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Contents: Prices | History | Links | Specs

Enzo Ferrari once said:
"The Jeep is the only true American sports car"

How the jeep won WWII:
Prior to the jeep, army tactics, which hadn't changed in hundreds of years, were constrained by how far soldiers could march in a day with an 80 pound load. With jeeps an army could move to a hot spot in an hour that would have taken days before. Horses and motorcycles didn't have the load carrying capacity and large trucks were not as maneuverable.
The jeep was originally produced in 1941 for the Army. (See History below)

Jeep Review at ACarPlace.com:

The Jeep Wrangler stands alone. It is the only car in America you can buy with easily removable doors, a fold-down windshield, and a heritage going back to World War II. Incredibly, the years have left not only the look but also the character intact, despite a thorough, recent redesign and parts from the corporate bin.

The Wrangler is a better off-road vehicle than many rugged trucks costing twice as much, but there are natural tradeoffs. The cargo area is miniscule. You can go over rocks and boulders, or across desert sands, but the ride is very stiff on pavement. Acceleration is fine, but the engine is quite loud, and you really shouldn't take a fast turn. The wind noise is incredible, but the gas mileage is not;

Despite an extensive redesign in 1997, they did not destroy the character. They even restored the trademark round headlights. The main loss was the rather poor quality of the pre-1997 models; it's now possible to get a cheap Jeep that stays cheap over time. (The traditionally high resale value also helps).

The Jeep Wrangler remains one of the most fun vehicles you can buy. With the 4.0 liter straight-six engine, a basic design going back about 40 years but continually refined and modernized, it has surprising power, and lots of the low-end torque that is pretty much absent from most modern cars.
[Nearly 85 percent of torque is available at idle for supreme off-road performance, including better compression braking when decending steep hills. Ed.]

For those who enjoy tactile experiences, the Jeep is one of the very few vehicles still made which makes no attempt to hide its mechanical sounds - you can hear the clutch engage, for example. The stick has a nice long throw, the antithesis of modern Japanese-style move-it-with-your-pinky style, yet the clutch is very easy to engage. It is also satisfying, thanks to the torque; there is no mushy, hiding-you-from-the-engine feel about this car. If it's there, it lets you feel and see it.

The Jeep is not the greatest for the highway, but around town, it was a lark even in the middle of winter, with the top on. Take the top off, and it's a great town car. But we don't recommend crossing the country in it.


Other Jeeps not covered here: Cherokee '84-90 (XJ), Comanche '86-'92 (MJ), Grand Cherokee '93-'98 (ZJ), Grand Cherokee '99-05 (WJ), Wagoneer (SUV and J-series pickup) (SJ) (1972-1983), Liberty 2001- (KJ), Wrangler Unlimited 2004-06 (LJ, TJD), Commander 2006 - (XK), Wrangler 2007 - (JK), Grand Cherokee '2006- (WK), Jeep Patriot - 2007 (MK), Jeep Compass (UK) 2007
See: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep

Prices a/o Jan. 2004
Kelly Blue Book

Prices below for used 6 Cyl. manual trans. in Good Condition
Add for:
            Hard Top: $400 (After market $1,700 w/o doors, $2,500 w/ doors)
    Automatic Trans.: $385
               Winch: $110
Ovrsize off-rd tires: $100
        Alloy Wheels: $160
      Premium Wheels: $250
 Dana 44 HD Rear Axle: $200 (Included with wheel package w/ man. trans.)
Trac-Lok Limited Slip: $180
        Custom Bumper: $ 65
           Grill Gard: $ 55
       Towing Package: $220
            Snow Plow: $900
      Other add-ons
e.g. Soft Top w/ doors: $785

        4 cyl.: -$1,500
Fair Condition: -$1,700
See options on new '03 at www.intellichoice.com/reports/

'98 Wrangler Sport 4L 6 Manual, with Hard Top, Roof rack, custom tires/wheels:
Dealer  $12,630, Private $10,065

'97
Sport Utility 6 Cyl 80K mi.: Private Party- $8,010
Sahara 6 Cyl., Tilt Wheel, Casette, Alloy Wheels $8,420

'94
S Sports Util 4 Cyl.  90K mi. $4,600
SE Sports Util 6 Cyl  90K mi. $6,050
SE Sports Util 6 Cyl 115K mi. $5,225
               6 Cyl 115K w/ all options above: $7,070
               
'90 
  6 Cyl 100K mi. $4,025

2003 Rubicon with 15K mi. in Feb. 2004 - $18,000

Where to buy:
www.selectjeeps.com/jeeps4sale.htm
www.jeep-classifieds.com
See also cars page.

