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post #1 of 31 Old 07-30-2014, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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New to JK's - looking to buy one

Hello -

My wife and I are interested in getting into Jeeps. We are in Colorado and want to explore the old mining trails. We have been looking at a 2012 Rubi in an automatic. Prices in Colorado are high. Does anyone have any suggestions on where to find one? Also, should I be considering older models? I have heard Jeep upgraded the engine in 2012 so have been looking at those. Thanks for the help! - Jeff
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post #2 of 31 Old 07-30-2014, 10:18 AM
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IMO... Drive a couple of JK's ( or JKU's) and drive a couple of TJ's ( and/ or maybe a TJ Unlimited if you can find one to drive).

Then consider what you like/ don't like about any of the one's you drove.

It's all a matter of personal preference, so find something that you enjoy driving and go from there. Nothing like sinking a bunch of cash into something that was recommended to you but that you found out wasn't really what you were looking for.

All of them have their inherent advantages and disadvantages, so narrow down the field, choose your budget, and act accordingly.

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post #3 of 31 Old 07-30-2014, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks StubEXrube. We are renting a TJ for a day this weekend to explore the mountains. So we'll have a baseline opinion of the TJ and JK.

What are some of the advantages of the TJ?
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post #4 of 31 Old 07-30-2014, 10:38 AM
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Much fewer electrical glitches/ fewer electronically integrated components.
Cheaper after-market support.
Debatable but many would say more reliable engine in the TJ.
More narrow width... which on tighter trails is obviously a plus.
Lighter doors... which is a plus if taking off/ putting on a lot.
Less headache in many respects... to work on, to modify, etc.

Other pros that I'm not thinking of atm... but again, advantages and disadvantages with both the TJ and the JK.

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post #5 of 31 Old 07-30-2014, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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Good to know. What would you list as the advantages of the JK?
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post #6 of 31 Old 07-30-2014, 10:57 AM
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All the cool kids drive one... okay... kidding.

The wider width means a little more comfortable inside.
More available interior creature-comforts.
Strong after-market support.
Some would say stronger axles... but I wouldn't necessarily agree.
Minimal lift modification necessary to fit larger tires.
More stable feel in factory form/ better handling... but only minimally.
Slight cargo capacity increase over TJ's.
Slightly better low-end torque.

Same as with the TJ... some advantages that I'm leaving out... On a tight clock today.

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post #7 of 31 Old 07-30-2014, 11:03 AM
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A friend of mine in CO was looking at used, late model JKURs. He found them to be nearly as costly as a new one. He ended up buying a brand new hail damaged JKUR for less than most of the used stuff he was looking at. The hood is pretty dented up as well as the cowl, but both are easy to replace.
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post #8 of 31 Old 07-30-2014, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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Great point Nucleophile. I am having the same issues. I can get a 2014 JKR for $34.4k + tax from my auto broker with the options and color we like. But 2012's are going for $31-34k. However, out of Colorado they get into the mid to high $20s.

StubEXrube thank you for the advantages of the TJ vs JK. That saved me some time. Since this will be a 3rd vehicle for the weekends I should probably be more open to an older model. However, I do like the amenities of the new models and I am not much of a mechanic.

Lot's of good stuff to think about. Our target is to purchase it in early 2015.
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post #9 of 31 Old 07-30-2014, 12:05 PM
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I've had both (but I've quickly turned into a fan boy of the JKU so take this with a grain of salt).

My TJ that 4.0 while reliable was a dog. The 3.6 while not GREAT is a huge leap forward IMO over the 4.0 and the 3.8 (I wouldn't consider a 3.8 as a DD)

The comfort in the JKU is not even comparable to a TJ...its amazing

Cargo capacity is not "slight" by any means if comparing 2 to 4 door. The JKU allows us to drive from here to moab (even on 35s and eventually 37s) vs having to tow the TJ (just wasn't enough room for luggage, coolers, bikes, etc)

Honestly it only took using a friends JKU in moab for a single day for us to be sold. We listed ours and bought the JKU within a few weeks

**the used prices here were very high as well. I found my 2012 rubi in SC, bought a 1 way ticket, flew out and drove it back to wyoming over a weekend. Even lifted on 35s it drove like a dream. I've since added ~5k in part and labor to it and am still well below what one without would be here.

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post #10 of 31 Old 07-30-2014, 12:09 PM
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*I've never driven the 2 door JK just the JKU
**I owned a 2005 TJ
***I've driven the TJ unlmited on a few trails

If you have any questions as to comparisons I'm more than willing to give you my view point
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post #11 of 31 Old 07-30-2014, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpcolorado View Post
Thanks StubEXrube. We are renting a TJ for a day this weekend to explore the mountains. So we'll have a baseline opinion of the TJ and JK.

