have cars with problems they would rather you not notice.

On my last Jeep I used the dealer inspection to negotiate the selling price down. to cover the cost of repairs. It did save me from over $3000 in repairs that needed done. Luckily my own mechanic did them for $1000. So I came out $1000 ahead. As I split the repair costs so the seller wasn't negotiating on dealer repair prices. (But not with this transmission issue. Hopefully it's just a $300 sensor. But we'll see.)

But I wouldn't buy any used car without an inspection from someone you trust. Generally dealerships are the best choice for this. Specifically a Jeep dealership of course. Don't roll the dice on a test drive unless you yourself are a mechanic and has diagnostic skills that rival it being gone over in a proper shop.

Just my two cents. And it's only failed me this one time out of maybe 10. HAd I taken a Jeep guy with me as well he probably would have noticed the subtle transmission issue. But it was my first Jeep. It was more noisy than I was used to. And I missed it. Until the code came on three days later.

So save yourself some real heartbreak. And have an inspection done before hand. They only take a couple hours and $150 generally speaking. It's best insurance you can buy for $150. And unfortunately you can't trust anyone in this day and age. My Jeep even came with a 2 inch thick file folder of receipts the previous owners had spent on the it. And they were what appeared to be fine upstanding members of their community. But again, trust no one. Except your mechanic or dealership. To get to the real value of a used car.
 
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