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My $400 Jimmy

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Old 03-16-2014, 10:30 PM
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Default My $400 Jimmy

I bought a '98 Jimmy 4 door 4x4 the other day for $400.
DISCLAIMER: Since I've done a few things to it already, this post may become a little long-winded. However, I plan on posting after each fix/mod after this, so don't expect all posts to be like this!

Okay, so a little back story: I have a friend at work who got promoted to an admin job, and purchased a brand new Corolla. I knew he had the Jimmy, and that I needed a car, so I asked him what he'd want for it. He said that he wouldn't ask for more than he paid for it. Apparently, he bought it from his dad when it needed a new fuel pump for $400. He replaced that, and it became his DD. He told me what was wrong, that it needed a new battery, new mirror, the driver's side window motor was dead, and the tire needed air. So I took a look at it, and realized that it was perfect for what I wanted. I wanted an SUV for ground clearance, comfort, and the random adventures that I tend to get in to. I also wanted a 4x4, because I often go to the mountains to visit my family, and it gets snowy and icy there. Also, here in Charleston, SC, we've had a couple of ice storms, and everyone was afraid to venture out in their 2wd vehicles. So I agreed to buy it. Of course, I had to get a battery first.

This is what it looked like before I bought it:





So, I picked up the new battery from Wal-Mart, and brought my roommate's tool kit to try to get the old one out and the new one installed. And, of course, this tool kit did not have the correct tool to unscrew the terminals. So, I had to go to Advance and pick up a socket wrench set for $15. Once we started to screw in the positive terminal, the Jimmy made all sorts of coming-to-life noises. The old battery was so dead, that it wouldn't even start to crank, none of the lights worked, and the odometer would not even light up. So I was excited enough to take a pic when I brought it to life:



We filled the flat tire with air, and my buddy drove it to my house, as he had insurance on it. And here it is, at it's new home:



Now, I just had to wait for a day off to get it registered and tagged. So I would go out and start it up every day, hang out for a few minutes, and just generally check it out. One of these days, I decided to put the jack and lug wrench back in their compartment. When I opened said compartment, I found a little surprise (and a big no-no in SC):



Apparently, my friend had driven around in this vehicle for several months, not knowing that those were in that compartment.

So, I got the Jimmy registered this past Wednesday. The driver side window started working again, so I rolled all the windows down and opened up the sunroof for some fresh air. The driver side window then decided to act up again, and not roll up all the way. I had to buy a new motor and regulator at Autozone ($85). Being the wannabe-DIYer that I am, I wanted to tackle the task of replacing it myself. However, these little parts were too much for me to handle without the proper tools:



So, I took the easy way out and took it to a local shop the next day to get that replaced ($180) and get the oil changed. Of course, this wasn't enough. First, after changing the oil and everything, they call me to let me know that I need a new idler arm ASAP, and that it would be $175. They wanted to show me, so I got to the shop and saw the offending part immediately. But I didn't have the money at the time, so I told them I'd put it off until next week. But I also saw that I had a skid plate, so I got that going for me, which is nice. So the idler arm is going to happen this week. All in all, besides that issue, they gave it a clean bill of health. This put my mind at ease, as I was worried that I'd need a new belt or something more expensive like that. And, of course, my shop experience didn't end there. I went to the truck to test out the new window motor, and it wouldn't roll up. So, they had to take it back into the shop to get the window back on track. Works like a charm now, though!

While I was at Autozone getting the window motor, I also ordered the new passenger side mirror. I got that on Friday, and put it on myself, only losing 2 out of 3 bolts to the dark recesses of the door. But that can be fixed later, as the mirror is perfectly snug with just the top one holding it in.

Before mirror:



After mirror:



With a chance of strong storms in the forecast for today, I decided to pick up some new windshield wipers yesterday, as the old ones were pretty well-worn.
As evidenced in these pics:



(check the cool special-edition Veloster in line at Little Caesar's!)



The new wipers came in handy today, as what started out as sprinkles became a heavy rain on the way to work! I also filled the washer fluid reservoir after doing the wipers, as it was bone dry!

I did have some fun today in the rain, as I could drive through deep puddles without worry. I owned a Dodge Neon before this, and it had a cold air intake, so I worried about driving through puddles and hydrolocking the motor. I was also concerned about driving over speed bumps with the Neon, but not in the Jimmy, as it handles them like the beast that it is. I had the Neon for over 3 years, and sold it because I needed money. After this, I went almost 2 years without a vehicle, so it feels great to be back behind the wheel! I decided to take a pic of some "urban flexing" today, as I saw in one thread. One day, I'll take it to the back of my workplace, where there are several large speed bumps, and the road is sloped on one side to take a better "urban flexing" photo. But until then, this will have to do:



I know, it's a very slight flex. I'll take some better pics soon. I also want to get her a little dirty one of these days, and put the 4x4 to the test, but I have to find a good spot for it, as there are not many public dirt roads in the jungle of North Charleston, SC, just a ton of speed bumps and potholes. Next up will be the new idler arm, so be on the lookout for that! Thanks for reading!
 
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My 0 Jimmy-20140312_221341.jpg   My 0 Jimmy-20140314_200129.jpg   My 0 Jimmy-20140314_201745.jpg   My 0 Jimmy-20140315_184543.jpg   My 0 Jimmy-20140315_193028.jpg  

My 0 Jimmy-20140316_192639.jpg  
  #2  
Old 03-16-2014, 11:15 PM
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Looks like a solid buy for 400$ ! . Wish mine had a sunroof! and ya those window motor/regulator can be a pain . Drill those rivets out and the motor isnt that bad to change
 
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Old 03-16-2014, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by 95blazerlt View Post
Looks like a solid buy for 400$ ! . Wish mine had a sunroof! and ya those window motor/regulator can be a pain . Drill those rivets out and the motor isnt that bad to change
Thank ya! The sunroof is pretty nice, except on rainy days like this. Those rivets were a PITA. If it weren't for them, I would've had a higher chance of replacing it myself!
 
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:10 AM
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Wait your little ceasars has a drive thru?!?!???????!!?
 
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Old 03-17-2014, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by rexmburns View Post
Wait your little ceasars has a drive thru?!?!???????!!?
Yep, the one closest to my house does, anyway!
 
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:00 AM
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I am so freaking jealous!!! Nice jimmy as well looks like its in caring hands now.
 
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:39 AM
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$400!! I'm jealous. Anyway, it looks really good so far.
 
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Old 03-17-2014, 11:27 AM
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It pains me to know that someone can get such a great truck for $400 and I get mine for $3300 and then lose the engine and tranny and before I know it I'm at $8000+ in mods! Hahaha. But it looks like a great build! Can't wait to see where this heads!
 
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Old 03-17-2014, 03:48 PM
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solid deal for 400 man! looks to be in decent shape to hope you have fun with it
 
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:15 PM
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the comments! I threw some fuel injector cleaner in when I filled her up today, because by my calculations, she was only getting 11mpg. However, that might be wrong, because after 90 miles, it was at 1/4 of a tank full. Put $25 in the tank (roughly 7 gallons), and it said it was full. When I started driving it, I put $26 in, and it clicked like the tank was full. So, by my calculations, something ain't right...
18 gallon tank/4= 4.5 gallons left+7 gallons added=11.5 gallons? Yeah, something tells me that there's an issue somewhere. Oh well, I'll just keep filling up when the gauge shows I need gas, to be on the safe side. I'll keep trying things to better my mpg, because more mpg is good. After the idler arm fix, I'll buy a new air filter, as that's a quick improvement, too.
 

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