What Year? - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 04-16-2018, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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What Year?

Looking at possibly buying a used Rubicon. I want the 3.6 and automatic. Few questions:

1- How are the autos behind the 3.6 holding up? I would be running 40" tires and Dana Ultimate 60s. It would be offroad 5-6 times a year. When I offroad I am usually trying the larger/steeper hills (Midwest) and playing on rock ledges and rock gardens. I occasionally go fast, but not too often. I avoid the mud. How would the auto hold up?

2- What years would I be after? Were there any problems with the first year the 3.6 came out? With many new cars I know you try to avoid the first model year. Is this the case with these? Did they do any upgrades that would make it worth getting a newer year (example: getting a 2015 compared to a 2012 because......)?

18 JKU Granite Crystal- 4"lift, 40s, UD60s
07 Red Rock Crystal JKU - Sold

Last edited by RedRock0740; 04-16-2018 at 08:59 PM.
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post #2 of 15 Old 04-16-2018, 09:28 PM
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The 3.6L has a WA580/NAG1 transmission. It is a strong transmission that rarely fails early in its life and is rated to power way beyond the 3.6L output (that transmission is used in V8 vehicles). It's one of the best transmissions you could ask for in an OEM vehicle as far as reliability and strength goes. It also has an appropriate set of gear ratios for the JK unlike the 3.8L which has too deep an overdrive.

Yes the first year (2012) had head problems, obviously most are going to be fine but it's a gamble and a very non-trivial number of people needed to get new heads on. The problem can come up at any point in the vehicle's life and people have the issue start well after 50k miles sometimes so you can never be sure it's going to be fine. It was a manufacturing defect in the casting process that was remedied at the very end of the 2012 years and 2013+ should be good. That said the 3.6L isn't the very best engine on reliability so you may have issues with late model years too. It doesn't tend to have major mechanical issues and doesn't typically burn oil, but the heads like to go bad and there are lots of annoying little unreliable things like the oil-pressure sensor that's a serious pain to replace. Don't get me wrong it's not a bad engine, but it's also not a rock star high reliability engine.


Both the 3.6L and its transmission are vastly superior to the 3.8L and its transmission and a 2012+ is a solid buy, especially if it's 2013+.
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post #3 of 15 Old 04-17-2018, 06:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. Exactly what I needed.

18 JKU Granite Crystal- 4"lift, 40s, UD60s
07 Red Rock Crystal JKU - Sold
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post #4 of 15 Old 04-17-2018, 10:11 PM
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2012 has the 3.6 with the 5spd auto and the ability to disable the ESP. Minor, but combined with the cheaper price due to age, itís a nice combo.
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post #5 of 15 Old 04-18-2018, 02:39 PM
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Not sure if you have your mind set on a Rubicon for a specific reason but why not just by a clean auto sport? If you are going to be ditching the factory D44's and swapping in D60's the only thing really left (mechanically) at that point would be the 4:1 transfer case and the sway bar disconnects.
If I where in your shoes I would just pick up a sport with the options you want. Find a Rubicon transfer case an slap the axles in. The money you save not paying the "Rubicon tax" would go a long ways towards some axles.

As fare as the years go there where only slight differences. Mostly interior changes. I will note that the 13+ seats are much more comfortable and supportive though.

This of just my $.02..

(EDIT) I just saw your signature and noticed you have rig on tons and axles already. So ignore what I just said if you are planning to swap your goodies over
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Last edited by RockLover; 04-18-2018 at 02:42 PM.
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post #6 of 15 Old 04-18-2018, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks RockLover. I like the idea of the hill descent and the hill assist. I guess the hill assist isn't that big of a gain with an auto (compared to a stick). Do the sports and saharas come with those two options?

18 JKU Granite Crystal- 4"lift, 40s, UD60s
07 Red Rock Crystal JKU - Sold
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post #7 of 15 Old 04-18-2018, 10:14 PM
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Yes my wife has a 2013 jku auto sport. It has both of these features. It has every option you could get aside from nav.

