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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I am seriously considering buying a JK. Being one who researches the daylights out of things, I wanted to ask some actual JK owners' their opinions.

I'm on a tight, family budget and am not going to be able to put much into upgrades other than tires... since it will also be my daily-driver I will opt for the hardtop to hopefully reduce theft attempts. I don't plan on doing really hardcore bouldering - just some medium to light trails, snow, mud, sand, and water to get back to lesser known camping spots or sledding areas.

  • If you had to do it all over again what options would you, realistically make sure to get and what to avoid?
  • Is it better to get a great deal on an '08 or pay a little more for an '09?
 

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I went with the Rubicon because i am not much of a wrench, And it comes loaded with all the goodies!

In your case, I think an X or Sahara would suit you fine!

The only changes in 08 and 09 is color... So i would try to make a deal on a leftover 08.
 

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For the criteria you have described - would go with the automatic 4 door hardtop version. If you can- I would highly recommend going with a Rubicon edition seeing as how you want to at least do some light off-roading and you will likely not put a lot into modification. The only reason that I might be inclined to go with an 09 as opposed to an 08- is that there may be fewer tsb and computer related problems. The 07's had quite a few/ the 08's had a few less/ and I would guess that the 09's will have even fewer problems. Don't get me wrong- The jk is a great vehicle in many respects, but it has taken Chrysler a while to work out all (most) of the "bugs". You would also do well to not severely alter/ modify the Jeep, so that you will be in a better position to have warranty work honored.

My biggest fear is whether or not Chrysler will be around next year.

JMO
 

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If you can afford the payment, I'd tell you to get a rubicon as well. If you are not wanting to spend much money on mods and what not, you will appreciate having the lockers from the start. Put on a cheap budget boost on it to gain a little clearance while you wear out the stock tires. That's what I would do on a tight budget anyway.
 

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You might be able to wheel it stock for what you described, depending upon exactly what the "medium trails" part of "medium to light trails" description.

First Scenario:

If you mean, on say a colored trail designation, that a light trail would be a Green Trail, and a medium trail would be Blue....than you would be fine adding sliders and skids to an X model...and never have to worry about anything else.

If you just wanted some larger tires, then adding a BL and a budget boost would allow 35's if you also added 1.5" wheel spacers and/or new rims with less backspacing. (That's 35's with room to articulate vs merely making them not rub with bumpstop extensions, etc...)

On the X versions...you do have the option of 3.73's instead of stock 3.21 diffs...and you do have the option of adding a rear locker, or LSD....but do not have the 4.10 diff or 4:1 t-case options.


Second Scenario:

If by "medium trails" you mean more like "Black" coded ones, then the above still applies as far as tire clearance and protection, but the Rubicon starts to make more sense as a starting point....due primarily to lower gearing and twin lockers....4.10 diffs + 4:1 T-Case are better in harder core situations/running larger tires.

That scale would make "Red" trails more of the "Hard Core" off roading that you said you were not interested in, for either code scenario, with "Black" being "hard core" in the first presented scenario.

:D
 

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I went with the four door , dual top rubicon and I do heavy off roading, Minimal Rock crawling as thats not my thing, but lots of water, mud, and sugar type sand. Its a little more, but comes with 33's, front and rear lockers, and rock crawler tranny, Go with auto, I got manual and wish now I would have gotten a stick. Get the hard top only Its great and easily managable, and the four doors are great when I get the grandkids, No twisting my back trying to get them in the back. I love mine and the Extras are phenominal, Sometimes almost takes the fun out of things. Good luck and let us or me know how it goes.
 

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I bought a Sahara 4 door hard top with MyGig because it was just going to be a beach vehicle and something to play with.

Then I met my local Jeep club and:

1) I sold the hard top cause it was a PITA to take on off with my Jeep as tall as it is and no where to store it.

2) I sold my Dana 30 and Dana 44 Sahara for Rubicon Dana 44's.

So make sure that if you go with an X or Sahara that your not going to want lockers or anything you could have gotten with the Rubi or you'll end up spending that much in the long run.

I love the 4 door and MyGig though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all for some great tips!

I am limited to the easier trails mostly because I have little kids still in car seats (one still rear facing - so we will do the 'bunny slopes' until he faces forward).

I've only really wheeled with manuals... are the autos up to it? Really? In the JK, which has less problems? How do you control downhill decent without standing on the brakes with an auto?
 

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little kids still in car

Thank you all for some great tips!

I am limited to the easier trails mostly because I have little kids still in car seats (one still rear facing - so we will do the 'bunny slopes' until he faces forward).