History:
See:
Ian Cossor's Jeep Stuff,
Definitive History of Wrangler.

Specs at:
"The Jeep, a Real American Hero"
by Michael VanderPloeg's at Off-Road.com

1939 - The army wanted a replacement for the aging motorcycle and side cars from World War l. It issued a set of specs to American car manufactures. Of 135 companies invited to compete in the contest, only three complied, Ford Motor company, Willys-Overland, and American Bantam Car Company. Bantam was the only one to meet the Army's deadline, but Ford and Willys were asked to produce prototypes based on the Bantam design. Willys eventually won the contract. ("Willys" was with a short "i" sound for the 'y"; so it was pronounced "Will-iss", but it was transmuted to "Will-eez")
Production was in full swing when the US entered the war in 1941. To meet the production volume the army wanted Ford was also granted a license to produce them. About 640,000 Jeeps were built in the four years until the end of the war in 1945.
There are several theories of where "jeep" name came from. One was from the Ford name for its general purpose vehicle, or GP for short. Another was for a cartoon character 'Eugene the Jeep', who was was small, able to move between dimensions and could solve seemingly impossible problems.

1941 Willys MB (Model B) and Ford GP, produced for the military.

1945 - CJ-2A (Civilian Jeep) produced.
1953 - Kaiser buys Willys

1955 - Introduced CJ-5 (civilian version of Military M38A1).

1970 - AMC buys Kaiser. Jeeps come with AMC engines including the 304 cubic inch V-8.

1976 - Introduced CJ-7 with ten-inch longer wheelbase than the CJ-5.

1981 - The armed forces ended their orders for jeeps and a new vehicle was ushered in. The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (Hummer) replaced the quarter ton jeep in order to keep up with the new age of computers and technology.

'82 CJ-8

'84 Introduced the Cherokee, which started the whole sport utility vehicle (SUV) craze.

'85 - After spending 4 years developing the Wrangler, as a publicity stunt in late 1985 AMC announced it was killing off the jeep. The Jeepin public were outraged and the publicity generated in the Jeep marque was enourmous. Within six months they announce the Wrangler (YJ).

'86 - Wrangler (YJ) (Yuppie Jeep) replaces CJ series.
Improved suspension with a wider track and a lower ride height ( so no roll overs and no lack of off road prowess as serious use warranted a lift on any Jeep ), a front anti sway bar, and front / rear panhard bars for a smoother Jeep. Add on a full roll cage and a more user friendly interior. Purists didn't like the square headlights.

By '87 the new YJ was the largest selling true Jeep type vehicle of all time. However, the die hards believed that the Jeep lineage had ended with the CJ7. Despite the fact that the Wrangler is widely recognised now as the perfect Jeep to buy and take off road.

'87 - Chrysler buys AMC.

'91 2.5-L 4 cyl. comes with Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI)
Replaced 4.2-Litre inline 6 with 2-bbl carburetor with 4.0-L inline 6 with EFI. Max. torque increased from 210 ft-lb @ 2000 RPM to 222 @ 2,800 RPM.

'97 - Redesigned Wrangler (TJ) (Tough Jeep) - quieter, roomier, more comfortable, rides better, handles better. Highway handling and ride quality were improved and it is more capable off road. First year with Air Bags. Troublesome carburetor in earlier models replaced with fuel injection. Coil spring suspension with a 4-Link design. New consoles, moulded door trim panels that include map pockets with slots along the lower edges to assure "wash out" capability. Body has retro look (e.g. Flat Fenders, round headlights) similar to CJ.

