Picking a Wrangler...could use some help.

TJHUB

Member
First Name
Terry
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
12
Location
WI
Vehicle(s)
2019 Subaru Ascent
My wife and I decided to purchase a Wrangler (first Jeep ever). The problem is that this is way too complicated! I've been reading this forum for about a month or so now, and I've picked up a lot of "knowledge," but that doesn't actually make this choice easier.

We want the Wrangler for it's very versatile capabilities. I've always wanted a convertible, so maybe this will be it. We need a capable vehicle for snow, and lighter towing (the 3,500lb towing limit should be just fine). It will be towed behind our motorhome occasionally (I also currently tow a 2010 Impreza). But here's the real want: my wife wants it to have a bright color, and look "bad ass." It will be her daily driver, and not much off-roading (for now).

I have been back and forth with a Rubicon, Sport S, and Willys (all unlimiteds). All have pluses and minuses, and I'm not looking to let this Jeep be a huge money pit. We really only put about 6,000 miles or so on per year. I've been done the money pit road, and don't want to ever again.

So here is what I want at a minimum: unlimited, 2.0L turbo (I think), dual tops, cloth seats, cold weather, towing, LED lights, and Selec-Trac. I want a lift and I'm thinking 34" (285/75-17) tires as I don't like the wide 35's or 315's (I think).

It's hard to not want the Rubicon, but I'd still want the lift and larger tires. I don't want the sway bar disconnect or lockers (will never need them). I really like all of the other details though: grill, hood, high fenders, wheels, interior red dash and stitching, the hood decal, larger brakes, 4.10 gears, and "better" bumpers. There's a lot of value there it seems.

The Sport S is fine, but lacks the nicer hood, grill, bumpers, wheels, dash, seats, brakes. I'd be tempted to add some of those things reducing it's overall value over the Rubicon. But none of this stuff is "needed" but the brakes and gears would be very nice for my want of larger tires.

Then there's the Willys. The grill is better, bumpers fine, LSD, has the bigger brakes, and Rubicon shocks. So it would seem if I can live with the simpler interior, add a red dash on my own (if needed), I'd have the bigger brakes included, and I could live with the Moab wheels. So I was thinking, if the Rubicon shocks are longer than Sport S shocks, maybe I could get away with a simple spacer lift to gain enough clearance for the 34" tires without replacing shocks? If so, this would seem to have all the features I'd want minus the 4.10 gears, thinking the 3.45 gears would be fine for our usage with the 8-speed auto.

Is there something I'm missing here, or thinking incorrectly about?





Advertisement

 

Oldbear

Well-Known Member
First Name
Dwayne
Joined
Sep 1, 2020
Messages
157
Reaction score
154
Location
Bowling Green, Ky
Vehicle(s)
16 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel; 20 JL Sport S 2 door
I believe 285/70/17’s are like 32.8”. They will fit on any wrangler you choose with no lift. I’m sticking a set of Rubicon wheels.tires (that size) on my Sport S. You can buy a set of take=offs reasonably off this website in the For sale section. Get momma a Firecracker Red, Hellayella, or Mojito if she wants a bright color. I’m an old Jeep guy, and the Sport S with limited slip is SO much more capable and. Luxurious right out of the box than my old, top of the line TJ Sahara (no Rubicons in those days)
 

RubenZ

Well-Known Member
First Name
Ruben
Joined
Jun 24, 2018
Messages
1,758
Reaction score
1,555
Location
Deep South Texas
Website
myjlproject.com
Vehicle(s)
2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road, 18’ Toyota 4Runner
Honestly I'd just go Sport S and save money and enjoy it. You'll have so much left over to customize it the way you want.
 
