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Unread 01-18-2009, 05:16 PM   #1
DeVo24
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2008 JK Wrangler 
 
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YJ vs TJ vs LJ

I'm looking around for my first jeep. Hyped to say the least. I would really like a TJ but I'm going to have to start cheap and build from there. Most of the Jeeps I'm finding in my range are YJ's. Outside of the obvious headlight shape what are the big differences. I'm looking more for utility than anything. I'd particularly like to hear from people that have owned both. Also, my dream is to get into a decent LJ eventually but I've read a lot of bad things about them. Is the 10 inches really that big a deal or are there other less obvious differences? Thanks

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Unread 01-18-2009, 05:25 PM   #2
Tompatt
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ok... do u care about the ride? Yjs are famous for the not so smooth ride... Yjs have leaf springs, Tjs and Ljs have coils. Yjs are cheap relatively.

What part of Louisville you from? I go up there every summer. of Dixie Highway is where I stay up there with my grandparents... o and by the way... GO CARDS!
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Unread 01-18-2009, 06:24 PM   #3
JeepinSoldier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeVo24 View Post
Also, my dream is to get into a decent LJ eventually but I've read a lot of bad things about them. Is the 10 inches really that big a deal or are there other less obvious differences? Thanks
What bad things have you heard about LJ's? I have an 05 LJ Rubicon. It is lifted and on 33's. With careful spotting and choice of lines I can take it almost evreywhere the TJ's on 35's in my club go. I drag myself over the rest of the obstacles with my winch. Sometimes on really tight turns I have to back up but thats all. I could not do without the extra room as I have my kids in the back seat alot and its my daily driver, and I think it looks just fine.

Not to disrespect YJ and TJ owners, but it seems that some of them have more issues with the LJ's length than the people who actually own them do. The breakover and departure angles are better on the TJ than the LJ, but a belly up and a Kilby gas skid solve most of those problems on the LJ. Notice that the same skids are to be found on numerous TJ's. Search on the board and I think you will find that most LJ owners are happy with thier Jeep.
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Unread 01-18-2009, 06:53 PM   #4
Wrangler_91
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I have a TJ and was doing all this research about a year ago. The big differences between the TJ and the YJ is first (and most important of course ) is the headlights. The main difference really is the suspension, a yj has a leaf spring suspension set up while the TJ has Coil spring suspension. The coil spring gives a better ride. TJs are also a lot safer due to the fact that they have an airbag system built in, a yj does not. Tjs are a bit more expensive but for the better suspension and the safety, thats enough for me. I bought my 98 TJ already lifted with 33" mickey Thompson baja claws for $4250 and it had 96000 miles on it. So just keep lookinf you will find one.

Where are you located in Louisville? I am in the middletown area. I have seen a few on craigslist in our area latly so just keep looking and keep your eye out on the road. How I found mine was kinda wierd. For some wierd reason I took a different way home from work, it was kinda out of the way, I was thinkinig about something else. Anyways, I just happen to see this jeep out front of a business with a for sale sign on it. Ended up buying it 24 hours later. Anyways, I will let you know if I see anything on craigslist in this area.
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Unread 01-19-2009, 07:32 AM   #5
Turner
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A Yj is cheaper to modify. With that said a stock Tj vs stock Yj my vote would go to the Tj. I like my Yj cause its a cheap toy. Now that the wife is getting into jeeps we will buy a Tj. For an entry level rig that can do alot I would grab a Tj with 2" BB and a good set of 31's. If you are new to wheeling you will be the limiting factor not the Jeep.

Coils make a big difference on and off road. On a built rig I would choose leaf spring personally, because on a spring over configuration they ride as good and flex as good if not better than coils IMO. That is just my opinion and I am a big leaf spring believer... Coils are great though and with proper engineering can be amazing, but once again you gotta put in the time.

Spring over lifts are expensive, time consuming and you need fab skills. But a Tj you can throw on a 4" lift in the driveway and do most trails in the U.S. They are awsome rigs out of the box. A Yj with 4" lift is pretty darn good but you won't get the same flex and ride quality as a Tj.

Some say the 4cyl is underpowered and I won't deny that but it's not a bad motor. You can find TJ's with the 4cyl all day for the same price as a 6cyl Yj around here.

It all depends what you want and how much you want to spend. Like I said I have just a few grand in my Yj that I would trust to take me to California or Alaska and I wheel almost every weekend in great places like Windrock and Tellico.
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Unread 01-19-2009, 07:58 AM   #6
krawler510
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I had a 1991 YJ and then upgraded to a 2000 TJ 3 years ago. The TJ drove like a Cadillac compared to the YJ. It felt like it didn't have springs at all.

The flex on a stock TJ is at least 3 times at a YJ is. That thing would lift a tire driving onto a curb. There is the ditch we used to drive through. My YJ could make it but with some momentum and 4x4 but the TJ could wak right through it in 2wd. The difference is huge. You will be way happier with a TJ. '97s have to be getting cheap by now? What's your range??
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Unread 01-20-2009, 12:21 AM   #7
trw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krawler510 View Post
The flex on a stock TJ is at least 3 times at a YJ is. That thing would lift a tire driving onto a curb.
unless you simply didn't disconnect the swaybar or trac bars, I call BS.

