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Unread 06-03-2013, 01:26 PM   #1
jasonkgreen
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Do I need a Rubicon?

Okay, that's probably a silly question. Do I NEED a Jeep? Probably not. Do I want one? Abso-friggin'-lutely!! I am in Orange County and have the Santa Ana mountains nearby. Most of my driving will be commuting. We'll take the occassional trip up to Sequoia National Forest and Tahoe and maybe over to Arizona. Now I just watched three YouTube videos of a trek along the Rubicon trail. As awesome as that was, I'm not sure I would go that crazy with my offroading. I was also considering the Sahara model but only because that's my wife's name. I thought I would get one in green (my last name). Then I would have a wife and a Jeep that was Sahara Green.

But I also want to do a lot of after market upgrades (2.5" lift, wheels, tires, bumpers, etc.) If I do all those upgrades after market then the Sport makes the most sense financially. What advantages would I gain in buying the Rubicon considering the type of driving I'll be doing?

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Unread 06-03-2013, 08:29 PM   #2
brownbagg
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do you need one, no, do you want one, yes
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Unread 06-03-2013, 10:10 PM   #3
RyanStorm
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Aren't the stock Jeeps capable of installing after-market parts that the Rubicon comes stock with?

I would get the Rubicon if the price is good and unless the other versions are a super deal, I would think the upgrades worth the cost. Its not like your going to buy a Jeep and not add the awesome parts!
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Unread 06-08-2013, 01:46 AM   #4
gotjeep12
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Are you talking new? Save the ten grand go with the wifes name. You still want a lift and tires anyway.Rubi or not.I found a rubi for a deal or I would be in a sport. I do use the lockers but I do plenty of mudding and off roading.You can always add lockers later thats if you get the Jeep Bug. Its only time
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Unread 06-08-2013, 01:49 AM   #5
BEETROOT
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You can always add that stuff, but it's nice to get it all built in the factory package. Plus resale value is much higher for Rubicons if you decide to sell it.
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Unread 06-09-2013, 03:14 PM   #6
RyanStorm
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The Rubicons are definitely worth the money. The non-rubicons aren't as sought after, most people dabbling into Jeeps will look for Rubicon.

I don't know the values of the extra parts, but you can get Rubicons for the same price to 1k more over the other models. I am pretty sure the parts on the Rubicon are worth it, I mean look up the difference in price between new ones!
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Unread 06-09-2013, 08:30 PM   #7
jjvw
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As a new Jeep owner that ended up with an '03 Rubicon, here is what I have gathered from the last several weeks of intensive research. Be aware that I will get a little romantic towards the end...

Buy a Rubicon if you enjoy and appreciate the gadgetry (and will use it), but only intend to do minor to moderate modifications such as 2-3" lift and 33" tires and cosmetic upgrades like bumpers and armor. The stock Rubicon is very very good, but it has its limitations. The strengths and weaknesses of the Rubincon's Dana 44 Tru-Lok axles are very thoroughly discussed. Also, be aware that the sway bar auto disconnect wasn't introduced until 2007, should that influence your decision. You are essentially buying the sports car version of an off-road vehicle. Just be aware that if you are going to thrash it around Moab with improper upgrades, you are likely going to break something.

However, if you have the knowledge, desire and money, you can easily build a better Jeep out of an X. Therefore...

Do not buy a Rubicon if you plan on major upgrades that include a larger lift and wheels, upgrading axles & transfer case, etc. As mentioned earlier, take the time to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the stock equipment. You are wasting money if you buy a Rubicon only to upgrade your rig to something above and beyond a Rubicon. There are better, stronger axels & lockers and lower t-case ratios out there. In the end, you just paid extra money for a fancy hood, if you didn't upgrade that with everything else.

Also, be aware that it can be difficult to separate the sage wisdom of experience from the jockish posturing of upgrading everything into an insecurity obscuring war machine. I don't pretend yet to have the former and hope to never fall into the latter.

All that being said, I love my Rubicon. I love silly, weird high performance vehicles, which is what this is (Mustangs and Camaros are neither silly nor weird, FYI and don't really interest me). The Rubicon is so different from nearly everything else you can buy off the lot - so different than the other safe, practical and refined appliance cars we are being offered. As with any older Jeep, you are made very aware that you are driving a mechanical machine. It is comparably primitive. It is slow. It is a worse gas hog than "lesser" stock Jeeps. It drives like a tractor. Yes, I know it has AC & CC. So do modern day tractors. I live 3 miles from work, so I can put up with 15-18 mpg for my daily driver. I can bank up my carbon credits during the week and spend them later on longer drives out west to play.

On a related note- the TJ Wranglers, one could argue, are that last of the earlier CJ lineage of development, the end of an era that goes back nearly 50 years to another car company. I really enjoy the idea that the 4.0 can be traced back to AMC of the early-60's and that my door handles are (allegedly) the same as the CJ-7's. The fingerprints of history are all over the TJ's. For better or worse, Chrysler wiped all that away with the new, different JK's.

Last edited by jjvw; 06-09-2013 at 09:28 PM..
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Unread 06-09-2013, 09:08 PM   #8
BEETROOT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjvw View Post

Do not buy a Rubicon if you plan on major upgrades that include a larger lift and wheels, upgrading axles & transfer case, etc. As mentioned earlier, take the time to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the stock equipment. You are wasting money if you buy a Rubicon only to upgrade your rig to something above and beyond a Rubicon. In the end, you just paid extra money for a fancy hood.
Keep in mind though that if you decide to go bigger you can sell those Rubicon axles/wheels/tires very easily. I agree with your post, but it isn't a total waste of money to upgrade a Rubicon. D44 axles w air lockers are worth some dough.
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Unread 06-09-2013, 09:22 PM   #9
jjvw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEETROOT View Post
Keep in mind though that if you decide to go bigger you can sell those Rubicon axles/wheels/tires very easily. I agree with your post, but it isn't a total waste of money to upgrade a Rubicon. D44 axles w air lockers are worth some dough.
That's a good point. if you are of a mind to do a major overhaul of a Rubicon, you are likely of a mind to buy/sell/trade the various bits and pieces. It all comes down to what your time and effort is worth.
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Unread 06-10-2013, 11:56 AM   #10
jasonkgreen
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Great feed back. Thank you. I think the thing I've really gotten from this is, I can always upgrade, even axles and sway bars. My plan is to keep my new Jeep for ten years and then give it to my now 6-year-old. That's plenty of time to determine how much I want to put into upgrades. So when I'm ready to pull the trigger, I'm going with the Sahara. That's too good to pass up!!
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