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Off topic... buying new (used) vehicle

Discussion in 'H.I. Cantina' started by ACStudios, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. ACStudios

    ACStudios Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Hi all,

    I'm looking at buying a used Jeep Rubicon Unlimited online. For some reason, I've got this 'feeling' that something is wrong with the rig.

    I've checked the carfax history and the NICB.org databases and haven't found anything wrong with the title, etc.

    The Jeep is going for a few thousand under book value... has low mileage and is in Florida (my number one red flag :D). I just have a feeling it might be a flood car from Katrina. Carfax has it listed as a one owner vehicle, but this dealer purchased it from auction.

    Here is a photo of the undercarriage. It is showing the driveshafts have surface rust as do various washers, exhaust, etc... Would there be a lot more rust if it was indeed a flood car? The rest of the photos the dealer provided look outstanding. If this is on the up and up, it is a killer deal. That's what scares me. I'm rarely on the good end of a killer deal :rolleyes:. Am I being too paranoid?

    Last edited: Jul 20, 2008
  2. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Hey it looks better than mine...but mine's a '79 CJ5:D

    Honestly, I couldn't tell you if that is bad or not. I would think that a person driving an unlifted jeep in florida (especially around salt water) would probably get a fair amount of moisture to rust up the underside.

    I guess if it had been treated with an undercoating protection and STILL rusted up that much, that might be a red flag.

    Is there anyway to have an independent mechanic look at it before you buy? My wife and I did that with a car we were going to buy from a dealership and found out that it needed about 3K worth of work:mad:...don't even get me started on car salesmen.

    Hopefully an expert will be along shortly.
  3. flylock

    flylock Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 9, 2004
    Right now its a buyers market for any used car that dont get 30mpg. I would shop my own local market for any vehicle before I went through the hassle of buying one that wasnt close by.
  4. ACStudios

    ACStudios Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Thanks Jake. Every time I look at that photo I tell myself it isn't that bad considering where it is at. I remember having to turn on the windshield wipers just to drive in the morning due to the humidity (when I was trapped in Clewiston). I won't really be able to get an independent mechanic to look at it until I can get down there myself.

    Flylock, I've done shopped the local market dry (it isn't a huge market to begin with.. but I done run the Internet for 300 mile radius with not much luck). 4wds haven't lost their value in my neck of the woods yet. But there aren't any of what I'm looking for at the moment anyway... and I won't buy new.

    I might do this... very good chance I'm being overly paranoid. But I'm beginning to think there is just too much that has to happen to even get the vehicle up here (I either fly down and drive back... or more expensive route is pay someone to deliver it) in very little time.

    Thanks again guys. I just needed a sounding board.


  5. Doesn't look all that bad to me. Dana 44/Dana 30, were they still using the NP 231 on the TJ's?

    did ya' try the locker? Check underneath the carpet in the floorboards, that can tell a tale. 'specially if it smells mildewy.....

    Also, be sure to check the exhaust manifold. the 4.0's are notorious for cracking them, but it does give a great excuse to upgrade to a header. (I'm very pleased with my Edelbrock shorty)

    be aware that if the soft tops not good, it'll set ya' back 600-800 real quick. If it's a hard top, then I hate you.:D

    It doesn't look like it's been wheeled hard or anything. If you're really in doubt, fork out a hundred or so for a mechanic to check it over, or see if the seller will spring for it.

    If you decide you hate it, the rig should be easy enough to resell...

    let us know how it works out, buying my dream rig and all...

    (hope to lift and lock my YJ this winter, in order to further resist the purchase of a Rubicon unlimited)
  6. ACStudios

    ACStudios Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Well I bought it :D. After double checking Carfax and the National Insurance Database to make sure it hadn't been turned in as a flood vehicle, stolen, etc., and talking to the dealer, it all came together.

