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Old 01-30-2012, 10:53 PM   #1
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Default 1998 with overheated engine, no compression.

Looking for everyone's opinion. I'm looking to add another xj to my fleet. I found a 1998 Cherokee classic that claims to have no body damage, no rust, drivetrain is in working condition, claims a clean interior. His daughter overheated it and then he overheated it trying to get it home... He says by the way it cranks over that he thinks there is no compression. Worst case scenario I'm looking at an engine swap. He is asking $1300 bottom dollar. IS IT A STEAL???? Would you buy it given the chance??? It has 205,000 miles on it.
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:08 AM   #2
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First off, it's not a steal. At least not until you look at it and judge for yourself what it's condition is. In my area that would be a bit high for a 14+ year old vehicle with 200K+ miles. You're at least $500-$1000 into putting a used motor into it. By then you've got $2K wrapped up into a older SUV that doesn't get great gas mileage and is probably on a good day worth not much more than you have into it.

If you need it and have the skill to fix it and it's in perfect condition otherwise, I would say $1K tops, $700-$800 more realistic.
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Old 01-31-2012, 01:31 AM   #3
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I paid 1k for my tires and they just so happened to have a j eep attached to them.. ..

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Old 01-31-2012, 01:41 AM   #4
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I paid $800 for my running jeep, hasn't broken down yet, and I don't really consider my jeep a steal or maybe my standards are too high
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:05 AM   #5
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If he says $1300, that means ten one hundred dollar bills to me.

And if you can do the labor yourself and wouldn't feel bad if you need to install a new engine, then it may be worth it. Always have to figure "worst case" on vehicles like this.

Go look at it. If you are lucky, it might just be a blown head gasket or cracked cylinder head; both of which are not that uncommon with a severe overheat. The head would certainly be the first thing to concentrate on here.
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:07 AM   #6
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The guy claims that the jeep itself is in great condition. Around here people are asking $5000 for 98 and newer cherokees that run and are very clean. Not sure how many are getting that much for them but that's what everyone is asking The way I look at this is worst case scenario, I'm gooing to have to buy an engine for it. J/Y says about $450 for one with around 140,000 on it. I just hate to pass up a "98 or newer" cherokee like this when everyone else around here is asking so much for theirs The labor will be done by yours truely so im looking at most the cost of a used motor and any other little parts and peices that may need to be replaced along the way.
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:16 AM   #7
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Go check it out. Be sure the guy isn't exaggerating the condition; it happens.

As long as you can do the work yourself, you can't go too wrong.

Concentrate on that head. Start with a simple compression test. Low readings in two adjacent cylinders indicates a blown head gasket; that would be best case I think.
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:43 PM   #8
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Depending on how hot the engine got when the original owner was trying to limp it home, it could have some problems worse than just a blown head gasket. It could have a warped head. It could have a cracked head. It could have a cracked block. (Any of which could have been the original cause of the overheating.) It could have a bad water pump, radiator, busted hoses, heater core, etc., etc. etc.

If you just write off the engine, and consider the rest of the vehicle, I'm thinking $500-$600. The owner wouldn't get more than $50 at a JY, if he has a clear , legal title. If he doesn't have a clear, legal title, pass it up, it's probably too much hassle. (My opinion--do not put a dime into a JY vehicle unless you get a clear, legal title up front.)

If he parted it out, he might get $1500--$1600, but it would take quite a while, be a big PITA and would take a bunch of tranactions. If he doesn't want to fix it to sell it, he should be willing to dump it. $1,000 is more than seriously generous on your part if you pay him that. Depending on how bad you want it, beat down the price some. Figure out your ARBP (absolute rock bottom price) and offer it to him in crisp new twenties. Twenty dollar bills always look like more money.

DO NOT FALL IN LOVE WITH A JUNKYARD VEHICLE. IF IT'S NOT A DEAL, FORGET IT.

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Old 01-31-2012, 01:27 PM   #9
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I should mention that the daughter overheated the jeep because DAD forgot to put her radiator cap back on after he checked it lol. I was suprised he admitted that to me. He says that if he cant get at least $1300 for it that he is going to buy and engine for it, but from what i gathered he really doesnt want to. If I knew it was just the head that needed replaced I would be on my way there with the trailer to get it. How common is it for the block to warp with the 4.0 with overheating issues. Will the block crack/warp just as fast as the head would during overheating? I havent read or heard of too many 4.0 blocks warping
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:04 PM   #10
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Sounds like a $500.00 Jeep to me. That guy isn't going to fix it. He's probably already got his daughter in something else.

