Jeep TJ vs YJ (The Ultimate Showdown of Off-Road Powerhouses)

Off-roaders have relied on Jeep Wranglers for decades because they are durable and dependable. There have been numerous Jeep Wrangler models produced since Wrangler’s inception.

The YJ, TJ, JK, and JL Wranglers are only some of the models. Each generation of Jeep Wrangler is distinct from the previous.

Consider these variations between the two editions if you’re a serious off-roader and plan on tackling any of those rough trails!

Quick Comparison Between Jeep TJ And Jeep YJ

FeatureJeep TJJeep YJ
Year introduced19971987
Body style2-door compact SUV2-door compact SUV
Engine2.4L I4 (1997-2006) <br> 4.0L I6 (1997-2006)4.2L I6 (1987-1995) <br> 2.5L I4 (1987-1995)
Transmission5-speed manual <br> 3-speed automatic5-speed manual <br> 3-speed automatic
Max towing capacity2,000 lbs1,500 lbs
Fuel economy16-19 mpg city / 19-23 mpg highway14-17 mpg city / 18-22 mpg highway
Dimensions93.4″ W x 161.3″ L x 73.7″ H82.8″ W x 155.4″ L x 71.3″ H
Cargo capacity60.0 ft³ (rear seat up) <br> 120.0 ft³ (rear seat down)48.0 ft³ (rear seat up) <br> 88.0 ft³ (rear seat down)
Off-road capabilitiesImproved suspension, more aggressive tires, better ground clearanceSolid axles, 4-wheel drive, removable doors and top
Price (new)$18,000 – $25,000$14,000 – $20,000

The first two Wranglers to hit the market were the YJ and TJ, with the YJ being produced from 1986 through 1995. Then, from 1997 until 2006, TJ replaced the YJ as the successor.

There is still a lot of confusion concerning the Jeep Wrangler YJ and TJ models. Both of these Jeep Wrangler models have their own distinct features that we’ll cover in this post.

History of the Jeep YJ

The Jeep YJ Wrangler was debuted in 1986 as a replacement for the CJ as a result of Jeep’s innovation. It was the YJ that was the first Wrangler to be sold in the United States.

During the creation of the YJ, Jeep aimed to design a Jeep Model that could outperform the CJ Wrangler in terms of daily driving.

According to the plan, the Jeep would be improved so that it would draw in more customers and so boost sales significantly. In addition to a more street-friendly look, the Jeep Wrangler included sway bars and a track bar.

To make it even more pleasurable to drive on city streets, they also decreased the vehicle’s ground clearance. In terms of handling and ride quality, the Jeep Wrangler YJ was a huge improvement over the previous model.

History of the Jeep TJ

The TJ Wrangler was the second Wrangler model to be sold in the United States, following the YJ. Between 1997 and 2006, this Wrangler model was in production.

Compared to the Civilian Jeep, the TJ appeared to be a step backwards in terms of looks (CJ). TJ Jeep is a classic example of a Wrangler.

In terms of off-road performance, the TJ regained all the YJ had lost. Coin spring-suspension was installed instead of leaf springs, which elevated the vehicle a tad. No matter how little they tweaked their off-road abilities, early TJs were no better or worse than the YJ.

As time went on from 2003 to 2006, however, the TJ began to deviate farther from the YJ in terms of performance. During this period, an amazing TJ Rubicon was also created.

The TJ Rubicon quickly rose to the top of the Jeep off-roading pecking order. Throughout every generation of Jeep Wranglers, even the Jeep Gladiator, this potent trim level has been maintained.

Engine Options

The Jeep YJ was initially available with a 4.2L 6-cylinder engine, producing between 112 and 130 horsepower depending on the year and model. In 1991, a new 4.0L 6-cylinder engine was introduced, providing up to 181 horsepower.

The Jeep TJ, on the other hand, was initially available with a 2.4L 4-cylinder engine, producing up to 120 horsepower. In 1999, a 4.0L 6-cylinder engine was introduced, providing up to 190 horsepower.

Overall, the TJ had a slightly more powerful engine option compared to the YJ, but both vehicles provided ample power for off-road adventures.

Off-Roading Capabilities

Even though Jeep Wranglers have gotten better over time, they are still great at going off-road. In fact, on trails, all Wrangler models can beat all 4X4s.

The front axle on the YJ was a Dana 30, and the back axle was a Dana 35. Jeep TJs also came with Dana 30 on the front axle, but the rear axle has a Dana 35c.

The front and back axles of the TJ Rubicon are both Dana 44. In place of the leaf springs used by the YJ, the TJ has a four-corner quadra-coil suspension.

Even though they ride differently, both the YJ and the TJ are great off-road vehicles. For the best results, try a TJ Rubicon if you want a powerful Wrangler that can take you almost anywhere you want to go.


A TJ with a lift can be bought for between $10,000 and $12,000. A stock TJ in good shape will only cost you $8,000. On the other hand, lifted YJs cost between $6,000 and $7,000, which makes them a bit cheaper.

But if all you want is a stock YJ in good condition, it will cost between $4,000 and $5,000.


Additionally, the interiors of the two models are vastly different. Hard plastics and skinny seats give the YJ a utilitarian feel.

Many times, there were no carpets. You can replace out the plastic dash for a metallic one if you really want to make it stand out, which is something you can’t really do on the TJ.

The interior of the TJ was completely redone. It has a new dashboard with a centre console and nicer chairs. As a result, it became a more sophisticated and comfortable vehicle.


The Jeep YJ featured a coil spring suspension, which provided a smoother and more comfortable ride compared to the leaf spring suspension of its predecessor, the CJ-7. It was equipped with solid Dana 30 front and rear axles, providing excellent off-road capabilities.

The Jeep TJ also featured a coil spring suspension, but it was equipped with larger and more robust Dana 44 front and rear axles. This provided even better off-road capabilities and increased durability compared to the YJ.

Overall, the TJ had a more advanced and capable suspension system compared to the YJ, allowing for even better off-road performance.


Jeep TJ and YJ are renowned off-road vehicles. Both offer amazing features and capabilities, making them good choices for different drivers.

The Jeep TJ can handle the roughest terrain. Its adjustable suspension and robust 4×4 capabilities can handle any terrain you face.

If you want to drive on paved roads and in cities, the YJ may be a better alternative. Its smoother ride and greater engine make it more comfortable in the city. Either model is a good choice for off-roaders who also need a daily driver.

Frequetly Asked Questions

What is the difference between a YJ and a TJ Jeep?

YJ Wranglers came with a Dana 30 front axle and a Dana 35 rear axle, while the TJ came with a Dana 30 front axle and a Dana 35c in the rear

Which Jeep is better TJ or YJ?

For overall comfort both on the road and even on trails, the TJ is superior.

Are YJ and TJ frames the same?

Nothing on the frame is different but the link mounts. that’s it.

Are YJ and TJ parts interchangeable?

Everything from a YJ will require some measure of fabrication to fit a TJ (some more than others). They really completely redesigned the body in 1997, and the parts made before that are not interchangeable with TJs.

Are TJ and YJ tubs the same?

All tj tubs are the same and will just bolt on.

Will a YJ windshield frame fit a TJ?

Nope, wont fit.

Andrea Barbuti
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