'98 - Chrysler merged with Daimler. The Germans who lost the war to the Jeep now own it!

2000, re-engineered six-cylinder engine for use in up-market models; reduced emissions, and a new five-speed gearbox was introduced.

2001 A new soft top designed for better sound isolation and durability. Side windows are now deep-tinted in the best current fashion. The redesigned center console includes rear cupholders. Underneath, the fuel-tank skid plate is thicker, too.

2001 Replaced Cherokee with the Liberty. This disappointed cherokee fans because the Liberty has independent front suspension like it's competition (Nissan Xterra XE V-6, Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape and the Honda CR-V). The Cherokee's live (solid) axle design was easily modified to produce large amounts of travel for off-highway use. Still the Liberty is a better off-highway vehicle than the other SUVs in it's class.

2003 Introduced the Rubicon with 31" tires, heavy-duty, torque-sensing helical-gear limited-slip, differential with 4.11:1 ratio in the rearaxle, Dana 44 Axle (Front & rear), air lockers front & rear, 4:1 NV242 transfer case with fixed yoke, heavy duty drive shaft, rocker panel gards, front & rear disk brakes, and A/C for about $3,000 extra. ($25,750)
Upgraded automataic transmission to 4-speed

2004 Introduced the Unlimited (LJ, TJD) with a longer (103.4") wheelbase provides twice the cargo area, greater towing capacity (3,500 lbs.) and a smoother ride.

2007 New Wrangler (JK) - Increased clearance, 2" longer wheelbase (but, shorter overall for better approach and departure angles), 3.5-inch wider track, lower spring rates, advanced shock tuning, increased jounce and rebound travel, New 3.8-liter V-6 engine with 205 horsepower and 240 lb.-ft. of torque, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), electronic-disconnecting front sway bar. The JK axlehousings, shafts, and gears are all stronger than the TJ's.

The purests complain that it is five inches wider and a center mounted gas tank, preventing a long arm lift kit. However, Rubicon Express and SkyJacker now have long arm kits and fitting 35s should only require 2-3 inches of lift, so you don't need a long arm.
Other complaints are the new V-6 makes its power at a slightly higher rpm than the retired 4.0L inline.
See JK Rubicon Pros and Cons at JP Mag.

See also: FAQ at jeepsonly.com,
Jeep Timeline

2004 (TJ) Wranglers (www.new-cars.com/2004/jeep/jeep-wrangler-specs.html)
Sport Sahara Rubicon Unlimited
Wheelbase [in] 93.4 93.4 93.4 103
Width [in] 66.7 66.7 68.2
Track [in] 1 58 58 59.5
Approach Angle [deg] 42 42 44.9 44.2
Departure Angle [deg] 31.4 31.4 33.9 28.6
Breakover Angle [deg] * 22.3 22.3 25.4 22.2
Ground Clearance [in] 8.9 8.9 10 10
Turning Diameter [ft] 33.5 33.5 34.9 36
Wheels [in] 15x7 15x8 16x8
Tires [in] 29" 30 31 30
Cost $22K xx $26K
* Breakover Angle listed as 28° at www.new-cars.com/2004/jeep/jeep-wrangler-specs.html) 2007 (JK) Wranglers
_______________________________________
Links:
See Rubicon Trail & Configuration.
Parts/Accessories/Modifications Dealers at Configuration Page
Tips and Maintenance at Configuration Page

Jeep® Specs

Old Jeep Specs New Jeep Specs at: jeep.com
and www.new-cars.com/2004/jeep/jeep-wrangler-specs.html