OP

TJHUB

Member
First Name
Terry
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
12
Location
WI
Vehicle(s)
2019 Subaru Ascent
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I believe 285/70/17’s are like 32.8”. They will fit on any wrangler you choose with no lift. I’m sticking a set of Rubicon wheels.tires (that size) on my Sport S. You can buy a set of take=offs reasonably off this website in the For sale section. Get momma a Firecracker Red, Hellayella, or Mojito if she wants a bright color. I’m an old Jeep guy, and the Sport S with limited slip is SO much more capable and. Luxurious right out of the box than my old, top of the line TJ Sahara (no Rubicons in those days)
Please note I listed 285/75-17 not the 70. The 75 in the popular BFG K02 is 33.9" tall, but is nearly 1.5" narrower than the 35" versions (either the 35x12.5 or 315/70), and can mount on the 7.5" wide OEM rims without reservation. This tire is than within .5" of the normal 35" tires, and therefore could use a lift to look better.

I would have gotton Mojito if still available, but the wife wanted Hellayella until she saw one in person. It just didn't work for her or me. I now want Bright White, but she's thinking Firecracker.

We've owned many 4x4 trucks, and LSD is MUCH preferred for the snow belt area we live in.


Honestly I'd just go Sport S and save money and enjoy it. You'll have so much left over to customize it the way you want.
I was thinking Sport S, but the Willys gets me larger brakes, wheels I like better, and Rubicon shocks. I was hoping if the shocks are longer than Sport S shocks, maybe I could just add 1.5" or 2" spacer lift and call it a day. Seems to get me what I want with the least amount of money spent. Of course it depends on what kind of deal I can negotiate.
 

RagTopDeluxe

Well-Known Member
First Name
Julie
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
1,541
Reaction score
2,386
Location
Northern California
Vehicle(s)
2020 Punk'n Recon
Hi Terry, welcome!

I wanted my own bright and badass Jeep after my husband sold his JK. I went with the Rubicon because we do some off-roading. But I will confess that I love the capabilities and looks, too.

I have had both the 3.6 and 2.0T and love the turbo for around town because the torque is great (I used to drive Miatas and still have fun behind the wheel). You can‘t go wrong with either engine so pick what makes you happy.

I have a soft top and love it! It’s down as much as possible and makes the Jeep a fun convertible.

Chief (a light blue) and Gecko (an awesome bright green) are going to be available later this year.

Good luck!

Some required pics:
IMG_1788-X3.jpg


050620D8-A598-4C7F-ADD4-5A9505BE2ED0-X3.jpg
 
OP

TJHUB

Member
First Name
Terry
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
12
Location
WI
Vehicle(s)
2019 Subaru Ascent
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I went with the Willys, seems like a good compromise between the Sport S and Rubicon. I added 285/75 tires a couple of months ago, no lift, no rubbing. I personally think the Willys is a good value for what you get.

1B53A95C-7A75-4A87-A23B-1362B3DF5B23.jpeg
I saw your Willys in the thread about the 285/75-17 tire size. This tire size is a great find. I really like your setup and looks great. My issue is the wife (me too) would like 2" lift and I'm likely going to space the wheels out with spacers. The look moves far closer to the "bad-ass" look my wife wants.
 

Cleoncini

Well-Known Member
First Name
Conner
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
142
Reaction score
164
Location
Salt Lake City
Vehicle(s)
2020 JLU Rubicon
Build Thread
Link
I saw your Willys in the thread about the 285/75-17 tire size. This tire size is a great find. I really like your setup and looks great. My issue is the wife (me too) would like 2" lift and I'm likely going to space the wheels out with spacers. The look moves far closer to the "bad-ass" look my wife wants.
Hey Terry! Welcome to the deep dive of wrangler ownership haha. From what you have described from your needs, I would say the Willys is perfect. DO NOT MISS THE LED PACKAGE. As far as I am concerned this is a must, the factory halogen lights should not be allowed on any vehicle. Another note from your last response, avoid doing a wheel spacer, they can lead to early ball joint wear. I have +0 offset wheels on my JLUR and my wheels sit a bit outside the fenders currently.
 
OP

TJHUB

Member
First Name
Terry
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
12
Location
WI
Vehicle(s)
2019 Subaru Ascent
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Hi Terry, welcome!

I wanted my own bright and badass Jeep after my husband sold his JK. I went with the Rubicon because we do some off-roading. But I will confess that I love the capabilities and looks, too.

