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Unread 04-27-2005, 06:44 PM   #1
hoser
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Rubicon Unlimited -- good first Jeep?

I'm 99% sure I'm going to go for a Rubicon Unlimited as my first ever 4x4. I like the extra space and seeing one in person, the profile is not as looooong and low as I thought seeing them in magazines.

Is the 2005 the first year for these? I think I'd like it lifted a bit and have bigger tires. Any suggestions as a first move?

I'm also probably going with automatic unless someone can talk me out of it.

Thanks for any feedback.

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Unread 04-27-2005, 06:52 PM   #2
onlyone
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I think thats a pretty good choice if you will use what it has to offer. But its your purchase and you cant go wrong with a Rubi. I really like my auto, I shift enough at work. Yes 05 i believe was the first year for the unlim Rubi.
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Unread 04-27-2005, 07:21 PM   #3
wherndon
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I think you'll be happy with the Unlimited Rubi + automatic.
I have the same thing in the SWB and love it.
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Unread 04-27-2005, 07:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoser
I'm 99% sure I'm going to go for a Rubicon Unlimited as my first ever 4x4. I like the extra space and seeing one in person, the profile is not as looooong and low as I thought seeing them in magazines.

Is the 2005 the first year for these? I think I'd like it lifted a bit and have bigger tires. Any suggestions as a first move?

I'm also probably going with automatic unless someone can talk me out of it.

Thanks for any feedback.

Uhhh. . . I think its a good choice no matter what number jeep it is, though I myself dont much care for the auto tranny - just preferance
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Unread 04-27-2005, 07:39 PM   #5
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I just got my '05 Unlimited Rubicon about 2 weeks ago, and just totally love it. I've owned a Jeep before, a '97 Sahara, but this far surpases it. I love the extra room it has. I too decided on the auto trans. my previous Jeep and 2 cars before them were all manual transmissions so its a little weird to get used to, I get a little ansy without having to shift, but in the traffic around town its so much nicer. They definitely cost a pretty penny, but in my opinion are also definitely worth it. The auto gets slightly worse MPG, I'm getting about 13.5 right now, not too bad. I would reccommend the dual top option and cruise (my last Jeep didn't have cruise, now I'm spoiled). Great first Jeep if you have the funds!
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Unread 04-27-2005, 07:59 PM   #6
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Vauxilicon... your mileage will improve and the automatic will shift better with time. It takes the computer a little time to adjust, but once it does you'll see and feel some improvements. Mine was like that.

I have a plain Unlimited... no Rubi... but I love it. I'd probably never use the features a Rubi has, but I'd take it if I could! I had mine off road on some super-steep, very poorly graded, rock and huge stone roads this afternoon.... 4LO and shifted into first on descent -- the auto really shines there. On ascents I gave let it run 1st-2nd and it did great. I would have hated trying to shift out there ... I would have been slipping the clutch a lot since the terrain was so varied... rig rocks, ruts, holes. Love the auto, but that's my preference.

Good luck with your buy -- you'll love it.
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Unread 04-27-2005, 10:20 PM   #7
JoeBeJeepin
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hey man a jeep's a jeep no matter what anyone sayz (unless it's pink er something) its all about needs. and ya gotta figure out if ya need it ....or just really want it! ....oh and if you like to have fun while drivin' you'll get a stick! (i know, i know you'll have fun no matter what) but anyway the moral of this post is not to rant, and no matter what you do you'll be happy....
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Unread 04-27-2005, 10:33 PM   #8
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I have to ask and be the uber Dyck here. Do you think that maybe the Rubi would be too much for you? How often would you be using those features? How often would you be going off road? How frequently would the Rubi get used in comparison to say a Sport? Ask yourself those questions first, and don't get sucked into it being the best of the best (which a Rubi is IMO). I just don't want you buying more Jeep than you really need to get.
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Unread 04-27-2005, 11:04 PM   #9
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yeah totally, its all about need
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Unread 04-28-2005, 05:39 AM   #10
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I have to agree with everyone about the NEED versus the WANT factor. I recently purchased a 2005 Unlimited (non-Rubi). Do I want a Rubi? Of course! Do I need a Rubi? No way. Dont get caught up in paying thousands more just for the R U B I C O N letters on the hood which is all you will be paying for if you wont in reality use the Rubi`s features.

The space of the Unlimited, I needed so that was a no brainer for me.

Of course if you have unlimited funds, then by all means RUBICON!

