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**TJ FAQ** <-- New Members/TJ Owners Read This

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Joined: 01 Jan 2004
Location: Eastern PA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2004 6:42 pm    Post subject: **TJ FAQ** <-- New Members/TJ Owners Read This Reply with quote

I'd like to create an FAQ so we aren't answering the same questions over and over and over and over and over...err...I'm done now...again. This will be it. Anyone with a frequently asked questions can look here to get the answer(s). I'd like everyone to help with this, so I'm not going to lock this thread but I have stickie'd it. Any member with a question(s) they'd like to add, feel free to. I'll be adding more information and questions as time permits.

I'll start with the most common question of any TJ forum.

Q: What is the biggest size tire I can run on a stock Jeep Wrangler TJ?

A: 31x10.5R15. You might need to play with the steering stops by adding a washer or 2, but they'll work just fine.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2004 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ever present cold weather noisy steering can easily be solved. Wink
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2004 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to blupupher for these...I'm just copying his information and reformatting. His FAQ is located HERE.

Q: What is a TJ, YJ, or CJ?

A: A quick rundown:
A TJ is a Wrangler with a model year of 1997+ and has round headlights and a coil suspension.
A YJ is a Wrangler from 1987 to 1995 (there was no 1996 model, just a early '97 TJ) with square headlights and a leaf spring suspension.
A CJ is any Short wheel base (SWB) Jeep with removable doors and top prior to 1987. They had round headlights and a leaf spring suspension. CJ's came in several models, the most common are CJ5, CJ7, and CJ8, but there are others.
TJ's and YJ's are referred to as "Wranglers" (in the U.S.A., not Canada).
TJ and YJ do not stand for anything, just a Jeep model designation.
CJ does stand for Civilian Jeep.
All these vehicles share common design aspects, most notably their short wheelbase, removable top and doors, solid front and rear axles, and capable off-road ability.
There are other differences and similarities, but this is the very short version.

Q: What is a SE, X, Sport, Rubicon, and Sahara?

A: These are the trim level designations of the TJ given by Jeep. They are all Wranglers. Basic differences:

SE: 4 cylinder, 5 speed standard, auto option, minimal options from dealer available (no D-44, no 6 cylinder) As of 2003, it is the only model that has the passenger side airbag off switch (due to the rear seat not being standard).

X: Introduced in 2002, it is between the SE and Sport, with the biggest difference being a standard 6 cylinder. Also comes with back seat standard. Still no D-44 axle option though. The "X" is offered in 4 packages, the Apex (2002), Freedom (2003), Columbia, and Willy's (2004) which primarily consist of different seat material, wheels, decals/graphics, and a few more options standard.

Sport: Comes with several standard features not included with the SE and X models. 6 cylinder standard. Has the D-44 axle option.

Rubicon: Introduced in 2003. According to Jeep, "the mightiest Jeep® vehicle we've ever produced.". 6 cylinder standard. It comes with D-44 axles front and rear standard, has a selectable locker front and rear, a 4:1 transfer case, 1" wider fender flares than the SE, X, and Sport, standard 4 wheel disk brakes, and the largest tires offered on a stock Jeep from the factory (LT245/75R16, which = 30.5x9.6x16).

Sahara: The "Cadillac" of TJ's. 6 cylinder standard. Has many standard features (A/C, Tilt, Cruise ect..), also has the 1" wider fender flares (painted to match body color) and body cladding under the doors. D-44 is available.

There are more differences than this. Go the the Jeep Website if you really want to know all the differences.

Q: What is the "Jeep Wave"?

A: The Jeep wave is a friendly wave given from one Jeeper to another. It started with The CJ's years ago, and has stayed around, primarily with the SWB vehicles. It is a recognition of one unique vehicle to another. It can vary from a lifted finger from the steering wheel (no not THAT finger) to an all out waving of the arm out the window. It is not mandatory, and many times is not returned. But as another has put it "I wave at the Jeep, not the driver. If the driver waves back, all the better". In other words, wave at all Jeeps, we are one big family.

Q: My check engine light is on. How do I pull the codes?

A: How do I get them:

For a 1997 TJ:

Turn the ignition key ON THREE TIMES in succession:
ON : OFF : ON : OFF : ON
(within FIVE seconds)

Count the number of times the check engine lamp on the dash flashes. The number of times it flashes is the error code. There will be a short pause between the flashes representing the different digits of the code. Longer pauses separate individual trouble codes. These codes are 2 digits only. Code 55 (*****_*****) will be the last code to be displayed.

EDIT: According to another user here, the codes will display on odometer as 2-digit codes on a 97TJ. I don't have a way to verify this, so I'll take his word on it (he's got a 97) and add this in to the FAQ.

For 1998 - Present TJ's

In 1998, Chrysler changed the way codes are read in their vehicles.

