YJ, TJ, LJ & JK Models

he Wrangler (also known as the YJ, TJ, and JK, as explained below) is a compact four-wheel drive in the sport utility vehicle segment produced by American automaker Chrysler under its Jeep marque. It is a successor to the famous World War II ‘Jeep’ vehicle by way of the Willys civilian Jeep (CJ) in the 1950s, later produced by Kaiser-Jeep and by American Motors (AMC). The Wrangler debuted in 1987, was revised in 1997 and again in 2007, and is still popular today. A defining feature of all Wranglers is that they continue to use live axles both front and rear like their forefather, the CJ.

From 1987 until 1992 the Wrangler/YJ was built in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. It was then built in the Toledo South Assembly plant until mid-2006, after which the plant was slowly torn down. The Wrangler is currently produced at Jeep’s Toledo North Assembly plant in Toledo, Ohio.

Instead, 1987 to 1995 models were sold as YJ, 1997 to 2006 models were TJ’s with a subcategory from 2004 to 2006 of “Unlimited” Wranglers known as LJ’s, and from 2007 to today as the JK. The model designations are used throughout the world in the Jeep enthusiast community to differentiate which model is being spoken of instead of using the more ambiguous term “Wrangler” and help identify specifics about Wranglers.

YJ (1987–1995)

YJ

1992 Jeep YJ

Production 1987–1995
Assembly Toledo, Ohio, United States
Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Body style(s) 2-door convertible
2-door truck
Engine(s) 2.5 L AMC 150 I4

4.2 L AMC 258 I6

4.0 L AMC 242 I6

Transmission(s) Aisin AX-5 (4 cyl)
Aisin AX-15 (6 cyl)
Peugeot BA-10 (6 cyl)
3-speed TorqueFlite (6 cyl only) automatic The TF904 was in the I4 (only in 1994, 1995) and the TF999 was in the I6
Wheelbase 93.4 in (2373 mm)
Length 1987-89: 152.6 in (3876 mm)
1990-92: 153 in (3886 mm)
1993-95: 151.9 in (3860 mm)
Width 66 in (1676 mm)
Height 1993-95: 71.9 in (1825 mm)
1987–1992 Soft Top: 72 in (1827 mm)
1987–1992 Hardtop: 69.6 in (1769 mm)
Fuel capacity 15 U.S. gal (57 L; 12 imp gal) (standard)
20 U.S. gal (76 L; 17 imp gal) (optional)

The Jeep YJ, sold as the Wrangler, replaced the much-loved but slower-selling Jeep CJ in 1987 and was built in Brampton, Ontario, Canada until the plant closed on April 23, 1992 after which production was moved to Toledo, Ohio using the same plant that produced Willy Jeeps back in WWII. It was a new design with a wider wheelbase, slightly less ground clearance, and more comfort. The YJ also had a leaf spring suspension similar to that of the CJ, however, the springs were wider, and the YJs sported trackbars and swaybars for added handling. YJs are easily identifiable by their rectangular headlights, which were a source of controversy when introduced. Despite the new grill, the body is very similar to the CJ7’s, and it is interchangeable with some minor modifications. The YJ also was given a larger windshield over the CJ. The YJs are easily spotted due to the square headlights and the fact that the wiper blades rest on the windshield giving this version a distinctive look. The blades rested on the windshield due to the now wider arc of the blades to clean the now larger windshield. These two changes were later removed were when the TJ changes came about in 1996. 632,231 YJs were built through model year 1995, though YJs were still produced into mid ’96 bringing the total production number to 685,071 units.

The YJ used a 2.5 L AMC 150 I4 or optional 4.2 L AMC 258 I6 until 1991. That year, a fuel injected 180 hp (134 kW) 4.0 L AMC 242 variant replaced the 112 hp (84 kW) 4.2 L 258 CID straight-6. The NP207 transfer case was used only in 1987 and replaced by the NP231

The roll cage was extended in 1992 to allow for rear shoulder belts, and anti-lock brakes were added as an option the next year. An automatic transmission option for 4-cylinder Wranglers came in 1994 along with a center high-mounted stop lamp.

In 1994, the slave cylinder on manual transmissions was moved outside of the transmission’s bellhousing to allow for easier replacement, and in 1995 larger U-joints were used [front axle U-joints(297x) and rear pinion U-joint(1330)]. For the 1992 model year, the YJ switched over to an electronic speedometer outmoding the cable speedos on older YJs. 1995 was the only year to have a fully galvanized frame and body.

