2 door JLR in SoCal with lots of steep-ish grade wheeling - should I be getting a JLUR?

jessedacri

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I hate to make a 2 vs 4 door topic, but after almost pulling the trigger on a near-perfect optioned 2 door JLR 300 miles from me I started to hesitate. I've only wheeled in a 4 door JLU out here and the trails near me (Miller Jeep Trail/Lockwood, Clark's Grade OHV trail in big bear, Hungry Valley SVRA loop, etc are a few I've tried, all Southern California area) seem to be lots of mountain climbing, big elevation gains/descents.

I've never so much as driven a 2-door, but the consensus is that they're incredible off-road machines with better breakover in stock form but then everyone seems to make the quick passing comment "they're not as good for climbing" either in reference to specific large obstacles or just generally. If I'm out here doing trails with heavy grades and obstacles on those heavy grades (Miller Jeep Trail was the biggest challenge IMO) am I going to feel significantly less confident in these types of situations in a relatively stock JLR (probably very mild lift with 35s) vs the long wheelbase 4-door?

This will be my daily and I can make both JLR or JLUR work in terms of space, but I just don't want to feel like I can't take the same trails my buddy's JLU can swing confidently without feeling like I'm going to end up on the roof. This is my first wrangler, so am I overplaying the SWB vs LWB debate here? I'm not going to be pulling near-vertical Moab-style climbs with this thing, but I've piloted that JLU through some heavy climbs and obstacles that I'd definitely like to be confident over if I go 2-door.


Thanks for the input and thanks in advance for bearing with me on lighting the 2 vs 4 fire again. I'll be past this point and wheeling soon I hope! Pic below is the JLR I'm eyeing.


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JLUin818

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I just did Gold Mountain last weekend which is an intermediate trail. Im JLUs with rubi suspension 35s. I got high centered twice. But i was practically the only jeep without a lift.


Cleghorn has some gnarly obstacles that ive seen 2 doors struggle with, especially manual trans.


For me, with 3 kids, the 4 door was a no brainer. Ive only been high centered a couple times in the many times ive gone offroad.

Get a JLUR and throw a slight lift and 37s and youll be golden pony boy

But nothing wrong with 2 door either. Go with your gut. If you dont have kids and the need for space then you can choose between either one. Both have pros and cons. You wont be hating life in either, unless you have kids and a 2 door lol
 
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jessedacri

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I just did Gold Mountain last weekend which is an intermediate trail. Im JLUs with rubi suspension 35s. I got high centered twice. But i was practically the only jeep without a lift.


Cleghorn has some gnarly obstacles that ive seen 2 doors struggle with, especially manual trans.


For me, with 3 kids, the 4 door was a no brainer. Ive only been high centered a couple times in the many times ive gone offroad.

Get a JLUR and throw a slight lift and 37s and youll be golden pony boy

But nothing wrong with 2 door either. Go with your gut. If you dont have kids and the need for space then you can choose between either one. Both have pros and cons. You wont be hating life in either, unless you have kids and a 2 door lol
No kids, and flexible on space but even just the fact that the JLR rear bench isn't a 60/40 fold makes it difficult to take 3 passengers and a couple backpacks. I'm headed to a dealer today to get a better idea of this in person. I don't know if the extra length of my buddy's JLU has been contributing to our confidence wheeling on uphill/downhill obstacles and I'm not sure a quick ride around the block with the salesman will give me any insight on that, but it's better than nothing I guess!

I'm warming up to the idea of a 4 door and eventual 37s, but I really do like the 2 door and its practicality on my wallet both in the purchase price and the fact that I think I'd stop at 35s on the smaller wheelbase. Hopefully a couple test drives will pave the way here today. I've never been an SUV guy (my last two cars over the past decade have been a BMW 135i and an Audi S5) but the practicality of camping with friends and packing gear at the same time in one vehicle is definitely appealing.
 

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Why would you buy something that costs ~$50k that is only “near-perfect”?
 

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No kids, and flexible on space but even just the fact that the JLR rear bench isn't a 60/40 fold makes it difficult to take 3 passengers and a couple backpacks. I'm headed to a dealer today to get a better idea of this in person. I don't know if the extra length of my buddy's JLU has been contributing to our confidence wheeling on uphill/downhill obstacles and I'm not sure a quick ride around the block with the salesman will give me any insight on that, but it's better than nothing I guess!

