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2003 Rubicon / Model Year Tidbits

2003 TJ Tidbits

For all those times you just wanted to go "Why did they do that?"
and all the weird things I figure out or heard about the Rubicon.

This is just something I noticed.  I had the hood up at night with the headlights on and saw that the headlights were shining back through the reflector lighting up the inside of the engine compartment.  Kinda cool.  This is what I got from a Jeep engineer that was visiting my dealership.  I got introduced because I owned a Rubi and he wanted to ask me a couple questions.  I asked him about why the headlights were done this way, he didn't know for certain, but suspected that they were designed to assist in lighting the engine compartment at night in case you had an engine problem.  It you look at the back side of the headlight's you will notice a section that isn't chromed over.  This allows the light to shine back into the engine compartment.

Drivers Side headlight
Driver Side
Passenger side headlight
Passenger Side
engine bay hood shut
Looking up into the engine bay with hood shut.

Tire Weight:
285x75r16 Goodyear MT/R with Moab 16x8 Rim weights 75lbs.

Gas Filler bolts:
Some of the early production model Rubicon's came with phillip's head screws vice the more recent Torx's head screws.  I know that the Feb, 03 build dates already had the Torx's heads.

Dana 44 Covers:
The rear Dana 44 cover has a higher fill hole than the front cover.

3rd Brake Light
Jeep put a 5/8" space between the tire carrier and the brake light holder so the 3rd brake light look like it sits the same height above the tire, but the tire is bigger on the Rubicon.

Hard Top Air Vents
They took the pressure release vents out of the hard top and put them in the tailgate.  If you look in behind the spare tire carrier you will see the outlet.  I think they will trap plenty of water and rust out the interior.  I can see that the paint job on mine isn't the greatest.
Tailgate vents

This page last updated: 16-Apr-2008

Content and Design © 2002-present WanderingTrail,  Ron Seegert
Common Sense and Safety should always be observed when working on your vehicle or doing modifications. Jackstands, wheel blocks, disconnecting the battery are a few of the basic safety precautions that should be used and may not be mentioned in the write ups on this site. You are responsible for your own installation, these write ups are a helpful guideline and should not be taken as an official installation instruction. My write up may be different from the kits currently out there, so alwasy double check the manufacturers installation instructions when installing anything. I try to keep the site up to date with changes that have occured as I discover them, but may not have the latest unless someone lets me know. If you feel that an install is above your capabilities after reading my write ups, I recommend getting together with a club and getting some help. Only a few times have I needed to employe some actual help from a shop to get something done. Usually welding or A/C work.
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