YJs do ride rougher and TJs do have more flex box stock, but take a YJ, and junk the swaybar and trac bars (because believe it or not, they are not needed with leafsprings) loosen up the shackle bolts a bit, and the difference is only marginal, not magnificent.

The unfortunate aspect of the YJ is that it is far more crucial what springs are run and what attributes those springs have that will ultimately depict the performance and ride quality. You have lift kits and springs at each end of the spectrum (utter crap <-------> leafs of perfection), the lifts also do get stiffer the higher you lift it due to spring arch, a 4" lifted TJ will ride a lot better then a 4" lifted YJ, that's where SOA comes in for YJs, but like Turner said, that gets pricey and involved, the milder lifts don't get to that point though.

often if you test drive a YJ already lifted, most owners trying to offload their YJs cheap out on the lifts and end up putting crappy/stiff springs on them, don't set it up right etc... etc... and you end up with an atrocious ride, and stock YJs need work to restore their suspensions (the newest YJ is now 14 years old) and they too will ride rough, especially if they still have the tracbars and swaybars on.
Either way expect a rough ride out of one you might test drive.
One with nice quality springs, disconnected, lubricated shackles with less bolt torque will ride and flex just fine.
-to put a nicer spin on it, the YJ has a better riding, better performing, and more stable suspension over any leafsprung Jeep before it.

The YJ will need more love though, ask any YJer, these things just pour out character from every bolt

The vacuum disconnect can be troublesome on the YJ (the YJ uses this vacuum disconnect for the engagement and disengagement of the 4WD) if it stops working, you no longer have the capability of 4WD, the TJ eliminated this device. The vacuum disconnect on my YJ still works perfectly though, and I use it regularly, so I give it a clean record ....for now. You can swap TJ shafts into a YJ and do away with it or install a Posi-lok which replaces the vacuum aspect of the disconnect motor with a cable.

Something else no one has mentioned already is if you're really stressing utility, you will probably like the YJ's interior over the TJ's, especially the square wheel tubs in the YJ vs. the rounded off ones in the TJ, (nice to set things on them).

but, your preferences I cannot fortell behind this keyboard, so it is up to you to get out there and spend time behind the wheel of each and see what suits you, either way, both are Jeeps and both will get to the end of the trail.
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Last edited by trw; 01-20-2009 at 12:49 AM..
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Unread 01-20-2009, 08:49 AM   #8
Jtrux
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I vote LJ. I have one and the room is great. I take mine camping and it would really suck trying to stuff everything I bring into a TJ. Even with the rear seat in it I can stick a lot of stuff behind the back seat.
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Unread 01-20-2009, 08:54 AM   #9
pudge425
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Yj

KEEP IT REAL.......YJ
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Unread 01-20-2009, 09:53 AM   #10
Happy Joe
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Go with the TJ if you can, the YJ if you must, but if you get a YJ get one with fuel injection. If at all possible avoid carburettors. Do not get a YJ with a Puke-junk (Peugeot, yes they make French bicycles) transmission it will fail on you. Avoid getting one with a NP207 transfer case; get one with the NP231 transfer case. Do not get an 87 YJ.
I agree with the poor articulation of a YJ (we measured mine when I had one and it would lift the opposite tire when one side was 8" off the ground). You will need some mods to the stock suspension to make it fit to drive off road.
The square headlights are unimportant.

Enjoy!
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Carburetors became obsolete during the last century... do what ever it takes to get fuel injection...It makes bigger grins off road.
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Unread 01-20-2009, 03:20 PM   #11
lish97tj
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I have a 97 TJ with some work done on it. It wasn't too expensive, so this could be an option.
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Unread 01-20-2009, 03:25 PM   #12
lish97tj
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I have driven a YJ and TJ, each having 4 inch lifts and 33 inch tires. All of the work on both was done well. The YJ was stiff driving on the highway. I was not able to take it off-road. The TJ has more sway on the highway, but that is because of the springs. It functions very well off-road. I ended up buying the TJ, but as long as you have a Jeep you can't go wrong!
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Unread 01-20-2009, 03:25 PM   #13
SpydermanTJ
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Either the TJ or the YJ is a good choice for starting out. If you get a YJ tho, be sure to get the 4.0L engine instead of the 4.2L. Much more reliable, and get FI.
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Unread 01-20-2009, 06:08 PM   #14
Andy4802
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i bought a YJ once with the intention of building it into dual purpose trail rig and daily driver... Didnt like it much at all. 3 weeks later i sold it and bought a TJ. Sure it cost a bit more upfront, but i have felt a lot better over the last 2 years more about building up a nicer jeep than i would have throwing money at a YJ.
One advantage with TJ's is that they articulate a lot better than YJ's, consequently the frames dont have to twist as much... so a lot fewer frame cracks to worry about. More time for the fun buildup stuff and less time welding up frame cracks!
Real Jeeps have round headlights too
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Unread 01-20-2009, 10:22 PM   #15
Turner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy4802 View Post
One advantage with TJ's is that they articulate a lot better than YJ's, consequently the frames dont have to twist as much... so a lot fewer frame cracks to worry about. More time for the fun buildup stuff and less time welding up frame cracks!
Really... I'm gonna need some proof of that...
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