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Old 11-26-2006, 01:07 PM   #1
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Looking at the getting the JK vs TJ

OK, proud owner of a 96 XJ SE.... but its time to move up. this will be my g/f's for the first 2-3 yrs, then it becomes mine with the stipulation she gets driving rights whenever she wants. So question is, which is truely better? Jk or TJ? I like alot of the new options of the JK. But yet i see the TJ as a better bang for the buck. I was looking at these with my 2 options.

option 1
JK: 4x4 2 door 'X' auto, air condition, and freedom top. $22k

option 2:
TJ: 4x4, looking for one with a scrapped engine or tranny. Do a chevy 4.3 v6 converion (may even stroke it or overbore it) with the auto tranny. Lift and trimmings... I wouldnt mind doing the work as i figure the project including the jeep would be around $10K, but i am an advanced shade tree mechanic. Would that swap be outta my leauge?

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Old 11-26-2006, 02:27 PM   #2
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go test drive a JK and then a TJ. a 4.3 in a TJ would be sweet. you'd have much more money left and you could buy other things but you'd still have a good engine. but the best thing to do is test drive and see what you like better.

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Old 11-26-2006, 08:39 PM   #3
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Which is better? I don't know myself but I'm guessing this thread will get a bunch of looks.

I'll be watching.
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Old 11-26-2006, 11:19 PM   #4
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go test drive a JK and then a TJ. a 4.3 in a TJ would be sweet. you'd have much more money left and you could buy other things but you'd still have a good engine. but the best thing to do is test drive and see what you like better.
Yeah i think that is what i am gonna do. I've been trying to get my g/f to go test drive with me.

I rather like the idea of the TJ though. I guess i can start hunting down what all it would take and get a more ballpark $$ on it. where is a good place to look for a shot TJ? all i need is the body, frame, and drive terrian. i am sure there is a write up on the 4300 conversion, so i guess i should find that too. I think advanced adapters has the stuff i need to mate it to the tranny
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Old 11-27-2006, 06:00 AM   #5
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why go to all the trouble of a 4300, arn't the HP between it and the 4.0L about the same? So what are you gaining. I guess If i was going to go and do a swap it would be for something such as a v8 where I am going to make major leaps and bonds for my time and effort. But that's just me.
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:56 AM   #6
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why go to all the trouble of a 4300, arn't the HP between it and the 4.0L about the same? So what are you gaining. I guess If i was going to go and do a swap it would be for something such as a v8 where I am going to make major leaps and bonds for my time and effort. But that's just me.
jeep 4.0
hp 185@4750
tq 220@4000
fuel MPI

chevy 4300
hp 190@4400
tq 250@2800
fuel SFI

there are your stats, which would u go with for in a jeep? a

lso the gm trannys are nearly bullet proof. And to top it all off, the chevy engine is more fuel efficent then the 4.0. My g/f had a bravda that was 4wheel all the time. she was squeezing out about 19-22 mpg which is the same as the wrangler 4.0 in 2wd. not only that, but the 4300 is almost a full 100 lbs lighter, and i think is also more reliable. Finding parts are about equal for both engines, and same goes for after market. Also when you do the swap, you will need shorty headers, so that will also help boost power another few as well.
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:43 AM   #7
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what do you think looks better?
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:51 AM   #8
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The added low end torque from the Chevy would be nice. I wouldn't hold my breath on the fuel economy though. The biggest problem with the Wrangler is it's aerodynamics. No matter what engine you put in it, at highway speeds, its hard to get fuel economy from something shaped like a Maytag. But a Jeep is a Jeep, go for it!
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Old 11-27-2006, 02:09 PM   #9
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Granted the aerodynamics of the wrangler are not exactly smooth. but yet it still only get 17-19 highway in 2wd. the bravada, even though more aerodynamic, was 4wd all time and it was getting better then that. i think its cause GM just has a better fuel managment system all around. i figure that she will cruse right around 2200-2500 rpms on 32's with a 4.10 final. this is right near the tq peak anyway. should be fun to drive.
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Old 11-27-2006, 03:46 PM   #10
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once you go jeep you'll never go back hehe

when I went to test drive both tj and jk it was no brainer for me and not that tj's are bad but there is to much to skip and I love my new jk. and the more my buddies are looking all around and underneath my jeep the more they complaining that they had to buy those items to fit into their tj's

