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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-09-2006, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Crossroads of Keeping Jeep, Buying Used Car, etc..

So here's the whole run down. The hydraulic clutch release bearing on my Jeep is leaking. It's an unusual system a mechanic put in a few years ago that I had never dealt with before and the mechanic was a huge hassle....and that's a whole other story. So the bearing leaks, and it leaks a lot. Like a quart will run through it in a little over an hour and lay on the ground. Needless to say that's a problem. To fix it the tranny needs pulled and the peice likely needs replaced according to the manufacturer because the seals for it are no longer available and are difficult to replace at best. The peice is around $250 and since I'm working out of my dad's gravel driveway in the IL winter I can't do the repair myself, nor do I really want to at this juncture. If it's going to get done I'll pay a mechanic so I can have someone to blame if it leaks again. So total cost of repair is around $500. Then there's the crack in the fiberglass which has also bent the passenger hinge in a way that makes opening and closing the door a near impossibility without major effort, and forget ever opening it from the inside (poor girl's riding shotgun). That repair was quoted as $250. Another thing I'm going to pay to do if it's going to be fixed. I'm not good enough with glass yet and since there's a lot of work involved in getting the hinge to line up correctly so the windshield folds and the door opens it's just beyond me right now.

So I'm looking at $750 minimum needed to fix this thing back to sellable condition so I can at least get near what I paid for. My dad has some notion that my Jeep is only worth $500 and I'd be lucky to get $1000 once it's fixed. I tell him I think I can get at least $4k for it once these repairs are done. But then I'll have easily surpassed the original purchase price in all the repairs I've put into it. By now I could have an almost $10k vechicle. For some of you that may be no big deal, but for me I rely on this Jeep to get me everywhere I go. I've probably had it parked half the time I've owned it because it was broken. I just can't rely on it anymore, and now that I'm a college grad I'm looking for full time job's and I can't get to testing sites or interviews if my vehicle doesn't run. So I really need something else.

So the options I'm facing are the following....

1. Park the Jeep somewhere (my dad doesn't want it in his yard, and I have nowhere else to put it) indefinately until I can afford to fix it and keep it as a toy. With the Jeep parked I spend all my money on a used vehicle that will get me around whenever I need it and without having to turn a wrench on it just to go to the gas station.

2. Sell the Jeep without fixing it and see what I can get for it. Keep in mind it leaks terribly and has a cracked body at the passenger windshield hinge. I'm sure these two things would detract greatly from someone wanting to purchase it. Then with that money buy a used vehicle.

3. Fix the Jeep so it runs/drives/and looks nice and then sell it for whatever I can get and then use that money as a down payment on a newer vehicle or possibly brand new, depending on my income at the time.

4. Fix the Jeep and keep it as my daily driver and keep throwing money at it as needed. I'd love to do this, or at least keep it somehow, but we all know the repairs never stop and the money I'll spend on it could just as easily go to another more reliable vehicle.

5. Any combination maybe I didn't list or think of here.

I'm not sure what to do with it here. I need something reliable now more than ever before and I'm just not sure the Jeep can be that within a reasonable cost. I'm not sure what kind of loan I can get from a bank at this point, still waiting to hear back since I called after hours. I'd really hate to sell it though too. Plus there's the chance I may get a job somewhere across the country and then it's likely not worth hauling it with. So oh wise one's, what do you think. And please don't tell me to fix it myself because it will save me a lot of money, that's not the biggest concern. If I don't spend the money on a mechanic fixing it now I'll only spend it on part's again later. Maybe not the same part, but a new one that'll break.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-09-2006, 09:09 PM
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Re: Crossroads of Keeping Jeep, Buying Used Car, e

I vote #1.....park it at Gregs place and wait till Charlie gets outta school and get him to fix the body for ya
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-09-2006, 09:34 PM
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Re: Crossroads of Keeping Jeep, Buying Used Car, e

Nobody can make the decision for you Nick, but 5 years ago I was at a similar junction and decided to trade in my Paid off 95 wrangler with 130000 miles on it for a 97 with 7000 miles, I was tired of fixing things on the 95 and while not as rough as yours it needed over 1000 in parts before the dealer could sell it. Bottom line I have regreted it and still do today. I basicly gave that jeep away because I could not get good trade in on it anywhere. And simply said i will not make that mistake Twice. I have no intention of ever trading another vehicle off again. Ya I will buy others but It won't be from a dealer and I won't trade anything in. My real point is,, it is paid off, While it may seem like it you are not going to get much for it but you have alot if you keep it. Just My 2 cents. I would keep it (dad will get over it) and find me a economy car to get me to and from work. Payments on our Brand new corrola are about 300.00 and all I do is change the oil for 60000 miles.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-09-2006, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Crossroads of Keeping Jeep, Buying Used Car, e

Well if I could afford a $300 a month car I'd be all over it. I figured as a rough guess that including all the bills I currently have, plus the cost of a car and insurance for it, I'll need an income of about $1200 a month. Granted that's not hard for most of you but I just don't have a job right now that can support that. I figure if I get a used car it'd have to be less than $300 for both insurance and loan payments. I have so many bills now with student loans and such that it's hard.

My dad's fiance thinks I should pay to fix the Jeep and hope it stays in good working condition for the next few months while I save up for a new car and hopefully find a full time job.

