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post #1 of 17 Old 01-15-2015, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Looking to buy a JK, what is worth buying?

First off I searched in many of the forums looking for the newbie forum. I'm an old Pirate4x4 member from 2004 under the same user name. I had a full blown crawler YJ that I built from the frame up, had a blast, sold it about 7 years ago when I moved to sunny Key Largo, FL. There is zero rockcrawling down here. Fast foward I just gave my remaining YJ that was supposed to be my next crawler to my Fiance and love of my life. She loves the thing, Im in need of a 4 door vehicle because we have 2 wonderful sons, one 10 yr and one 4 months.

My question is what is the general consensus regarding sahara, sport, rubicon packages? Im looking to run 35s, maybe 37s. Lockers are a must but I can put those in myself, I can swap transmissions and go atlas's later on down the line, done it before. I guess what I need to know is the Rubicon package worth it or still over priced for what you are getting if you can actually do the work yourself? Im trying to stay away from things like automatic windows, etc. I would realistically say the only thing in the Rubi that interests me is the 4.10 axles and the D44s. Realistically its going to be a DD that I want to be able to go where ever I want it to, take the kids camping, maybe some moderate trails to get to better camping spots. It will never be the full blown crawler that my previous YJ was

Sorry for the newb questions. Mods if there is another forum this belongs in just let me know and I will delete and move it. Thanks

Last edited by The Black Sheep; 01-15-2015 at 06:31 PM.
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-15-2015, 08:17 PM
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I don't know that there is a general consensus. Opinions vary quite a bit. Personally, I think if you are going to wheel it (as opposed to mall crawling) then a Rubicon makes a lot of sense. You get the D44 up front, lockers and the 4:1 transfer case. 35s are good with 4.10 gears, some people even get away with 37s and 4.10 gears. That really depends on what altitude you live at (in your case, 3 feet above sea level!) and how much you can tolerate the drop in performance. (I assume you are talking new, right? If used, at least get a 2012+ for the 3.6 motor!)

A friend of mine did the "math" and bought a sport to build into a "rubicon". By the time he was done, his conclusion was "I should have just bought a rubicon."

I can't see why you would ever need an Atlas transfer case. Same for anything more than D44 axles, even with 37s. For what you describe a Rubicon with a 3.5 lift and 37s would be the sweet spot, IMO. Or even a 2.5 with fenders.
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-16-2015, 05:59 AM
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I just traded my 13 sport auto for a 15 rubi manual. For me it was cost. It would take me so long to get 44's 4.1 case lockers, ext. and I missed the manual. So it made sense to get a rubi. Love it.

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post #4 of 17 Old 01-16-2015, 06:42 AM
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As long as you dont plan on running larger than a 37" tire Rubicons are the better value IMO. There are still things you need to beef up but you would have to do the same things to any of the models.

Once you go bigger than 37's and start running tons you may as well get a sport because at that point you are replacing pretty much everything except the engine and tranny and maybe transfer case.
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-16-2015, 06:59 AM
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Ditto what Rob said. If you are not going to replace the axles then get the Rubicon. If you are going to replace them go with a sport.

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post #6 of 17 Old 01-16-2015, 08:07 AM
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If you're going with a 2012+ Jeep (you should), they can't make the 4 sp Atlas work with the new auto, if you were considering that as an option.

Rubicon, with a few basic mods, will be able to pretty much get you anywhere that you want to go, that you described. Here’s a kicker, they aren't that much more than a Sahara. Power windows and locks are sissy...till you have them. 4 doors can be a pain in the nuts to lock/unlock if you're doing it a lot. it's nice to be able to do that and roll down the windows without moving around in the drivers seat too much.

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post #7 of 17 Old 01-16-2015, 08:36 AM
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If you go with the Rubicon, make sure you are getting the 4.10 gears. It's not the only ratio for the Rubicon anymore.

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post #8 of 17 Old 01-16-2015, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ronjenx View Post
If you go with the Rubicon, make sure you are getting the 4.10 gears. It's not the only ratio for the Rubicon anymore.
Im pretty sure the 4.10 gears come with the manual.

Whatever I buy will definitely be a manual transmission. I make good money in my life now, at some point I may just spring for a set of Pro Rock 60s and until then Im content to play with 35" tires. Im not crazy about the e-lockers in the Rubicon, I've always prefered Detroits. Im still leaning towards the Rubi at this point, I can always sell the axles and put the money towards the 60s.

I hate electric door locks and windows. Do the Rubicons have crank windows and mechanical door locks?
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-16-2015, 09:08 AM
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It really depends on what you plan on doing with it!

