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Unread 11-12-2006, 06:49 AM   #1
leeave96
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JK vs TJ Price vsToughness Questions

Firstly, I am posting this message at the TJ forum too - to try to get a little additional input - thanks!

I went out an looked at a 4 door JK with hard top, an 'X' model. It was around $22k-ish. Pretty decent looking Jeep. Then I walked around to a pretty much stripped '06 TJ, an 'X' model with a soft top, the non-full doors and it was about $22K-ish.

Why the price difference between the JK and the TJ?

The new Jeep looks tough, but has that toughness been compromised as compared to the TJ?

For example, I am to understand that the JK's engine is from a minivan vs the high torque 6 cylinder in the TJ. When I look at the front bumpers, I see something on the JK that is wrapped in plastic, where the TJ has a metal bumper. I don't see my self pushing over small saplings when driving-up the trail.

How well are some of the under components, like fuel tank and muffler protected as compared to the TJ?

With the large plastic fenders of the JK, can I expect them to fade white like the ones on the TJ's? Big white plastic front fenders could look right ugly on the JK in a few years.

Bottom line is - is that I'd like to pull the trigger on a remaining TJ, but there are two barriers in the way. One is - PRICE. It's clear to me that I can get a bigger JK for less $$$. The second barrier is seating capacity. The 4 door JK can handle 5, which is the size of my family, vs the 4 seating of the TJ.

BTW, with respect to seating and the TJ, it is amazing to me that the TJ cannot have 3 seating in the rear. There is enough rooom between the seatbelt fastener points on the TJ for any of my children to easily fit between - yet there is no seat belt. Does anyone make an after market rear seat for the TJ that will hold 3 folks?

Thanks!
Bill

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Unread 11-12-2006, 07:57 AM   #2
Diesel0312
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These two links have comparisons of the TJ and JK.

http://carsguide.news.com.au/story/0...003140,00.html

http://www.jpmagazine.com/roadtests/...pros_and_cons/

I would like to see a dyno chart of both the 3.8 and 4.0 to check curves to shed more light on some issues, however, haven't found any yet.

As for the bumper, is the JK bumper solid plastic or steel wrapped in plastic? If it is the latter, consider that scratches on an exposed steel bumper would result in rust, whereas the plastic obviously does not rust.

I have no idea about under carriage protection on either vehicle.

I know what you mean about the plastic fading. I had a friend with a TJ who came to me because hers looked like crap and wanted to know of a way to fix it. I recommended trying a couple of products I have had success with in the past and if all else failed, using a product such as rhino liner to cover them.

I prefer the JK, but if you like the TJ more or feel it better suits your needs, go for it.
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Unread 11-12-2006, 07:59 PM   #3
hutchmanhd
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I have a TJ which I bought last spring due to the 0% financing and the fact that I like the I-6 versus the V-6. From what I've read however, the JK will outperform the TJ stock versus stock. It is easier to run 35" tires on the JK. From what I can see, the only drawback is the extra 5 inches in width. This may or may not be show stopper for you. For a mall crawler, the extra width should certainly make the JK more comfortable.

I had the opportunity to sit in a JK 2 weeks ago and am now very glad that I bought the 06. I am 6'8" and 365# and the JK just does not fit me. I know it is supposed to be bigger, but due to the change in the seats and the relationship between the rollbar and the seats, it just does not fit. If you are a large person, the JK may not be for you.

Otherwise, I don't think you can go wrong with either.

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Unread 11-12-2006, 08:31 PM   #4
SecondTJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leeave96


The new Jeep looks tough, but has that toughness been compromised as compared to the TJ?

For example, I am to understand that the JK's engine is from a minivan vs the high torque 6 cylinder in the TJ. When I look at the front bumpers, I see something on the JK that is wrapped in plastic, where the TJ has a metal bumper. I don't see my self pushing over small saplings when driving-up the trail.

