In my garage lives a stock, rusty, carpetless, hardtop 93 Jeep YJ Sport with some faulty gauge sending units (fuel and oil pressure), dead battery, and an odometer reading shy of 150k miles. I want to sell it and move on.

This little truck was a lot of fun, especially when the softtop was still in one piece and in the down position, but mostly because of the rust and the previous brake failure and the sense of impending doom while travelling over 35mph I decided that it would not successfully baby. That was about four years ago.

Its been eating up space in my garage for a time when my sons are old enough to help me fix it up, but by then it will be reduced to two axles with bare steel wheels and a pile of reddish dust, with a fiberglass hardtop just kind of sitting there off-kilter.

I’ve been reading the Art of the Flip and I’m inspired. While its not technically a flip, I want to fix it up, sell it, and move onto a running TJ or some other project.

So my question, dear people, is what are my most effective investments to make this thing pull in some funds? Replace rusty body panels and clean up the tub? New/used frame if POR won’t fix up the old one? 31+ inch tires? Shiny glitter paint? A snorkel? It ran when parked, the recharged AC blew cold (yeah it had that option) and the automatic (I know I KNOW!) shifted fine after a rebuild. The engine (4.0 I6) pulled well and made a lovely noise through a replacement catback and cat.


My experience wrenching is minimal but I was always testing myself on something I actually needed to drive so I was never as adventurous as I’d have liked to be. Investments in tools I wouldn’t count against the project budget since I will reuse them, and its all in the names of fun and utility. I have replaced the exhaust, a seat belt, speakers and radio, charged the AC, distributor cap rotor plugs and wires, fluids, and with some help removing the old piece I’ve replaced the 4WD actuator on the front axle.

I’d love some bang for the buck ideas, and when I get into it I’ll post pictures and self deprecating stories, or stories with self deprecating pictures, for your enjoyment.