94-95 or 97 and up Wrangler?

Charlie

New member
I know that one is leaf spring while the other is coil, but other than that are there significant differences in capability/drivetrain? I'm seeing alot of the early 90's for sale and they are quite a bit less than the 97 and up TJ's. Are the availablity of mods/lifts about the same for the two different types? Thanks in advance for the help.

Charlie
 

Dennis

Administrator
Staff member
I've had both. TJs (97+) do have a better aftermarket support, being that they are still produced, however YJs are close second. Personally I like the TJ better, due to the coil suspension all around, but YJ with SOA would make a great wheeler as well. You can't really go wrong with either one, the drivetrains are similar, but all YJs ahd high pinion front Dana 30, while TJ had low pinion Dana 30 and TJs were offered with a Dana 44 rearend option.
 

PizzaJeep

Active member
amen to that....
im pro TJ.. and i had the same debate when i was looking to buy... with a tj you are likely to find a 44 in the rear, if its newer than 99 you can find a 3500 manual tranny instead of the weaker ax15 tranny... more creature comforts, and better aftermarket support...4 link coil suspension with sick flex and articulation right out of the box- buy some disconnects and your set to rock

arguing towards a yj.. id say its going to be cheaper, and in return.. easy to do a spring over and gain the easiest 5.5 inches youll ever spend on a suspension....a lot more easier for you to personally get over dents, dings, rocks in your gas can, and busting out a sawzall to your body... i have a hard time coming to terms with only one of those right now.... the sawzall.... haha - but in opposition... theyre going to be older (the newest one you could find is a 95(10 years old)), more miles, not as strong parts... ax 15 tranny, or worse yet.. pugeot tranny... or a horrible auto tranny( torque flite 904).. axle wise... every one of them has a 35 c clip, and in the front you can catch a high pinion 30... but you can only compensate the benefit of high pinion if you can get it without the center axle disconnect... otherwise a HP30 with a CAD is going to still be much weaker than a low pinion 30 with solid 1 piece axles..
roll cages! make sure its the square cage instead of the triangular cage found in like.. 92 and earlier (i think.. not sure what year it changed)

with a yj; if you get any earlier than a 91, the engine choices are crap... either the 2.5 4cylinder or the 4.2 carberated inline 6...
make sure its the 6 cylinder no matter what... youll be pissed at the 2.5 in about 3 days after buying it, then youll be trying to figure out how to weld two of those 4 cylinders together haha
 

Dennis

Administrator
Staff member
PizzaJeep said:
axle wise... every one of them has a 35 c clip,

87-89 had non-c-clip Dana 35 that are marginally stronger.

PizzaJeep said:
and in the front you can catch a high pinion 30... but you can only compensate the benefit of high pinion if you can get it without the center axle disconnect...

YJs never came with non-disconnect Dana 30

PizzaJeep said:
otherwise a HP30 with a CAD is going to still be much weaker than a low pinion 30 with solid 1 piece axles..

1 piece axle conversion is very easy, and you'd want to do that anyways if you get a YJ older than 95 - they have smaller 260x u-joints. after that the axle will be as strong as a high pinion Dana 30 without CAD. Also, besides, clearance advantages, high pinion axles in front application are stronger than their low pinion variant.

PizzaJeep said:
roll cages! make sure its the square cage instead of the triangular cage found in like.. 92 and earlier (i think.. not sure what year it changed)

87-91 had a CJ style cage, 92 was updated with a new style cage that protects rear passengers as well.
 

Sauce

Active member
i guess the most important question is what are you going to be doing with the jeep? What kind of wheeling are you looking to do? How much lift, etc.? I am a big fan of the simplicity of leaf springs, easy to lift and work with personally.
 

Charlie

New member
I'm pretty much looking for a go anywhere vehicle that I don't constantly have to turn a wrench with and won't leave me stuck/walking out in the boonies (essentially, make it bullet proof before you go where you would get into trouble). I don't care too much for 'xtreme' wheeling...I'm into it to avoid getting a heart attack not seeking one. I don't mind doing rough trails, I just think that the vehicle should be prepared prior to getting out there as much as possible.

Doing Bronco Canyon in Xterras was a retarded thing to do (but fun in a 'oh-my-god-I'm-breaking-shit' kind of way). The reasoning behind me not wanting to wheel a daily driver are due to taking that particular stretch of 'road'. Some of my favorite places to go are Barney Riley and Squaw Ridge Road (Pardoes). As far as heading out to other locations...I've been game, but the vehicles I've had in the past have not been equal to where I wanted to take them. I don't care for walking since leaving the Army and think driving to a destination is preferable to just pounding a vehicle against a 1/4 mile stretch of rocks all day (heck if I wanted to do that I'd have boulders for landscaping and just do it in the front yard :) ...close to the tools and the garage) If that makes any sense in explaining what kind of wheeling I like to do...I figure if I set aside some cash and go into it that way (vs. the payment thing) the dents, dings, potentially hashed body panels and the rest of it more bother me as much. Basically/ideally I'll be paying as I play.

With the responses so far I gather that the stock axles kind of suck. I bet some Mog axles would take care of that :) The TJ's are starting to look more appealing. It looks like there are 8" long-arm lifts for ~$2500? I know that's probably pricey, but compared to buying parts for a Nissan is starting to look pretty good considering what you get.

I'm still mainly looking for info and will no doubt be a while making up my mind. I do appreciate the suggestions.
 
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Dennis

Administrator
Staff member
Charlie said:
It looks like there are 8" long-arm lifts for ~$2500? I know that's probably pricey, but compared to buying parts for a Nissan is starting to look pretty good considering what you get.

unless you're gonna be running 38" and larger tires, 8" of lift is just silly.
i'll be running 35" with about 4" of suspension lift + 1" body lift.
for 33"s, 2.5" lift and 1" body lift is enough.
 

Charlie

New member
:p 38'S? Is that all...? :D I guess you would definitely want to upgrade the axles with those. Are the factory axles good enough to run 33's with lockers or would that be an accident waiting to happen?
 

PizzaJeep

Active member
answer to your question.. look at my post about my rear diff... d35 rear.. 33's on them.. stock gears and a trac lok transfer case... the pic explains most of it... im still looking for options on how to fix this mess i have in my garage
 

Dennis

Administrator
Staff member
Charlie said:
:p 38'S? Is that all...? :D I guess you would definitely want to upgrade the axles with those. Are the factory axles good enough to run 33's with lockers or would that be an accident waiting to happen?

Dana 30 is good enough up to 33" tires locked. I wouldn't run bigger than 31"s on Dana 35 though with a locker.
 

Charlie

New member
:( I see... I guess I'll have to plan on a couple of axles. That happened in your yard?!?? That was good luck.
 

Dennis

Administrator
Staff member
Charlie said:
:( I see... I guess I'll have to plan on a couple of axles. That happened in your yard?!?? That was good luck.


just find a TJ with Dana 44 rear and you'll be set. you can upgrade the front 30 with alloy axles or Warn hub kit and run 35"s with a locker. rear 44 is good up to 37" tires.
 

Charlie

New member
I think I might have found a lifted 98 running 35's. I'll have to run it by the spouse thingy and maybe do some juggling...not to mention going and looking at it :)

Dang it! Sold. :(
 
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PizzaJeep

Active member
again.. agree with denis... the 44 rear was the ONLY thing i didnt and still dont like about my wrangler since i bought it...

im swapping in a dana 44 front and rear now... air lockers in both and 488 gears... this should be interesting
 
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