Buying my first wrangler soon - need some educated input

kwilliford93

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Jeep virgin here ‍♀

welp, I’ve got the blessing from my husband to finally do it. I’m gonna buy my first Jeep. Couple questions:

1) Not much experience off roading outside of 4 wheeling, and even that’s been a while. But I miss the off-road community and want to join the club. I’m ignorant to the capabilities of a Jeep other than my YouTube education, though. So, with that being said, I will go light in difficulty on trails for a while as I learn, but I plan to do just that: learn and improve. Biggest dilemma - can someone explain to me in dummy terms what the capability differences are in a rubicon vs. some other model? I understand the sway bar disconnect, I’m gonna call it the no tip sticks. But the other specs are Greek to me. Yes I know, why am I even considering a rubi if I don’t understand basic terminology, but again, I’m here to learn and listen. Once I start getting comfortable and decide to try more challenging trails, will I regret not having the rubicon? Will I be limited in the other models? Is it worth it to spend extra money now even if I may not need the extra beef right away?

2) less complicated question: live in GA, better to buy new or slightly used? Planning on buying JL

Btw, I’m not really wanting to get super crazy with mods. Probably. Idk. Famous last words? I plan on sticking to upgrade tires, rims, and lift at first. I hope that helps with the first question(s).





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wibornz

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This is what I would say. The Sport and Sharra are capable off road, but you have to at times beat them harder to do the same stuff a Rubicon will do with easy.

The main difference for a Rubicon is they are geared lower. Which means there is more torque and this is easier on the motor, and they have stronger axles, and sit higher that the other models. Then of course you do not have to disconnect the sway bars manually or reconnect them when you are done off roading. You know when everything is muddy and wet.

TRANSFER CASE: NV241 COMMAND-TRAC
  • Available: Standard on Sport and Sahara
  • Type: Part-time
  • Operating Modes: 2WD High; 4WD High; Neutral; 4WD Low
  • Low Range Ratio: 2.72:1
TRANSFER CASE: NV241OR ROCK-TRAC
  • Available: Standard on Rubicon
  • Type: Part-time
  • Operating Modes: 2WD High; 4WD High; Neutral; 4WD Low
  • Low Range Ratio: 4.0:1
The axles and axle gearing is also different. This makes a big deal if you change tire sizes and helps with off roading
AXLES
  • Front: Dana 30, Dana 44 on Rubicon models
    • Differential Type: Open (Dana 30) or Tru-Lok electronic locking (Dana 44)
    • Axle Ratios: 3.45, 3.73, 4.10
  • Rear: Dana 35, Dana 44 on Rubicon models
    • Differential Type: Open (Sport and Sahara) with available Trac-Lok anti-spin, Tru-Lok electronic locking (Rubicon)
    • Axle Ratios: 3.45, 3.73, 4.10
The Rubicon has stronger axles and is geared lower.

The Rubicon also has the ability to lock both differential together making all 4 wheels have equal power going to them instead of the power being transferred to the wheel that Jeep thinks it needs.

And last of all the Rubicon comes with bigger tires so in stock configuration, you can go right to the trail and be able to do the harder trails when you are ready with out needing to do a bunch of mods.

Pretty much everything else is fluff.

 
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kwilliford93

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This is what I would say. The Sport and Sharra are capable off road, but you have to at times beat them harder to do the same stuff a Rubicon will do with easy.

The main difference for a Rubicon is they are geared lower. Which means there is more torque and this is easier on the motor, and they have stronger axles, and sit higher that the other models. Then of course you do not have to disconnect the sway bars manually or reconnect them when you are done off roading. You know when everything is muddy and wet.