YJs produced in early 1996 were sold as 1995 model years, but featured a few new parts not seen on any earlier YJ. This included: the new TJ bumpstops on the hood (rubber boots vs the traditional U-bars), reinforced tailgate hinges, and it has been said that some even had rear TJ bumpers. Some lucky ones also got the newly tuned I6 that was tuned to run quieter in preparation for the TJ.

YJ Wrangler Renegade

1991 Jeep Renegade

From 1991 until 1994, Jeep produced an options package on the YJ Wrangler listed as the “Renegade Decor Group”. Initially, all Renegades were White, Black or Red. In 1992, Blue was added, in 1993, Bronze. The Renegade Decor Group was a $4,266.00 option over a base Wrangler in 1991 and included special alloy wheels, exclusive body flares, along with many other features.

Contents of the Renegade Decor Package

  • 4.0 Liter (242 CID) I-6 Engine
  • 29×9.5R15 LT OWL Wrangler A/T Tires
  • 5-hole aluminum wheels, 8 inch wide
  • Full size spare tire
  • Highback seats with Trailcloth Fabric
  • Off-Road Gas Shocks
  • Power steering
  • Fog lamps (integrated into the front fenders)
  • Leather wrapped steering wheel
  • Renegade striping (door letters)
  • Floor carpeting (full width, and on insides of body tub)
  • Floor mats, front
  • Extra capacity fuel tank (20 US gal.)
  • Color keyed fender flares with integrated bodyside steps
  • Front and rear bumperettes (plastic)
  • Center console with cup holders
  • Courtesy and engine compartment lights
  • Interval wipers
  • Glove box lock

A hardtop was a $923.00 option and came with a mandatory rear window defroster at a $164.00 premium. Renegades typically had the tilt steering wheel ($130.00) and an AM/FM/cassette stereo radio ($264.00). A column shift automatic was also an available option, but it was not popular. While a base Wrangler with the inline-6 went for $12,356.00, the Renegade package pushed that price up to $18,588.00 in 1991.

These vehicles were sent as optioned Wranglers to Auto Style Cars in Detroit, where the Renegade Decor Package was installed, then shipped back to Jeep for delivery to dealers. Renegades all have a small sticker on the driver’s side door, right above the latch denoting the visit to ASC.

At the price premium over a standard Wrangler, sales were fairly limited, so finding one today is a semi-rare occurrence. The price, plus what hardcore Jeepers felt were “funny looking plastic fenders” limited the sales. Although having nearly identical off-road capabilities, these Jeep were typically used as “beach cruisers” because of both their price and rarity, as well as the fact that their over sized flares and body cladding were not designed for the abuse that tree branches and over-sized tires can deal out.

Trim Levels

North American YJ/Wrangler were available in the following standard trims.

  • Base (also referred to as “S” & “SE” at different points in the model run; first few years the back seat and rear bumperettes were optional, some years the 6cyl engine was an option, other years only the 4cyl was available in the “Base” model)
  • Laredo (Chrome grille, bumpers, and trim, hard top and hard full doors, tinted windows, faux leather interior, body color fender flares and alloy wheels)
  • Islander (which included “Sunset” Islander graphics and body colored wheel flares)
  • Sport (which featured “sport” graphics and, beginning in 1991, a 4.0 L 242 CID inline-6 cylinder engine)
  • Sahara (which came standard with most available options, including body color fender flares and alloy wheels)
  • Renegade (which ran until 1994, and featured a similar option package as Sahara, but added premium wheels, deluxe interior group as well as oversized “Renegade” wheel flares and body cladding)
  • Rio Grande (Available in champagne gold, moss green and white, with a Pueblo themed interior trim package, this trim was only available in 1995 and was added to spice up the base model Wrangler ‘S’ hence this trim was only available with the 4-cylinder models)

TJ (1997–2006)

TJ

TJ Jeep Wrangler X

Production 1997–2006
Assembly Toledo, Ohio, United States
Body style(s) 2-door convertible
2-door truck
Engine(s) 2.5 L AMC 150 I4

