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Unread 08-07-2012, 08:13 AM   #1
dayriesw
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'12 Rubicon upgrade?

I have been thinking about about trading in my 05 LJ for a 12 2 door rubicon. The LJ is on 35s and rides rough on road (tolerable in town, never goes out of town), but is very good offroad for where I wheel. It drives well up to 65 mph, but I always barrow a car from someone to go out of town, which gets old. I just bought it just over 2 years ago and am still paying on a 7-8 year old vehicle. The reason that I am thinking about trading up is because the LJ is overbuilt for the road and it will take me a while to replace all the components that are worn out, plus I have been getting into a lot of maintenance issues lately, seals, sensors, etc. This is my DD and with the downtime lately, it has become a hastle, not to mention it has been costing a lot (I know it is a jeep, but I am talking about doubling my payment note or more monthly.) I also feel that I have wheeled everywhere I can locally, and have always wanted to drive to somewhere to wheel. There are about 4-6 other parks within a 6 hour drive that I would not even think about driving the LJ too.

Anyways, I was looking at a 2 door. They seem to be built up well enough from the factory. If I were to go this route, I would add sliders and armor (side and underneath) and wheel it that way for a while. 32s can be pretty capable around here with lockers and such. And 33 or 34s are the biggest I would ever go. And the payment is not as bad as I had previously thought which is the reason I have never really investigated this till now.

What would you do in my situation? I know opinions maybe be bias, but I still need to ask.

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Unread 08-07-2012, 08:28 AM   #2
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Your LJ rides and drives poorly not because it's overbuilt, but likely because of the suspension parts you chose to use.....it could be better so don't just blame the LJ platform. I dig the '12 JK's but I'm all for making improvements if your budget allows vs. just buying a completely new vehicle. I have driven my TJ (when it was SWB) 4-500 miles to out-of-state wheeling spots, wheeled it as hard as I wanted (it's 'overbuilt' compared to most) and drove it home in comfort @ 70+ mph. Your LJ has that same potential.
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Unread 08-07-2012, 08:56 AM   #3
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There is no reason a TJ on 35" tires shouldn't drive well on the highway. Built properly, it may hurt the wallet on fuel costs but it should drive at highway speeds with no problem. My rig is sitting on 5" of lift and 35" tires and it handles quite well at highway speeds. I do tend to keep my speed at 60-65 because any higher I can watch the needle drop. When going to trails that are a long drive from home, I will usually trailer the rig. This is more because I can't fit two adults, a child, a dog, and all my camping gear in the TJ.

I think I would be looking at making the rig I have right rather than throwing it away and crawling underneath more debt.
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Unread 08-07-2012, 08:56 AM   #4
222Doc
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if you do trade for a new rubi. get it with 4:10(autos,optional)gears it will handle 35"s. with only a few simple modes ie small lift or new mC fenders. Makes a very nice trail Jeep and DD. Our 012 2d, built it around 35"s. Just got back from the Rubicon trail drove there 660miles one way, trail took two days. 660miles back home. Mpg was about 17.5.

But to trade up a few years would be a loss. Note sure what lift this Lj has but to get the most out of that go long arm with that wheel base and see how it floats the bumps. way cheeper in the long run.
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Unread 08-07-2012, 09:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imped View Post
Your LJ rides and drives poorly not because it's overbuilt, but likely because of the suspension parts you chose to use.....it could be better so don't just blame the LJ platform. I dig the '12 JK's but I'm all for making improvements if your budget allows vs. just buying a completely new vehicle. I have driven my TJ (when it was SWB) 4-500 miles to out-of-state wheeling spots, wheeled it as hard as I wanted (it's 'overbuilt' compared to most) and drove it home in comfort @ 70+ mph. Your LJ has that same potential.
Thanks for posting. I wanted your opinion even tho I knew what you would say.

Not blaming it on the LJ, but the tire sizes which are stuck because of the regear that has been done. I believe the budget allows a lot of options here but I do not have a second mode of transport and am tired of borrowing vehicles.... The problem is time and money (cannot buy everything at once and LJ keeps letting me down).

By my calculation, we are talking:
new control arms (joints are bad in the front, do not know how they have lasted this long, bearing fell out and zerks sheared off)and they still operate now, but...
new shocks
suspension seats - for ride quality
some type of insulation/sound reducing - very loud with cabin shut
d30 in front locked and lowered gears - did, but do not really have piece of mind for these tires
steering - really hard to turn the wheel either way offroad
cage is not tied into the frame

less concerning
radio and speakers need replacing
cage really needs to have the a pillar reworked - cannot see gauges due to crossmember, cannot feel a/c due to a pillars are in the way
need to trim rear armor - rubs
need to add rear fenders - inspection coming up next month
lower springs - this one is not necessarily for me, but the ladies.

fuel cost are not an issue with my current job, but I am also maybe about to switch jobs to another one where gas will not be covered. Right now I get 11. New ones are 17 / 21

and after all that, still no guarantee that I can go interstate speeds
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Unread 08-07-2012, 09:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdm View Post
There is no reason a TJ on 35" tires shouldn't drive well on the highway. Built properly, it may hurt the wallet on fuel costs but it should drive at highway speeds with no problem. My rig is sitting on 5" of lift and 35" tires and it handles quite well at highway speeds. I do tend to keep my speed at 60-65 because any higher I can watch the needle drop. When going to trails that are a long drive from home, I will usually trailer the rig. This is more because I can't fit two adults, a child, a dog, and all my camping gear in the TJ.