TRANSFER CASE: NV241 COMMAND-TRAC
  • Available: Standard on Sport and Sahara
  • Type: Part-time
  • Operating Modes: 2WD High; 4WD High; Neutral; 4WD Low
  • Low Range Ratio: 2.72:1
TRANSFER CASE: NV241OR ROCK-TRAC
  • Available: Standard on Rubicon
  • Type: Part-time
  • Operating Modes: 2WD High; 4WD High; Neutral; 4WD Low
  • Low Range Ratio: 4.0:1
The axles and axle gearing is also different. This makes a big deal if you change tire sizes and helps with off roading
AXLES

  • Front: Dana 30, Dana 44 on Rubicon models
    • Differential Type: Open (Dana 30) or Tru-Lok electronic locking (Dana 44)
    • Axle Ratios: 3.45, 3.73, 4.10
  • Rear: Dana 35, Dana 44 on Rubicon models
    • Differential Type: Open (Sport and Sahara) with available Trac-Lok anti-spin, Tru-Lok electronic locking (Rubicon)
    • Axle Ratios: 3.45, 3.73, 4.10
The Rubicon has stronger axles and is geared lower.

The Rubicon also has the ability to lock both differential together making all 4 wheels have equal power going to them instead of the power being transferred to the wheel that Jeep thinks it needs.

And last of all the Rubicon comes with bigger tires so in stock configuration, you can go right to the trail and be able to do the harder trails when you are ready with out needing to do a bunch of mods.

Pretty much everything else is fluff.
That was actually really helpful, thank you!
 

TheDirtyDangla

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So I would say go Rubicon only because it will help ease you back into things so much easier, even if you want to stay on stock for a good while everything will just be easier. Down the line if you want lift 35-37"'s a Rubi will tide you over well for a while
 

Shepherd12

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I think this has been pretty well covered, but I will add that If money is tight, there is absolutely plenty that you *can* do in a completely stock Sport/Sahara, especially if you intend to stay out of the mountains and off the big rocks.
 

NCBound

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Ill also add for the sake of input, theres a guy in the classifieds section selling an absolutely gorgeous 2 door sport thats located in GA that upgraded it with almost everything you would want for a good price. I dont know him at all, but I know the things hes done to it are everything I want to do to my sport... and for just getting started in off roading, it will be everything you need to get out there, and get started until you eventually decide to upgrade to a rubi down the line once you are more into it.

https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/fo...port-9k-miles-35s-lift-motobilt-extras.32935/
 
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TJ2018

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Hard to go wrong with ANY JL model. They are all very capable vehicles. We got the Rubicon because I'm not planning on modding the drive train at all (helps keep the lifetime warranty in effect). We wanted a vehicle capable of handling whatever we might come across on the roads less taken, so the Rubi checked all the necessary boxes for us.

@wibornz did a great job of detailing the differences between the models. And as he mentioned the Rubi is most capable out of the box, but not everyone wants or needs a Rubicon.

Good luck with your decision. Get what YOU want, regardless of what others tell you. Listen to suggestions and learn from other's experience. But at the end of the day it would be your jeep and your choice!
 

ThirtyOne

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This is a simple rule I think if you are on the fence about the Rubicon. It is a huge generalization but it generally holds true.

Just go by tire size.

< 34 inches - A Sport or Sahara would be great and can do anything you will throw at it

35 - 37 inches - This is the Rubicon sweet spot. The gearing and beefier axles and brakes (compared to Sport) will make it perform better on-road than the alternatives, and the additional off-road goodies will be up to the obstacles you can tackle with the additional clearance. Also you can even put 35s on without a lift and avoid a re-gear. Also take-offs will be worth something. Sport/Sahara takeoffs are worthless. So you are avoiding some cost.

38+ - Might as well get a Sport and build it. You are probably want to go with new axles, lockers, gears, etc anyway. You are ripping out a lot of stuff you just paid for.

And this is from someone who has a Sport. I would love to lift and put 35s on it. But honestly even if I did I would have to admit to myself I should have gotten the Rubi at that point.
 

Thill444

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Jeep virgin here ‍♀

welp, I’ve got the blessing from my husband to finally do it. I’m gonna buy my first Jeep. Couple questions:

1) Not much experience off roading outside of 4 wheeling, and even that’s been a while. But I miss the off-road community and want to join the club. I’m ignorant to the capabilities of a Jeep other than my YouTube education, though. So, with that being said, I will go light in difficulty on trails for a while as I learn, but I plan to do just that: learn and improve. Biggest dilemma - can someone explain to me in dummy terms what the capability differences are in a rubicon vs. some other model? I understand the sway bar disconnect, I’m gonna call it the no tip sticks. But the other specs are Greek to me. Yes I know, why am I even considering a rubi if I don’t understand basic terminology, but again, I’m here to learn and listen. Once I start getting comfortable and decide to try more challenging trails, will I regret not having the rubicon? Will I be limited in the other models? Is it worth it to spend extra money now even if I may not need the extra beef right away?