Commando Green 2d, rear stretch on 37's
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post #8 of 15 Old 04-19-2018, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRock0740 View Post
Thanks RockLover. I like the idea of the hill descent and the hill assist. I guess the hill assist isn't that big of a gain with an auto (compared to a stick). Do the sports and saharas come with those two options?
I have the hill decent on my 13 10A permanently disabled , in my personal opinion it sucks balls. Just one of them babysitting annoyances!

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post #9 of 15 Old 04-19-2018, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UFDUB View Post
2012 has the 3.6 with the 5spd auto and the ability to disable the ESP. Minor, but combined with the cheaper price due to age, itís a nice combo.
It's super easy to install a very cheap and basic switch to disable ESC/ABS etc. in the newer models as well
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post #10 of 15 Old 05-22-2018, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Still contemplating what to do. Buy a 2015-2018 JKU and transfer my parts (UD60s, 40" tires, springs, shocks, bumpers, winch) or stick a LS & auto in my 07. Either way it will cost me. (23K to install LS into my 07. 4K to install long arm kit in new jeep, 1200 Rubi T-case, plus monthly payments for a few years)


Big question for you guys. Will I be happy with the 3.6 auto with 5.38 gears and 40" tires. Either way I will run a Rubi T-case whether I buy a Rubi or swap in a T-case into a Sahara or Sport.


Thoughts please. It's a tough decision.

18 JKU Granite Crystal- 4"lift, 40s, UD60s
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post #11 of 15 Old 05-22-2018, 05:55 PM
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If you have already come to consider an LS swap then just do it and don’t look back.

You’ll be far happier than picking up a newer JK with the 3.6l. Unless of course your main concern is an updated interior
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post #12 of 15 Old 05-22-2018, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRock0740 View Post
Still contemplating what to do. Buy a 2015-2018 JKU and transfer my parts (UD60s, 40" tires, springs, shocks, bumpers, winch) or stick a LS & auto in my 07. Either way it will cost me. (23K to install LS into my 07. 4K to install long arm kit in new jeep, 1200 Rubi T-case, plus monthly payments for a few years)





Big question for you guys. Will I be happy with the 3.6 auto with 5.38 gears and 40" tires. Either way I will run a Rubi T-case whether I buy a Rubi or swap in a T-case into a Sahara or Sport.





Thoughts please. It's a tough decision.


Take it from someone that sold their 07 built on tons... DONT DO IT!

Put the LS in your rig and keep rocking


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post #13 of 15 Old 05-22-2018, 08:22 PM
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The 3.6L is only a bit better than the 3.8L. It's still a really under-powered engine for a built Jeep on the highway (obviously off-road it totally depends what activity you do to determine what you need).

No question between those two options I'd put in the LS. I don't really see any reasons to get a newer 3.6L and move stuff over. A lot of wasted money into the move to a new Jeep and you end up with a significantly inferior build unless having a nicer dash and a newer year number means a lot to you.
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post #14 of 15 Old 05-22-2018, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christensent View Post
The 3.6L is only a bit better than the 3.8L. It's still a really under-powered engine for a built Jeep on the highway (obviously off-road it totally depends what activity you do to determine what you need).



No question between those two options I'd put in the LS. I don't really see any reasons to get a newer 3.6L and move stuff over. A lot of wasted money into the move to a new Jeep and you end up with a significantly inferior build unless having a nicer dash and a newer year number means a lot to you.


Agree!!


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post #15 of 15 Old 05-23-2018, 08:06 AM
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Here's my feelings on years of the jk.
Only buy a 2012+ auto.

Reasons behind this
6 speeds are a pain off road
3.8 motors are junk
The 2007 to 2010? (I forget the years)
Don't have the nicest interior.

If i could do it again. I would buy a 2012 plus Sahara if I was building it for 40s or hard trail use. (Axle swap and engine swap)
Or
2012 plus Rubicon for mild trails and 37s
(Built stock axles and stock motor).





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