Advice on sport offer

Discussion in 'TJ General Discussion' started by Markus, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. Markus

    Markus New Member
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    Hello all,
    Here we go again. This time it's a 2005 "Trail-rated" sport with I-6, 6 spd manual, 143k miles. It is pretty stock, but has upgraded Dana 44 with 3.73s in the rear. listed at 10k. Frame is awesome. No rust on body. Drives great, sounds good, no wobble. Small rust bubbles on tops of both front fenders. Soft top in rough shape. After-market tube fenders in front and rear both rusted through in a few spots on bottom. 2" hitch. Tires are shot. I had my mechanic go over it with me today (the dealer hasn't even had it through their shop yet, just traded Saturday). Returned to the dealer and requested:
    Fenders and top; front and rear bumpers; four flat wiring harness for hitch; 4 new tires; compression test; pressurize cooling system, rule-out any leaks (thought I could smell coolant when running the heat); new drivers side door strap. They said would only do wiring harness and bumpers for a fee (fine, we'll skip that, but it was worth a shot), but they would do the rest. I said if they did all, and no problems I thought I'd be at 8500 cash. They want to run it through the shop, do repairs then talk money.
    Any thoughts/advice? Thanks!
     
  2. Chris

    Chris Administrator
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    I don't know man... Do you want a project or not? I say that, because with a vehicle like this, it's very obvious it was neglected. That means that there could be a lot of issues lurking beneath. But then again, maybe not!

    So the price sounds reasonable. However, bare in mind that you're going to put thousands into it to get it back to where it should be (and that's doing it the right way. Not to mention that at that mileage it probably needs a complete cooling system overhaul, and maybe other things as well (i.e. anew clutch potentially).

    Rust always scares me, because who knows where else it is actually hiding. It could be all over the body, just in areas that are hard to see. The windshield frame and floor pan are always two very common spots.
     
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  3. Markus

    Markus New Member
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    I really think it is good as far as rust goes. I crawled all around underneath, pulled back the carpets, went over the windshield frame, and found nothing. Even shoving my fingers in all the holes I could find (frame and body), it all felt smooth.

    I do worry about the mechanics at that mileage, I figure hopefully I get a few years out of the motor, then rebuild or replace. I know nothing about cooling system overhaul (can u estimate a ball-park for me so I have an idea (paying a shop to do it)? Clutch feels great, motor sounds great. I know that is no guarantee, but I'm more comfortable taking a chance on the clutch and tranny on a manual than continuing to take the same chance on my current auto with 126k on it. I would be going backwards by 20k mikes, but this one is 7 yrs newer, and manual tranny. Plus mine has Dana 35 with 3.07s and this one has a 44 with 3.73s.
    Sound like I'm thinking straight at all?
     
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  4. Reece

    Reece TJ Enthusiast
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    Round these parts 10k sounds about right. Any lower and your doing good.
     
  5. Ranger_b0b

    Ranger_b0b TJ Enthusiast

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    Hmmm...I'd stick to my guns at 8500. Anything more is too much IMHO. That's after they fix what's wrong.
     
  6. Tj04

    Tj04 TJ Enthusiast

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    My opinion living in the rust belt anything around or under 10k is a good deal. I see rusted out TJs all the time going for well over 11 or 12k. 8500 would be a great deal but I know where I live that never happens unless the frame is shot. I personally would pay an extra 1k for the Dana 44 option even used.

    Mine had a rusted out windshield frame and one rust pocket on the passenger rocker. Vehicle frame is perfect for being a 12 year old MN vehicle and I talked him down from 12k to 10k. However 143,000 is more wear and tear than mine that I got at 114,000.

    Good luck! I hope you get everything you want and more from your TJ!

    I can attest to what Chris says too about spending thousand
     
  7. Markus

    Markus New Member
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    Ye
    Yeah, I'm in North central PA, so lots of salt all winter...Been looking for about 6 mos. and this is only the third good frame I've seen.
     
  8. Tj04

    Tj04 TJ Enthusiast

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    My opinion: go for it. First on my list is frame. I've spent over 5k on mine after getting it. Both in upgrades and replacement parts etc.

    I have seen ONE Tj in MN with a better frame than mine and any time I see one stopped I look under it soley out of curiosity. And that thing was kept in garage and only used in summer. Mine was garage kept as well but still used in winter. (Obviously I haven't seen every tj in mn. :) )

    I am no mechanic nor expert. My opinion is to go for it if they will do anything less than $10,001. Most things on TJs are super super easy to replace. I wish I had the luxury of living in a rust free state. Any future Jeep I get while be from down south.
     
  9. Chris

    Chris Administrator
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    X2. I would also stick to my guns at $8500 personally.
     
  10. Markus

    Markus New Member
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    Ok. I really want it bc of the frame, but I am Leary of the mileage, and realize there may be engine and/or tranny issues to deal with down the line. Hopefully that thought will help me stick to my guns .
    Chris, or anybody, can you estimate ball-park figure for cooling system over haul you mentioned earlier? Maybe that will help me keep my offer low, too.
     
  11. Chris

    Chris Administrator
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    Check this out:
    Jeep Wrangler TJ Cooling System Overhaul FAQ

    It's got links to all the parts in there. But just a rough estimate for all the parts would be about $500 give or take. That's not including labor, but if you're a DIY guy, it would be relatively straight forward.
     
  12. HongKongDrifter

    HongKongDrifter New Member

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    My typical advice to Rust Belt Jeepers is expand your search to the Southeast and Southwest. Jeeps are cheaper and are typically rust free unless they are rustbelt transplants or beach rides. The amount spent in coming down is offset by the savings and by the time you drive your rig back up, you've built up two to three months of trust in a couple of days.

    There is a 1997 Sport on my local FB marketplace page right now. It's 150k miles and asking is $8k.
     
  13. Markus

    Markus New Member
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  14. Markus

    Markus New Member
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    Looks like this one is probably goin to fall through. Dealer txtd me ystrdy and said price had gone up to 10,991 due to unforeseen expenses when they ran it through the shop. Also stated they had several others looking at it. I told him my highest offer would be 9k "out the door", and give me a call if they decided to come down. Haven't heard back. Oh well...... I'll keep looking - stay tuned....
     
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  15. Ranger_b0b

    Ranger_b0b TJ Enthusiast

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    So they bought it poorly, and think they'll be able to recover on some other poor schmuk? Bastards. Walk away from that one, and that dealer.
     
  16. HongKongDrifter

    HongKongDrifter New Member

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    Keep looking. You will find yours. When I've looked for Jeep's, I've been obsessive. People will sell them for reasonable prices but they don't last long.
     
  17. Ranger_b0b

    Ranger_b0b TJ Enthusiast

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    Yes, this. Set your budget, have the money ready to go, and spend some time every day going through ads. When you find it, you gotta call right away. Don't wait.
     
  18. JMT

    JMT TJ Addict

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    Took me 6 months and several trips to check out TJs. Then one day it was just sitting on main street in our town. It was 8:30PM. I called. Thank God I did. Next day the guy had 5 offers. But I got there first. Be patient. It will be worth it
     

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