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Old 10-26-2013, 01:28 PM   #1
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Buying / decisions

Hey guys, new guy here. I'm looking to buy my first Wrangler soon but I'm having a tough time deciding on one. I've narrowed it down to a few options though. One of my biggest concerns so far is how the 3.8 holds up in comparison to the 4.0. Most of the searching I've done has turned up older debates from shortly after the 3.8s release, and I'm curious if time has changed anything. If its a good motor don't think I'll mind it, I just dont want a 4 banger.

At any rate, time to defer to expert opinions. All 4 are 6 speed. On the table right now:

08 Wrangler X, 55k miles, 8/10 overall condition. Clean frame, virutually no rust to be found anywhere, interior has some bedliner under carpets and a few creature comforts (blutetooth, power locks, power windows, keyless entry, etc). Certified pre owned but almost out of warranty, though 5yr/60k extended is available for $1400. Asking 19.5 w/o warranty


08 Wrangler X, 82k 7/10 overall. No body/frame rust, needs new front tires, alignment, and a new muffler all of which the dealer agreed to handle. Basic model, no real addons aside from Jeeps Trail Rated package. Asking 17.5, I believe with the same warranty option as above.


06 Wrangler X, 7/10 overall. Has mild frame rust, but when asked dealer agreed to undercoating as part of the deal. Aside from the frame rust, appears clean with no issues. Dealer seems willing to make a deal to get it off the lot. Asking 16.9, but it's advertised online at 14.9? Guess that explains why they offered a grand off so fast.


05 Rubicon Unlimited, 9.5/10. No rust to be seen anywhere, has already been undercoated. I couldn't find anything wrong at all, it seems to have had a good life. Comes lifted with good tires, heavy duty steel bumpers, and Jeeps Trail Rated package. This ones at an independent dealer, but still has a warranty option. Asking 15.5k




Opinions? Pros? Cons? Is a warranty worth it at all if I can handle the basics like oil, brakes, u joints, etc? The yellow is so obnoxious that I actually like it. I normally hate silver but its what I keep finding and I think I'm ok with. I normally don't like the long wheelbase of the unlimited, as it just doesn't look quite right and I don't really need the room, but I'm ALMOST considering it for the Rubicon. I'm having a real hard time deciding on one, so any help is greatly appreciated guys, thanks!

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Old 10-26-2013, 04:48 PM   #2
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Be careful with that "rubicon." The previous owner or dealership may have just added those hood decals to a standard LJ.

How do you plan to use your rig? Will this be a daily driven street only vehicle or something you plan to offroad? Will your jeep be your only vehicle or just a weekend toy?

If the "rubicon" LJ is in fact a real rubicon with low miles and functioning lockers then that would be my first choice. The 06 X model comes with a D35 rear axle, which will need to be swapped out for a D44/8.8 or upgraded with a super 35 kit if you plan to participate in moderately challenging offroading. If you plan to mainly use your rig as a daily driver with occasional light offroading then go with one of the JKs. I am not a fan of the JK body style but you may like the style.

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Old 10-26-2013, 06:07 PM   #3
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I love off roading, but there's not many places to go around here that I'm aware of and I don't know anyone else with off road rigs. It'd be my daily driver with the occasional light off road trip. No crazy rock crawling or excessively deep mud. That said, I would also love a rig capable of driving the Rubicon Trail a few years down the road, and from what I gather the new ones are more than capable enough with the right tire/axle/suspension set up.

