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Old 07-07-2014, 04:52 PM   #1
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TJ Questions.

After doing some research, I have opted to spend a little on my truck, and look for a good TJ. Whst yesrs should I avoid? Any common isdues with them?

2002-2006 the best to look for? What axles are under them?
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:07 PM   #2
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Avoid the rusty ones and the ones in bad mechanical condition 8)...unless you are a good mechanic. Other then that....go for any one that trips your trigger! There are some "nice-to-haves" such as D44 axles, auto trans, A/C, and/or various trim levels...but by and large: find one you like and as long as it ain't rusted out or beat up too bad, go for it! Tons to choose from! Good luck!

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Old 07-07-2014, 05:12 PM   #3
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Personally, of those years I would go with an '03 or '04.

-'03 up had better interiors
-'05 and '06 had "laughing monkey issues" (see more info in link)
2005 and 2006 TJ/LJ's... OPDA (barrel of laughing monkeys) and reimbursement write up

Also, if getting a manual:
-'03 & '04 had the 5 speed, vs the 6 speed in '05 & '06. The six speed isn't a bad trans, but it's harder and costlier to replace. While the 5 speed has better aftermarket support and is much easier to find.

Lastly, look for a Sport Model with the 4.0L and a Dana 44 rear. FYI, all "X" models only came with a Dana 35 rear.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:13 PM   #4
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someone else will chim in but from off the top of my head,

tj will have a 35 rear and 30 front. unless you get a rubicon then 44 front and rear.

also look in the lj. standard lj will have a 44 rear and a 30 front and the rubi will be the same as a tj with a 44 fron and rear.

the lj was made from 04-06 only

definitely get a 4.0 straight 6 so 2002 foward will be standard

just keep an eye out for rust and you should be good to go!
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:58 PM   #5
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I was told by a couple of other jeepers that I got similar to a "holy grail" with my jeep. 2004 sport with the Dana 44 rear 3.73 gears. Manual 5speed 4.0 i6. Less electrical issues, not known for transmission issues, strong motor, and the beefed rear axle. Also, since it's a sport, I didn't pay as much as I would have with a rubi model
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:12 AM   #6
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The best interiors on the TJ were 1998-2002, in model year 2003 they re-designed the front seats which imo did not improve them at all. They also dropped the better interior fabrics and colors after 2002, imo.

The 4.0L engine is the best engine to get and in model year 2000 they introduced a much improved 4.0L and kept that pedigree all the way through the end of the TJ years. So the 2000-2006 4.0L engines are the best of the type.

The Dana 44 rear axle is worth looking for, it was available on the Sport and Sahara models only (never on the X or SE) and was standard on the Rubicon.

Check for rust inside and around the frame, also the floors.

Other than that use your common used-car-buying-techniques to identify the dogs and cream puffs of the TJ's out there.

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