Thoughts and opinions on potential 91 YJ purchase


watter0tter

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Hello! I am looking at a 1991 YJ ad and have wanted one for years. It has the 4.0 Liter 6 cylinder engine paired with a 5-speed manual Transmission with has 180k miles on it, exterior is ok with a few(one or two) patches of "bubble rust" (unsure of technical term but that's what I call it), interior if fair with driver seat ripped (if I buy I will replace them). The rear panels have been replaced with textured steel panels. The seller is asking $3k. Ad does not include undercarriage pictures but I plan on asking for some before I set a meet. Is there anything else other than the frame I should look at specifically? Everything else on this car appears to be stock and unmolested.
 

SirDoopYJ

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The main thing will be the frame for rust. Take your time and inspect it all from underneath. Other than that, your usual checks for any other vehicle. Mine start with under the hood first with the Jeep off to check fluids and then I will turn it on to hear how everything sounds. You can remove the oil cap while it is on to feel how much air blows out. It should be very little air.
 
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Bucky

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Bring a screw driver with you. Use it to tap on the frame in multiple areas. Also bring a good flashlight. Check the skid plate and body mount bolts.
If you buy it plan on changing ALL fluids and ujoints.
 
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jeepjoe43

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https://www.4wd.com/sku/Prothane/standard/450525.pdf

These were the instructions for the locations when I did a body lift.

Hope that helps.
You are in the rust belt, and these guys are spot on.
Additional questions to ask;
Has the vehicle been sitting?
If so, How long?
There is a thing called storage mortality, usually affects the hydraulics first, then the fuel system.
The electrical system can also be effected, but that's usually critters eating the wires.
Probably not an issue for you, but don't rule it out.
Also look for obvious undercarriage damage and signs of abuse or hard use.
Stock and unmolested are hard to find, why I bought mine, she was also rust free, but I'm a Zony (AZ).
 
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watter0tter

watter0tter

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https://www.4wd.com/sku/Prothane/standard/450525.pdf

These were the instructions for the locations when I did a body lift.

Hope that helps.
You are in the rust belt, and these guys are spot on.
Additional questions to ask;
Has the vehicle been sitting?
If so, How long?
There is a thing called storage mortality, usually affects the hydraulics first, then the fuel system.
The electrical system can also be effected, but that's usually critters eating the wires.
Probably not an issue for you, but don't rule it out.
Also look for obvious undercarriage damage and signs of abuse or hard use.
Stock and unmolested are hard to find, why I bought mine, she was also rust free, but I'm a Zony (AZ).
In VA, so yes in lower end of rust belt. I can provide a link if that helps y'all (as long as you don't take it from me 😁). Thanks so much for the help y'all!
 
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watter0tter

watter0tter

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You're Welcome, sir!
That's what we do on trail, help the other guy out.
IF it has been sitting for a long time (seems like it goes for a monthly drive at least), how long is long enough to get concerned? I will be giving it a test drive before I make up my mind. How long of a drive should it be/ what should I do on the drive (other than go through all the gears lol)? Further pics and chat shows there is very minor surface rust on the frame but he did say (just a few minutes ago) that "it will need front brakes upgrade to stop tires properly". Is this something to be concerned about?
 

jeepjoe43

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Go through everything on a test drive, if it has a switch or a button, push it.
If it has a lever, throw it.
See what works and what doesn't, if the owner comes clean you have to decide if you can live with that.
If they balk, walk away.
Doesn't sound like this one has the storage issue.
But, 5-10 years would be a concern, if it's being driven regularly, not so much.
Those parts will last a long time if they get exercised regularly, but they will fail when they sit for a long time.
Sounds like the master cylinder might be giving up. After 170,000k, that wouldn't surprise me.
The rust IS concerning.
When you go to look at it, go in with the mind-set that you are NOT going to buy it.
Let the condition of the vehicle convince you that it's worth doing.
 
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Fouledplugs

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where would I find them on the frame/body?
80AA65A6-3317-4BE6-A14B-A136AF12E9D8.jpeg
7B9B0613-5A46-4B8D-ABED-56B18079F6F0.jpeg
 
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watter0tter

watter0tter

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I wanna share a few pics to see what y'all have to say about it. There are pics of the interior I cannot seem to download but seats are in good condition. The green doors shown do not go with it, there are tan/sand doors that are going with it. If I can figure out how to download interior pics I will upload them. He says that "the frame is solid except small section behind the shackles on the rear. Two rust spots on the body under the doors". Please let me know what y'all think. Thanks!

130299577_308416227055623_7958462873229538151_n.jpg


130722095_119776826544884_3885316183998029062_n.jpg


130884647_219331349595552_6472544601300205244_n.jpg


132970764_2366548170157595_2396635800836867156_n.jpg


161543918_804215380511808_2174232178464086974_n.jpg
 

jeepjoe43

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Black Canyon City, AZ 85324
OK, first, it isn't stock and unmolested, I see four things;
1) Shackle lift
2) 32 or 33" tires
3) 2-3" body lift, may also have a spring lift, but hard to tell.
4) Transfer case lowering kit

It is a nice looking ride though, and not a bad price.
The rust doesn't look like any thing that wouldn't clean up with wire wheel on a grinder.
Looking at the cross-member in the first picture, I can't tell if that's rust or just mud.
At least it looks like it has a new exhaust system.
Not having driven it, I couldn't say yea or nay, but I don't see anything that says run away.
If you drive it and there's chemistry, there you are..
 

Fouledplugs

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It’s been very much neglected.

The frame and tranfercase skid plate, where they meet, it not looking hot. That’s where I would investigate that area more.
 
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watter0tter

watter0tter

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What is the consensus of the 4 cylinder automatic for the YJ? Found a '95 with a nearly perfect frame and paint and looking and might go with that if the '91 falls through or isn't what I'm looking for.
 

jeepjoe43

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Only had 4 cyl/auto combos in little shit-mobiles, but never in a jeep.
Looks like they only offered the auto behind the 4 in '94 & '95, all the rest were manual.
At best I'd say it's probably rare, at worst a re-gear will be in order, there are not many power parts for the 2.5.
I think they probably went autos to increase sales for commuters in heavy traffic.
That and fewer & fewer people even know how to drive a stick.
They did design them to be "Cars", and most were used as such.
I say drive it and see what you think.
 
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Fouledplugs

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What is the consensus of the 4 cylinder automatic for the YJ? Found a '95 with a nearly perfect frame and paint and looking and might go with that if the '91 falls through or isn't what I'm looking for.
Having had both and after driving a 6 cylinder, I can tell you that you would absolutley hate a 4 cylinder. They have no power.

If you're never going to lift it and are going to keep the small factory sized tires on it, go for it. But any plans for a lift and bigger tires and I would stay away from the 4 cylinder.
 
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