New sport S vs rubicon JKU to build with 35's/lift - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 18 Old 10-08-2015, 07:32 AM Thread Starter
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New sport S vs rubicon JKU to build with 35's/lift

I know this has been beaten to death in the past, but I'm shopping this weekend for a new JKU. Eventually it'll get 35's, 2.5" lift and bumpers/winch/tire carrier.

I can't find the exact Rubicon I want out of the hundreds around here. (has to have auto/hard top/4.10) without them being $48k with stuff I don't want (color matched top, nav, airbags, etc). I can find the options, but not the right color, or vice versa. And I'm looking at $40-45k out the door after taxes/tags, etc. With that expenditure, I'll be on the stock tires for a while before I can modify that stuff. There's a couple of 2015 leftovers I'm going to look at, but I'm not sure I can live with red or tank (no offense, but I love the silver or granite).

I can also get a fairly loaded sport S with the power/convenience package/connectivity/alpine/XM audio for probably high $30's. But then it'll need wheels/tires/lift/gears/diffs right away ($5k?-ish).

I've offroaded my dad's '12 2 door rubicon and while the lockers are nice, they only work under 18mph. The low range was so low that I was in 4th-5th gear with the 6MT trans to keep up with my buddies on the 4x4 road (20-25mph in some sections). The sway bar disconnect was nice.

So I could live with the higher crawl ratio, and manually disconnecting the sway bar for the few times a year I go up on the trails. In a sport, I'd run 4.56 gears, Detroit in the rear, and a selectable up front.

Then there's the future resale value problem too- rubi's hold their value more than a built sport, but there's a silver 2016 sport s at my local dealer....

Or I could bite the bullet and custom order exactly what I want.

ideas?
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post #2 of 18 Old 10-08-2015, 09:29 AM
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If you're going to replace a lot of the components (lockers, gears, tires, wheels) you get with a Rubi, save the $ and get the SportS - the diff in late model resale isn't that much more than the difference at time of purchase, and the difference will likely diminish over time

I was able to get a Rubi, but did not want to buy a new Jeep Sport and then turn around and put an additional $5k-$8K into it out of pocket AND get it all installed and dialed in... but that was my decision for my situation.

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post #3 of 18 Old 10-08-2015, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by zimm View Post
I know this has been beaten to death in the past, but I'm shopping this weekend for a new JKU. Eventually it'll get 35's, 2.5" lift and bumpers/winch/tire carrier.

I can't find the exact Rubicon I want out of the hundreds around here. (has to have auto/hard top/4.10) without them being $48k with stuff I don't want (color matched top, nav, airbags, etc). I can find the options, but not the right color, or vice versa. And I'm looking at $40-45k out the door after taxes/tags, etc. With that expenditure, I'll be on the stock tires for a while before I can modify that stuff. There's a couple of 2015 leftovers I'm going to look at, but I'm not sure I can live with red or tank (no offense, but I love the silver or granite).

I can also get a fairly loaded sport S with the power/convenience package/connectivity/alpine/XM audio for probably high $30's. But then it'll need wheels/tires/lift/gears/diffs right away ($5k?-ish).

I've offroaded my dad's '12 2 door rubicon and while the lockers are nice, they only work under 18mph. The low range was so low that I was in 4th-5th gear with the 6MT trans to keep up with my buddies on the 4x4 road (20-25mph in some sections). The sway bar disconnect was nice.

So I could live with the higher crawl ratio, and manually disconnecting the sway bar for the few times a year I go up on the trails. In a sport, I'd run 4.56 gears, Detroit in the rear, and a selectable up front.

Then there's the future resale value problem too- rubi's hold their value more than a built sport, but there's a silver 2016 sport s at my local dealer....

Or I could bite the bullet and custom order exactly what I want.

ideas?
Sounds like you want more than what the Rubicon option can give you (because of its safety limitations).

So two options.

1 - Purchase a used 2012 Sport - then use the money you saved to modify it to your requirements.

