Hey Cool Car Fans,
Check out this cool 1997 Jeep Wrangler that I took in on consignment last week for Monica, who I like to call, “Off-Road Girl” complete with her Girls Kick Ass sticker on the windshield. This Jeep is pretty hard core for the Colorado off-road enthusiast. She enlisted me to help her sell it for just under $10,000 with plenty of upgrades and it’s priced right for all these Jeep has got.
I asked her to send me details on her Jeep and she didn’t disappoint, so I had to put some of the photos and all the details here on CoolCarGuy.com for my visitors to check out.
This is a Jeep that was built to take off-road unlike many Jeep Wrangler’s that never really make it “off-road”, at least in the places this Jeep can go, and this one can handle whatever you throw at it. Here’s what Monica had to say…
“John, Here’s the deal on my Jeep and I’m only selling this so that I can buy a new 2010 Jeep Wrangler as it’s time for me to go with a new one.
- I’ve kept up with all of the regular maintenance and actually get oil and differential fluid changes more often than recommended.
- Since 2004 it’s been almost exclusively a “toy” vehicle so it has spent most of its low miles going either very slowly or on the highway. There has been very limited in-town driving.
- It’s plugged into a charger all winter so the battery never goes dead. It has an Optima Yellow Top that I purchased a little less than a year ago (the best battery they sell).
- It has Bestop heated seats in the front and a matching Bestop rear seat.
- It has a Bestop halftop that flips open to provide a sunroof without having to take the entire top off, which is pretty cool for Colorado with all the sunshine we get here.
- It has Bestop upper door sliders and steel half doors from the factory. If you flip the top back and store the upper door sliders behind your seat you instantly have an open Jeep. Some quick adjustments make it completely air tight so you can drive it in the winter and take it through a carwash when needed.
- It has a Bestop modular rack system that allows you to buy inexpensive extra parts to move the rack to other places on the Jeep. The coolers have been modified so they are attached to the rack with bolts so you don’t need to use ratchet straps to keep them on the Jeep.
- It’s never had any problems passing emissions tests. It always passes with flying colors.
- It comfortably goes 75mph on the highway. It has no shimmy or shake like most Jeeps have (most Jeeps have a shake at 45mph for some reason, even new ones).
- It’s been adjusted so the speedometer is correct even though the tires are bigger than the 31” tires it originally came with. I’ve checked it many times against a GPS reading and it’s accurate.
- The stereo system was originally featured in a CarToys magazine. There are two identical head units so you can still use one while the other is being cleaned. They have removable face plates and the original remote controls and manuals are in the blue folder I gave you.
- I’ll even include free Sirius radio for the first 4-6 weeks (until I get my new Jeep), which is great when you’re out on the trails. The speaker pods are from a newer model Jeep as the originals were not very good.
- It has onboard air. The short story is that it’s as fast as the air compressor at a gas station. The long story is that it has a York compressor, air tank, and Kilby mount (this, basically, but a few years old).
- The original axles were fairly weak. It now has a Ford 8.8 axle in the rear and a high pinion Dana 30 axle in the front. The front axle has chromoly axle shafts which are almost unbreakable (axle shafts break often on the trail, so this is a nice feature). Both axles have fairly new ARB lockers in them.
- It came with a 3.07 gear ratio from the factory which has been upgraded to 4.56. This means it’s much faster on the highway with more torque than it once had.
- The original drum brakes were replaced with new disc brakes, so it stops better than it would with the original brakes.
- It has 5 ¾” total suspension lift and no body lift (a good thing, body lifts are the cheap way to do it).
- It has 35” Super Swamper SSR tires (35×12.50). They are 8-ply instead of 3-ply like most tire sidewalls, so you will rarely get a flat tire, if ever. Most people will get at least one flat every season if they go off-road (it’s just the nature of wheeling). I’ve never had a flat since I switched to Super Swampers. These are basically “the” wheeling tire. They’re fairly aggressive but they still behave well on the highway. It’s equipped with Eagle 15×10 wheels.
- It has every skid plate you need, even ones you don’t need. It has Jeeperman bumpers (a popular company that went out of business).
- It has a Bestop rear oversize tire carrier.
- The brake lines have all been upgraded to steel lines.
- The side view mirrors are upgrades, new ones from a newer model Jeep.
- It has an alarm system with a proximity sensor (it goes crazy when anyone gets near it) and starter kill (you can’t steal it when it’s armed).
And things of note (with reminders).
- I’m short, so a taller person may need to make adjustments. There are hockey pucks under the driver’s seat that has raised it, and they are easy to remove.
- The speakers were moved to the front of the roll bar instead of leaving them behind it, which makes the Jeep air tight but also limits head room. A tall person may have to figure something else out, but removing the hockey pucks will help and you’re tall and you fit in it.
- The mount on the dash is for a Garmin GPSMAP GPS unit. If it doesn’t come off, that strip of dash is easily found in a junk yard.
- The light just above the stereo will blink if the alarm has been set off while you were away. I printed the user manual for the alarm and it’s in the blue folder I gave you.
- The air bag light is on, which usually means that the air bags are not working. This model of Jeep usually has the clock spring fail at this point, and this is the symptom. I have not had it checked. If you have the right tools, the fix is inexpensive. Most people do not have the right tools to work with the steering wheel parts, and I believe that getting it fixed at a shop should be under $500 (I’ve been quoted “around $300”). Sidenote from The Cool Car Guy, I’m always big into disclosure when you get a vehicle from me, even with consignments, so there are no surprises for the new owner.
- It’s impossible to put the rear seat in with the top as it is. The seat doesn’t weigh much at all, so it’s easy to take out if they want to see the amps or see how much room is back there. It’s basically a truck.
- I had a piece of heavy duty seat belt installed across the front of “bed” of the truck just behind the front seats. This has really helped stop things from coming into the cab if I’m going down a steep hill or obstacle.
- There is still a great CB mount attached on the back. All they need is the CB antenna on that along with the CB and cable and they’re good to go.
- There is a small amount of body damage that happened at very slow speeds on various off-road trails. That’s going to happen when you’re driving off-road, it’s just part of the joys of off-road driving. I’ve never even been in a fender bender with the Jeep. It’s never been in an accident with anything other than rocks. I’ve never rolled it and I’ve never even flopped it over on its side, though I’ve come close quite a few times. See the photos!
- Yes, that’s the Jeep that spent three solid days on Liberty Trail in 2006. It’s a much better Jeep now. That was an expensive trip.
Let me know if I’ve missed anything! I’m going to put together a list of the extra items I have for sale, and if the Jeep hasn’t sold I’ll send the list to you. If someone buys the Jeep I’ll give them a nice discount on the extras, like the full steel doors in the same color (you might want to mention those even though I haven’t researched selling them yet so I don’t know the cost).
I hope you like the pictures.”
Well Monica, I think a picture is worth a thousand words and your Jeep is over-the-top cool. I’m sure the next owner is going to love it!
Why buy a used Jeep for $5,000 – $6,000 that you have to put another $8,000 – $10,000 into in order to make it as capable as this one, when you can buy this one for under $10,000 and know that it can handle whatever they throw at it? That’s my take anyway.
Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy
John is an auto consultant with his license at a car dealership in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! email@example.com or Twitter @coolcarguy