JK shopping, what to look for - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 13 Old 03-06-2019, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
chad_rhodes
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JK shopping, what to look for

I’m in the market for a JK or JKU, haven’t totally decided. Most likely staying 2012-2014. What are some common things to look for or pay particular attention to when looking? Any way to tell between 3.21 and 3.73 gears?


2012 JKU Sahara, 3.73, 6 speed, mostly stock....for now
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post #2 of 13 Old 03-06-2019, 03:22 PM
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Short of jacking it up, spinning a rear tire and counting driveshaft revolutions, no. Get the VIN of the JK you are looking at and grab a build sheet. That will tell you what gears it shipped with.

With the Pentastar, you are looking at most of the normal used car things. 12 and 13, I would check to see if the head was replaced. That should be in the service records. Then run it to see if there are any recalls needed. Also look to make sure it's lot leaking oil, that might be a sign that Tommy Torque wrench over tightened the oil filter housing.
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post #3 of 13 Old 03-06-2019, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Gotcha. I know GM uses codes for gear ratios and they’re usually in the glove box or something. Didn’t know if the JK’s had a similar way of knowing the gear ratio

2012 JKU Sahara, 3.73, 6 speed, mostly stock....for now
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post #4 of 13 Old 03-07-2019, 05:30 AM
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The gear ratio is listed on the window sticker. On my wife's JK the stock gear ratio (3.21) is listed under standard equipment and the optional gear ratio (3.73 $195) is listed with the options. It's a fairly quick process to pull the window sticker.

2003 TJ 4.0L Freedom Edition, Flame Red, 5 spd., CAI, Warn, stinger, Hella/KC trail lights.
2013 JK Sport Black, Auto Trans, Bone Stock

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post #5 of 13 Old 03-07-2019, 07:56 AM
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I just completed my search for a JKU. I ended up with a 10A JKU (10th Anniversary Rubicon). In addition to the tips above, I checked the carpet for dampness to catch any leaky tops. I found one that was so wet that the carpet was a block of ice when I looked at the Jeep. Check the heat too to make sure the driver side is hot, not luke warm or cool. My search was hard since I wanted a stick and most of what was out there are autos. I also wanted a 10A, so that made it even harder.

I crawl under every Jeep I ever look to buy to check for damage to control arms, skid plates, etc...

I take my Jeeps offroad and expect to scrape them up, but I will not buy one that has been offroad. You don't know how badly it may have been thrashed. A nice 'grocery getter' is what I look for, and what I found eventually. Miles may be higher, but it has not been beat up, yet.
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post #6 of 13 Old 03-08-2019, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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I've got 2 on my short list right now, with one more possible once I get some more info.

1) 2012 JKU Sahara manual, loaded, 3.73's all stock other than some stick on chrome 104k miles, large dealer offers "warranty forever"
2) 2014 JKU Freedom Edition, automatic, aftermarket head unit, wheels/tires (getting details on that as we speak, look like 33's on black XD 20's), not sure on gears yet 108k miles
3) 2013 JKU Sport, automatic, stock tires/wheels, 3.73's no other details yet

Planning to go look at #1 today, possibly #3. #2 is a few hundred miles away so I'm getting all the details I can over the phone/email
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post #7 of 13 Old 03-08-2019, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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#2 has 325/70R18's with 3.21 gears
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post #8 of 13 Old 03-08-2019, 10:23 AM
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1 or 3 would be my serious contenders.

If they are really 325's then you are looking at a big 35" tire. 3.21 gears and that are a serious no go in my mind.

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post #9 of 13 Old 03-08-2019, 11:18 AM
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#2 May not have a trailer hitch. That would be worth knowing before you go.

2003 TJ 4.0L Freedom Edition, Flame Red, 5 spd., CAI, Warn, stinger, Hella/KC trail lights.
2013 JK Sport Black, Auto Trans, Bone Stock

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post #10 of 13 Old 03-08-2019, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Understood on the gears. I live on the gulf coast, the biggest hill I go up is a bridge. I have the tools and ability to set up gears, and it might be cheaper than wheels and tires. #3 is off the list because on closer inspection someone rhino lined damn near everything (fenders, bumpers, step bars). #1 is also $2k more than number #2. Going to try and make a deal with #1 but it’s going to have to be good.

2012 JKU Sahara, 3.73, 6 speed, mostly stock....for now
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post #11 of 13 Old 03-09-2019, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Well #2 sold. And #1 isn’t budging on the price. Might be back to the drawing board

2012 JKU Sahara, 3.73, 6 speed, mostly stock....for now
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post #12 of 13 Old 03-12-2019, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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So now I’ve found two more.

#1 12’ JKU Sahara, 6spd, 3.73, silver/tan interior 106k mikes (silver top too)

#2 12’ JKU Sahara, auto, 3.73, silver/black (black hardtop) 107k miles $1000 cheaper but a no haggle dealership.

2012 JKU Sahara, 3.73, 6 speed, mostly stock....for now
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post #13 of 13 Old 03-12-2019, 12:50 PM
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I myself, while enjoy a stick, would rather have the Auto. The NAG1 is a great transmission.

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12 JK, 2.5" Teraflex lift, Bilstein 5100's, BFG KM3's 37x12.5/R17
17 WK2 Trailhawk
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