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Unread 10-01-2013, 10:58 AM   #1
mjbinks
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Rubicon or Sport

Hi there, I am in the market for a mid-2000s Jeep. I am wondering: I do some fairly easy/moderate off-roading, live in Northern Ontario with some snow and like the idea of a 2-3 inch lift with 32 or 33 inch tires. I am wondering if the Rubi's features are designed exclusively for off-road performance. I understand the gearing and axles, is there anything else that would make a huge difference to my maily on-road life? Thanks for your advice, it is always appreciated.

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Unread 10-01-2013, 11:28 AM   #2
stump1
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well If you can afford it, rubicon is the way to go
dana 44's, 4.10s', no slip yoke, hd xfer case, lockers, skids, etc
you can find good deals
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Unread 10-01-2013, 11:34 AM   #3
Zombi
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Originally Posted by stump1 View Post
well If you can afford it, rubicon is the way to go
dana 44's, 4.10s', no slip yoke, hd xfer case, lockers, skids, etc
you can find good deals
This all day long.
Think of the long term too OP, if you ever go to sell/trade in your Jeep, the Rubicon will always be worth more.
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Unread 10-01-2013, 11:38 AM   #4
Ironhead
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there is no difference in the skids from a rubi to a non rubi

the rear axle is a LSD when not locked on the rubi, which is not as desired in the snow
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Unread 10-01-2013, 11:51 AM   #5
biffgnar
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For fairly easy/moderate off-roading the Rubicon extras while nice are overkill. And really when you break it down the value in a Rubicon is only the 4:1 in the transfer case and the lockers. Everything else is either of little to no value at all (e.g. diamond plate rocker guards), of minimal value for your plans (e.g. no need for slip yoke eliminator (since at 2-3" lift you may not need it anyway)) or potentially going to be changed out based on your plans (e.g. axle gearing (depending on which transmission you get 4.11 may not be deep enough for 32-33s)). If you can afford them the selectable lockers and 241 TC are nice to have, but a Sport in decent shape going to be materially cheaper for you and you could throw in a lunchbox locker and you'd be fine with the 2.72:1 in the 231 TC.
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Unread 10-01-2013, 11:59 AM   #6
gargyle
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Don't forget the Sahara. It has some nice "refinements" for Jeeps that are mainly road vehicles. Plus it is more than capable at mild to moderate off-road. My Sahara has A/C and cruise, with 3.73 gears and four wheel disk brakes. All it needs is a lift for bigger tires, you don't really need to change the wheels, they are good enough stock. Buying a used Rubi or Sahara can save you money in the long run because they come with some good stock stuff.
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Unread 10-01-2013, 12:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by gargyle View Post
Don't forget the Sahara. It has some nice "refinements" for Jeeps that are mainly road vehicles. Plus it is more than capable at mild to moderate off-road. My Sahara has A/C and cruise, with 3.73 gears and four wheel disk brakes. All it needs is a lift for bigger tires, you don't really need to change the wheels, they are good enough stock.
The Sahara package is only a trim package. All performance related stuff (e.g. D44 rear, 3.73 gearing) are options on the Sahara, the same as a generic Sport. Can't just buy a Sahara and assume it will have those things.

And pretty much all stock wheels will be fine for 32-33s. Suggesting you need to change wheels is a complete red herring. The issue to be sensitive to with stock wheels is that they have a lot of backspacing and so if you want to go to wide tires that can become an issue, but that deep backspacing is an issue for all of them (Sahara included).
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Unread 10-01-2013, 12:06 PM   #8
stump1
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Originally Posted by biffgnar View Post
For fairly easy/moderate off-roading the Rubicon extras while nice are overkill. And really when you break it down the value in a Rubicon is only the 4:1 in the transfer case and the lockers. .
don't forget about the dana 44 rear in the rubi though
unless sport has them standard too but not sure about that
and I think its always goodto have lockers reguardless of any terrain
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Unread 10-01-2013, 12:14 PM   #9
biffgnar
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Originally Posted by stump1 View Post
don't forget about the dana 44 rear in the rubi though
unless sport has them standard too but not sure about that
and I think its always goodto have lockers reguardless of any terrain
Sports have the D44 as an option so not standard, but if he shops around it shouldn't be hard to find one.

For easy to moderate terrain lockers make a driver lazy IMO. People should drive open diffs for a few years and learn. And as I said in prior post dropping a lunchbox or some other auto locker in the rear of a Sport is not that hard or expensive.
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Unread 10-01-2013, 12:23 PM   #10
Ironhead
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Originally Posted by biffgnar View Post
dropping a lunchbox or some other auto locker in the rear of a Sport is not that hard or expensive.
would that be a good idea for a mostly street driven jeep that sees snow rather regularly?
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Unread 10-01-2013, 12:26 PM   #11
biffgnar
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would that be a good idea for a mostly street driven jeep that sees snow rather regularly?
I think it depends who is driving the jeep. If it is mostly just OP and he has a clue then I don't think it is an issue. Lots of people do it and they get used to how it handles and know what to expect. On the other hand, for somebody like me who has teenage kids who be driving the jeep I didn't feel comfortable with anything other than a selectable. For what OP is talking about doing the premium for a selectable (either stock Rubicon or aftermarket) seems like wasted money to me. If he's worried about the autolocker then just leave it open and drive intelligently on the trail.
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Unread 10-01-2013, 01:49 PM   #12
jjvw
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I bought my first jeep several months ago and ended up with a Rubicon. It is a daily driver, though I do get out to the mountain trails pretty often. It's as good of a DD as any other TJ.

While I like having the lockers, I honestly have never used them even on the so-called "advanced" trails I have done. The trail guides are conservative in their ratings and I am working my way up to more difficult things. However, I do really appreciate the 4:1 t-case. In my opinion, the transfer case is where the value is for most people.
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Unread 10-01-2013, 03:34 PM   #13
silver97tj
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Hi all

if you can afford it then get the Rubicon. otherwise the other is just fine for what you do, I run 31s and some lift , stock 2.5, I can do moderate trails easily and it is a DD......................................
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Unread 10-01-2013, 03:49 PM   #14
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I was in a similar position I had an x with 2" 31s but wanted more and the Rubi was a no brainer for me it had everything I wanted out of the box for dd and trails. It's always nice to have the extras if you need them then to not have them when you want them. Im running 35s both on and off road and have no issues. Granted you have to pay to play to make sure if drives the way it should. Theres good deals out there I drove 3hrs to get mine stock and it was worth every penny. Good luck with whichever one you land on.
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Unread 10-01-2013, 08:01 PM   #15
Jerry Bransford
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As a Rubicon owner (only because my previous Sport TJ was stolen), I wouldn't buy the Rubicon expecting that its lockers would be useful on your snow or ice-covered streets. Lockers on extremely slick/icy/snow-covered streets are bad news, they cause skidding & if the front locker is also engaged, dicey/iffy steering.

Yes the Rubicon includes a limited slip differential in the rear axle when the rear locker is not engaged but that limited slip differential is also available in far less expensive non-Rubicons like Sports or the fancier Sahara.

Most Rubicon owners seldom, if ever, use their lockers on trails where lockers are actually needed.

So if you plan to do moderately tough or tougher trails, by all means get the Rubicon but keep its lockers off when on slick ice or snow-covered streets. But if your offroading needs are easy to moderate, I don't believe you'd benefit from the lockers & the Rubicon's extra-low geared 4:1 transfer case that is really best on extremely slow-crawling trails like rock crawlers enjoy. The other Wranglers have a 2.7:1 transfer case that isn't oriented towards the ultra low-speed crawling crowd that enjoys very technical and challenging trails.
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