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Jeep Wrangler TJ Changes By Year


Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2015
Messages
49,661
Location
Florence, AZ
@glwood showed this to me today and it's pretty useful information. It was found here: https://sites.google.com/site/jeepchanges/

It shares similarities with this thread here: Wrangler TJ Stock Specifications

I worry that with old sites like this (especially Google hosted sites) it may just eventually disappear forever. My hope by adding it here is that we can preserve this information forever (since this site isn't going anywhere).

Anyways, good information, most of which I already knew, but helpful to others nonetheless!


Jeep Wrangler TJ (1997-2006)
2006
  • New Exterior Colors:
    • Midnight Blue
  • Discontinued Exterior Colors:
    • Electric Lime Green
    • Patriot Blue
    • Moss Green
    • Shale Green
  • Jeep's compact SUV revives the Golden Eagle moniker as an option package for 2006. This package includes Tire and Wheel Group AAS plus spare-tire cover, unique interior and exterior trim, and badging.
2005
  • New Exterior Colors:
    • Impact Orange
    • Deep Beryl Green
  • Discontinued Exterior Colors:
    • Sienna
    • Inca Gold


  • 6-Speed NSG370 manual transmission replaces the 5-speed NV3550 & NV1500 transmissions in all models
    • 6 forward 1 reverse
    • Max torque input 272 ft/lb
    • 1- 5.014:1
    • 2- 2.831:1
    • 3- 1.789:1
    • 4- 1.256:1
    • 5- 1.000:1
    • 6- 0.828:1
    • Reverse 4.569:1
    • Weight 40.5 kg
  • SE gets 3.73 axle gears in place of 4.11's/4.56's
  • Sahara Edition Discontinued
  • Second soft top on Unlimited, called "Easy-Folding Soft Top" now an option. (Dual tops still not an option on the Unlimited.)
  • New Premium H-Package on the Unlimited model features unique 2-tone cloth seats, silver painted center stack and instrument cluster bezels, bright grille and body color fender flares.
  • Optional six-disc in-dash CD changer system that arrives later in the model year.
2004
  • New Exterior Colors:
    • Solar Yellow
    • Lime Green
  • Discontinued Exterior Colors:
    • Intense Blue