anyway go with your gut and how much you can spand
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Old 11-27-2006, 04:23 PM   #11
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i've always heard not to buy the 1st yr modles of new models of new makes, and to let the company work the kinks out of it
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Old 11-27-2006, 06:19 PM   #12
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i've always heard not to buy the 1st yr modles of new models of new makes, and to let the company work the kinks out of it
yeah i've heard that too. Surely with jeep needing to keep a reputation, they would have already worked out all kinks. I was talking to my g/f last night, she isnt happy about the thought of me 'building' her a jeep. she just wants to buy it, but yet on the other hand, we cant afford anything like a rubicon. sadly i have a deep gut feeling she is gonna get a 4x2, even though i said when she is done with it, it becomes my project vehicle. Whole well. looks like i will have to buy myself a jeep then too! just mine might have to wait. hopefully by the time i get mine, they will have the desiel in there.
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:43 PM   #13
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what features do you love most about the new JK's? i read somewhere that the rubicon has electronic disconnects...
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:47 PM   #14
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The thing I like about the JK is those really sweet looking square headlights. I think it's the best looking Jeep ever.
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Old 11-27-2006, 11:15 PM   #15
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The thing I like about the JK is those really sweet looking square headlights. I think it's the best looking Jeep ever.
Never mind. I just realized that I was thinking of that YJ sitting under that tree in my yard.
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Old 11-28-2006, 12:30 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by hizzo3 View Post
jeep 4.0
hp 185@4750
tq 220@4000
fuel MPI

chevy 4300
hp 190@4400
tq 250@2800
fuel SFI

there are your stats, which would u go with for in a jeep? a

lso the gm trannys are nearly bullet proof. And to top it all off, the chevy engine is more fuel efficent then the 4.0. My g/f had a bravda that was 4wheel all the time. she was squeezing out about 19-22 mpg which is the same as the wrangler 4.0 in 2wd. not only that, but the 4300 is almost a full 100 lbs lighter, and i think is also more reliable. Finding parts are about equal for both engines, and same goes for after market. Also when you do the swap, you will need shorty headers, so that will also help boost power another few as well.
Simple the 4.0L. Not enough of a gain to justify the cost and time of a swap.
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Old 11-28-2006, 07:22 AM   #17
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i've always heard not to buy the 1st yr modles of new models of new makes, and to let the company work the kinks out of it
This is usually true. However, when Jeep introduced the Rubicons, the only year that they haven't had issues with the lockers exploding with the hardcore (or wanna be hardcore, like yours truly) guys is the first year or so, 2003 year model, and early 2004. So I think that Jeep does a better job than most with introducing new models because of the reputation that they have built over the years. Plus, that is the only DC division that is making money in the U.S. right now so they don't wanna mess that up!
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Old 11-28-2006, 10:05 AM   #18
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Simple the 4.0L. Not enough of a gain to justify the cost and time of a swap.
well when your looking for a fix me up with a blown engine it is more then plenty gain..... blown jeep-$500-$1200, rebuilt motor and matching tranny combo from a junkyard-$1500-$2000, misc extras (tires, lift, engine mounts, spline adaptors ect) another $3000-$5000 = $8200. plus from a reliablity stand point the 4300 has alot of motors beat...
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Old 11-28-2006, 10:57 AM   #19
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well when your looking for a fix me up with a blown engine it is more then plenty gain..... blown jeep-$500-$1200, rebuilt motor..
Where are you find a blown TJ for $500-1200?
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Old 11-28-2006, 02:09 PM   #20
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Where are you find a blown TJ for $500-1200?
i found one on a jeep for sale site. it was a '97 but motor ran fine so was rest of driveline. wanted i think 700 for it. it had bad body rust though as if it had been sanded and set in rain... all i need is a good body frame and axles if its a rubicon.

i just not sure about ploping down 26k on a brand new jeep, that i know that my g/f will get in 4x2. maybe i can talk her into a rubicon, if we can get more saved for a down payment
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Old 11-28-2006, 06:08 PM   #21
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tj-jk