I think I would be looking at making the rig I have right rather than throwing it away and crawling underneath more debt.
Not throwing stones in a glass house.....
You are saying you have a built tj on 35s that is handle quiet well on the highway speeds.... ok this is a close situation to me..... but you trailer the rig to long distances. I agree with what you are saying, to built it right, I just do not know if I have the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 222Doc View Post
if you do trade for a new rubi. get it with 4:10(autos,optional)gears it will handle 35"s. with only a few simple modes ie small lift or new mC fenders. Makes a very nice trail Jeep and DD. Our 012 2d, built it around 35"s. Just got back from the Rubicon trail drove there 660miles one way, trail took two days. 660miles back home. Mpg was about 17.5.

But to trade up a few years would be a loss. Note sure what lift this Lj has but to get the most out of that go long arm with that wheel base and see how it floats the bumps. way cheeper in the long run.
First of all, three pedals only. So, yeah 4.10 are what I would get. The trip you describe is what I want to get into. I am pretty sure that problem I have is not defined by the length of arm. I know building this will be cheaper than buying one valued at 2 times the cost....
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Unread 08-07-2012, 10:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dayriesw View Post
...but you trailer the rig to long distances...
Did you catch the reason I trailer the rig long distances? I'm currently building a small trailer that will support a roof top tent and provide storage space for camping gear, parts, tools, ...
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Unread 08-07-2012, 11:13 AM   #8
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I did. Very helpful post since we have similar heeps. If you did not trailer it to wheeling spots that are a long distance from home, would you drive it there or not go? How long of distance?
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Unread 08-07-2012, 12:15 PM   #9
mdm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dayriesw View Post
I did. Very helpful post since we have similar heeps. If you did not trailer it to wheeling spots that are a long distance from home, would you drive it there or not go? How long of distance?
My decision to tow is based more on camping plans than distance. If I'm not camping, I drive. If I'm camping, I'll probably tow.
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Unread 08-07-2012, 02:36 PM   #10
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I drive mine to and from the trails, but I don't play in the rocks much.

My personal opinion is to keep the LJ.
1) Highly desirable platform for Jeepers
2) Great resale value
3) Proven engine that is easy to work on and reliable


I just wouldn't want a new car payment hanging overhead. And, personal bias showing here, I'm not sold on the 3.6L yet as there have been a fair amount of issues reported.
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Unread 08-07-2012, 03:38 PM   #11
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I drove an LJ around a little bit, it was a stock Rubi. I liked it but what I would do is head down to a dealer and test drive a new rubicon. I think that you would know exactly what to do after that. Just be sure to get the 4:10 gearing.

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Unread 08-07-2012, 03:39 PM   #12
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Personally I would go with the '12 Rubi.

-Next Gen Dana 44's. HP front. Only weak point are the tubes I think.

-285hp

-more convinces of a modern car ie radio, sub, nav...


The only thing the LJ has going for it is the 4.0 and the fact that it's a very desirable semi rare platform, that will have high resale value in the future.


Not to mention there are people with a 2012 JK, running 35's, and still getting 17mpg combined.
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Unread 08-07-2012, 06:28 PM   #13
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I get 19 mpg on my way to work. The power is amazing, I took it offroad the first time last weekend and it blew me away. Good low end torque and it may not be the 4.0 but I promise you'd be happy with it. I find it funner to drive than my old YJ or the LJ I drove. Like I said, test drive one.

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Unread 08-08-2012, 10:18 AM   #14
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Thanks for the continued responses. I am not completely sold either way, yet, truely on the fence. I see pluses both ways, but I am going to test drive a new one this week hopefully. I drove an 07 that was lifted and beat on back when I was looking for the LJ. At the time, a new one was way out of the questions (as well as the used one).

I aslo have been reading up ont he new engines. Appearently there is some type problem, sound like lifters or something tapping. Can anyone here speak to this?
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Unread 08-08-2012, 10:39 AM   #15
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What I'm tracking is that the early 2012's had some problems with making a little noise in the valve train somewhere, lifters or something. Nothing mechanically wrong really just noisy. But then again who wants a BRAND NEW engine sounding like its not brand new right? The 2nd thing I heard people having problems with was the throughout bearing making noises too. Again, this seems to be a problem with the jeeps produced in early 2012. There's all kinds of stories about Chrysler re-tooling their factory and stuff and producing a sloppy batch of '12s. I'm not positive on that but I will tell you that there are a lot of TSB's and recalls out and chrysler will fix anything on the list for free (in a perfect world of course) here's a list of TSB's for the JK.

http://project-jk.com/jeep-jk/jeep-jk-tsb-recalls

I bought my 2012 a month ago. It's pretty darn new and it runs perfectly smooth, and I haven't noticed anything wrong at all yet. I owned a 2010 before that, and to me it seems like the 12 is just a 10 with all the problems fixed and a better engine. Good luck and remember the LJ could be made into a smoother riding more comfortable jeep for a lot less money that a new rubicon. I hope your happy with whatever you end up doing.

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