As far as I can tell the Rubicon is legit-- It's got the white gauge cluster and what I think are the factory locker switches:


I didn't go as far as to test the lockers, but I can go back and find out easily enough. Personally I like all the body styles from the early 90s on, but it's a lot easier to find a clean JK than YJ/TJ.
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Old 10-26-2013, 06:41 PM   #4
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Couldn't edit, but I may have just added one more to the lineup. Found an 08 Rubicon with 65k for 22k. The only downside is it's an automatic which I'm not sure I want.
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:34 PM   #5
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Couldn't edit, but I may have just added one more to the lineup. Found an 08 Rubicon with 65k for 22k. The only downside is it's an automatic which I'm not sure I want.
I love my auto. If can't burn through the gears like in my Mustang I don't want a manual. Just NY preference tho. :-)
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Old 10-27-2013, 12:25 AM   #6
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U good buy a stock 2014 manual/soft top for low 20s have u considered this?
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Old 10-27-2013, 12:34 AM   #7
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I would be all over that LJ if it's a legit Rubi. They only made them 3 years. Lots of room, it looks to have some quality aftermarket parts already on it & like new tires.

All nice choices, but I'm going with the LJ.
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Old 10-27-2013, 01:59 AM   #8
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If not a 2014... get the Lj If its legit
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:17 AM   #9
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Cool LJ ! Aka the 2005 Rubicon Unlimited

HANDS DOWN the LJ ! Firstly, I'm biased
Here are the reasons I purchased the year/model I did (2005 Rubicon Unlimited)

  • I wanted a 6 speed
  • I wanted a Rubicon (Lockers, D44, NV241 Transfer Case, pride of owning a Rubi)
  • I wanted the I6 "Jesus" engine that so many TJ owners talk about taking past 300k miles
  • I wanted the extended wheel base/interior space
  • I wanted the TJ instead of the JK because of the simplicity of it (some would say lack of creature comforts :P )


Things I learned afterwards that I would keep in mind if looking again:

  • With the fixed flange of the Rubicon NV241 transfer case, I don't need an SYE. And with the unlimited body style, I can POTENTIALLY lift it higher than a SWB Wrangler without screwing up the driveline too much (longer body, longer driveshaft)
  • A lot of peoples regrets when buying a Jeep is not getting a Rubicon... Even if they plan on doing every upgrade to an x, turning it into a Rubi, they'll still always know.
  • If they did buy a Rubi, they will always have positive bias towards other Rubi owners over all other Jeepers (Of course, the same bias towards other Jeepers over all other vehicle owners )
But... On the Rubicon, those are NOT factory locker switches. The factory lockers are a single switch to the left of those two switches... Above the cigarette lighter in those four "blank" spaces. It's a single switch for front and rear. At least that's how it is on mine...
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Old 10-27-2013, 02:49 AM   #10
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Yes those are not factory switches for a rubicon. Check to make sure that the jeep has a dana 44 in the front. The compressor would be mounted to the skid plate too.

But if it's actually an LJ rubi then buy it....

I could see someone installing those switches to make things simpler though so do your homework
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Old 10-27-2013, 03:51 AM   #11
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Those don't look like factory switches or stickers. The PO probably put lockers on it and then thought it would be cute to put the sticker on it. Check for the Dana 44 axle and transfer case should also be different and have a better ratio in 4 Lo.
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Old 10-27-2013, 06:14 PM   #12
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I attached a few pics for verification since I'm not familiar, but if I'm correct thats a D44 rear and a D30 front, IE fake Rubicon. If that's the case, then A) I think it's well overpriced, and B) I'm not that interested in the LJ or silver, so I think not being a legit Rubicon takes this one out of the running for me. I'm going to test drive the two 08 auto Rubicons tomorrow, see how I like them, and see what kind of deal gets thrown my way.
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Old 10-27-2013, 06:29 PM   #13
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U good buy a stock 2014 manual/soft top for low 20s have u considered this?
If I were putting 20k towards a used Jeep I'd definitely look into a new one. You should get a better interest rate on a new Jeep. A couple grand financed over 5-6 years will not change your payments much and you'll have a brand new vehicle with warranty and the piece of mind of knowing where it's been and how hard it's been abused.