  • Trail Rated badges
  • The Canyon wheels in the 30" package are now "Ravine" wheels.
  • Can be purchased in the U.S. with right-hand steering
  • The standard AM/FM Tape is now a CD.
  • There is a standard spare tire cover that comes with the 30" wheel/tire package now.
  • There is a new "cubby bin" in the center "stack".
  • Willys Edition:
    • Exclusive Moss Green exterior color
    • Camo and black seats
    • Unique "WILLYS" decal at cowl side
    • Diamond-plate sill guards painted Dark Green
    • Body-color fender flares
    • AM/FM stereo radio with CD player and seven speakers (includes subwoofer in center console) - no extra charge
    • 4.0L Power Tech I-6 engine
    • Tow hooks
    • Fog lamps
    • Full-size spare tire with matching wheel
  • Columbia Edition:
    • 4.0L I-6 Engine
    • 15-inch graphite painted aluminum wheels
    • Unique graphite fender flares
    • Fog lamps
    • Columbia badging
    • Dark Slate Interior
    • Khaki two-tone seats with the Columbia logo
    • Silver painted instrument panel accents
    • Available in Black, Bright Silver, Flame Red, Solar Yellow and Patriot Blue
    • Complimentary Columbia Bugaboo parka featuring a zip-in Chehalis or Shoshone fleece vest
  • Rocky Mountain Edition: (Nearly Identical as Columbia Edition Except:)
    • 4.0L I-6 Engine
    • 30 Goodyear GS/A Tires on 15x8-Inch Alcoa Cast Aluminum wheels w/ full size spare
    • Unique graphite fender flares
    • Fog lamps
    • Rocky Mountain Edition badging
    • Dark Slate Interior
    • Idential two-tone seats as Columbia Edition, but with Jeep embroidery replacing Columbia logo
    • Silver painted instrument panel accents
    • Available in Black, Bright Silver, Flame Red, Solar Yellow and Patriot Blue
    • Diamond sill plates
    • Tow hooks
    • Dana 44 rear
  • Introduction of Unlimited Model (2004 1/2):
    • 10" longer wheelbase
    • 5" extra rear overhang
    • Additional 13 inches behind the second row of seats (doubling rear cargo capacity to 29.5 cubic ft.)
    • Passengers in the rear seats pick up an additional two inches of leg room, and can now access the area with tip and slide seats.
    • 3500 lbs. towing capacity (Extra 1500 lbs.)
    • New Sunrider soft-top, which lets drivers open a sunroof or take the entire top down
    • More sound insulation
    • Revised springs/shocks as well as an additional cross member out back to ensure an improved ride and no loss of structural rigidity
2003
  • New Exterior Colors:
    • Bright Silver Metallic
    • Light Khaki Metallic
    • Inca Gold Pearl Coat
    • Intense Blue Pearl Coat
  • Discontinued Exterior Colors:
    • Silverstone Metallic
    • Solar Yellow
    • Steel Blue Pearl Coat
    • Amber Fire Pearl Coat
  • Exterior Labeling:
    • On Sports, the word "Sport" now appears at the top of the fender where the word "Wrangler" used to appear.
    • On Saharas there's a brand new Sahara logo (much more discrete) that appears about where the "4.0L" used to
    • appear on early TJs, roughly where the "Sport" label appears on 2002s
    • Rubicon has RUBICON label on hood.
  • New Interior Colors:
    • Dark Slate replaces Agate
    • Khaki replaces Camel
    • Khaki color for Saharas instead of green trail cloth
  • Soft Top Colors:
    • Dark Khaki replaces Tan


