What years are the bad years and what are the good?? Out of the 97-01 - Page 2 - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:34 PM   #31
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'97 was the first year for the tj. The first year of a generation for any car is going to have some problems. I have a 2000 and i love it! Nice thing about jeeps is the most complicated thing is the radio, so theres no little s**t to break

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Old 03-01-2012, 02:59 PM   #32
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My 2001 with 90,000 MI is sloooowwwww!!!!! it's a complete dog on the road. I think my axles have the 3.05 gearing. slow slow slow. But i still love every slow second i have in my wrangler.

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Old 03-01-2012, 09:42 PM   #33
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A friend of mine who works on jeeps say that 97 was a bad year and anything above 97 was good. Is that about right?
I have owned two '97 TJs, a '98, a '00 and an '01. The 1997's have been no less reliable than my later ones. In fact, all of my TJs have been very good to me overall.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:56 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Sherpa

I have owned two '97 TJs, a '98, a '00 and an '01. The 1997's have been no less reliable than my later ones. In fact, all of my TJs have been very good to me overall.
How about the electrical stuff that's what he said the 97 had problems with.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:36 AM   #35
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How about the electrical stuff that's what he said the 97 had problems with.
Electrical problems are a tricky thing to blame on anything specific. Especially when you're talking about a Jeep. Every owner has a different preference to accessories so there is a LOT of wiring and re-wiring that can mess up the factory original. I have not had any issues with the wiring in my 97 at all, minus a poorly wired aux light setup I removed, and that was the fault of a previous owner not the factory.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:35 AM   #36
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How about the electrical stuff that's what he said the 97 had problems with.
Of the couple problems my '97 eventually developed after I bought it new, it never had electrical problems. Early TJs came with an exhaust header that was prone to cracking but they finally figured that out and later versions of the header were fine. The only other problem also isolated to the first two years was the radiator tended to leak where the top and bottom pieces were sealed to the core. That too was fixed with the radiator that came out sometime in '99.

Other than those two well-known issues for '97/98 that were fixed by mid-'99 with improved replacement headers and radiators from the factory, the '97 was actually a very good model year. I would rather have my '97 back than my present '04 that is harder to work on. I like how my '04 has been modified better but my previous '97 sure was easier to work on and was a less complex vehicle... especially where its far less complex smog system was concerned.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:50 AM   #37
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How about the electrical stuff that's what he said the 97 had problems with.

Electrical problems? no more than any other Jeep.

My 97 with 215,000 miles and no electrical problems... you just have to remind yourself it's not brand new. Look for a clean example with no trace of a "Shade Tree Mechanic" working on it. The after market stereo / alarm shops are the worst.
You have to remember cars today have enormous wiring harness for all the electronics, computers, sensors, idiot lights. All cars have a chance of a loose or water getting in a connector.
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:58 PM   #38
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Of the couple problems my '97 eventually developed after I bought it new, it never had electrical problems. Early TJs came with an exhaust header that was prone to cracking but they finally figured that out and later versions of the header were fine. The only other problem also isolated to the first two years was the radiator tended to leak where the top and bottom pieces were sealed to the core. That too was fixed with the radiator that came out sometime in '99.

Other than those two well-known issues for '97/98 that were fixed by mid-'99 with improved replacement headers and radiators from the factory, the '97 was actually a very good model year. I would rather have my '97 back than my present '04 that is harder to work on. I like how my '04 has been modified better but my previous '97 sure was easier to work on and was a less complex vehicle... especially where its far less complex smog system was concerned.
Those are about the only two major things I have had to fix on my 97. I had to replace the radiator around 100,000, and I just recently took a weekend to replace the cracked exhaust manifold. I had been riding around sounding like a tractor for too long.
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Old 03-02-2012, 04:01 PM   #39
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Hey Jerry. Could you expound on this? I have a 98 and have never heard this statement. Very curious..is there a change to be made?
This is true for my '98, I've had to purchase an OBD2 scanner to check my CEL codes.
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:34 PM   #40
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Thanks for all the info!

So there isn't really any major problems with the 97's then and I shouldn't really worry about them being the first year model.

I found a 99 sport 4.0 5 speed with 181xxx miles. He's asking 8000 for it but the tires are shot. Would 7000 be a decent amount since its got high miles and the tires are no good? Or should I go for ones that have lower miles on it?
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:16 PM   #41
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The I6 engine is known for it's longevity however I would try to find one with less than 115k. They are out there if you are patient.

As mentioned before, I paid 7k for mine with 89k miles on it. This was in Hawaii where vehicles cost a bit more due to the expense of shipping them here.
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:21 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by EMTJEEP
Thanks for all the info!

So there isn't really any major problems with the 97's then and I shouldn't really worry about them being the first year model.

I found a 99 sport 4.0 5 speed with 181xxx miles. He's asking 8000 for it but the tires are shot. Would 7000 be a decent amount since its got high miles and the tires are no good? Or should I go for ones that have lower miles on it?
Why has the front been repainted? What kinda damage was there?
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:34 PM   #43
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Why has the front been repainted? What kinda damage was there?
No damage. He painted the fenders on both sides.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:15 PM   #44
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Thanks for all the info!