2.4 L PowerTech I4

4.0 L AMC 242 I6

Transmission(s) 3-speed automatic
4-speed automatic
5-speed manual6-speed manual
Wheelbase 93.4 in (2372 mm) standard
103.4 in (2626 mm) LWB
Length 1997-99: 151.2 in (3841 mm)
2000-03: 155.4 in (3947 mm)
2004-06 SWB: 154.9 in (3934 mm)
2004-06 LWB: 171 in (4343 mm)
Width 1997–2003, 2004-06 LWB: 68.3 in (1735 mm)
2004-06 SWB: 66.7 in (1694 mm)
Height 1997-99: 70.2 in (1784 mm)
2000-01: 71.1 in (1805 mm)
2002-03 & 2004-06 LWB: 70.9 in (1800 mm)
2004-06 SWB: 71.2 in (1808 mm)
Fuel capacity 15 U.S. gal (57 L; 12 imp gal)
or 19 U.S. gal (72 L; 16 imp gal)

The YJ gave way to the TJ for the 1997 model year (note that there was no 1996 model year; the 1997 TJ was released in Spring 1996). This updated Wrangler featured a coil-spring suspension (based on that of the Jeep Grand Cherokee) for better ride and handling, and a return to the classic CJ’s round headlamps. The engine is the same 4.0 L AMC 242 Straight-6 used in the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. A 2.5 L AMC 150 Inline-4 motor was available on entry-level models until 2003 when the 2.4 L DOHC Neon 4-cylinder engine replaced it.

A right hand drive version of the TJ was available for export markets, and was also offered for sale to US rural route postal carriers. The version offered to US postal carriers was only available with an automatic transmission.

In 1999 the fuel tank became standard at 19 gallon capacity. There were some changes that occurred between 2002 and 2003 years that have caused some parts difficult to directly swap back and forth and also made it easy to identify certain years. From 1997 to 2002 the side door mirrors were black metal framed mirrors and from 2003 to 2006 they were plastic molded mirrors. The fit of hard and soft tops is slightly different, and the fabric and colors available changed from 2002 to 2003. In 2003 the 3-speed automatic transmission was replaced with a 4 speed automatic with overdrive. It has the standard option of turning off overdrive by dash switch if desired. The radio bezels went from a rectangle in 2002 to a rounded edged rectangle in 2003 so swapping these required the console to swap as well or be modified.The sound bar inside changed to sound pods. The interior seats also changed design from 2002 to 2003 going from a rounder model to one with a distinct separation between back and headrest areas. There are other changes as well, too many to list here.

The standard skid plate was also revised for 2003 to make room for the Rubicon’s bigger NP241 transfer case. The change from the 30/32RH to the 42RLE also gained an additional skid plate. This is appropriately named the “shovel” for its uncanny ability to scoop up any mud/sand/snow/ice you are going over.

TJ Wrangler Rubicon

TJ Rubicon with aftermarket modifications

Stock Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

The Wrangler Rubicon (named for the famed Rubicon Trail in the Sierra Nevada Mountains) was introduced in 2003. It featured front and rear Dana 44 axles with built-in air-actuated locking differentials, 4:1 low-range NV241OR transfer case, 4.10:1 differential gears, 16 in alloy wheels, and Goodyear MTR P245/75-R16 tires. 2003 to 2004 featured a standard NV3500 five-speed manual transmission, which changed in 2005 to the NSG370, a Mercedes-sourced six-speed. The optional 42RLE four-speed automatic transmission was available from 2003 to 2006.

A limited run of 1,001 Wrangler Rubicon “Tomb Raider” models were produced in 2003 to promote the Tomb Raider sequel, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. Along with the standard Rubicon fare, it also included exterior features such as 16 inch Alcoa forged aluminum wheels, Tomb Raider badging, and Mopar accessories including a light bar, riveted fender flares, tubular grille guard, diamond-plated bumper guard, etc. Interior features included Dark Slate fabric seats with red accent stitching down the center, silver surround instrument panel bezel, red seatbelts and a Tomb Raider badge with serial number. To match the vehicle in the film, it was offered in Bright Silver.

TJ Wrangler Unlimited

Jeep TJ Wrangler Unlimited soft-top

In 2004, Jeep introduced the Wrangler Unlimited with a 10 inch (~25.4 cm) longer wheelbase (LWB), a Dana 44 rear axle with a 3:73 gear ratio and the Command-Trac 231 transfer case; this model is also known by its unofficial designation of LJ. In 2005, Jeep released the Rubicon Unlimited, which has the wheelbase of the Unlimited and the off-road features of the Rubicon such as front and rear Dana 44 axles with locking differentials, diamond plate rocker guards, an NVG241OR transfer case with a 4.0:1 low range, 245/75R16 Goodyear MT/R tires, a six-speed manual transmission and other comfort and convenience options not offered on other Wranglers. This model of the Jeep Wrangler has nearly double the towing capacity than its shorter wheelbase sibling due to increased wheelbase.

