Whats The Difference Between Jeep CJ Vs TJ? (Explained)

Riding a classic Jeep may be your dream. And trust us, CJ and Tj are the most classic and vintage ones available. But which one to choose, Jeep CJ vs. TJ? This question may not let you sleep peacefully at night. So we are here to help you with all the information we have. Let’s dig in!

Jeep CJ features the most classic and military look with a two-door, distinct frame and small open body. But it has less room for legs and a short wheelbase. On the other hand, Jeep TJ is a little bit modern. They are considered the second generation of Jeep Wrangler that reintroduced circle headlights.

Before making any decision, more pieces of information are needed. So read this article thoroughly.

Jeep CJ Overview

The complete form of CJ is the “Civilian Jeep”. It is the prototype of the World War II military Jeep in the commercial model introduced by Willys in 1944. In 1986 the production of the CJ line came to an end. (https://www.smallhandsbigart.com)

Jeep CJ Overview

The Civilian Jeep introduced many individuals to four-wheel drive liberty and adventure, featured in all “CJ” versions. It served as a farm vehicle, government vehicle, mining vehicle, sports car, hunting and fishing wagon, fashion statement, and even the presidential carriage.

All CJ Jeeps had detachable hard or soft tops, open bodies, and part-time four-wheel drives with high or low-gearing options. With rare exceptions, they also had a distinct body and framework, flared fenders, rigid live axles up front and down back,  a tapering nose shape, and a wrappable windshield.

The CJ-7 and CJ-8, CJ variants, are still being produced today under license. These were swapped out for the Jeep Wrangler in 1987.


  • Lightweight
  • Solid design
  • Softer off-road rides
  • Classic Jeep look


  • Expensive
  • Less room for legs

Jeep Tj Overview

“True Jeep” is what the TJ stands for. The Jeep TJ  is the second generation of Wrangler off-road and sport utility vehicles. It was created between 1996 and 2006. The TJ reversed course, reverting to the vintage round headlamps and conventional windshield wipers of the original CJ Jeep.

Jeep Tj Overview

It marked the first Wrangler to be created using all of Chrysler’s resources, which substantially improved over the previous AMC ownership’s limited funding.

This Jeep not only brought a breakthrough advancement in chassis design, but it also put a historical error regarding its YJ grandfather to rights, much to the chagrin of Jeep enthusiasts.

The Jeep TJ is a perfect example of the classic Wrangler appearance, like the Rubicon and Willys. The TJ restored some of the YJ’s lost off-roading capabilities by slightly elevating the car and switching out the leaf springs with a coil spring-based system.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee was used as a model for the switch, which improved ride and handling and brought back the round headlamps from the original CJ.

Before being replaced by the brand-new, third-generation Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, the Jeep Wrangler TJ and Jeep Wrangler TJ Unlimited had their final model year in 2006.


  • Strong suspension
  • Improved ride quality
  • Gave birth to Rubicon
  • Better for rock crawling
  • Great comfort on off-roads
  • Coil springs
  • Much better soft tops


  • Not that fast
  • Poor sound system

Jeep CJ Vs TJ: Comparison Table

Here is a comparison table to make it easier for you to choose between the two vehicles faster.

Features Jeep CJ Jeep TJ
Model Years 1944 – 1986 1997 – 2006
Body Style 2-door SUV, Convertible, Pickup truck 2-door SUV, Convertible
Engine 2.2L L’134 I4 2.4L Powertech I4
Wheelbase 80 in 93.4 in
Transmission 3-speed Borg-Warner T-90 manual 3-speed TorqueFlite 30RH automatic

In-Depth Difference Between Jeep CJ And TJ

There are only two excellent choices for classic Jeeps: Jeep CJ and TJ. Many unique characteristics make them ideal for traveling off-road.

However, you will fail to purchase both at once as they are not much cheap as the jeep Patriot. You must know the variations to compare and select your best option. Let’s take a quick look at some pointers. We will discuss some key differences between these two units in this section.


Jeep CJ has a more classic look than the Jeep TJ. Many people are out there who prefer vintage and traditional things more than modern ones. They will choose Jeep CJ, for sure.

In contrast, TJ gives more contemporary vibes. And it also offers more advanced features and designs.


Though the Jeep CJ is an older model, it is not that bad on rough tracks. All the Jeeps are designed keeping off-roads in mind. There is no compromise.


But using more advanced technology, TJ is the winner here, undoubtedly. You can use 17 or 20-inch wheels in 35 or 37 inches tires to find out the best offroad joy in both jeeps.


Three different engines were available for the TJ: a 4.0L inline-six, a 2.5L four-cylinder, and a DOHC 2.4L four-cylinder.

And Jeep CJ offers a 2.2L L134 four-cylinder piston engine. So, a straight-line six-cylinder engine is more powerful, which prevents your jeep from shutting off while driving.

Leg Room

CJ is comparatively a lowered jeep, and the wheelbase is shorter. Some contend that the shorter wheelbase is a disadvantage when climbing and descending rocks. Additionally, the absence of a wheelbase makes the ride harsher, which is a more significant issue with a more robust suspension.

leg room

It also has axles with a narrow track. Compared to a TJ, they have significantly less room for legs. Therefore, CJ will be a tight fit if you are tall. If you run bigger, the rear axle’s two-piece shafts will be fragile.


Anyone wants to buy a car with more rust resistance and less maintenance.CJs are attractive but require ongoing maintenance. And the majority of those that have been in the rust belt for any length of time are rotten.

In general, TJs are more resistant to rust than older Jeeps though it also needs maintenance when your jeep have problems like voltage regulator issue or the rain sensing wiper doesn’t work.

Finding Parts

The CJ’s older model makes it tough to find components. This is another issue that Jeep lovers have with the car. For instance, good-condition 1974 Jeep CJ5 hardtops and wide doors are challenging to find.

On the contrary, Jeep XJ or TJs are not that old, so their parts are easier to find.


CJs are more expensive than TJ. Because they are more ancient models, it is not easy to find these models nowadays. Whoever owns them they do it as a hobby of collecting antique things.

Jeep CJ or TJ: Which One To Choose?

Before deciding between two Jeep models, you must be sure of the features you want in a car and the purposes for which you want to use it.

The TJ is preferable for narrow routes and mud pits. However, if you’re seeking a distinctive vintage look, you’d prefer the CJ.

If you’re tall and need additional legroom, the TJ is a better option for you.

The same applies if you switch from a manual to an automatic transmission. Acquiring replacement parts is more effortless, and it offers more significant cargo and storage space.

You may be proud of the fact that, whether you select a Jeep CJ or TJ, you’ll be operating a classic vehicle.

Final Words

The Jeep CJ and TJ will offer you a variety of features because they are both off-road kings. Your preferences, however, will vary as normal.

Your experience will ultimately determine which car you should purchase. This will assist you in selecting between the Jeep CJ vs. TJ. Everything comes down to off-market modifications and how you use the vehicle.

Hope this article helps you make your decision easier. So, do not delay anymore, and hurry to buy your dream Jeep!

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