On TJ's with the newer diagnostic system, place the key into the ignition, push and hold down the odometer reset button, turn the key to RUN (do NOT start), then release the odometer reset button. When you do this you get a test of the dash functions and any error codes will display in the odometer area. These codes are 2, 3 or 4 digits.
Here is what they mean

Note: Some people state they are unable to get codes by either of these tests on their TJ's. I don't know why. Just seems it does not work for some. If one does not work, try the other. Sorry.

Q: How do I take my doors off?

A: On the TJ, there are 2 hinges on each door. On the bottom of each hinge is a nut holding it on. Remove these nuts, open the door, slide the door strap off the inside pin, and lift up to remove door. With full hard doors, it is usually easier to roll the window down before removing the door. Also have a place set to put the door once it is removed. They are heavy (right at 55 lbs) and awkward to carry. When removing the door, especially for the first time, the door might not want to come off. Spray the hinges with P B Blaster or WD-40, let them sit for a few minutes, then while lifting on the door, swing the door forward and backward. When you put the doors back on, you may want to rub the hinges with steel wool and then spray the hinges with some white lithium grease to make removal easier next time. The nuts you take off are painted, so they may get scratched during removal. To prevent this, put a thin rag between the nut and wrench before removing. There is a special wrench that that Jeep and other 4x4 stors sell that is made to not scratch the nuts during removal, but I have heard mixed results. Also, you may want to put a piece of tape between the nut and body to prevent any accidental scratching of the paint. Sometimes the nut will break the pin. Don't know a fix for it, but the hinge will still work. You don't have to put the nut back on if you don't want to.

Q: My dome light stays on when I take my doors off. What do I do?

A: The easiest way is to pull the # 4 fuse in thefuse panel behind the glove box. This will turn off the dome light with the doors off. Be advised, it will also turns off your "Headlight On" reminder chime. You can still turn on the dome light with the dimmer control as before. 2001+ models are equipped with an auto shut off that will turn off the light after 20-25 min. Only problem is, they stay on even when your driving for 20 minutes till they turn off.

Q: My doors swing to far out when they open.

A: Slide off the strap that keeps the door from swinging out where is attaches to the body, twist it 2-3 times, re-attach, and see if that’s better. You can twist it quite a bit more if you need it to open even less. LIKE THIS

Q: My rearview mirror is to low, how do I move it higher?

A: The easiest way to fix this it to just rotate the mirror 180 degrees, so that the bottom of the mirror is now the top. This places it right at the top of the window and does not change the view out the back. It wll look like THIS and THIS.
Or you can just wait till the mounting tab falls off in a few years and mount it higher.

Q: My "4 Lo" and "Full Time" dash lights don't work.

A: It is not supposed to. The TJ console is shared with the XJ (Cherokee) which has an optional Command-Trac 4wd system. This system uses the "Full-Time" and "4-Lo" lights in the instrument cluster. Since a TJ is only a part-time 4wd system, that is the only light that lights up in either 4-Hi or 4-Lo. There is no bulb behind the "Full-Time" and "4-Lo" on a TJ.

Q: What is a Budget Boost (aka BB and spacer lift)?

A: A Budget Boost is an inexpensive(relatively speaking) way to lift a TJ. They are spacers, usually made of polyurethane, but can also be made of metal or rubber,that are placed above the stock TJ springs to increase height. They range in size from 1/4 inch to 2 inches. They are many times offered in a kit that include shocks and bump stop extensions with them.

Q: What is a Body Lift?

A: A body lift is just what it says, it lifts the body of the Jeep off of the frame. They can be made of polyurethane, metal, and even fiberglass. They range in height from 1 inch up to 3 inches. It generally felt that anything over 1.5 inches is too high for a Jeep. Most will say no higher than 1 inch. Anything over 1.5 inches can cause binding problems with shifting linkage, length of wires, fuel line, A/C lines, and a large gap between frame and body. There is also somewhat of a safety issue if over 2 inches, the Jeep becomes somewhat top-heavy.

Q: What is a Transfer Case (T-case) drop?

A: A transfer case drop does just what it says. It lowers the transfer case skid plate. It is done with either spacers or washers placed between the frame and transfer case skid plate. It is used to reduce or stop vibrations from the rear driveshaft due to a suspension lift. It has the same effect as a MM lift by getting the driveshaft in line, but you loose some ground clearance when you do it. This is the cheapest way to stop driveshaft vibrations caused by lifting your Jeep.

Q: What is a Motor Mount (MM) lift?

A: A Motor Mount lift is used to lift the engine, usually 1"-2", that helps to reduce or stop vibrations in the driveshaft caused by a suspension lift. It replaces the stock motor mounts. It helps to get the angle of the rear driveshaft more in line from the transfer case to the rear axle. When you use a MM lift, you may need to move/ trim the radiator fan shroud. If you have a body lift and a MM lift, you should not have to do this, but may.

Q: What is a SYE?

