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Old 01-22-2012, 01:08 PM   #1
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Looking to get a TJ what years are best?

Like the title says, im looking to getting a tj after my xj got totaled in an accident. What years are considered best? I was debating between a 1999 4.0L 5spd and a 2000 4.0L 5spd. I know between these two years there is the 0331 head on the 2000, and the 2000 has a coil pack, is there anything else different between these two years? Thanks for any info

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Old 01-22-2012, 01:18 PM   #2
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From what I heard the 2002 Gray ones are the best

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Old 01-22-2012, 01:50 PM   #3
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I'm still some what of a Virgin myself, but I'd venture to say
"The BEST one ~~ is the ONE YOU OWN"! It's yours, make it yours.
There are so many out there on the market, each one different in
it's own way. Chances are, no matter which one you end up with,
YOUR going to change it in some way to make it Yours. I say this
only because, I just purchased a 2000 tj 4.0, and I'm lovin every
aspect of it. Not worried in the least bit about what they say
regarding the 0331 Head issue. To me, any Vehicle could develop
a Head problem, or any other issue for that matter. Should that
happen, fix it and move on. Proper care and maintenance will better
insure that a lot of issues can be avoided. Which ever one you end
up with having yours, enjoy it as I have & will.
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Old 01-22-2012, 01:58 PM   #4
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00 has the better nv3550 tranny
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:57 PM   #5
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I'm not too worried about the head issue, I had an 01 xj with 173XXX on the odometer when it got totaled, I was just curious if there was anything else I should be aware of because i don't know too much about TJs compared to XJs, I was surprised to find they use different automatic trannys and that the TJ never came with a chryco 8.25 rear. Is there a difference between the AX15 and the NV3550? And if there is, what is the major difference between the two and is one considered better than the other?
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Old 01-22-2012, 03:50 PM   #6
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Black model year 2004 I believe are the best ones out there!

I could be wrong, but I sure like mine.
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Old 01-22-2012, 04:54 PM   #7
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Black model year 2004 I believe are the best ones out there!

I could be wrong, but I sure like mine.
X2
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Old 01-22-2012, 04:59 PM   #8
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my 01 sport hasnt given me any problems except for replacing the radiator in the last 3 years. awesome vehicle. knock on wood. has about 83k mi. on it.
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:56 PM   #9
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i recall hearing that 2000+ has a galvanized frame...

...or was it '99+?
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:20 PM   #10
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X2
X3 cant go wrong with a black 2004!
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:53 PM   #11
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well in 2004 they switched to the 4 speed automatic tranny many people don't like.
2005 and 2006 have issues with the oil pump drive gears stripping out (not sure exactly what the problem is since its not my problem LOL, give it a search and tons of stuff comes up)
in 2001 (maybe 2000?) they started using DIS ignition systems (not good or bad, just saying)
as you know the 0331 problem with 00 and 01

hmmm what else is there guys? not saying what is best or worse, they just all seem to have their own issues or differences some people might prefer over others
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:05 PM   #12
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01 sport also.......
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:12 PM   #13
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from what ive read 97 is, I have 2000 by the way
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:15 PM   #14
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97' is best. Im not biast at all... :P
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:22 PM   #15
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My vote would go towards the 2003 model year, I had a 2004 and sold it found a 2003 and love it. By the way the only difference in them was the 04 had an auto tranny and the 03 I have now is a manual tranny.
I also agree that the best Jeep to own is your own Jeep. I love mine and dont put down others. They are all awsome machines.
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:19 PM   #16
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hmm i wonder whats so bad about the 4 speed auto tranny? should i expect to have problems with it one day? i have 78k miles on it
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:27 PM   #17
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I have 133k on my 2003 auto and no problems with it yet so you should be fine
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:35 PM   #18
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01 sport also.......
Yep--Yep
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:38 PM   #19
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97' is best. Im not biast at all... :P
Agree!
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:41 PM   #20
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I agree with the others, best one will be your own...

I'd peronally look previous to 2004 (minus cali vehicles) because you'll have just a main cat instead of 3 which is what newer style tj's come with vs older tj's that just have a main cat...

i cant remember exact years but i think they went to 3 cats in 2004+ and 2001+ with cali vehicles...
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:17 PM   #21
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hmm i wonder whats so bad about the 4 speed auto tranny? should i expect to have problems with it one day? i have 78k miles on it
Its just not supposed to be AS reliable as the 32rh but it does not mean its a bad tranny. Just keep it maintained and dont worry.

I only mentioned it because SOME people dont like it as much as the 3 speed.
Just because they don't like it as much is not a diss on the 4 speed, maybe its just because they like the 3 speed alot and would rather have that.

Just how I mentioned the DIS, some wont like it some will prefer it.
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:19 PM   #22
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Find you a '96 and you'll have no problems ever!
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:20 PM   #23
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Find you a '96 and you'll have no problems ever!
might have a hard time finding parts though...
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:52 PM   #24
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I had a '97 for five years. They have a couple "first year" issues I experienced. #1 that seems to plague '97s is the exhaust design. Many, and probably most, will end up with a cracked exhaust manifold. I wouldn't let that keep me from buying one. I've had an '02 for a couple months. So far, very good.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:03 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen_TJ
I agree with the others, best one will be your own...

I'd peronally look previous to 2004 (minus cali vehicles) because you'll have just a main cat instead of 3 which is what newer style tj's come with vs older tj's that just have a main cat...

i cant remember exact years but i think they went to 3 cats in 2004+ and 2001+ with cali vehicles...
So should I be looking for 2000 or older because I'm in Cali? And whats the deal with model year 1999, because I was looking at brakes for one, and the website had two different options for model year 1999 early or late.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:22 AM   #26
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One thing that I didnt know about when purchasing my TJ but got lucky on was the rear axle. If I had to do it over again, I would be much more concerned about getting a Dana 44 out back than getting a particular year. Just my .02
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:24 AM   #27
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Its just not supposed to be AS reliable as the 32rh but it does not mean its a bad tranny. Just keep it maintained and dont worry.

I only mentioned it because SOME people dont like it as much as the 3 speed.
Just because they don't like it as much is not a diss on the 4 speed, maybe its just because they like the 3 speed alot and would rather have that.

Just how I mentioned the DIS, some wont like it some will prefer it.
ok i was just curious
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Old 01-23-2012, 05:36 AM   #28
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Well from what I can read here you definately need a black one

I have a black 2003 Sahara with 42RLE 4spd Auto transmission and I am happy as can be.
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:27 AM   #29
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Agree!
ditto on '97. Also on make it your own everything breaks in time. I think other than personal preference rock crawlers like auto over sticks and that's probably the only reason.
I like a stick, funny to watch when I get in the wifes car and go for the clutch and floor shift!
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:38 PM   #30
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I think you are ok on whatever year model you find, make sure it has the options that you want because that can save you money on the build. If you want to drive a stocker that can go anywhere then get a rubi. I looked till I found my 02 with 55K on the odo and I had to have three things; 4.0, auto trans (wife has to drive it), and D44 rear. Everything else was a compromise. I wanted a hard top, got a soft top. I wanted full size doors, got half doors. But I am completely happy because of my big three check list. I can build a reasonably priced rig and mod accordingly without swapping axles which is what I wanted. Good luck to you

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