This is a write up I did on Jeep Forum. I use to wheel an 07 X with 35's and LSD. I just got a 4 door Rubicon and wheeled it stock twice. Feel free to ask any other questions.
"This isn’t a question post, this is more of a opinion. Having owned an 07 X 2 door and now owning an 07 4 door Rubicon I have a pretty good idea of the differences of the on road/off road capabilities. I know when I first bought it and posted up someone said they would be curious to get my opinion on the capabilities difference. I know we get a post every few weeks saying "which one is better, 2dr or 4dr".
First off, the drive there was much more enjoyable. It is true the 4 door drives much better on road at higher speeds. Turning is a little wider so making a U turn in the middle of a 2 lane road isn’t going to happen. What I really like is all the extra room for gear. I have half doors so I took the uppers off and the windows and put them in the back along with the cooler and tools and I didn’t have a thing in the back seat.
At the trail it was nice to reach down, hit a button, and the sway bar is disconnected. With the X I had to get out with a socket wrench to disconnect and then had to tie the bar in the right place or it would rub the tires at full flex. First thing I noticed, yeah the 4 door is long. The place we went, Beasley knob, has a lot of short hill climbs that go up one side, crest, and then go back down. I think I took an inch off everyone one of them with my skids. I never got hung up on them; I just could feel the belly touch the top. The long wheel base also got me a little going through the trees. I ended up rubbing the rear of the soft top a few times on trees trying to make tight turns in the trees. 2 door would have fit much better in those situations. BUT Beasley is also known for its long steep hills and wow the 4 door was so much better. It felt a lot more stable going up and down the hills. As other drivers talked about the front wheels feeling light as they went up I never once got the feeling.
As far doing obstacles, there were a few ledges I skided on but I am also stock and I expected it. BUT it was kinda nice to be long so I didn’t have that “straight” down feeling coming off the ledges. A little better line pick and things were just fine. I made it down a section that 2 YJ’s rolled on minutes before me. The lockers on the Rubi… wow just wow. MY X was lifted, 35” Xterrains, 4.10 gears and the limited slip in the rear. The Rubi is stock and wow it was amazing how much better off road it was just due to the lockers.
My opinions: If your trail is tight turning, and I mean tight that it is a challenge to do it in a 2 door than you are going to damage the rear of the 4 door. Other than that I don’t see much issue. Yes the 4 door can get hung up in the middle quicker but a simple 2.5” Budget boost and I would has missed most everything I hit. If you are doing big climbs or descents, 4 door all the way. If you have a lot of gear or plan to camp a lot you will also like the 4 door because the room BEHIND the back seat in a 4 door is almost the same as the room in a 2 door with the back seat removed.
As far as Rubi vs X, get the Rubicon if you can afford it. Night and day.
I have wheeled a 2 door an a 4 door. Love my 4 door more then my 2 door. The wheelbase is not that much longer... not to mention, everyone wants to STRETCH their two door about the same wheelbase as a 4 door.....
I agree completely with Bigjerms assessment. The only problem I've had vs the short wheel base Jeep is tight turns and switchbacks. I did high center once when the rubi was stock. Got hung up on the gas tank skid but that was my fault because I took a bad line. After that I went with 37" tires and 5" lift. I drag the under carriage alot but haven't got stuck. I've seen swb jeeps hit hard coming off ledges. I come off nice and easy. It's a cool feeling. Each time I go wheeling I become more impressed with the abilities of the rubicon unlimited.
This is where I high centered stock. No issues after the mods.
Personally I prefer a longer wheelbase but unless you lift a JK unlimited at least 3 inches and put 35s on it the break over angle will hinder you. I’ve wheeled my 4.5” lifted unlimited on 37s with people with 3” lifted unlimited’s on 35s and that extra 3 inches or so makes a big difference.
I like the short 2 doors but I just carry too much stuff when I go camping so they wouldn’t be practical for me.
I wheel a TJ on 37s and a JKU on 35s. There is no doubt I will take my TJ into more places than the JK. I was just recently on Holy Cross with both jeeps. The TJ made it through French Creek OK. I knew I would get hung up HARD on the JK line so we turned around. Yes, I could have made it but it would have been a lot more work than the group wanted to do that day. 37's would have helped, but the extra wheelbase does hurt sometimes. The JK does feel a lot better climbing though!
I have done quite a few trails in Moab with my JK and love it. It works great for probably 90% of the wheeling I do. The extra wheelbase it great for ride comfort and storage. And there are obstacles that the longer wheel base will help, a lot. It drives nice on the highway too, as long as you are not in too big of a hurry (lack of HP)!
If I had to get rid of one of the Jeeps, I would keep the JK!
Well I went to Moab with my dad this spring and WHOA, the difference is unreal. I have a 2 door, he has a 4 door. They are built identical EXCEPT he has a 6-point-something liter HEMI. As far as how his did...OMG. That thing was literally unstoppable. He walked up everything. There were spots where my front would get REAL light and even the top of one BIG hill that my front wheels came about 4 feet off the ground before being pulled back to terra firma by my dad and friend at the other end of a precautionary strap that we attached to the front. I would have rolled it backwards soooo bad if they weren't there and it would have been an end over end over end at minimum. Anyways, he drove right up. The HEMI admittedly had something to do with his success in some areas (he's a throttle jockey) but sometimes it was ALL wheelbase. That was Moab.
I DO plan (hope) to redeem myself in the 'Con and/or The Hammers. I am interested in seeing him run some of the tighter, technical spots to see how his Jeep does there. For hill climbs, the UL DESTROYS the SWB, hands down.
Anyways, for just going wheeling, daily driving, storage room, I REALLY wish I had bought the 4 door. It really is the most ULTIMATE out-of-the-box Jeep ever built IMO and what my dad has added to his makes it soooo sick (but don't tell his ass I said that, hahaha).
well it looks like the 4dr wont happen. in order for it to happen (keep wife happy) my payments need to stay the same in order fo rthat to happen id have to sell my 2 dr for 25,500 and that aint gonna happen
i've wheeled a '73 CJ5, my 98 ZJ and my 4dr Rubi. As for the wheelbase only being "a little longer" than the 2dr JK.... the wheelbase on the JK 4dr is longer than the wheelbase on my ZJ. I am not kidding. right after i got it home, i parked them side by side. the wheelbase is longer by a few inches.
I high centered my ZJ a few times at Attica back in 2003. I took my JK wheeling a few weeks ago and high centered 3 times. on sand bars. I'm on stock tires with a 2" b/b.... and I would LOVE to get some taller tires and some wheel spacers right now.
It rides great. it wheels great. all it takes is a little more thought at the crest of a hill or on a tight turn. otherwise... no big deal.
Finally took my 4 door JK off road today and wow! It is a stock Sahara with 18 inch wheels and 31 inch street tires (in my opinion) Had to bypass a few obstacles that were just impossible due to clearance but otherwise I was very impressed. Climbed hills, went up creekbeds, climbed rocks. Very impressive. Cant wait til I lift it, get bigger tires, gears and lockers.
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