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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I've been kicking myself in the ass basically since March 31 this year when I bought a 2011 JK. I REALLY should have gone for the JKU, but never even considered it. About two months ago I was bugging my wife to "let" me do it. It's my money, but if I can make this work without her bitching about it, I'm leaps and bounds ahead. :thefinger: She said no.
Fast forward to last Sunday... out of the blue, she asked what happened to me wanting a four door. By 9:00 Monday morning she had a full breakdown of which JKU I wanted, how much it would cost, their trade offer (only lost out 2.5k from purchase price), and how much the note would change. Interest rate actually dropped a full 2% so the hit wasn't quite as hard and now I rest assured that more of my monthly payments are actually going to the Jeep, not interest.
She agreed. :grinpimp: Then we found out the one I wanted (cosmos blue) was sold. :shaking: Then we found out the next two I selected were sold. :shaking: Then my guy went through the Chrysler system looking for one with the options I wanted. Five more were sold. :mr-t: So I drove around to a few Jeep dealers and found one that was clearly just unloaded that day and parked behind their inspection building for processing the next day. As we rounded the corner and the headlights hit it, my wife said, "Oh... my... god... I LOVE that color." No more, "Yes, you can upgrade to a four door." Now it was, "How soon can we pick this one up?" Deep Cherry JKU, all my options plus some, but only about $1k more than I was looking to spend and most of the options were things I'd happily put to use anyway. My guy pulled some strings and got it for me.

Introducing my 2012 JKU:



It has 24S, the new auto, max tow, trac-lok, Infinity stereo, Bluetooth, Sirius, and tubular side steps.

Drove it home at 9:00 Friday night and immediately removed the side steps and installed my 34x10.50-15 LTBs, which completely changed the look of the rig...



Woke up at 7:00 the next morning and took it out for a trail ride. As long as you know HOW to wheel, my belief is that you should get your rig out as soon as possible. That way you don't develop some "I don't want to wheel it because I like it to stay clean" bullshit. :innocent: Here is where I was starting to second guess that theory. I'd owned it for thirteen hours and I was waiting at the trail head for the group to converge into the woods. "Is this really what I want to do?



Yes. Yes, it is. It performed absolutely flawlessly. They had a stock '01 Rubicon LJ in front of me with street tires on it who was having a little trouble here and there, but ultimately, was willing to give it a little more skinny pedal to get the job done without a strap. He may or may not need a new bumper now as a result, but the dude's a trooper and was a little excited to have a battle scar. My JKU didn't hesitate at any point. The absolute worst it did was on one climb a root hung me up and my creeping pace wasn't allowing it to pull me over, so I backed up a foot and gave it just a little more gas and made it through. I even managed a poser shot at one point...



Ultimately, I'm completely floored by how well this thing performs. I hadn't had an opportunity to wheel my '11 with the LTBs so my experience with the JK was limited to what the stock tires could actually grab, but holy crap with the LTBs there was no question that it was going to go everywhere I wanted it to. I could be wrong, but I'd swear I could feel the stability control or whatever it was engaging to keep me from spinning as I was going through everything. I'm honestly really glad I didn't spring for the Rubicon because for what I'm doing, this Sport is more than capable to get me through it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Now on the engine and transmission...

I'm going from a 2dr to a 4dr so it's hard to make a comparison, but even yet, the difference was impressive. It's nothing amazingly spectacular, but even going to the bigger rig the throttle response was improved tenfold. I didn't feel like I had to floor it to pull off from a stop. I didn't have to mash the gas to cross overpasses. I didn't hear it kick down a gear and scream into the higher RPM when I was in cruise and elevation raised ever so slightly. I'm definitely satisfied with the new power plant. Would I have gone from a 2011 JKU to a 2012 JKU just for the motor? Hell no.

On the trail ride is where the new transmission REALLY shined. On the street it provides a MUCH improved take-off from stop; there's absolutely no denying that. But on the trails it allowed me to crawl so slow I actually had to let it into second gear on a regular basis between obstacles just to keep it from winding up too high in first. The new shifter design makes off-roading SO much easier, too. No fumbling around back and forth from first around up to second, back to first, then up-left-up-left-up-right-up for reverse and then back to first. It has one D position and you can go left to downshift and right to upshift. Reverse is up-right-up. That simple.

I was nervous to make the jump to the new platform, but after driving it for a full day, including a wheeling trip, and putting about 400 miles on it, I'm beyond satisfied with the purchase. Best part is, my wife is obsessed with the deep cherry color, so she's completely on board with it. I didn't like it to begin with, but if getting a color I don't like is what it takes for her to be on team Jeep... it's a worthy sacrifice! Now it's grown on me. It's a very rich color and looks outright bad ass with black wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks! It was the talk of the ride. Apparently word had spread that someone was there in a Jeep he'd only owned for twelve hours, but the ones around me didn't think it was me because "I knew my rig so well and was driving like an expert."

It wasn't my skill that got me through it all, though... I mean- I've been wheeling for years and know my way around a trail, but the new systems on these things are incredible for improving off-road performance.

Of course, I didn't tell them that... :thefinger:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As soon as the Bronco I've been building for the last year sells I'm going to order a 2.5" RK kit and some more street friendly 35s. The LTBs kick ass off-road but they limit me to about 62mph before I get some nasty vibrations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks!! At extreme flex (in the poser shot the right rear was rubbing) I was contacting the rear edges of the rear fenders. I'm going to add a Teraflex level kit my buddy is giving me which should lift the rear enough to clear. It was barely contacting but I'd prefer to not risk damage. The wheels are 15x8 with 3.75 BS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hehe- I hit the trail head with 113 miles. Probably should have waited 500 miles but whatever.
 

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Its amazing what the wheels and tires do to the look of that Jeep. It looks mean like that and those cheesy rails removed. I'm going to run my 33" Toyos on the stock wheels for the winter than go to a design more like what you got there. Good luck with the new Jeep and keep us posted on how its holding up, i'm sure many will be interested. I"m particularly interested as to how all the fancy stuff on the steering wheel holds up to the abuse of mud and water that you get from offroading, its one thing that kind of scares me about that set up. It doesn't appear that you can get a JK without that anymore. Thanks for posting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My '11 was rained in a few times with the top off and I never had an issue with button failure.
 

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Great writeup! Always interested in hearing about the new ones! :beer: Congrats, that's one nice half door JKU.
 

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I agree. That is a nice color. Good luck with the new 4 door.

I find my 2012 a bit small compared to my Durango but gladly suffer. I also bought a hitch mount cargo carrier for some extra room.

It took me to 850 miles before I got to wheel mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Nice JKU!
Thanks!
I'm eyeballing your bumpers if I ever get to the point of replacements. I have a buddy who ran your sliders on his XJ a few years back and loved the look and quality of craftsmanship.
 

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Congrats on the new rig! I wheeled mine first just after 1000 miles. Only battle scars so far are underneath from dragging the stock height sucker over rocks. Can't wait for a lift and 35s.

Looks great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for all the complements, guys!

Today I scored a set of Rubicon rock rails from a 2011 mall crawler. Additionally, a buddy donated a Teraflex level lift that should lift the front about 2" and the rear about 1". Hopefully tomorrow I'll get some JKS disconnects ordered and should have it all on this weekend. Well... except the disconnects... I'm not paying for overnight shipping!

Unfortunately, I won't have time to hit the trails again for a couple weeks, but I definitely want to take it out ASAP to see how it handles with the front disconnected.
 
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