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View Full Version : This a good project start?



NHarris
07-13-2012, 04:44 AM
Well over the past few years I drifted away from Jeeps and took on a few Explorers as projects. Well, I've been missing the Jeeps and think I'm coming back for good. Nothing beats a Wrangler. Before I get to buying a JK, I want to get some experience done with a TJ. I've found a possible start to a project; its a 1997 Wrangler TJ "Palm Beach Edition." I have no clue on what a Palm Beach Edition is, but its kind of unique. Anyways, this Jeep is a 2.5L 4 cyl with a dead AX5 transmission. One of my friends, who lives out of state, is the owner, was going to do a V8 swap, but decided to scrap that idea. Now I want to get my hands on this Jeep to do an overhaul. He has an AX15, transfer case and driveshafts; those would be included in the deal here.

Here's some pictures before I bore you guys and gals too much;
http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff269/jtsmith1362/1997%20Jeep/005.jpg
http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff269/jtsmith1362/1997%20Jeep/008.jpg
http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff269/jtsmith1362/1997%20Jeep/007.jpg

Its not in bad shape; has a unique paint job; and appears to be lifted 2" (no coil spacers) and sitting on 33's. It has 4.10 gearing which would be fine for a 4.0L. And there's my conflict. I want to swap it out to a 4.0L. As well I get a new soft top if the deal goes through. Rust seems to be minimal on this, which is definitely a plus.

I want some thoughts and opinions on what you guys think about this. I'm trying to get it for $2500-2700. I'm looking to achieve the final cost just under $6200.00 Same year TJ Wranglers go for $8000-9000 in my area so I'd be in under cost of buying an already assembled one.

-Nate

Mods; Sorry if I placed this thread in the wrong section. Still trying to learn my way around here.

MTG
07-13-2012, 05:21 AM
Cool! Sounds like a fun project.

kaptkrappy
07-13-2012, 12:00 PM
It sounds like a great base for a project. It has some of the items on it that are a great start already. 5 matching wheels and tires, half doors, basic lift, and you get to pick your drive train instead of having to drive around the old 4 banger (which only had 120 HP when it was brand new) and wishing you had more power.

I'm not real into that paint job though.....:naw:

So, good luck and keep us up to date on your progress.

.

DA RUNT
07-13-2012, 05:09 PM
That's a helluva start, been thinking about getn an old TJ myself. I already have a game plan to get it, gonna tell the wife I want a new motorcycle then "settle" for a TJ :rock:

Chairokey
07-13-2012, 07:47 PM
That's a helluva start, been thinking about getn an old TJ myself. I already have a game plan to get it, gonna tell the wife I want a new motorcycle then "settle" for a TJ :rock:

LMAO! I gotta try that.. Start big and settle :D

NHarris
07-19-2012, 03:02 AM
Well its been a little time since I updated, but I threw in an offer for $2700. Initially he declined it, but after selling the Explorer drive train out, he thought about it again and accepted the offer. Its out in Kansas, but for $873.00 I can get it shipped out here to Utah. $3573.00 later I can have this Wrangler, with a transmission/transfer case. If I can keep to my goal of about $6500, that leaves me with $2927 to work with.

$750.00 in a 4.0L
$100.00 wiring harness
$200.00 in a computer
$60.00 in motor mounts (may not be required)
--------
$1110

Leaves about $1817 left

I'm probably going to have a shop swap out the powertrain. Not really any place for me to do the work. He said he can do all the work under $2000.00 with a rear main seal replacement and fluids.

If things hold out, I can get this done right on budget.

Come to find out this Jeep only has 102,456 on the odometer. The motor I'm looking to swap with has 108,000.

Plan B for this project is say f**k it and go buy a 2012 2 door JK next summer.

Chairokey
07-19-2012, 03:42 AM
Not to be negative but I say plan b :D the 12s are just too bad ass

NHarris
07-19-2012, 03:45 AM
Not to be negative but I say plan b :D the 12s are just too bad ass

They are most definitely bad ass. I'm either thinking of a Gecko Green 2012 2-door, 05 or 06 Unlimited, or a 07-09 Unlimited. But I'm not sure which route I want to go yet :idontknow:

Chairokey
07-19-2012, 11:22 AM
They are most definitely bad ass. I'm either thinking of a Gecko Green 2012 2-door, 05 or 06 Unlimited, or a 07-09 Unlimited. But I'm not sure which route I want to go yet :idontknow:

Well the 12 is obviously going to be a little more expensive, but I'm glad it's the route I went. 40% more horse power, stock, with the new pentastar engine. I wouldn't have it any other way.. Dying to see what 2013 has in store for us

NHarris
07-19-2012, 08:44 PM
Well the 12 is obviously going to be a little more expensive, but I'm glad it's the route I went. 40% more horse power, stock, with the new pentastar engine. I wouldn't have it any other way.. Dying to see what 2013 has in store for us

Actually with a discount through my work, I can get a 2012 2-door quite cheap. :rock: Its actually very tempting to go buy one. But then I must deal with car payments....

NHarris
07-23-2012, 01:47 AM
Well I think this is the end to this thread. I've decided I'm going to save up some money for a down payment and go buy a 2012 JK instead of dealing with an older Jeep.

Roaddog545
07-23-2012, 04:42 AM
Actually with a discount through my work, I can get a 2012 2-door quite cheap. :rock: Its actually very tempting to go buy one. But then I must deal with car payments....

I say finish the TJ, wheel it a while and then sell it next year for 7500 and put that money into your JK. Winner winner chicken dinner.:beer: