1997 Jeep Wrangler Consumer Review: Highly Reliable, Highly Fun!

1997 Jeep Wrangler - Consumer Review

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Highly Reliable, Highly Fun!
By krakenbound on


1997 Jeep Wrangler SE 2dr SUV 4WD


I picked up a stock 97 TJ SE (2.5L, 5-speed, No A/C) with 140k for $4k. I then spent $8k and two years of hobby time on full lockers, gears, suspension, winch, rack, bumpers, etc, etc. It is highly reliable; starts fast and never hicups. The engine is easy to work on, and striping out the interior bits is also quite easy for upgrades and fixes. A Reman motor will only cost you $1500 and a weekend to swap it, or half that for a transmission, so long term cost to run it is dirt cheap, vs. the 6cyl w/auto at twice that price, or my 1/2 ton truck, which costs three times that to rebuild. It's not plush or fast, but it crawls up anything, gets lots of admiration and ride requests! FUN!

Best Features

- Lots of elbow room in the engine compartment - Simple and durable interior - Lots of aftermarket support

Worst Features

It's a Jeep. Any "improvements" will just be pricey comfort and convenience items for city folks trying to look like they off-road. Keep it simple, Keep it Jeep!
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