Any way of distinguishing a 87 from an 88 from an 89 and so on? - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 09-28-2013, 03:59 PM   #1
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Any way of distinguishing a 87 from an 88 from an 89 and so on?

I used to fool around with Chevrolet trucks some and I had several early to mid 60 models. The bodies were exactly the the same but I learned to tell the difference in the year models by things like the way emblems were shaped or where they were placed. I was just curious if there are any ways to tell YJs apart if you only see them from the exterior. I know if you look under the hood you can tell the models from the engines or by the roll bars. Any other ways?

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Old 09-28-2013, 04:15 PM   #2
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94 was the first year with the light over the tire, not that many have it now.

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Old 09-28-2013, 04:24 PM   #3
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VIN number you can see it from the outside of the windshield.
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Old 09-28-2013, 04:49 PM   #4
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I have a 93 yj which im changing out the tub. I dont know the year of the tub i have now but Im sure its older than my 93 tub. Differences ive noticed so far.. The battery tray was horizonal to the fire wall, but its horizonal to the fender in the replacement tub. Seatbelts are advertised from something like 87 thru 91 and 92 thru 95. Since my seatbelts didnt switch over, im assuming my tub now is from the former group. The wrangler emblems on the rear corners are like a plastic baddge, whereas they were stickers on my 93. Those are the only things ive noticed so far but im not quite finished putting it together. Can anyone break my year down closer with just that info?
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Old 09-28-2013, 05:07 PM   #5
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The VIN inside the windshield should be transfered with the tub, the vin of the tub is stamped somewhere on the tub also. I just hope your never in the position to have officials check the hidden vin #against your registration. You will have some splaining to do.
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Old 09-28-2013, 10:47 PM   #6
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Im not worried. I switched the tag above the wiper motor and the one under the grill. If anyone looks further than that, I must have done something far worse than switching tubs
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:23 PM   #7
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1987-1991 featured the Sport Rollbar vs the newer Family Rollbar style.

1987-1990 featured either the carb'd 4.2L I6 or the TBI 2.5L I4. They also featured a 5 gauge cluster with a clock in the middle.

1991-1995 feature either the MPFI 4.0L I6 or the MPFI 2.5L I4. They also switched to a 4 gauge cluster that ditches the clock and moves the 4WD light from the center cluster above the steering shaft to its own separate gauge in the cluster. Gauges are also backlit, rather than using the older reflective lit style.

Easiest differences to spot right off the bat.
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Old 09-29-2013, 12:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bad impulse View Post
I have a 93 yj which im changing out the tub. I dont know the year of the tub i have now but Im sure its older than my 93 tub. Differences ive noticed so far.. The battery tray was horizonal to the fire wall, but its horizonal to the fender in the replacement tub. Seatbelts are advertised from something like 87 thru 91 and 92 thru 95. Since my seatbelts didnt switch over, im assuming my tub now is from the former group. The wrangler emblems on the rear corners are like a plastic baddge, whereas they were stickers on my 93. Those are the only things ive noticed so far but im not quite finished putting it together. Can anyone break my year down closer with just that info?
I have a 90 and my battery tray is horizontal to the fender. I think the only year they used this plastic badge on Wranglers was 87. My 90 base model has nothing on the rear fenders.


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Old 09-29-2013, 12:33 AM   #9
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the 87 had the old CJ style head, and was the only year with black interior.
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Old 09-29-2013, 12:39 AM   #10
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I have a 90 and my battery tray is horizontal to the fender. I think the only year they used this plastic badge on Wranglers was 87. My 90 base model has nothing on the rear fenders.