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post #10 of 17 Old 01-16-2015, 09:45 AM
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Most rubicons are fairly well equipped. I bought my 12 used and it has heated leather (heat is important in Canada) nav, pretty much every option. It is only the auto that gets the 3.73 gears in the rubicon. You say you are going with a manual then you will get 4.10. I find that for the wheeling in my area the 4:1 transfer case is too low since it is a lot of mud, but I'm not building my jeep for my local terrain. That is also something to consider are the trails more crawling trails or muddy ones where you want more wheel speed in low range.

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post #11 of 17 Old 01-16-2015, 11:06 AM
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I'll second getting a 2012+ model for the new engine. I'd go farther to say you may as well plan to get a new one. The used prices are not much lower than new because they are holding value so well. I shopped for months back in 2011 for a used JRUR until I realized I could order one without all the luxury crap for the price of a used one.

Also, I don't believe manual locks/windows were an option when I ordered mine, but I could be mistaken. The only things I added to mine were 4.10s and manual trans (I need this because my Jeep is my office a lot of the day). I do regret not getting leather seats though . The cloth ones suck, imo.

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post #12 of 17 Old 01-16-2015, 11:30 AM
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I bought a bare bones (only option was A/C) 2 Door 2014 Sport new for around $24k out the door, which was within a couple grand of a used one.
If you are planning on going 2012+ you might want to consider buying new due to the insane resale value on these things. However If you go this route, you will probably have to order it with 3.73s because they come standard with 3.21s and 4.10s are only available with the Rubicon.

If it ain't broke, fix it 'till it is.

Last edited by sixstring; 01-16-2015 at 11:58 AM.
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post #13 of 17 Old 01-16-2015, 12:12 PM
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I was in a similar spot a few months ago. Wanted a new 4 door but couldn't decide on which model. I did a ton of research and narrowed it down between the Sahara and the Rubi. Personally I went with the Rubi for the exact reasons that most people are stating. My friends in various states have Rubi's and have said before "With a lift and 35's, A Rubicon will get you to most places without any trouble what so ever." I mainly did it for the Axles, gears, and the lockers. Knowing that i would need all of that at a later date I spent the money up front.

The other thing I got pulled into was new or used. 2012 or newer will get the new engine and I must say I'm pretty impressed. No where near our 6.2 Chevy for power, but she'll do just fine. They also changed the seats a few years back and those make the world of difference also. My final deciding factor was I could purchase a brand new Rubi for almost the same price as a 2012-2013 with low mileage. Throw in the fact that I have a friend in the Jeep Factory.... no brainer. Buy the Rubicon, I don't think you'll be sorry.
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post #14 of 17 Old 01-16-2015, 06:59 PM
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I was in the same boat. I went with a Sport since I didn't want to pay for alot of parts I would be removing on the Rubicon. Suspension, wheels, tires, bumpers, electronic sway bar disco etc

The only thing I wanted on the Rubi was the e-lockers and Dana 44 front diff.

If you plan changing everything that I did, crunch the numbers and at the end of the day, it just might be cheaper to get a front Dana 60, gears and lockers for cheaper than the price difference of the Rubicon.

Don't plan on getting top dollar for the parts you remove. I had a hard time and practically gave it all away. Including bumpers, fender flares, stock wheels etc.

I was planning upgrading my axles but so far the Dana 30 held up fine with 37's. I will be putting an Aussie locker, gussets and chromoly shafts. For the type of wheeling I do, seems like a good setup since I go easy.

It's easy to say buy 60's or 1tons but honestly, most of us are weekend warriors and take care of our Jeeps because we need it to get to work on Monday morning.

I am very happy with my decision however the Auto locker will be the icing on the cake.

Last edited by Mtljeep; 01-16-2015 at 07:01 PM.
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post #15 of 17 Old 01-17-2015, 05:31 PM
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Get the Rubicon. You won't have to do much out of the box and if you do upgrade down the road, you have parts that are worth something and not throw aways like the Sport or Sahara.

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post #16 of 17 Old 01-17-2015, 06:01 PM
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I agree. I'm sure there's someone looking to make their base model look like a Rubicon!
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post #17 of 17 Old 01-17-2015, 09:45 PM
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You might want to do a cost analysis on this.

I've been kicking around the idea of going back to a 2-dr JK. A base Rubi vs Sport with only connectivity group and AC price differential is about $7500.
The Mopar 60's are about $10k. They are already geared in 4.88 or 5.38. They also have the same lockers as the Rubi. Disco's are cheep if you don't get fancy. You would lose some niceties, but nothing huge. You would have to decide if the transfer case is right for your needs.

I'm still running the numbers, but it seems like the better route to me.

These numbers are on a 2-dr. I know the 4-dr Rubi MUST have power group, so the numbers may be skewed.

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