Used Car of the Day: 1988 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

used car of the day 1988 jeep wrangler sahara

Today we have a Jeep owner who is "sad to sell" their 1988 Jeep Wrangler Sahara.

They're asking $9,000 for this 153,000-mile rig that has an automatic transmission.

Underhood is a 350 Chevy small block with about 60,000 miles on it. It has headers, a performance air intake manifold, a four-barrel carburetor, a low-restriction exhaust, a hotter cam, and more. The transmission is a Chevy 350 Turbo with a Hurst shift kit. The trans has some issues with a slow leak and slow shifts.

There's a 4-inch lift and 35s rolling on aluminum rims. The body has been repainted and there is some surface rust, and the driver-side floorboard might need repair.

The seller includes a factory hard top and an aftermarket soft top and the seller still has the original wheels, though two have worn tires. You can also get competition gauges.

There are other problems -- the brakes need "urgent" attention, the seller is restricting test drives to certain streets (presumably for a reason), the power steering "screeches" at slow speeds, the stock radiator is in place so the Jeep runs hot, the radio doesn't work, the right-turn signal needs to be operated manually, and the driver's door only opens from the inside.

If you can put up with that stuff, this Jeep could be for you, especially if you like V8 power. Click here to check it out.

[Image: The Seller]

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5 of 21 comments
  • Alan Alan on Aug 16, 2023

    I never liked those rectangle headlights on this vehicle.

  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Aug 17, 2023

    Do not watch this. It is a waste of your time.

  • Theflyersfan Theflyersfan on Aug 17, 2023

    So lemme get this straight: We have a Jeep body covering a Chevy engine, cobbled together transmission, leaks, screeches (normally never a good sign), iffy brakes, can only take a test drive down certain streets (normally means run like you're on fire), you have to use flags or hand signals to signal a right turn, and the kicker is that you can only open the driver's side door like a 1Gen Dodge Viper. $9,000.

    You know, before the pandemic, back when car buying and selling was at least semi-rational, projects like this would be advertised that someone would pay you to take it off of their hands! Now it's the other way around, and for a ton of cash. I'm sorry, but these Jeeps were not that rare and not special enough to be worth that kind of money today, and the Frankenstein's monster of a mismatched engine (needs work) and different transmission would have me looking at the next ad.

    As they used to say on Jalopnik: Crack Pipe.

    • SPPPP SPPPP on Aug 17, 2023

      True to a point, but Jeep pricing has always seemed a bit crazy to me. Something about the Wrangler especially seems to inspire boundless optimism. I think it can get you in trouble with project cars.

  • Zerofoo Zerofoo on Aug 17, 2023

    I dub this one "The Stripper".

    It will be fun for an extremely short period of time and then extremely painful for a very long time afterwards.