How well are some of the under components, like fuel tank and muffler protected as compared to the TJ?

With the large plastic fenders of the JK, can I expect them to fade white like the ones on the TJ's? Big white plastic front fenders could look right ugly on the JK in a few years.

Bottom line is - is that I'd like to pull the trigger on a remaining TJ, but there are two barriers in the way. One is - PRICE. It's clear to me that I can get a bigger JK for less $$$. The second barrier is seating capacity. The 4 door JK can handle 5, which is the size of my family, vs the 4 seating of the TJ.
The fuel tank is now before the rear axle, and the muffler is now where the fuel tank used to be in the TJ.

Cheaper materials turns into a price break, so the JKs are a bit cheaper in price as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hutchmanhd
It is easier to run 35" tires on the JK. From what I can see, the only drawback is the extra 5 inches in width.

I had the opportunity to sit in a JK 2 weeks ago and am now very glad that I bought the 06. I am 6'8" and 365# and the JK just does not fit me.

Yes it only takes a 2.5" lift to fit 35s, BUT how many people NEED 35s? I know i'll never go bigger than 32s or 33s for a DD. 35s are just too big.

I know what you mean about the JK not fitting, im 6'4'', 190lbs, but my leg now hits the dash where the TJ didnt at all
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Unread 11-12-2006, 11:52 PM   #5
dsy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondTJ
I know what you mean about the JK not fitting, im 6'4'', 190lbs, but my leg now hits the dash where the TJ didnt at all
Not trying to be a smart a$$ but you do realize the seat is adjustable up and dn on the Jk. I'm a little bigger than you and would have to work at getting my legs to hit the dash. Cant see how anyone would think the TJ felt like it had more room up front.
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Unread 11-13-2006, 12:51 AM   #6
SecondTJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsy
Not trying to be a smart a$$ but you do realize the seat is adjustable up and dn on the Jk. I'm a little bigger than you and would have to work at getting my legs to hit the dash. Cant see how anyone would think the TJ felt like it had more room up front.
yup, its the way the dash is designed. with the TJ there is nothing near the bottom, its all "open" if anything my leg will hit the t-case level when resting it, but thats not uncomfortable. If i rest my leg in the JK it hits the dash. Adjusting the seat did nothing to help
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Unread 11-13-2006, 01:04 AM   #7
mebob
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I have to say that recent pictures of the 2DR with half-doors and a softtop have made me hate the new design less. I'm still bothered a little by a few things, the engine, liberty like front end, etc... But mainly the width. I love the my skinny TJ. Some of the closest trails are extremely tight. Not necessarily very aggressive trails but I just barely squeeze/scrape though now with the mirrors folded in. I'd like to see exactly where that width is.
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Unread 11-13-2006, 01:20 PM   #8
Karamba
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mebob
Not necessarily very aggressive trails but I just barely squeeze/scrape though now with the mirrors folded in. I'd like to see exactly where that width is.
If you put 32x10.5 with appropriate backspacing on your TJ, overall width will be exactly the same as for JK - they will stick about 2" on each side beyond the fender.

Plus, on JK you can easily remove the plastic fenders - less likely to ruin them by scraping. And 2door JK is 2" shorter then TJ and has better approach and departure.

I would bet it would make your trails just fine.
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Unread 11-13-2006, 03:06 PM   #9
cab76
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Well, it kinda seems like you've made up your mind already, but I'll chime in w/my .02 anyways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leeave96
Firstly, I am posting this message at the TJ forum too - to try to get a little additional input - thanks!

I went out an looked at a 4 door JK with hard top, an 'X' model. It was around $22k-ish. Pretty decent looking Jeep. Then I walked around to a pretty much stripped '06 TJ, an 'X' model with a soft top, the non-full doors and it was about $22K-ish.

