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Old 08-11-2014, 10:16 PM   #1
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TJ vs JK

If you've owned several vehicles in your life there always ends up being "the one that got away". You know what I'm talking about, the one that you wish you wouldn't have sold, the one that you are constantly kicking yourself in the rear for selling. For me, that vehicle was a 2004 Jeep TJ. Ever since selling that Jeep I have been asking myself why I did it. Ten years later and I finally built a Jeep to replace that TJ. Its a nice Jeep, but I'm not sure its as nice as the TJ was. So I'm asking which is best, the TJ or the JK? Take a look at them and give me an answer. I know which one drives the best on road, and which one works the best off road (pretty even there). You don't know which one works best at what, but I want to know what someone just seeing both Jeeps, without driving them, would think.

Here you go.

2004 TJ Sport
Currie axles, Detroit lockers, 4.56 gears.
5" lift, 37" tires
Warn winch

vs

2014 JK Sport
Dynatrac axles, Eaton electric lockers, 4.56 gears
3" lift, 35" tires
Warn winch.





I'll tell you right now the TJ had far more character. I think its still the one that got away.

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Old 08-12-2014, 12:45 AM   #2
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For me its the TJ hands down...

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Old 08-12-2014, 05:43 PM   #3
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I had two TJ and often drove another two in the family and drove them frequently off road. If I lived at front door of the great American wilderness, open land of course, and it was not my DD then it's an even match. However, both of those premises are a fantasy for me and for many others, so hands down the JK would be my choice.

The only Jeep that I miss, didn't get away, I was stupid and solid it as part of what I will call "my youth learning process". It was a fully functional Willy's MB.
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Old 08-12-2014, 05:58 PM   #4
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I will give the edge picture wise to the TJ.. they just look good. The Jk is fine too.. but there is just something about the TJ.
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:53 PM   #5
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I like the look of the TJ more than any other Jeep. And they are pretty easy to work on. I will probably end up only owning TJ's. I love my 2004 Sport.
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Old 08-19-2014, 04:47 AM   #6
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TJ. The JK is fine, and I did consider getting a 4 door for the wife (she ended up liking the Subaru Crosstrek more for various reasons), but I'd never replace my TJ with a JK. It's easier to work on, smaller, more spartan and looks like I think a jeep should look. This one won't be getting away.
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Old 08-19-2014, 05:41 AM   #7
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Both awesome jeeps. Hard choice
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:07 PM   #8
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I personally prefer the TJ for looks and character, but when it came time to find a Jeep, all the TJ's I could find were beat to hell or overly expensive. I ended up going with the JK because it felt more powerful and was easier to drive. I did however almost buy an 83 CJ7 and keep my 00 Durango as my DD.
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOPWR2U View Post
If you've owned several vehicles in your life there always ends up being "the one that got away". You know what I'm talking about, the one that you wish you wouldn't have sold, the one that you are constantly kicking yourself in the rear for selling. For me, that vehicle was a 2004 Jeep TJ. Ever since selling that Jeep I have been asking myself why I did it. Ten years later and I finally built a Jeep to replace that TJ. Its a nice Jeep, but I'm not sure its as nice as the TJ was. So I'm asking which is best, the TJ or the JK? Take a look at them and give me an answer. I know which one drives the best on road, and which one works the best off road (pretty even there). You don't know which one works best at what, but I want to know what someone just seeing both Jeeps, without driving them, would think.

Here you go.

2004 TJ Sport
Currie axles, Detroit lockers, 4.56 gears.
5" lift, 37" tires
Warn winch

vs

2014 JK Sport
Dynatrac axles, Eaton electric lockers, 4.56 gears
3" lift, 35" tires
Warn winch.





I'll tell you right now the TJ had far more character. I think its still the one that got away.
If it would make you feel better I will trade you my 2002 TJ for your JK
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Old 08-22-2014, 03:34 PM   #10
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I've only driven a YJ and JK but I'd choose the TJ. I've always loved the way they look
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Old 08-23-2014, 08:00 PM   #11
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Just did a photo shoot with the JK today, and did some challenging rock crawling for the editor. Both the TJ and the JK have a hard time keeping the front end on the ground in the near vertical stuff. But the JK feels better on side hills, and it sure gets down the highway more comfortably. The jury is still out for me. No doubt the TJ had more character, but I'm starting to warm up to the JK.
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Old 08-24-2014, 01:22 PM   #12
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A couple of pictures the editor took yesterday. He kept the more interesting ones for the story, but these are pretty good. I can't believe how clear the pictures are.



