New TJ Owner - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 14 Old 11-21-2019, 01:54 AM Thread Starter
BeerRidge
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New TJ Owner

Hello all, first post on the forum and first Jeep I've owned.
I was gifted a 1997 Wrangler TJ Base with the 2.5, manual, hard top with 160k miles. It's was owned by my father in law and is completely stock. I have no plans to lift it or put larger tires on it, no off-roading except a possible hunting/fishing trail.

I'm currently giving it a once over to see what I'm inheriting since it sat under a carport for a year or so. I know it has an exhaust leak and some frame rust I plan to address. I'm currently looking for advice on known suspension issues. My question would be...if I'm getting involved with tearing some stuff down or replacing parts, what would you recommend upgrading or addressing while I'm in/under the Jeep. I don't want to spend the time and money to replace a part that's destined to break again. Any pointers on known issues to check for and/or upgrades to perform would be appreciated. Thank you in advance!

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post #2 of 14 Old 11-21-2019, 07:38 AM
2jhanna
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You mentioned frame rust, that's a biggee jeep cancer, that if it is so bad, can be so costly to repair/cure, that turns your new gift into a "white elephant".

I don't mean to put a damper on your new gift, but I'd start there before spending any money on other repairs/upgrades.

Good luck and welcome to the forum. Post up pictures of what you find and members here can help and advise.

I am multi-talented, I can talk and piss you off at the same time.

jhanna
denton county, tx
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post #3 of 14 Old 11-21-2019, 08:00 AM
TheBoogieman
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Fix the rust problem first and exhaust leak second. Everything else can wait for now. Then check out the wheel bearings, ball joints, tie rod ends...etc.

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Originally Posted by jeepinmichguy_ View Post
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03' Rubicon/Zone 4" coils with 1" spacers up front/Rancho shocks/5.13 gears-35" MTZs/BM brakes
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-21-2019, 08:26 AM
Ross
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerRidge View Post
Hello all, first post on the forum and first Jeep I've owned.
I was gifted a 1997 Wrangler TJ Base with the 2.5, manual, hard top with 160k miles. It's was owned by my father in law and is completely stock. I have no plans to lift it or put larger tires on it, 1. no off-roading except a possible hunting/fishing trail.

I'm currently giving it a once over to see what I'm inheriting since it sat under a carport for a year or so. I know it has an exhaust leak and some frame rust I plan to address. 2. I'm currently looking for advice on known suspension issues. My question would be...if I'm getting involved with tearing some stuff down or replacing parts, what would you recommend upgrading or addressing while I'm in/under the Jeep. I don't want to spend the time and money to replace a part that's destined to break again. Any pointers on known issues to check for and/or upgrades to perform would be appreciated. Thank you in advance!
1.Depending on how rough the terrain you will cover you may want to think about tires. if you go out alone and the terrain is rough enough were you might get stuck you will want to think about being able to get unstuck.

2. what are the suspension issues?

When you drive the jeep are there vibrations? Does the motor run smooth? What and why are you "getting involved with tearing some stuff down or replacing parts".

storage space and being able to secure items is an issue in TJs, when you go hunting fishing are they day trips or are you going for extended periods of time.

BUT like other have stated above you will wan to deal with the rust first.

01TJ33sWarn,ARBs F&R,bellyup,4.0,4.56s,5spd
99 XJ33sWinch,Electric locker up front,4.56s,4.0Auto
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post #5 of 14 Old 11-21-2019, 09:11 AM
Ross
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerRidge View Post
Hello all, first post on the forum and first Jeep I've owned.
I was gifted a 1997 Wrangler TJ Base with the 2.5, manual, hard top with 160k miles. It's was owned by my father in law and is completely stock. I have no plans to lift it or put larger tires on it, 1. no off-roading except a possible hunting/fishing trail.

I'm currently giving it a once over to see what I'm inheriting since it sat under a carport for a year or so. I know it has an exhaust leak and some frame rust I plan to address. 2. I'm currently looking for advice on known suspension issues. My question would be...if I'm getting involved with tearing some stuff down or replacing parts, what would you recommend upgrading or addressing while I'm in/under the Jeep. I don't want to spend the time and money to replace a part that's destined to break again. Any pointers on known issues to check for and/or upgrades to perform would be appreciated. Thank you in advance!
1.Depending on how rough the terrain you will cover you may want to think about tires. if you go out alone and the terrain is rough enough were you might get stuck you will want to think about being able to get unstuck.

2. what are the suspension issues?

01TJ33sWarn,ARBs F&R,bellyup,4.0,4.56s,5spd
99 XJ33sWinch,Electric locker up front,4.56s,4.0Auto
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post #6 of 14 Old 11-21-2019, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
BeerRidge
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Around 35mph it seems to sway back and forth although the steering feels tight and responsive. Also happens during braking but not to the extent as it does over 35mph. The major rust seems to be near the rear on the frame. What methods and products do you recommend to remedy the rust issues?