Why the price difference between the JK and the TJ?
I don't think anyone knows for sure why the price difference. The JK apparantly uses "cheaper" materials in some areas (fenders, for instance), but it also includes higher technology than the TJ which is not free to design and install and it has higher metal content in some areas (frame is significantly beefed up for instance). It could be that Jeep is taking a lower profit margin in an attempt to sell more SUVs in a market that is increasingly sensitive to fuel economy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leeave96
The new Jeep looks tough, but has that toughness been compromised as compared to the TJ?

For example, I am to understand that the JK's engine is from a minivan vs the high torque 6 cylinder in the TJ. When I look at the front bumpers, I see something on the JK that is wrapped in plastic, where the TJ has a metal bumper. I don't see my self pushing over small saplings when driving-up the trail.
I don't think the "toughness" of the TJ has been compromised in any way with the JK. I'll respond to your specific concerns. I believe the front bumpers are plastic with some extended metal backing plates. The stock TJ bumpers are relatively thin guage metal in the middle with plastic end caps. On the trail I would expect the JK bumpers to perform similarly to the TJ bumpers and they should have no problem with small saplings. In addition, the ground clearance and approach/departure angles are better for the JK than the TJ, thus, you have less of a chance that your bumpers will make contact with anything with the JK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leeave96
How well are some of the under components, like fuel tank and muffler protected as compared to the TJ?
I have not owned a TJ (although I've offroaded with one a few times) so I can't speak that well to the underbody components of the TJ, but as for the fuel tank and muffler placement, I think the advantage goes to the JK. The TJ has the fuel tank placed fairly low behind the rear axle. The JK has the tank placed in front of the rear axle, fairly low, but basically flat with the remaining undercarriage. There is no "shovel" to the JK undercarriage that many complain about with the TJ. Also, again, the stock ground clearance is better with the JK, so you have less of a chance of getting hung up on the undercarriage (and the breakover angle is essentially the same - 25.3 vs. 25.4). Although if you're looking at the 4-dr, the breakover angle is good, but slightly lower than that of the 06 Unlimited and quite a bit lower than that of the 06 swb. Still don't think there are any concerns with the JK underbody, but you will be slightly more likely to hit on some trails with 4-dr.

As for the muffler, yes it is fairly exposed, but it is higher up than the TJ fuel tank and I would rather tear up the muffler than damage the fuel tank (and it's much safer in a rear collision). Kilby already has a skid for the muffler and many SEMA rigs relocate the muffler from the rear end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leeave96
With the large plastic fenders of the JK, can I expect them to fade white like the ones on the TJ's? Big white plastic front fenders could look right ugly on the JK in a few years.
Not sure about this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leeave96
Bottom line is - is that I'd like to pull the trigger on a remaining TJ, but there are two barriers in the way. One is - PRICE. It's clear to me that I can get a bigger JK for less $$$.
Even though the MSRP of a comparatively equipped JK will be much less than a TJ, you may be able to find an exceptionally good deal on a TJ right now, which will bring the price down to lower than that of the JK if you're buying off the lot. If you're ordering and can get the JK for less than invoice (as many have been able to do), then I doubt even an exceptional deal on a TJ will beat the price of your ordered JK. You won't know for sure until you actually start getting price quotes on comparatively equipped rigs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leeave96
The second barrier is seating capacity. The 4 door JK can handle 5, which is the size of my family, vs the 4 seating of the TJ.

BTW, with respect to seating and the TJ, it is amazing to me that the TJ cannot have 3 seating in the rear. There is enough rooom between the seatbelt fastener points on the TJ for any of my children to easily fit between - yet there is no seat belt. Does anyone make an after market rear seat for the TJ that will hold 3 folks?

Thanks!
Bill
Not sure about the seating, but I think there is another thread (I think in this forum) about jump seats. There is a company that makes side-mounted jump seats for the TJ, which might work in the rear of a TJ Unlimited to give you extra seating capacity - not sure though.

