1997 Jeep TJ Reviews

1997 Jeep TJ Sport 4.0 liter from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 4.0 liter Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired29000 miles
Most recent distance93000 miles

Summary:

I love my Jeep!

Faults:

Purchase this Jeep TJ in 1999, and to date have replaced the radiator, power steering pump, exhaust, brakes, and tires.

Side mirrors paint peeling as reported by others, rot hole on topside of drivers side front fender. Exhaust manifold cracked back in 2003, I replaced the entire exhaust system with a Borla stainless steel. Was pricey, but no more rusting out.

Had the cat converter replaced under warranty back in 2002.

General Comments:

I have been snowplowing with this jeep since I bought it. At the time I had it set up with a brand new Meyer 6 1/2 foot plow that I'm still using today. I used to plow 20 to 40 residential driveways, but in the past few years have cut that number back to about a dozen due to my primary job.

I love my Jeep. It needs a few things right now such as the side mirrors need to be painted, and the front fender needs repair or replacing due to a rust/rot hole on the top. Recently replaced the original soft top with a Best Top.

My Jeep currently has 93,000 miles and I'm hoping to drive it until 200,000 or more. Did I mention that I love my Jeep??? :-D.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th April, 2009

1997 Jeep TJ SE 2.5L I4 from North America

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 2.5L I4 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired110000 miles
Most recent distance152200 miles
Previous carChevrolet S-10

Summary:

Rough, loud, and solid as a rock... just as I love it!

Faults:

Not comfortable... Oh wait it's a Jeep and I am a man about it.

U-joints in the front axle gave out after 11 years and 135,000 miles of torture.

Thermostat went bad (open all the time) after 12 years.

I broke the drag link kissing tree stumps.

Blew a radiator hose in the middle of the woods after 125k miles or so.

Ignition coil is in a stupid place, replaced with a stronger Accel coil and moved to the top of the firewall away from water and mud!

Besides that, nothing, GREAT JEEP... OK CJ's are way better!

General Comments:

It is a Jeep. Jeeps are generally not comfortable or roomy because they are a bare bones vehicle. I suggest before even fathoming owning a Jeep, you have some basic mechanical knowledge, and if you do wheel it, keep up with the PM!

I love it, I have had it since '04, and besides a few minor things, it has been mechanically sound for a high mileage vehicle.

I recently took the head and oil pan off for a 150,000 mile inspection and gasket PM, and saw the near new condition of the crankshaft, push rods, rockers, and even cylinder hones. MIND YOU, THIS JEEP HAS BEEN THROUGH HELL FOR OVER 30,000 MILES AND TWO ROUGH OWNERS!!

As for oil changes, every 3,000 and it will run forever!

Not fast, but it is a Jeep. If I wanted a fast car, I would have bought a GTO!

Driving a Jeep, especially when one adds larger tires, can be a challenge, but that is a part of the Jeep experience. You must let the Jeep drive itself, you are simply controlling it. You cannot force the Jeep to do anything it doesn't want to do, that's when you get roll overs and serious damage. Keep you head up and eyes on the trail and you will do just fine. Driving this vehicle is a very rewarding experience!

The other great thing about the Jeep is the lack of complicated parts. If you have a half-inch socket set and plenty of SAE and metric sockets, you can rest at ease so long as you know your end of the wrench. Any Jeep that is not one of the rugged minivans requires a keen operator that is hard to find anymore. You need to learn each noise and listen intently to anything out of the ordinary, this will in the end save you money.

A Jeep is a great vehicle. Not to insult DC but this is the last of the greats. A TJ is not for everybody, just as the CJ's and YJ's before it. They are rough riding, and no two are exactly the same, which attracts roughneck, adventure seeking, free spirited and mechanically inclined people to grasp the wheel and go where the big growling tires take you. If this sounds like you, then the Jeep is for you, if not, try a JK or a Grand Cherokee. CJ, YJ and CJ drivers are a breed apart, so don't be surprised when you don't like it after driving Cadillacs and Hondas your whole life.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th February, 2009

5th Apr 2010, 04:43

I have a 97 and I love it. 135k miles and the little four banger doesn't leak a drop of oil. No leaks at all actually. However your comment on a simple socket set is incorrect. If you buy one of these, immediately purchase a Torx socket and driver set as most bolts/screws on these units require them. Replacing the OEM plastic crimped to steel radiator immediately for a solid brass one is another recommendation I would make. How Chrysler managed to build such a solid reliable vehicle is still a mystery to me.

5th Apr 2010, 09:21

I love Wranglers too, but I wouldn't give one a 10 out of 10 in comfort, that's for sure!

Average review marks: 6.4 / 10, based on 14 reviews