to buy or not? -
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post #1 of 11 Old 12-05-2013, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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to buy or not?

I hope this is the right forum. ..

To preface I have kind of always wanted a wrangler... For no reason really but just because lol. Well I was looking over Craigslist where I saw a 95 for sale fairly cheap. I haven't seen pictures yet because he's supposed to send them Tomorrow.

I wanted to get further opinions on what experts such as this forum may think about it.

Here is his add

Red 1995 Jeep Wrangler YJ. 2.5L 4 cylinder engine, distributor needs to be timed. Ran well months ago, finished repairing and forgot to time it. Looking for $1500 cash or a trade for a working, reliable vehicle. Cannot afford to keep taking care of it. Very nice tires, everything functions but will not ignite until distributor is timed. Exterior and interior in okay condition, no pics because I'm not near it now. Text for pictures

And here is some of our conversation

Hi, thanks! I'm not home tonight but will get some pics to you tomorrow with more info if you're interested. Several people inquiring but I will definitely call

Me: That sounds good. Is the body and interior in decent shape. Also, what all did u replace

Him:Yeah, they are both in okay condition. Seats are cracking but its not gross. I have replaced the piston rings, rod bearings, radiator, hoses, freeze plugs, steering column, speakers, and lights in the last year or so. Was working until a couple months ago when the bearings went out because I didn't seal the valve cover correctly.

So you tore it down to replace the bearings and didnt set the timing? What all would have to be done tk make it run


After that it *should* run

It has 190k on it.

Also Note... I just don't want a headache. My mechanic knowledge is limited but My brother builds race cars and can certainly help as v long as he has time.

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post #2 of 11 Old 12-05-2013, 11:45 PM
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
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Run away

'89 YJ, 4.2L, ax-15, B&M shifter, 1" BL, TJ flares, '99 intake, '91 EFI, 5.0L explorer injectors, GenRight tank & stretch, 35" ProComp Xtreme muds, 52" chevy springs rear, 44044 Ranchos front.....
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post #3 of 11 Old 12-06-2013, 01:44 AM
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Sounds like he has reached his end with the jeep. Me I would go for it. Nothing about a jeep intimidates me other that rusted frame.
But be prepared to find another engine. You will be surprised how many people selling them when u just look.
Cause 1500 is the magic number to be able to fix and still have a good jeep.
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post #4 of 11 Old 12-06-2013, 03:45 AM
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1994 YJ Wrangler 
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I paid 500 for a wrecked jeep. Used the engine, the wiring etc. and some other bits and pieces. If the body and frame is sound I would buy it. Jeeps that are running and not tore up don't come cheap where I live.
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post #5 of 11 Old 12-06-2013, 05:35 AM
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I paid 500 for my 94 red 4 banger stick 160k. Put a muffler on it and got it inspected. Since put several thousand miles on it.
Doesn't sound like you found yourself a steal there. A distributor doesnt just come out of timing. I suspect he has been chasing that and probably many other issues for as long as it took to drain his bank account, now he's hungry
If it has a good body, good frame and good potential it's worth 1500 but don't look at it as tho it is a turn key fully operational roadworthy vehicle your looking at purchasing. Look at it like it is ... Well it's a jeep
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post #6 of 11 Old 12-06-2013, 05:44 AM
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It doesn't sound like a terrible deal but I would be concerned if he can't set the timing that he knew what he was doing when he put the bottom end of the motor together. I would suggest checking his work before driving it. If you don't have the skills to do this I would probably pass.

"Was working until a couple months ago when the bearings went out because I didn't seal the valve cover correctly."

This sentence also makes me wonder if he knew what he was doing.

1992 Sahara "the dull chain saw"
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post #7 of 11 Old 12-06-2013, 05:53 AM
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ask him what the heck he means by "needs timed". the distributor cap cannot be adjusted in the old sense, to time the motor. the distributor can only be off on the gear at the bottom of the shaft. if he had the distributor out, then there needs to be a reason why he took all the time to rebuild the bottom end and not take the time to bring #1 cylinder to TDC on the compression stroke then slide the shaft in place with the dizzy pointing at #1 position on the cap. something is fishy, i wouldn't think twice about looking elsewhere for another wrangler.

also... it's a 2.5l, if it were me i would hold out for a 95 4.0l. why so specific? external slave and a galvanized factory frame.

this may not sound like all that bad of a deal at first. it does however sound like a headache in disguise. when someone says "it's in OK shape", i assume they mean "i did my best to conceal all the rust".

it also sounds like this guy thought he knew what he was doing and then quickly found out that he couldn't learn as much from youtube as he thought.

Ratmonkey donation page. all proceeds will go to his family.

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it's not much to look at... but it's mine.
5.2lswap, metalcloaks, bedliner, tucked belly, d60's, soon to be nv4500 and d300.

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post #8 of 11 Old 12-06-2013, 05:58 AM
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walk away. Too many jeeps out there to get something that is so marginal. Freeze plugs replaced? What has the incorrectly sealed valve cover got to do with bearings going out? This guy had no idea what he was doing.
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post #9 of 11 Old 12-06-2013, 06:15 AM
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sounds like a project jeep to me. you don't say where your located but if its in the rust belt then good chance its rusting bad. if its a southern jeep with a solid body and frame its worth looking at. I'd plan on replacing the motor, it sounds like he didn't have a clue when he was working on it
if your up to a project offer 750 and go from there.

Do everything with a positive attitude, it won't always work but you'll piss enough people off to make it worthwhile.

the voices aren't real but they sure have good ideas.
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post #10 of 11 Old 12-06-2013, 06:22 AM
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take someone very knowledgeable about heeps... and have them go look at it.. dont plan on buying it on the spot... check things out... discuss it on the ride home with the person you brought with you about what he/she thinks it will need.. 1500 is kinda high for a non running jeep

1998 ZJ 5.2 Auto

1989 Wrangler Black Bone Stock 2.5l 5spd
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post #11 of 11 Old 12-06-2013, 06:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. Im going to take the majority's opinion and run. Almost all of the things mentioned with what he said are what didnt add up to me as well and made me decide to post here.

Thanks for your help!
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