The Jeep YJ or Wrangler as it is more popularly known was introduced by AMC in 1987 in response to the decreasing sales of the Jeep CJ. The YJ was redesigned for comfort with changes in the interiors and specifically the dashboard.
The YJ was lower and wider as compared to the CJs. It featured square headlights and turn signal lights, a side-opening tailgate, and an extended sport bar (starting in 1992) for better rear passenger protection. It was available in soft-top and hardtop as well as with either full or half doors with leaf springs all around.
The YJ had many safety features starting with a 93.4″ wheelbase, which lowered the center of gravity and limited ground clearance (rear axle 8.14). This was detrimental to the off-road readiness of the Jeep YJ but made the YJ a significantly safer vehicle on-road.
The Jeep YJ was available in 4 trim levels:
- Renegade (91 – 94 limited production)
The Rio Grande package added a Southwestern theme to the base-level S unit. The engine was carbureted until the 1990 model. The newer base engine was a 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder. Later, the optional 4.0-liter inline-six engines were available, with 14:1 ratio Saginaw Power steering.
The base transmission is a 5-speed manual. A 3-speed automatic was optional. A 2-speed transfer case and automatic locking hubs were also available throughout the line.
Transfer Cases used in the YJ were the NP-207 prior to ’87 thereafter the NP-231 was made available. The Axles were comprised of a reverse cut Dana 30 front and Dana 35c in the rear.
Other Options included: air conditioning, intermittent windshield wipers, full locking doors (with roll-up windows and a hardtop), and a locking glove box.
AMC manufactured over 600,000 of the Jeep YJ before they introduced the Jeep TJ. The last YJ was produced in 1995.