Jeep Grand Cherokee Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi, everyone! I'm a new member and I hope this is the appropriate subforum to post this question. I didn't see any subforums or catch-all threads that looked any better suited to the topic when I searched.

Here's what I've got going on: We had a 2002 WRX wagon that we loved, but it lived ~18 years in Connecticut pulling daily driver duty and because of the completely screwed nature of our civilization where what should be commonly-known ancestral wisdom (like how to attack the problem of rust in states that callously dump corrosives on the road to destroy your vehicle, kill your lawn, and poison local water) is actually knowledge you must win through hard lessons and loss. Consequently, the poor Subaru didn't make it. The rear shock towers are nearly gone, because we did not take precautions against it.

I've been searching for XJs or ZJs in the $4,000-$5,000 range and I believe I may have found one that suits the purpose of replacing the WRX. It's a 1996 with the 5.2, and a few hundred under 80,000 miles on the odometer. I haven't bought the CarFax yet, and that may reveal a deal-breaker, but for now I want to show some pictures I took and get your opinions its condition. Obviously, I understand that a handful of iPhone snaps are hardly enough to truly gauge the quality of a used car, but I'm hoping some people who know what they're talking about will be able to give me some advice anyway.

My daily is a 2017 Mustang GT that I have had sprayed with FluidFilm every year since I bought it, and I also never drive it in winter, anyway. I'm trying to go well above and beyond the necessary for this car so I can sell it at my leisure when I want something new, and not have to junk it because it fell apart. If we buy this Grand Cherokee it will get the same treatment, meaning that there should be no further progression of any underbody corrosion at all. I'm a detailer, so keeping the topside car clean and free of rot is something I do as a matter of routine.

13124


That right there is my chief concern. What the heck is up with that crossmember, and what is up with that structural rail? I know nobody can tell me whether that's bad or not by looking at a picture, but I would like to know how you'd go about figuring out whether you want to buy or pass. My assumption is that it's holed and therefore fundamentally unsafe, and as I'm typing this I'm looking at the picture and seeing what looks like more damage in front of that.

Anyway, how repairable is this? Can I just cut the rust out and put in a frame stiffener kit and call it a job done, with the knowledge that the FluidFilm will protect it from anything further? Should I attempt to get the dealership to affect a repair, or should I avoid trusting them with that? I'm willing to buy this thing with the pictured damage if it's a fairly straightforward repair.

The rest of it isn't nearly as bad. I took photos, although not enough nor organized well, but these two show the genral condition of the rest of the car:

13125

13126


I really don't know what the deal is with that crossbar, because nothing else on the body looks like that. The driveshaft and the muffler look ugly, but I'm not losing sleep over them. What's up with the rear differential? Do they always look that new?

This machine has a lot of new parts that I'm aware of, including headlights, radiator, AC compressor, and alternator, indicating that the PO got tired of fixing things and dumped the car on the dealership, which wouldn't put me off at all except for that rust spot.

I don't live in NY but it'll get a New York inspection before I take delivery, so assuming it passes state inspection, and contingent on the CarFax coming up clean and confidence-inspiring, what do you guys think should be my plan of attack? If I put down the full $500 refundable deposit they will go to town on the thing and make a lot of cosmetic fixes and see to safety systems like the brakes. After that they say they warranty their sales for 30 days, during which time I'd push to make use of the car as often as possible to see if I can shake out any gremlins during that period.

I don't have my heart set on this Jeep, but I do have a strong desire for simplicity and convenience, and nothing would be simpler or more convenient than to determine it's not an expensive mistake and just proceed to owning it, so I can make repairs and improvements at my discretion.

Thanks a ton if you can help me out with any rules of thumb for making these kinds of judgments, or if you can tell me what I should expect fixing that to cost (in a general range), etc.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Thats actually pretty great for a 25 year old New England GC. Most of the 15 year olds on the road are in much worse shape than that. It seems like you already have a pretty good idea of what the condition of that Jeep is so its really up to you if that's acceptable or not.
Personally, I think you can get something newer for a $5000 budget. Although 80k is pretty impressive, its still a quarter century old so its going to need constant attention. Its probably still on original alternator, water pump, calipers, struts, transmission filter and fluid, transfer case and differential oil, belts, starter, etc.
That kind of uncertainty is a liability for a DD.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I can tell you that whatever rust and rot of metal that you can see......is only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Surface rust is only orange. If you can see expansion of the sheet metal, its got cancer and needs to be looked at very carefully. Forums are great places to find out about the common problems and rust/rot spots of certain makes and model years. Watch out for the cover up of black undercoating that hides the real issues. Good luck !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I would have to agree with them. That is a pretty impressive amount of rust given the age so my suggestion is to really just change it. I think buffering or applying some solutions won't help and it would just continue to erode.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top