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Quirks of the 97 model


Shuttlesworth

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I think the 8 additional gallons means it comes with gas, not additional capacity. I think I still have the 15.3 gallon tank.

My 10th position is a V too. Not sure what that means. I used to be all into the mopar VINs when I had roadrunners and such... back in the day, pre-internet. Even found the build sheet under the back seat in one. Wish I had them now...
The 10th position is year of manufacture.

V=97 W=98 X=99 Y=00 1=01... etc.

I was going on a hunch that 96 would be U since that comes before V. They must have all made them 97 even though built in 96.
 
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Wildman

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One of the issues I've had with mine is that the headlight switch went bad and then the plug and some of the wiring was partly fried.
So I replaced the wiring going to the switch.

Mine had some type of alarm system installed but I had no fobs for it when I bought it so I had to remove the alarm. Ever since that point I've had issues with my flashers not working intermittently or the 4 way flasher not working.
 

Woodrow

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I dunno when you replaced the heater fan's wiring harness but the usual cause of melted wiring is the fan motor is going bad. The shellac coating the winding wires breaks down letting the wires start shorting out to each other which starts the motor drawing more amperage through the wiring, switch, and resistor pack. Replacing any of those without also replacing the fan motor is likely to result in it happening again.
That sounds reasonable. Its been a few months. Maybe I should crawl under there and check the harness.
 
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TJ4Jim

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I thought it might be nice, for us owners of the 97 model, to keep track of some quirks.

Post your known quirks so we can know in advance, instead of learning the hard way.

I’ll make a list and update it so folks don’t have to scroll through each post. I'm just pulling from the posts in this thread and others, so I can't take credit (or blame!) for what's below. Correct me if you see something wrong.

———

General:
  • Jeep never made a 96 model TJ. The 97 TJ was supposed to be released as a 96 but there were so many manufacturing issues that delayed it shipping on time to the dealers that they instead introduced it as an early release 97.
  • There was never an official 1996 Jeep Wrangler. They pre released the 1997 TJ in 1995, and the early model 97s manufactured in 95 had a mix of YJ and TJ parts in them. The models manufactured in 1996 were all TJ parts, or so I've read. So the 1997 TJ was sold in 1995 and 1996.
  • Not really a quirk, but just FYI that 97s become "antique" cars in some states (like SC) starting in 2022.

Electrical:
  • Some 97s have radio antenna thread of 1/4–28, whereas other TJs have 5/16–18.
  • Some UK 97s have a different "immobilizer" than 98-and-up models do. The fix is here.
  • The 97 VSS would break down internally and leak ATF up into the electrical connector— hence the redesign.
  • The 97-99 models have the AC mounted on passenger side. This means the Durango alternator swap won't work.
  • As here, the 97s (and maybe other years?) have a grounding strap from the upper end of the gas filler tube to the frame.
  • Very early 97 models that were manufactured in early 96 use a lot of electrical parts like sensors from the '95 YJ. TPS and VSS, among others. @Jerry Bransford learned this the hard way with a throttle position sensor.
  • The 97 had different light bulbs in the foot wells, dome light, reverse lights.
    • Step/Courtesy Light Bulb Size: 89
    • Sound Bar / Dome: 906
    • HVAC and Instrument: 74
    • Tail lights use a 4-pin GM weatherpack, just like YJ. 98s and later use a proprietary plug.

Frame & Body:
  • 97 models have three cowl vents, whereas later models have just one.
  • 1997 and 1998 were the only years that used Mist Gray for an interior color.
  • '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. Pics here.
  • There were two different latches used on the '97 TJ based on when it was manufactured.
    • HOOK, Hood Safety Catch
      • 55074952AB 1 (Up to 1-2-97, 1997 TJ)
      • 55176731AA 1 (After 1-3-97)
    • The screw that holds it is: SCREW, Tapping, M6x1x20.

