Daily Driver JLUS 6mt - 1 year review - question on tires

JoeFromPA

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Hi all:

My wife and I bought our JLU Sahara 6mt a bit over a year ago. Firecracker red, black cloth, soft top, limited slip differential, 6mt, upgraded sahara wheels, a few other options.

We bought it to be a fun vehicle, a "drive on the beach" vehicle in DE, and an occasional winter vehicle. I pushed buying it, my wife wasn't FULLY on board, and by day 3 after we bought it was "Her Jeep" and since then it's really become hers. It's not the best driving, it's not the most practical, but damn if it's not fun to drive.

In one year we've put 9,000 miles on it almost all highway. It's had zero problems. The red is FANTASTIC - it always looks clean. It's my first "bright color" and absolutely in love with it. The soft top new design is also fantastic. Once broken in a bit, removal of the soft plastic side windows is literally maybe 45 seconds total? Amazing. We drive pretty much all summer with no rear windows and that's with 3 kids sitting in the back seat.

Complaints:

- I know how a clutch operates and I know how to avoid slipping it. This shifter is great but the clutch take up is sometimes....slow. There's a combination of throttle input lag + artificial throttle hang on sudden throttle liftoff and that combination in low gears with faster gear changes + immediate throttle input on clutch engagement seems to lead to unpredictable minor clutch slip. Now I wouldn't mind that except the damn clutch smells wayyyy too easily indicating it's definitely quickly overheating. What's also odd is that there are times where with the clutch pedal fully depressed I can "feel" a bit of friction still occurring through the clutch pedal as if the clutch is brushing the surface of the flywheel.

- Two design issues Jeep should've addressed by now - why does the rain gutter have to exit rain directly into the driver and passenger front door entrances INTO THE VEHICLE. I realize this is classic Jeep but....it's just not good design. Create an exit point between front and rear door or any other myriad solutions. Also, the soft top rear window inability to fold up makes the storage space accessibility not great. To load up the trunk I need to first load it from the rear and then throw stuff over the back seats from the side doors. Not great.

- My dealer affixed a temp tag registration sticker to the rear soft top window inside when I bought it until I received my registration in the mail. Standard practice in PA. Well one year later, the outline of that rectangular tag is STILL on the soft top rear window. It's imprinted. From paper + tape. Despite innumerable days in the 90+ degree sun softening it up.

- Ok so this one is an oddball one.....in 4H and with electronic stability control & traction control OFF, I can drive on deep sand in a steady state. But if I come to a stop and then try to crawl and the wheels spin, ABD kicks in and stalls the engine by braking when the wheels are spinning. I have to engage 4L in order to de-activate it. Further, sometimes when pulling forward in soft sand up a steep hill in 4H the LSD will start SLAMMING/chattering hard as it engages and disengages rapidly. It's noisy, it makes the vehicle shudder/stutter, and the only way to stop it is to let go the gas while ON A SOFT SANDY HILL. No thanks. It's not every time, but it's happened maybe 4 times now. I think it may actually be a combination of the LSD + ABD basically interfering with each other in that circumstance, but I'm not positive.

....

Tire question: We drove onto the beach a few days ago and parked next to a friends lifted jeep rolling on 35" tires and my wife said, "I wouldn't mind larger tires."....Ahem. Jeep Wife is the best Wife :)

The reality is she DDs this vehicle with lots of highway, we don't do rock crawling or mudding, but we do lots of deep soft sand where we air down to 15-20 PSI (stock tires) maybe ~30-40x a year. Further, we need good snow traction which the stock A/T tires are awful in even when brand new. I'm currently on 255/70/18 tires but am considering going up to 275/70/18 but in a more road friendly A/T tire or even a well built highway tire (I know, blasphemy to some in this community). My concern is:

- Increasing wandering
- Decreased engine power
- Increased braking distances

Any recommendations to balance out these needs? I'm flexible on tire size and tire choice - just trying to find the right balance of a bit larger, a bit wider, and possibly even better driving on the road. I don't think that'll be hard to accomplish compared to the stock A/T tires which are.....adequate in most conditions except snow.

Thanks all!
Joe

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JoeFromPA

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P.s. I detailed the Jeep inside the garage using a single bucket, wash mitt, optimum no rinse (1 ounce per 2 gallons water), an old chamois, and then a spray & wipe with Sonax PolyNetShield which is a fantastic sealant. Took me maybe a relaxed hour to do and that was inside the garage. I highly recommend this type of process for low key paint maintenance if you are an amateur detailer and not desiring to spend hours chasing down perfect paint but are happy with 98% perfection :)
 

sf5211

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Hi Joe, have you done the clutch recall yet?
Sounds like yours is going to need servicing. My clutch hasn’t yet been checked but it works perfectly in my Jeep.
I’ve never been on sand but 4w in the RV trails at the woods in upstate NY. I’ve used 4H and 4L and never had the LSD issues either.
 
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JoeFromPA

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Hi Joe, have you done the clutch recall yet?
Sounds like yours is going to need servicing. My clutch hasn’t yet been checked but it works perfectly in my Jeep.
I’ve never been on sand but 4w in the RV trails at the woods in upstate NY. I’ve used 4H and 4L and never had the LSD issues either.
I have not had the recall performed yet and I'll have to mention the clutch smell unfortunately.