2. Purchase a Rubicon and then mod the things you don't like. You can bypass the locker safety stuff for example.

If I had it to do again, I would have still purchased a Rubicon... it gave me options I can't get (at the time) in the other models... at this point, the only parts of the Rubicon package left is the axles (which now don't use the factory wiring harness) and the leather, heated seats... lol... (the e-disco anti-sway bar motor stopped working and I installed the EVO no-limits knob)
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post #4 of 18 Old 10-08-2015, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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Well that's an idea.... sport S 2012+ used. I didn't think of that. I was looking at used rubicons around here in the DC area and they're all $37-$39k, I immediately thought about just buying a new one for that price. I'll look into used sports.
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post #5 of 18 Old 10-08-2015, 10:59 AM
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Here's the build sheet for my 2013 JKU sport. I picked it up at a Jeep dealer in NOVA for $29,000. It's certified has a basic mopar 2 inch lift, aftermarket wheels and 285/75/17 duratracs. It's in like new shape with 36,000 miles on it. I had been lookng for about a year or so.

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post #6 of 18 Old 10-08-2015, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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I've also been really limited myself to only rubicons with 4.10 gears. The more I think about it, the more I think 3.73's will be fine until it's time for 35's, then regear to 4.56. I'm assuming they make 4.56 gears for the stock lockers?
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post #7 of 18 Old 10-08-2015, 12:22 PM
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I've got a 2013 JKU sport s, tech package, hardtop, manual, max tow package (3.73). I'm running a 4" Zone kit, 35's, winch, bumper --> $34K, $600 lift, $1500 rims/tires, $250 ebay bumper, $400 X20 10K winch ====== $37,000. 6th gear on the highway isn't too useful unless it's flat. I would like 4.56 at some point but it's not an issue. Locker.....depends on how hard you wheel. I've only used my winch once in 2 years and I wheel pretty good. Learn to drive. Don't get me wrong, lockers are sweet but look at money vs. realistically how often are you going to use them. Truetrac with 4.56 for driveability and more usefulness. D30 up front. If you can't say out of the gas on trails or have a heavy foot on rocks and stuff, go for the rubi and get the D44. I've yet to break a driveshaft or axle with my 35's and good driving.
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post #8 of 18 Old 10-08-2015, 12:40 PM
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I bought a Sport S in mind that I can add all my own stuff. The reality? Out of pocket expense adds up quick even if your doing the work yourself! Its going to cost me $5K to add the lockers/gears D44 front axle.

Buy the Rubicon


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post #9 of 18 Old 10-08-2015, 01:14 PM
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If I had it to do all over again I would buy a 2007-2011 JKU. Give it an LS, ton's, and the lift tires and wheels I want. I am slowly changing out parts on my 2013 JKU Rubicon to fit my wheeling needs. Soon there will be nothing left of the Rubicon options. If I were buying new, I would get a low option S and start from there.
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post #10 of 18 Old 10-08-2015, 06:44 PM
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I agree with the other guys. If you are going to mod it a lot, then get the Sport. The factory lockers on the Rubicon aren't all that great. There are more choices in after market lockers that will better suit your needs. The electronic sway bar disconnect is outrageous to repair when (not if) it fails. The front Rubicon D44 has the same weak axle tubes, inner Cs, and bearing units as the D30.
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post #11 of 18 Old 10-08-2015, 07:46 PM
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The two posts above me are spot-on. If you don't plan on doing a large amount of mods, then maybe a Rubicon is the way to go.

If you plan on modding it a bunch, then get a sport.

My example. I started with a 2011 Rubicon. I now have a 6.0 L96 and 6L80E transmission. That rubicon transfer case is gone and replaced. Next the rubicon axles will come out and 1-tons are going in. Like above, my e-disco failed some time ago and I switched it to an EVO no-limits knob rather than pay the highway robbery they want for a new motor.

If I had it to do again, I'd go extreme and purchase a flood-damaged JKU, gut it and start with just the tub and the frame.
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post #12 of 18 Old 10-08-2015, 08:40 PM
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I'll play devils advocate...

I bought a 2011 JK Rubicon in 2013. Buddy of mine bought a 2013 JK Sport in 2013. Both Jeeps were similar in price.

Both Jeeps have the same lift, height of tires, and some armour along with the standard bumpers and winches. So in turn, they're pretty damn similar.

Over the winter I'm looking at tuning my suspension and regearing. My buddy is looking for a 4:1 Tcase and a Dana 44 axle and adding a front locker.

Of course, he's got the Pentastar and comfier seats. I'll regear to 5.38's over the winter, make my suspension better and call it good for awhile. He's still looking at a whole bunch of money spending.

