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Potential XJ purchase ó what should I be on the lookout for?

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Potential XJ purchase ó what should I be on the lookout for?

Old 11-07-2018, 05:56 PM
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Question Potential XJ purchase ó what should I be on the lookout for?

I'm driving ~2.5 hours on Friday to check out a 2000 XJ with the intention of purchasing if all looks good.

I've spoken to the owner and been informed that it has:
4X4, 4.0L, Auto Trans, 185k on the clock
A/C works
Detroit autolocker
3.5" Rubicon express lift kit with swaybar disconnects, Bilstein shocks
new upgraded head for known cracking issue
3 core radiator and high flow water pump

It doesn't appear to be an overly "done" rig and doesn't show any trail damage, so I don't believe it's been driven too hard. I tried to schedule a pre-purchase inspection at a couple of local spots (jeep dealer and a couple of local mechanics) but no dice on short notice. I'm looking for any pointers of specific issues to keep an eye on when I go to check it out. Anyone have a link to a solid pre-purchase checklist?
(Sorry if it's been asked before. I searched, but wasn't having much luck.)
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Old 11-07-2018, 09:01 PM
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Rust is the primary thing to lookout for on an XJ. Poorly executed modifications are a big one for me Iím not a brand snob like a lot of people but if someone had done cut folded fenders or trimmed them and it looks like garbage Iíll walk . Obviously check for worn, loose or broken steering and suspension components , check all fluids pay close attention to the coolant if itís nice and clean green itís probably been well maintained if Itís Brown id be concerned ... check trans fluid you want it to be nice and red not burned smelling , check engine oil if someone shows up with black oil and low on oil Iíd quickly walk away ... open the fill cap while running and check for excess crankcase pressure due to blow by ( smoke out fill cap in excess amounts ), check cold and warm oil pressure , Check the heater core for sure thatís a huge one by making sure the heat works if it doesnít Iíd walk away .... check all power doors and locks ... speakers by testing radio ... AC compressor to cycle when commanded , defrost to work .... check condition of belt and air filter also shows the type of maintenance the owner performed .... check for operation of all lights to ensure ability to pass inspection ... condition of exhaust ... I can keep going but thereís a bit of an art to a good used vehicle inspection .
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Old 11-08-2018, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by GreaseMonkey17 View Post
Rust is the primary thing to lookout for on an XJ. Poorly executed modifications are a big one for me Iím not a brand snob like a lot of people but if someone had done cut folded fenders or trimmed them and it looks like garbage Iíll walk . Obviously check for worn, loose or broken steering and suspension components , check all fluids pay close attention to the coolant if itís nice and clean green itís probably been well maintained if Itís Brown id be concerned ... check trans fluid you want it to be nice and red not burned smelling , check engine oil if someone shows up with black oil and low on oil Iíd quickly walk away ... open the fill cap while running and check for excess crankcase pressure due to blow by ( smoke out fill cap in excess amounts ), check cold and warm oil pressure , Check the heater core for sure thatís a huge one by making sure the heat works if it doesnít Iíd walk away .... check all power doors and locks ... speakers by testing radio ... AC compressor to cycle when commanded , defrost to work .... check condition of belt and air filter also shows the type of maintenance the owner performed .... check for operation of all lights to ensure ability to pass inspection ... condition of exhaust ... I can keep going but thereís a bit of an art to a good used vehicle inspection .
This is super helpful, thank you.
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by GreaseMonkey17 View Post
Rust is the primary thing to lookout for on an XJ. Poorly executed modifications are a big one for me Iím not a brand snob like a lot of people but if someone had done cut folded fenders or trimmed them and it looks like garbage Iíll walk . Obviously check for worn, loose or broken steering and suspension components , check all fluids pay close attention to the coolant if itís nice and clean green itís probably been well maintained if Itís Brown id be concerned ... check trans fluid you want it to be nice and red not burned smelling , check engine oil if someone shows up with black oil and low on oil Iíd quickly walk away ... open the fill cap while running and check for excess crankcase pressure due to blow by ( smoke out fill cap in excess amounts ), check cold and warm oil pressure , Check the heater core for sure thatís a huge one by making sure the heat works if it doesnít Iíd walk away .... check all power doors and locks ... speakers by testing radio ... AC compressor to cycle when commanded , defrost to work .... check condition of belt and air filter also shows the type of maintenance the owner performed .... check for operation of all lights to ensure ability to pass inspection ... condition of exhaust ... I can keep going but thereís a bit of an art to a good used vehicle inspection .

Adding to this wonderful list:

- 2000 - 2001 models are prone to cylinder head cracks use that to negotiate.
- RUST: Check under rocker panels, inside bottom of doors, get under truck and check both floor pans, rear lower quarter panels. Rusted seat bolts on floor for a sign of rusted floor pans.
- Check all door hinges, and door alignment when shut.
- Check if windshield wipers work with spray. Motor fails or lags and fluid pumps fail.
- condition of headliner and cracks in seats
- check engine and other dash lights. Turn key ON and make sure check engine light doesn't come on. Also make sure it DOES OPERATE. Some sneaky people take the bulb out!
- Rear defogger
- Drive and see if any sounds from axles/front bearings with the lift. If something is off you'll here whirring or knocking sounds
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Old 11-09-2018, 03:33 AM
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Bring a scanner. If you don't own one you should. Any cheap $20 one will be fine. You will want to make sure that all the monitors are up and in an OK status. To easy to disconnect the battery to get the check engine light to turn off. You buy it, drive it for a bit, and it throws a CEL. Cause you did not check and since the CEL was not on thought everything was fine.
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