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Quirks of the 97 model


Wildman

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Tagging some 97 owners (at least by their names).

@97' 4 Popper
@97.tj.addict
@97jeeptjse
@97JeepWrangler
@97life
@97Ragtop
@97TjDom
@97TJGWB
@97TJlifted
@97tjrealengo

Wow, maybe I missed a memo and should be @97SSTJ

I don't know if I fit into this group anymore. Mine is a 1997 built in 01/96 and was a SE model. Only has about 85K miles on it partly becasue it's been parked for the last 10 years.

It now has a TeraLow CRD60 (HP60) rear & Ford HP44 front axles.
A 1998 5.9 magnum V-8 stroked to 6.7 & a 46RE transmission w/STaK's 3 speed transfer case.
Stretched WB and tons of other little things.
 
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SSTJ

SSTJ

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I don't know if I fit into this group anymore. Mine is a 1997 built in 01/96 and was a SE model. Only has about 85K miles on it partly becasue it's been parked for the last 10 years.

It now has a TeraLow CRD60 (HP60) rear & Ford HP44 front axles.
A 1998 5.9 magnum V-8 stroked to 6.7 & a 46RE transmission w/STaK's 3 speed transfer case.
Stretched WB and tons of other little things.

Ha, well it’s still a 97 and I bet you have discovered many of its quirks along the way. List any you know!
 

Bdaust

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The factory bumper did not come with rubber bumper pads on the front bumper. I have my 97 wrangler since it was new. The window sticker said it build for my dad. I still have the window sticker.
88B9F106-F2DB-4E72-AE17-53F38E487650.jpeg
 

Wildman

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Ha, well it’s still a 97 and I bet you have discovered many of its quirks along the way. List any you know!

The biggest quirk is the wiring of the 01-03/96 build dates. The wiring diagram doesn't show the differences and when doing engine swaps it can be just a little bit of fun to figure them all out.

I bought mine when it was 5 years old and had a Pro Comp 4" lift and 33x14x15 TSL Boggers on it. The funny part was that it had NEVER been off-road.

I'm going to be building a new wiring harness soon so I'll try to document the differences in wiring I find.
 
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Ok, the list has begun. Keep the quirks coming ...

@HongKongDrifter, I hear you have owned three 1997s?
Technically true. I drove a Sport for seven years. I bought a rusted out Sahara that I flipped for parts after I realized it was going to be beyond my capabilities to get it road worthy again and then bought another 97 Sport that I drove for a few more years. My only other Jeep was a briefly owned 1993 four banger that I sold a few months after purchase. Basically I can’t tell you much about the quirks as I have pretty much only experienced 1997 TJs. My experience with 1997 TJs has been wonderful though. I heard a lot of stuff about Wranglers not being reliable before I bought my first sport in 2005. Both of my 1997s that I drove for years were the two most reliable vehicles I have ever owned. They beat out Toyotas, Mazdas, and Nissans. Currently, I am Jeepless right now and I’m trying to get a 1993 Eurovan road worthy. I’ve debated making the Eurovan a third vehicle and buying another TJ for my main vehicle. If I do, chances are it will be a 97. They seem to find me.
 

tworley

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@tworley
@qslim

I think you two have 97s too, right? Got any quirks to add?
Mine has 3 cowl vents, no ac, a spot to mount ac above the alternator on the passenger side, different height (hat) rotors, aluminum side mirrors (swapped to plastic 03+), charcoal canister under the hood, no cruise, and.....that's all I can think of off the top of my head
 
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Winks42

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got a 97
Not too many quirks other than a different Evap system, my original charcoal canister was spewing out so much charcoal. I got no AC and with the fan off still blows hot air through the side vents. Also got the ugly faded grey interior, not a fan but the least of my worries.
 
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MountaineerTom

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'97 half doors didn't have regular rubber seals. They had a plastic track attached to the door with push pins and double sided tape. The rubber seal slides into the track. The best I can tell, only the '97's had this style.
IMG_8630.JPG

IMG_8390.JPG
 

AndyG

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Very early 97 models like mine that was manufactured 3/96 use a lot of electrical parts like sensors from the '95 YJ. My '97 needed a new throttle position sensor and the one made for a 97 didn't fit. Both me and the Jeep dealer's parts guy were scratching our heads with that one. Tried one from a 95 YJ and it fit and worked perfectly.
I remember the AMC days, you didn’t give the parts guy the vehicle info, it was better to take the part and let him match it.
AMC would change vendors more often than we change underwear. Probably credit got cut off.

Which brings me to my 6 day under wear idea...has 3 holes, rotate each day and then after 3 days turn inside out.

The 97 may have been one of the “ let them get the bugs out before you buy “ deal , but remember -if it were not for the success of a coil spring, more refined Jeep, you would not have seen what you have seen the bast 23 years.

The TJ Wrangler is a significant model in Jeeps’ story.

My and @Hog s 2000 models have some features I like...way more comfortable seats, the auto was stellar, and overall I think they did good going into new territory in 97 . It was a gamble ...first Jeep owners were known to like the austerity of the CJ, but they bet on the new generation of owners.

The previous generation remembered when cars had no power steering, no air, the hump, king pin front ends, etc so the CJ was familiar ....today’s market would not touch something that basic, and Jeep knew it had to catch up.
 
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SSTJ

SSTJ

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Has anyone tried this fix on a 97? As in my post here, I seem to have a different 'plunger' than what's shown in the video of the original post. Wondering if any other 97 owners have seen the inside of their tank?
 

tr21triton

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I don't know if it was specific to the 97', but my 97 would flash check gauges and zero oil pressure because of the sending unit. After 2002 they went with the idiot gauge iirc. Also it seems 97 is the only year that produced almost 50% of the Tjs with 4 cylinders.
mine with the 4.0 does this too. only for a second when taking off. so it's the sending unit ?
 

Wildman

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Has anyone tried this fix on a 97? As in my post here, I seem to have a different 'plunger' than what's shown in the video of the original post. Wondering if any other 97 owners have seen the inside of their tank?

I had a SE so it came with the 15 gal tank so I cut the tube off to make it a 19 gal tank.
 

97' 4 Popper

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mine with the 4.0 does this too. only for a second when taking off. so it's the sending unit ?
That seemed to be the issue for a lot of folks, oil pressure can't actually be zero so most likely it is reading wrong. I didn't get around to changing it before I sold the 97 because like everything else on it it was really rusted. :whistle:
 
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SSTJ

SSTJ

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I had a SE so it came with the 15 gal tank so I cut the tube off to make it a 19 gal tank.

Interesting. I learned that you don't have to cut both tubes in order to get the 19-gallon tank. I just cut the other tube, but left the tube with the check-valve as it was. It was the check-valve tube that I was asking about in that post.
 

Nashvillwill

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So, I don’t know if this counts as a quirk of the ‘97, an issue across all TJ’s, or just specifically mine. I have a pretty bad paint job on mine, meaning lots of bare primer in areas. I know mine has never been repainted as my wife purchased it new. Maybe my expectations are high, or maybe mine was just the last one off the line on a Friday. Anyone else notice this?
D5EEC096-3AD1-4DA3-ACF4-A05E989FB739.jpeg
CA225BA5-FEFA-4432-9A6E-9EBC3339FC8F.jpeg
C124B3D4-1EC9-4140-9F78-8E5EE1F7F3EB.jpeg
5256BAC0-79BB-40BF-B4B3-27C8FB4AB09E.jpeg

I know the underbody things may be passable. But if you look at the third picture near the headlight, this is a representation of the whole body. Anywhere two body panels come together, there is a bit of a gap. It just bothers me.