Colorado Adventures Continued (Punk'n JLR)

m3lover1

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jalbrecht55

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Krondor-

Now that you’ve had your JL for a year now I was curious how you like it compared to the LJ you had previously. I also have an LJ rubicon on 35’s kinda like your old one. I’ve been pondering the idea of a JLR (not unlimited) or possibly JL base/sport model. Like you said I’m also stubborn that way, the 4 door doesn’t appeal to me, but I do have two kids. The LJ is a perfect size, I’m not sure if the JL 2 door is going to be big enough or if I’ll wish I had stayed with my LJ.

Also wondering how happy you’ve been with the manual. M/T is a must have for me, but reviews have been mixed and the only one I’ve test driven was an early production one and honestly didn’t shift very well. Some of the detents were incredibly stiff. My Chevy pickup was that way as well (not near as bad but still quite notchy). I thought it might break in, but after 15 years it’s still notchy to the point that my wife doesn’t have the physical strength to push it into or out of some of the gears. The MT JL I drove (last year) was considerably worse. Since I haven’t read any complaints on that I’m chalking it up to “early production” but curious how yours has been. That JL also had the wandering steering... bad.

Also curious how the gearing has worked out for you. It kinda seems to me that it would work better with say a 4.56 in the stock rubicon. I see myself running a 285/33” be it on a basic JLR or base roll up windows sport model. 33’s, air compressor, winch and leave the rest alone. Just a simple fun Jeep to go explore in and drive around with the top off.
 
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Xtremetj

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I'll be watching this closely. I will be ordering the Metalcloak 3.5 Game Changer lift next week and am planning on running 37's. I couldn't decide between this kit and the Teraflex. I think they are both kits but ultimately decided on the MetalCloak.
 
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Krondor

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Krondor-

Now that you’ve had your JL for a year now I was curious how you like it compared to the LJ you had previously. I also have an LJ rubicon on 35’s kinda like your old one. I’ve been pondering the idea of a JLR (not unlimited) or possibly JL base/sport model. Like you said I’m also stubborn that way, the 4 door doesn’t appeal to me, but I do have two kids. The LJ is a perfect size, I’m not sure if the JL 2 door is going to be big enough or if I’ll wish I had stayed with my LJ.

Also wondering how happy you’ve been with the manual. M/T is a must have for me, but reviews have been mixed and the only one I’ve test driven was an early production one and honestly didn’t shift very well. Some of the detents were incredibly stiff. My Chevy pickup was that way as well (not near as bad but still quite notchy). I thought it might break in, but after 15 years it’s still notchy to the point that my wife doesn’t have the physical strength to push it into or out of some of the gears. The MT JL I drove (last year) was considerably worse. Since I haven’t read any complaints on that I’m chalking it up to “early production” but curious how yours has been. That JL also had the wandering steering... bad.

Also curious how the gearing has worked out for you. It kinda seems to me that it would work better with say a 4.56 in the stock rubicon. I see myself running a 285/33” be it on a basic JLR or base roll up windows sport model. 33’s, air compressor, winch and leave the rest alone. Just a simple fun Jeep to go explore in and drive around with the top off.
So much to say and I don't want to give you a book to read. Short answer is that I still love my 2 door manual, but it isn't the right Jeep for a family in my humble opinion.

This Jeep is so much better than my LJ in many ways. It even feels more stable (stock, dunno what the lift will do to that), has more power, runs smoother, shifts so much better, and has so many modern amenities. I love the new manual, it's so good. Butter smooth and easy to get use to. Super light clutch and quiet motor had me stall a couple of times, not going to lie. But man I do love driving this Jeep. It's had plenty of power up in the mountains even with the bigger tires. I can't see you not liking it.

The gearing feels tall but you get use to it. I still don't feel the need to re-gear. If you get the Rubicon you will find the 33's to be perfect and still very peppy. I can't say with the Sport gearing but I've read good things there. The BFG KO2's are light at 51lbs, but getting heavier tires will slow things a bit but nothing like they did in the LJ.

I often think that I should have gotten the auto for the more technical offroading, but then the other 98% (99.5%?) of my driving would be boring.