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Old 08-24-2014, 01:37 PM   #13
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I like the look of your TJ over your JK. As much as I liked my TJ my JKU just did almost everything better.
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Old 08-24-2014, 03:58 PM   #14
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Both are very nice looking Jeeps. Nostalgia being what it is always makes the long departed seem so much better. The problem is folks forget how noisy a TJ can be plus that 2004 TJ is now 10-11 years old and will require more maintenance/repairs just to keep it road worthy. I always smile when I read that TJ's are so easy to work on because these had all sorts of electronics (and some electrical issues) that the predecessors did not have. The electronics took away the hassles of setting points, frequent spark plug changes, and carburetor problems thereby eliminating the need to do much maintenance work on the TJ. The basic mechanical drivetrain and suspension components on a JK are very similar to the TJ and just as easy to modify.
For the record, every once in a while I think I should have kept my 2003 TJ and modded the heck out of it but fixing vehicles is not my idea of a good time. The newer JK's in my garage are fun to drive and good to go whenever I wish (no need to work on them yet to keep them running, just minor modifications for personality). So, did one get away...not really. Replacements just keep sneaking their way into the garage.
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Old 08-25-2014, 10:27 AM   #15
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They are both VERY nice looking Jeeps! For me, cost would be the deciding factor. My guess is that the JK is almost twice as much $$$ overall than the TJ... at least 1.5x.
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:44 PM   #16
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I like the TJ.

The JK probably has more technology... Anti Skid Brakes, GPS, AntiTheft, Power EVERYTHING, Blue Tooth, HandsFree etc, ........

But to me that all spells shit to break on the trail.... and maybe shut down the computer. I'd take the low tech TJ everyday.
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:30 AM   #17
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They are both VERY nice looking Jeeps! For me, cost would be the deciding factor. My guess is that the JK is almost twice as much $$$ overall than the TJ... at least 1.5x.
Very good estimate. I had $35K into the TJ, and sold it for $26K a few years ago. There is $54K in the JK, and I don't think I'm letting this one get away.
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Old 08-30-2014, 09:36 AM   #18
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I like the TJ.

The JK probably has more technology... Anti Skid Brakes, GPS, AntiTheft, Power EVERYTHING, Blue Tooth, HandsFree etc, ........

But to me that all spells shit to break on the trail.... and maybe shut down the computer. I'd take the low tech TJ everyday.
I agree. If I could remove all of the government mandated electronic nannys on the JK I would. I must say the power windows are nice though.
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:23 PM   #19
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I finally got my 1st TJ a 2001 that I saw for a few months going to work. The owner just bought a 2014 Rubicon 2 dr so sold it cheap, got it for only $4,200. Sold my 94' YJ for $4,400 I bought with build dana 60s, sold the axles and put in hp30/35 4.10s, 4" springs I got for only $100!

Anyways the TJ was stock but has high commuter miles 197k, so I put a 2" bb lift on it and used 32" BFG ATs I picked up cheap. It rides good and after dozens of YJs I like the dash and coils on the TJ. My daily driver I share with TJ is my 5th in 6 years 98' 5.9L ZJ. With the same coil spring and link suspension there isn't that much difference between the ZJ and TJ. Night and day with the ZJ and lifted 4" arched springs on the YJ.

My wife drives a 2014 JKU and I really like this Jeep, but it is so much bigger than the YJs, TJs, CJs of what true Jeeps are but it is growing on me too. I like the power of the 285 hp 3.6L Penstar motor and had penty of power even at 70-90 mph on the highway and got decent gas mileage of 22-23 when around 65 MPH with the stock 32" tires.

Sorry for the novel, what I'm trying to say is every Jeep model has their pros and cons of course and I try not to have too much $ into any Jeep so I can get it back out. With keeping my $ low on my Jeeps I have a 6.0L 1 ton YJ, 01' TJ 4.0L 5 spd, wife/family primary is a 2013 JKU, then 98' 5.9L ZJ, love them luxury ZJs!

The TJ is a bit cramped for me so I'm looking into getting the seat to slide back further with a aftermarket mod I see.

