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Wrangler TJ Vs. Wrangler JK

2007 Jeep Wrangler
John Cappa | Writer
Posted June 1, 2005
Contributors: Tori Tellem
Photographers: Courtesy of Jeep

The Wranglers Square Off

Should you judge a Jeep by its cover? Is what's inside what really counts? Yes and yes. Go nuts and compare the old and new Wranglers for yourself. You're pretty much looking at standard specs here, except where noted. For a more detailed look all the changes, go to

Who's really the better Wrangler and who should be put to pasture?

Winner: TJSure, the smaller 3.8L V-6 makes higher output numbers, but we're gonna have to go with the TJ and the 4.0L because it makes power at a lower rpm. The TJ also has less weight to move around. Nearly 50 years of inline-six heritage ain't ready to roll over and die to technology ... yet.

Winner: TieThe TJ four-speed auto and six-speed manual are identical to what's in the JK. If it ain't broke don't fix it.

Winner: JKThe 241OR in the Rubicon models is the same for both. But the JK comes with a much larger 241 as standard equipment. Sorry, TJ, your 231 splitter needs to split.

Winner: TieMost TJs have a crappy slip-yoke in the rear, however, the U-jointed driveshafts are superior in durability and accept lift kits more readily than the extra-long, import-car-looking half-shafts in the JK. TJ and JK driveshaft corrections will likely cost about the same.

Type: 4.0L I-6Description: Inline, liquid-cooledDisplacement: 242ciBore x Stroke: 3.88 x 3.41 in.Valve System: OHV, 12 valves, flat followers, hydraulic liftersFuel Injection: Sequential, multi-port, electronicConstruction: Cast-iron block and headsCompression Ratio: 8.8:1Power: 190hp at 4,600 rpmTorque: 235lb-ft at 3,200 rpmOil Capacity: 6 qt.Coolant Capacity: 10.5 qt.

Type: NSG 370-manual, six-speed overdriveType: 42RLE-automatic, four-speed overdrive

Type: NV231 Command-TracLow-Range Ratio: 2.72:1Type: NV241OR Rock-TracLow-Range Ratio: 4.0:1

Overall Length: 150.2 in.Overall Width: 68.3 in.Overall Height: 69.8 in.Wheelbase: 93.4 in.Track, Front: 59.5 in. Track, Rear: 57.5 in. Approach Angle: 42.2 degrees Departure Angle: 31.5 degreesCurb Weight: 3,832 lbs. (Unlimited Rubicon)Maximum payload: 800 lbs.Front Axle to Ground: 9.2 in.Rear Axle to Ground: 9.1 in.Headroom: 41.3 in.Legroom: 40.9 in.

Front: Live axle, leading arms, coil springs, stabilizer bar, low-pressure gas-charged shocks (standard), monotube high-pressure gas-charged shocks (Rubicon)Rear: Live axle, trailing arms, track bar, coil springs, stabilizer bar, low-pressure gas-charged shocks (standard), monotube high-pressure gas-charged shocks (Rubicon)

Type: Power, recirculating ball with damperOverall Ratio: 16.8:1 in.Overall Turning Diameter (curb-to-curb): 36.7 ft.Steering Turns (lock-to-lock): 3.4 in.

Type: Power-assistStability Control: NoneFront: 11 x0.94 in., vented disc Rear: 9x 2.5 in., drum (11.2 x 0.47 for Rubicon)

Winner: JKSure, the Dana 30 front and 35 rear are still around but with larger axletubes. Even the optional Dana 44s are improved with more splines, stronger internals, along with larger, more rigid axletubes. Too bad, TJ, it's swap city for you.

Winner: JKWith a more ridged frame and longer control arms, the JK is out-reaching the old Wrangler. Time to reach into TJ retirement with those short arms.

Winner: TieThe JK's larger interior and creature comforts will make it nicer on longer drives. But we still love the dirt-simplicity of the TJ.

Winner: JKWith things like optional electric sway bar disconnect, power windows, and push-button selectable ESP stability control, the JK out-magicians the TJ. The simple TJ rabbit-out-of-the-hat-tricks are dime-store by today's Masked-Magician standards.

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