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Unread 09-21-2006, 01:35 PM   #1
cab76
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New JPMagazine Article on JK Pros and Cons

http://www.jpmagazine.com/roadtests/...pros_and_cons/

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Unread 09-21-2006, 02:21 PM   #2
NaeKid
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Copied from JPMagazine

If you hate the JK it’s probably because you’ve spent a good chunk of change on your TJ and a little too much time on opinionated and uninformed message boards. However, the real issue with this is the fact that you haven’t been behind the wheel. The new Wrangler is more capable off-road, more comfortable on- and off-road, and it’s less expensive than the previous model. After having driven the new Wrangler over a good portion of the Rubicon Trail, as well as through some mountain roads, we have a pretty good idea of what it can and can’t do. Here are some of the common complaints of the JK and the reality of each gripe.

Complaint: It’s too big.
Reality: Overall, the JK is just over 5 inches wider than the TJ. That’s only 2 1/2 inches (or about the thickness of your hand) on each side. We have yet to see a trail where this increase would stop you. If so, fold in the mirrors and let the flexible flares absorb some trail. If tight trails are in your future, get the two-door. Wanna comfortably bring your friends and family on reasonably difficult trails, get the four-door

Complaint: The plastic bumpers are stupid and weak.
Reality: So are the TJ’s. How many TJs are still hitting the trails or even the streets with the factory bumpers? Swap ’em out.

Complaint: The minivan 3.8L V-6 sucks.
Reality: The new V-6 makes its power at a slightly higher rpm than the retired 4.0L inline. Typically, you’ll find that you’ll drive the new engine about 750 rpm higher than the old one when on the highway. The 4.0L was a great engine, but even it has its downfalls with problems, such as cracked exhaust manifolds and a lean condition at wide-open throttle. The V-6 will still start in low-range First gear and idle up a hill. In our opinion, the 4:1 gearing in the Rubicon transfer case suits the V-6 better than the torquey inline. In the sand and mud, the higher-revving V-6 also seems to have an advantage.

Complaint: The new electric lockers suck.
Reality: The JK axlehousings, shafts, and gears are all stronger than the TJ’s. It’s true, when disengaged the rear JK Rubicon locker is open whereas the TJ’s is a limited slip. But we’ll take the strength and durability over the limited slip any day.

Complaint: The plastic front fenders suck.
Reality: When you bang ’em up they will be cheaper to replace than the TJ’s painted steel parts. Also, the JK fender is more likely to tear off than to cause collateral damage to the grille, tub, and internal structure like the TJs fenders. Interestingly, the JK is the first Jeep introduced where we were told by the marketing and design team that they took the aftermarket into consideration. To bring the price of the vehicle down, less expensive components were used in nonessential areas that they knew would be upgraded anyway. The bumpers are a perfect example of this. The JK could be a natural for tube fenders anyway.

Complaint: The JK CV driveshafts are garbage.
Reality: With any amount of lift it is likely that the front and rear JK driveshafts will need to be replaced with U-jointed units, even on the Rubicon models. However, all 4x4 JKs will have fixed yokes front and rear. Changing out the driveshafts on the JK will cost about as much as the slip-yoke eliminator kit (not including labor) and a rear CV driveshaft needed to properly lift some TJs.

Complaint: The mid-ship–mounted fuel tank won’t allow a long-arm lift kit.
Reality: You won’t need an aftermarket long-arm lift kit. The JK comes with up to 32-inch tires from the factory (Sahara and Rubicon models). Fitting 35s should only require 2–3 inches of lift. This will keep the suspension geometry in check without the complexity or expense of a long-arm lift kit.

Complaint: The anti-skid Electronic Stability Program (ESP) will interfere with my driving habits.
Reality: It can be disabled with the push of a button. With the ESP activated the JK will handle light years better than the TJ on snow, ice, and slick road surfaces, even if the TJ in question has the Rubicon’s limited-slip rear differential.

Complaint: I’m stupid. My TJ is still better.
Reality: The ’07 Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited feature reduced prices throughout the lineup by an average of $1,200 while adding an average of $1,800 in content when compared to the outgoing ’06 models. You get more of a better Jeep for less money. If you prefer the appearance of your ’06-and-earlier Wrangler that’s one thing, but better a TJ is not.
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Unread 09-21-2006, 03:05 PM   #3
Crashnburn80
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I just read that yesterday. And since we're at it heres the one on the Rubi trail test drive from JP mag:

