Why is a Sahara taller than my Rubicon?

OP
OP
Vinman

Vinman

Well-Known Member
First Name
Vince
Joined
Oct 19, 2020
Messages
313
Reaction score
692
Location
Calgary, Alberta
Vehicle(s)
2021 JLU Rubicon
So, did we mention tire pressure yet? Bet the Rubicon is at 31 and the Sahara is at 45!
Not sure of the pressure in the Sahara tires but the Rubicon is at factory 37-38 psi.

I guess I just ASSUMED the Rubicon would be a bit taller because of the tires and maybe I had an pre-conceived notion the R’s are taller.
Advertisement

 

BrntWS6

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2018
Messages
1,149
Reaction score
1,301
Location
Land of the FOID
Vehicle(s)
2019 JLUS, 2002 WS6
That's a common error/confusion.
Wheel size doesn't matter, tire size does as you pointed out (though you said wheels). However, even that is minor when it comes to stock tires

Stock Sahara tires 255/70/18 = 32.05" tire
Stock Rubicon tires 285/70/17 = 32.70" tire

By conversion alone the tires are 0.65" different, which means a height difference of 0.325" (or between 3/8 and 5/16). I mention the conversion because some tires are slightly bigger/smaller than the spec size. Depending on what tire is on each vehicle, the difference may be a little more or less than that 5/8" difference in calculated sizes.

In either case though the wheel size doesn't matter. Even though the Sahara has a bigger wheel, the Rubicon has a bigger tire as noted by BrntWS6.

Yes...wheel tire combo. I have a sahara with rubi take-offs so mine sits a bit higher than stock. But still not as high as the OPs stock sahara.
 

Shots

Well-Known Member
First Name
Winchell
Joined
Jul 6, 2018
Messages
1,956
Reaction score
2,461
Location
Ohio
Vehicle(s)
Gone but not forgotten '18 Wrangler Sahara
Me too.... well kinda. I have the take-off wheels too.
I actually got the optional Sahara wheels with the intention of keeping them, but it turns out tire choices were not so good with 18's. I ended up with take-off wheels to be able to get a set of tires I liked in a size I wanted.
 

JayJay

Well-Known Member
First Name
Johnny
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
769
Reaction score
1,825
Location
North Georgia
Vehicle(s)
'20 JLR
I think that the answer is really pretty simple. Either the factory screwed up and put a Sport suspension in the OP's Rubicon or it's really a Sport with Rubicon decals. (Just kidding about both)

But, my Rubicon is 1 1/2" (50 3/4") higher than the OP's at the bottom of the RH mirror. It's a stock two door with cloth top, steel bumpers with winch added.

Later,
Johnny
 

Al G

Active Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
34
Reaction score
39
Location
AZ
Vehicle(s)
2020 Wrangler JLU
My bone stock JLU Sport is only about 1/2" lower than the OP's Rubicon. Does that sound right?
 

RoadiJeff

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
385
Reaction score
479
Location
St. Louis
Vehicle(s)
2020 2.0T Recon, 2018 3.6L GC High Altitude
On another forum I used to love pointing out the fact that in the specs on the official jeep.com website it showed our 2013 Sahara had a higher ground clearance than the same year Rubicon. I think it was only 0.1 difference but fun anyway.
 

Shots

Well-Known Member
First Name
Winchell
Joined
Jul 6, 2018
Messages
1,956
Reaction score
2,461
Location
Ohio
Vehicle(s)
Gone but not forgotten '18 Wrangler Sahara
2020 Sahara, 2021 Rubicon. Hope this helps.
[X]
[X]
Yes it does, check it out.
When you rotate the images (2° clockwise on the front view, and 1° clockwise on the rear view) to level the Jeeps, and crop them to remove perceived angels/heights from the buildings in the background it gets interesting.

Front view:
I ghosted lines over the image for a straight edge reference. The top (blue) of the roofs and mirrors (green) appear to be about the same height. This is where it gets interesting though.
The top of the horizontal portion of the headlights (red) is higher on the Sahara, which matches the original post observations. Using that same red line notice the bottom of the hood touches the top of the red line on the Sahara, but is in the middle of the red line on the Rubi which also shows the Sahara is higher there. The top of the corner marker and DRL (purple) is obviously higher on the Rubi. Then the top of the bumpers (yellow) is higher on the Sahara.

compare.jpg


Moving to the rear :
The bottom of the reflector on the rear bumper (yellow) is about the same.
The bottom of the tail light (purple) is slightly higher on the Rubi.
The mirrors (still green) are about the same, which obviously matches the front view.
The roof (still blue) is higher on the Rubi.
compare 2.jpg


So what does it all mean. Well for one it means we are all very bored to be this deep into this topic, but hey it's still Jeep talk.
Seriously though, what this tells me is that the Rubicon sits slightly higher in the back and has more rake than the Sahara. Notice all three references at the back of the Jeeps are higher on the Rubicon (the mirrors are in the middle).
That means the back end of the Rubi is higher than the Sahara. Near the middle (mirrors and roof at the windshield) they are about the same height, and by the time you get to the front the rake has made the Rubi lower than the Sahara.

There you go, mystery solved. The Rubicon has more rake than the Sahara making it appear shorter depending on the reference point.
 

Will_Jeep

Well-Known Member
First Name
Will
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
379
Reaction score
341
Location
Atlanta
Vehicle(s)
Black 2108 JKU Sahara, Black 2016 Mercedes CLS400
Vehicle Showcase
1
@Shots Thanks for solving this mystery for me, it's been keeping my up at night.
It's great to know that my Sahara isn't the only one that stands tall and proud (and looks down on the R Jeep that shall not be named!)
 

entropy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
2,405
Reaction score
3,552
Location
Pasadena
Vehicle(s)
Jeep Wrangler Sport S JL 2-D
Build Thread
Link
Occupation
Data Scientist
Interesting.

Until you take your jeep on a trail, test the articulation, breakover angle, etc... All of this is meaningless. Sahara has short travel shocks so all the height is mostly cosmetic.
 

Shots

Well-Known Member
First Name
Winchell
Joined
Jul 6, 2018
Messages
1,956
Reaction score
2,461
Location
Ohio
Vehicle(s)
Gone but not forgotten '18 Wrangler Sahara
Well I don't think it's any surprise that most Saharas aren't extreme off-roaders. Being able to handle a moderate trail is all most of us need and the stock suspension is certainly up to that task. So, height being cosmetic is fine with me.
 

Llkindt

Active Member
First Name
Les
Joined
Apr 4, 2020
Messages
31
Reaction score
5
Location
Chicago
Vehicle(s)
2020 jlu sport s
How much more does the 3.6 weigh compared to a 2.0..might be enough to make a difference.
 

N875ED

Well-Known Member
First Name
Mark
Joined
Nov 6, 2020
Messages
51
Reaction score
103
Location
Lebanon, OH
Vehicle(s)
2021 JLU 80th Anniversary
Watching a YouTube video the other day and the presenter said the diesel weighs 400 lbs more than the 3.6 Pentastar. Is this possible? I can see 400 lbs total, but not additionally.
 
Advertisement

TopLift Pros
 
Advertisement
Top