If this isn't your primary people hauler, you will find it better than the LJ for rear seat comfort but it will not be as good as the 4 door. If you find yourself going camping and want a cooler, some chairs, food, and a tent... you would be best served by the room the 4 door gives you. As it is, it's a squeeze for the wife and I with our pup. That's with NO seat in the back.

Choose the best tool for the Job. Get the 4 door. Your kids will have a far better experience and so will you. My .02.
 
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Krondor

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I'll be watching this closely. I will be ordering the Metalcloak 3.5 Game Changer lift next week and am planning on running 37's. I couldn't decide between this kit and the Teraflex. I think they are both kits but ultimately decided on the MetalCloak.
I shopped around for a bit, but I think MetalCloak sold me in 2016 when I had a ride in a JK 2 door with their system. Impressive flex and even better ride. I had delusions of long arms and coils but I really don't need that. I'll be happy if it does as good as the JK did in my memories. (Idealized maybe? We will see.)
 

1quick1

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If you find yourself going camping and want a cooler, some chairs, food, and a tent... you would be best served by the room the 4 door gives you. As it is, it's a squeeze for the wife and I with our pup. That's with NO seat in the back.
Nice write up and Jeep is looking good. This above reason is the exact reason I got a 4 door this time instead of a 2 door like my JK's. It was a challenge just to camp for 1-2 nights with the dog in the back with the seats out and the chairs, firewood, etc. Space is very limited in the 2 doors. Good thing we have options these days.
 

jalbrecht55

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Hey thanks for the feedback. I hear ya on the right tool for the job.. I do have 2018 V8 JGC that we use for just about everything, so I’m kinda wondering to myself, do I really need the extra space in my “fun” Jeep? We did a family trip on the Washington backcountry route in the LJ, could have done it in the JGC, but I want to keep it nice. 1000 miles of trails, powder dust, dirt roads and washboard has a way of decimating that new car smell hah hah. I did have enough room in there for cooler and chairs and etcetera but it definitely took some creative packing.

This year I did the Oregon back country route without the kids, they weren’t too keen on another 1000 miles of dirt, so the 2 door would have been fine. One problem with the 4 door it won’t fit in my stupidly short 3 car garage, I just have enough room to shimmy around the LJ. I do love leaving it top off/half doors on all cleaned up and ready to drive when the weather is nice.

The auto is smart choice but the manual is the fun one. Never had an auto before but after a year with my V8 JGC I still don’t like the auto much at all. You made the right choice. ;)
 

m3lover1

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I'll be watching this closely. I will be ordering the Metalcloak 3.5 Game Changer lift next week and am planning on running 37's. I couldn't decide between this kit and the Teraflex. I think they are both kits but ultimately decided on the MetalCloak.
Likewise for me, but I'm debating between MC (2.5 probably), AEV, and Dynatrac.
 
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Krondor

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Likewise for me, but I'm debating between MC (2.5 probably), AEV, and Dynatrac.
Those were my on my short list as well, but what sold me on MetalCloak was a memory of how it transformed a JK. The articulation was nutty and the ride was silent and awesomely planted. I'll be giving my impressions and plan to hit trails that I've already done again so I can compare.

My regret is that I've not gotten to Moab stock first. So I will not be able to compare that, but I'll do my best.
 

m3lover1

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W
Those were my on my short list as well, but what sold me on MetalCloak was a memory of how it transformed a JK. The articulation was nutty and the ride was silent and awesomely planted. I'll be giving my impressions and plan to hit trails that I've already done again so I can compare.

My regret is that I've not gotten to Moab stock first. So I will not be able to compare that, but I'll do my best.
Why 3.5 over 2.5?
 
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Krondor

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W


Why 3.5 over 2.5?
I went with 2.5. I didn't really want to lift the Jeep to begin with, but if I have to I at least want to keep the center of gravity as low as possible.
 
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Krondor

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This last weekend I packed the Jeep and headed out to Ouray to meet up with Lite Bright and fellow forum member @Blksmth to do a couple of trails!

It wasn't their usual crazy trails so I got to bring the wife and pup and join them on the first leg of their 9 month journey.


Black Bear Pass

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