Offroading a brand new Rubicon

ChattVol

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Hey guys,

I'm new to the offroading adventures but not to cars/ motor-sports in general. I have a 19 Rubicon 4 door that I have taken to 2 off road parks. This last weekend while on a level 3 (out of 5) I really felt I needed a lift and larger tires to maneuver over the rocks. Most guys had 4" lifts and 35-37 tires. There were several tight spots and close calls and I'm really shocked I didn't scratch up more stuff than I did.
I know I'm gona get the comments like "oh Jeeps are supposed to be scratched" and "That's what their used for".... But I'm seriously considering getting a 05-06 TJ rubicon or a 08-09 2 door Rubicon and save my 50k Jeep for cruising around and light fire roads.... I can pick one up for 10-15k with 35" tires and not have to cringe every time I get really close to sliding into a tree.

What I'm asking from the knowledgeable Jeep community out here is whats a better buy? I know the 3.8 is under powered but is it worth staying with a 10 year older TJ platform to get the 4.0?
Interesting topic that I've thought about extensively and talked with about with many on here. I'm in Chattanooga where we have several local offroad areas/parks and popular offroad clubs...I daily drove/wknd warror my JL 20k miles year 1. I took a new sales job driving 30k miles/yr and bought a 2014 honda accord(36mpg) and planned to keep the JL as a wknd toy. I took the JL to all the local spots including Windrock with the local offroad club and did a variety of terrain with a 2.5" lift and 35s being careful to not beat it up. The trails are in wooded forests for the most part and there are some unavoidable tight spots, rock rash, slick rock and branches rubbing the jeep.

Takeaways for me...if you're concerned with resale value and plan on legitimately offroading(where you actually need 4wd) in the East more than a few times a year, it makes alot of sense to sell the $40k 1 yr old JL and buy a less expensive used daily driver and $10-15k TJ 4.0 liter. My JL is now for sale largely for this reason and we have another kid on the way...so not alot of jeep time to justify a costly JL wknd toy.
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IronScott

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Interesting topic that I've thought about extensively and talked with about with many on here. I'm in Chattanooga where we have several local offroad areas/parks and popular offroad clubs...I daily drove/wknd warror my JL 20k miles year 1. I took a new sales job driving 30k miles/yr and bought a 2014 honda accord(36mpg) and planned to keep the JL as a wknd toy. I took the JL to all the local spots including Windrock with the local offroad club and did a variety of terrain with a 2.5" lift and 35s being careful to not beat it up. The trails are in wooded forests for the most part and there are some unavoidable tight spots, rock rash, slick rock and branches rubbing the jeep.

Takeaways for me...if you're concerned with resale value and plan on legitimately offroading(where you actually need 4wd) in the East more than a few times a year, it makes alot of sense to sell the $40k 1 yr old JL and buy a less expensive used daily driver and $10-15k TJ 4.0 liter. My JL is now for sale largely for this reason and we have another kid on the way...so not alot of jeep time to justify a costly JL wknd toy.
Dang! Hate to see you selling after all the work you put into it. Awesome build you have.

After a couple trips offroading my JL, I got some scratches and decided to get something I wasn't afraid of getting roughed up, so I bought a YJ that was already built for rough terrain. Once I've wheeled a while in the YJ and the new wears off the JL, I'll start wheeling it. For now I'll just do overlanding in the JL. I want to keep it for a long time, so I'm not worried about resale - just hate beating up a brand new vehicle.

Good luck with your sale!
 

ChattVol

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Dang! Hate to see you selling after all the work you put into it. Awesome build you have.

After a couple trips offroading my JL, I got some scratches and decided to get something I wasn't afraid of getting roughed up, so I bought a YJ that was already built for rough terrain. Once I've wheeled a while in the YJ and the new wears off the JL, I'll start wheeling it. For now I'll just do overlanding in the JL. I want to keep it for a long time, so I'm not worried about resale - just hate beating up a brand new vehicle.

Good luck with your sale!
Thanks...I put alot of time into it and really enjoy it with the exception of the big loan/insurance payment. Life changes happen and I'll likely get another jeep at some point.

Question for you...If you're not worried about your JL's resale value, why are you afraid of getting some scratches?
 
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IronScott

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Thanks...I put alot of time into it and really enjoy it with the exception of the big loan/insurance payment. Life changes happen and I'll likely get another jeep at some point.

Question for you...If you're not worried about your JL's resale value, why are you afraid of getting some scratches?
I know it seems stupid. I just wanted to keep it looking new for a while but more importantly, my wife would give me a boatload of grief. Ha.

Also, I have a different intended use now than when I bought it. I figured I would just do easy trails and basic offroading/trails but then when I actually went with a group I was hooked and knew I wanted to do more. If I knew then what I know now ... <sigh> Unfortunately, I need to get a bigger and better lift (have 2.5" RC) and at some point will probably need lockers, bigger tires and new gears for the trails here.
 

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I know it seems stupid. I just wanted to keep it looking new for a while but more importantly, my wife would give me a boatload of grief. Ha.

