What to Do with a 97 Jeep Wrangler that has a Rusted Out Frame? - JeepForum.com
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Unread 07-17-2012, 08:19 PM   #1
andyfitz
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What to Do with a 97 Jeep Wrangler that has a Rusted Out Frame?

It has been some years since I got rid of my jeep wrangler (but I still miss it). But back in 1999 when I bought my jeep my mother’s youth came back out and she bought her jeep to go side by side with mine. Of course she had to outdo my 4 cylinder with her Sahara. Now 16 years later I get a call from them saying that they noticed some rust on the frame and could I come over and take a look at it.
I got under the jeep to take a look and immediately noticed the frame was in bad shape. On the passenger side you could see that the frame had rusted so bad that the side of the frame had a crack in it all the way up into the front end of the car. I shook my head went over to the driver side only to see that the back side of the frame was just as bad. From what I saw I knew the jeeps future was not looking that bright.
After reading the forums about solutions and similar problems I was feeling a little hopeful that a shop could work with a frame repair kit and fix up the frame. The jeep was brought into a shop that specializes in frames to have a closer look. When the guy came back with his findings he had no good news at all. They had found rust all over the frame and it was beyond repair and that the repair kits would not work do to the amount of rust on the frame. They quoted a price to put a new frame on the jeep but the cost exceeds the jeeps value. The final words from the guy at the frame shop were “I hope you do not hit a big pothole on the way home”. Meaning the whole frame could crumble at any time.
So with the bad news told and my mother coming to terms that she will have to get a new jeep we have to decide what to do with this one. Other than the frame the jeep is in good condition for its age. The jeep only had 98,400 miles on it. And no known troubles with the engine or the transmission. The interior in very good condition almost looks brand new inside. There is also a hard top and a soft top for the jeep.
The Guy at the shop recommended selling it on EBay but I have tried to sell one vehicle on there before and it was a pain in the rear. They could trade it in when they purchase a new car but I cannot see getting much of anything on a trade in. Junking it would be just as good as giving it away to charity. That leads to the last option I can think of and that is to part it out on my own.
I guess my question to everyone here is what would you do? Would it be hard to part it out on my own? How much do you think it is worth? Could someone reading this be interested in buying it knowing its condition? Or since I miss the days of having a jeep should I buy it from my mother and make it my own project jeep? Any input would be gratefully appreciated.

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Unread 07-17-2012, 08:24 PM   #2
Jeff88
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The hardest part of parting out a vehicle is that annoying amount of people you have to deal with on ebay, and God forbid, craigslist. You can list a bunch of parts on here if you are ready to ship them out. This and other forums like it will probably be your best bet.

You can also try to part it out locally and have the people come and pull their own parts, which is going to take you time to do on your own.

I would probably trade it in. I have parted out a couple of Jeeps, and for me, it was a big hassle.

or...Post up some pictures, I would bet someone on here will buy it for the right price.
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Unread 07-17-2012, 08:44 PM   #3
SlackJaw
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I got very little experience, but I'm just thinking of some numbers I see on CL in my area...I think if it were me I'd strip the easily sellables before tossing it. If everything else is in good shape as you say, I'm thinking easily realistic priced to sell numbers might be something like:

$500 for the motor
$300 for the transmission and transfer case
Depending on axles, maybe $500 for both depending on gears, maybe more for a D44
Hardtop $1250
Full doors $1k easy
Softop with all windows and frame $300-500
Interior, maybe $500 total
Driveshafts...I have no idea, but super easy to strip
Wheels and tires?


Those things seem like the easier things to strip and sell...and you're talking about $4-5k out of it right there...jmo.
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Unread 07-17-2012, 09:01 PM   #4
Wheelin98TJ
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Parting out a vehicle is a PITA.

You'll get less than expected and it'll take longer than expected. Parts will be laying around forever.
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Unread 07-17-2012, 09:04 PM   #5
Wheelin98TJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlackJaw View Post
Hardtop $1250
Full doors $1k easy
.
I think those prices are pretty optimistic.

I'd say closer to $750 for the hard top and the same for the pair of hard doors.
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Unread 07-17-2012, 09:12 PM   #6
SlackJaw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelin98TJ
I think those prices are pretty optimistic.

