At $30,000, Could This Custom Diesel 2008 Jeep Wrangler Bring Out The Beast In You?

At $30,000, Could This Custom Diesel 2008 Jeep Wrangler Bring Out The Beast In You?

The seller of today’s Nice Price or No Dice Wrangler calls it the find of a lifetime. We’ll just have to decide if this Cummins-powered monster will require a life-time of wages to buy.

One day I’m going to complete my novel entitled “The Leasor of Two Evas.” It’s about a guy who rents an apartment from a lesbian couple who, remarkably, are both named Eva. That’s pretty much all I’ve got so far.

Last Friday’s 1991 Nissan 300ZX 2+2 wasn’t exactly the lesser of two evils, but with its non-turbo engine, extra seats, and automatic transmission, it was certainly the least desirable Z32 model you could imagine. It did have T-tops, which is a plus, but those were countered by a super moldy presentation and some folderol about it needing an injector to run right. All that left many of you nonplussed by the car, a fact that even a modest $US2,000 ($2,773) asking price couldn’t overcome, ending up in a 61 per cent No Dice loss.

In case you hadn’t noticed, the Jeep brand is now owned by a consortium of companies going under the odd name of Stellantis. That’s made up of their existing overlords, Chrysler, which, of course, is presently part of the Fiat empire. That has now merged in unholy fashion with the French car maker, Peugeot, creating the quirky new brand.

This is Jeep’s second dalliance with the French — the company was once part of the American Motors package that was sold back in the 1970s to Peugeot arch-rival, Renault. Now they’re part of Stellantis and we’ll just have to wait and see what that means to the brand.

Likely, it doesn’t mean building anything like this custom 2008 Jeep Wrangler.

The truck is described in its ad as a “Beast” and it certainly looks the part. With its huge tires, neon green trim and Cummins turbo diesel badges on the hood, this thing certainly offers up in the sensory overload department. About the only thing I can think of that equals that over the top presentation is the crazy description the seller offers up of it in the ad.

That all starts off by the seller noting that this is the “find of a lifetime,” and then delves into what exactly it is that we’re finding.

As noted by those hood graphics, the Jeep is powered by a Cummins 4BT. That’s a 3.9-litre four-pot diesel with a turbo bolted on the side. These engines are typically found in box trucks and the like. At 78 kW, the 4BT’s output isn’t all that impressive, although its 159 N-m of torque is laudable.

These engines do have a solid rep for longevity which makes it really odd that the seller notes this one has been rebuilt not once, but twice. One of those times was prior to the current owner’s possession.

The ad says that it was bought in non-running condition, but was brought to life with some miracle wiring fixes. The second rebuild was apparently during the claimed 18-month process it took to bring the Jeep and its Cummins to life.

Along that way, the manual gearbox was thrown to the wolves and replaced by a Dodge automatic. The ad then glosses over the additional work the Jeep needs to be fully functional, including a new custom wiring harness, something to get the speedo working, and an oil leak that the seller shrugs off saying all diesels leak. Ahem.

Unbelievably, the ad only gets weirder from there. The asking price is “a firm” $US22,000 ($30,507), but the seller says he has a “standing offer from a guy in Texas for $US35,000 ($48,535).” He claims to want to see if he can get any better offers before taking that, which makes his “firm” asking at $US22K a puzzler. Maybe he’s just bad at maths?

That may be the case since the ad claims that the Jeep cost the present owner $US34K to buy — in that non-running state — and has since cost another $US10K to get to its present state. Admittedly, that state looks pretty good from the outside. The nose is dominated by a Warn Zeon 10-S winch with green accents. That’s matched with black paint and neon green trim on the 93 centimetre wheels and the burly suspension bits. The seller claims the truck was bought as an advertising rig for his business, and you can see in the pics that it’s an attention-getter.

The interior looks to be in solid shape, with cloth upholstery, but no flooring. The seller says the carpet was removed in preparation for a spray of bed-liner but that never happened. You get the Jeep’s multi-sectioned hard top and doors, as well as tube doors, a sunshade Bimini and a snorkel, the latter not installed. And no, the machine gun isn’t included.

Mileage is not given, but considering the work done and pace at which it was accomplished, there’s little use in an overall tally. The truck has been used as a daily driver, although if that’s your intention, you might want to heed the seller’s warning that the Jeep will not pass Oregon’s DEQ pollution tests and hence is persona non grata therein. If your locale allows you to spew at will then by all means consider this beast.

You’ll have to consider that $US22,000 ($30,507) asking price first. And, when doing so, you’ll have to weigh all the weirdness in the ad. Would the seller really take your $US22K in cold, hard cash if someone in Texas is jonesing for the Jeep, or will he shine you on? Is it worth even that in its “95 per cent complete” state?

What do you think, is this beast worth the attempt? Or, is the message of the ad “beware of dog?

You decide!