I have both currently and love them both. My JK is a 4 door for the family and my TJ has 2 inch lift and goodies for me. I took both of them on the trails and except for one very tight spot between 2 trees the JK went every where my TJ went. A couple of places it even did better. The ride on the JK is way, way better than my 2-door even with the 2" lift on both. My choice would be the JK but I dont like driving any new vehicle without a warranty. Good Luck.
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Old 11-28-2006, 06:17 PM   #22
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Well thanks ya'll i guess i will save for the JK... hopefully we get the rubicon then. it does come in auto right :P. We've already found her next one. she is an interior design major, and she will need a vehicle soon to impress clients. I just saw then '06 GC from AEV.... very very nice.... almost H1 with bling package nice....that will be sure to turn heads.
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Old 11-29-2006, 06:09 AM   #23
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i've always heard not to buy the 1st yr modles of new models of new makes, and to let the company work the kinks out of it

I was also thinking of getting the JK before I bought the TJ

The JK's are having some minor issuse,some owners are complaining about the following:

1)Freedom Top/Dual Top leaks~could be issue with the screws
2)Unfinished paint around the hinges--kinda noticable
3)Drivers door or passengers doors don't seem to be aligned properly.
4)Slight stalling if you go under a certain speed,apparently the computer is configuring...........
5)Squeky back seats

So,minor issues with the newly remodeled Wrangler.
I would probably wait until the 2008 version is released
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Old 11-29-2006, 02:17 PM   #24
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I was also thinking of getting the JK before I bought the TJ

The JK's are having some minor issuse,some owners are complaining about the following:

1)Freedom Top/Dual Top leaks~could be issue with the screws
2)Unfinished paint around the hinges--kinda noticable
3)Drivers door or passengers doors don't seem to be aligned properly.
4)Slight stalling if you go under a certain speed,apparently the computer is configuring...........
5)Squeky back seats

So,minor issues with the newly remodeled Wrangler.
I would probably wait until the 2008 version is released
thanks for the heads up.... gives us more time to save then.....
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Old 11-29-2006, 06:31 PM   #25
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The jeep 4.0 has 190hp and 235 tq.
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Old 12-01-2006, 04:19 PM   #26
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The jeep 4.0 has 190hp and 235 tq.
sorry i just looked at a 97 4.0 in a TJ. you may be looking at a later year with a better manifold/intake. either way the 4300 still produces a lil better power at much lower rpm with effacy and long livity beating the 4.0. I love jeeps, but the 4.0 is pratically unchanged from once it first ran off the line with minor upgrades, and when it comes to engines, old technology isnt always better.
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:19 PM   #27
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Never had a TJ but I absolutely love my JK.
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Old 07-21-2012, 11:22 AM   #28
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I'm sorry but one can spit numbers out all day long. That 4.0 was still one very torquey dependable engine. Getting rid of it was the reason it took me 6 years to buy another jeep. If you're gonna go through all that trouble to swap out the TJ's biggest redeeming feature then I'd buy a jk. Just my opinion but the rest of the jk is easier to work on than a tj with less problems underneath. Lifting a jk is a breeze compared to a tj as well.

I've owned 2 tj's and have 2 jku's now. Loved my tj's but it was bc of that 4.0. If you don't want that then there's not a lot of reason to buy one unless you really just want a project vehicle. I saw several on the trail with motor swaps to Chevy engines. Tbh they were always getting stuck bc they had a heavy foot with a big engine and a light vehicle. Granted those were all v-8 swaps.
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Old 07-21-2012, 11:26 AM   #29
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Also keep in mind if you're looking at '97 there were a few issues with that one as it was first year run with coils. One problem in particular is they were letting the front coils "jump" out of their proper location at full flex. There was a fix for this with a retainer of some sort. It's been a long time so I can't remember all the details. Something to look into though.
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Old 07-21-2012, 12:40 PM   #30
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I'm sorry but one can spit numbers out all day long. That 4.0 was still one very torquey dependable engine. Getting rid of it was the reason it took me 6 years to buy another jeep. If you're gonna go through all that trouble to swap out the TJ's biggest redeeming feature then I'd buy a jk. Just my opinion but the rest of the jk is easier to work on than a tj with less problems underneath. Lifting a jk is a breeze compared to a tj as well.

I've owned 2 tj's and have 2 jku's now. Loved my tj's but it was bc of that 4.0. If you don't want that then there's not a lot of reason to buy one unless you really just want a project vehicle. I saw several on the trail with motor swaps to Chevy engines. Tbh they were always getting stuck bc they had a heavy foot with a big engine and a light vehicle. Granted those were all v-8 swaps.
Agree 300%

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