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DreadPirateLord 11-14-2014 05:06 PM

First time Jeep buyer looking for advice and tips, please!
So as the title says I am a Noob, I am finally buying my first Jeep.
I tried putting a thread in a different topic the other day, but after doing some research and finally have a chance to properly look around the forum I figured this would hopefully be my best bet.
I have decided to get an XJ as my first Jeep, have always wanted one and now is my time.
The one I am currently looking at is a stock 1995, 185,000 miles and I believe is a Country (Now I am not sure, but believe the only difference between the Country, SE and Sport are trim options and packages?) for $1,300.
I know that the location does affect the price somewhat, but am wondering if the price seems right?
I am located in PA the price seems good according to KBB, but as the point of this thread is to get advice and support from other Jeepers and knowledge and understanding.
Based on what I have stated so far does it seem like a good deal, should I worry about the mileage?
The person I am purchasing from is a state away from me so I want to have all the info I need to be armed with for my trip.
I have only had communication with the seller via email and text, but have seen some fairly detailed pictures so far.
I would give the body about 7/10 and the interior 5-6/10.
From what I can see it does not appear to have any rust, I know to check the floors, rockers and roof though.
I am not much of a mechanically inclined person, that is part of the reason I am also getting this.
I understand that this is a 20 year old vehicle and am prepared to turn a wrench and learn all I can.
This will be my daily driver, as well as a work in progress.
So here is where all of you come in...
What can and should I look for, is this a good deal or should I keep looking?
I know all of you have been here at one time or another so I am hoping the community can and will share with me the advice and knowledge I need to purchase my first Jeep with.
I thank you all in advance for the help I hope to get!

P.S.- Since I am new it seems like I cannot post pictures yet, if they would help I can send some if you PM me, thank you again.

Jason 11-14-2014 07:10 PM

I assume it's a six cylinder? If so, those motors are notoriously reliable. 200K+ miles is pretty common on a well maintained engine. However, no guarantees with anything nearing 200K.

Check the rear shock mounts, as well as any other rust or rot. Watch out for abnormal engine, transmission or other drivetrain issues. A slight top end tick is pretty normal on 4.0L.

$1300 is hard to go wrong, as long as your expectations are realistic for a 20 year old vehicle. I'd only pay that with those miles if the body is near perfect. Less based on condition.

Do not feel pressured to buy because of the distance. It's easy to feel like you wasted a trip if it doesn't turn out to be as you expect.

DreadPirateLord 11-14-2014 07:22 PM

It is the 4.0 inline 6 made sure of that.
Wasn't aware of the shock area, will check above there as well.
I plan to look over it to the best of my ability, lay on ground to look under for rot and rust, check to make sure tires match ( in pictures it looks like it is a broken set).
Also looks like the hood is not closed in one pic, heard the latches go so I have to check that.
Anything else specifically I should look for?
I do plan on hopefully talking him down with cash.
So we will see.
Thanks for actually reading my post and responding.

DreadPirateLord 11-14-2014 07:24 PM

Forgot to add, only an hour away. I have waited this longa little longer won't hurt.
Real stupid question.
Is there any specific way to test the 44?
This will be the first I have ever owned or drove.

jay-h 11-14-2014 07:40 PM

Biggest thing to look for is rust. That is the ONE thing you can't fix.

It really wouldn't hurt to bring someone knowledgeable with you.

DreadPirateLord 11-14-2014 07:45 PM

Sadly, am the most mechanically inclined out of my circle of friends.
The guy who does brakes and oil changes and is will to scroll threads and watch videos to do upkeep.
I know some othe the basics, but that is mostly on cars.
Most of it is universal from what I understand, but this being a truck and something I am not familiar with made me want to ask a panel of experts.

Jason 11-14-2014 07:57 PM

Same as any other used car -- rust, rot, leaks, damage, odd sounds, odd smells, haunting, demonic possessions, etc., etc.

The upper shock mount and the other things I mentioned are things I've encountered in the past.

