More advice on possible XJ
I've bee on here for a while but have recently started looking for a XJ. It will basically be a 2nd vehicle for work. I've come across a few but haven't pulled the trigger. The latest 2 are the following. I'm asking for opinions and help with my latest 2 finds. Both are 1995 SE 4 doors. The 1st one I didn't get to look at yet but according to owner it's got 125000 miles on it, he repaired the floor panels and the rockers. He said that he inherited the jeep and it sat for 2 years. It needs tires. He's asking 1800. See first pic. Now the 2nd jeep is also a 95 SE 4 door but only has 100000 miles on it. New brakes, rotors I believe, water pump, spotless interior. The bad- needs tires, rockers are rusted in spots, and there are a few small quarter size rust holes in floor pans in front, headliner is sagging,and some deep key scratches and paint peeling near rockers. Dealer is asking 2250, I test drove tonight and it rode fine, no knocks, noises and heater was great, air also works. He basically told me that he buys 8-10 cars from a large dealer from trade ins. He said he would fix rust issues, inspect it. He asked me to name my price. I plan to go look again in more daylight. Is it a job to pull the carpet up all over to see what I am getting into? If the rust is only on front floor boards is this an expensive fix? I was thinking about offering 1500 and using the rust, tires, headliner, as negotiating points. Which jeep seems like the better deal. I am going to see the other jeep this week. Also I would take those god awful steel side steps off.
SEs?, they Look like Sports to me. In '95 SE was base, then Sport was the mid-level trim, and Country was the top trim. Actually they are almost identical to my XJ (I have a '95 Sport in that color combo).
Pulling the carpet is easy (except under the seats), you just need remove the screws from the plastic trim on the inside of the sills, pop the trim and then the carpet lifts right up (if you want to completely remove the carpet you need to pull the seats and console but you can get a good look under it by just pulling the trim). The work required to repair the floors depends on the extent of the damage, patching a few small holes is (relatively) easy, replacing entire pans is a fair amount of work but not particularly difficult, just time -consuming. If you can weld or know someone who can the pans cost surround $50 ea. rockers are also pretty cheap (less than $100 for complete panels). A body shop will easily charge $500 per pan (there are 5: frond driver, front pass, rear driver, rear pass, cargo) or more to replace them, if you can find a local welder that does side jobs they may do it for a decent price.
Assuming the first one was repaired properly (new metal welded in not Bondo or riveted patches) it looks like the better deal as long as it is in good shape otherwise.
The mileage really doesn't matter in this case they are both "low-mileage" as XJs go (my '95 has 220k mi on it).
On both of them give them a good going over, check fluid levels/condition, belts, hoses, suspension components, check everywhere for rust, look for any leaks, weird noises/vibrations, etc.
Or you can look outside the rustbelt, which would be the way I would do it. There is absolutely no necessity to buy a vehicle with any rust anywhere. There are just too many out there that are rust free for you to have to spend hundreds or even thousands repairing floor pans and rocker panels before you can use it safely. This is of course just my opinion.
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