In 2005, Paramount released the movie Sahara which featured a Jeep Wrangler. As a way to build off the success of the movie, Jeep released a limited production “Sahara Edition” Unlimited Rubicon.[2] Only 1000 were produced and each one is numbered. All of them are visually identical, but some were offered in a manual and others an automatic. They are all Light Khaki, Unlimiteds. Trim differences over the standard Rubicon include chrome grill, color matched flares, khaki hard top or soft top as well as optional dual khaki tops, Graphite Moab wheels, a Sahara spare tire cover, upgraded two tone premium seats, Sahara decals, tail light guards, and a numbered dash badge.

JK (2007–Present)

JK

2007 Jeep Wrangler X 2-door soft-top

Production 2007–present
Assembly Toledo, Ohio, United States
Body style(s) 2-door convertible
2-door SUV
4-door convertible
4-door SUV
Engine(s) 3.8 L EGH V6

Transmission(s) 4-speed automatic
6-speed manual
Wheelbase 2-door: 95.4 in (2423 mm)
4-door: 116 in (2945 mm)
Length 2-door: 152.8 in (3880 mm)
4-door: 173.4 in (4405 mm)
Width 2-door: 73.7 in (1872 mm)
4-door: 73.9 in (1877 mm)
Height 70.9 in (1800 mm)
Fuel capacity 21.6 U.S. gal (82 L; 18.0 imp gal)

2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited X soft top

The 2007 model year brought the complete redesign of the Jeep Wrangler, in both two and four-door models. The TJ platform was replaced by a new JK platform. This next-generation Wrangler was significantly larger than the existing model, with a 2 inch (50.8 mm) longer wheelbase and 3.4 inch (86.4 mm) wider track, though the two door model is actually 2.5 inches (64 mm) shorter in the overall length than the TJ, allowing for better approach and departure angles. With a larger available standard tire size of 32 in, breakover angle is unchanged.

JK was introduced at the 2006 North American International Auto Show with past Chrysler group CEO Tom LaSorda driving one up some steps and through a plate glass window, just as Robert Lutz had done at the show in 1992 with the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The JK was first available for purchase with the 2007 model year.

2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited hard top

The JK Wrangler is offered in two versions:

  • A short-wheelbase 2-door, in X, Sahara and Rubicon trim levels.
  • A long-wheelbase Unlimited 4-door, also in X, Sahara and Rubicon trim levels.

The Wrangler X is available with factory installed right-hand drive. This model is targeted at mail carriers. Rural mail boxes in the United States are on the right-hand side of the road, and are serviced with the carrier behind the wheel. This may also be useful for carriers who wish to get out of their vehicle without the risk of getting hit by traffic. For the 2007 and 2008 model years, the short-wheelbase Wrangler was the right-hand drive Jeep. For the 2009 model year, the right-hand drive Wrangler will be replaced by the right-hand drive Wrangler Unlimited.

A 3.8 L EGH V6 with a displacement of 230.5 cubic inches (3778 cc)[3] producing 205 hp (153 kW) and 240 ft·lbf (325 N·m) is the base engine, replacing the venerable AMC 242 straight-6. The 2.8 L VM Motori turbodiesel straight-4 used in the Liberty is offered as options outside of U.S, as it does not satisfy U.S. emission control standards for 2007.

A six-speed manual transmission is standard, with a four-speed automatic transmission offered as an option. The lower two levels have the Jeep Command-Trac NV241 part-time two-speed transfer case with an optional Trac-Loc limited-slip differential, while the Rubicon uses a Rock-Trac version of the NV241 with a 4:1 low range. Electronic locking front- and rear-axles called Tru-loc are also standard on Rubicon models. (rear locker optional on X models)

Stability control is a new safety feature for the JK Wrangler. All versions offer off-road tuned Anti-lock braking system and traction control system with electronic limited slip differential. Standard on the Rubicon trim is a new electronic sway bar disconnect system.

The JK runs almost all vehicle functions other than steering under computer software control. Engine, transmission, and to some extent braking are computer controlled, as are lights and auxiliary systems. This is a first for the Wrangler. As of mid-2007, there have been three safety recalls for software fixes.[4]

A Sunrider convertible soft top is standard equipment. Also available on the JK model is an optional 3-piece modular hardtop. Although the doors can still be removed in traditional Wrangler fashion, power windows and remote power door locks will be offered for the first time in a Wrangler. Another first is an available navigation system. This is the first generation of the Jeep Wrangler to have a change in the tail lamps.

