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Unread 09-26-2014, 11:34 AM   #1
CLD
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New Jeep, I'm torn....

To Rubicon or not to Rubicon, that is my question. I've been tire kicking Jeeps and would love to have a new Wrangler. Obvious advantages to having the Rubicon but when compared to a Sport model but how serious of an offroader do you have to be before you really wish you'd have spent the extra money on the Rubicon? I would love to give it a shot but in all honesty, I probably won't be winching thru Fordyce anytime soon. I'd love to go thru the Rubicon but I'd likely (at first anyway) be the guy willing to take the bypasses around the really hard stuff. I always hear that any Wrangler is very capable but I don't know what that word means when comparing these two models. Is a Sport on 35's with a winch enough for me? Thanks!

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Unread 09-26-2014, 11:41 AM   #2
HappyTrails
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That is an age old question. Very hard to answer. But....in the JK Technical FAQ's, post #6, you'll find a discussion of that very same question.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f96/j...reads-1074059/

Here it is, copied and pasted. Credit to KPJ.

Why Should I Buy A Rubicon (or not)
edit; This post came from this thread>To Rubicon or Not?

I would definitely go Rubicon. Auto or manual? If auto, then the Rubicon if for no other reason than the 4.10's.

For sand the 4:1 transfer case is not needed but it is no disadvantage either. Bogging in soft sand and needing to downshift can lead to being stuck, the 4:1 transfer case will keep the revs up, but so can selecting and staying in a lower gear with the 2.72:1 case. The front D44 isn't needed, but again it isn't a disadvantage either. The lockers can definitely save the day in loose sand, especially with good aggressive tires. The Rubicon tires are actually quite good in the sand despite common "wisdom" that aggressive tires don't do well in the sand.

For mud, the lockers will save your hide and become a favorite feature. The D44 becomes more requirement since spinning in the slop and then catching is what often breaks axles. It isn't fool proof, but it is substantially stronger than a D30. Bogging down and needing to downshift is a leading cause of becoming stuck in the mud, the 4:1 case is by far the better choice for mud. The 3.8 like the revs and the 4:1 will deliver while providing plenty of wheel spin to keep the treads clear. The Rubicon tires are mudders, and good ones until you decide you want bigger.

The only Rubicon feature you won't use and rely on for the off roading you describe is the e-disco.

Now if you plan to (soon) moddify your Jeep to the point that you're swapping in D60 axles and dropping in an Atlas X-case and air lockers front and rear... no reason for the Rubicon.

As far as paying intrest on stock Rubicon features that would be mods on an X, Sport, Sahara, when you find yourself with a pocket full of money that you would have spent on, say, a front locker or gears, make an extra pmt. Your interest accrual will drop since the extra pmt will drop your principle amount... Then you aren't paying interest on the "mods."

BTW, all of those X, Sport, Sahara mods like gears and lockers or D44 front axles that kill your warranty but come stock on the Rubicon are covered by the factory warranty.

And if you price out the mods and include the labor to instal them, you are WAY ahead with the Rubicon. (But if you can instal them yourself... Go X or Sport or Sahara...)

JPK
Last edited by JLC08JK; 10-06-2010 at 01:19 PM.. Reason: Added link to source


My take on the subject...if you can afford to buy one, then yes. If you can afford to DIY, AND know HOW to DIY, then Do It Yourself...you'll come out with a better built Jeep.

Yes, any Wrangler model is VERY capable off-road. As a matter of fact, they have better off-road manners than they do on-road. LOL! A Sport on 35's with a winch will get you most anywhere, a Rubi will just get you there a little easier.
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Unread 09-26-2014, 12:05 PM   #3
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Just a stock sport is a very capable Jeep within reason. You can always mod/build your Jeep in any configuration that you want to meet your needs. That’s one of the many reasons that makes Jeeps so cool.
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Unread 09-26-2014, 12:27 PM   #4
222Doc
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35"s is where the Rubicon makes more sense. Especially if the auto in all 2012 and up with 4.1 gears. You can roll those well no ugrades. gears and lockers after the fact gets rather expensive. Just a set of ARB lockers and the need air supply will be north of 2300$. no labor. add in gears labor better axles and suddenly you are at the price point and lost your axle warranty.

If you are getting into wheeling, you will very soon find out why lockers and that better stronger lower geared t case is needed. Our 012 JKR is our third jeep and ordered with the plan to use it as a toy. Never once in the 3 years almost now have i thought "wish i would have bought a sport" the new auto with its much lower first gear and the 4.1 option on that models axle gears. have rolled 35 since new. Through the rubicon trail, dusy ershim Moab and all over AZ trails. heading to Fordyce next summer, but we will trailer it there as that trails tends to eat jeeps and i do not want to have to have to drive it home if its bent.

