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post #1 of 21 Old 11-12-2019, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
nmcowgrl
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nmcowgrl

So I'm in a bit of impasse and really unsure what to do. I need some outside advice. So please be nice and patient.

I have a 1995 Jeep Wrangler YJ. I've had it for 9 years, it was my dream Jeep and I put in so many blood, sweat, tears and ton of cash into this vehicle. It was not only my everyday vehicle but I took it out 4 wheeling with friends and just lived the best life ever with it. It wasn't just mine, it was a part of me. On September 12, 2019 it was stolen and when I got it back on November 5, 2019 stating it is a disaster is an understatement, and that is just the body and the interior of the Jeep. For the mechanical, they ran it to the ground. They broke 2 motor mounts, there is looseness with the distributor shaft & housing excessive. They broke the oil dipstick so checking the oil is unattainable. The temp gauge stops at 150 degrees, the brakes are gone and the wheel alignment is off and of course the ignition lock and cylinder is damaged.

I know all of this is fixable, but this is just the beginning, I don't even know what could be wrong with other things until it's really look into and we all know how much that cost in labor. Then there is fixing and cleaning up the inside and repainting the body.


So my question is this, all that I have stated above, is it worth fixing or should I just accept that my Jeep is a total and complete loss and sell it? If you state for me to sell it would I be better off selling it as a whole or in parts?


Let it be known, I had custom leather seats put in for my 40th birthday and I'm taking those out and keeping them. Can I still sell the Jeep without the seats?

Thank you for your help.

nmcowgrl

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post #2 of 21 Old 11-12-2019, 03:54 PM
jbolty
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Depending on the numbers I would let the insurance total it out then buy it back salvage and fix it back up again, better than before.
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post #3 of 21 Old 11-12-2019, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
nmcowgrl
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Thank you Jbolty!! I would do that but, due to the age of my Jeep and the mileage the insurance company would only cover me with liability only. Had I full coverage I would so take your advice!!
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post #4 of 21 Old 11-12-2019, 05:04 PM
Luuca
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IMO you have a lot of yourself invested in the Jeep. If it is not your daily driver, I would rebuild over time and budget allowing. This is your chance to take you already "dream" YJ and turn it into a shining spectacle of your personal chariot of the gods.

The first thing you need to do it take it to a professional auto-body shop that has a frame machine to ensure that the thieves did not bend the frame jumping it. The broken motor mounts and misaligned steering tell me they probably did some jumps. If the frame is straight, or can be straightened, continue with the project.

I'm not sure how much wrenching you are able or willing to do, but by the description of the broken and damaged parts, it reads as if you know your way aroung your Jeep. Take your time and triage the patient before you start. i would start with the frame, then re-secure the engine and trans. Change the distributor, and then change all the fluids - engine oil, trans oil, transfer case fluid, front and rear differentials, radiator etc.

Once the mechanical is done, and the fluids are changed, run some diagnostics like a compression check to ensure the heart is still in good condition. If yes, replace the brakes, bleed the lines, and do a tape-measure alignment. Take it for a short test flight to make sure the trans and TC are still functional. If all is good, you're down to cosmetics.

For paint and bodywork, I suggest having a professional shop manage them for the best results. If you just want it one color and bodywork being perfect is not a huge concern, save some cash and do the bodywork yourself and take it to Maaco. Their basic urethane paint job is decent, and priced for almost any budget.

I'm not sure where you are located, but I'm in so cal. if you need help or just help finding used parts etc, PM me here on the forums - I have some good local resources.

One last thing - do you know if they messed with the ignition wires and hot-wired it or if they rolled it away to steal it?

PM me and I can give you a decent idea on how to prevent the hotwire thefts with a hidden kill switch.
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post #5 of 21 Old 11-12-2019, 05:40 PM
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I agree with Luuca. It could be a nice open canvas to begin a very cool project. He has a lot of good suggestions of how to assess it and move forward.

I hope I use the correct words to say this next part. From your description the distributor issue may or may not have been there and lurking before. It is hard to suddenly hurt a distributor without hurting the engine worse. The temp not going past 150 may be a gauge or sender issue or a thermostat that is old and gave up the ghost. It is an older Jeep and maybe some things on it were just at the time where they needed to be addressed soon. Don't let that type of stuff discourage you. If they broke the dipstick they sound like courteous thieves to me and at least tried to check the oil?

It is hard to know what you are capable of assessment wise, repair wise and project wise. One thing I do know is that people are here to help you and pics, good questions and accurate responses help people do great things on the forum.

