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How to Buy A FSJ

Contributed By: Joe Sego and Michael Baxter


1. Give the exterior a good look, especially around rear quarter panels & rocker panels.
2. You can check for bondo with a small magnet.
3. Pay close attention to the bottoms of the doors and fender flares if so equipped.
4. Check around the windshield for rust.
5. Check tires and rims, including the spare and spare tire carrier.
6. Check exhaust pipe, look for oily exhaust (oil burner) light gray color is ideal.

1. Look at general condition, oily, greasy ?
2. Look at condition of the air filter, this is good indicator of how well vehicle was serviced.
3. Check hoses, belts, gas lines, vacuum lines etc for cracks or missing parts. LOTS of vacuum lines, some may be unhooked, EGR valve? This will effect the way it runs.
4. Check engine oil, level and condition. Go ahead and give it a sniff.
5. Check engine coolant. Should be bright green, no oil globs.
6. Check radiator for repairs or patches.
7. Check automatic transmission fluid for color and smell. Should be reddish color. No burnt smell. Check again with engine and tranny at operating temp.
8. Check power steering pump fluid. Look for leakage at the rear of pump.
9. Check general condition of battery and terminal connections.

1. Check for rusted out floors, particularly the driver's side.
2. Start engine, listen carefully while engine is cold for ticks and clicks.
3. While engine is warming up check accessories, such as wipers, washers, radio and tape deck, interior lighting, horn
4. Don't forget to check headliner, replacements aren't cheap.
5. Check to see if tilt steering column is loose. (if so equipped)

I highly recommend you crawl under the Jeep. Look for oil covered parts. U-joints, driveshafts, leaking transfer case, transmission, brake lines, gas lines. Look for damage to gas tank, and other items from serious 'wheeling'.

Drive the vehicle. Start out slow and listen for groaning noises, klunks, etc. Listen very carefully while turning on pavement for front end noises, especially at slow speeds. While sitting still shift the tranny from DRIVE to REVERSE and listen for the U-joints to klunk. If so equipped, check operation of Low-Range unit. On Quadra-Trac full time vehicles, open glove compartment and operate Emergency Drive switch, listen for a faint vacuum hiss as switch is rotated.

Joe Sego
79 Chief

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