Or, keep looking. I bought my very clean 06 X with 72,000 miles lifted with winch and brand new tires from a private seller for approx 2/3 KBB value. Lots of good used Jeeps out there.
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:06 PM   #14
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If I'm going to spend 25-30k, I think I'd rather have a Rubicon off the bat and not have to worry about swapping axles later. New that would put me in the upper 30k range. Realistically 20k is more than I really wanted to spend, my initial budget was 15. I can swing low 20s no problem for the right truck, but I don't think I want to go higher. Plus, as much as I'd love to buy new, saving for a house is a higher priority. I still have the option to purchase an extended warranty on a clean lightly used Jeep.
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:41 PM   #15
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That's a 30 front for sure. A clean Jeep, but it's still a Rubiclone.

My next choice would be the 06 TJ with the soft 8's. Also a clean looking Jeep, but it would depend on how bad the frame is. If it's just flash rust, a good cleaning & undercoating would take care of it. If it's rot, that's different.

I just can't gag the looks of the JK's. They look like a cross between a Jeep Liberty & a Geo Tracker. Just my opinion, I have seen some bad a$$ JK's. There a more than capable rig.
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Old 10-27-2013, 08:42 PM   #16
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If the dealer is selling that silver LJ as rubicon model isnt that considered false advertising? Also A good way to check if its a real rubi even if it has a d44 in the front is to check the 6th number in the vin. It should be a number 6 to signify its a rubicon.
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:12 PM   #17
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now thats the right answer!6th is a 6
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:29 PM   #18
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New to the forum and Jeeps. I don't really have a good grasp of how much a jeep costs if its got upgrades and was hoping to get some advice on a Jeep I was interested in. Its a 93 YJ 4cyl with a rebuilt engine(last year) new radiator, water pump, hoses, and electric cooling fan. 3" body lift w/ 35" tires. Has no top. asking $9500. Thanks for any advice.
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:32 PM   #19
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Well, the deals done! Found myself on 09 6sp Rubicon with 74k, which I twisted the dealers arm into certifying as CPO so I get the remainder of the 100k warranty, for 20.5k plus new tires and a couple trim pieces. I pick it up Wed morning. Until then, teaser from the dealer:



Thanks for the assist guys, much appreciated! Now who's placing bets on how long before I start my build thread?
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:52 PM   #20
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New to the forum and Jeeps. I don't really have a good grasp of how much a jeep costs if its got upgrades and was hoping to get some advice on a Jeep I was interested in. Its a 93 YJ 4cyl with a rebuilt engine(last year) new radiator, water pump, hoses, and electric cooling fan. 3" body lift w/ 35" tires. Has no top. asking $9500. Thanks for any advice.
wey to expensive its a NOOOOO....Nooooooo
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Old 10-28-2013, 05:54 PM   #21
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wey to expensive its a NOOOOO....Nooooooo
What would be a good price for it? 6000?
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Old 10-28-2013, 06:04 PM   #22
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Congratulations

Quote:
Originally Posted by erfoster View Post
Well, the deals done! Found myself on 09 6sp Rubicon with 74k, which I twisted the dealers arm into certifying as CPO so I get the remainder of the 100k warranty, for 20.5k plus new tires and a couple trim pieces. I pick it up Wed morning. Until then, teaser from the dealer:



Thanks for the assist guys, much appreciated! Now who's placing bets on how long before I start my build thread?
welcome to the family;; save ur money coz u gonna feel like doing a lot of things. 1st advise before u do anything enjoy it n step by step u will do ur upgrade n always come back here for more info.
and wait for the next tent sale of quadratec 2014.... to get more parts for less money..
and dont forget to wave
every time u cross another jeep.
Jeep Spirit
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:45 PM   #23
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Good looking Rubi. Congratulations.
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:47 PM   #24
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make sure the 4WD works when you drive it. Made that mistake on my first jeep. I had put in 4WD when I test drove it but only for about 200ft before shifting it back into 2WD. once I had it would slip out of gear with speeds over 25mph

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