The 2009 model added standard Hill Start Assist (HSA) to prevent rollback on graded surfaces. Trailer Sway Control (TSC) also is available to monitor vehicle movement relative to the intended path and activates the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) if the trailer begins to sway outside set parameters. Additionally, ULEV II emissions replace LEV II emissions on manual transmission equipped vehicles.[5]

JK Trim Levels

The Standard Wranglers is available in five trim packages. The Unlimited Wranglers is available in three trim packages. Most package can be ordered with either hard or soft top, full or half doors(08 unlimited only).

The X model is available for both, 2 and 4 door versions. It is the “bare bones” wrangler that can be customized to a buyers specifications adding such options as air conditioning and other accessories.

The Rocky Mountain Edition is a special edition of the barebone “X” model with mainly visual enhancement such as 32″ tires, body coloured fenders, black tubular sidestep and a 6 CD changer in dash. It is only available in Canada for now.

The X-S model feature a few commodities such as 32″ tires, fog lights, cruise control, driver’s seat height adjuster, . It can be customized to a buyers specifications adding such options as air conditioning, power windows and locks soft or hard top, rear LSD or locker, electronic sway bar disconnect, and other accessories.

The Sahara model is the “luxury” model offering accessories such as body coloured fenders, “Yes Essentials” seats (in late 2007-2008), power windows and locks, a 7 speaker infinity sound system with subwoofer, among others.

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon hardtop

The Rubicon package is the dedicated “Offroad” package. Standard components of the Rubicon package include Front and rear generation II Dana 44 axles, front and rear electronic lockers, rock rails, Electronic sway bar disconnect, 32 spline rear axle with an 8.8 inch ring gear, 4:1 Rock-Trac transfer case, 4.10 axle gearing,”Yes Essentials” seats (2008), 7 speaker infinity sound system, and any other available option can be added.

JK Wrangler Unlimited

2008 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara

The JK series 2007 Wrangler Unlimited was unveiled at the New York Auto Show on April 12, 2006. It is stretched even more than the TJ model, with four doors and 20.6 inches (523 mm) added to the JK Wrangler’s 95.4-inch (2423 mm) wheelbase. It is priced near $21,000.

Unlimited has the same engine and transmission choices as a short-wheelbase JK. X and Sahara trims offer an option of 2×4 rear wheel drive in the U.S.A. It is the only four door convertible available in the U.S., since the Hummer H1 with optional rag-top is no longer sold as a civilian vehicle.

The Unlimited offers more options and equipment than any previous Wrangler model, including standard electronic stability program and optional seat-mounted side airbags, remote keyless entry, navigation system, and Sirius satellite radio.[6] The navigation and satellite systems are a part of the MyGig Entertainment system that also has a hard drive allowing for the storage of MP3 music files and pictures. [7]

On September 13, 2007, at the Defence Systems & Equipment International trade show, Chrysler LLC unveiled a Wrangler Unlimited version designed for military use dubbed the J8. The unarmored Jeep J8 is equipped with larger brakes, axles and suspension components than the civilian version and has a payload capacity of 1,339 kg (2,952 lb). The J8 also differs from the civilian model by utilizing heavy-duty rear leaf springs for carrying heavier payloads. The Jeep J8 is powered by a 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine that produces 118 kW (158 hp) and 400 N·m (295 lbf·ft) of torque, providing towing capability of up to 3,500 kg (7,700 lb). The engine is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The J8 also features a unique air-intake system with special filtration and a hood-mounted snorkel that enables the J8 to wade in water up to 762 mm (30 in) deep and tackle sandstorm conditions for up to five hours. Available as a two-door with an extended pickup bed for personnel or equipment transport, or a four-door multipurpose vehicle, it may be produced with numerous vehicle-body and seating configurations in either right-hand- or left-hand-drive.[8] Targeted for use by the militaries in overseas markets, the J8 is not available in the United States because it will not meet U.S. emissions requirements. The J8 will be produced in Egypt.[9]

The 2009 model added standard Hill Start Assist (HSA) to prevent rollback on graded surfaces. Trailer Sway Control (TSC) also is available to monitor vehicle movement relative to the intended path and activates the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) if the trailer begins to sway outside set parameters. Additionally, ULEV II emissions replace LEV II emissions on manual transmission equipped vehicles.

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