Seeking the "collective wisdom" on lockers
Have been on the list over a month now, and learned much!
After 12 years with my YJ, I am contemplating a new TJ. Fueled by various conversations on the list, I was all hyped about the Rubicon. Then, reality set in. I'll list my requirements & uses below - and leave it to all of you to tell me what I "really" need in the way of a new Jeep:) (FWIW - I DON'T want a Liberty:)
1) I DO NOT go off-road, at least not the way most of you crazy yahoos do!:):) Instead, I do lots of backroads, fire roads, and "improved" 2-track trails. My major concern is a) gravel/rock damage to undercarraige components d/t my high rate of speed, and b) hitting fairly large potholes at speed.
2) The new jeeper will be my daily ride, as well as a vehicle that will have many highway (60-70 mph) miles put on it.
3) I am planning a trip to Alaska next Summer (and the Trans Labrador Highway the following Summer.) I will be going all of the way to Prudhoe Bay on the Dalton "highway". There could be mucho deep mud &thawed permafrost along the way. There WILL be mucho gravel and rocks - which I take at a pretty good pace:) Also - I will also be putting on nearly 8k highway miles to get to & from Alaska!
As you can see - I will be using my Jeep as more of an "adventure tourer" than an off-road vehicle (the same way I use my BMW R1100GS morotcycle:) My questions/concerns are these -
*Do I really need a vehicle with locking diffs? With not really going OR, will they be that useful fording rivers, going through washed out, muddy roads, etc.? And - will they pose any problems in a vehicle as a daily driver, i.e., excessive wear/problems with constant turning & whatnot?
* Even with the 4-speed auto, I'm concerned about the 4.10 in the Rubicon. Am I correct, most of the other Wranglers (2003) will come with 3.73s?? A better choice for the daily stuff, as well as the highway miles to & from Alaska and Labrador?
Any other concerns, ideas, etc., that any of you guys can think of? And as much as I hate to ask this question - would a Liberty (with appropriate skid plates, etc.) actually be a better choice? (Please say NO:)
TIA - MUCHO!