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Unread 09-28-2012, 02:59 AM   #1
teeny19
Registered User
1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 8
Need Advice - 98 Wrangler, 4.0, 5 speed

I have been looking for a Wrangler for a long time, I live in NY and most ones I come across are beat to hell rust buckets and they are asking $5,000-$7,000.

I am looking to buy someone's 1998 Wrangler, 4.0, 5 speed manual.

Not lifted or modded.

Looks pretty clean.

CEL light is on - he said it's the "Transfer case sensor"? (Easy fix or no?)

Some rust underneath but doesn't look like rot. Very little rust compared to others I've seen.

It's got a bit over 200k miles. He's asking $3500.

Pictures - http://imgur.com/a/vjZz4#0

I've heard the 4.0 6cyl engine can last a long time. I test drove it and it drove really nice, shifted well, started up with no smoke out the tailpipe. $3500 seems like a good price to me, plus he offered to sand down the rust and apply Rust-Oleum to get me through the winter. Afterwards I can get it professionally touched up or use Rust Bullet products.

I heard these Wranglers can be beasts and I'm hoping that $3500 is worth it, even if I need to pick up some spare parts from the junk yard.

What do you guys think??

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Unread 09-28-2012, 06:40 AM   #2
BobA
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2001 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Cadiz,KY
Posts: 803
Autozone could probably run the engine codes with a scanner for free. The last picture of the frame rust looks kind of questionable to me. I'd be leary of frame rust just because of alot of years in the northeast winters and roadsalt.
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Unread 09-28-2012, 07:25 AM   #3
Jason
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2005 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Eaton Rapids, Michigan
Posts: 6,372
The 4.0s are notoriously reliable, but I feel that any engine will be pretty tired at 200K miles. If it's been maintained, it will almost certainly run, just not with the pep it did at 50K miles.

The only sensors that I can think of on the transfer case are the 4WD indicator and the Speed sensor. Not sure either would throw an SES light, but the speed sensor might, so get that checked.

Is he offering to touch up the frame with paint? I'd be leery of anyone offering to paint after I purchase because I wouldn't want to live with their mistakes. Maybe you can take it as is and knock a few bucks off it.
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Unread 10-01-2012, 09:02 PM   #4
teeny19
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 8
He already decided to sand/paint whether I was buying it or not...Showed me around the areas he did and what they look like now. Worst rust is the skid plate or whatever that covers the fuel tank...though he showed that that can be removed and replaced with one from a junk yard.

There is some slight wetness around the head gasket but he said there's been no oil loss or burning. How easy would it be to replace that if I needed to?
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Unread 10-01-2012, 09:04 PM   #5
teeny19
Registered User
1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 8
He already decided to sand/paint whether I was buying it or not...Showed me around the areas he did and what they look like now. Worst rust is the skid plate or whatever that covers the fuel tank...though he showed that that can be removed and replaced with one from a junk yard.

There is some slight wetness around the head gasket but he said there's been no oil loss or burning. How easy would it be to replace that if I needed to?
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Unread 10-01-2012, 09:10 PM   #6
Jason
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2005 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Eaton Rapids, Michigan
Posts: 6,372
A head gasket is a fairly major repair. I've done dozens of them, but I don't remember ever seeing one leak externally. If you suspect a head gasket issue, look for coolant in the oil or oil in the coolant. Are you maybe looking at a leaking valve cover gasket?

Gas tank skids are easy replacements. You may be able to get one free or cheap from someone who replaced it for an aftermarket unit.
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