http://www.jpmagazine.com/preview/15...er_rubicon_jk/
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Unread 09-21-2006, 05:29 PM   #4
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all the haters have just been owned!
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Unread 09-21-2006, 06:30 PM   #5
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Trust me, nobody hates the JK. WE JUST WANT A DAMN MOTOR DC!!!!!
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Unread 09-21-2006, 07:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianLSU
Trust me, nobody hates the JK. WE JUST WANT A DAMN MOTOR DC!!!!!
Which one did you drive?
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Unread 09-21-2006, 07:43 PM   #7
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First he tells us how great the plastic fenders are compared to steel fenders. (I agree from a functional standpoint but the final styling is hideous).
Quote:
Reality: When you bang ’em up they will be cheaper to replace than the TJ’s painted steel parts. Also, the JK fender is more likely to tear off than to cause collateral damage to the grille, tub, and internal structure like the TJs fenders.
Then he argues its ok because DC bean counters are smart enough to know we will gladly piss away money on their product to fix it.
Quote:
Interestingly, the JK is the first Jeep introduced where we were told by the marketing and design team that they took the aftermarket into consideration. To bring the price of the vehicle down, less expensive components were used in nonessential areas that they knew would be upgraded anyway. The bumpers are a perfect example of this.
Then he counters his argument and tells us Tube fenders could be a solution for something. Could it be the horrible aesthetics?
Quote:
The JK could be a natural for tube fenders anyway.
Seems like this could happen with tubes.
Quote:
collateral damage to the grille, tub, and internal structure like the TJs fenders
Quote:
Reality: The ’07 Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited feature reduced prices throughout the lineup by an average of $1,200 while adding an average of $1,800 in content when compared to the outgoing ’06 models.
DC is going to give you $3000.00 worth of value for free. (Wish he would have itemized the 1800.00).

He is smartly selling (Jeeps are his thing) and I will bet within months you will find JP whining about the look if they are not already. Auto rags double speak all the time.

Observation:

(Assumptions - low end TJ type pricing)

New front bumper $200
New rear bumber $250
New tire carrier if needed $300
Tube fenders $400
Shipping $120

Total $1270.00

It doesn't look like DC gave any consideration to aftermarket integration. From this view there is a lot of radius where the fenders attach. It will be interesting to see what the aftermarket can do with it and at what cost. It's not cheap to tube a TJ but the base design does lend itself to it.

The JK is softened, soccer mom aesthetics (ala liberty), and derived from DC market analysis. They seem to be trying to expand their market for Wranglers e.g. 2 wheel drive Unlimited - they are selling looks.

The market will speak soon enough.
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Unread 09-21-2006, 07:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iismet
First he tells us how great the plastic fenders are compared to steel fenders. (I agree from a functional standpoint but the final styling is hideous).

Then he argues its ok because DC bean counters are smart enough to know we will gladly piss away money on their product to fix it.

Then he counters his argument and tells us Tube fenders could be a solution for something. Could it be the horrible aesthetics?

Seems like this could happen with tubes.



DC is going to give you $3000.00 worth of value for free. (Wish he would have itemized the 1800.00).

He is smartly selling (Jeeps are his thing) and I will bet within months you will find JP whining about the look if they are not already. Auto rags double speak all the time.

Observation:

(Assumptions - low end TJ type pricing)

New front bumper $200
New rear bumber $250
New tire carrier if needed $300
Tube fenders $400
Shipping $120

Total $1270.00

It doesn't look like DC gave any consideration to aftermarket integration. From this view there is a lot of radius where the fenders attach. It will be interesting to see what the aftermarket can do with it and at what cost. It's not cheap to tube a TJ but the base design does lend itself to it.

The JK is softened, soccer mom aesthetics (ala liberty), and derived from DC market analysis. They seem to be trying to expand their market for Wranglers e.g. 2 wheel drive Unlimited - they are selling looks.

The market will speak soon enough.
Howdy, I'd like to take a moment to remind you that this is a JK bash free zone. If you persist you won't like the result. Now go away.
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Unread 09-21-2006, 08:06 PM   #9
cab76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iismet
First he tells us how great the plastic fenders are compared to steel fenders. (I agree from a functional standpoint but the final styling is hideous).

Then he argues its ok because DC bean counters are smart enough to know we will gladly piss away money on their product to fix it.

Then he counters his argument and tells us Tube fenders could be a solution for something. Could it be the horrible aesthetics?

Seems like this could happen with tubes.

Here is another quote from the JPMagazine article - "If you prefer the appearance of your ’06-and-earlier Wrangler that’s one thing, but better a TJ is not." Thus, the point that they are making is this: The JK's fenders are much more functional than the TJ's for a variety of reasons. If looks are more important to you than function you can always add tube fenders - it should look great and be easier for the aftermarket to create than the TJ.


Quote:
Originally Posted by iismet
The market will speak soon enough.
It is already speaking. TJ incentives have been staggering and yet sales are still down 16% on the year.
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Unread 09-21-2006, 08:42 PM   #10
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Complaint: The plastic bumpers are stupid and weak.
Reality: So are the TJ’s. How many TJs are still hitting the trails or even the streets with the factory bumpers? Swap ’em out.


This is wrong. The TJ has bumper end caps that are plastic, not the whole bumper.

Complaint: The mid-ship–mounted fuel tank won’t allow a long-arm lift kit.
Reality: You won’t need an aftermarket long-arm lift kit. The JK comes with up to 32-inch tires from the factory (Sahara and Rubicon models). Fitting 35s should only require 2–3 inches of lift. This will keep the suspension geometry in check without the complexity or expense of a long-arm lift kit.