2) less complicated question: live in GA, better to buy new or slightly used? Planning on buying JL

Btw, I’m not really wanting to get super crazy with mods. Probably. Idk. Famous last words? I plan on sticking to upgrade tires, rims, and lift at first. I hope that helps with the first question(s).
It comes down to what types of trails we are talking about and the difficulty level. It will require you really being honest with yourself. There is no question a stock Rubicon is more capable off road then any other stock JL Wrangler model. No question. But a stock Sahara of Sport/S model is also very capable and there are people that run stock ones on some very difficult trails without issue. If you are already talking lift kits and tires, then it makes a stock JL even more capable as you have more clearance.

I don't know your budget. If if you have the extra money then by all means get the Rubicon. You won't second guess and as others pointed out resale is better. But if you will drive it more on street than trails then a non-Rubicon should be more than fine. If you buy a non-Rubicon model you always have the capability to make it as good or better than a Rubicon via aftermarket parts. It will just cost money and time :)
 
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kwilliford93

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You most likely aren't going to buy a Rubicon and wish you had bought a Sport or Sahara.

But it is possible to buy a Sahara or Sport and wish you bought a Rubicon. Ask me how I know :)
Hahahaha how Mr. Chris?? no really.. please elaborate? I want to know these things
 

Equitasforall

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I could tell you, but then....
I bought my Rubicon not for what I intended to do with it, but for those situations where I went without a plan. I’m a wanderer by nature and one of the best parts of exploring is the fact that you never know what you’re going to find, I knew the Rubicon would do what I wanted as well as be capable enough to handle anything I stumble across along the way...

Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it in my opinion.
 

Covet

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Jeep virgin here ‍♀

welp, I’ve got the blessing from my husband to finally do it. I’m gonna buy my first Jeep. Couple questions:

1) Not much experience off roading outside of 4 wheeling, and even that’s been a while. But I miss the off-road community and want to join the club. I’m ignorant to the capabilities of a Jeep other than my YouTube education, though. So, with that being said, I will go light in difficulty on trails for a while as I learn, but I plan to do just that: learn and improve. Biggest dilemma - can someone explain to me in dummy terms what the capability differences are in a rubicon vs. some other model? I understand the sway bar disconnect, I’m gonna call it the no tip sticks. But the other specs are Greek to me. Yes I know, why am I even considering a rubi if I don’t understand basic terminology, but again, I’m here to learn and listen. Once I start getting comfortable and decide to try more challenging trails, will I regret not having the rubicon? Will I be limited in the other models? Is it worth it to spend extra money now even if I may not need the extra beef right away?

2) less complicated question: live in GA, better to buy new or slightly used? Planning on buying JL

Btw, I’m not really wanting to get super crazy with mods. Probably. Idk. Famous last words? I plan on sticking to upgrade tires, rims, and lift at first. I hope that helps with the first question(s).
Prob wouldn’t need the lift or tires if you started at Rubi. Personally I’d do that, maybe replace the rims with ones that you like and that will work with the KO2s that come with it off the lot.
If you don’t have a lot of time behind your belt trying to climb $hit in a Jeep that god probably didn’t intend for anyone to climb the Rubi pretty much stock can handle $hit that will make you pee the seat (leather seats suggestion at this point). Go rubi, get you some rims you like, see how far you can push it before you start getting uncomfortable. If you can drive through everything it is capable of and want more, then start looking at lifts, bigger tires, etc.
I love wheeling and on occasion do dumb $hit. My damn near stock rubi will do more than i am comfortable doing :)
 

wibornz

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The truth is the stock Rubicon is like a highly modified Jeep of just a few years ago. 33 in tires used to be the gold standard for off roading just a few years ago. The stock Rubicon can do hard trails stock. People like me mod them for the looks and to make the hard trails easier.
 

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