The Jeep TJ is a complete redesign over the Wrangler YJ. There are no similarities from top to bottom and inside to outside. The quad coil-spring suspension makes this Jeep the best performing and best riding out-of-the-box short Jeep ever built. Other distinguishing features include a completely redesigned dash layout, dual airbags, and a return to the traditional round headlights.
The 1997 Jeep TJ looks very similar to the CJ-7. Its retro look is quite deliberate but it is almost totally different mechanically. Nearly 80% of the parts are newly designed. The TJ uses a 4-wheel coil suspension similar to the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The in-line, 6 cylinder, fuel-injected, 4.0 liter (241 cubic inches) OHV engine delivers 130 kW (180 horsepower) and is also used in the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee models.
The 1997 TJ however, retains several ‘classic’ Jeep features such as round headlights, a fold-down windscreen (first seen in 1940), and removable doors as well as a choice of a soft-top or removable hardtop. A factory-fitted roll bar is also standard.
In 2003, the TJ was introduced with a new name and a new package – the Rubicon. This Jeep TJ deserved the right to be called by the legendary trail name. Equipped with push-button actuated locking Dana 44 axles front and rear, 4 to 1 low crawl ratio transfer case with the flange output shaft instead of a weak slip yoke, and many more options not available on any production Jeep ever before. This Jeep also includes 31″ Goodyear MT/R’s and all parts covered by a 7-year/70,000-mile power train warranty (including the engine, transmission, t-case, and axles).
The 2003 TJ or Rubicon is the first real trail machine – straight out of the factory!
And finally the TJ 2004 or the Unlimited as it is known. Scrambler or CJ-8 fans would love this Jeep. It has a 103.4″ wheelbase. This Jeep had the same engine, drive train, and suspension as the 1997 Jeep TJ. This is also good news because it means you don’t need to wait for aftermarket accessories to become available for this Jeep TJ.
It is only available in automatic transmission. Also includes standard 4-wheel disc brakes, Dana 44 rear axle, 3,500-lb towing capacity, Sunrider(TM) soft-top, front & rear tow hooks, air conditioning, full hard doors, and more.
All in all, with all the fantastic modifications to the YJ, the Jeep TJ is truly a trail jeep!