If you look at what the charge for a "package" Sahara, arctic, willys etc you are getting stickers and leather seats. The cost of stripped Rubi is about the same and it is all mechanical upgrades. better axles 32 spline and 30 compared to 30 and 27, lower gears, much better tcase it is stronger it is not just 4.1. esway is nice.
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Unread 09-26-2014, 09:25 PM   #5
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Never heard of someone who looks back on their life and wishes they didn't get the Rubicon. I personally think the stiffer Rubicon heavy duty suspension feels better on the road than the regular setup. There seems to be a lot less body roll in the corners. I have no plans to change tire size or add lift so I chose to get the 3.73 gears with the auto. Gets 15-21 MPG. I've used the lockers one time near Mt Princeton in Colorado (only had it for three months). Even if you don't plan to use them often its nice to know they are there just in case. I bought the Jeep with outdoor activities in mind, not just four wheeling. Its cargo capacity, off road ability and relatively decent comfort for long drives are used for camping and getting mountain bikes out to the single track. Its primary purpose is not to run over stuff, but to be counted on to get me to where I am going. The Rubicon features are there for the just in case scenarios and for the occasional Jeep Jamboree. The MSRP on my Jeep was obscene, but sometimes in life you just got to go out and buy the good stuff.
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Unread 09-26-2014, 09:30 PM   #6
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bottom line if you can afford it get the rubicon if you don't want the higher payments or cant afford it get a sport
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Unread 09-26-2014, 10:13 PM   #7
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I wouldn't normally post, but... Everyone is just repeating the same things.

I have owned a Sport, Rubicon, and now a Sahara.

Don't get me wrong, overall, the Rubi' is awesome. It's very slow when in 4-low. This increases it's capability greatly but it's also booooring. The more capable your rig is, the more extreme trails you need to tackle to have fun.

I like exploring new places and such. Not really into going places where I need two lockers to get to. I'm in the southwest so there's no mud here.

Bottom line, I'm happier in a Sahara than I was in a Rubicon. Be honest with yourself as to what you want to do with your rig. Any Wrangler will go places most owners won't have the nerve to take them.
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Unread 09-26-2014, 10:35 PM   #8
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This is just my opinion (I've owned both a JK Rubicon and a JK Sport)...so take it for what it's worth. Similarly equipped Rubicon is about $9000 more than a Sport ($25,000-34,000).

Someone said the Rubicon suspension is more heavy duty. If someone is going to add a lift kit this is a complete non factor...and if you are thinking 35"s, you are gonna lift it. You do get the E-Disco sway bar with the Rubi. A set of quick disconnects for the Sports front sway bar will cost you $140ish. A quality lift kit for either will run you $1500-2500.

The new transmission and engine combination found in the '12-'14 is much better than that found on 2007-2011 Jeeps.....so the 4.10 gearing isn't as big a difference as it used to be. I'd recommend <35" tires on either the 4.10 or 3.73... Honestly, look at the gear chart, there isn't that big of a difference between the 4.10 and 3.73 (~200rpm). If you stay <35" tires, the D30 is more than adequate, and will handle 35" tires with light modification (c-gussets). If you are planning 35"s on either, you are gonna need to lift it or invest in flat fenders.

Look through the forums, for 35"s you see guys recommending 4.56 to 4.88 gears....so that tempers the gearing argument. Also, the D30 on the Sport and D44 on the Rubicon are very similar (slightly bigger shafts, bigger gears, higher spline count). If you want to regear and/or add a locker to the Sport, it's gonna cost you $1500-3000 (You can get the LSD option for $299, it's not a locker, but with the brake lock setup, provides good traction). I know a lot of Rubi guys that rarely if ever use their front locker.

The transfer cases are different (2.73:1 to 4:1), if you're gonna rock crawl or do hardcore wheeling, this can make a difference....for the average guy, not so much.

I see guys say "Get the Rubicon!" all the time...then they say get a lift! Then it's get bigger tires! Then it's get a regear! Then it's get D60s! Honestly, if you are a hardcore wheeler or rock crawler, yeah the Rubi makes sense, but you are still going to modify it...

In the end, think about how serious you are going to get with this, and how much money you plan on investing, taking the starting price point into consideration.
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Unread 09-27-2014, 02:27 PM   #9
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The Rubicon is only 4K more than a comparably equipped sport. You get to 9K by adding wheels, hard top, AC, cruise... etc. To get a sport to the level of a base Rubicon you have to spend a lot more than the base model. If you are throwing away half of what the Rubicon is you should probably have bought the sport. The Rubicon is really only a 3K premium over the Sahara, which easily pays for lockers, axles and the T-Case. Do you need all that stuff? Hell no. If you want to be a hard core rock crawler you will be disappointed in any factory made vehicle. When the custom built buggies show up all these Jeeps of ours look like fisher price toys. Adding things like Dana 60s is kind of silly IMHO. When you start modding a Jeep to that level your better off going this route: http://opw.com.au/media-gallery/team...k-crawler.html
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Unread 09-27-2014, 03:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swaustex View Post
The Rubicon is only 4K more than a comparably equipped sport. You get to 9K by adding wheels, hard top, AC, cruise... etc. To get a sport to the level of a base Rubicon you have to spend a lot more than the base model. If you are throwing away half of what the Rubicon is you should probably have bought the sport. The Rubicon is really only a 3K premium over the Sahara, which easily pays for lockers, axles and the T-Case. Do you need all that stuff? Hell no. If you want to be a hard core rock crawler you will be disappointed in any factory made vehicle. When the custom built buggies show up all these Jeeps of ours look like fisher price toys. Adding things like Dana 60s is kind of silly IMHO. When you start modding a Jeep to that level your better off going this route: http://opw.com.au/media-gallery/team...k-crawler.html
Um, no....not even close..on anything you just posted.

