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Unread 04-29-2015, 04:44 PM   #1
BSH
Registered User
1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Sauk County, WI
Posts: 15
Worth fixing? Major rust underneath

I'm going to try posting a few pictures of what I have. I have a bad real axle seal & bearing on the right rear, and while I was looking at that, I found rust-through on the rear control arms. The rockers & pinch seams are shot, as are the bottoms of the pillars. The muffler is shot, the heat shield is resting on top of the muffler, and I think there's a bad O2 sensor. I don't know if the control arms can even be replaced, because the rust has every bolt underneath frozen. I tried removing the hitch from the receiver by putting a strap on it attached to a couple of heavy/immovable objects, and the hitch wouldn't budge, even without the pin, because it's welded solid with rust. The receiver won't come off either, because the bolts are rusted on. 4Lo also won't work - linkage on the shifter is pretty messed up with rust, too.

Is this thing worth fixing? I'm looking at serious money for the axle seal, bearing, and control arms, and I don't know if I can even do some of them. Bear in mind, I have no budget - currently unemployed, but favorable prospects on my most recent interviews. Is it junk, drive it 'til it falls apart with minimal money? Or spend the coin to upgrade the drive train? (build new bars in place of rockers, new control arms, may as well do shocks, springs, overhaul the axle) It's got 160,000 miles, and the engine is in pretty good shape. What do you think?

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Unread 04-29-2015, 05:00 PM   #2
94cherry
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1994 ZJ 
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 488
IMO With the unibody being so bad drive it off road like you stole it then when something breaks part it out or junk it.
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Unread 04-29-2015, 05:03 PM   #3
jm8881
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1996 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Palm Desert, California
Posts: 565
Anything can be replaced, it's just metal. Even if the nut was mig welded to the bolt holding the control arm in you could still just cut the bolt and replace it with new hardware. Your jeep has rust but it doesn't look any worse than any other 15 year old salt belt jeep. I'd say to keep an eye on it and be prepared to replace it when money becomes available. You can often find great deals on second hand parts here on the classifieds or find a jeep in the junkyard and grab it's control arms and hardware.
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