Uh what? I guess all the hard core guys who only have their Jeep as a wheeler are now screwed. What if you want, or need, to go bigger? Stupid excuse.

Complaint: I’m stupid. My TJ is still better.
Reality: The ’07 Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited feature reduced prices throughout the lineup by an average of $1,200 while adding an average of $1,800 in content when compared to the outgoing ’06 models. You get more of a better Jeep for less money. If you prefer the appearance of your ’06-and-earlier Wrangler that’s one thing, but better a TJ is not.


Considering it is in its first year of production, I am not going to swap out my TJ just yet. I want others to tell me from personal experience if the JK is worth it or not. Not sold just yet.
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Unread 09-21-2006, 08:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PM Thor
Complaint: The plastic bumpers are stupid and weak.
Reality: So are the TJ’s. How many TJs are still hitting the trails or even the streets with the factory bumpers? Swap ’em out.


This is wrong. The TJ has bumper end caps that are plastic, not the whole bumper.
You're technically right, but I think that is really splitting hairs. The point is very few people like the TJ bumpers - they hang low (especially in the rear) and even though parts are steel, they are not that strong (and there are large plastic end caps as you point out).

Quote:
Originally Posted by PM Thor
[B]Complaint: The mid-ship–mounted fuel tank won’t allow a long-arm lift kit.
Reality: You won’t need an aftermarket long-arm lift kit. The JK comes with up to 32-inch tires from the factory (Sahara and Rubicon models). Fitting 35s should only require 2–3 inches of lift. This will keep the suspension geometry in check without the complexity or expense of a long-arm lift kit.


Uh what? I guess all the hard core guys who only have their Jeep as a wheeler are now screwed. What if you want, or need, to go bigger? Stupid excuse.
I have to agree with you here. In the entire article this is one area that had me scratching my head a bit. Yes, the JK is clearly an improvement for those that want to run minor to mid-level lifts. But if you want to run a real monster lift and need long arms, there is at least a question as to whether it will be possible on the JK. From what I have heard, long arms will be possible on the JK and aftermarket manufacterers are working on them as we speak - where there is a will, there is a way. And what JPMagazine should have pointed out is that the gas tank was moved in order to comply with federal safety regulations.
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Unread 09-21-2006, 09:08 PM   #12
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MORE FROM JP MAGAZINE

14 Notes From Behind the Wheel

1. The slightly larger overall size of the two-door was hardly noticeable on the trail.

2. The JKs electronically controlled throttle works perfect without hesitation or scary throttle tip-in launches like in the Hemi Grand.

3. The push-button sway-bar disconnect on the Rubicon model is brilliant. It helps provide more suspension articulation and a smoother ride off-road. Why didn’t we get this option sooner?

4. Simple heavy-duty versions of the existing skidplates would be welcomed for rougher wheeling. Aftermarket, get to work!

5. We love the stiffer chassis, and the suspension on the new JK is awesome. Don’t ruin it by installing a slap-together lift kit. Aftermarket, get to work!

6. The new Jeep-only (for now) version of the BFG mud terrain on the JK Rubicon grips better than the old BFG muds and better than the Goodyear MT/Rs on the ’06-and-earlier Rubicons. We really like these tires and can only hope BFG will offer them in more sizes.

7. There is less gear clash and slop than previous models with 4:1 transfer cases. The JK drivetrain is tighter than the TJ overall.

8. The locker and sway-bar disconnect buttons are somewhat awkwardly placed in the dash. They are a little low and hard to see and reach while maneuvering in the boulder patch. It would be nice if these controls were on the steering wheel.

9. We love the gauge cluster.

10. The transfer case has a real shifter and shifts much more smoothly and easier than previous models.

11. These are the best factory rocker guards Jeep has ever built (Rubicon only). Still wish they had some sort of hoop for even more protection.

12. The three-piece modular hardtop is a way-cool option.

13. The six-speed manual tranny shifter feels a little loose and sloppy. A short-throw shifter might be nice.

14. We’d like to see an aftermarket exhaust (after-cat system) to add some rumble to the 3.8L V-6. It’s a little too quiet.
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Unread 09-21-2006, 10:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine
Howdy, I'd like to take a moment to remind you that this is a JK bash free zone. If you persist you won't like the result. Now go away.

JESUS!!! WELCOME TO THE SOVIET UNION....FREE SPEECH IS DEAD IN THE JK FORUM!!!!GAY GAY GAY GAY GAY IS THE JK!!! SO BAN ME! REVOLUCION!
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Unread 09-21-2006, 10:39 PM   #14
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I find it interesting that not one mention was made about the muffler's location. I thought that was one of the major complaints about the JK.
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Unread 09-21-2006, 11:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I find it interesting that not one mention was made about the muffler's location. I thought that was one of the major complaints about the JK.
The reason there was no mention is because it's not an issue.
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