I've only really wheeled with manuals... are the autos up to it? Really? In the JK, which has less problems? How do you control downhill decent without standing on the brakes with an auto?
The Little kids will grow up faster than you are likely to pay off the jeep. I'd get the jeep you want when they are facing forward now....

With the Auto all you need to do is put in in first gear low range. It does a good job of holding your speed down especially in the Rubi with the 4:1 low range T-Case.
 

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I would say go with a x model. If you get a rubicon, you are paying for mods you dont need and will probably never use. I have always owned manual jeeps. I know the TJ automatics had transmission problems and I have never been a fan of automatic jeeps.
 

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I would say go with a x model. If you get a rubicon, you are paying for mods you dont need and will probably never use. I have always owned manual jeeps. I know the TJ automatics had transmission problems and I have never been a fan of automatic jeeps.
I agree- on not being a fan of auto's either- but from what he described- an auto sounds more favorable for his plans. If you are sitting in traffic alot (daily driver)...it seems that it might become a PITA to shift all the time. Add kids to the mix and maybe wanting to allow a wife or others drive it- then again, an auto seems to be better suited. I don't even like the service techs to drive my manual- cause I feel like if they don't have much experience that they may wear out the clutch, etc.

The Rubicon is imo a better option since he will choose to make few if any upgrades. From the box- If he wants to do some light off road trips- he will worry less about getting stuck than in an X model. Without mods (a new bumper/ winch) he will be more likely to safely get back to the pavement with the Rubicon in stock form. I have wheeled with a lot of JK rubi's and X''s and I sometimes get tired continually strapping/ winching X models over every little obstacle on the trail. The last X I had to help, had to be snatched from the front axle- because there weren't even any tow points to attach to. And the stock tires spun out all day as he kept hanging up on the rocks and stumps.

Again- If you can put up the extra money- I personally would be more happy and confident with the Rubicon.

JMO
 

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Welcome Od'Dad, sounds like you've gotten some good advice so far.

We haven't done any offroading so far more than forest service roads with occasional water fording.

We got an '08 X. We ordered ours with lsd 3:73 rear and auto. We opted for the 16" alloy wheels as tires for the 17" are more expensive for no real benefit.

I would have to agree with Stub and others, think about the long run and make your choices accordingly. Some of the added options won't change the payments that much, but once those pmt's start coming it will be harder to add them on a limited budget.

Regrets? Not getting aforementioned items up front. We have added the production side steps (standard on Sahara) so mom-in-law can get in without a stool;). We also opted for no tow package "I'll just get that later" Well 15 months and 32k miles later still no tow receiver.:shaking:

Good luck and welcome to JKO
Larry
 
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About the only thing I’d do differently now is buying a used Rubicon to start with. A year ago I simply could not find a used Rubi with half doors for sale so pretty much had to order new.
 

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Get an 08

I just got an 08 2 weeks ago because I hold on to vehicles for a really long time. The rebate and haggling knocked 7k off sticker, which comes close to covering depreciation. Someone else may be able to shed more light on this, but if you go Sahara or Rubicon, you will get those big wheels or tires you were wanting and still keep that lifetime powertrain warranty. Not sure if getting bigger aftermarket tires will void that. Anyone know for sure?
 

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You sound like me when I was making the decision at the dealership. They had only 2 08 Wranglers on the lot (Rescue Green Rubicon and Black Sahara). The Rubicon was about 3K more than the Sahara and both were fully loaded with myGig 7 speaker stereo, dual top option, automatic (witch I hate but what can I say). It came down to what can I afford now vs what I want in the future. I took the black Sahara 2 door thinking"get it paid off then mod the heck out of it. Now If I would have opted for a used Jeep at a cheaper price like my 98 4.0 Sport I would have looked for something more like the Rubicon. I would say save your hard earned cash and get the Sahara if you are looking for a good daily commuter where most of your drive is on the road. That's just my opinion being a second Jeep owner. For me it was a logical decision but the Sahara just looked so good in black with the silver trim on the bumpers and interior. If you can, look for leftover 08 models. The sticker price was right at 30K with all of the options but got the Sahara at under invoice plus 1K cash back (something like $24,500). For me, this was a smarter decision based on my financial situation. Do what I did, pros and cons list for both....either way, you will be happy. Its a Jeep, enough said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all the great tips. I would love to get the Rubicon but there is over 12K difference between a base new Rubicon and a base new X out here. I don't know if I can justify that much more.

We are going to have to go new since the lifetime warrenty only pplies to the 1st owner from what I hear.
 
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