  • Seat Changes:
    • Additional 20 millimeters of rearward travel
    • Taller seat backs
    • Softer seats
    • Seats are lower sitting (more like a car)
    • Lever on the side of the front passenger seat for easier access to the rear.
    • Rear seats are equipped with the LATCH (Lower Anchors and upper Tethers for CHildren)
    • New fold-and-tumble rear seat -- release now on the top center of the rear seat and a new spring mechanism helps it fold and tumble easier than ever before
  • New 3-ply Soft Top that is as quiet as the previous 4-ply
    • NOTE: Change in driver's side window: male zipper is now on window, female zipper on the top, previous years was vice-versa
  • Plastic windshield trim (Interior Upper Head Impact Protection to meet 2003 federal standard?)
  • Trim on back of hardtop and vents removed (vents added to tailgate)
  • New interior electrochromic rearview mirror with map lights, temperature and compass display
  • A new exterior mirror design reduces vibration, while increasing stability and durability. Shorter, fatter, and all plastic Now "ratchet" out from the body rather than swing out in a smooth motion.
  • Doors - the key cylinder is now chrome instead of black
  • Dashboard redesigned, openings for the radio and HVAC controls are now oval rather than rectangular
  • New 4-spoke vinyl steering wheel for SE and X models
  • New 4-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel for Sport, Sahara and Rubicon models
  • Smokers Package optional on all models
  • On-Board Refueling Vapor Recovery (ORVR)
  • Additional power outlet on the dash
  • New flush-mounted AM/FM cassette radio with CD changer control
  • New flush-mounted AM/FM compact disc radio with CD changer control
  • Replacing the optional sound bar, new standard corner pods located just behind the b-pillar on both sides of the vehicle house interior lamps, providing theater lighting and optional speakers
  • Energy-absorbing foam is added to the sport bar
  • 4-wheel disc brakes optional on Sport and Sahara
  • 42RLE 4-speed automatic option
  • New transfer case skid to work with new 4-spd auto (lower ground clearance)
  • Jeep Wrangler SE Changes:
    • NV1500 five-speed heavy-duty transmission. Also used on Jeep Liberty, this transmission gives Wrangler a synchronized reverse gear and improved shift quality in cold weather. 4.56 gears available with SE and 4-speed auto.
    • Jeep Libertys 2.4-liter Power Tech I-4 replaces the 2.5-liter I-4 as the standard engine on 2003 Jeep Wrangler SE models. This 2.4-liter engine provides an estimated 150 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 165 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm, representing a 25-percent increase in horsepower and an 18-percent increase in torque. This increased power and torque is achieved through the use of aluminum cross-flow cylinder heads, dual overhead cams and a four-valve-per-cylinder design. The new 2.4-liter engine is quieter, more fuel-efficient and engineered for longer life and ease of maintenance.
  • Introduction of Rubicon Model:
    • Tru-lok selectable pneumatic lockers, activate in 4-lo and under 10mph, engaged until out of 4-lo or deselected
    • Limited slip in rear when not locked
    • NV241 Rock-Trac 4:1 transfer case -- fixed yoke
    • Heavy-duty driveshafts with 1330 universal joints
    • Dana 44 Front (Dana 30 outers)
    • 4.10 gears
    • Goodyear Wrangler MT/R LT245/75R16 (31") Tires
    • 16-inch, five-spoke aluminum wheels
    • Diamond plate rock rails
    • Rubicon Lettering on Hood
    • 4-wheel Disc Brakes
  • Apex Edition:
    • Special hood emblem
    • Special seats
  • Freedom Edition:
    • Body colored fender flares
    • Special side badges
    • Outlined white letter P225/75R15 Goodyear all-terrain tires mount on 15-inch chrome wheels.
    • Standard soft-top with full metal doors, fog lamps and tow hooks.
    • Standard air conditioning, Sentry Key theft-deterrent system, easy access Fold-and-Tumble(TM) rear seat and a choice of Dark Slate Gray vinyl or cloth seating.
    • Available in red, silver, blue and black exterior colors.
  • Tomb Raider Edition Rubicon:
    • 16-inch Alcoa forged aluminum wheels
    • Tomb Raider badging with serial number
    • Light bar
    • Riveted fender flares in graphite
    • Black Tubular grille guard
    • Diamond plate bumper guard
    • Rock rails
    • Fog & Taillamp brush guards
    • Aluminum diamond plate bumper guard in black
    • Dark Slate fabric seats with red accent stitching down the center
    • Silver surround instrument panel bezel
    • Red seat belts
    • Available in Bright Silver.
2002
  • New Exterior Colors:
    • Shale Green Metallic


  • New Ecco Wheel and Tire Group with P225/75R15 OWL Tire replaces the Grizzly Wheel and Tire Group
  • New appearance for the Full Face Wheel
  • 30" Tire and Wheel Group, speed control, full doors with roll-up windows and sentry key are now standard on the Wrangler Sahara
  • Full doors with roll-up windows, fog lamps and tow hooks are now standard on the Wrangler Sport
  • Fog lamps and tow hooks become separate options
  • New HVAC System with overall improvements in performance and quietness
  • New Fuel Tank Skid Plate with Added Reinforcement
  • Premium sound system that includes 2 new tweeters in addition to the existing subwoofer
  • 7 year/70,000 Mile Warranty Offered (Not on early 2002's however)
  • Introduction of X Model:
    • 4.0L engine and cloth seats, standard, less options than Sport (no Dana 44)
2001
  • New Exterior Colors:
    • Sienna Pearl Coat
    • Steel Blue Pearl Coat
    • Amber Fire Pearl Coat
  • Discontinued Exterior Colors:
    • Medium Fern Green
    • Desert Sand