Nobody has mentioned broken rings, spun bearings, scored piston walls, cooked oil, etc. There is a real possibility that there is nothing salvageable internally. Any and all things are possible because of a $5.00 radiator cap was left off.

A lot of people on this forum think a $450-600 salvage yard engine is going to save them. They never stop to consider why that sucker is in the salvage yard in the first place. Owners don't normally junk a good running vehicle.

Unless you can find a Jeep that is the same generation engine wise and computer wise as the one you are considering buying, with 100,000 miles or less on the engine, and was totalled because it was hit hard in the side or the rear--I just don't think its worth the hassle swapping one old engine for another.

I have resurrected a lot of older vehicles in my time. If I knew what I would eventually spend on them to get them right, I think I would just go down and get a better vehicle and make payments.

Either way, you WILL make payments.
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:37 PM   #11
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Thank you for all the responses. I appreciate it. Sounds like maybe I should look around for a better deal. If I make a move on it i'll be sure to post and let everybody know.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:48 AM   #12
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Dad forgot to put the radiator cap back on? Well, maybe so, I'm not saying he's lying, but being able to explain it makes it somewhat more salable, don't you think? I mean, "I forgot to put the radiator cap back on" sounds a lot better that "We have absolutely no ****ing idea why this Cherokee blew up, or what's really wrong with it."

I still say $500-$600. In twenties.

BTW, doesn't anybody rebuild engines any more? I know JY engines are cheaper and easier (as long as it's not a boat anchor to begin with) but guys used to rebuild engines in their garage all the time. A straight six ought to be a piece of cake to rebuild.
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:17 PM   #13
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Personal Opinion: If it is clean and unmolested as he states. An empty trailer, a couple of helpers (or a winch) to load it and 7 $100 bills on the hood. If he says no, leave your phone number. He says he will fix it, but once he prices parts and labor he will change his mind. It has worked for me several times.
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Low Profile View Post
BTW, doesn't anybody rebuild engines any more? I know JY engines are cheaper and easier (as long as it's not a boat anchor to begin with) but guys used to rebuild engines in their garage all the time. A straight six ought to be a piece of cake to rebuild.
I did, over the past 4+ months. I can truly say it was an adventure. There are cheaper ways to do it, like getting a slavage yard motor and taking a day to put it in (all while crossing your fingers and praying it last).

As I started my trip down rebuild lane I had a rough estimate of $1500 in my head. That quickly turned into $2000 for machine work and new internals (pistons/rings/cam/bearings/etc) and I had to assemble it myself. From there it went to new starter, new water pump, new oil pump, new timing gears & chain, new alternator, new cap and rotor, new plugs and wires, new sensors, new belt, new motor mounts/transmisson mount, new harmonic balancer, new flex plate, new gaskets/seals/filter for the transmission, new oil/antifreeze, new exhaust header, new exhaust, new oil filter, new oil pan, new intake manifold, new belt, new O2 sensors, and who knows what else I'm forgetting. So now here I am 4+ months and more than $3000 later and I've got a good, strong, "0" mile motor in a Jeep Cherokee. Think anyone would want to give me $5K for it? Cause that's at least how much I'd need to let it go.

So is rebuilding the way to go... maybe. A reman motor will sell for $1500 to $2000 but you won't be getting Sealed Power and Melling internals. I like knowing I built my own motor. If money wasn't a question I would definatly do it again... and it wouldn't take nearly as long.
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Old 02-02-2012, 05:22 PM   #15
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Well surprisingly enough I found another 98 Cherokee in the sane color. This one still runs but he says it has low compression in a couple cylinders. Difference is that this one has an ax-15 vs aw4. It looks like a 3" from the pictures and bushwhacker flares. He also claims no rust. Buying pre-lifted jeeps makes me nervous because you never know how hard they were driven. I mean, you lift a jeep for a reason, and that's usually not for grandma to drive to the grocery store and back..... Plan is to check that one out this Saturday
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Old 02-02-2012, 05:22 PM
 
 
 
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