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Unread 11-02-2013, 09:47 PM   #1
phloozy
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Downingtown, PA
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Buying my first XJ

Hi all. I am buying my first XJ and I could use some guidance to make sure I don't dig myself into a whole. The purpose for buying an XJ is that my family needs a car that can handle the winter and outdoorsy type trips. My wife will be the main user for winter commuting so I need something that wont put her on the side of the road.

The XJ I am looking at is a 1996 Cherokee Sport with only 98k miles. I will see it in person tomorrow but the seller says there is no body damage or rust what so ever. He also claims to have taken great care of the car and that there are 0 mechanical issues (I have to go on his word for now). The price is listed at $4000 but I plan to say firm at $3500. Is this a fair price for a well kept low mileage XJ? Anything I should look out for when I see the car? If i see no issues what are common things at this time that I will need to worry about?

Thank you all for the help, I hope to be back in the Jeep family soon (used to own a JK)

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Unread 11-02-2013, 10:04 PM   #2
dmill89
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Make sure to check for rust, especially in the floors and underneath. Surface rust isn't a major issue but should be taken care of before it causes problems (good rust inhibitor paint and/or a wire wheel works well for this) but rust holes are usually signs of a major issue and if there is rot you can see there is likely more that you can't.

Aside from that 91-99 XJs are pretty reliable, make sure to check the normal used car stuff (fluid levels/condition, condition of hoses, belts, suspension components, weird noises/vibrations, etc.).

Be aware that 96 is a "transition year" ("old" body style but with OBDII) and there are some year specific parts which can be difficult to find replacements for (in some cases you will have to settle for a used or remanufactured part instead of new). I wouldn't rule out a 96 as long it was in good condition otherwise but it is something to be aware of.

The price doesn't seem too bad, XJs with less than 100k mi tend to command relatively high prices (though not nearly as bad as low-mileage TJs).
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Unread 11-02-2013, 10:08 PM   #3
phloozy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmill89 View Post
Make sure to check for rust, especially in the floors and underneath.

Aside from that 91-99 XJs are pretty reliable, make sure to check the normal used car stuff (fluid levels/condition, condition of hoses, belts, suspension components, weird noises/vibrations, etc.).

Be aware that 96 is a "transition year" ("old" body style but with OBDII) and there are some year specific parts which can be difficult to find replacements for (in some cases you will have to settle for a used or remanufactured part instead of new). I wouldn't rule out a 96 as long it was in good condition otherwise but it is something to be aware of.

The price doesn't seem too bad, XJs with less than 100k mi tend to command relatively high prices (though not nearly as bad as low-mileage TJs).
Thanks a lot for the feedback. I will check all of that tomorrow. Are you saying 4k isnt so bad or 3.5k? I dont want to insult him with a low ball offer (I know how annoying selling a car can be so I try to be fair) or am I being to generous at 3.5k and should offer less?
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Unread 11-02-2013, 10:15 PM   #4
dmill89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phloozy View Post
Thanks a lot for the feedback. I will check all of that tomorrow. Are you saying 4k isnt so bad or 3.5k? I dont want to insult him with a low ball offer (I know how annoying selling a car can be so I try to be fair) or am I being to generous at 3.5k and should offer less?
$4k isn't too bad (assuming it is in excellent condition like the seller states) but I'd probably offer $3k or $3.5K and negotiate from there if necessary(most sellers aren't going to expect you to offer exactly what they are asking and list a price higher than they will actually take, unless they specifically state the price is firm in the ad), offering $3k and then "splitting the difference" at $3.5K if they don't take it wouldn't be a bad strategy. I doubt anyone would see a $3k or $3.5K offer as an "insult" (if they do you probably don't want to deal with that person anyway), offering $1k or something like that would probably be perceived as an "insult" by most (unless the vehicle is in poor condition).
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Unread 11-03-2013, 10:02 AM   #5
phloozy
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Going to look today, any last minute advice would be greatly appreciated
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Unread 11-03-2013, 12:46 PM   #6
robtco99
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See if the ac works on it. The majority of xj's I've seen the ac doesn't work and is usually an expensive fix. Check the tires as well good tires aren't cheap.

$3500 doesn't sound bad if it's in good shape and everything is in working order.
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Unread 11-10-2013, 05:22 PM   #7
sfdxsm
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Man, I am originally from Bucks County and now in North Jersey and I wish I could find an XJ with that kind of mileage for that price. Most of the ones up this way at that price have 125k+ and need work. That sounds like a steal even at 4k.
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