I realize nobody else can make the decision, but elderly advice is always welcome here.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-09-2006, 10:30 PM
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Re: Crossroads of Keeping Jeep, Buying Used Car, e

If you arn't confident in your mechanical skills/ don't have a means to work on it to the point where you have to pay a mechanic to work on it and don't have the money for the mechanic to work on it i'd dump your jeep. I'd try the e-bay route with your jeep and see what happens. It takes a certian person to daily drive an older jeep/ trail rig every day. I've driven my wheeler every day and gave that up for a non jeep daily driver.

$300 a month doesn't get you much for a car and insurance payments either so keep that in mind. I know we have on the sign at work chevy aveos for $230 a month which is for a bare bones pile and insurance is still probably $100 a month on one of them.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-10-2006, 12:25 AM
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Re: Crossroads of Keeping Jeep, Buying Used Car, e

Advertise it as a sell or trade, Maybe someone out there has a decent trade and will fall in love with your jeep, I have also done the trade in a paid off Jeep for a slightly newer jeep and a payment and second the notion, more debt is never smart. But Your Jeep is just what some sucker err I mean Buyer is looking for, so if you dont love it let someone else love it.
Just my Opinion.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-10-2006, 07:18 AM
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Re: Crossroads of Keeping Jeep, Buying Used Car, e

my toyota runs me 165 a month, and mt insurance for both my jeep and my toyota (both full coverage) runs me 147.

theres your 300 or so.... go find a Corolla or an Echo or something reliable and gas efficient in the 8000 range and buy it with the longest loan period possible.....once you have a job with more money you can pay it off faster

and yur welcome to park it here as long as you dont abandon it [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-10-2006, 07:40 AM
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Re: Crossroads of Keeping Jeep, Buying Used Car, e

Well, first I'll tell you what I did when I was in that spot. It was 1999. Had the YJ, and my old 79 4WD Ford F250, which was "rough" at best.

I still had 2 years of Grad school, and a new job that was a long trip, and all highway. The YJ was not a "rapid transport" vehicle, and that's what I needed. It was January, the YJ had some issues from being my daily driver since 1993, and I needed a solution. I actually drove the F250 to work and school for a few weeks, and that put an exclamation point on the fact that I needed a real commuting car. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

I found a 1990 honda CRX for I think $1700 (I forget, somewhere around there.) Bough it from a girl who took incredible care of it. It was a get-in-and-drive car, complete with a nice newly installed CD player. Finished grad school with it, and drove it to 175,000 miles with essentially no work at all. Was a great car, for what it was. Jeepchick called it "RT", for "rapid transport."

So, here you go. You're in Illinois -- there's a bunch of BBS guys out there by you I think. If you're emotionally attached to your Jeep, don't sell it. Find someone who will let you put the jeep in their yard for a while, if your Dad won't let it sit in the yard.

Roll all your change, look under the couch cushions, borrow from friends, sell some stuff you really don't need, and go buy an older honda civic/crx/mazda miata/toyota corola/Geo metro 4 door(which is really a corola)/etc./etc. You can likely find something worth buying for $1000-1500. Finance it if you have to. I'm no financial whiz, but a loan like that should be really cheap.

Then, find out where you will work, and go from there.

Unfortunately, I've given in to the economical daily driver thing. I travel too many highway miles to have it be a jeep. You need a good commuting car.

Good luck!
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 01-10-2006, 07:43 AM
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Re: Crossroads of Keeping Jeep, Buying Used Car, e

Without doing the necessary repairs, you don't have much. A 304, T18a, CJ5 frame (somewhat butchered as I remember) and a winch.

To make it into a reliable transportation device will take LOTS more than fixing the slave cylinder and broken tub - thousands of dollars and months in a shop. Forget that until you can do it yourself.

To a savvy buyer it would be a parts donor worth a couple hundred bucks.

To a dumb kid with stardust in his eyes it might be worth a couple grand. If you can find that kid, let it go. But what are the odds?

Otherwise cancel the insurance, throw a tarp over it, and transfer the plates to an ugly but mechanically sound used car from an individual for a couple grand. You can probably make a very good deal on a 6 year old SUV or van about now.

Drive that around until you have a good job. Then decide in which order you want to fix up the Jeep, buy a nice car and buy a house.

If you land a REALLY good job (Chief of the Honolulu force) you can do all three. Get an extra bedroom and garage stall for me. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 01-10-2006, 08:14 AM
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Re: Crossroads of Keeping Jeep, Buying Used Car, e

Put a for sale sign on it! That POS has caused you nothing but trouble since the day you got it! You are not likely to get much for it...but ask anyway. Put $3000 on it and hope someone with some skills to fix it, but not a lot of horse sense comes along.

Then go out looking for something economical. I looked at a 2002 VW Golf TDI yesterday...125k Miles and the interior was clean...but beat up ($200 for some good seat covers...). Paint was scratched and dinged... but no major issues. $3100.00. Add another $3-400 to convert it to grease...and I've got a relatively reliable car...45 mpg on grease that's costing me about $0.35/gallon to produce...

So, now you have the Jeep up for sale, a low or no payment on a pretty good car...If the Jeep sells, SUPER for you. If it doesn't, just as well. When you are rolling in the big bucks...then you can decide if fixing the 5 is the way to go...or move to a TJ that's gonna need a little bit less TLC...

I'm glad I'm not 22 years old anymore! OMG $125 per/month for inusrance??? The Lovely Jeep Wife and I have 5 vehicles (CTD, F250, YJ, C104, RAV4) and my camper and trailer on our insurance...$165 per/month...I guess being 40 has some advantages...
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