How much rust is too much rust?

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Jul 2, 2019
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Connecticut
Hi y’all. I’m new here and trying to jump into the deep end of the 100 Series owners club. I’ve had Jeeps in the past but love the idea of something with the same capability but more reliability and comfort. My budget is tight and I have my heart set on an 03+ (which may not be entirely realistic) and I found one locally that ticks all the boxes. I went to look at it yesterday and found more rust than I had expected. Granted, its a New England truck so some is to be expected, but how much is too much? Link to Imgur gallery below to more photos, but the frame is my biggest concern and is below. The rest of the truck is in great shape and has been maintained religiously. Most importantly, its an 05 within my budget... But is this a sign I should run for the hills and look for another? I'd be willing to put in the time of slathering on some rust converter and POR15 if its not too far gone, and likely would have to replace the rear hatch, but I just wanted to get some expert opinions. Thanks!


Last photo is the upper hatch.

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BadReligion

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Why would you even remotely consider something like that when there are so many clean, rust free 100s to choose from in the SW?
 
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Why would you even remotely consider something like that when there are so many clean, rust free 100s to choose from in the SW?
Having lived in the North East my entire life, I feel like I've become slightly desensitized to rust. I also don't love the idea of buying something that I can't go drive and poke around myself. Poke I did, and while my screwdriver didn't go through anywhere it was clearly enough of a red flag that it resulted in this thread lmao. I certainly appreciate your input!
 
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❄️☃️
 
Dude, I have a Midwest 02 LX470 that I consider has a ton of rust. This one is worse and I am from midwest.

How many miles?
What's it asking?
It's usually the rear cross members that rest out first. If the main rail is looking like that I'm expecting there's holes in the rear 2 cross members.
 
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❄️☃️
 
Having lived in the North East my entire life, I feel like I've become slightly desensitized to rust. I also don't love the idea of buying something that I can't go drive and poke around myself. Poke I did, and while my screwdriver didn't go through anywhere it was clearly enough of a red flag that it resulted in this thread lmao. I certainly appreciate your input!
On this forum, people are especially sensitive to rust and may have never seen it. I have seen some posts where it was just surface rust but posts saying run.
 
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Connecticut
Dude, I have a Midwest 02 LX470 that I consider has a ton of rust. This one is worse and I am from midwest.

How many miles?
What's it asking?
It's usually the rear cross members that rest out first. If the main rail is looking like that I'm expecting there's holes in the rear 2 cross members.
149k miles, asking is $11,000 but I have a strong feeling I could talk them down more. The interior is practically mint and everything works perfectly. If it wasn't for the frame, I would pick it up without a second thought since I have a buddy that can fix and repaint the hatch (or repaint a replacement) for cheap.
 
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Phoenix
 
But it has no future. Investing in it would always be questionable and filled with angst. You'd its caretaker on the way to the salvage yard. These vehicles should have a bright future as collector cars. Buy one with a future.
 
Joined
Oct 21, 2018
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Denver
The problem is that the frame is the foundation of the truck. Great interior doesn’t help much if it’s attached to Swiss cheese. I grew up in NY, and am well familiar with the problem, but having moved to Colorado have really come to appreciate rust-free vehicles. One of my big concerns with the photos you’re posting is what looks like a very rusty seam down the middle of a major frame rail. Suggests a continuous (through the seam) failure. And, as others have pointed out in other threads, it’s not only the frame components that present issues- you’ll be fighting corroded together fasteners whenever you do anything.

I know it’s complicated, but fly-n-buy has worked well for lots of folks. My BIL just bought a classic Jag from three states away, and is very happy with his purchase (he drove down to inspect b4 making his purchase decision). Start with a search of salt-free states and see what pops up. If you see something in Colorado I’d be game for taking a look. My rust free 2003 LX470 was right around 10k, and while the miles are high, she runs like a dream.
 

MongooseGA

Learns things the hard way
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I paid $11k for an 05 LX with 215k, interior was dirty but other than wear on the driver's bolster is perfect. Brand new timing belt service and radiator. Not a spec of rust anywhere on it.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2019
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Connecticut
The problem is that the frame is the foundation of the truck. Great interior doesn’t help much if it’s attached to Swiss cheese. I grew up in NY, and am well familiar with the problem, but having moved to Colorado have really come to appreciate rust-free vehicles. One of my big concerns with the photos you’re posting is what looks like a very rusty seam down the middle of a major frame rail. Suggests a continuous (through the seam) failure. And, as others have pointed out in other threads, it’s not only the frame components that present issues- you’ll be fighting corroded together fasteners whenever you do anything.

