Rubicon or Sport w/ Lift -
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-07-2020, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
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Rubicon or Sport w/ Lift

Need advise, should I buy a Rubicon or a Sport and put a small lift/new tires on it base on the below circumstances:

I'm not planning to go off roading (there's not many places near me in the NOVA/DC area), but I don't like the way the stock Wrangler Sport looks with the tiny wheels/tires. I think that the new Rubicon package looks just perfect stock, and I don't need to go any bigger on tires/lift because I still want to be able to fit into parking garages, I don't want to sacrifice gas mileage that much (even though it may only be 2 mpgs or so), and I won't really be taking it off road.

So my question to the community is: is the Rubicon worth it or would I be better off just buying a sport and putting a 2" lift and bigger tires on it? Right now a brand new Sport is about $35k (before tax/title/dealer fees) and a new Rubicon is around $45-50k on the lower end. Unlike many cars, you get a lot more fancy gadgets, leather seats, and tech with the higher trims. I'm looking at bare bones Rubicons that don't even have leather seats, and it's not like they come with adaptive cruise control, they just look better and are more capable that the Sport. What would it take to basically get a Sport to look like a Rubicon if I upgraded tires and suspension, is that about $4-5k? And is that worth the savings over buying the Rubicon, or should I just buy the Rubicon because it will hold it's value better (I'm assuming any mods going into the Sport I wouldn't get back when I sell)?

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post #2 of 9 Old 08-07-2020, 08:25 AM
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Well, you get more off road orientated options with the Rubicon. Gears, axles, lockers and fancy trims.

You can equip a Sport S with the fancy trims, radio, aux switches and even the ELSD. You will certainly save money to lift a Sport S and option it with the creature comforts you want. A 2" lift (or picking up a JLU Rubicon takeoff suspension) and some 33's or 35's will give you the look you want and allow you to keep a few grand in your pocket.

If you are not going off road, I probably wouldn't buy the Rubicon.
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-10-2020, 07:11 PM
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If you don't plan on going off road at all just go with the Sport S. The Rubicon is way more then just an appearance package and you wont need any of it to cruise the mall. 2.5" lift and 35's on a sport S will even take you off road if you need to. If you do want to go off road later and build a good Jeep you can modify the **** out of any of them.
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-05-2020, 05:55 PM
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Definitely stick with the Sport if you aren't going to be doing much off-roading. The Sport will be capable enough to minor off road excursions and you'll save money because you aren't buying upgrades you don't need.

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post #5 of 9 Old 09-20-2020, 07:52 AM
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If you put larger tires on a Sport or Sport S without changing the gear ratio, your Jeep will lack power and acceleration ability. The Rubicon comes with 411 ratio, which is appropriate for larger tires.

Buy a “Poor Mans” Rubicon.

Buy a Sport S with the EcoDiesel option. It will come with 373 ratio, a Dana 44 front and rear, with a LSD in the rear. The Diesel engine makes 442 torque at 1400 RPM. You could put 35” tires on it and it will have the power and gear ratio to accelerate faster than ANY other Wrangler made. The little 3.0 turbo charged V-6 will get 28 MPG on the highway.

Google Farrish Jeep in your area, they have several EcoDiesel Sport S models on the lot all well under 50K.
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-23-2020, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Axhammer View Post
If you put larger tires on a Sport or Sport S without changing the gear ratio, your Jeep will lack power and acceleration ability. The Rubicon comes with 411 ratio, which is appropriate for larger tires.
I disagree that you need the 411 gears to put 35” on a JL. I have two neighbors with JLs (one a rubicon and one a Sport S with the anti spin rear diff).

You cannot tell any difference in acceleration or on road performance due to the 35” tires that both have on them.

The “Rubicon” is an awesome machine no doubt, but it’s complete overkill for about 98% of Wrangler owners.

If you plan on only doing light or moderate off roading, a Sport S (or pretty much any non Rubicon with the anti spin rear diff) will perform perfectly well. If you want to have little more clearance for the 35s, I recommend the MOPAR 2” lift with Fox shocks
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post #7 of 9 Old 10-28-2020, 11:32 AM
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I'm in the same pickle; Sport S versus Rubi. My CJ7 suits me perfectly well for light offroading in north Georgia mountains (read: forest service/gravel roads, some creek crossings). When the CJ is stored in the winter, I need a Jeep to drive up to the mountains as well as around town. There's no debating the superior looks and performance of a Rubi but, as stated many times, 99% of the time it's overkill which translates to money wasted. I'm debating between a Willys and Sport S and may just have the factory just it with 35's, LDS, V6, Dana 44. My boss wants the Sky Touch roof so that's a huge limiting factor for in stock JL's. I should be so blessed, I've had a CJ for 20+ years and am about to own a JL!
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-28-2020, 12:06 PM
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well for street use and winter you may want AWD. I heard its an option on all? I read here someone looking at new Rubi that has AWD and part time now. Seems that may be the better for most people on snow/ice.

Not sure i would feel blessed with Fiat, i know i have not. They are as well now making all of them hybrid and if that lipo is still under the heep where it was in the first carnation of this. At least in my test with Fiats skid plates. It will not be near enough to withstand any moderate use and on hard trails may prove to be a risk when that skid bends and it will, into that lipo that dont bend. The fuel tank is as well protected by the same type skids. That skid can bend into the poly tank alot and does in real life use. Mine is at least 2" plus in many areas bent up into the tank. It bends its poly. Lipos dont like to bend, when they rupture the ted to catch fire. Oh and its near the fuel tank that is poly that melts........ Engineering like Rube Goldberg and W.E Coyote produced by Acme. What could go wrong...

Fact is these jeeps weigh about 2x more then your Cj. The 1/8 metal used in these stock skids bend very easy with that much weight. After market ones are 1/4 plate and they still bend. not near as much but still do. The weight of a pig here not a 2k-3k tops older jeep. we are in the 5k range here.

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post #9 of 9 Old 10-28-2020, 01:16 PM
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So last week I drove a Sport on 35" tires unlocked with our 3.5" SPORT system and arms all over Moab.
I was on some of the more iconic trails and had no issues at all wheeling.
Some say I am a good driver, what I am is a good listener. I listen to my spotter.
So if you ever see yourself hitting some lighter trails get a Sport S.
Trails I did:
Top of The World
Hell's Revenge
Poison Spider
Fins N Things.
Again not the "toughest" trails out there but still challenging.
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