I am currently looking into getting a 2013 wrangler unlimited sport. I am kind of planning on waiting until the beginning of next year or the end of this year to make my purchase. I'm hoping to get a better deal then since few new 2013's should still be on dealer lots and they will want to get rid of them. If I get a jeep I am planning on putting a 2 to 3 inch suspension lift on it and 285/75 Nitto Trail Grapplers, still undecided on 16 or 17 inch rims, feel free to leave your thoughts on that. I mention all this because I'm concerned about the 3.21 axle ratio that comes standard on that model. Since I'm kind of planning on taking whatever is left over on the lot from 2013 it's likely i'll have to take a jeep with the lower axle ratio. Is that axle ratio acceptable for a jeep with that setup? The jeep will be a V6, 6 speed manual, I would never have an automatic jeep, and be 4x4. I should also mention that I live in southern Ohio and don't plan on doing much trail riding. This jeep will be my daily driver and at most will ever be on a moderate trail, if even that. I am aware that I will lose some torque, but will it still perform close to stock levels when on pavement? Would I still have the ability to do an occasional easy to moderate trail ride without too much trouble?
I would want 4.10s personally, but 3.73 would suffice. I would go for 3.21s. Might as well spend a few bucks more now and get what you want, rather than re-gearing down the road and spending a couple grand, right?
I have all manual vehicles again, I hate automatics. But this is the worst, slowest shifting manual I've driven. Feels like rowing a boat with a rubber oar. It has been rebuilt at 12 or 15k miles. The throw out bearing and sychros commonly have issues. The new automatic is supposed to be a great performer. I haven't driven one (again I just don't care for automatics much), but everyone seems to love it, and supposedly the gear ratios in the auto work better with bigger tires/lower gears. Also, I had a hard time finding manuals at the end of the 2012 model year.
While 3.21 with 33s won't be bad in flat lands, I'd go for 3.73. I'd also go with 17" wheels you'll have lot more choices in tire selection. End of model year deals just means they will discount quicker, you can get the same price at any time. A dealer won't lose money they will just wait for the right buyer. Join TreadLightly at the $100 dollar level and get 1% below invoice a new 2014.
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It depends on your definition of acceptable and where you are located (flat Vs mountainous), but I would definitely get the 3.73s. I bought a 2012 sport and have a similar lift tire size as you are planning and I am currently looking into regearing. Learn from my mistake, save yourself $2,000 down the road, and get the 3.73 gears.
You WILL regret getting one with 3.21 gears. Do yourself a favor and hold off for one with 3.73 gears. If you can't find a 13 with 3.73's, get a 2014 with 3.73 gears. You won't save enough to cover a regear and buying a brand new Jeep that is already 1 year old.
2014 Wrangler JKU
2013 Wrangler JK
2004 Wrangler TJ on LEAFS
2001 Dodge Ram 2500
Thank you all for your advice. I just ordered a 2014 wrangler unlimited sport with the max tow package, which includes the 3.73 gear ratio as was pointed out. I also got the limited slip differential and a hard top. I ordered it in the copperhead color, I can't wait!