Also, I have a different intended use now than when I bought it. I figured I would just do easy trails and basic offroading/trails but then when I actually went with a group I was hooked and knew I wanted to do more. If I knew then what I know now ... <sigh> Unfortunately, I need to get a bigger and better lift (have 2.5" RC) and at some point will probably need lockers, bigger tires and new gears for the trails here.
Wow, I thought I wrote what you did... hehehe. Same here, bought the Sahara, got bit hard, realized should have bought the Rubi.
Here's what you do... Get Amica Insurance, clip your crappy poorly designed rear diff bolt on a rock so that the gear oil slowly drips out. Have the axle lock up on you in the middle of nowhere.
Amica will cut you a check for $4k, add $800 to that and buy the Dana44s that have lockers and a two year warranty from Jeep. Have your buddy install them. Now you own a Saharicon.
We have that same lift. Next on the agenda is either a true full on 2.5" or 3" lift and 35s.
 
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Semaj

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Dang! Hate to see you selling after all the work you put into it. Awesome build you have.

After a couple trips offroading my JL, I got some scratches and decided to get something I wasn't afraid of getting roughed up, so I bought a YJ that was already built for rough terrain. Once I've wheeled a while in the YJ and the new wears off the JL, I'll start wheeling it. For now I'll just do overlanding in the JL. I want to keep it for a long time, so I'm not worried about resale - just hate beating up a brand new vehicle.

Good luck with your sale!
I ended up getting an 07 2 door manual rubi. I’ve gone on several level 3-4 with it. It makes a big difference being a 2 door with a lift and 35s. My wife drives the JL around town and I take the kids on some lighter trails.
 

IronScott

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Wow, I thought I wrote what you did... hehehe. Same here, bought the Sahara, got bit hard, realized should have bought the Rubi.
Here's what you do... Get Amica Insurance, clip your crappy poorly designed rear diff bolt on a rock so that the gear oil slowly drips out. Have the axle lock up on you in the middle of nowhere.
Amica will cut you a check for $4k, add $800 to that and buy the Dana44s that have lockers and a two year warranty from Jeep. Have your buddy install them. Now you own a Saharicon.
We have that same lift. Next on the agenda is either a true full on 2.5" or 3" lift and 35s.
Ha! I followed your story. That's a rough route to upgrade. I'm hopeful there will be more locker options in the future but a bigger lift is first on my list, just have no idea which one.
 

IronScott

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I ended up getting an 07 2 door manual rubi. I’ve gone on several level 3-4 with it. It makes a big difference being a 2 door with a lift and 35s. My wife drives the JL around town and I take the kids on some lighter trails.
I love driving the 2 door. Definitely helpful on the trails. The manual trans is taking some getting used to with obstacles and steep climbs.
 

ChattVol

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Wow, I thought I wrote what you did... hehehe. Same here, bought the Sahara, got bit hard, realized should have bought the Rubi.
Here's what you do... Get Amica Insurance, clip your crappy poorly designed rear diff bolt on a rock so that the gear oil slowly drips out. Have the axle lock up on you in the middle of nowhere.
Amica will cut you a check for $4k, add $800 to that and buy the Dana44s that have lockers and a two year warranty from Jeep. Have your buddy install them. Now you own a Saharicon.
We have that same lift. Next on the agenda is either a true full on 2.5" or 3" lift and 35s.
:CWL:Does your policy require a deductible? I'd be surprised if Amica doesn't magically raise your premium after the claim. If you try to quote other carriers, the claim will show up putting you in a higher risk classification. In my experience, insurance companies typically find ways to eventually recoup smaller claim costs like this + some $ in the long run. Hope your situation isn't the norm!
 

mgroeger

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:CWL:Does your policy require a deductible? I'd be surprised if Amica doesn't magically raise your premium after the claim. If you try to quote other carriers, the claim will show up putting you in a higher risk classification. In my experience, insurance companies typically find ways to eventually recoup smaller claim costs like this + some $ in the long run. Hope your situation isn't the norm!
$100 deductible.
I have had other insurance companies try to beat Amica and they can't come close. One guy was almost in disbelief, he said you really should stay with them because I can't even come close. It's a small claim and my rates have been dropping a little each year so it will be interesting to see if it effects it.
 

ChattVol

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$100 deductible.
I have had other insurance companies try to beat Amica and they can't come close. One guy was almost in disbelief, he said you really should stay with them because I can't even come close. It's a small claim and my rates have been dropping a little each year so it will be interesting to see if it effects it.
Nice...that's a low deductible policy! Have you had other claims in the last few years? I may look at Amica...How much per month to insure the sahara? I pay $62/month with Progressive with $1k deductible.
 
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Semaj

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Nice...that's a low deductible policy! Have you had other claims in the last few years? I may look at Amica...How much per month to insure the sahara? I pay $62/month with Progressive with $1k deductible.
I’m an insurance agent.
 

mgroeger

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Nice...that's a low deductible policy! Have you had other claims in the last few years? I may look at Amica...How much per month to insure the sahara? I pay $62/month with Progressive with $1k deductible.
We go back 5 years clean with no accidents and no tickets. I don't know the break down but I think the JL and LJ combined are like $125 and both have $100 deductible for both comp and collision. They are a GREAT company to work with. Clark Howard recommended them on his show once and that's why I called :)
 
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