Body rust issues all over in the grueling Quebec salty sand roads. After about 5 years, I began to touch up paint nicks or rust by hand with gloss black paint. but have had to have both lower right and left sides, and part of floor metal, replaced at the 15 year point.
Door lock mechanisms are glitchy, window handles replaced each twice or 3 times, and full hard-top doors have had to be adjusted a couple of times as they needed to be slammed HARD to get them to close properly. Driver's side lower back of window frame cracked and needed welding. Passenger side window gaskets dried out, blocking the window from going up without difficulty.
Hard top hydraulic supports are tired after 18 years.
Driver seat belt clip won't click-in after 18 years.
Soft top was toast after 15 years; the last 7 in the Mexican sun.
Windshield washer reservoir has sprung leaks after 18 years.
Console lock died after 5 or 6 years.
First one speaker died, then Std AM/FM radio died too around the 10 year point.
Horn stopped working reliably after only 3 or 4 years.
Water leaks onto passenger side floor in rain since 8 or 9 years old.
Driver's seat began to tear and sag at 18 years.
With just routine maintenance, and replaced valve cover gasket, the original engine still performs well, even towing, and complies with California smog limits.
This Jeep was seriously wrapped around a telephone pole once at 5 years, but came out of the body shop raring to go. I flipped it onto its side in a snow-filled ditch on an icy winter road. My friend and I were able to tip it back up on its wheels by ourselves. I put it into 4x4, and drove out of that snow-filled ditch.
I have driven this Jeep across Canada, and from Canada to Puerto Vallarta Mexico twice, towing a trailer that out weighed it, and it has performed extremely well. Service and parts are easy to find, and aside from the clutch hiding in the bell housing, easily accessible.
This year, 2010, at almost 20 years old, I have just spent about $3,000 in long overdue maintenance to the transmission, clutch, brakes, radiator and a complete tune up, replaced the worn out non-drive train parts, and I feel like I've got a new vehicle. I look forward to driving this Jeep YJ for another 20 years if it will let me.