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It all started with a flaming jeep

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Old 05-16-2018, 02:56 PM   #1  
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It all started with a flaming jeep

Hey there. Here's my story. From north NJ, had a blue 98 Cherokee that i got from someone nearby a couple years ago who was going to turn it into a project for his son. Very rusty. Gave it up for $800.
Immediately had to replace the radiator and trans lines. That was my beater for a few years. Wasn't worth putting good money into it.

Late this February it decided to set itself on fire in the cargo area. My neighbor and the cops greeted me at my door to give me the good news. I ran out the door that night, for a front row seat of firemen breaking into my car as im watching flames shoot around in the back of my XJ. Neighbors all over are watching the action(I live in an apartment building on the ground floor) My girlfriend is acting hysterical as all this was happening. I was the cool calm one just watching the blaze. Even the cops were worried about how calm I was. What else could i do? All i could do was watch...

So they ended up destroying my liftgate glass, passenger front window, ripped out my rear speakers, and cut the positive battery cables(why didn't they just cut the negative?) And so it sat there. Lifeless. And i took good care of that thing, too.

A couple of weeks of between shopping around facebook/craigslist and other sites with my tax refund, and taking lyfts, ubers and friends for rides to and from work, I went to take a look at a 97 maxima that a guy named Ron had on facebook for 975. Has 105k miles on it. He's hard to get info out of him. All he said to me was he's in Roxbury. Seems sketchy. Judging by the environment(big tow yard in background), I had a hunch i could find it. So I go take a look...


Found out where it was. Story behind this one, Ron happens to own a big towing/recovery company in the area. They work with the cops all the time for wrecks and theyre ALWAYS busy. Place is called Ron & Sons if your wondering.

How he acquired it? He said the previous owner got arrested for a DWI. It sat for a month and couldn't get the funds for his impound fee. So he gave him the title as payment.

I was floored when I actually found this car. It was super clean, and all the luxury amenities you could ask for. I had no prior knowledge of the story behind these cars so i was really skeptical about it.
But it ran really well, has full black leather interior, bose speaker system, heated mirrors and seats, full power front seats, black painted rims, all windows tinted w/partial windshield tint, heat and a/c blows cold. Everything works. A FAR cry from my junker XJ that I have just sitting dead in my parking lot. So i ask how much does he want for it. He says make me an offer...

Hewasn't looking to make anything on it. All he really wanted was to make back his fees. So he gave it to me for $800 bucks. An absolute steal. And the same price i paid for a jeep that couldn't be driven away? How can i beat that? He even threw in a free flatbed tow to my apartment(wasn't registered). Couldn't have been any better.

BTW, really honest guy and i highly recommend using his business if by circumstances you had to make a choice. Its family ran and owned and highly reputable.

So I am now a new owner of a maroon 1997 Nissan Maxima GLE. It needs some work still, which is slow going, but I am enjoying this ride. (And gas mileage!)

So far I've changed all the 02 sensors(CEL), new rear MOOG springs/shocks, oil/trans fluid change, new set of NGK iridium spark plugs, and knock sensor. Not even a week goes by of my new ownership, and I've already gotten two compliments from random strangers on my find. That made me feel really good about my decision.

Someone already replaced the lower radiator support with a cheap aftermarket piece which broke, and their solution to that was a big C clamp.
I plan on replacing that, changing fuel filter, air filter, pcv valve, rubber exhaust hangers, ypipe(or just the flex part, the y pipes are getting hard to find), valve cover gaskets, power steering boot(driver side rotted), fixing a power steering leak by the reservoir, and changing all of the front suspension parts to MOOG products.

I do a lot of my own work, short of anything i absolutely need a shop for. Gotta save as much money as possible living in Jersey.

That's the story so far. If anyone has any advice or recommendations, feel free to make one.

Thanks and i hope you enjoyed the read!

Last edited by wachman; 05-16-2018 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 05-19-2018, 03:29 PM   #2  
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Nice find.
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