Good luck with your purchase! Can't go wrong with either in my opinion.
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Unread 11-13-2006, 10:09 PM   #10
hutchmanhd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsy
Not trying to be a smart a$$ but you do realize the seat is adjustable up and dn on the Jk. I'm a little bigger than you and would have to work at getting my legs to hit the dash. Cant see how anyone would think the TJ felt like it had more room up front.
Since you were not trying to be a smart *** and you state that you are a large person, then you most likely realize we are all put together differently. What works for one large person may not work for another. The larger you are the harder it is to fit into the same spot that another person fits.

When I sat in the JK, the seat was all the way down and all the way back. The back of my head hit the roll bar as did my left shoulder. If I reclined the seat back enough to get my head under the rollbar, I could not reach the steering wheel. My TJ fits me much better in all respects than the JK. I am also sure that the JK fits you very well. We are all different.

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Unread 11-14-2006, 09:09 AM   #11
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the V6 has been dyno'd with more HP and torque than our bullet-proof 4.0's. but it's in a higher band. not necessarily a bad thing.
JK's have more clearance stock. you can fit larger tires with less boost. they have addressed DW with a trackbar brace. skids are beefier. they are all fixed yoke. you can still get the d44.
bumpers and fenders? how long do we keep our bumpers and fenders? this just makes it easier to tube fender it. or don't, and when you tear them up on a trail, toss 'em, and think about the difference in cost of sheetmetal and plastic.
i love my tj. but you won't hear me b***h about the jk's at all. i can't frickin wait to see them all grown up on the trail.
edit: i speak like a sailor...
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Unread 11-14-2006, 09:23 AM   #12
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Hey, I posted on your TJ Thread as well, but;
Back to your original questions Bill. . .

22K is too much for a stripped down TJ. I would think you could make a better deal on a TJ.
Crawl under them both to see what the difference is in stock protection. I really don't know.

Only time will tell which is "tougher" and more reliable.

You can put 5 people in a TJ. Years ago, I ordered another lap belt for the wife's TJ and mounted it back there because I saw the room you are talking about. I only have 4 in my family, but; many times 1 of their friends wants to tag along. You can get them from any of the normal Jeep catalogs or maybe JCWhitney. I think I got mine from Quadratec. You can mount them using the factory mounts for the existing seat belts.
No way 3 full size adults can fit, but; 3 kids, no problem. I have had 3 skinny teenagers back there several times. Just make sure no fat ones.

I like both the TJ and the JK from what I've seen of the JK so far.

Good Luck!
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Unread 11-14-2006, 05:09 PM   #13
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Hey 4popper,

You said, "You can put 5 people in a TJ. Years ago, I ordered another lap belt for the wife's TJ and mounted it back there because I saw the room you are talking about. I only have 4 in my family, but; many times 1 of their friends wants to tag along. You can get them from any of the normal Jeep catalogs or maybe JCWhitney. I think I got mine from Quadratec. You can mount them using the factory mounts for the existing seat belts.
No way 3 full size adults can fit, but; 3 kids, no problem."

Good idea on the rear lap belt. Question is - is this lap belt addition meant for a 3rd passenger in the back seat? In other words, if I were to install one of these and the neighbor kid went for a ride and we had a wreck, are the lawyers going to ruin me with this 3rd belt addition? Do you buy a "3rd" belt or is the belt meant for something else?

Thanks!
Bill
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Unread 11-14-2006, 07:46 PM   #14
BeerMonkeY
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as far as the front seat goes, my knee hits the dash also.
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Unread 11-14-2006, 10:50 PM   #15
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ok, i'm going to go with JUST technical "toughness"

the JK has beefier crossover steering (HUGE HUGE HUGE improvement over the tj's)

Boxed in beefier control arms (light years better than the stamped TJ arms)

44 rear/hp30 front on the unlimited X (HP30!)

everything has been "smoothed" underneath.

fixed yoke Tcase

BAS works like a charm (see my vids in my thread)

plastic fenders don't transfer body damage like tj's steel ones.
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