Sorry for you loss BTW. It brings back memories of my grandparents old rustic cabin in Northern Michigan on the high banks of the Ausable river. Middle of nowhere. No electricity, and hand pumped well for water, a damn fine outhouse, the most beautiful stone fireplace on GODs green earth. etc. Every so often it would get broken into and trashed. The cabin had a name. Betchawanda. She was a part of us and every single time we moved forward and kept her a part of our life.
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If you cannot fix it with a hammer then it has to be an electrical problem.
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post #6 of 21 Old 11-12-2019, 07:09 PM
Joe Dillard
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Are you part of a Jeep Club or a network of Jeepers in or around Albuquerque? If so, perhaps some of those folks wouldn't mind helping you assess the depth of damages and maybe assist as well.
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post #7 of 21 Old 11-12-2019, 08:00 PM
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I'll probably get flamed for posting this picture but I think it can relate. I say keep it and you'll have a hell of a story. This is Rusty the bmw. It's a hit in the bmw community and was burnt to the ground and rebuilt again. Broken motor mounts sound like the thieves were in the process of swapping in a sbc for you.
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post #8 of 21 Old 11-13-2019, 11:02 AM
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This Jeep sounds like it is an important part of you. There really is not option. It must be brought back... better than before. Hopefully it is no longer your only means of transportation. @Luuca really provided solid advice. Do all that. Solve it one issue at a time. Looking at all the problems leads to being overwhelmed. Make a plan and just check off each item as they are done.
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post #9 of 21 Old 11-13-2019, 12:41 PM
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I'm sorry to hear that such $hitty people did that to you Jeep, especially since you put a ton of effort into it. I was lucky to recover mine and had minimal losses. Lucca is on point as you should get it checked out to make sure there isn't anything that's going to prevent you from getting it back on the road with a salvage title.


Here's my general write up on how to put in a kill switch. It's the first thing I did after putting on comprehensive and collision insurance. I had neither at the time it was stolen. Turns out comprehensive was like $20 a month extra, well worth it for a Jeep you put many hours into. You can use more than 1 method, make it a physical switch or a wireless one. Feel free to PM me if you have questions on this or want part #s. I also use a pedal lock too after putting in my kill switches. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1



Below is a basic wireless switch. The labels can change and where they go can vary slightly depending on your use (thus these labels might not be 100% accurate for your use scenario). Thus plan ahead and read the manual for your wireless system



KILL SWITCH PLACEMENT
You can splice in a the switch to interrupt any important wire. Whether it's for (1) the fuel pump, (2) the ignition system, or (3) Auto shutdown relay, (4) ignition coil, (5) Neutral position switch, or (6) something important going to the PCM which is required to start the car.

You can interrupt these lines in the hood, under the dash, or under the car depending on what you are doing. Likewise you can make the wires for the kill switch relays long, and have them hidden under your rear bumper for say splicing into the crankshaft position sensor which is in the hood on the other side of the vehicle. Be a bastard and have tons of other wires of the same color for everything you do and any thief will have major issues trying to figure things out and will hopefully go home.

You can also use 2 or more of these methods, for increased protection.




From the examples noted above I picked 3 layouts for kill switches for the next diagram. More are possible, I don't have the time to detail them all and where you can cut. Get a manual and start tracing wires. You can cut before or after the relay or even the PDC if you plan things accordingly. Anything you cut, be sure to test that the Jeep won't start with it cut, then use alligator clips and join the 2 wires to check that the Jeep now starts. If so then you can proceed, you found a good place.





Below are potential wireless setups. Note the wires initially cut (figure above) have an A and B side. Those are marked on the right side of this diagram. Alternatively you do not need the wireless part as you can just do a physical switch only which isn't really described here and is simpler to install (it's just bottom part of the next diagram). If the wireless system breaks down you can complete the interrupted wire by scraping off insulation and using alligator clips to complete the wire as a temporary fix. It's your Jeep you should know what you did to it and where to fix things.







Below are the same setups but WITH a safety backup using a physical switch. You can skip using the extra relay on the right IF your splice point and target to kill uses constant 12volts AND the wireless adapter you have can handle the amount of amps that device uses. If so then use the diagram above, it's less work. Remember the physical backup switch in this diagram is optional. You may wish to include it for the wireless relay so if it fails you can easily switch it back on. However it's presence is something a thief can use too. So the physical backup switch should be far away from the cut wires and in a hard to find spot. A thief won't be carrying alligator clips and know where to use them to steal your Jeep. Post numbers for the 2nd relay are labeled (30,87,85,86). Dr. Google will explain what they do if you don't know.




TLDR: Many ways to setup a physical switch or a wireless switch to act as a kill switch. If using a physical switch hide your switch in a good spot. A wireless switch is IMHO a better option as you can hide it anywhere in the car and it will work with you clicking a button allowing for better security as that thief will be less likely to find your wireless relay. Plus it's more convenient. Maybe do both and use that annoying physical one when you roll into that bad neighborhood.
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post #10 of 21 Old 11-13-2019, 06:37 PM
Chrisnvegas
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My Jeep is insured as a collector and has an agreed value of $12,000
It's CHEAP too. Around 300 a year.
^^^
That's for next time.