In relation to the LSD issue (assuming you have the LSD?): I haven't had any issues with 4H/4L on any surface BUT deep/soft sand driving up an incline from a stop. Nowhere else.
 

Rufus

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Do you have the 3.6? Those 275/70R18's work out to a shade over 33". I have read that the 6mt 3.6 performance with anything larger than that is really poor for acceleration and hills. I moved up to a set of MOAB takeoffs 255/75r17 (just over 32") and noticed the change a little bit from the stock Sport tires but it's been good. I'm planning on moving up to something closer to 33s and expect it to be fine.

The bigger concern might be rubbing if you're staying with the stock suspension. There are threads here about that, including tips for adding washers to the steering stop to lower the full lock angle a bit so that you don't rub on full lock.
 

beachbumm78

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Great review!! I have the exact same problem with the temp tag issue. My dealer did the same thing and I still can’t get it all off. Grr. Your clutch sounds slightly similar to mine. Sometimes it takes off like a shot and other times it lags.
Looks like happy time y’all have had!!
 
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JoeFromPA

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Do you have the 3.6? Those 275/70R18's work out to a shade over 33". I have read that the 6mt 3.6 performance with anything larger than that is really poor for acceleration and hills. I moved up to a set of MOAB takeoffs 255/75r17 (just over 32") and noticed the change a little bit from the stock Sport tires but it's been good. I'm planning on moving up to something closer to 33s and expect it to be fine.

The bigger concern might be rubbing if you're staying with the stock suspension. There are threads here about that, including tips for adding washers to the steering stop to lower the full lock angle a bit so that you don't rub on full lock.
I really appreciate this feedback. I do have the 3.6 with 6mt and I find the power....adequate in most situations. The stock tire size is 255/70/18 which is right at 32". I could go to 32.6" with 265/70 (which still offers more highway oriented tires). 275/70/18 seems to be E-rated tires only which are going to be not ideal for our use.

I'm considering what we want to achieve from behind the wheel:
- We don't need more ground clearance
- We do want a larger tire footprint in sand allowing us to lessen or eliminate airing down for normal beach driving
- I'd like a bit tighter steering
- A more "road focused" tire that's a bit less A/T oriented would be nice too

To that end I'm focusing a bit more on 265/70/18 and 275/65/18 which seems like it could offer the larger footprint and possibly the tighter steering (very tire dependent) without changing gearing effect too much or sucking up too much power.
 

emptyminded42

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I haven't taken my JLU off-road at all or in sand (and I'm sure you'd need to air down for sand), but I've been supremely impressed with the stock Michelin light truck all-seasons (I didn't buy the wheel package or LSD so I don't have the A/Ts). They're quiet, ride nicely, and seem to have plenty of traction in dry, wet, and snow. Personally I think if you're doing a lot of road/highway driving, just install light truck all-seasons and then swap over to A/T or M/Ts as your usage requires. I think all-seasons would meet your requirements other than the beach driving. I don't think you're really gonna find something that can meet them all, personally. I haven't heard good things about the Bridgestone Duelers (and had a bad experience with a different sub-type of Duelers on my wife's Forester XT) but I am very happy with the Michelins.
 
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JoeFromPA

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I haven't taken my JLU off-road at all or in sand (and I'm sure you'd need to air down for sand), but I've been supremely impressed with the stock Michelin light truck all-seasons (I didn't buy the wheel package or LSD so I don't have the A/Ts). They're quiet, ride nicely, and seem to have plenty of traction in dry, wet, and snow. Personally I think if you're doing a lot of road/highway driving, just install light truck all-seasons and then swap over to A/T or M/Ts as your usage requires. I think all-seasons would meet your requirements other than the beach driving. I don't think you're really gonna find something that can meet them all, personally. I haven't heard good things about the Bridgestone Duelers (and had a bad experience with a different sub-type of Duelers on my wife's Forester XT) but I am very happy with the Michelins.
For what it's worth, I agree with you. And there is absolutely no need for A/T for driving in beach sand - you actually don't want the "digging" action some A/Ts do in sand either. A/Ts will enable better airing down while holding a bead and not getting tire damage, but that's about it. FWIW, I drove a stock subaru outback onto the same beach many times with great success on stock A/S tires - frankly better than most of the lifted/big tire jeeps and trucks did. The reason was simple: I weighed 2000-4000 pounds less than those vehicles and my skinny 225 tires were just fine combined with a proper AWD system.

Anyway, trying to figure my way thru this for tire-buying time.
 

Cutterone

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Look at Toyo Open Country AT3, just came out. They are available in an LT275-65-18, Load C. 51 LBS. Thats what I'll be putting on my 2018 Sahara come fall. Retains stock diameter, just beefs it up a bit in width and tire design. I too agree the stock AT duelers are less than ideal, especially in the NE winters...I'm in NH...
 

Cutterone

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Also I have the 6sp and while adequate, I wish not to lessen the performance with larger heavier tires, which almost all only come in load E, which I would like to avoid
 
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