Advice: never owned Jeep, buying one... -
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post #1 of 9 Old 03-22-2002, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Advice: never owned Jeep, buying one...

Let me start off by saying I have never owned Jeep and know very little about them or any solid axle truck for that matter. I am looking at getting a modified used '95 YJ and I'm looking for your advice and opinions, potential problems I might encounter. This would be a third vehicle for us which would only be used for offroading. Here is the Jeep in particular I am looking at : or not.jpg

The dealer doesn't know too much about it, He said it has a 5" susp. lift, 1" body lift (the blocks looked like a 2" to me), automatic locker in the rear (doesn't know what brand), 488 gears, 35" Mickey Thompson Baja Claws on Cobra Mustang wheels , and custom front and rear bumpers with integrated hitch (don't know what brand). Its a 4 banger BTW.

I test drove it briefly, and with the wheel at full turn the tires rub a lot, not sure on what though; bumper or fender well. Does this mean that on full compression they would also have major rubbing? I have no way of testing that out. One more thing, I have never driven a truck that had Death Wobble but I'm pretty sure this one did, around 35-40. The dealer said the toe in was screwed up and they would fix it, but it concerns me. Also I noticed no steering stabilizer, which I'm sure would help a bit.
Anyway, I would plan on having a mechanic look at it, checking the ball joints and so on. It seems like a nicely built truck for a really good price, but I'm nervous. I couldn't afford to build my own for this amount, thats for sure. I'm not about to go out and buy it without researching it though, so any advice you can give would be great. Also, from what you know and the pictures I have what price range would you give it (107K miles).

If anyone lives in the twin cities area that feels like helping a jeep rookie out, that would be awesome too. I get the feeling that I should probably wait it out and get something I know a little more about though.

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post #2 of 9 Old 03-22-2002, 02:12 PM
Mr. Mopar
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sorry bud i cant help you out on prices , i dont live in the U.S. but that death wobble you talked may be boath a tierod aswell as you not knowing how a jeep handles because of the short wheelbase it turns like a bulit. it took a week or so B4 i totaly got to know my jeep better. the tierod is not to hard to fix. i also saw what looks like a longer shackle on the jeep, i have only herd that they make problems , so ive never gone that rute, but mabey they are okey im onley going by what people have told me.

major work done on a 4.0
KEEP IT JEEP!!!!!!!!!!
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post #3 of 9 Old 03-22-2002, 03:37 PM
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I just wanted to throw my 2 cents in here. I just bought my 1994 Jeep Wrangler. I went through the same things. It is my first jeep and I have had it for about a month now. I love it. I have the 4.0 liter in mine and wanted to get a 4.0 because they have more power. Personal preference on my part. With the 4.88 gears in this one, you should be just fine with the 4cyl. Here is what I had everyone tell me when I looked at mine. If is has the stock Dana 35 in it, make sure and get it checked. The tubes bend easily if it has been 4-wheeled hard. Make sure they are straight or you will spend a ton fixing axles and bearings all the time. Make sure the lift is straight and that the front end is lined up with that high a lift on it. Check the tie rods on it to make sure there is not any bending, especially with 35's on it. I have about the same lift and I have 33's and that is plenty and nothing rubs. I was told with 35's you risk breaking stock axles. Just too much tire for stock axles. As far as price, I am in Colorado and will tell you Jeep YJ's like what I saw in your pictures and with that mileage and options usually will sell for anywhere from $8000 up to $13,000. Just do yourself a favor and run it by a trusted 4x4 shop. I paid $200 for my inspection and it was worth every penny. The guy told me one axle problem and you are dropping $1000 or more into it right away. Also, shop around. The first Jeep I looked at sounded like a great deal but I passed on it. Two weeks later I found the one I wanted with better options and it was $900 less. My last piece of advice is make sure you get what you want the first time. I can't tell you how many friends have sunk a ton of money into their Jeeps upgrading something. ( i.e. 4cyl to 4.0 or Dans 35 axles to Dana 44's , etc. ) Good luck!
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post #4 of 9 Old 03-22-2002, 04:45 PM
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I don't know what it's worth. But, if it's your first jeep, I'd probably look for something that is much more stock.

From the pictures I can tell it has extended shackles (good for bending springs, I've done it) and possibly a full length add-a-leaf. This combination should give somewhere around 4 inches of lift. The body lift is at least a 2", I've seen plenty of those. Basically, the lift combination is the cheapest, least technical way to lift a jeep. (read: probably rides rougher than usual, and handles like crap)

Those tires are expensive, but the wheels are an odd choice. I don't know the backspacing, but I'm sure it's not enough. They could be using spacers, but that isn't much better. Those will put additional strain on the axles and cause them to break more often.

From the factory YJs (87-95 Wranglers) have a Dana 35 rear and Dana 30 front axle. They are not really very strong, especially when mated to 35s and a locker.

If you drive it again, or noticed before, cheap automatic lockers will click when coasting around tight corners. It's pretty loud, so you should hear it at low speeds. This isn't a bad thing, many people use them (usually Lock Right brand by PowerTrax) and so do I. They create funny handling characteristics on the street. The jeep will pull one direction then the next when on the gas.

The 4.88 gears are great for off-roading, especially with 35s. But, they will increase the power transferred to the axles, which will probably break them more often.

My recommendation is to look for a jeep in near stock form. If it has larger than 31s on it, there most likely have been fairly extensive mods performed. In my opinion, if you're new to off-roading you should start our slow (read: stock or close to it) and grow as your experience level grows. It is probably more rewarding, and safer. A heavily modified rig can give a false sense of security off-road which can get a newbie into trouble.

Welcome to our little corner of the world. Show us some pics of whatever you get.

Turbocharged 4.0, 35" Kevlars, 33 spline Detroit D44, 4.88s, heavy foot.

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post #5 of 9 Old 03-22-2002, 05:19 PM
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I would say the rubbing is coming from the front tires getting into the leaf springs. It doesn't look like the wheels have enough backspacing, and no one set stops on the steering.

95, 4" susp. lift, 33x12.50 ProComp M/T's, custom square tube bumpers, , energy bushings, 4.0 HO, everything stock, 1" or 2" body lift and who knows what else coming soon.
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post #6 of 9 Old 03-22-2002, 08:36 PM
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Be careful, a jeep that modified has been driven hard, I would hope. Check out your major components, tranny, transfer, axels and so forth. Also I recommend bringing an unbiased friend who will tell u straight. He may say walk away. Its hard to say no to something that you wnat really bad, regardless of its shape. Especially with a cool looking jeep like that.

1982 Jeep Scrambler
5.3 Vortec
SOA on 37s
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-22-2002, 08:37 PM
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Also check insurance carriers. Some dont cover modified jeeps like that!!

1982 Jeep Scrambler
5.3 Vortec
SOA on 37s
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post #8 of 9 Old 03-22-2002, 08:41 PM
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last post! Is there any driveshaft vibrations? If so you may need to invest in a sye and new driveshaft. Those vibrations will ruin u joints and pinion seals

1982 Jeep Scrambler
5.3 Vortec
SOA on 37s
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-22-2002, 09:14 PM
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I'd be pretty reluctant to buy a modified Jeep from someone I didn't know. If all the work was documented that would be a little different. Having no idea what components are on your rig, who installed them, etc, sounds like it has potential for some real headaches.

Rio Grande is the upscale 4 cylinder package by the way.

91YJ Sahara, SOA, 4.88's, 35's, Locked
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