Using the build tool at Jeep.com and adding auto tranny and 3.73 to Sport brings it to $25.185, adding the auto tranny and 4.10 to the Rubicon brings it to $33,985.....and that directly from Jeep. The difference at an actual dealership is probably even more. Here in Vegas it's usually much more ($38,160 vs $27,275). If you can find a 2014 Rubicon for only $4000 more than a similarly equipped Sport, buy it right away....as it is the friggin equivalent of a unicorn.
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Unread 09-27-2014, 03:54 PM   #11
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Don't forget, if you keep your jeep less than 7 years or so, you'll get a lot of your Rubicon money back at sale/trade so purchase cost differential is defrayed. If you aren't ever going to use any of the extras it may not be worth it.
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Unread 09-27-2014, 03:59 PM   #12
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Ask yourself the simple questions based on its features. Do you want an electronic sway bar disconnect now? Do you want lockers now? Do you want a factory D44 up front now? Do you want a 4:1 low range now? If the answer is yes to any of those, then get the Rubicon.
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Unread 09-28-2014, 09:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LVCapo
Um, no....not even close..on anything you just posted. Using the build tool at Jeep.com and adding auto tranny and 3.73 to Sport brings it to $25.185, adding the auto tranny and 4.10 to the Rubicon brings it to $33,985.....and that directly from Jeep. The difference at an actual dealership is probably even more. Here in Vegas it's usually much more ($38,160 vs $27,275). If you can find a 2014 Rubicon for only $4000 more than a similarly equipped Sport, buy it right away....as it is the friggin equivalent of a unicorn.
Rubicon has power windows, alpine stereo with sub, power door locks, good wheels and tires, AC power points, and probably some other crap like cruise control that you have to add to the sport. At least for the jku when I was looking it was 31k for a sport that had the same crap in it as the base JKUR without the off road adds. If you want a jeep with "Power Nothing" the Rubicon is not a good fit. I had power nothing on my CJ and TJ and it gets old in about 3 months. After two years it really sucks. If you plan on driving the jeep occasionally then the base base sport is a good deal. If you drive it more than 8k per year all those other things that jeep forces you to get with the rubicon package make sense. If you are only buying the jeep for off road there are many better options now for pure off road. Of course there are many on this forum who may not be as picky as me and would be happy with a bare bones jeep. I put 100k miles on a CJ with leaf springs, a leaky top, and vinyl Smittybuilt seats so the thought of a bare bones jeep is hateful. The jeep I bought had an MSRP of 42800 and came with everything but the X bumpers and the top end Nav system. The equivalent Sahara would have been 39500.
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Unread 09-28-2014, 10:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swaustex View Post
Rubicon has power windows, alpine stereo with sub, power door locks, good wheels and tires, AC power points, and probably some other crap like cruise control that you have to add to the sport. At least for the jku when I was looking it was 31k for a sport that had the same crap in it as the base JKUR without the off road adds. If you want a jeep with "Power Nothing" the Rubicon is not a good fit. I had power nothing on my CJ and TJ and it gets old in about 3 months. After two years it really sucks. If you plan on driving the jeep occasionally then the base base sport is a good deal. If you drive it more than 8k per year all those other things that jeep forces you to get with the rubicon package make sense. If you are only buying the jeep for off road there are many better options now for pure off road. Of course there are many on this forum who may not be as picky as me and would be happy with a bare bones jeep. I put 100k miles on a CJ with leaf springs, a leaky top, and vinyl Smittybuilt seats so the thought of a bare bones jeep is hateful. The jeep I bought had an MSRP of 42800 and came with everything but the X bumpers and the top end Nav system. The equivalent Sahara would have been 39500.
I found your perfect vehicle Seriously, if you're buying a Rubicon for power windows, power locks, and that awesome Alpine sound system....you're doing it wrong. I got all that on mine for $27,000, and really didn't want it...because it's a jeep and that stuff breaks....but then again you're on a Jeep forum recommending buggies.......
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Unread 09-28-2014, 03:30 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by LVCapo View Post
I found your perfect vehicle Seriously, if you're buying a Rubicon for power windows, power locks, and that awesome Alpine sound system....you're doing it wrong. I got all that on mine for $27,000, and really didn't want it...because it's a jeep and that stuff breaks....but then again you're on a Jeep forum recommending buggies.......
Bazinga!!! Shots fired across the port bow!
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