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Useful info and links for identification  » Jeep Wrangler TJ (1997-2006)
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Jeep Wrangler TJ (1997-2006)
Published 14/09/2019 @ 20:16:36, By night cub
I don't have many notes on these, but here's what I have for model year changes:


1998: Hood latches
Front license plate holder moved to center (was on passenger side)
Bumper guards added to front bumper
Triple hood vents changed to smaller single vent

1999: New smooth center steering wheel

2001: Wider rear view mirror
Quick removal side steps
New instrument cluster
60th Anniversary trim - one year only

2002: X model added
Apex Edition - 2002-2003 only

2003: New 4-spoke steering wheel
New seats with taller seatbacks
Plastic trim around windshield (was painted metal before)
New exterior mirror design
The door key cylinder is now chrome instead of black
Center of dashboard redesigned (radio/HVAC controls-from square to oval)
Power outlet added next to cigarette lighter
Thicker foam around roll bar
Rubicon trim added
Rocky Mountain Edition - 2003-2005
Freedom Edition - one year only
Rubicon Tomb Raider Edition - one year only

2004: Trail Rated badges
Columbia Edition - one year only
Last year for Sahara trim
Willys Edition - 2004-2005

2004.5 Longer Unlimited version introduced in April 2004

2005: Sahara Edition Unlimited Rubicon - one year only

2006: 65th Anniversary trim - one year only
Golden Eagle Edition - one year only


Found some more detailed changed here:

https://wranglertjforum.com/threads/jeep-wrangler-tj-changes-by-year.8165/

Latest Edition: 14/09/2019 @ 23:34:14
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Jeep Wrangler TJ (1997-2006)
Published 14/09/2019 @ 20:34:48, By Sandie
I had loads of notes for the JK, then started on these but seem to have lost the file on a memory stick.

I can recall the changeover for the vents being 1998, and them getting a new mirror style (with thicker arms) for 2003. Can't remember what else I had. Think there were some changes to the trim badge style/fonts? Or am I thinking of the JK?
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Jeep Wrangler TJ (1997-2006)
Published 14/09/2019 @ 20:48:10, By night cub
Well if you can find anything please add. I didn't do a lot a research on the TJs, but I wanted to put my notes somewhere useful so anyone can reference them.
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Jeep Wrangler TJ (1997-2006)
Published 14/09/2019 @ 21:30:36, By Gamer
New steering wheel was in 1999 if I recall, and the hood vent was changed in 98.

For 2000 there were new concave 5-spoke wheels, but I can't recall their name. The steering wheel was changed again in 2003 to have an indentation.
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Jeep Wrangler TJ (1997-2006)
Published 14/09/2019 @ 21:54:02, By night cub
OK, I switched the steering wheel and the hood vents.
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Jeep Wrangler TJ (1997-2006)
Published 14/09/2019 @ 23:48:13, By Sandie
Just noticed you've updated your post and been using the same link I've found been working from trying to identify the changes, bit of duplication of effort there. :grin:

The 2003 updated interior mirror is also useful to note because it's a different shape. It's probably easier to notice than the difference between the 97-00 one and the 01-02 one.

1998 is the correct year for the steering wheel changing, think the confusion is that it was either a mid-year change as not all 98s have it, but all 99s seem to.

1998 VIN example with later wheel: http://gtcarlot.com/colors/car/31900821-9.html
http://gtcarlot.com/colors/car/51856045.html

1998-02 and 2003+ now seem fairly straightforward to identify. Can't believe no one has noticed the bumper change before as it is really obvious and useful to us. Worth trying to start cleaning now (1998-02 and 2003+) or do we try to wait for more details to be added?

I've worked out the badge changes, but they seem to be 2003+ as well.

There are also posts on the main site saying the Trail Rated badge changed from grey to chrome/black in 2005, and this applied across the Jeep range.

Latest Edition: 15/09/2019 @ 00:00:49
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