Engine & Drivetrain:
  • 1997 was the only year a TJ had 3.55 gears with a Dana 44 option.
  • Fan clutch is held to the water pump by 4 separate 5/16" nuts and all thread studs
  • Some 97s have a different plug for speedo gear. Pins vs blades in the connector (important for super short SYE).
  • 97s have the evap canister under the hood. It was also a different canister than used in other year models.
  • Big quirk in the wiring of the 01-03 1996 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.

Interior:
  • The non-cruise, one-piece steering wheel was only used for 1997 and early 1998 models.
  • The ignition key cylinder has older-style turn grips that was only used on 1997 and early 1998 models.
  • 1997 and 1998 models were the only years that used "sliders" to control the HVAC system.
  • The 1997 and early 1998 windshield visors don't have those stupid, colorful airbag warning and child seat labels yet.
  • Early 97s did not use the fabric strap to hold the glove box in place. They used a plastic "catch" that is built into the box itself.
The 1997 2.5 was the only year 2.5 with the fuel rail damper as located , also all 2,5's had the 4 - 5/16 fan clutch studs up to 02'.
 
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SSTJ

SSTJ

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The 1997 2.5 was the only year 2.5 with the fuel rail damper as located , also all 2,5's had the 4 - 5/16 fan clutch studs up to 02'.

Hey, thanks. I think your sentence got cut short. The fuel rail damper was located where?
 

Woodrow

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I dunno when you replaced the heater fan's wiring harness but the usual cause of melted wiring is the fan motor is going bad. The shellac coating the winding wires breaks down letting the wires start shorting out to each other which starts the motor drawing more amperage through the wiring, switch, and resistor pack. Replacing any of those without also replacing the fan motor is likely to result in it happening again.
@Jerry Bransford, I finally checked under the dash a few weeks back. The new harness for the resistor still OK (but it doesn't get used in the summer). I've been wanting to replace the blower motor as your suggestion made sense to me. BUT apparently, the '97 (or maybe early '97s) have another peculiarity here. The blower motor on mine has a pigtail which connects to the harness in front of the firewall.
'97 TJ blower motor.jpg

Subsequent blower motors have hole that the harness plugs directly into.
1631288849628.png


The blower motors appear otherwise identical. The old version of the blower is not available. Chrysler did make a conversion wiring harness plug which plugs into the harness on my jeep and the newer style blower motor (Mopar part no. 4886151AA). But, of course its discontinued as well. My local dealer found three dealers that have one (TN, CO and TX) but none of them will ship it to me. I found 2 online places that said they had it and then cancelled my order and said they were out of stock after I paid for it. I guess I'm going to some junkyards this weekend looking for a plug that goes into the newer style blower motor.
90AEFA5D-A1A9-48CA-B67B-F93B88BFE719.jpeg
F9B17FE8-7BA9-451B-8EF3-A846C7599C62.jpeg
69F36CCB-1D9E-417F-8EE5-2352DB57ED39.jpeg

Update:
I was able to get a heater blower plug from a wrecked 2001 TJ at a junk yard. I cut the pigtail from my old blower motor and spliced it to the plug from the junk yard. Wire number (2), color (green and black) and gauge were the same. This essentially Re-creates the discontinued Mopar adaptor noted above:
5B20F8C1-A378-4447-9FD4-81738B1ABDD5.jpeg

As the old blower was still working somewhat, I ran it with it out of the fire wall before cutting the pigtail. I did the same with the new motor to confirm they both spun the same direction. I’m not sure if it would run in reverse or just not run if I reversed the polarity, but all seemed good. So, the new blower motor is in and works well after a several week saga for what I thought would be very straight forward.
D59F4BD0-5038-4ADD-BE8C-BB9495E3C045.jpeg
 