I know it’s complicated, but fly-n-buy has worked well for lots of folks. My BIL just bought a classic Jag from three states away, and is very happy with his purchase (he drove down to inspect b4 making his purchase decision). Start with a search of salt-free states and see what pops up. If you see something in Colorado I’d be game for taking a look. My rust free 2003 LX470 was right around 10k, and while the miles are high, she runs like a dream.

Thanks man, I appreciate that. Around 10k is really my goal. I could stretch it a little but obviously I'd prefer not to. I'll pass on this one and keep my eyes peeled for a rust free LX. If I find one in Colorado, I might just have to send you a message :)
 
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DC
I might be selling mine soon, just got back from my cross country trip and got the itch for a 200, it's an 05 with wayyyyyy less rust and 122K miles on it, i'm asking near your budget in stock form.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2019
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Connecticut
I might be selling mine soon, just got back from my cross country trip and got the itch for a 200, it's an 05 with wayyyyyy less rust and 122K miles on it, i'm asking near your budget in stock form.
I’ll send you a message!
 

S.CarolinaFZJ80

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Joined
Oct 4, 2008
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3,909
 
 
Hi y’all. I’m new here and trying to jump into the deep end of the 100 Series owners club. I’ve had Jeeps in the past but love the idea of something with the same capability but more reliability and comfort. My budget is tight and I have my heart set on an 03+ (which may not be entirely realistic) and I found one locally that ticks all the boxes. I went to look at it yesterday and found more rust than I had expected. Granted, its a New England truck so some is to be expected, but how much is too much? Link to Imgur gallery below to more photos, but the frame is my biggest concern and is below. The rest of the truck is in great shape and has been maintained religiously. Most importantly, its an 05 within my budget... But is this a sign I should run for the hills and look for another? I'd be willing to put in the time of slathering on some rust converter and POR15 if its not too far gone, and likely would have to replace the rear hatch, but I just wanted to get some expert opinions. Thanks!


Last photo is the upper hatch.

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Dude! My FJ40 is 40 years old and looks about a million times better than that. Was that salvaged from the ocean?!?!
Seriously, you can do better. Don’t settle on that one.
 
Joined
Dec 24, 2018
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Chesapeake
Mine was an '99 with 150k for $5,000. The hatch looks like that but the undercarriage isnt as bad. If you can cut the price in half, maybe.
 

jlm43

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Aug 25, 2009
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537
 
 
I've lived in New England for 39 out of 42 years and I would never buy a vehicle with that much rust. Now if I already owned it, I would be happy to continue driving it but repair costs are going to cost quite a bit more than normal.

The condition of the frame was the top priority for me when I was shopping. I could spend $2k to $4k to have the carpets and first two rows of leather replaced to clean up a filthy interior and when that's done, it looks like new and I would never worry about it again. With a frame in that condition, you can never get away from the headaches no matter how much money and time you put into it.
 
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Jun 22, 2005
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the NEATL
 
 
The argument that we southerners are afraid of rust because we're unfamiliar with rust is not always the case. I HATE rust because I'm very familiar with it - coming from the Jeep world. The amount of additional money you'll spend on rust-related repairs, extra shop hours... will quickly offset any additional money you'll spend on a rust-free truck.

As I've joked on these threads before - we'll let you come down here and look around. If you're cool, you can even buy a southern truck and take it home.

Last week, I bought a rust-free Toyota Pickup (still haven't come up with a good reason why) that's 20 years older than the 100 you're looking at. The only rusty trucks we have down here are the ones that've migrated south. And, the ones in the South West are even nicer. Get on a plane and then make a road trip!
 
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NH
I paid $11k for an 05 LX with 215k, interior was dirty but other than wear on the driver's bolster is perfect. Brand new timing belt service and radiator. Not a spec of rust anywhere on it.
I paid $10k for my 05 LX with 290k, and zero rust. It looks brand new other than wear on the seat
 
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