I'm warming up to the idea of a 4 door and eventual 37s, but I really do like the 2 door and its practicality on my wallet both in the purchase price and the fact that I think I'd stop at 35s on the smaller wheelbase. Hopefully a couple test drives will pave the way here today. I've never been an SUV guy (my last two cars over the past decade have been a BMW 135i and an Audi S5) but the practicality of camping with friends and packing gear at the same time in one vehicle is definitely appealing.
I am a 2dr only fan since my first Jeep (military surplus) 55 willys Have owned 5 Jeeps 2018 JLR my first FCA Jeep I understand that 19.5 % of 2018 unlimited still on lots sounds like a good chance for a good deal on a 4dr
 

Krondor

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I've got the 2 door manual.

I did drive both a 2 door and a 4 door in Moab and on the steep climbs I did feel much better in the longer 4 door. I still didn't flip the 2 door and the 2 door scrapes a lot less. I also tried to drive fast in the sand dunes of Johnson Valley California. The 4 door would be better for that.

This debate will kill but in the end it's really going to come down to what you want. I really like the smaller 2 door and it's maneuverability. I'd sit down and make a pro's and con's list for both and see which one ticks more boxes for what you want to do.

:beer:
 

DaK

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Wheeled a 2 dr JK throughout SoCal to include John Bull, Holcomb, Cleghorn, Miller, Calico, Last Chance/Nightmare, Gold and White Mtn, and so on with absolutely no problems with steepness. There will always be places on trails where the models outshine one another. Yeah you may have a steeper angle of approach to these obstacles but no reason the 2 door shouldn't get over or through them. You will enjoy the tighter turning radius as you won't be wheeling a school bus through the trails. Only disadvantage we every experienced with the two door was storage. We took out the back see and sold it so we could have storage and still didn't have as much as we do now in our JLUR.
 

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I made a pull yesterday getting to a lookout on the side of a mountain that I wouldn't have done in a two-door. It was sketchy enough with the longer wheelbase. Certainly something I was thinking about when I saw the inclinometer bump 40 degrees while scratching/sliding down the trail haha. Like everything else either rig has its compromises.
 
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jessedacri

jessedacri

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Thanks all. I went and drove a 2 door JLR and fell in love. The backseat is absolutely awful to get in and out of and the storage situation is sort of brutal, but the charm of the 2 door trumps all of it. It’s got a vibe and I see why those who drive these things love them so much. I’m sold - I can make the size work for the uniqueness of the rig for sure.

Does anyone make a single jump seat for the back? To make a more permanent 3-passenger plus long cargo setup?
 

entropy

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Thanks all. I went and drove a 2 door JLR and fell in love. The backseat is absolutely awful to get in and out of and the storage situation is sort of brutal, but the charm of the 2 door trumps all of it. It’s got a vibe and I see why those who drive these things love them so much. I’m sold - I can make the size work for the uniqueness of the rig for sure.

Does anyone make a single jump seat for the back? To make a more permanent 3-passenger plus long cargo setup?
awesome choice you wont regret it. If you can take the seat off space shouldnt shouldnt be an issue. since you saved money by getting 2D instead of 4D you can get a roof rack like the maximus 3. You can also get a hitch mounted basket for mondane driving, not wheeling for obvious reasons.
 

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Does anyone make a single jump seat for the back? To make a more permanent 3-passenger plus long cargo setup?
Let me know if you find this. I wish there was a way to split the two seat into 1.
 

sportsguy

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I'm in this same dilemma (but for different reasons). ;) I used to wheel a lifted Cherokee and never had issues, so a JLU is fine for my needs.

BUT, my heart wants a 2 door...damn it!

Working a deal now on a 4 door, however, and if the dealer in Capistrano is playing straight right now, I may well be placing an order on Monday. :)
 

fat_head

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Why would you buy something that costs ~$50k that is only “near-perfect”?
We all do. Theres no such thing as a perfect Jeep
 

D60

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Man I think the 2 doors are awesome but I'd want to find a way to stretch it to at least 102".

Shouldn't be too difficult to move the front axle forward if you're willing to move the steering box (or obviously full hydro).

You can probably cheat the rear back 1-2" before body work is required but not sure at what point you'd need to move the upper coil mounts - probably anything over an inch?

Just like trucks I want to see an LJ version of the JL but with "extended cab" suicide doors behind the front doors...
 

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