Best of luck in your purchase whichever you chose

ON EDIT: Oh yeah and remember, a good driver in a non-Rubi will get farther down the trail then a bad driver in a Rubi. Its not ALL about the vehicle. All im sayin is, unless you are a hardcore offroader, how much Rubi do ya really need?
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Unread 04-28-2005, 06:47 AM   #11
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I would recommend that you go for it. The only disadvantages that I see are:

1. It cost more, but you know if you can afford it or not...
2. The 4:1 transfer case may suck more gas than a typical Wrangler

I don't think either of those would change my decision, even as just a casual off-roader. Go for it man!
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Unread 04-28-2005, 06:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windsor
The 4:1 transfer case may suck more gas than a typical Wrangler
have gas prices gotten so bad that we are comparing mileage in 4lo now?
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Unread 04-28-2005, 06:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarefootRubi
have gas prices gotten so bad that we are comparing mileage in 4lo now?
That's my point. That's the only disadvantage and it's not something to even consider.
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Unread 04-28-2005, 07:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windsor
I would recommend that you go for it. The only disadvantages that I see are:

1. It cost more, but you know if you can afford it or not...
2. The 4:1 transfer case may suck more gas than a typical Wrangler

I don't think either of those would change my decision, even as just a casual off-roader. Go for it man!
Gas milage would only be affected while in 4 low, not 4 high or 2wd. If you're in 4 low you're typically off road and not worried about gas milage. the np231 in the standard TJ's have 2.73:1, the 4:1 won't effect it that much more.

If I were to do it over again, I would buy the Rubi. I am going to end up spending more money on my sport for gears, lockers, and a 4:1 low kit than it would have cost to buy the rubi off the bat.

I knew I was going off road when I purchased the Jeep, but I thought my skills would be limiting me much more than they have. While it is true my skills are lacking in some areas due to inexperience, I find many areas where the Rubi's options would help me. I've only had the Jeep 2 months and I'm looking to get a set of lockers.

I think that I will end up a better driver due to me starting out with smaller tires and open diffs, although you could easily practice in the Rubi with it unlocked at both ends.
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Unread 04-28-2005, 09:33 AM   #15
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Definitely some good info here so far. For starters-what do you plan to do with the vehicle? If you primarily are using it as a daily driver/street rig with possibly the occassional logging road, with no intentions of doing any real wheeling, then stick with the regular Unlimited.

You mentioned this being your "first" 4x4-have you ever driven off-road before, or ridden with someone? Someone mentioned learning to drive the vehicle with open diff's first, then upgrading to lockers. That's a great statement in my opinion for a beginner driver. Learning how to handle the vehicle in certain situations with open diff's and the disadvantages of the performance in such cases, only makes you a better driver and increases your skill level. Someone else mentioned the cost factor, and that going with the Rubicon version would save some money in the long run if you ever did add lockers, gearing, etc.

In my opinion, the Rubicon package is a great rig in itself, and would be for a beginner driver as well as a more experienced one. The thing with the diff's-air lockers at each end. This is nice in that yes, you can run open diff's and force yourself not to use them till you either really need them, or learn to drive better and are able to use them to the fullest. You'll gain experience by not using them, become a better driver as a result, yet still have them when you really do need them, and as your experience grows, your Jeep will already be setup, ready and waiting for you to really stretch her out. Will be a splendid time indeed!

The other feature I love about the package is the 4:1 low range. The low crawl ratio is great with the 6 speed, 1st gear in low range is incredible when descending steep terrain. You're able to idle down with ease on stuff that would otherwise scare the pants off you in a regular vehicle's low range. I see this not only as a necessity for off-roading, but also as a safety feature as well. Lower gearing allows you to crawl, use less momentum and actually drive the terrain, rather than forcing the gas to get things done-which usually ends up tearing stuff up in the long run-whether it be your rig, or worse-you yourself or passengers. I guarantee-unless you've ever driven a rig with a good low range, you really don't know what you're missing. Simple words don't do justice here.

You mentioned wanting larger tires, or a bigger stance. Whatever rig you get, I'd suggest driving stock-at least for a month or two anyway, just to see how the rig handles in it's stock configuration. Learn what you can as quickly as you can before lifting and adding larger rubber-the handling will change, and doing so will help you become more "in-tune" with your vehicle and what is going on underneath-what you can't see from the drivers seat. When you do increase, I think the Unlimiteds look and perform great with a mild lift and a set of 33's. Myself, I'm going with the Old Man Emu 2.5" suspension-though there are cheaper, less effective methods-and also much more expensive routes as well. Combined with a 1" BL/MML combo, you'll fit 33's nicely and have a rig that both looks and performs very well-both on and off the road.

Also, while it sounds you are pretty set on the auto tranny, I'd recommend driving both before buying. The 6 speed is an awesome little setup. I had thought pretty hard about an auto myself but ended up going with the 6 instead, and have absolutely NO regrets-I love it's performance, the thing is awesome to drive-both on, and off road. Engine braking downhill is great and the choice in gearing is a definite bonus. Again, there is nothing like the feel of 1st gear, low range and just slowly idling down the steep stuff in complete control-where previous rigs you've driven have been a nightmare to say the least in the same situation.

Anyway, just a few thoughts on your questions. If something helps or sparks interest, great. If not, disregard everything. Bottom line-it's a Jeep, it's your FIRST, and whatever you decide on, you'll love it more than you would even imagine at this point, then the sickness will set in, and it's all downhill from there.

Best of Luck, and Happy Jeepin!

Mike
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