While YJs ride rough and have crappy guages and dash, they sure are easy to modify with big axles and to make them 1 tons with a little welding of perches SOA, etc. Linked Jeeps while riding better factory, can be a nightmare in $ and time to set up right but when you have them right are nice to ride in.
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:28 PM   #20
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I really would like a LJ but I feel they cost too much, you could many times get a 4 door 07-10' or so JKU for near the cost, but then you have the minivan 3.8L

Nice TJ and LJ, they are both high end vehicles that you have alot of $ and time into so it can be a hard decision which one is "best". I think don't go as much $ into the mods and be more realistic with getting a older TJ like a 97-01's for example and have a fleet. I have had the most fun in having multiple Jeeps that have a more defined role such as mall crawler, street only, trail only, but I really like a nice dual purpose rig and had alot of fun with XJs and MJs and you can set them up on a budget to be great dual purpose rigs.
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Old 10-03-2014, 01:17 AM   #21
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I like the looks of the TJ better. I've never ridden in a new Jeep, or even seen the inside of one, so I can't say anything else about them, except that I don't think they look as nice as the TJs.
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Old 10-03-2014, 01:46 AM   #22
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Driven both and while I love the nostalgic feel and power delivery of the straight-6, I'd still choose the JK. To me, it has everything a Jeep could need plus modern day technology--- I'm an electronics geek so I'm a little bias here, too.
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Old 10-04-2014, 11:42 AM   #23
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Man I just started getting into jeeps and I have no idea about YJ TJ JK I am looking to buy one from a lady tragic husband past away n it was his jeep wrangler but she needs to get rid of it brings back memories for her so it's on the cheap side cant beat it but idk what type it is I need some knowledge
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Old 10-04-2014, 02:38 PM   #24
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Man I just started getting into jeeps and I have no idea about YJ TJ JK I am looking to buy one from a lady tragic husband past away n it was his jeep wrangler but she needs to get rid of it brings back memories for her so it's on the cheap side cant beat it but idk what type it is I need some knowledge
YJ... Square headlights
TJ... Round headlights
JK... Looks like shit
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Old 10-04-2014, 02:39 PM   #25
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YJ... Square headlights TJ... Round headlights JK... Looks like shit
I like when people misuse opinion as fact.
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Old 10-04-2014, 02:45 PM   #26
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YJ... Square headlights
TJ... Round headlights
JK... Looks like shit

YJ - prior to 1997 (newest one is 17 years old), be careful of frame rot, usually can be found fairly cheap.

TJ - 1997 to 2006 (newest one is 8 years old), be careful of frame rot on older models, can be found anywhere from reasonable to what are they thinking?

JK - 2007 to current - bigger (wider/longer) version of TJ - front fenders (in my opinion) are hideous. When I upgrade (10-12 years from now) I'll be looking for a 2012-2016 to get the Pentastar engine on a newer body/frame.
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Old 10-04-2014, 03:03 PM   #27
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Don't forget the 1976-1986 CJ.
Awesome ride!
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:43 PM   #28
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What about a 2004 jeep wrangler str8 6 standard speed 110k miles for 12,000 wanna lease to buy what you guys think?
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Old 10-07-2014, 01:28 PM   #29
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Depends on what you want to do. I've had an 89 (YJ), 94 and 99 (TJ) and currently a 10 (JK). I'll keep my JK thank you.

If you want to throw away most of the running gear, keep the body and re-build then either the YJ or TJ are the way to go. If you want to leave it pretty much stock the JK is hands down better.

The old 4.0L in-line 6 was a tough engine, but underpowered and almost all TJ's had 3.07 gearing. The 2.5L 4 cyl, was slow on the road, but combined with the 4.10 gears they came with was actually a better choice off road. Both engines sucked gas. I would use less fuel with a 3/4 ton truck or Surburban than a TJ.

The 3.8L V-6 in early JK's is a slightly more powerful engine, and it came standard with 3.21 gears instead of 3.07. Get the optional 3.73's and even the weaker 3.8 engine has more power, and will now reach 20-23 mpg. Starting with 2012 and the much more powerful 3.6L and you have a potent rig.

Older YJ's or TJ's were limited to 30" tires without lifting.

Most newer JK's come from the factory with 32" tires and 33's could be used with no modifications.

Mt 2010 is far more civilized on the road, and compared to the YJ and TJ in stock factory form, is better off road.

Start customizing and I can see it being easier to do so on the older vehicles. And if that is what you want to do they are great choices.
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Old 10-19-2014, 01:42 AM   #30
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Depends on what you want to do. I've had an 89 (YJ), 94 and 99 (TJ) and currently a 10 (JK).
Any pictures of that 94 TJ? It must've been pretty futuristic looking

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