Jeep® Heritage | 1997-2006 Jeep Wrangler (TJ)

JeepWranglerTJ 1 494x338 Jeep<sub>®</sub> Heritage | 1997 2006 Jeep Wrangler (TJ)  heritage  photo

Each Friday on the Jeep® Blog, we explore the Jeep brand’s iconic heritage by highlighting a different historical vehicle. This week’s vehicle is the 1997 Jeep Wrangler (TJ).

The Jeep Wrangler TJ, one of the most popular and recognizable Jeep brand vehicles, was first introduced in 1997.

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Replacing the YJ, the TJ used a Quadra-Link front and rear suspension system to help with stability and control on- and off-road. The TJ also came equipped with larger tires and improved shocks for a smoother ride on the trail.

The Wrangler TJ was available in several different trim levels, including Sport, Sahara, X and SE.

During the nine years the TJ was available, the most notable legacy left behind might be the 2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. The Wrangler Rubicon was, and continues to be, one of the most capable stock off-roading vehicles available on the market.

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The 2003 Wrangler Rubicon featured Dana 44 front and rear axles, which greatly improved its off-road ability. It also came with locking differentials, vibration-free rear mirrors and a Rock-Trac four-wheel-drive system.

The TJ was eventually replaced in 2007 with the completely redesigned Wrangler (JK) you see on the roads today.

Did you own a TJ? Do you still drive a TJ? Share your favorite memories in the comments, below.

  • Edgar Neuhäuser

    I’m from Germany and my ride is actually a Jeep Wrangler TJ Sahara 4.0
    The TJ is my best car since 25 years and I love this American Icon. :-)

  • Jim

    I am on my second TJ. First was a 96/97 and now I have a 2006. Luv them both.

  • Chris Shambra

    I purchased my 2006 Wrangler Rubicon LJ pre-owned in 2011 with 33,400 miles on the clock. The Jeep was in like new condition but had been in a non serious fender bender and was repaired with new parts (rt front fender). I got it for my move to Colorado where a Jeep can really shine. I love my LJ as much as I love the 1942 MB my father gave me when he stopped driving a few years back.

  • Mike Fehle

    I’m on my second Solar Yellow TJ. Can’t see myself driving anything else. Guess there are some rebuilds in my future, huh? 172k miles and going strong. :)

  • Warren

    I own a 2001 jeep TJ Sport and a 2010 JK Sahara 2 door. The 2001 has 138000 miles and I enjoy driving it more than JK. It is a lot more agile and snappier. The JK is more car like and the TJ is more Jeep like.

  • Sebastien Arvisais

    Iv had my 99 tj for 2 years now… Putting on average 100,000km a year now at 313,000km original engine…

  • John

    I have a 2003 tj Sport bought it 2nd hand. I had the gear changed from 3.07 to 4.11 on account of having 33′s making for much better offroading and also able to use 5th gear now while b/4 it was practically useless. It has its faults but I believe with allot less computor run items as the JK and newer model have, its still the best on the road No ABS which is another great idea in my mind. And checking the recalls its certainly has a big plus on that side.. none… You did a great job when this JEEP was built. Yes I still have it and its running like a charm, rusting but that can be repaired.

  • Mary Janet

    I am currently on my third Jeep…my second TJ…my first was a 1997 and my current one a 1998. I also owned a 1990 Jeep as my introduction to the Jeep world!

  • SSteur

    Love my TJ!

  • Jesse

    Continuing to drive my ’97 TJ. Love everything about it. The name explains most of it, love the Jeep brand. Can’t wait to see what comes after the JK.

  • Matt

    I bought a used ’01 Sport in ’02. I traded it in on my (still own, bought it new, probably be buried in it) ’03 Rubi. I only have 67K on it. I have a 4″ Superlift Superride lift, 33″ XTreme Pro Comp MT’s, Warn M8000 Winch, Banks Cat Back, K & N Cold air intake, Edge products tuner and throttle body. I absolutely love this Jeep, and love the Jeep brand!!!!

  • Derek

    I own a 2003 sport that I got in 2008 and I still drive it today. After 5 years my only complaint is the gas mileage, but that’s to be expected. She’s extremely reliable, I kinda beat it in the beginning but have yet to take it in the shop.

  • Jimmy McPhail

    I owned a ’97 TJ Sport from 97-2000, bought a 2000 Cherokee, and in 2004 traded for a new 2004 TJ Sport for me and 2004 Liberty Limited for my wife. 9 years later we still own these vehicles. I still love my TJ and don’t plan to trade her just yet because she has never let me down.

  • Brent

    I am very happy to own a TJ, having 167K miles on it now. I was a die hard CJ driver until the 87 Wrangler switched me to Toyota. I was so glad when a quality Wrangler came out. I am not a JK fan at all, too big, too cushy, not open-air enough.

  • John Birkholz

    I have an 04 tj Rubicon. I have some fairly mild A T tires right now and it is still extremely capable. I will go back to a more aggressive tire but I made concession to my wife I would keep this set longer than the last set. I do have to remember to be a little more quiet with my thoughts. Love the Rubicon.

  • Kim Nara Neff

    I own a 1997 jeep wrangler with a 4 inch lift 17 inch rims and 33′ s for tires. I am wanting to replace the shocks, however there are so many different types. The main use for the jeep is commuting about 30 miles a day on the highway. What would you suggest for inexpensive shocks that would provide a comfortable ride?