Attachment 387985

Nice jeep.. very clean! I'm talking about where it says wrangler above your rear wheel. On my 93 it was a sticker, and on the tub i have now it's plastic. I can't quite see it in your pic but it looks the same as the one I have now. I'm not too concerned with what year tub I have though, I was just a little curious.
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Old 09-29-2013, 01:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bad impulse View Post

Nice jeep.. very clean! I'm talking about where it says wrangler above your rear wheel. On my 93 it was a sticker, and on the tub i have now it's plastic. I can't quite see it in your pic but it looks the same as the one I have now. I'm not too concerned with what year tub I have though, I was just a little curious.
Thank you, I haven't changed much on it from when I bought it 2 years ago except cosmetics and rebuilding the motor. But you should be able to tell from the VIN, the 10th digit is the model year:
K = 1989
L = 1990
M = 1991
N = 1992
P = 1993
R = 1994
S = 1995
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Old 09-29-2013, 01:51 AM   #12
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Thank you, I haven't changed much on it from when I bought it 2 years ago except cosmetics and rebuilding the motor. But you should be able to tell from the VIN, the 10th digit is the model year:
K = 1989
L = 1990
M = 1991
N = 1992
P = 1993
R = 1994
S = 1995
You haven't changed much except cosmetics and rebuilding the motor? Sounds like a lot of change to me haha. It definitely doesn't look 20 years old in your pics. Plus a rebuilt motor.. very nice
The only VIN numbers on my yj now are what I switched over from my 93 so that wouldn't really help.
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Old 09-29-2013, 06:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bad impulse View Post

You haven't changed much except cosmetics and rebuilding the motor? Sounds like a lot of change to me haha. It definitely doesn't look 20 years old in your pics. Plus a rebuilt motor.. very nice
The only VIN numbers on my yj now are what I switched over from my 93 so that wouldn't really help.
Oh, I thought you had the VIN of the tub. As for mine, ha ha, I've already spent more on it than I paid for it, but I guess that's pretty standard. My planned projects as money permits are re-gearing (or new axles) and replacing the plain jane shackles. I bought some Gambler wheels on CL that I need to get mounted. They're on 31s and I currently have 33s, so I haven't decided if I should go with the 31s or add some spacers to keep the 33s. The opinions of spacers vary widely on this forum, so I'm unsure of what to do. But I really like the wheels, and they only made them with one size back spacing, so I'll do whatever it takes to be safe. Here's a pic of the wheels


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Old 09-30-2013, 07:15 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by CyndiB View Post
I have a 90 and my battery tray is horizontal to the fender. I think the only year they used this plastic badge on Wranglers was 87. My 90 base model has nothing on the rear fenders.


Attachment 387985
My 90 Base has the horizontal battery but it has this emblem on the rear fender
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:22 PM   #15
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87 and maybe 88's have a clock in the center gauge pod. All others have four gauges not five.
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:28 PM   #16
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Got an 89 with a clock.

They are all pretty much disguised with square headlights and lot of the same stuff. When I am out looking the only way to figure it out is the vin code.
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:30 PM   #17
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91's and under had the sport bar
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xpress View Post
1987-1991 featured the Sport Rollbar vs the newer Family Rollbar style. 1987-1990 featured either the carb'd 4.2L I6 or the TBI 2.5L I4. They also featured a 5 gauge cluster with a clock in the middle. 1991-1995 feature either the MPFI 4.0L I6 or the MPFI 2.5L I4. They also switched to a 4 gauge cluster that ditches the clock and moves the 4WD light from the center cluster above the steering shaft to its own separate gauge in the cluster. Gauges are also backlit, rather than using the older reflective lit style. Easiest differences to spot right off the bat.
My 1991 has a five gauge cluster and the 4wd indicator above the column between the tach and speedo (with the turn indicators,check engine light, etc.). I wonder if the factory pieced some jeeps together to use up the parts?
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:29 PM   #19
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87 and maybe 88's have a clock in the center gauge pod. All others have four gauges not five.
My 90 has a clock in the center of the gauges, my daughter's 91 does not.
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Old 09-30-2013, 09:16 PM   #20
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My 90 has a clock in the center of the gauges, my daughter's 91 does not.
I was wrong, my daughter's 91 has a clock in the center too, and it even works.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:00 AM   #21
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The clock was an option that determined where the 4 WD light was placed if the clock was or wasn't installed. My 91 has the clock which still works as accurately as my Timex. My sons 93 does not
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:37 AM   #22
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87 half doors didn't have the grip strip for the bottom of the upper door skin to seal into from what I understand.
92 and newer came with the 'family rollbar' with rear shoulder belts.

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