And he already regeared his Jeep cause the 3.21's that were in it with the 35's were miserable. At the same time he added an auto locker to the back (his is a manual, so he can)

My vote is for the Rubicon. Neither of our Jeeps are what you would consider extreme builds (actually fairly average and competent Jeeps) and they both work well. But I'm still a little bit ahead of his with my Tcase and front axle (we actually both OWN trusses, neither of us has installed them yet). I'll probably never have an LS swap, 40's or one ton axles... so where I started is proving to be an excellent foundation for where I'm going.

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post #13 of 18 Old 10-09-2015, 10:45 AM
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If a 4:1 Tcase vs 2.72:1 makes or breaks you on the trail you have bigger issues to consider. I've never see, been in, or heard of a situation where someone said "You know what, if I had a 4:1 Tcase I could have made". A 4:1 Tcase is mostly good at breaking axle shafts, U-joints and twisting drive shafts with its increase torque amplification to the wheels. It is a lot less expensive to stall than twist stuff until it breaks.
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post #14 of 18 Old 10-10-2015, 09:21 AM
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Here's my take on it.
I have a 2015 Sport S, purchased new. I was hesitant to buy a used Jeep for use as an adventure and daily driver. I love the Rubicon and truly it is an outstanding vehicle. Having said that, if I wanted a comparably equipped Rubicon it would have cost close to 40K + tax (list price would be 40K+). I can add Detroit e-lockers to my Sport for about $2400 installed front and back, and I can add an RK lift for another grand self-install.

After all of that, the only main differences then between a Sport and Rubicon is the 4:1 transfer case, and some additional armor and the electronic discos. Some would argue the Detroit lockers or ARB would outperform the Rubicon factory lockers.

I already have JKS discos which cost me about $100, and I know some guys in Rubicons prefer manually disconnecting anyway.

Having said all of that, again, my Sport has the Max Tow Pack, heated seats, 3.73 gearing (great for commute), hard top, and a few other creature comforts that would put the Rubicon close to the $40K mark.

I'm not ragging on the Rubicon at all. THey are awesome and the most capabale vehicle out of the factory, but the capability vs other jeeps are in the factory lockers and transfer case. But like others have said above, the Sport transfer case is still great and has a lot of benefits.

Edit: I paid $31,200 for my 2015 JKU Sport just this past June.

Last edited by morjams; 10-10-2015 at 09:27 AM.
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post #15 of 18 Old 10-10-2015, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndyJLH View Post
If a 4:1 Tcase vs 2.72:1 makes or breaks you on the trail you have bigger issues to consider. I've never see, been in, or heard of a situation where someone said "You know what, if I had a 4:1 Tcase I could have made". A 4:1 Tcase is mostly good at breaking axle shafts, U-joints and twisting drive shafts with its increase torque amplification to the wheels. It is a lot less expensive to stall than twist stuff until it breaks.
I'll bite.

We have a lot wooded to with rocks (technically I'm located in the Appalachian mountain range). My Jeep has stock gears right now, so, 4.10's. With the 4:1 case, I find myself cursing for lower gearing on occasion. My Jeep rarely comes off of idle when I'm wheeling. And most of the guys I wheel with have 4:1 cases, and if they don't, they're looking for one. Stock my crawl ratio is about 74:1. Next spring, with the regear it should be 95:1, which should be perfect. And no, having that 4:1 doesn't mean that you will be suffering more trail damage, one of the rules I wheel by is "slow as possible, fast as necessary".

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post #16 of 18 Old 10-12-2015, 07:13 PM
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Do NOT put an auto locker in the rear of a JK, it will drive esp/abs crazy putting you into limp mode. only a LSD or a selectable locker in the rear. put the Detroit in the front and an E-locker in the rear if you must have an auto locker onboard.
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post #17 of 18 Old 10-13-2015, 09:06 AM
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I think the Rubicon is worth it only if you want the transfer case. The difference in price isn't really worth it though.

How much would a used Rubicon transfer case go for?

Coulb be a viable option with a Sport
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post #18 of 18 Old 10-13-2015, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtljeep View Post
I think the Rubicon is worth it only if you want the transfer case. The difference in price isn't really worth it though.

How much would a used Rubicon transfer case go for?

Coulb be a viable option with a Sport
If you're looking for a rubicon TC, MoTech is the place to call. Those that move to an LS engine ditch the rubicon TC for the regular wrangler TC.
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