  • New 4-ply Soft Top that is more durable and quieter
  • Quarter-Turn Fuel Filler Cap
  • New Anti-Lock Brake System
  • Long Life 100,000-Mile Engine Coolant that is more Environmentally-friendly
  • Quick-Removal Side Steps
  • All-New steering wheel tilt mechanism provides reduced effort and an increased range of adjustment
  • Optional molded plastic Add-a-Trunk for reduced weight
  • Optional Amplified Sub-woofer
  • Re-designed Stereos
  • Mini Console with dual cup holders
  • Re-designed Full Console with rear seat cup holders
  • Sutton Vinyl Seat Material - Standard on SE and Sport Nomad Cloth Seat Material - Optional on SE and Sport
  • New wider inside rear-view mirror
  • New Multi-function Steering Column switch combines headlamp, fog lamp, turn signal and windshield wiper functions
  • Intermittent windshield wipers made standard
  • New Instrument cluster includes a fog lamp tell-tale light and provides Parade-Mode lighting, battery saver control of interior lighting and odometer display with door open
  • User-Ready Child Seat Anchorage System
  • The pull switch for the headlights moved from the dash to the blinker
  • Late Model:
    • New Fuel Tank Skid Plate with Added Reinforcement
  • 60th Anniversary Edition
    • Available only in Black or Silverstone Metallic
    • Body-color wheel flares and rocker sills
    • Specially embroidered floor mats
    • Full Metal Doors
    • Canyon 30-inch Tire and Wheel Group
    • Fog Lamp and Tow Hook Group
    • Air Conditioning
    • AM/FM stereo readio with CD player, five speakers and subwoofer
    • Options: Speed control & Dual-Top
2000
  • New Exterior Colors:
    • Solar Yellow
    • Patriot Blue Pearlcoat
    • Silver Stone
  • Discontinued Exterior Colors:
    • Chilli Pepper Red,
    • Gunmetal Blue
    • Intense Blue
    • Deep Amethyst.


  • Alternator moved higher up
  • Ultra Star 16" alloy wheel now standard on Sahara models.
  • 4.0L engine now gets distributorless direct-ignition system, re-designed cylinder head, new exhaust manifold and dual-catalyst system (2.25" exhaust)
  • New NVG-3550 manual transmission replaces the Aisin transmission on the models with the 4.0L engine (includes synchromesh on reverse gear).
  • Sound Bar now standard on Sport models.
  • Tow hook option now includes one rear tow hook.
  • Sport's standard AM/FM radio adds a cassette player, Sahara exchanges a cassette player for CD player.
  • Optional tilt steering wheel in SE and Sport is now the same leather-covered unit that was standard in Sahara.
  • Child-seat tethers added to the rear seat,
1999
  • New Exterior Colors:
    • Medium Fern Green Pearlcoat
    • Forest Green Pearlcoat
    • Desert Sand Pearlcoat
    • Intense Blue Pearlcoat
  • Discontinued Exterior Colors:
    • Jade
    • Lapis Blue
    • Emerald
    • Moss Green
    • Gunmetal Pearlcoat
  • New Interior Colors:
    • Agate
    • Camel
  • New Top Colors:
    • Dark Tan replaces Spice.


  • Hood cowl changed from a "3 section" wide cowl with alot of plastic around it to a smaller cowl...
  • Removed annoying useless vent that leaks water
  • Cruise control controls on steering wheel
  • Rotary climate controls with bi-level air
  • Defeat switch for passenger-side air bag
  • Improved ECM
  • Re-designed catalytic converter
  • New "JTEC+" engine controller with new engine-function sensors
  • Lighter frame - 16 lbs (8kg) lighter
  • Nineteen gallon fuel tank now standard.
  • 30" tire package came with the "Canyon" style wheels (15x8).
1998
  • Chrylser becomes Daimler/Chrylser


  • New Exterior Colors:
    • Chili Pepper Red Pearlcoat
    • Deep Amethyst Pearlcoat


