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Old 05-31-2005, 01:25 PM   #1
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TJ changes?

Was looking into purchasing a used TJ (i've had nothing but CJ's and YJ's thus far) and was curious if everything from 1997 to 2005 is pretty much the same, or if any year has any specific changes, upgrades etc. My dream is to get a new unlimited love that they've done a facelift to the old scramblers but they're still a little pricey. Thanks in advance
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Old 05-31-2005, 05:55 PM   #2
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Most of them are the same: 00 gave you the beefed up NV3500 5spd vs the AX-15 or AX-10 as I recall. and I think the 03's had the 3 or 4spd auto. The newer one's of course have the 6spd. Then there is the rubicon models. There where some minor HVAC dash design stuff. If you can find one get one with the rear dana 44 vs the 35c. There where also some minor soft top changes. Thus I think just about any year would be fine..

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Old 06-03-2005, 04:26 PM   #3
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Actually, in 2000 Jeep did switch to the NV3500 5 speed manual transmission from the AX-15 for the 4.0L and the AX-5 for the 2.5L. In 2003 they also went from a 3 speed auto tranny to the new 4 speed auto tranny. In 2005 they changed to the 6 speed Getrag (sp?) manual transmission and retained the 4 speed auto. The seats were upgraded (and lowered for some reason) in 2003 as well with a better "fold forward" system than before. I know that a lot of people have had issues with 1997 models (first year for TJ's), but I don't remember what the issues were because I didn't care while I was driving my YJ... In 2003 (maybe '04) they also upgraded the soft tops to "sailcloth" tops, which are quieter and flap less. Other than that, I can't think of anything else major! Good luck with the search!
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Old 06-16-2005, 10:07 AM   #4
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There was a soft top upgrade in '01 as well that made it quieter
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Old 06-19-2005, 09:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_doing
There was a soft top upgrade in '01 as well that made it quieter
That was the first year of sail cloth. The sail cloth is much quieter, but, if you live in a cooler climate...it is a real pain in the ass to put up when it cools off.
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Old 07-10-2005, 07:23 PM   #6
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'97-'00 1 ply tops
'01-'02 4 ply tops
'03-'05 3 ply tops

the went back to 3 ply for pure ease-of-folding reasons. still hell and farther quieter than the 1 ply ones.

some '97 models didn't have airbags....but midyear they made them all with airbags. through '02 you could shut off the passenger bag...now they are always "hot".

in '03 the "shovel" was introduced (thanks rubicon ). they realized that the rubi's rocktrac transfer case was freakin huge and needed more clearance than the standard np231. DC's answer was a cookie cutter style transfer case skidplate. it sits a full inch lower than previous years due in part that they wanted only one to put on all jeeps. so in rubi's the extra lower inch is needed...in all other '03 and newer tj's it is just a pain. oh, can't just throw in a pre '03 skidplate either since the altered the orientation of the skidplate in relation to the 6 mounting holes and the transfer case mount.

'03 brought about the rear disk brakes as an option.

'03 introduced the 2.4l 4banger and dropped their venerable 2.5l - better fuel economy and slightly more horsepower.

just some food for thought...
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Old 11-27-2005, 11:02 AM   #7
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my 97

my 97 was an early 97 tj the tags on it says dec 96 and it has airbags
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Old 11-27-2005, 04:41 PM   #8
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In all my DC web based computer parts files there is no mention of '97 TJ not haveing an airbag. '97 was the only year that has the airbag cover I don't like, just don't like the look of it.
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeeperman
Actually, in 2000 Jeep did switch to the NV3500 5 speed manual transmission from the AX-15 for the 4.0L and the AX-5 for the 2.5L. In 2003 they also went from a 3 speed auto tranny to the new 4 speed auto tranny. In 2005 they changed to the 6 speed Getrag (sp?) manual transmission and retained the 4 speed auto. The seats were upgraded (and lowered for some reason) in 2003 as well with a better "fold forward" system than before. I know that a lot of people have had issues with 1997 models (first year for TJ's), but I don't remember what the issues were because I didn't care while I was driving my YJ... In 2003 (maybe '04) they also upgraded the soft tops to "sailcloth" tops, which are quieter and flap less. Other than that, I can't think of anything else major! Good luck with the search!
I didnt think they put the Nv3550 behind a 4cyl???
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Old 12-16-2005, 06:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dont know squat
I didnt think they put the Nv3550 behind a 4cyl???
I thought that they replaced both manual transmissions with the Nv3550, but I could be wrong (definitely not the first time!).
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Old 12-16-2005, 08:10 AM   #11
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ok, i'm pretty much still a newb when it comes to jeeps, what exactly is the nv3550? and what is different about older ones?
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Old 12-16-2005, 09:25 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by legacy
ok, i'm pretty much still a newb when it comes to jeeps, what exactly is the nv3550? and what is different about older ones?
The NV stands for New Venture gear, the 3550 is considered to be a beefier tranny vs the AX15 which seems to do fine too. It does have a lower 1st gear of 4.01 vs 3.87 or there about as I recall of the AX15. Some say it shifts smoother, unless of course in the cold weather where it can be a PITA till it warms up. Of course the one most people tend to stay away from is the BA10 which came in early YJ's, which had a history of going south for a lot of people early in its life cycle.
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Old 12-27-2005, 09:01 PM   #13
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Well I have the Haynes Repair Manual So I will look up which transmission went with what year.. 1987 thru 2003 I guess they want you to crawl under and look they don't tell you nothing...What a waste of $16. well maybe I can use it for something else..

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