TJ Shopping How to Tell - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 17 Old 01-06-2019, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
ChrisWar1
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TJ Shopping How to Tell

Shopping for a TJ. Prefer 2002-2006. Rubicons are a lot more $. How can I tell a real Rubicon? Is there a code on the VIN tag, something to tell for sure?
BTW looking for a jeep to trail ride locally.
Also are the manual trans more reliable for these years?
Thanks,
Chris

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post #2 of 17 Old 01-06-2019, 05:38 PM
mukluk
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At least on '04 through '06 models, the sixth digit of the VIN should be a number six for a Rubicon (ie, 1J4FA69Sxxxxxxxxx). Of course this only tells you what the Jeep was originally when it left the factory, only a visual inspection will reveal if it still has the front and rear Dana 44 axles, 241OR transfer case, and assorted pumps and switches it should have.

Becoming familiar with proper identification of drivetrain components would be a good idea; either that, or bring along a knowledgeable friend when looking at Jeeps.

2000 TJ SE
2005 LJ Rubicon
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-06-2019, 07:10 PM
TripLeader
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A real (stock) Rubicon will have (in view):

Dana 44s in front and rear
Wider fender flares
Factory front and rear locker switch on dash
Decals on hood
Moab wheels
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-07-2019, 02:07 PM
GStauffeneker
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Garage
If I recall correctly, TJ Rubis all have factory lockers as well.

Greg Stauffeneker
2003 TJ Rubicon (Tomb Raider)
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-07-2019, 02:23 PM
TheBoogieman
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DON'T buy an 05-06 AUTO. Search it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepinmichguy_ View Post
TheBoogieman is a jerk.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
I'd rather knock myself unconscious, cut a finger off, poke my eye out with a sharp stick or be forced to go back to work than install anything made by Rusty's.
03' Rubicon/Zone 4.25" combo lift/Rancho 9000XL shocks/5.13 gears-35" MTZs/BM brakes
99' XJ on 33s.
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-07-2019, 02:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWar1 View Post
How can I tell a real Rubicon?
Rubicon - 2003-2006
* 4.0L I-6 engine
* Tru-Lok selectable pneumatic lockers, activate in 4-lo and under 10mph, engaged until out of 4-lo or deselected
* Limited slip rear when unlocked
* NV241 Rock-Trac 4:1 transfer case -- fixed yoke
* Heavy-duty driveshafts with 1330 u-joints
* Dana 44 front and rear axles
* 4.10 gears
* Goodyear Wrangler MT/R LT245/75R16 (30.5"x9.6") Tires
* 16x8, five-spoke aluminum wheels
* Diamond plate rocker guards
* Rubicon Lettering on Hood
* Flares are 1" wider than standard TJ flares
* 4-wheel Disc Brakes
Attached Thumbnails
RR5 (2017_11_20 00_38_12 UTC).jpg  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepinmichguy_ View Post
TheBoogieman is a jerk.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
I'd rather knock myself unconscious, cut a finger off, poke my eye out with a sharp stick or be forced to go back to work than install anything made by Rusty's.
03' Rubicon/Zone 4.25" combo lift/Rancho 9000XL shocks/5.13 gears-35" MTZs/BM brakes
99' XJ on 33s.
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post #7 of 17 Old 01-07-2019, 03:04 PM
Alaska-HWY JK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBoogieman View Post
DON'T buy an 05-06 AUTO. Search it.
f65deab2-e974-47c0-9c56-1f25506d51d0.jpg
Donít be like that.
Iím fixing my PCM problem.
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-07-2019, 03:06 PM
Alaska-HWY JK
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d1ff3d80-4d74-4c97-a092-ec87390580cb.jpg
No more Chrysler PCM problems.
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-07-2019, 05:08 PM
rcroane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBoogieman View Post
DON'T buy an 05-06 AUTO. Search it.
How many Wranglers were manufactured in Ď05 - Ď06? How many have reported problems that warrant this recommendation not to buy? I wouldnít base the decision on the small percentage who have reported problems on this forum. The many owners without problems donít post.
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post #10 of 17 Old 01-07-2019, 06:13 PM
getrdone
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In addition to the Dana 44s front & rear the Rubicon also comes with a larger NP241 transfer case, vs the smaller diameter 231 on the standard model TJ.
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post #11 of 17 Old 01-08-2019, 12:17 AM
TheBoogieman
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Quote:
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How many Wranglers were manufactured in Ď05 - Ď06? How many have reported problems that warrant this recommendation not to buy? I wouldnít base the decision on the small percentage who have reported problems on this forum. The many owners without problems donít post.
It's not a problem until it's YOUR problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepinmichguy_ View Post
TheBoogieman is a jerk.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
I'd rather knock myself unconscious, cut a finger off, poke my eye out with a sharp stick or be forced to go back to work than install anything made by Rusty's.
03' Rubicon/Zone 4.25" combo lift/Rancho 9000XL shocks/5.13 gears-35" MTZs/BM brakes
99' XJ on 33s.
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post #12 of 17 Old 01-08-2019, 08:18 AM
biffgnar
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Quote:
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It's not a problem until it's YOUR problem.
Ronald Reagan once said it's a recession when your neighbor loses his job, but a depression when you lose yours.
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post #13 of 17 Old 01-08-2019, 09:26 AM
rcroane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBoogieman View Post
It's not a problem until it's YOUR problem.
Yeah....I'm probably still in the denial phase.

Normally, I would just send my PCM off to ModuleGods and have them fix it. But, I jumped the gun and bought a Chrysler re-manufactured unit and I'm still having issues. Getting my transmission range sensor replaced as I write this. If that doesn't help, I'll start the warranty process for my Chrysler unit (I'd rather just get my money back, but I don't think they'll do that).
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post #14 of 17 Old 01-08-2019, 10:04 AM
TheBoogieman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biffgnar View Post
Ronald Reagan once said it's a recession when your neighbor loses his job, but a depression when you lose yours.
So true. I'm one of the few of both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepinmichguy_ View Post
TheBoogieman is a jerk.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
I'd rather knock myself unconscious, cut a finger off, poke my eye out with a sharp stick or be forced to go back to work than install anything made by Rusty's.
03' Rubicon/Zone 4.25" combo lift/Rancho 9000XL shocks/5.13 gears-35" MTZs/BM brakes
99' XJ on 33s.
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post #15 of 17 Old 01-08-2019, 10:27 AM
Alaska-HWY JK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcroane View Post
Yeah....I'm probably still in the denial phase.

Normally, I would just send my PCM off to ModuleGods and have them fix it. But, I jumped the gun and bought a Chrysler re-manufactured unit and I'm still having issues. Getting my transmission range sensor replaced as I write this. If that doesn't help, I'll start the warranty process for my Chrysler unit (I'd rather just get my money back, but I don't think they'll do that).
I got two remanufactured Chrysler PCMs that didnít work. 4 O2 sensor codes with both. They sent my original PCM back so who knows where it went but let me keep the reman and gave me my money back. $1300
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