1st Apr 2010, 23:58

I and my daughter have began work on our $800 1989 YJ. It started slow, but we seem to be picking up momentum now. It ran and drove down the road for 800; I was so happy so it was bought. Watching it drive in front of me, the back well was wobbling just a little? Maybe a bent rim... LOL. Nope, the axle was bad, so next back brakes, then the bearing and seals, and let me not forget the parts for the brakes were missing.

So the rear end is done :)

Moving forward, the tub is getting sanded, then move forward to the hood.

Oil gasket leak (replaced), oil sending unit leak (fixed), belts squeaky (fixed), plugs and wires (updated).

Now the funny part - sanding.

We are working on this together, and guys seeing two girls working hard and getting it done shocks people. We are here to shock.

3rd May 2010, 21:05

Just bought my first Jeep last month. It's a 1989 YJ 2.5 throttle body injected. Looks great, runs great, and have just detailed the heck out of it.

It's a full soft top with 1/2 doors. Kind of sucks that they don't lock, but hey it's a Jeep.

I had 14 years ago a 1969 Ford Bronco full rock crawling rig. Now it's time to build me a Jeep. Let the games begin, and the wallet empty. Oh what fun. I hope to enjoy the Jeep for many years to come.

12th May 2010, 20:59

I have an 89 YJ 4.2L. It's tons of fun and will go anywhere. I rebuilt the motor and painted it just over a year ago. It definitely is a money pit and sometimes very frustrating.

My problem now is that I'm not getting any spark to the plugs. I've checked the cap and all that. I'm not sure if the ignition coil is supposed to be constantly sparking while I'm cranking it over, or just when I stop cranking the motor over? Can anyone answer my question please...

7th Jul 2010, 20:39

I bought my 1992 Jeep YJ Islander last year. It was originally to be my wife's (since the winters are brutal in this part of the country), but I stole it from her.

In one year I spent as much time fixing than driving!. Shock mount broke, replaced the rotors, two months later front brakes went. I still have problems with back brakes. Emergency brake cable has rotted away. Replaced a cracked thermostat housing (still a mystery). Furthermore, I spent hours fixing rust around the body.

Sometimes my wife tells me "we should sell that rust bucket". But I can't... after much cursing when I fix a problem I realize how much I love that Jeep.

PS-YJ frame are brutal for rust. I have welded 3 plates on it so far.

20th Aug 2010, 20:45

I drove my 89 Jeep Laredo off the dealer's showroom floor in February of '89. Of course, there is not a single piece of the original running gear remaining, and its carburetor problems were finally resolved with the installation of a performance fuel injection kit (only cost me $6000!).

I removed the hardtop and doors several years ago as an experiment, and never put them back on. In southern Arizona, one can get away with nothing more than a traditional Bikini top.

The next oil change will occur at 250,000 miles, I've had it across the continental U.S. twice, and most of the rocky trails in the west. I wouldn't ever dream of selling it.

The other posters are correct; Jeeping is a different and wonderful way of life.

14th Aug 2011, 19:55

I have been through a crazy roller coaster with my 1989 YJ Islander. I had always wanted one, and I finally found a non running one for 500 bucks, so I took it on the spot.

Since then, I have rebuilt the engine completely, had a trans tech rebuild the trans, and I did the transfer case and both axles. It has an entirely new fuel system since it had sugar in the tank. All new U-joints, and some custom floorboards :)

So in the past 3 years of our relationship, I have spent almost the same amount of time working on her as I have on the trails. But, as a mechanic, I love every second. However, it is true. 89's are very hard to find useful parts for.

11th Oct 2011, 09:09

I have owned a 1989 Jeep Wrangler Islander Edition for the past 6 years. She is my baby. Every Jeep needs work done to it; if you don't want to work on a car, don't buy a Jeep.

I have a 5 speed. The carburetor has been replaced, the clutch, oil pan gasket, drive shaft, and both front and rear axles. I took 8.8 axles out of a Ford Explorer to replace the ones in my Jeep. The Explorer axles are a lot bigger, and the chances of breaking them are slim to none.

I am a 22 year old girl. I live on Long Island, and have the top and doors off of my Jeep from April until November. This Jeep is my first vehicle. I do most of the work on her myself; if I can't do it, my dad helps me fix it. Jeeps are meant to be beat up and to be fixed.

She may leak oil, and need the drive shaft fixed every once in a while, but she still runs amazing. Jeeps can do things that other vehicles couldn't even dream off doing. It's like the Jeep saying, "it's a Jeep thing". If you don't own a Jeep, you just wouldn't understand.

3rd Nov 2011, 11:43

Why do people buy a used off road vehicle, knowing the previous owner probably used it for its intended purpose, and then get on here and complain about a two decade old abused vehicle not doing what it is supposed to?

31st Dec 2011, 15:04


I just read your entire post and I wanted to say that you sound like a really cool mom, and the islanders that come in red is honestly the only way to go. Best color scheme ever. It reminds me of something David Hasselhoff would ride in Baywatch. Is yours a 2.5 L or the 4L?

24th May 2012, 22:58

Change your fuel pump if all the ignition system is OK.

26th May 2012, 09:12

No such thing as an 89 with a V6 - the Wranglers of that era had an inline 6.

26th May 2012, 09:16

It's a shame you believe that Jeeps are meant to be beat up - there's one legendary vehicle that should be respected not beat on. I hope by now you've moved on to a Civic or a New Beetle Convertible, and sold your Wrangler to someone who appreciates what they have.

27th Apr 2014, 10:26

This is probably one of the best reviews I have read about Jeeps. And I will take your advice about repairing everything, except I will try to keep the swearing and cursing down to a loud whisper (as I have a 9 year old 'lil girl, and she doesn't need to hear me cursing like I had when I had my 2004 Freestar).

Now THAT vehicle I could match you in curse words with... hehehehe.

Again, excellent review, you solidified my choice on getting a Jeep Wrangler.

If we ever meet, I'll buy you a decaf... ^.^


20th Jul 2014, 07:52

Check all the bushings on the front end! Drag link ends are a common cause of the death wobble and front steering stabilizer shock.

20th Jul 2014, 18:01

I sold my 1995 YJ in 2011, and it still looked & ran like a new vehicle. The frame was in very good shape as well, & it spent its life here in New England.

I firmly believe that if you take proper care of your vehicle (in this case a Jeep Wrangler), it will take care of you in being a very reliable (and fun to drive) little 4x4.

I've owned 2 YJs & a TJ, and they have been bulletproof little 4x4s. I've also owned 3 Liberty Limiteds and have nothing but positives to say about them as well.

My current Liberty, a 2007 Limited, has only 54,000 miles on it and it's a wonderfully fun to drive little Jeep. My wife owned an RX300 and currently owns a Saab 9-7x, but I would rather drive my Liberty Limited. It's the perfect size for me & it has all of the comfort & convenience features I'll ever need, including factory navigation, a fantastic Infinity stereo system with a 6 disc CD changer, and all of the wonderful (somewhat luxurious) equipment that comes on a Limited.