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TJ Wrangler

1997-2006


The TJ was introduced in 1996 as an early 1997 model. Because of the major changes in the assembly line, the 1995 YJ Wrangler assembly line stayed open longer than normal before the line was shut down and changed over to the TJ; there was no 1996 model year Wrangler. The TJ was a radical departure from the previous short-wheelbase (SWB) Jeep lineup, including the CJ and YJ Wrangler since it introduced 'Quadra-Coil' suspension, where the previous models had leaf springs on all four corners.

DougB's TJ running 'Miner's Revenge' Trail in Arizona
DougB running "Miner's Revenge" in Arizona

The TJ introduced a special "Rubicon" edition in 2003 in response to buyer demand. The Rubicon added a stronger Dana44 front axle to the domestic market, along with the "Tru-Lok" electric locking differentials front and rear, and included an NV241OR "Rock-Trac" 4:1 low-range transfer case. Out of the box, the Wrangler is a very capable Jeep but the Rubicon allows some of those upgrades that keep the Jeep under warranty.

Ever since the XJ Cherokee was discontinued in 2001, Jeeps have lacked a long wheelbase offroad model. Late in the 2004 model year, the "Unlimited" Wrangler or 'LJ' was added to the lineup. In the 2004 model, the Unlimited was offered only with the 42RLE 4-speed automoatic transmission. LJ Unlimiteds offer a 10" longer wheelbase, and is 15" longer overall while maintaining many of the good features of the TJ Wrangler. In 2005, the Rubicon Unlimited was introduced, with all the best features of both models.
Wrangler Unlimited (LJ) advertising

e-mail Jim
created: Nov 10, 2002
Modified May 1, 2005