Not heard that about the hood latch though. TJs can rot and dry out because they are rubber.

For the 4x4, find a gravel parking lot and pull the lever and drive slowly while turning a little. You should feel the steering wheel fight you a little bit. Don't make a habit of using 4x4 on hard dry surfaces as it will accelerate wear on the system.

jay-h 11-14-2014 07:57 PM

There's certainly nothing wrong with not knowing mechanical details (everyone starts out that way).

The thing is unfortunately, that there is subtlety in evaluating a car. The difference in sound between a slightly loose tappet (not serious) and a wrist pin (fairly substantial engine repair) is hard to describe unless you have heard them. But there are good vids on youtube, pay attention to the sounds, and the overall feel of the vehicle.

The price is decent if the body is healthy (that you can see). Use your best judgement, and allow for the fact that there will be some repairs required.

DreadPirateLord 11-14-2014 08:25 PM

Good things to look for and know.
I have heard and read a couple of different methods on the 44, figured I would ask people who have actually drove one, lol.

DreadPirateLord 11-16-2014 08:04 AM

So sadly I went yesterday to only realize that I am pretty sure I got scammed.
Drove to the place and never saw the Jeep when I got there.
Parked exactly where pictures were taken, so the location was correct (was a bit dodgy of a neighborhood), text the guy to see where he was or where to meet.
Took about 10 minutes for him to reply, just gave me the address again.
Told him I was already there and did not see anyone at the address he gave me, let alone a Jeep (it was a complex of sorts, I got there early to look at Jeep a bit on my own. I drove the whole damn place and checked every lot).
Almost 10 minutes later texts me back with am I ready and do I see the Jeep.
At that point I was getting a bad read on the place, also had my kid with so I chalked it up to a loss.
Knew it seemed to good to be true.
However, on the drive home I saw a 2000 in a used car lot had 179,725 on it.
Followed all adive and instincts and am proud to say I drove my first Cherokee.
Sadly my first ride was in a P.O.S, lol the thing was rough...
And I am not talking Rough Country.
The body needed minimum work, rockers.
However the engine and trans were poorly taken care of.
So the search continues...

WDNewman 11-17-2014 07:55 AM

As the search continues, your education will also. You have the intelligence to
walk away from dangerous situations and poor product. You will do fine!

Keep us posted.

DreadPirateLord 11-18-2014 05:33 PM

Thanks for the vote of confidence.
Have to day I have learned more than I thought I would.
So now I continue the search and add a couple of extra bucks to the pot!
However, still open to tips and suggestions!
Or if anyone has a Jeep at a starter price in my area...

DreadPirateLord 11-20-2014 07:32 PM

Okay Jeepers.
So I think my wait might have been worth it.
Came across an ad for a 2001 with only 85000 miles, the bad is guy says it has a bad oil pump?
Is it that hard to fix or replace, could it have led to or caused any other issues.
This seems like a great deal, want the facts from the experts!

WDNewman 11-21-2014 08:00 AM

"Bad" oil pumps are rare, but I suppose it could happen, even at 85k miles.
The question is: how much damage was done to the engine when the pump went bad?
An engine doesn't run very long without oil. And even though putting in a new oil pump is
not a major repair, replacing the engine would be. How did he know the oil pump was bad?
Was it low oil pressure or did the engine seize up or blow?
You would have to replace the oil pump before you could even test drive the thing, so I would
tell the owner to put in a new oil pump so that you could base your decision on how it drives
rather than how it looks. If he refuses, keep looking. There are tons of these things out there.
No reason at all to settle for one that has problems of any kind.

DreadPirateLord 11-21-2014 08:28 AM

From what I was told it was parked as soon as issues arose, it was only used for camping trips.
Was told when he decided to sell it, a couple of days ago he topped off the oil before he attempted to start it to be safe.
Said it fired right up, promptly turned it off after.
Really torn, getting a lot of mixed feedback from here and another forum...

The time now is 08:52 PM.

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