Side note: I was impressed with the turning radius, pretty sure I could turn this thing around in a 2 lane road first try without touching the white lines. Runs pretty well through all gears and the exhaust leak quieted down a little as it warmed up.
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post #7 of 14 Old 11-21-2019, 11:46 AM
Ross
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Originally Posted by BeerRidge View Post
Around 35mph it seems to sway back and forth although the steering feels tight and responsive. Also happens during braking but not to the extent as it does over 35mph. The major rust seems to be near the rear on the frame. What methods and products do you recommend to remedy the rust issues?

Side note: I was impressed with the turning radius, pretty sure I could turn this thing around in a 2 lane road first try without touching the white lines. Runs pretty well through all gears and the exhaust leak quieted down a little as it warmed up.
When it sways is it a more violent shake or a smoother sway?

Does the braking pull it the same direction all the time or actually sway back and forth?

01TJ33sWarn,ARBs F&R,bellyup,4.0,4.56s,5spd
99 XJ33sWinch,Electric locker up front,4.56s,4.0Auto
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post #8 of 14 Old 11-21-2019, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
BeerRidge
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The sway is not violent, just feels a little like when wind hits the side and pushes you but then instantly changes to the other side. Under braking it also pulls both ways but is much more abreviated, not as much sway one side to the other but happens faster.
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post #9 of 14 Old 11-27-2019, 03:06 PM
TheBoogieman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerRidge View Post
The sway is not violent, just feels a little like when wind hits the side and pushes you but then instantly changes to the other side. Under braking it also pulls both ways but is much more abreviated, not as much sway one side to the other but happens faster.
Check the tie rod ends for play and the alignment can be done yourself. Shocks and springs are probably worn out too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepinmichguy_ View Post
TheBoogieman is a jerk.
03' Rubicon/Zone 4" coils with 1" spacers up front/Rancho shocks/5.13 gears-35" MTZs/BM brakes
99' XJ / 5.5" lift / Rancho shocks/33" DC Extreme country MTs. Jeep #18
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post #10 of 14 Old 11-27-2019, 03:26 PM
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Check that it has both front and rear antiswaybars and they are both functioning. Broken front swaybar endlinks is pretty common (often with click going over bumps).

Make sure shocks work, the coil spring suspension very much needs functioning shocks to keep control of things.

Everybody has a different scale of rust, TJs can be so bad they are unsafe. Check that rear upper control arm mounts on the frame side are in-tact, that upper coil buckets are attached safely.

'06 LJ, '05 LJ
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post #11 of 14 Old 11-30-2019, 04:15 PM
Letzride
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Get a winch if you are on back country roads. The only thing that can turn a good hunting day into a bad one is getting stuck and spending your time getting the Jeep out than getting shots in.

For your rust, wire wheel the frame, spray on a rust inhibitor, asphalt coating and then get it oil sprayed yearly

1999 TJ 4" Lift - 33's

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post #12 of 14 Old 12-03-2019, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
BeerRidge
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Just an update... Thank you all for recommending that I inspect it further for rust. With all the good reads and tips on the forum this has now turned into a build. I used an air hammer all around the frame and spots that looked good, it blew right through. Upper driver side rear spring perch was broken off on the front mounting point. The body however is almost entirely rust free even underneath. Just some surface rust spots in the wheelwells and a bubble under one of the flares. The rearend has some rusted arms, links and brackets so I'm replacing all of it. Needs the top and lower spring perches, track bar mount on the rear, frame safeTcapping from rear axle to front body mounts then POR 15 all of it. I'll put new Rancho rs5000x shocks all around with some black steel wheels and new tires. Still not looking to lift it or go oversized tires on it.
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post #13 of 14 Old 12-03-2019, 05:32 PM
2jhanna
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If you can do the work yourself, that's good. Having to pay somebody could get you "upside down" real quick, especially on a 2.5l.
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I am multi-talented, I can talk and piss you off at the same time.

jhanna
denton county, tx
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post #14 of 14 Old 12-05-2019, 08:07 AM
TheBoogieman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerRidge View Post
Hello all, first post on the forum and first Jeep I've owned.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerRidge View Post
Still not looking to lift it or go oversized tires on it.
Famous last words. I said that about my first TJ. It was on 35s within a year.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepinmichguy_ View Post
TheBoogieman is a jerk.
03' Rubicon/Zone 4" coils with 1" spacers up front/Rancho shocks/5.13 gears-35" MTZs/BM brakes
99' XJ / 5.5" lift / Rancho shocks/33" DC Extreme country MTs. Jeep #18
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