What are some of the advantages of the TJ?
Keep in mind these are two very different Jeeps inside and out. They handle different on and off road.

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post #12 of 31 Old 07-30-2014, 01:30 PM
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hey Colorado.........I owned a 97 TJ until 2008 when I got a 2 DR JK...............night and day.........a bit bigger but stock could do way more in more comfort than my modded TJ..........for me no brainer

now after 2 DR for 6 years, and many trails and trips, gettin a 4 DR for the room...............as many others mentioned all depends on you and what you're after.........if just a specific off road toy TJ might be good, might be better.............but IMO any substantial time on the road and a TJ is like a model T..........
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post #13 of 31 Old 07-30-2014, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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HTPR - thank you for the note. Very good points. I am leaning towards the JK. I like the comments about a bit more room and horsepower. I'm not much of a mechanic either. Know I need to find out a place to rent one of each for the day.
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post #14 of 31 Old 07-31-2014, 06:17 AM
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Stub's comparisons seem pretty concise BUT I would highly recommend you go drive both and see for yourself.

My better half loves my JK and started wanting a Jeep for winter. she drives a Mustang for summer. she didn't want to get a new JK so looked at used TJ's.

she hated them. felt they drove much worse were less comfortable etc.

personally I think the ride and handling are night and day between the two.

you could always fly out to pick one up in a different state if you purchase new.
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post #15 of 31 Old 07-31-2014, 07:26 AM
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To me the J in the JK is much more efficient than the T in the TJ.. I've owned and driven Jeeps from CJ5's on up and the JK is like a new dimension in Wrangler history. I test drove a JKU in 07. As soon as I pulled out of the car lot and started driving I was sold. The first thing I got rid of from previous jeeps was my kidney belt.

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post #16 of 31 Old 07-31-2014, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Great points. We are renting a TJ this weekend. I will bring a kidney belt. What about the year of the JK? Are the motors in the 07-11 years good or would it a better choice to looks at the 12-present years?
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post #17 of 31 Old 07-31-2014, 08:49 AM
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my '08 has 134,000 on it. been great so far. Only thing I have done is maint. oil, plugs, etc.
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post #18 of 31 Old 07-31-2014, 09:22 AM
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the pre 12 is fine..........only issue I ever had was clockspring that Jeep seems to have turned their back on............but after driving a 12 and up with the new moto I'd buy that for sure

also same problem as you with pricing..........they hold their value well so for another couple grand you can get 14 same price as 12 most of the time..............

I just bought a 2014 JKU Rubicon X for an unreal price..........I have the best guy down here in Phoenix to get you a new jeep at best price...........let me know if you're interested and I'll get you his contact info........
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post #19 of 31 Old 07-31-2014, 05:46 PM
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Before I bought my JK, I drove a few TJ's looking for the right one. I really, really wanted a TJ Rubicon with lower mileage. If I could have found an Unlimited, I probably would have paid a premium for it. I knew exactly what I wanted and I was even looking for a particular colour. Nothing about a JK appealed to me, like the amount of electronic gizmos in it, the cost of the aftermarket stuff compared to the TJ or the overall dimensions of the damn thing. It just seemed like they wouldn't fit. Anywhere.

But then I drove my buddies '11 one night. Just driving it around, I kinda liked it. Decided "yea, I could see myself in one of these. But just for a DD and cruiser". Well, a few more botched attempts to get into a TJ Rubi and I was kinda down in the dumps about the whole process. An add popped up for a JK Rubi, in the one really unique colour that appealed to me for that year, so I sent them a message. End of the week, I drove home in it. It was literally twice what I wanted to pay, but, for a JK Rubicon that year and mileage, it was a good price. Plus it came with both tops, how cool is that.

In reality, looking for what I wanted (TJ Rubicon, manual, lower km's, good shape, pretty stock) I was looking at an honest 10-13k $. Even then, the newest TJ is still 7 years old. My JK, at the time, was 2. Dealerships aren't really interested in them because they aren't around, private sellers think they have a cash cow. And I live in the east, so finding one in halfways decent shape is a chore in itself, let alone being picky

First long driving impression: my Jeep is my DD. Along with my wheeler. And it does both pretty damn well. If I were to get a TJ rather than my JK, it had the same fate. Thank every god in the sky I went the way I did. I know, if I didn't know better, I wouldn't know better. But the JK drives so much nicer than a comparable TJ. I've driven both quite a bit. 2 of them even had the same tires. The JK was far more comfy and I didn't feel like I was shoulder to shoulder with my adult passenger.