So there isn't really any major problems with the 97's then and I shouldn't really worry about them being the first year model.

I found a 99 sport 4.0 5 speed with 181xxx miles. He's asking 8000 for it but the tires are shot. Would 7000 be a decent amount since its got high miles and the tires are no good? Or should I go for ones that have lower miles on it?
Seems a little high to me. I wouldn't pay more than 5,000 unless there are some serious upgrades underneath.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:07 PM   #45
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Seems a little high to me. I wouldn't pay more than 5,000 unless there are some serious upgrades underneath.
Man I wish I lived on the east coast or atleast not in CA. I wish I could pay 5000 for a 99 jeep here. 7500-10000 is what they are averaging out here in CA.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:17 PM   #46
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I am partial to the 2001 TJ. Yellow and black of course.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:34 AM   #47
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I am partial to the 2001 TJ. Yellow and black of course.
I found a yellow 01 with 141k miles stock for 8000. I want a yellow or a red one.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:36 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by EMTJEEP

I found a yellow 01 with 141k miles stock for 8000. I want a yellow or a red one.
Not red. It seems like every jeep I see is red. Either that or it's just so ugly it sticks with me. Dark red looks good though.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:39 AM   #49
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If I could find a blue like I had when I had my YJ I would rather have that than any other color jeep offers.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:41 AM   #50
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If I could find a blue like I had when I had my YJ I would rather have that than any other color jeep offers.
I like the cosmos blue they use on the jk.
But my ultimate favorite is burnt orange.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:41 AM   #51
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I found a yellow 01 with 141k miles stock for 8000. I want a yellow or a red one.
got my 2000 in solar yellow with 96000 for 6900
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:44 AM   #52
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got my 2000 in solar yellow with 96000 for 6900
Let me guess you don't live in California? You're lucky!
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:45 AM   #53
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I like the cosmos blue they use on the jk.
But my ultimate favorite is burnt orange.
Cosmos blue is the dark one right? I like the light brilliant blue on the YJs. I like the newest orange they came out with on the jk and if that's the burnt orange than that's a good color too.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:47 AM   #54
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Cosmos blue is the dark one right? I like the light brilliant blue on the YJs. I like the newest orange they came out with on the jk and if that's the burnt orange than that's a good color too.
No cosmos is the light blue (I think) if its not then I like the light blue lol and no those are dozer and crush. Both nice colors but no burnt orange or "mango tango" as jeep calls it
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:50 AM   #55
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No cosmos is the light blue (I think) if its not then I like the light blue lol and no those are dozer and crush. Both nice colors but no burnt orange or "mango tango" as jeep calls it
Yeah the cosmos and brilliant blue are like the same color just different year. And dozer is the new orange I like especially with the hardtop being the same color.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:54 AM   #56
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Yeah the cosmos and brilliant blue are like the same color just different year. And dozer is the new orange I like especially with the hardtop being the same color.
Exactly. And I dont mind it. Some colors look good with a color matched top. Some not so much. The orange looks good.
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:48 AM   #57
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Yeah the cosmos and brilliant blue are like the same color just different year.
Not really. Cosmos Blue is a flat color (which I happen to love because it is a dead ringer for the color on my '91 Miata). Brilliant Blue is a metallic color and is a bit darker (if I'm thinking of the correct color, anyway).

Quote:
And dozer is the new orange I like especially with the hardtop being the same color.
No, Dozer is actually a yellowish color. The current JK orange color is called Crush. If you see these two colors side by side, the difference is dramatic.
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:17 AM   #58
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Thanks for all the replies!! It helps a lot.

What do you guys think about this.
Its a 98 sport 4.0 5 speed with 114k miles for 8900. The price based off of KBB should be like 6500-7250. The only thing he has on it is some goodyear mtr with some black steel wheels and a kenwood deck.
I bought my 97 TJ auto I6 with 73k miles for $7,300. Prior owner never off-roaded it. Completely mint.
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:55 AM   #59
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No, Dozer is actually a yellowish color. The current JK orange color is called Crush. If you see these two colors side by side, the difference is dramatic.
For those who haven't seen these colors together, here is a picture I just took with Dozer on the left and Crush on the right:

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Old 03-03-2012, 08:46 PM   #60
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Man I wish I lived on the east coast or atleast not in CA. I wish I could pay 5000 for a 99 jeep here. 7500-10000 is what they are averaging out here in CA.
I live in Stockton about 60 or 70 miles from you and I spent 6 months looking for a TJ. I found one right here in Stockton owned by a farmer. His daughter drove it thru high school and college and married a guy from England so it sat for 2 years in his garage.

It's a 98 TJ Sport with Auto & air (which is what I was looking for!). I paid $6500. for it with 103K on the clock.



The day I bought her

Photo below shows her on the rack in my shop getting ready for tru-trac's front and rear.



Be patient and you'll find the right one.

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