1997 Jeep® Wrangler Technical Specifications

Powertrain
X Sahara Rubicon Unlimited
Wheels [in] 16x7 17x7.5 17x7.5
Tires [in] 29 32 32
Engine 2.5-litre OHV I-4 4.0-litre OHV I-6
Horsepower, net brake @ rpm 120 @ 5,400 181 @ 4,600
Torque, net lb-ft @ rpm l40 @ 3,500 222 @ 2,800
Displacement, cc (cu in) 2464 (l50) 3958 (242)
Bore x Stroke, mm (in) 98.4 (3.88) x 8l.0 (3.l9) 98.4 (3.88) x 86.7 (3.4l)
Compression Ratio 9.2:l 8.8:l
Fuel System Sequential multi-point fuel injection
Transmissions Standard: 5-speed manual with overdrive and synchronized forward gears; hydraulically assisted, adjustment-free clutch (10.5" with 4.0L, 9.l" with 2.5L)
Optional: 3-speed automatic with lockup torque converter
Gear Ratios, :1 5-speed manual (2.5L/4.0L) 3-speed automatic (2.5L/4.0L)
1st
3.93/3.83 2.74
2nd
2.33 1.54
3rd
1.45/1.44 1.00
4th
1.00 ------
5th
0.85/0.79 ------
Reverse
4.74/4.22 2.20
Axle Ratio, :1 Std. (Opt.) 4.11/3.07 (3.55)* 3.73/3.07 (3.55)
*A 3.55:1 axle ratio is included with the Dana 44-3 rear axle (requires Trac Lock) and the High Altitude Requirement or when both Trac-Lock and ABS are ordered.

Four-Wheel Drive System
Command-Trac® Part-time; 2-speed with shift-on-the-fly capability; includes low-range (2.72:1); single lever transfer case mode operation

Electrical System (12-Volt)
Alternator 81 amps, Std. on SE and Sport (117, std. on Sahara, Opt. on SE and Sport)
Battery 500 cold-crank amps, Std. on SE and Sport (600, std. on Sahara, Opt. on SE and Sport)

Body/Suspension/Chassis
Body Design Body-on-frame with rectangular-shaped tubular steel frame; includes reinforced body mounts, transfer case shield/frame and gusseted box section crossmembers
Front Suspension Live solid axle with four locating arms, coil springs, track and stabilizer bars, steering damper, and gas-charged shock absorbers; 2200-lb Gross Axle Weight Rating
Rear Suspension Live solid axle with four locating arms, coil springs, track and stabilizer bars, and gas-charged shock absorbers; 2600-lb Gross Axle Weight Rating
Trac-Lok Rear Differential Rear-axle differential that locks in response to wheel slippage; includes heat resistant synthetic axle lubricant (Requires 5-speed manual transmission on SE)
Steering Recirculating ball; ratio -- 24:1 manual, 14:1 power
Turns Lock-to-lock; manual 5.1, power 3.0
Turning Diameter 33.5 ft., curb-to-curb
Brake System Front--Hydraulic, power-assisted, low-drag ventilated disc brakes; composite steel (ll.0")
Rear--Hydraulic, power-assisted, self-adjusting drum brakes; composite steel (9.0" x 2.5")
Anti-lock brake system (Teves Mark 20)--Three-channel, four-wheel full-time with four wheel speed sensors

Interior Dimensions
Headroom, Front/Rear
Soft Top
42.3/40.6
Hard Top
40.9/39.4
Legroom, Front/Rear 41.1/34.9
Shoulder Room, Front/Rear 51.9/57.3
Hiproom, Front/Rear 51.0/43.5
Cargo Volume (cu ft) soft top/hard top
Rear Seat Up
11.3/10.9
Rear Seat Folded and Tumbled
36.9/35.7
Rear Seat Removed
53.5/55.2
Seating Capacity 4 standard on Sport, Sahara; optional on SE with rear seat

Exterior Dimensions*
Length
Wheelbase
93.4
Overall Length (to spare tire)
151.2
Overhang (to bumper) Front/Rear 24.1/33.7
Width
Tread, Front/Rear
58.0/58.0
Maximum Overall Width
66.7
Height
Open Body
68.2
Soft Top/Hard Top
70.2/68.9
Ground Clearance (at curb weight)
Angle of Approach
42.5°
Angle of Departure
33.5°
Breakover Angle
25.7°
Axle to Ground, Front/Rear
standard
maximum available

8.4/7.9
9.5/9.4
Minimum Ground Clearance (curb/GVW)
9.7/8.0

Weights/Capacities
Fuel Tank, gal (L) 2
Standard on SE and Sport
Standard on Sahara. Optional on SE and Sport.