So here I am with my new Jeep, I started looking around and researching everything about it deeper. Holy shit it was overwhelming at first. But I learned that the JK, especially the Rubicons, had stronger axles from the factory. TJ R's had a 44 that shared parts with the 30. JK R's have some issues to address, but overall are very stout. A JK R can run a 35" tire with minimal work and sensible driving. A TJ R would have to have some serious upgrades to the axle if you wanted it to be reliable. Plus, the air lockers were kinda finicky. The E lockers I have are pretty reliable so far. Another upgrade over the TJ was the steering. TJ's had some funky Y steering going on. JK's are pretty simple as it goes draglink to knuckle, tierod to both knuckles.

But my real eye opener was when I took it wheeling the first time. Holy Shit. Between the super low range I had, the lockers and the fact that there are a ton of JK's on the trails, I never once felt like I was up shit creek because of the overall size of the Jeep. Granted, I haven't really pushed the Jeep beyond what I felt comfortable doing, but it has conquered some tough sections that I approached thinking "well, maybe..." With some selective and calm driving, it walked them fairly easy.

Overall, I'm extremely happy with my JK decision vs. TJ. It made sense on paper (reliable DD, capable wheeler, tough enough to survive me) , and it's been working in real life since. Yes, there are issues with the JK. But really, what Jeep goes without issues. The TJ's had the infamous oil pump drive assembly that liked to give up the ghost, costing alot of guys their engines. Then there was the D44 rear locker/limited slip combo that you had to tiptoe around. Everything has their shortcomings. But I think you'd be extremely happy with a JK for your intended purposes. Especially if you plan on taking any more than one person camping with you. The JKU is untouchable for space. Who knows, you may end up driving it everyday cause it's just so enjoyable

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post #20 of 31 Old 07-31-2014, 06:10 PM
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I had a friends wife contact me last night telling me my buddy was about to buy a used 2013 JKU Rubicon in Vegas for $35,991. While not a bad price I offered a similar 2014 brand new for $500 more! Look like I will be selling them a new 2014 within the next few days.

Let me know if Colorado doesn't work out I have four dealers here in Phoenix to pull inventory from.

Jason

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post #21 of 31 Old 07-31-2014, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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2Door - thanks for the info. Sounds like you have a great ride.
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post #22 of 31 Old 08-01-2014, 12:04 AM
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I wouldn't say it's great yet, but it's doing me well. I just finished my lift (for now, I'll add to it later) and I have yet to really wheel it yet. I did give it a short shake down on one of my favorite short trails with my girlfriend a day or two after I lifted it, and I will say that I was thoroughly impressed. Sections of trail that took alot of concentration while it was stock were seemingly easy. And, if I would have had a friend with me (solo Jeep) I could have tried the harder lines that before, I knew weren't possible. I bought it stock (actually, it had never really been offroad) and I'm building it the way I think it should be built. Sure, plans have changed here and there but it has all worked out well.

If you're looking at new or used, I will say this; Don't settle. Get exactly what you want, down to the T. I did. I think that's why I've been so happy with it. If mine had different options (had been a Sahara, a 4 door, didn't have the hardtop or an auto) I wouldn't have looked at it twice.

Best thing I can say is go out and look. Go drive a few of them to decide what you want, what you like and what you know to avoid. Oh, and don't rush. Be willing to wait (I know, it's really hard) for just the right Jeep for you. That way, you'll never be unhappy. 2 door, 4 door, TJ or LJ. All of them drive very differently. Likewise, they are different off the road as well. Each have strengths and weaknesses. For where I live and the trails I do, the 2 door is perfect. I don't usually go camping more than 2 days and usually just 2 people. So the space is less of a concern for me. If I had a family, or liked venturing out for a couple days at a time vs the day trips that I take now, I might have a different tune. And maybe one day I'll add a 4 door. But that's all me. Decide what you want.

Good luck, and make sure that you post up what you decide on.

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post #23 of 31 Old 08-02-2014, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Rented an LJ today and also drove a JKU. Definitely enjoyed the LJ, but with the wife and two dogs and some gear things were tight. I also have a twelve year old daughter and all of us would never fit in the LJ. Leaning towards a JKU. For moderate trails and putting 33-35's on it with a 2-3" lift, could I get away with something other than a Rubicon. The Jeep rental guy had a wrangler x and didn't feel the Rubicon was worth the extra $5-7k. Would love to hear any comments...thanks.
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post #24 of 31 Old 08-02-2014, 09:15 PM
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All depends on the trails you want to do. stick to the easy stuff and NP. Move up to more challenging trails and you will be kicking yourself you didn't get the rubicon. Start with the trails you want to run, that will dictate tire size and the need for extras will lockers and rock sliders.
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post #25 of 31 Old 08-03-2014, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Good point.
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