I was wondering what the pro's and con's of a LJ vs. a TJ. I understand the extra room inside. I am curious about on and off road difference after a mild build. Like a long arm lift with 35's. Any information would be appreciated. I currently have a YJ but I am sure I will be getting something newer down the road. Thanks
1994 yj 4.0 full traction shackle reversal, ome springs, bilstien 5100 shocks, ford 8.8 rear ected, 35 12.5 15, soft eights, 4.88 gears, lockers, metal cloak over line fenders, rock gaurds, corners, engo winch.
From my standpoint, not many cons to the LJ. We do most of our serious wheeling in Moab. I've driven both the short and long versions there, and in that environment the long wheelbase does everything better. Up ledges, up climbs, long is better. Maybe really narrow trails and super tight trees give advantage to short wheelbase. Virtually everything else my opinion is long wheelbase better. I've even done a short 5" stretch on my TJ.
off-road the major downside is the departure angle and the breakover angle. a high clearance gas tank skid and tummy tuck are pretty much requirements if you play where clearance matters. otherwise the off-road difference is minimal. on-road difference is noticable...the LJ rides a lot better if its properly setup.
other than that, the long wheelbase is awesome. the extra room makes the jeep a lot more functional.
Originally Posted by Another Guy In A Jeep
I imagine the longer wheelbase would affect the offroading quite a bit
It does. Makes it a whole lot more stable & capable, if properly set up
I got a 05 LJ and I love it! The one downside I can see with mine is long arm lift kits. And its prob just my own prefrence. But the rear lower control arm on the long arm kits mount at the back of the trans skid plate. And being the LJ is 10 inches longer it makes for a REALLY long control arm. And I just see that getting hung up or dragging on obsticals as you wheel it. But with the added wheelbase a good short arm kit will preform very well off road.
I waited up for an lj to come along and when it did i snagged it up as kwick as i could. The only downfall i seem to find is that its a special model for only two years so tops and stuff of that nature are harder to find and cost a little more.
We wanted a Rubicon in our price point and found an 2005 Unlimited Rubicon. Only one time has the extra length been an issue. We love ours, though now it has trail pin stripping thanks to trees and bushes.
Tracy,Lucinda and Canyon.
2005 Rubicon Unlimited,33s with Dick Cepek DC2s,AEM cold air intake, disconnects,2'' lift,1'' body lift,1'' motor lift, Warn 8000 winch. More as wallet allows.
Well, also on the cons, there's some things you just can't buy for a LJ and have to fabricate yourself, like a security shelf system for the area behind the back seat.
So anyhow, upsides: Room, rides better on the highway *than a TJ* (not better than a JK -- a JK is smooooooth on the highway by comparison), climbs like a monkey (I can climb things that have the SWB TJ's and YJ's and CJ's skittering around like cockroaches and needing the hook).
Downsides: it's physically longer, thus needs more cuts at some obstacles. If it's a daily driver you'll need to take a cut at parking spots that SWB Jeeps can just vroom into, and offroad you'll need to carefully take into account the extra 15 inches of length (10 inches in wheelbase, 5 inches behind the back wheel). In reality the breakover angle isn't a big deal, I never got hung up because of that. The length definitely took some adjustments. It was never enough to keep me from doing the trail, but I did have to stop and take cuts in some places where SWB Jeeps don't.
The extra weight may affect gas mileage, though we're talking about a Jeep Wrangler so gas mileage is almost a non-starter anyhow. It also makes it feel stable on the road, but less "sporty" for some reason.
BTW, regarding gas tank skid, it has the exact same gas tank in the exact same location as the TJ (the gas tank is *not* pushed backwards, there is 5 inches of extra empty space behind the gas tank that you could, e.g., put an air tank into). It does tend to clang when you fall off a ledge but that's because of the extra weight of the extra 15 inches of Jeep being on top of the back wheels, I eventually did put a Savvy gas tank skid and gas tank tuck on the LJ to stop that.
Which would I prefer, TJ or LJ? Well, clearly, the LJ, since I bought one . I feel it's a better all-around vehicle than the TJ, though the rarity means that I worry long-term about availability of tops. Luckily tops are the only thing there will be a problem with, since everything else is either shared with the TJ or is easily fabricated or repaired.
Comparing LJ to JK: I wouldn't have a 2007-2011 JK. The minivan engine is completely overwhelmed by the porkitude of this bloated piece of shortened pickup truck frame with Jeep-like body placed atop it. The LJ is far better offroad than any JK because it only has one thing hanging down in the middle -- the shovel for the transfer case skid -- while the JK has a massive gas tank *plus* the transfer case skid *plus* a transmission crossmember/"skid" (for the automatic) all hanging down below the Jeep, as well as the massively tall pickup truck frame that hangs down about 3 inches further than the TJ frame. Plus I haven't found *any* rock rails for the JK that are sturdy enough to satisfy me yet (note that I'm running Savvy's aluminum/stainless combo on my LJ, which are Hammers-tested and *stout*), due to the boat-like curve of the JK's body and the fact that the body swoops down to a pinch seam a couple inches below the body proper to try to hide some of the humongously tall frame from public view, a horrifically weak scheme that has to be seen to be believed .
So why do I have a 2012 Wrangler Rubicon? Because a) 285 horsepower (vroom!), b) I'm male, and c) I'm an idiot (but I repeat myself ). But if I had any sense, I would never have bought the '012. What can I say, moh powah! (cue Tim Taylor grunt).
Needless to say, I think the 2012 Wrangler is a much better *car* than my 2006 LJ -- more powerful, rides smoother, *much* more comfortable interior (electric windows even!), and so forth -- but the LJ is a much better *Jeep*. If I were building a hard-core Jeep for regular wheeling, my LJ is the basis I'd use for that. Unfortunately, I need a daily driver and really don't wheel often enough to have a dedicated wheeling Jeep, so... (shrug).
More room in the trunk and the backseat... Mine is awesome.... Just wish I bought one w a hardtop.... Ridiculous how hard it is to find a used one
Yea when you find one used its super expensive I found a couple ranging from $1,000to 1,600 need to save up money so next time I find one I can buy it! Love the freedom of a soft top tho but hard tips give you the extra security soft tops are just to easy to break into just got to unzip the windows haha
I think that they are funny looking in stock form. They dont start looking good until they have 35s or 37s under them. 31s and 33s just look too small on an LJ.
I would love to get my hands on an LJ rubicon though.
Favorite quote, Thanks GoldenSahara00 "not many people do it. most of the guys who do do it, don't sit on the computer and talk/write about it, they do it then go wheel"
My buddy has an 06 LJ Rubi and he loves that thing. Gas milage is around 20 on the highway and he's running 32s. The front seat is pushed back an inch or two so you have more leg room. We did some off roading in CO and he had some clearance issues on really tall rocks that I breezed over in my TJ but not a big deal
Just recently sold 2002 TJ Sport and purchased the coveted 2006 TJ-L Rubicon, black with the dual-top group. It is amazing!! Towing boat with ease. Driving on highway comfortably. Roll down windows are even a nice change. If you don't have one…..get one. Paid $17k for mine, best deal ever, it had 38,000 miles on it. Aside from the dog hair everywhere, it's a gem.