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Unread 03-03-2007, 04:29 AM   #1
Jeeptastic
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Best Year for TJ?

I'm interested in getting a used TJ...what was the best year?..I'm looking to spend less than 15k.

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Unread 03-03-2007, 05:59 AM   #2
powerwagon67
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Try to get a Rubi for that price. They started in 03. Then you will have a good start right out of the box. Or you could find a good deal on a regular TJ thats well built for that price.
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Unread 03-03-2007, 06:45 AM   #3
Rubicon_TJ
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Wow! This is deja vu all over again...

I think I just read this same thread on another forum.
But - in case my mind is playing tricks on me, here is an informative link:

http://www.geocities.com/jeepboy49028/changes.html

x2 on the '03's and up.
You could even get the D44 rear axle option w/ disc brakes starting in '03.
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Unread 03-03-2007, 06:57 AM   #4
SecondTJ
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Get at least an '00. As they had some engine improvements that year.

But '01 was the first year for sailcloth soft tops, which are much quieter than previous years.

They did some minor redesigning on 03+, new seats, plastic windshield surrounds, new dash. I personally don't care for them. I'd say get a 00-02, or 01-02 if you care about having a quiet top
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Unread 03-03-2007, 06:58 AM   #5
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I'm not certain, but I think that in 2003 the automatic transmissions changed to 4 speed; and in 2005 the manual shift changed to 6 speed . . .
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Unread 03-03-2007, 07:04 AM   #6
SecondTJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by numchuck
I'm not certain, but I think that in 2003 the automatic transmissions changed to 4 speed; and in 2005 the manual shift changed to 6 speed . . .
yep, certainly did.
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Unread 03-03-2007, 07:42 AM   #7
Rubicon_TJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondTJ
They did some minor redesigning on 03+, new seats, plastic windshield surrounds, new dash. I personally don't care for them. I'd say get a 00-02, or 01-02 if you care about having a quiet top
Agreed. Some 'improvements' were questionable (esp. the govt. mandated ones), some were really good, and some were just plain bad.

Here are the things I like on my '03:

Seat Changes:

•Additional 20 millimeters of rearward travel
•Taller seat backs
•Softer seats
•Lever on the side of the front passenger seat for easier access to the rear.
•New fold-and-tumble rear seat -- release now on the top center of the rear seat and a new spring mechanism helps it fold and tumble easier than ever before

Misc. Changes:

•New 3-ply Soft Top that is as quiet as the previous 4-ply
•Trim on back of hardtop and vents removed (vents added to tailgate)
•New interior electrochromic rearview mirror w/map lights, temp and compass display
•A new exterior mirror design (looks and works better)
•New 4-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel for Sport, Sahara and Rubicon models
•Additional power outlet on the dash
•New corner sound/light pods, providing theater lighting and optional speakers
•4-wheel disc brakes (optional on Sport and Sahara, std. on Rubicon)
•42RLE 4-speed automatic option

Here is what I dislike the most:
The great leap backward (esp. for non-Rubicon models, they didn't even get the benefit of the HD T-case the skid was enlarged for)

•New transfer case skid (lower ground clearance)
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Unread 03-03-2007, 07:44 AM   #8
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This just seems like common sense to me, but I would try to get as new of a Jeep as I could. I picked-up my 05 with 27K miles for $15K.
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Unread 03-03-2007, 09:00 AM   #9
oaksmith
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For less then $600.00 more I got a new X with full metal doors with tinted softtop and it had 215 tires with I thought was odd, didn't even know they came with such small tires. I knew about some of the other short comings of the X but I was planning to replace most of everything anyway.
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Unread 03-03-2007, 09:03 AM   #10
Woodyhfd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oaksmith
For less then $600.00 more I got a new X with full metal doors with tinted softtop and it had 215 tires with I thought was odd, didn't even know they came with such small tires. I knew about some of the other short comings of the X but I was planning to replace most of everything anyway.

I haven't thought about new ones for a while; What are the "shortcomings of the X"?
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Unread 03-03-2007, 09:33 AM   #11
bvitale
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Shortcomings of the X are the Axles. Dana 30 / 35C. Go Rubicon if you can. I wish I did. Other than that everything else is pretty much the same.

Later,
Brandon
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Unread 03-03-2007, 10:03 AM   #12
zband
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To tell you the truth IMO the best year has to after 04 - sailcloth and the 6 speed that replaced the GM based 5 speed manual.
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Unread 03-03-2007, 10:38 AM   #13
ptowntj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zband
To tell you the truth IMO the best year has to after 04 - sailcloth and the 6 speed that replaced the GM based 5 speed manual.
sailcloth in 04, but 6 speed in 05...Mines a 5 speed, 04.
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Unread 03-03-2007, 10:43 AM   #14
zband
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Sorry my bad - yes 6 speed in 05. '04 was still the 5 speed. If you want an auto then '03 is your year because of the 4 speed auto that replaced the 3 speed. The new auto has mixed reviews - essentially the 4 speed tend to shift into most economical gear (can be irritating) but does get better MPG than the 3 speed.
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Unread 03-03-2007, 11:21 AM   #15
Rubicon_TJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptowntj
sailcloth in 04, but 6 speed in 05...Mines a 5 speed, 04.
The sailcloth was the same from '03 through '06, but the original 4 ply sailcloth started in '01. It changed to the 3 ply in '03.
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