  • Smart Key Immobilizer replaces previous Lock/Unlock keyfob system.
  • Cruise control Available
  • Ez-Entry Driver's seat now available
  • Revised torsion bar for improved steering response
  • Revised steering gear ratio that varies from 15:1 on centre to 13:1 at the extremes of travel for more responsive steering
  • New steering wheel
  • Next generation airbags
  • Revised stereo range
  • Hood latch changes
  • 3.73 ratio rears and Dana 44 Rear
  • New engine managment system wiring
  • Dual Tops Option
  • Added pads to front bumper -- front license plate moved to the center of the bumper
  • 30" tire package came with the "Gambler" style wheels (15x8).
  • Late Model:
    • Defeat switch for passenger-side air bag
1997
  • Introduction of TJ Model:
    • All-new, refined exterior body panels and hardware
    • Quadra-Coil Suspension
    • Contemporary interior appearance and dash
    • New frame with outstanding torsional and bending stiffness
    • Driver and passenger air bags
    • Optional ABS
    • Improved soft top (quieter and easier to put up/down)
    • Round headlights return
    • Lockable glovebox


  • Available exterior colors:
    • Black
    • Bright Jade Satin Glow
    • Citron Pearlcoat
    • Dark Blue Pearlcoat
    • Emerald Green Pearlcoat
    • Flame Red
    • Gunmetal Pearlcoat
    • Lapis Blue
    • Moss Green Pearlcoat
    • Stone White


  • AX-15 5-spd Transmission
  • Annoying useless extra vent behind the hood that leaks water
  • No screen to in cowl vent
  • Cambolts for the front control arms
  • Knock-outs for the rear control arm cam bolts
  • Ability to display the diagnostic codes on odometer with key on,off,on,off,on
  • You have to switch a plug to disable the clutch/starter interlock
  • AX15 for the Manual Tranny or a Chrysler 999 for the auto if it is a 6 cylinder
  • AX5 for the Manual Tranny or a Chrysler 904 for the auto if it is a 4 cylinder
  • Optional dana 44 with 3.55's gears
  • Front License plate on the passenger side of the bumper.
  • Late Models:
    • 3.73 ratio rears and Dana 44 Rear ?
    • Hood latch changes
    • Ez-Entry Driver's seat now available
 

Travisty

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2018
Messages
1
Location
FL, USA
@glwood showed this to me today and it's pretty useful information. It was found here: https://sites.google.com/site/jeepchanges/

I reached out to the guy who wrote it to see if he is okay with us using it, but being as though it's so old, I may not get a response.

It shares similarities with this thread here: Wrangler TJ Stock Specifications

I worry that with old sites like this (especially Google hosted sites) it may just eventually disappear forever. My hope by adding it here is that we can preserve this information forever (since this site isn't going anywhere).

Anyways, good information, most of which I already knew, but helpful to others nonetheless
Wowzer! I’m actually the original author of the list and that was my Jeep in the picture (sold a couple years ago). I never would have thought people are still finding it useful over a decade and half later. :eek:)

Fun fact: it originally was a geocities site and I migrated it to google so it wouldn’t disappear forever. Lol

-Travis aka jeepboy49028
 
OP
Chris

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2015
Messages
49,661
Location
Florence, AZ
Wowzer! I’m actually the original author of the list and that was my Jeep in the picture (sold a couple years ago). I never would have thought people are still finding it useful over a decade and half later. :eek:)

Fun fact: it originally was a geocities site and I migrated it to google so it wouldn’t disappear forever. Lol

-Travis aka jeepboy49028
Oh wow! Geocities? Man, I remember those websites from when I was first getting started with computers and the internet back in the early 90s!

It's a very helpful list, and it's one of those pieces of information that I too want to make sure never disappears!
 

JeepNWilly

Jeep Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2017
Messages
1,202
Location
Loxahatchee, FL, United States
Wowzer! I’m actually the original author of the list and that was my Jeep in the picture (sold a couple years ago). I never would have thought people are still finding it useful over a decade and half later. :eek:)

Fun fact: it originally was a geocities site and I migrated it to google so it wouldn’t disappear forever. Lol

-Travis aka jeepboy49028

Awesome. I first started using the geocities one a long time ago.