From what problems you described so far, nothing major.

It all depends on your skills or the skills of a close friend, partner, ect.
Do you have a garage or other workspace?
Basic hand tools?

Are you comfortable using tools?

Societies that are truly free can survive only if an open debate and an uncensored exchange of ideas can take place
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post #11 of 21 Old 11-15-2019, 07:11 AM
jserna
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It sucks!! She is really cool jeep chick. I have gone on rides with her before and is always a cool person to be around.
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post #12 of 21 Old 11-15-2019, 07:24 AM
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I’ve read this twice now.
I’d do nothing but fix it.

YJ frames are easily straightened and I’d guess a frame shop would charge $300 to check it and maybe $450 to fix it LOL
The rest of the stuff is just stuff.

As we operate aging mechanical contrivances with our YJs, many of the parts you mentioned were likely matured to the point of being say 80% of the way to needing replacement. Unfortunately the theft fast-forwarded their replacement to “now” instead of occasional replacements over time.

Fix it! I hope you do!
But seriously- I’m weird and I get very emotionally attached to vehicles I invest myself in.

I’d just have to fix it.
I don’t see anything that would stop me.

[size=“3”]Shackles & D-rings are different things.
Cranking IS turning over
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post #13 of 21 Old 11-15-2019, 07:42 AM
fishadventure
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmcowgrl View Post
Thank you Jbolty!! I would do that but, due to the age of my Jeep and the mileage the insurance company would only cover me with liability only. Had I full coverage I would so take your advice!!
Oh, and I have coverage to the NADA $8300 value. I had to argue with them because the agent wanted to cap it at $2500. After finally getting the agent to reveal the cost of coverage was the same for $2500 value as $8300 I finally got the policy. The carrier is now Progressive.

Your agent might need some pressure but even commodify-market insurers like progressive can write you for potential loss at an affordable level. They weasel out of it if they can it appears but my suggestion is to make your agent work a little and sell you what you need (at a reasonable price) or I’d find another place to insure the jeep.

You were “chumped” by the “old vehicle not insurable” evasiveness.

The agent’s primary job is to make money, not to give you excellent service. Many agents are very nice people and good hearted but they serve themselves first.

[size=“3”]Shackles & D-rings are different things.
Cranking IS turning over
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post #14 of 21 Old 11-15-2019, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
nmcowgrl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luuca View Post
IMO you have a lot of yourself invested in the Jeep. If it is not your daily driver, I would rebuild over time and budget allowing. This is your chance to take you already "dream" YJ and turn it into a shining spectacle of your personal chariot of the gods.

The first thing you need to do it take it to a professional auto-body shop that has a frame machine to ensure that the thieves did not bend the frame jumping it. The broken motor mounts and misaligned steering tell me they probably did some jumps. If the frame is straight, or can be straightened, continue with the project.

I'm not sure how much wrenching you are able or willing to do, but by the description of the broken and damaged parts, it reads as if you know your way aroung your Jeep. Take your time and triage the patient before you start. i would start with the frame, then re-secure the engine and trans. Change the distributor, and then change all the fluids - engine oil, trans oil, transfer case fluid, front and rear differentials, radiator etc.

Once the mechanical is done, and the fluids are changed, run some diagnostics like a compression check to ensure the heart is still in good condition. If yes, replace the brakes, bleed the lines, and do a tape-measure alignment. Take it for a short test flight to make sure the trans and TC are still functional. If all is good, you're down to cosmetics.

For paint and bodywork, I suggest having a professional shop manage them for the best results. If you just want it one color and bodywork being perfect is not a huge concern, save some cash and do the bodywork yourself and take it to Maaco. Their basic urethane paint job is decent, and priced for almost any budget.

I'm not sure where you are located, but I'm in so cal. if you need help or just help finding used parts etc, PM me here on the forums - I have some good local resources.

One last thing - do you know if they messed with the ignition wires and hot-wired it or if they rolled it away to steal it?

PM me and I can give you a decent idea on how to prevent the hotwire thefts with a hidden kill switch.
Luuca; Thank you so much for your amazing reply, but to answer your question, it was my main vehicle. I do have an 93 Ford F250 Diesel and that is what I'm driving now, so I can take the time to think over your reply and go from there.

Thank you so much for your help, you were amazing.

nmcowgrl
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post #15 of 21 Old 11-15-2019, 03:55 PM
Luuca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmcowgrl View Post
Luuca; Thank you so much for your amazing reply, but to answer your question, it was my main vehicle. I do have an 93 Ford F250 Diesel and that is what I'm driving now, so I can take the time to think over your reply and go from there.

Thank you so much for your help, you were amazing.

nmcowgrl
See guys... it's not like you say. I'm amazing! This proves it.


Get to work nmcowgrl... We want a full restoration build thread when you do.

as always, just about everyone on here is willing and able to help out - but we help those who help themselves...

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