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what questions should i ask??


johnny quest
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so I'm lookin for a comanche, and ive come along a few. but I'm not sure what i should really be looking for. i know to ask about miles, rust spots, drivetrain, replaced parts, etc, but what are some trouble spots that comanches might have that i should ask about?? what are some signs of 'bad things to come' that i might be able to identify?? in particular, problems to the 4.0, AW4, the transfer case, and maybe even the axles.

 

 

 

can you tell I'm kinda new to this?? :roll: :???:

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Try EVERYTHING! All of the heater/blower settings, the windows, locks, lights, etc. Electrical is a major PITA if there's anything wrong - especially if the PO did something to it.

 

 

Otherwise if it's a 4.0/AW4 just check the fluids and make sure there's no majorly bad noises and don't worry too much.

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Don't ask about anything. Most owners are clueless, and the ones who aren't clueless lie. Heck, a few months ago I went with a friend to look at what was advertised as a 1993 Jeep Comanche with liter high-output engine. Well, we pretty well had it figured out that it wasn't a '93, but when we got there it wasn't even an HO -- it was a 1988. The owner said he was sure it was a '93 when he bought it -- then he went home and "looked up" the paperwork and called my friend back to admit that, by golly, you guys were right it IS a 1988. "I didn't even realize it."

 

That took about $300 right off the top.

 

Then there was the 1998 XJ "4.0L Sport" I went to look at on a used car lot near where I used to work, for a NAXJA friend from out of state. I went over after work on a pleasant, sunny summer afternoon. The vehicle was in the front row, looked really nice, but it had some door graphics on it that I had never seen before, even in pictures. Nobody on the lot when I got there, so I looked in the windows. Hmmm ... idiot lights. On a Sport?

 

Then the sales drone spotted me and came out. He opened the doors and I could get inside. It had manual windows, which were nominally the standard equipment of Sports -- but I've never seen one of the new body style Sports that didn't have electric windows. Then we open the hood, and I see this VERY small-looking engine in there. And I only see 4 spark plugs. So I ask the guy if this is the vehicle they had advertised. He says "Yeah, why?"

 

"Well, because you advertised a 4 liter Sport, and this is a 4-cylinder SE."

 

The dweeb professes to not know what I'm talking about. I'm standing on the passenger side of the engine compartment, he's on the other side, and honest-to-goodness, he says "Gee, I don't know what could have happened, it was a 6-cylinder when we bought it" and he proceeds to start looking around on his side of the engine for those mysteriously missing two spark plugs.

 

In short, ask to see the repair records, but don't take the seller's word for anything. As already noted -- inspect everything. Crawl under and look for rust, as well as evidence of being bashed over rocks. Shake the drive shafts to check for worn out u-joints. If possible, if it looks good enough that you're interested, ask if he'll either let you take it to a mechanic of your choosing to be checked over, or if he will drive it to your mechanic. If you aren't very experienced in working on older vehicles, dropping $50 or $100 to have a good Jeep mechanic check it over could be worth a lot of heartache.

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theres one down on the CT shore that I'm gonna look at within the next few days if its still available, but its too far to get my mechanic down there, and i bet that i won't be able to bring it all the way back up here for him to check it out (springfield ma). one of my friends whos into rovers might come along to help out, since hes a bit more mechanically inclined than i am.

 

 

but thanks for the help guys, its definetly opening my eyes as to what i should look for. keep em comin!!

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ask if the owner doesnt mind and proceed to jab at the floorboards (from underneath if it has carpet) with something hard... checking for rust there is CRUCIAL! holes in the floor SUCK...

 

also check and see if the carpet is wet up in front where your feet would be.

 

TAKE EAGLES ADVICE!

 

oh and check for gas around the fuel injectors... mine started spraying it out all directions a month after i bought it. not cheap to replace.

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Check the floorboards like Oiz said. Check the bed above the wheelwells for rot. Crawl under the rear of the bed and inspect the brake lines (they're apt to rot out in the back). If it's a manual tranny, look inside above the fusebox at the back end of the clutch master cylinder and see if it is leaking (and dripping brake fluid down onto the fusebox), and if it has an internal slave cylinder, check the bottom of the bellhousing to see if it's wet with fluid (means the slave is leaking, and you have to pull the tranny to repair). Pop the airbox lid and inspect the air filter...if it's soaked with oil, the CCV system needs a good cleaning. Check the exhaust manifold for cracks/leaks (especially where the individual runners meet at the collector).

 

None of these is a deal breaker per se, but if you see problems, you might be able to knock some $$$ off the purchase price (then post up on here what's wrong and find out how to fix it :;)

 

HTH,

Jeff

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