15 (57)
19 (72)
Cooling System Capacity, qt (L)
2.5L engine
4.0L engine

9.0 (8.5)
10.5 (9.9)
Base Curb Weight, lbs
with 2.5L engine
with 4.0L engine

3092
3229
Payload Capacity, lbs (with all occupants and cargo) 800
Maximum Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR), lbs 4360
Towing Capacity (lb)
Maximum Loader Trailer Weight
4 cyl with 3-speed automatic

2,000
1,000
Bumper height with 29" tires (225/75) F: 22 1/2 R: 20.5
1. Track measuring to outside of tread in 62" with stock wheels and 225/75 tires.

2. The gas warning light comes on with 2 gal left in tank according to 2001 owners manual, but it was more like 4 gal (I drove 70+ miles on my 2001 Sport).
Most have 19 gallon tanks, but some supposedly will only hold 15 gal.. If the part # stamp on the tank is 50218687AB it is a 15 gal tank.
Ironically the tanks are the same size, the 15 gal tanks just have a lower breather/check valve tube, causing it to click off sooner...

Don't be tempted to drive that last 3 gallons out. It's in there, but don't use it if you can avoid it.

REASON is that the fuel pump must remain submerged in gas to stay cool. Repeatedly running tank down past last 3 gallons will shorten fuel pump life or cause it to fail first time.
See: Gas tank size issue? - Jeep Wrangler Forum

The low 2000 lb rating for towing has nothing to do with the TJ's power, strength, brakes, or anything else related to that. If the towing capacity were only based on those parameters, it would be rated near 5000 lbs since the Cherokee with the exact same engine and tranny/brakes is rated for 5000 lbs.
See: Trailer Hitches.

The 2000 lb limitation is strictly due to the TJ's short wheelbase. Anything heavier will 'take command' of the TJ/trailer combination when you're going down a twisty road and the first time you have to hit your brakes hard on a curve, you're in deep doo-doo. The short wheelbase can't resist the 'moment' (force) of the trailer trying to push the TJ's rear-end one way or the other and suddenly you've jack-knifed and in BIG trouble.

Newer boat trailers have surge brakes

See the Owner's Manual for important information regarding proper operation of this vehicle.

Jeep® Wrangler Equipment

Functional
SE Sport Sahara
Axle
Dana 44-3 (requires Trac-Lock, not available with ABS)
- O O
Brakes
Power-assisted front disc/rear drum
S S S
Four-wheel anti-lock brake system
- O O
Engine
2.5 litre (150 CID) 120 hp I-4
S - -
4.0 litre (242 CID) 180 hp High-Output I-6
- S S
Engine Block Heater
Electric
O O O
Exhaust System
Stainless steel
S S S
Fuel Tank
Standard-capacity, l5 gallons
S S -
Extra-capacity, 19 gallons
O O S
Heavy-Duty Electrical Package
Alternator, 117 ampere; battery, 600 cold-crank ampere
O O S
Heavy-Duty Suspension
Includes heavy-duty gas-charged shock absorbers
O O S
Skid Plates
Fuel tank and transfer case
S S S
Steering
Manual
S - -
Power-assisted
O S S
SE Sport Sahara
Tires
P205/75R15 Goodyear Wrangler® RT/S all-terrain black (4)
S - -
P2l5/75R15 Goodyear Wrangler® RT/S all-terrain black (4)
- S -
P2l5/75R15 Goodyear Wrangler® RT/S outlined white letter, all-terrain (5) (requires full-face steel wheels on SE)
O O -
P225/75R15 Goodyear Wrangler® GS-A outlined white letter, compound tread all-terrain steel radials (4 on Sahara, 5 on SE and Sport) (requires full-face steel wheels on SE)
O O S
Full-size spare , includes wheel lock (replaces standard full-size polyspare P225/75D15)
O O O
30" Tire and Wheel Package -- 30x9.5 R15 Goodyear Wrangler® GS-A outlined white letter, compound tread all-terrain tires (5), Heavy-Duty Suspension and 15"x8" 5-hole cast aluminum wheels(5) [may include 3.73 gears]
- O O
Tow Hooks
Front-mounted (2)
O O S
Trac-Lok Rear Differential
(requires conventional spare) (requires manual transmission on SE)
O O O
Transfer Case
Command-Trac with shift-on-the-fly 4WD
S S S
Transmission
5-speed manual with overdrive
S S S
3-speed automatic with lockup torque converter
O O O
Wheels
l5"x6" Styled steel, argent with black hub covers (5)
S - -
l5"x7" Full-Face steel, argent with argent hub covers (4 on Sport, 5 on SE)
O S -
l5"x7" Grizzly 5-spoke cast aluminum (4 on Sahara, 5 on Sport)
- O S

