I picked up an '04 Rubicon about two weeks ago. I have already started blowing all my money on it! Not exactly sure what direction I will go with it at the moment, but I figured I'd compile everything into one thread for ease of finding later on.
I saw it at one of the local dealers and thought it looked pretty good. It's Khaki with a soft top and half doors. 5 speed xmsn, 105,000 miles. Soft top is a Bestop. Has a winch and sits on 285/75R16 Firestone Destination MT/Rs.
The front two tires were pretty bald, and the spare wasn't too far behind. The rear tires weren't too bad. During the test drive it shifted fine, but it was pulling to the left.
Dealer was asking $14,887. I didn't really want to spend over $10k on a jeep, but this one looked and drove pretty good, so I made my offer: 3 new tires to replace the fronts and spare, they fix the pulling issue, and I'd give them $12k. I didn't think they'd take it. They came back and said 3 new tires, fix the pulling and $13,995. I said no, we're too far apart, walked out and was about to leave. As I was about to drive off the sales manager came running outside. Mind you it's already dark outside and it's February in KS. It was friggen cold. The guy has no coat and is shivering. I thought it was humorous. Anyway...he asks what is wrong and what can he do to make it work. I played along. I showed him the front and spare tires and described the pulling issue. I told him I wasn't really looking for anything over $10k anyway. He said to me if we do 2 tires, fix the pulling issue and meet you at $12,000 will you take it? I told him to give me a few minutes. I did a quick Google search and looked up NADA and KBB. A nationwide search on autotrader showed me what an '04 goes for. Even with miles they were all in the $13-15k range. NADA and KBB were both in the $13k range. I felt $12k was a really good deal so I got it!
This was the how she sat the day I brought her home. I looked at the floor pans under the carpet. It's pretty solid. A couple minor rust spots about the size of a quarter or smaller on the body, but overall really clean.
Since then I have added Quadratec floor mats for the front, rear, and cargo. I like the mats, but didn't really like the idea of cutting up the cargo liner to fit the rear seat and seat belts. Other than that, I just wish they offered other colors than black. They weren't very expensive, so I'm not really complaining.
I upgraded from the stock radio to a Kenwood receiver with cheap Pioneer speakers from Best Buy for now. The sub in the console is destroyed, but I will be upgrading that eventually anyway. I will probably upgrade all the speakers and add an amp as well. Not very concerned about it right now though.
Yesterday I installed Quatratec QR3 textured side steps. My wife is 4'8", so steps are necessary! I'm not sure how I feel about them yet. They don't seem very sturdy, but I'll post up more about them as I get some use out of them.
I have ordered some mirror movers for when the doors come off. They haven't come in yet. I got the ones for the '97-'02 mirrors and already have the mirrors here waiting.
Lastly (for now), as much as I made a big deal about the tires when I bought it, I don't really care for the tires. They are bigger and heavier than I care for and I can really tell when I'm trying to get to 70 mph on the highway. I have already ordered a set of 5 15x8 Mickey Thomoson Classic III's in black along with 32x11.5 BF Goodrich ATs. I picked those up from 4wheelparts.com. They were having a special on the tires and rims, and it cost $1367 for them shipped, mounted, and balanced with the lugnuts. After extensively searching the internet and a visit to a couple tire stores in town, I thought that was a decent price. The BF G's are a load C tire and weigh about 47 lbs per tire vs the 60 lbs per tire I have on now. The Mickey Thompson alloys should also weigh a little less than the stock MOABs. I'm hoping I will notice the difference in unsprung weight on the highway.
After I installed the steps yesterday I took it to a car wash to clean it up. I learned a valuable lesson. The soft top doesn't do a very good job of keeping water out. I'll have to be more careful when I wash it in the future. Hopefully it won't be too bad in the rain.
One thing I know I'd like to do in the future is get new seats. Not a lot of cushion in the driver's seat, and the seats overall don't look very good. No rips or tears, just worn and kind of stained. I'm trying to imagine what the green Sahara seats would look like, but they aren't going to be easy to find in good condition. Not in a rush for seats, but there will be more in this in the future.
I have no idea what lift is on it if any. It all looks pretty stock underneath. The tires don't rub, but I would think for as tall as they are...285/75R16...nearly 33"...that they would rub if there wasn't some kind of lift. Any sure way of knowing if a lift has been installed?
Also, I have no idea what kind of winch that is. All I know is that one of the stickers that still remain says it's a 9000 lb capacity electrical winch. I can't find a brand on it. I have never used a winch before and don't know much about them. I was hoping to get a little help from the JF.
Couple things. First...CONGRATULATIONS!!! Your life will never be the same. Second, it looks like you don't have any lift from the pics...those tires are pretty much filling all available space. Not sure about the winch. And finally, I understand the need for steps with the short wife, but you will regret those if you do any serious wheeling. You may not have any intentions of doing that, so that's up to you to decide. Do lots and lots of searching. This forum is invaluable and I promise you, you can't come up with a question that hasn't already been asked and answered, not to mention you'll wind up with ideas you had never considered. Oh, about the top...I don't think that is a stock top...it's frame sits too high and the windows are wrong. Probably why you have leaking problems. Have FUN!!!
It's a Bestop. I took it off because we have a couple days of nice weather. It's seen better days.
I've been in the forum since about '06. I had a LONG hiatus though. My first Jeep was an '06 LJ. I sold it a while ago. Wish I hadn't. This current Jeep came to fruition by chance. I bought a '92 , but ended up returning it after a week. Things didn't work out and it was probably for the better. This one just happened to be across the street! This one is working out nicely so far.
I'm a member of a few forums, this one is probably the best one of all of them. The information is awesome and the members are great. I would occasionally pop in even when i didn't have a jeep. Now that a do I'm always on here!
Hey, Congrats on the new to you Jeep. I too just picked up a new to me 2004 Rubi a week ago and love it.
It's doesn't look like you have a lift but if you do I would suspect it's a coil spacer lift so if you see 1" or 2" spacers between the coils and the mount that's your lift. Otherwise it looks stock. The winch looks like it could be a Badlands one.
The soft top is indeed a Bestop. Specifically, the Bestop Super Top and, imho and experience, it's a POS. I bought one when I replaced the factory top on my 97 because it came with the bow system (this was before they started making the stock style bow system) and hated it. The top didn't last but a couple years and then the stitches started coming out and that was that... I replaced it with a Bestop Sailcloth Replace-a-top and purchased an OEM bow system off craigslist. Best decision I made for that jeep top wise (other than getting an OEM hard top for it).