So, i already posted about this Jeep a few days ago, concerned about the white smoke. Today I went to check out the Jeep, and it was very clear that it was going to be a project, which given the extent of work/time it would take I managed to talk him down to $500 which he decreased to $480 after a couple other things came up. I got the cash out of the ATM and that’s when things got weird... Let me set the scene: 93 Cherokee Laredo, posted on Craigslist for $1900 “great Jeep, needs TLC” “calls only my phone doesn’t text(*this is important later) clean title in hand(also important)” I call about it, he says he’d take $1500, so we arrange a meet(today). We meet up in an Applebee’s parking lot, I look over the Jeep, the paint isn’t as good as the pics looked, NBD I plan on scratching it up on narrow mountain trails, the interior is a little funky, a lot of the plastic is warped from the desert heat, NBD it’s a 25 year old Jeep in the Mojave. After looking it over I get in to test drive it. Doesn’t start... for a long time, it’s turning over but not kicking in. Then when it does start the exhaust is white Smokey and smells heavily of gas and it’s pretty obvious that not all cylinders are firing(even to not-a-mechanic me) NBD probably an old/bad spark plug. Then i start driving... SUPER UNDERPOWERED!! Could be because not all cylinders are firing, but it was a struggle to get to 35. Gas light was on and tank was on E, so we go by a gas station, and I (being a nice guy) put a couple gallons in the tank. (*This is important: he brings out his wallet to repay me for the $5 of gas, which I politely declined) Driving back to the Applebee’s, I notice a rhythmic clanking sound behind the front driver wheel, unsure of that is, I call my mechanic buddy, and we determine it’s probably not a big problem, maybe a lose brake pad. When looking at a possible rebuild, maybe new electrical, and new brake work, I realize this is not only going to be a project, but and expensive one. So, I embarrassedly offer what u hope isn’t an offensive $500, counters to $800 and seeing my trepidation he jumps on the $500, “yeah, that’s great. I just want to get rid of it.” Then we notice some loose lights, the need to tow etc, he lowers the price to $480, saying that’s the lowest he can go. I kick it around and figure even in poor running condition it’s worth more than that, and if we both think it’s fair for the work it’ll need, might as well. I get the cash out of the atm, and we start looking at paper work, and this is where things got shady... First off: the bill of sale he brought from the DMV has a woman’s name ok it. Both in buyers and sellers slots, he claims it’s his mothers name and the car was in her name for insurance purposes(fair enough maybe..). I ask him if I can take a picture of his ID for my records with the Bill of Sale for my own protection, he agrees, then remembers he doesn’t have his wallet(*), but offered to text(*) me a picture of his license when he gets home.then the “title” he has is actually an application for a title, (which he claimed is better than an actual title). The issue with the app for title is, it was signed and stamped by a notary, but the notary agent at started to write a date, but it wasn’t complete. When I pointed out that the notary’s information is incomplete, he offered to finish filling in the missing information of the date in the notary’s block of the form. I inform him that it’s a crime to modify/change a notarized document, his eloquent reply was “we’re not modifying it, we’re correcting it.” At this point I’m done. There was more, regarding sketchy storage recommendations until I was able to return Thursday to tow it over the mountain, but this is already a way too long post. The end of the story was after a two hour ordeal(largely waiting on returned phone calls on his/my end of things both) I gave him $60 for his time, but told him I regretted having to back out but I wasn’t very comfortable with the overall situation, he (somewhat understandably) drove off in a huff. I hate wasting people’s time, but at the same time I feel like I dodged a major bullet and maybe avoided getting totally ripped off.