    Here are a ton of pics... [MODS: If I am not allowed to link a completed eBay auction... I apologize... please delete]: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/e...STRK:MEWN:IT&viewitem=&item=160261960502&rd=1

    I found out that the rusting drive shaft is common across a lot of different vehicles and nothing to worry about. I might have to replace the exhaust in the near future... but that is just an excuse to upgrade :).

    I'm stuck in Vegas right now attending some Apple computer training (actually have been waiting to come to this course for a long time and get my ACTC certification). I'll be flying down to pick it up on Monday... can't wait :D.

    Runs... not sure about the transfer case... I think they changed it for the Rubicons... it'll give a 4:1 ratio in low range! And both axles are the Dana 44s. All the reviews on the Unlimited Rubi's I've read go on about the transfer case though... and about the whole vehicle.

    I'll post an update once I get home. I should know a lot more about it after a 2200 mile trip across the country!


  7. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Congrats, Alan:)

    Jeeps are fun. I really enjoy mine when it runs. Although at highway speeds it gets really dicey. I need to un-mod some of the half a$$ed mods that the yahoo before me did to it.

    The Rubicons have always been tempting to me, but I have this sickness when comes to vehicles that requires them to be older than I am before I can enjoy them to their fullest:foot::D
  8. ACStudios

    ACStudios Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    This one will be my fourth Jeep. I loved the other three, but you're right Jake. They are dicey at highway speeds. I hit a patch of black ice on the Interstate in my '94 and spun off the road at 75mph :eek:. NOT FUN!!! The Unlimited is supposed to be much more stable due to the longer wheelbase. It adds an additional 13" to the footprint and smoothes out the ride a lot... plus makes it handle better off road too (but adds some overhang to it).

    Finding one that hadn't been [email protected] with was a big priority for me too. I've found that you end up spending a lot of money just fixing crap that some kid did.

    I'm really jazzed and can't wait to get to Jacksonville to pick it up. One more day and one more certification test to go... then a long day of flying :barf:.
  9. ACStudios

    ACStudios Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    I'm finally home from a LONG trip across the country. 2200 miles in 2.5 days. I was able to fit in a nice visit with my brother and his family on the way home too :D.

    I must admit I actually came across a good deal with this Jeep. It ran perfectly all the way back, averaging 16 mpg (high was 18, low 14). I was able to do 75 mph except when I encountered rough road, then 70 seemed to be its sweet spot. The 6 disk CD changer/stereo was perfect for my audio books and I even had A/C when things were too hot (it was REALLY hot too).

    Buddy wasn't too impressed when I picked him up from the dogsitter's this morning. The front seat isn't big enough for his body and I had the back full of my junk. Plus he'll need a step to use in order to jump up inside it due to his bad hips. But I think he'll come around now that I have the back seat removed. It'll be just like the pickup he's always wanted when I put the top down :D.
  10. Kismet


    Jan 30, 2002
    Hey Alan.

    Glad it worked out.

    I was skeptical...being old and suspicious and all....:)

    Be safe in that thing, hear?

    enjoy every sandwich
  11. Lion's Roar

    Lion's Roar

    Apr 11, 2004
    Nice Ride! the only Jeep I ever had was a Jeep Cherokee. It was fun. One of these days... when you can get one of those new 4 dr Jeep Commander's for not as much money..
  12. Daniel Koster

    Daniel Koster www.kosterknives.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 18, 2001
    Cool stuff - glad it worked out. :thumbup:

    I've purchased 2 cars and a motorcycle off ebay...no problems. I didn't have high expectations either...so maybe that's why it went well for me.

    My next car will probably be an ebay find as well...

  13. ACStudios

    ACStudios Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    After a little over 3,000 miles on it and no major complaints yet. I'm happy as a pig in... well, in a Jeep :D.

    Now I just have to concentrate on not spending ALL of my money fixing her up. So far I got a bikini top, cab cover and new cordura seat covers (all necessary maintenance type stuff). I'm waiting on the engine performance, lights, lift, tires, etc. until next summer.

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