My 3 week Rubi' review.

Bobby V

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Hello fellow JL Jeepsters….

It’s been 34 years between my Jeep buys, and if the last 3 weeks and 3000 miles are a fair indication, it’s been worth the wait.

3 weeks ago I drove my ’81 CJ to Fields Jeep in Glenview, IL and took delivery of an ‘18 Ocean Blue Rubi…hoping some good ol’ Jeep karma rubbed off on the new one. I ordered the Rubicon and took delivery in less than 4 weeks…seems the backlogs I was hearing about have eased a bit. The new one has it all, minus the automatic and blind-spot indicator, because I like picking my gears and turning my head to see who’s next to me…old habits.

So first impressions put a smile on my face, but before I go on I want to acknowledge the passing of FCA CEO, Sergio Marchionne and the tremendous influence he had on Chrysler and Jeep. Marchionne was a no nonsense get it done car guy, an industry giant. I remember reading one of the first things he did at Chrysler was double the money spent on interior design and materials, which is obvious in the interior layout and quality of the new Wrangler. I’m glad I was able to buy a Marchionne influenced vehicle 2 days before he died. He will truly be missed in the industry, but more importantly by his family and friends….god bless him.

I’m a freak about a car’s interior and how it lays out in front of me. Beyond looks, it must have ease of function, and this Jeep is among the best I’ve owned or driven. I’ll spare you all the little things, but the infotainment screen is damn near perfect. I’ve had my share of screens in cars, but nothing comes close to this. From a driving position, most of the analog controls are within an easy reach, and the straight up dash clearly displays all the gauges, for an easy read…a pleasure on a long trip. The leather seats feel good, with stitching and quality that make me feel I got what I paid for. And the premium top is a bargain at the price, with a European fit, finish and feel to it. Now the question of durability, it’s something I’ll see over time. I have a 2000 E-39 BMW and its interior looks and functions like new, I hope this Jeep comes close to that.

I’m also happy with the exterior fit and finish, and after much debate with friends and family, I’m very happy with the Ocean Blue. I think a 2 door truck with a black soft top, breaks up the blue and doesn’t overwhelm the eye with such a dominate color. Beyond their function, Wranglers should be fun with a little splash…this one nails it.

Not all is perfect for me with this truck, but so far nothing I can’t live with or fix. 2 days after delivery I went on a long road trip, here are a few of the niggles I had.

One interior issue I have is the shifter and 4WD selector should light up at night, not for shifting purposes but for appearance…it would look very cool. Also, a gear indicator light on the dash wouldn’t be a bad thing. And with a stick I like to hear a little engine noise, more fun to run through gears with a bit of a growl. So the MagnaFlow muffler is on order, headers and a complete exhaust when the warranty runs out. My 1981 CJ is like a farm implement, I can hear it all and I like it. Jeep might want to consider an optional exhaust or switchable from soft to louder, like on the Hellcat or C7 Vette.

Another issue I have is the wiring loom for the driver’s door, rubbing against my leg as I clutch, which is especially irritating when wearing shorts. To use a phrase made famous by disgraced Idaho Senator, Larry Craig, “I have a wide stance” : ) I’ve given this a lot of thought and my solution is to wrap the harness with something softer than the burlap like material used by Jeep. Anybody else encounter this? I’d love to hear your solutions.

I’ve yet to take the Rubicon off road, but that’s coming. I know it’s capable, so I can’t wait to experience that for myself. A nasty Chicago winter would be a nice test as well. But up till now it’s been mostly highway driving, with these few nuggets along the way. Respect the low fuel light, you’re good for about 10 miles once it lights up…not 11, as I found out along I-71 outside of Akron. The turning radius, outstanding ! And pack a few towels during wet weather to clean up the dripping into the cabin that the roof gutters create.

And for all the triple digit runs I’ve made in my life, and not getting caught, I laughed when the Ohio State Trooper tagged me for 82 in a 70. A nice enough guy who said, “I write too many warnings, here you go”, as he handed me a $130 love note from the State of Ohio.

Along the way I stopped by the Toledo plant in hopes of a tour, but no such thing. So I took a few pics around the massive facility, including a mint version of the WWII icon that helped make Jeep the most respected brand in America.

Anyway, my apologies for the rambling post, but I just wanted to share my enthusiasm and some thoughts on the new Wrangler…they got it pretty close to right, and it will only get better from here. Cheers…
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Space ace

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The wire loom will relax after some miles and door openings/closings.. it’ll start to lay flatter against the door..
 

StuntmanMike

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Gorgeous Jeep! I'm really loving that blue. Thanks for sharing the other pics too, that's a cleaaaaan CJ, and the Jeep plant pics are great, gotta respect the granddaddy of them all!
 
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Bobby V

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Gorgeous Jeep! I'm really loving that blue. Thanks for sharing the other pics too, that's a cleaaaaan CJ, and the Jeep plant pics are great, gotta respect the granddaddy of them all!
Thank you, Mike...glad you liked the pics. It would be great to have plant tours once or twice a month for new owners.
 

Weedwacker

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That was one nice CJ. To bad you didn't rent a flat bed to bring it back home. That may have been a wash without the Ohio's Finest giving a quick visit instead. ;)
 

DatsunX3

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Great story, great looking Jeeps. Both the JL and the CJ.
 
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Bobby V

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Great story, great looking Jeeps. Both the JL and the CJ.
Thank you, Dale....I drove the 81 yesterday with the windshield down, people love that old beast , and I'm thrilled with the new one. All the best...
 
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Bobby V

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That was one nice CJ. To bad you didn't rent a flat bed to bring it back home. That may have been a wash without the Ohio's Finest giving a quick visit instead. ;)[/QUOT
Hi Tim...thank you. I still have the old CJ, they could never give me enough for it : )
 

JIMBOX

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Looking really great, including the speeding ticket--

I drove a 1944 WILLYS IN 1954 and we trailered it to the "OATHILL MINE ROAD" in Calistoga/Ca.--rush forward to 2018 and there's not that much difference between the WILLYS and my '18 RUBY-(KACHING)--
Throw a ZIPTIE around that harness and it should hold her back-

Enjoy ~

W.E.

JIMBO
 

DatsunX3

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Bobby V, I'm glad to hear you kept the 81. For some reason I read it as you traded it in on the JL.
It looks far to nice to trade in. Again, glad to read you kept it.. :clap::clap::clap:
 

Karl_in_Chicago

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Nice! The blue was my original choice until my wife saw the Mojito!. If they still have Mojito! in 2019 it will be that otherwise it's the blue. I'm with DatsunX3 I originally read it as you were giving up the CJ, which made me sad. Glad you still have that, that is one clean ride.
 

CNX88

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Thanks for an awesome post and pictures Bobby
 

aml

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Glad you got yours...blacklogs haven’t eased up. I ordered before you and still haven’t gotten mine. What the heck are they doing? I guess they are just flipping coins. SMH
 
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Bobby V

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Nice! The blue was my original choice until my wife saw the Mojito!. If they still have Mojito! in 2019 it will be that otherwise it's the blue. I'm with DatsunX3 I originally read it as you were giving up the CJ, which made me sad. Glad you still have that, that is one clean ride.
Thank you , Karl. I'll never give up the old CJ...it needs me : ) good luck on your me Wrangler...it'll be awesome , whatever color it is . Cheers
 
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