I'd say closer to $750 for the hard top and the same for the pair of hard doors.
I did say in my area... Jeep **** is high here...although you may have me on the top...that's what they're asking but I do see some listed a little on the long side. Full doors are pretty stable valued at 600 a piece here. At $1k for the set, they would move.

And as I said, I don't have experience parting out, i just watch CL quite a bit. I don't think I've missed the mark too much on any given item, again for this area. Price everything to move quick and I'd still say solid $3k. Anyway, if it were me I'd have to consider the easy stuff if the only other option is scrapping it.
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Unread 07-17-2012, 09:17 PM   #7
bobjp
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If it's only the frame with severe rust, buy it from your mom and put a new frame under it. I would say it's well worth it if the body is solid.

Screw parting out cars. I'll consider it when I'm unemployed and homeless, but even then I think I'd rather die of starvation than deal with the dumb ****s on Craigslist.
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Unread 07-17-2012, 09:19 PM   #8
motor_cycle_man
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Unread 07-17-2012, 09:20 PM   #9
ratmonkey
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Frame swaps really aren't that hard...it'll be harder to part it out.
Good frames aren't that expensive.
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Unread 07-17-2012, 09:21 PM   #10
ltmke11
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Back in January I looked at a 99 wrangler that was at a used car dealer for 4999.00. It was in primo condition, except for the frame was rusted so bad that when I closed the door(slammed it) that a ton of rust flakes fell of the frame. It was pretty bad, you could stick your finger through many parts of the frame. Had a nice hardtop, and lots of other body, interior upgrades..

I obviously passed on it but I learned they did eventually sell it for around $4000.00. Don't know to who..

But if your not in a major hurry you may just post it online for sale at a "walk away" price just to get rid of it. You never know someone may buy it, people do weird things...not seeing it...but before I would go through the effort of parting it out I would list it for $3500 or something and just try and get rid of it..

Good luck
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Unread 07-18-2012, 11:20 AM   #11
Andy-WhiteTJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobjp View Post
If it's only the frame with severe rust, buy it from your mom and put a new frame under it. I would say it's well worth it if the body is solid.

Screw parting out cars. I'll consider it when I'm unemployed and homeless, but even then I think I'd rather die of starvation than deal with the dumb ****s on Craigslist.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ratmonkey View Post
Frame swaps really aren't that hard...it'll be harder to part it out.
Good frames aren't that expensive.
I did a frame swap in late 2010. It took more time than I needed to do just a frame swap as I did upgrades as well. When all said and done, it was a great project and I learned a heck of a lot about everything on the Jeep. A new OEM frame was $2,200.00 delivered to my house. I looked into used frames and the cheapest I could find locally was $950.00 and it was had more rust than mine.
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Unread 07-18-2012, 12:31 PM   #12
1998tjsport
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I parted my 99 4cyl out with a blown motor and made ~4k selling parts cheap and fast this past december. I sold everything in 6 weeks and made a couple of $. The people on CL were not that bad eather I had no tire kickers at all. Everyone that showed up spent $ and no one was a wierdo. It was worth the part out because I put that money towards a low mileage 03 Rubicon and a few goodies for it. I got more tire kickers on here than CL and I would do it again in a heart beat. I sold a decent frame and tub for 300 lol. The money was made from the rest of it.
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Unread 07-18-2012, 12:34 PM   #13
1998tjsport
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I never answered your question BTW. In parts that jeep is an easy 5k maybe more. As a rusty jeep you could get 3500 to 4000 if you sell it to someone who wants a cheap TJ......
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Current-
2003 INCA GOLD TJ Rubicon 5 speed 3inch Currie/Savvy Lift, JKS Discos, 305 KM2s
Build Thread
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Past-
1994 Grand Cherokee 5 SPEED 3inch lift, tj bumper, 31x10.5s, wheel spacers, rhino liner, ect.....
1998 TJ Sport 5 Speed 31x10.5s, completely murdered out, and a short throw haha (miss that jeep)
1999 TJ SE 5 Speed (ls swap that became a part-out due to excess frame rot)
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Unread 07-18-2012, 02:18 PM   #14
Nate M
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With those low miles and just needing a frame I may know someone interested in purchasing the whole setup as is...
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