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SSTJ

SSTJ

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@Jerry Bransford, I finally checked under the dash a few weeks back. The new harness for the resistor still OK (but it doesn't get used in the summer). I've been wanting to replace the blower motor as your suggestion made sense to me. BUT apparently, the '97 (or maybe early '97s) have another peculiarity here. The blower motor on mine has a pigtail which connects to the harness in front of the firewall.
View attachment 276047
Subsequent blower motors have hole that the harness plugs directly into.
View attachment 276048
The blower motors appear otherwise identical. The old version of the blower is not available. Chrysler did make a conversion wiring harness plug which plugs into the harness on my jeep and the newer style blower motor (Mopar part no. 4886151AA). But, of course its discontinued as well. My local dealer found three dealers that have one (TN, CO and TX) but none of them will ship it to me. I found 2 online places that said they had it and then cancelled my order and said they were out of stock after I paid for it. I guess I'm going to some junkyards this weekend looking for a plug that goes into the newer style blower motor.

I hope you get an answer! In the meantime, I updated the original post with a link to these pics.
 
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SSTJ

SSTJ

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BUMP. Been a while since I added anything there. Who else knows some quirks of the 97 model?
 

mrblaine

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BUMP. Been a while since I added anything there. Who else knows some quirks of the 97 model?
If anyone can help, I need some good clear pics of the charcoal canister and how the plumbing is done between it, the purge valve, and the intake manifold and or the emissions line from the fuel tank that runs next to the fuel line.
 
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SSTJ

SSTJ

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If anyone can help, I need some good clear pics of the charcoal canister and how the plumbing is done between it, the purge valve, and the intake manifold and or the emissions line from the fuel tank that runs next to the fuel line.

I might not be any help, because the truth is that I don’t know what half of those things are. But I will soon be removing my exhaust manifold and intake manifold in order to replace the exhaust manifold. I will check my FSM, and if I can figure out what you’re talking about, I’d be happy to take some pics.
 

macleanflood

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If anyone can help, I need some good clear pics of the charcoal canister and how the plumbing is done between it, the purge valve, and the intake manifold and or the emissions line from the fuel tank that runs next to the fuel line.
I'll be home in a few days and can help with pics and diagrams.

The bolts holding down both front seats in my 97 were different than the kit I purchased to replace the rusty bolts. Been awhile and I don't recall the specifics.

My 97 didn't come with third brake light wiring. The harness off the brake switch only has four wires...not the six in the FSM. No pins in the tub. No tan wire running in the loom on the driver's side harness to the rear.

-Mac
 
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mrblaine

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I'll be home in a few days and can help with pics and diagrams.

The bolts holding down both front seats in my 97 were different than the kit I purchased to replace the rusty bolts. Been awhile and I don't recall the specifics.

My 97 didn't come with third brake light wiring. The harness off the brake switch only has four wires...not the six in the FSM. No pins in the tub. No tan wire running in the loom on the driver's side harness to the rear.

-Mac
Thank you. I'm finishing up the fender install on the TJ-6 project. It came disassembled and we want to make sure we get it right.
 

mrblaine

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I might not be any help, because the truth is that I don’t know what half of those things are. But I will soon be removing my exhaust manifold and intake manifold in order to replace the exhaust manifold. I will check my FSM, and if I can figure out what you’re talking about, I’d be happy to take some pics.
The round charcoal canister right in front of the brake booster and master has a small purge solenoid near it and the lines going from that to the charcoal canister and then to the manifold or near it.
 
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Wildman

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I don't know if I have any good pictures of my charcoal canister & purge valve or not. I'll go back and look to see if I do or not.

Edit: Here is the vacuum schematic. I know it says it's for a V-8 but it was how mine is setup.

Vacuum Diagram.jpg
 
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SSTJ

SSTJ

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The round charcoal canister right in front of the brake booster and master has a small purge solenoid near it and the lines going from that to the charcoal canister and then to the manifold or near it.

Sure, I'll have a look and see what pics I can provide. Mine is an SE with the 2.5L, in case that matters.