It’s been said parents often love their first or their last child the most. For Jeep owners, nothing could be further from the truth. Unlike the YJ generation’s clunky first edition models and the ongoing debate surrounding Jeep’s newest generation of Wranglers, the TJ series seems to be universally loved. Who knew the middle child would get the most affection?
Two radical transformations marked the TJ generation. First, Jeep would eventually drop AMC engine parts and accessories from its manufacturing line. Secondly, and most importantly, 1996 Wrangler models would bring back the famous round headlights that so many Jeepers missed. Improvements on Wrangler suspension components, transmission, and T-cases, all of which had their flaws during the YJ generation, along with other revolutionary changes would mark this amazing Wrangler evolution including:
- Coil spring suspension with four-link control arms for smoother handling and greater lift capabilities
- Higher lift and improved off-roading angles
- Integrated twin catalytic converters
- Round headlights
- Standard 19-gallon gas tanks (1999-onward)
- The introduction of a four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive (2002)
- Neater dash arrangement- with the ability to manipulate overdrive in select models
- Standard NV231J T-case with 2.72:1 low range options
The Jeep Wrangler TJ generation also saw the introduction of the most beloved Jeep Wrangler of all-time, the Rubicon. With better lift, improved suspension components, and sharper off-roading angles, the Rubicon was designed to do what a Jeep does best: cross untamed obstacles. Other notable models from the TJ generation include the stalwart Sahara, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Wrangler X, Wrangler Sport, and so many others.