Buying my first wrangler soon - need some educated input

  1. M1kefries

    M1kefries Well-Known Member

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    I’ve had a number of jeeps over the years, all sport and sahara’s. As other have said they are very capable and go just about anywhere you care to go. One benefit to owning those models was it made me develop my driving skills off road as they weren’t as capable, take that with a grain of salt, as a rubicon or other built rigs. As those skills developed led to the usual mods, tires, lift, gear swaps, etc to make the rig more capable. It was great fun learning and wrenching on the Jeep.

    Fast forward to present and we currently own a ‘18 Rubicon and couldn’t be happier. Only significant mod we’ve done is to put 35” tires on and don’t expect to do much more re: drivetrain. The major benefits of the Rubicon are axles, lockers, gears, sway bar disco, and transfer case. All these things were on my mod list for the sport and Sahara’s owned in the past and are great additions for off roading. The lower gearing in the Rubicon makes a significant difference in the day to day running around town, especially with the 35’s.

    So having been there and done that we opted for the Rubicon and love it. That being said starting with sport and Sahara models was a lot of fun. We got to meet great folks that helped in our modification process, read wrenching parties. This is all part of the Jeep lifestyle and we’ve made life long friendships along this journey.
     
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  2. JaybearWL

    JaybearWL Well-Known Member

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    Hey, I'm a Georgia jeep virgin getting ready to buy too!
     
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  3. S2k Chris

    S2k Chris Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, I bought the Jeep because of the doors off/top off thing, as a fun vehicle to drive around my two kids in the open air (my other car is a 2-seat sports car that can only take my older daughter, my younger daughter (2) is limited to just short rides in the immediate neighborhood, which she loves). I didn't think I'd be doing much, if any, offroading, maybe just a little bit of putzing around on the hunting property, which is basically just a network of grassy paths, not real "offroading".

    However, I had the chance to visit an offroad park nearby (Badlands in Attica, IN) that I didn't know existed, found out there were others not too far away, and that I didn't need to drive out west to do some real offroading. So now that that bug has bitten, I wish I had the more rugged tires, lockers, etc, that came with the Rubicon. I leased my Jeep since I was wary of a new FCA model, and because it was a radical departure of vehicle type for me, so it doesn't make sense to dump a bunch of mods into it. When the lease is up, I'm pretty much guaranteed to jump to a Rubicon, and I will take advantage of more opportunities to take it off road, plus I'd like to do some road trips out west and explore.
     
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  4. Pandy316

    Pandy316 Member

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    Once you go Rubicon, you don't go back. :jk: #blackJeepsmatter

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  5. kubsr1976

    kubsr1976 Member

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    First time Jeeper...never done much off-roading. Went Rubicon because it does 99% of what ANYONE would want to do in a Jeep....EVER. The features of the Rubicon make off-roading easier to handle, both mentally and physically. No upgrades or mods needed.

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  6. OP
    OP
    kwilliford93

    kwilliford93 Member

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    Welp guys...

    I didn’t buy the rubicon. Tempting.. but I decided to go with a new sport s. I like the idea of learning first and upgrading later. I can’t imagine damaging a $60k car by doing something stupid on accident. Even still by the time I was done buying the car and doing some start up mods on the sport s, I was already at nearly $50k invested (with about 5k negative equity from my trade, but whatevs good thing these hold their value lol)

    I’m sure I’m going to give in sooner or later. Until then, I’m gonna have some fun playing with and building this bad boy to my own. I really am in love with it and I can’t wait to see what it looks like after it’s lifted with the new wheels and such. Everyone’s input was very helpful and honest. Thanks for giving me a warm welcome to the club, I’ve already got some of my first waves :)

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  7. twisty

    twisty Well-Known Member

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    very true and then some. I bought a 97 TJ new for just under 20 and modded the crap out of it. I KNOW I spent as much as I did on my 2018 ruby between vehicle costs and upgrades on it and that was 20 years ago.

    The rubicon is more money but well worth the cost IF the OP has the slightest inkling of adventuring. It's money well spent.
     
  8. bumpit

    bumpit Well-Known Member

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    I bought a Rubicon but I think a lot of people on this forum discount just how capable a sport is.
     
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  9. DennyCrane

    DennyCrane Active Member

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    I bought a 2018 JLU Sport in May. I'm seriously considering trading it in for a 2019 Rubicon. Get the Rubicon!
     
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  10. TJ2018

    TJ2018 Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on your new Jeep! Very nice looking! Many folks here have plastidipped the wheels black with great looking results. It’s cheap to do, if you’d prefer black wheels. But probably not worth it if new wheels come sooner than later.

    Enjoy the many adventures you and your Jeep will have!
     
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  11. Covet

    Covet Well-Known Member

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    You did good! Only advice, if you are planning on wheeling that new beast - the only only only upgrade i suggest it get you some decent A/T tires. Get them in stock rim size, etc. I don’t know if you are any where near a 4wheel parts (chain) store, but they bought my OEM tires from my FJ, discount tire sometimes will give you a credit if they are still pretty new as well. I have done both of these paths, the gist, go trade your highway tires in while they are still very new for a middle of the road A/T set - duratracs, Open Country a/t 2s, etc. anything like that will make a huge difference in your wheeling experience and with a trade in/credit shouldn’t be that expensive of a mod. Then then then enjoy your Jeep!
     
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  12. Sean K.

    Sean K. Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure I'll get a lot of hate for this (so be it)...

    I don't really see the Sport or Sarah in stock trim being noticeably more "capable" offroad than a Tacoma with the rear locking diff and traction control. What it *may* gain in a stronger front end, it gives up in clearance.

    What it really boils down to is traction aids and gearing...which is what the Rubicon brings to the table.
     
  13. bturleysc

    bturleysc Member

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    Brett
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    Congrats on your new Jeep! I'm sure you'll enjoy it. FYI, I put 33's on my Sport with no lift and I really like the look.

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  14. jaozus

    jaozus Member

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    did you have to regear ?
     
  15. iznthesky

    iznthesky Well-Known Member

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    Edgar
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    When you buy....which ever you buy, you will enjoy it. The sport is no slouch and mine has handled everything that I have thrown at it. My first three Jeeps were sports and all were great. Now that I am a little older with a little more expendable income I have the Rubicon. It is capable of overcoming the same obstacles that I did in my sport....but the Rubicon does it safely....where in my sport sometimes I had to get some momentum going.....and the Rubi just crawls over obstacles....no bumping or charging through it.
    If you “order” one from your dealership....don’t waste the extra $ 1200 on the “steel bumper group”. The no extra cost “standard bumper” are good enough and you can use that $1200 towards some good aftermarket bumpers later. The OEM steel bumper group are totally not strong nor are they worth the cost.

    My 2 cents worth.
     
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