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post #1 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Buying a TJ Wrangler this afternoon- what to look for?

Hey all, this is my first Jeep and first 4x4, I'd like to know what to look for in this vehicle aside from the basics and also like to know how to put it into 4wd for the test drive. So if any Jeep guys have any advice, lay it on me.

Specs:

1998 Wranger Sport (base model)
4.0 I-6
5 speed
Soft top - Half doors
74k miles

Thanks in advance, I'm lost on this vehicle!

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post #2 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 10:56 AM
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Not a jeep guy, but i was looking at them and talked to Mopar. His advice was just be ready to deal with water leaks. it's a jeep and that's going to happen.

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post #3 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:01 AM
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If it drives like shit , then its fine .

Not much to look for . Its as simple as can be . Check for leaks , clutch operation , etc.
Check for rust under the carpet where the floorboards meet the rockers . Thats a good year IMHO , coil suspension and the better Dana axles . Good luck , some people get hooked on these .
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post #4 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:04 AM
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Give yourself PLENTY of passing time with that 4 Banger when pulling out in traffic as you are going nowhere in a hurry - Other than that, pretty basic set up

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming WOW, what a RIDE !!"
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post #5 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:04 AM
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How much you paying for it? Got any pics?
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post #6 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Just ran the CarFax, came back perfect. Also realized it has the 4.0 Inline-6, I thought the sport only had the I-4.

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post #7 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Will have pics tonight and final negotiation pricing.

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post #8 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:06 AM
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The six will run 10X better than that 4 - Fun lil bopper - Just don't play shitty music with the top off

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post #9 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:13 AM
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I had a 99 TJ and absolutely loved it. It drives like shit and eats up gas but it's a really fun car to have. You will be surprised what a stock Jeep can do. The half doors are pretty awesome.

As mentioned, check for rust under the floor boards. Also, make sure:

-it doesn't have a body lift (hockey pucks between the frame and body)
-it doesn't suffer from death wobble (google this)

It's a real simple car and super easy to work on. It will hold its value, which is rare these day.

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post #10 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartDrug View Post
Just ran the CarFax, came back perfect. Also realized it has the 4.0 Inline-6, I thought the sport only had the I-4.
Thats a big plus . The six is hard to break . Pop the oil cap to check the head for coking .
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post #11 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABSOLUTnie View Post
...Also, make sure:

-it doesn't have a body lift (hockey pucks between the frame and body)
Why is this a bad thing- it doesn't appear to have one but I cannot tell for certain until around 2pm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug View Post
The six will run 10X better than that 4 - Fun lil bopper - Just don't play shitty music with the top off
Lol, that's good news, I only listen to the Cats soundtrack and Erasure when in a convertible.

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Thats a big plus . The six is hard to break . Pop the oil cap to check the head for coking .
Coking? Like Carbon buildup? Will it be visible from under the cap?

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post #12 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:31 AM
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the 4 liter I6 is awesome and proven, the 4 banger is a turd.

Chris
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post #13 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:33 AM
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the 4 liter I6 is awesome and proven, the 4 banger is a turd.
Didn't they stop putting the 4L HO in the TJs? I thought they discontinued it after the YJ. I know the TJ has an I6 but I didn't think it was the same anymore.

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post #14 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:40 AM
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My TJ is the only car I regret selling. I miss that thing. It was the most fun 4 wheeled vehicle I've ever owned.

You asked how to put it in 4wd... To go to 4 high just pull the lever towards you one notch. You can do this while stopped or rolling. To go to 4 low you must stop, put the transmission in neutral and then shift the transfer case. Same thing to shift it back into 4 high from 4 low. It will drive like shit in 4wd if you're on dry pavement, especially while turning. That is normal.

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post #15 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Didn't they stop putting the 4L HO in the TJs? I thought they discontinued it after the YJ. I know the TJ has an I6 but I didn't think it was the same anymore.
AFAIK it's the same 4.0 in late YJs as the TJs, the new ones have a V-6 though.


Thanks for the help/advice everyone, anything else to add, feel free.


Am I going to need a soundbar? Any other mods that are absolutely necessary? I don't plan on turning this into a rock crawler but rather a 4 season light duty daily driver.

Brian
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post #16 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:44 AM
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had a sound bar in my 99 4 banger Jeep. Best mod I made to it cuz when you have the top off and ur doing highway speeds you can actually hear the music as the speakers are right behind ur head.
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post #17 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:46 AM
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All Sports have the 4.0. I think it was the SE or somehting like that that was the lower model.

98 was the new design...I had a 99 Sport. Love it....want another soon.

Pull the carpet up like others have said, its super easy and check for floor rust. Ims ure it will have some, just as long as there arent big holes especially where you step in. All hinges are probably already rusting and thats common so dont fret.
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post #18 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartDrug View Post
AFAIK it's the same 4.0 in late YJs as the TJs, the new ones have a V-6 though.