Exterior
SE Sport Sahara
Bodyside Steps
O O S
Bumpers and Bumper Extensions
S S S
Glass
Light-tinted windshield
S S S
Lighting
Halogen headlights and rear center high-mounted stop light
S S S
Halogen fog lamps (requires Heavy-duty Electrical Package)
- O S
Mirrors
Dual, swing-away
S S S
Spare Tire Cover
Black with Jeep logo (compact spare only)
O O -
With "Sahara" logo (deleted when 30" tire and wheel package is ordered)
- - S
Tops
Soft
S S S
Hard, includes rear wiper/washer, tinted rear quarters and liftgate windows (standard tint on SE and Sport, Deep tint on Sahara) and cargo-area light
O O O

Interior
SE Sport Sahara
Air Bags
Driver and front passenger. Always wear your seat belts. Rearward-facing child seats cannot be used in the SE model without the available rear seat.
S S S
Air Conditioning*
O O O
Cargo Net
(included when Fusion vinyl rear seat or Pueblo cloth seating is ordered on SE)
P S S
Convenience Group
Additional courtesy light under instrument panel, engine compartment light, full center floor console with lockable storage, storage tray and cup holders
O O S
Instrument Cluster
Includes 100-mph speedometer, tachometer, odometer, trip odometer, electrical system voltmeter, gauges for fuel level, oil pressure, engine coolant temperature. Indicator lamps for parking brake, ABS, turn signals, high beam headlights, seat belt, air bag,* low fuel, check engine/emissions
S S S
Rear Window Defroster
(requires hard top and Heavy-Duty Electrical Package)
O O O
Seat Belts
Agate, 3-point Unibelt for all seating positions, front shoulder belt height adjuster and traveling inboard buckles
S S S
Seats
Front reclining high-back buckets with passenger-side tip-and-slide feature
S S S
Fusion vinyl
S S NA
Pueblo cloth
O O NA
Trail cloth
NA NA S
Fold-and-tumble rear seat
P S S
Skid Plates -- Transfer case anf fuel tank S S S
Sound System
AM/FM stereo radio with clock and two instrument panel-mounted speakers
O S -
AM/FM stereo radio with cassette tape player and four speakers (two in the instrument panel and two mounted in an overhead sound bar)
O O S
AM/FM stereo radio with cassette tape player, compact disc player, three-band graphic equalizer and four speakers (two in the instrument panel and two mounted in an overhead sound bar). Late availability
O O O
Sound Package includes AM/FM stereo radio, overhead sound bar with two speakers and a dome lamp, two instrument panel-mounted speakers and additional sport bar padding
O - -
Sport Bar
Side bar padding only
S - -
Full padding
O S S
Steering Column
Height adjustable, includes intermittent wipers
O O S
Steering Wheel
Soft feel
S S -
Leather-wrapped
O O S
Storage
Add-A-Trunk (must have rear seat on SE)
O O O

S-Standard   O-Optional**   -- Not Available    P=Included in a Package

*Special engine cooling requirements for non-factory air conditioning. Failure to follow requirements may invalidate warranty. See your dealer for details.

**Some optional equipment is available only as part of an option group or requires the purchase of additional optional features. See salesperson for more information.

According to "Jeep Owner's Bible" p. 72 "The factory shop manual, available from dealers, has the most information and best illustrations. Other manuals are MOTORS Truck Manual and Mitchell professional series service book.

Manuals at 2carpros.com

last updated 3 June 2007