I have had both the 3.6 and 2.0T and love the turbo for around town because the torque is great (I used to drive Miatas and still have fun behind the wheel). You can‘t go wrong with either engine so pick what makes you happy.

I have a soft top and love it! It’s down as much as possible and makes the Jeep a fun convertible.

Chief (a light blue) and Gecko (an awesome bright green) are going to be available later this year.

Good luck!

Some required pics:
IMG_1788-X3.jpg


050620D8-A598-4C7F-ADD4-5A9505BE2ED0-X3.jpg
Yes, this is more of what she would like, but likely never half-doors. She wants to be up high again like she used to with her trucks (she always gets to drive the cool stuff as her DD). I didn't realize those other colors are coming. We are in no hurry. I could even wait until the '22 are available.
 
OP

TJHUB

Member
First Name
Terry
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
12
Location
WI
Vehicle(s)
2019 Subaru Ascent
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
Hey Terry! Welcome to the deep dive of wrangler ownership haha. From what you have described from your needs, I would say the Willys is perfect. DO NOT MISS THE LED PACKAGE. As far as I am concerned this is a must, the factory halogen lights should not be allowed on any vehicle. Another note from your last response, avoid doing a wheel spacer, they can lead to early ball joint wear. I have +0 offset wheels on my JLUR and my wheels sit a bit outside the fenders currently.
I am already aware that the LED lights are a must. I too am thinking the Willys is a great start for our wants. I just need to find out about the shocks.

As for wheel spacers? I may have to take the risk to get what we want.
 

GRAK

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
947
Reaction score
1,738
Location
Out West
Vehicle(s)
JL Rubi, Corvette
Isn’t Sahara supposed to be best in snow? Selec-Trac or whatever
 

nostatic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2020
Messages
406
Reaction score
881
Location
central coast
Vehicle(s)
'20 JL Sport S PDN, '18 R1200GS Rallye
Occupation
chief bottle washer
Willys and call it a day. Wheels look more badass than Sport S, has a few good upgrades, then add the options you want.
 

aldo98229

Well-Known Member
First Name
Aldo
Joined
Nov 16, 2019
Messages
2,492
Reaction score
4,869
Location
Bellingham, WA
Vehicle(s)
2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara, 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth
Occupation
Market Research
Vehicle Showcase
1
Isn’t Sahara supposed to be best in snow? Selec-Trac or whatever
Selec-Trac is more forgiving in snow; particularly in constantly changing conditions. It is engage-and-forget.

However, if you want maximum traction in deep snow out on a trail, there’s no substitute for actual lockers and big fat tires. Although 4-Lo with a rear LSD comes in as a close second.

Snow can be a funny thing: on snow-covered roads, you want skinnier tires that cut through the snow to grab the road. In deep snow out on a trail, you want big fat tires that allow you to “float” over the snow. In the former, Selec-Trac works brilliantly; in the latter, lockers are your best friend.
 
OP

TJHUB

Member
First Name
Terry
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
14
Reaction score
12
Location
WI
Vehicle(s)
2019 Subaru Ascent
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Selec-Trac is available on: Sport S, Willys, Sahara, and maybe more now. It's a must for my wife as she's not sure about when to use 4H or 2H in changing snow and ice conditions. This way she doesn't have to think about it.
 

Turchman

Well-Known Member
First Name
Jim
Joined
Nov 5, 2019
Messages
105
Reaction score
283
Location
Lakeville, MN
Vehicle(s)
2020 JLUR, 2018 VW Tiguan, 2001 Infinity
Occupation
Engineer and Quality Manager
You know, we went down the same road in 2014 and got a Sport S and then spent the next 6 years wishing we had gotten the Rubicon. We lifted it and put on bigger tires, but were never satisfied, so this year we traded it for a Rubicon and wonder why we waited so long to do it. Get what you really want; you are only putting 6k per year, you will have it for a long time. I really like the new Snazzberry color by the way, we got Hella Yella and really like it, but it's not for everyone.

rudyjeep.jpg


snazberry.jpg
 

Advertisement




WheelsASAP
 



Advertisement
Top