A: A SYE is a Slip Yoke Eliminator. Stock TJ's come with a slip yoke in the end of the t-case for the driveshaft to slip into. With bigger lifts, usually around 3" to 4" and higher, there is a bind on the rear driveshaft that can not be fixed with a MM lift or T-case drop. The SYE does 2 things, it replaces the end of the T-case with a fixed yoke (what the driveshaft attaches to) to allow for a longer driveshaft and allows the rear shaft to be removed without loosing fluid from the T-case. This is the most expensive way to fix driveshaft vibrations for 2 reasons, the cost of the SYE and new, longer driveshaft.

Q: What axles do I have?

A: If you have a Jeep manufactured for use in the US or Canada, you will have a Dana 30 front axle.

Your rear axle will be either a Dana 35c or a Dana 44. To tell them apart, the Dana 35c has an oval shaped differential housing with a rubber fill plug on the differential cover. The Dana 44 has a 10 sided differential housing with a metal threaded fill plug on the diff cover. CLICK HERE TO SEE.
If you have A 2003 Rubicon, you have Dana 44 axles front and rear. (I HOPE you knew this already). The Dana 44 is the stronger of the 2 rear axles, but is available only on the Sahara and Sport as an option and as stated above, standard on the Rubicon. If serious off-roading with a locker or tires larger than 33", it is highly recommended to have the Dana 44 in the rear.

Q: What is Limited Slip and what is a Locker?

A: Limited Slip (LS) is a traction aiding device that is in the rear differential. The stock LS is called Trac-Lock. It is an option only for the rear axle. What it does is keeps one wheel from spinning while the other sits still. It uses friction plates to reduce the difference between the 2 axle shafts, and does so automatically. But as the name implies, there is still some slip that occurs. It is considered better than an open differential (no traction assist device), but not as good as a locker.

Like a limited slip, a locker is a traction assist device that is in the differential. There is no factory locker available from Jeep except for the 2003 Rubicon (air activated). A locker "locks" both axle shafts together, forcing both wheels to spin at the same speed. There are 2 types of lockers, automatic and manual.
The automatic ones are just that, when wheel slip is noticed, it automatically locks both axle shafts together and unlocks when not needed (as in turning).
For manual lockers, these must be activated manually by the driver when needed. There are 3 types, air pressure activated (ARB), cable activated (OX), and electric (Tractech Detroit Electrac) .

Q: What gears do I have in my differential's?

A: Your differential should have a metal tag on the side where the cover bolts on. It will be printed on this LIKE HERE (I have 3.73 gears). If the tag is missing, you can figure it out by lifting both rear wheels off the ground and placing it in neutral (and blocking the front wheels). Then rotate the wheels, watching the drive shaft. You need to count how many times the drive shaft spins in 1 rotation of the tire. The number of times the drive shaft spins will be your gear ratio. Stock ratios are 3.07, 3.55 (pre-'99), 3.73 ('99+) and 4.10. To help count the rotations, mark the tire, drive shaft and axle with chalk or tape for reference.

Q: What transmission and transfer case do I have?

A: If you have a 4 cylinder, 5 speed manual, you have an AX-5.
If you have a 6 cylinder, 5 speed manual, 97-99 TJ's have the AX-15 transmission. From 2000+, you have a NV 3550.
If a 3 speed auto (97-02, 4 and 6 cylinder) you have an 32RH. A 4 speed auto ('03+) is 42RLE.
Your transfer case for all TJ's (except for the '03 Rubicon) is the NV 231 (2.72:1 low range).
The Rubicon has an NVG 2410R (4:1 low range).[/url][/url]
04 Unlimited

Last edited by ehirner on Sat Feb 07, 2004 4:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2004 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'97 error codes and how to obtain them

'98+ error codes
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2004 5:01 am    Post subject: Re: **TJ FAQ** <-- New Members/TJ Owners Read This Reply with quote

ehirner wrote:

Q: What is the biggest size tire I can run on a stock Jeep Wrangler TJ?

A: 31x10.5R15. You might need to play with the steering stops by adding a washer or 2, but they'll work just fine.

I have one thing to add to this...adding washers to the steering stops might be illegal, depending on where you live. In some states you will fail inspection if you decrease the turning radius of a vehicle. It's not something an inspection staion would easily catch...but it is worth noting.

Another common question...

Q: What is backspacing?
A: Backspacing is the distance from the point where the wheel mounts (to the hub) to the back/inside edge of the rim. More backspacing puts the wheel/tire closer to the vehicle. Less backspacing moves it out. If you move them too far in either direction, you'll put more stress on the bearings.

edit - I moved the list of Common Term and Acroymyms to this post in Gen Tech since they are general enough to refer to all Jeeps.


97 XJ Sport with a bunch of stuff
Never argue with idiots, they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience

Last edited by ThePhantum on Sun Feb 22, 2004 2:00 pm; edited 2 times in total
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