JKU Rubicon vs. Sport/Sahara in the snow - JeepForum.com
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Unread 11-23-2011, 07:13 AM   #1
01amberfirewv
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JKU Rubicon vs. Sport/Sahara in the snow

I know the Rubicon would be better for getting out of a ditch but which Jeep is better for staying on the road. IIRC the Rubicon loses some of the "nannies" that aid in traction when all 4 wheels are in contact with the road. Is that true? I have a detroit in the rear and an ECTED up front in my TJ and it goes like a tank but it requires some care to keep in on twisty snowy roads. We had an Audi with Quattro that used the ABS to keep it headed where you want it to go and limit wheel spin and snowy roads felt just about like wet roads in that car.

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Unread 11-23-2011, 07:18 AM   #2
Millermagic
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Of course there are going to be differing opinions on this - but the 4x4 system on a rubicon (or any jeep with part time transfer cases) isn't made for high speed snow maneuvering. They're made for crawling or going up hills, etc. It's going to make the handing very squirley driving in 4wd ... I much prefer driving in snow at highway speeds in 4x2. If I slide off the road, then it's 4x4 time. Any part time 4x4 in 4wd on snow (and turns especially) is going to require some care and work to stay on the road.

Also, IMO, the rubicon tires are too wide. The sport tires ... or size of them ... would be perfect for snow if they had a decent tread pattern.

Since you're used to lockers you'll already know this - but put it in 4l and lock the axles in an icy parking lot and try to turn. It won't.
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Unread 11-23-2011, 08:09 AM   #3
aristobrat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01amberfirewv View Post
IIRC the Rubicon loses some of the "nannies" that aid in traction when all 4 wheels are in contact with the road.
As far as I know, there's no difference between the electronic stability control and break assist systems (if that's what you meant by nannies) between the Sport/Sahara/Rubicon.

I think all the Rubicon adds for snow is the selectable lockers, which may or may not help.
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Unread 11-23-2011, 08:30 AM   #4
WXman
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The Rubi tires are no wider than the Sport tires (unless you're talking base models).

The only difference is the type of tires. Rubi has MTs with NO siping, which typically brings the SUCK in snow and rain. Sport/Sahara has all-season tires with siping that in theory should be much better in foul weather.

If you put decent tires on a Rubi... it's Rubi all the way for snow. If you keep stock tires, it's Sport/Sahara all the way.
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Unread 11-23-2011, 08:33 AM   #5
SKIQUATTRO
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i also just came from an audi and curious to see how the jeep will perform when the white stuff starts flying...its been a learning curve esp on wet roads with the rwd vs the quattro...now i have to slow down around curves or the back end will slide...with the quattro, more gas = better handling...

looking for snow tires
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Unread 11-23-2011, 08:34 AM   #6
Joevacs
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There is no difference between Sahara and Rubicon in 4x4 high range, which is what you would want on snowy roads. The gear ratio is different, but that's not relevant. Your lockers are not selectable which is why you have the poor performance on ice and snow. You don't want lockers engaged for snow.

I can tell you , first hand, the JK traction control, whether in 2wd or 4wd, is quite amazing. Last winter when it snowed I tried very hard in several different modes to make my Jeep slide and slip. I wanted to learn the limits and capacities, so I tryed spinning circles and tryed stomping the breaks, etc. It will not slide. It's a very good system.
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Unread 11-23-2011, 08:42 AM   #7
5foot19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WXman View Post
The Rubi tires are no wider than the Sport tires (unless you're talking base models).

The only difference is the type of tires. Rubi has MTs with NO siping, which typically brings the SUCK in snow and rain. Sport/Sahara has all-season tires with siping that in theory should be much better in foul weather.

If you put decent tires on a Rubi... it's Rubi all the way for snow. If you keep stock tires, it's Sport/Sahara all the way.
I came here to post this... the stock rubicon tires put it at a distinct disadvantage in the snow over a sahara with stock rubber.
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Unread 11-23-2011, 08:55 AM   #8
Joevacs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5foot19 View Post
I came here to post this... the stock rubicon tires put it at a distinct disadvantage in the snow over a sahara with stock rubber.
I completely agree.
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Unread 11-23-2011, 08:59 AM   #9
nufga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WXman View Post
If you put decent tires on a Rubi... it's Rubi all the way for snow. If you keep stock tires, it's Sport/Sahara all the way.
x2
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Unread 11-23-2011, 09:30 AM   #10
Vin
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Last year was my first year with my Rubicon. I had no issues with the stock BFGs. The ESP was amazing. I was able to run in 2wd where normally I'd feel more comfortable in 4wd with my YJ. I can't wait to test out my new Duratracs in the snow.
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Unread 11-23-2011, 01:16 PM   #11
01amberfirewv
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aristobrat View Post
As far as I know, there's no difference between the electronic stability control and break assist systems (if that's what you meant by nannies) between the Sport/Sahara/Rubicon.

I think all the Rubicon adds for snow is the selectable lockers, which may or may not help.
Thats what I ment, I was thinking the brake assist was used to enhance traction on the non-rubi's instead of the lockers.


So in a Rubicon if you have one tire on ice and the other on the road will it use the ABS to control spin so you can pull forward?
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Unread 11-23-2011, 01:49 PM   #12
starscream
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01amberfirewv View Post
Thats what I ment, I was thinking the brake assist was used to enhance traction on the non-rubi's instead of the lockers.


So in a Rubicon if you have one tire on ice and the other on the road will it use the ABS to control spin so you can pull forward?
In theory, yes. The BLD will apply the brake to the spinning wheel, causing more resistance (and therefore more torque required to turn the wheel) which is then equaled by the differential to the other side.

The BLD is on all JKs, I believe, but you can still get the Trac-Loc LSD as an option as well.
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Unread 11-23-2011, 02:07 PM   #13
Avernar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01amberfirewv View Post
Thats what I ment, I was thinking the brake assist was used to enhance traction on the non-rubi's instead of the lockers.

So in a Rubicon if you have one tire on ice and the other on the road will it use the ABS to control spin so you can pull forward?
Yes, but it's called BLD not ABS. ABS prevents the brakes from locking by briefly releasing them. BLD does the opposite by applying them.

The Rubicons have BLD just like the Saharas/Sports do. You can't turn on the lockers in 2H/4H anyways.
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Unread 11-23-2011, 02:09 PM   #14
Avernar
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Originally Posted by starscream View Post
The BLD is on all JKs, I believe, but you can still get the Trac-Loc LSD as an option as well.
You can't get Trac-Loc LSD on a Rubicon.
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Unread 11-23-2011, 02:11 PM   #15
starscream
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avernar View Post
You can't get Trac-Loc LSD on a Rubicon.
Correct... I didn't make it clear, but I was only referring to the "non-Rubis" in the question I was answering.
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