Thanks for the help/advice everyone, anything else to add, feel free.


Am I going to need a soundbar? Any other mods that are absolutely necessary? I don't plan on turning this into a rock crawler but rather a 4 season light duty daily driver.
I love wranglers, and they're great fun with the top off. But for 4 season daily driver i'd get a used GC for less money and way more comfort and versatility, unless you're single and in college trying to pull wool.

Chris
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post #19 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:47 AM
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I had the stock soundbar and it sounded decent enough though it will be terrible noisy with the soft top especially if you have an agressive tire on there.
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post #20 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:49 AM
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All Sports have the 4.0. I think it was the SE or somehting like that that was the lower model.

98 was the new design...I had a 99 Sport. Love it....want another soon.

Pull the carpet up like others have said, its super easy and check for floor rust. Ims ure it will have some, just as long as there arent big holes especially where you step in. All hinges are probably already rusting and thats common so dont fret.
Shit my hinges rusted after 2 years. That is a very common issue.
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post #21 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:51 AM
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Meh...no one considering a cheap is looking for something practical like a Cherokee. It is amazing though how much newer and nicer of a specimen you can get for the same price. Wranglers hold their value well...one of the best. Cherokees....probably the worst.
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post #22 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:52 AM
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Yeh...mine where replaced under warranty.
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post #23 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:52 AM
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And rusted a year later.
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post #24 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying_Hellfish View Post
Didn't they stop putting the 4L HO in the TJs? I thought they discontinued it after the YJ. I know the TJ has an I6 but I didn't think it was the same anymore.
It's basically the same old I6 in the TJs. It's a great engine. I work on a railroad fleet. They beat the shit out of their vehicles and find ways to break things that a normal person would never break. They used to have a bunch of Cherokees and TJs with the 4.0. Even the railroad never blew up one of those engines. I don't think we ever did a transmission on any of them either.
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post #25 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kruz View Post
Meh...no one considering a cheap is looking for something practical like a Cherokee. It is amazing though how much newer and nicer of a specimen you can get for the same price. Wranglers hold their value well...one of the best. Cherokees....probably the worst.
It's crazy how well wranglers hold their value when you consider its the same drivetrain(mostly) as a GC but with more rust, more noise, bouncier ride, crappier mileage, crappier HVAC, and less space inside. You pay a premium to look like you could go offroad, take the top off, and have a smaller turning radius.

Chris
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post #26 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:56 AM
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It's a Jeep(Wrangler) thing...you wouldnt understand.
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post #27 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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I love wranglers, and they're great fun with the top off. But for 4 season daily driver i'd get a used GC for less money and way more comfort and versatility, unless you're single and in college trying to pull wool.
If I were to go that route, I'd just keep the Lincoln. I want a 2nd convertible that can be used in the winter too (S2k is in storage). I'm also really drawn by the ease of maintenance and repair on these things as well as their ridiculous resale value.

No other car aside from a Wrangler can you buy it new for $24k, put 100k on it and sell it for $18k, it's insanity but I'll ride the wave. Especially for the price- I can own this car for 3 years, put 40k on it and lose $1,000, it's a no-brainer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Steve View Post
had a sound bar in my 99 4 banger Jeep. Best mod I made to it cuz when you have the top off and ur doing highway speeds you can actually hear the music as the speakers are right behind ur head.
Thanks man!

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post #28 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 12:03 PM
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Why is this a bad thing- it doesn't appear to have one but I cannot tell for certain until around 2pm.



Lol, that's good news, I only listen to the Cats soundtrack and Erasure when in a convertible.



Coking? Like Carbon buildup? Will it be visible from under the cap?
Honestly, there's nothing really "wrong" about body lifts but they're were always frowned upon by the Jeep nerds. It's an inexpensive way to lift the Jeep but bad stuff can happen if it's over done.

-Maciek
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post #29 of 62 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 12:03 PM
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If I was going to get a 99 jeep I'd just get something like this, and the value isn't going to drop much at this point: http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/cto/2852632897.html

I love my '01 GC.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartDrug View Post
AFAIK it's the same 4.0 in late YJs as the TJs, the new ones have a V-6 though.


Thanks for the help/advice everyone, anything else to add, feel free.


Am I going to need a soundbar? Any other mods that are absolutely necessary? I don't plan on turning this into a rock crawler but rather a 4 season light duty daily driver.
It probably has a stock soundbar. My strippo 4 cylinder Wrangler X even had one.

There are no real necessary mods. A hard top and full doors are nice in the winter if you come across used ones cheap (good luck). The soft tops aren't that bad though as far as noise, unless it's all stretched and worn out.

Once you own it for a little while you will get Jeep-itis and put a lift and bigger tires on it, along with many hundreds of dollars worth of other things. It is inevitable.
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