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Old 04-26-2013, 11:23 PM   #1
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3.21 or 3.73 in a new '13 model daily driver

I am looking into buying a 2013 model and was wondering about the 3.21 versus the 3.73 rear end. I have found two new jeeps. Both have the tow hitch installed, but one has the 3.21 rear end and the other has the 3.73.

I was wanting ya'lls feedback on which one you would recommend considering all other options/features are equal.

Some back ground info that may help:
- This would be my daily driver and most of my driving is a mix of city/highway
- I do have a 5x10 all steel utility trailer that I pull from time to time, but not very often.
- I do not own a boat or other item that I would be towing alot

I'm leaning towards the 3.73 just due to more low end power. You never know when you'll need it. However, consdiering what my regular driving is and this would be my daily driver the 3.21 may be better.

What do ya'll think? Thanks.

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Old 04-26-2013, 11:30 PM   #2
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3.73

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Old 04-26-2013, 11:39 PM   #3
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3.73
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:44 PM   #4
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As an owner of 3.21s, no doubt 3.73s.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:54 PM   #5
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3.73 every time. It hardly affects MPGs (not noticeable) . You won't regret going 3.73, but you could end up regretting 3.21.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:57 PM   #6
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Sorry to hijack, but what max tire size can you do on a 3.73 without ruining the daily driver MPG's?
34"?
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:02 AM   #7
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3.73, your dd will likely end up with a larger tire down the line.
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:05 AM   #8
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:07 AM   #9
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Sorry to hijack, but what max tire size can you do on a 3.73 without ruining the daily driver MPG's?
34"?
On the pentastar, 35's won't be a big deal.
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:13 AM   #10
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On the pentastar, 35's won't be a big deal.
Correct. Penstar, damn auto and purchasing in Canada, I can't get the upgraded 4.10
Before jumping to swap gears curious how 35's and 3.73 function as a DD?

Glad it won't be too bad! I guess I'll try and if its bad, swap gears.
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:24 AM   #11
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Correct. Penstar, damn auto and purchasing in Canada, I can't get the upgraded 4.10
Before jumping to swap gears curious how 35's and 3.73 function as a DD?

Glad it won't be too bad! I guess I'll try and if its bad, swap gears.
I think it will be good. Baffles me why they won't offer 4.10's in a Sport???? Dumb.
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:48 AM   #12
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I got the 3.73's. I think the only way I'd possibly regret this is if I was staying with stock tire size and running a lot of highway miles. Forget the exact RPM I'm turning at 70mph, but I think its over 2500RPM.

Are you ordering or buying off a lot? I actually had trouble finding one with 3.73's on a lot. I had to go to a dealership about 50 miles away to get mine.
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:49 AM   #13
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My daily driver

I ordered the 3.21's!!!

After reading all the post here I was worried I did the wrong thing. These guys all swear by the 3.73's...

So I get my Jeep and the plan is daily driver. Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat nor gloom of night stays these Couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. That's me for 3 more years...

I scoot around just fine with my 3.21's!!!

If, that's a big IF, I ever get bigger shoes I might go 285's. To be real honest with ya the factory shoes fit my daily driver just FINE.

At least for me daily driver = best gas mileage possible.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:37 AM   #14
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3.73's may just yield better mpg's then 3.21's.
DD does not necessarily mean average speed of 75mph. If your DD is in town or slower then interstate speeds you may find better mpg's from a 3.73.

I scratch my head at the whole 3.21 better mpg's for a Jeep.

It's a JEEP! One of the best factory built off road vehicles but it is an aerodynamic nightmare.
C'mon MAN did you really buy this vehicle cause your gonna take it down the interstate all day long at 80mph and worry about 18mpg vs 19mpg.
C'mon Man! seriously?

I bought mine cuz the top comes off!!!!
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:39 AM   #15
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3.21 is fine for a DD.

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Old 04-27-2013, 07:43 AM   #16
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This question is asked nearly every week, which is strange since the right answer is essentially always 3.73.

I'd go so far as to say it's the most obvious and yet endlessly asked question on the forum.

You might be "happy" with 3.21 and 3.21 is no doubt "fine," but that doesn't mean 3.73 would not have been better.

Let's invert the question and see if it still looks like a tough choice. Say Jeep offered a special "fuel saver" package that reduced your applied horsepower by 10 to 20 hp at normal speeds in exchange for a purely theoretical fuel savings that, at most, would give you maybe a mile more per gallon but will probably be less or even worse than it would have been otherwise. Would you order it? No?

Well then get the 3.73s.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:05 AM   #17
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Another reverse you will not find in the Jeep world.

I'm regearing my jeep... I'm going to change out my 4.10's for 3.21's.
I'm changing out my stock 32's to 30's to get better mpg's.
I'm looking to swap out my hemi for a 3.8 cuz its my daily driver.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:10 AM   #18
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Another reverse you will not find in the Jeep world.

I'm regearing my jeep... I'm going to change out my 4.10's for 3.21's.
I'm going to get smaller tires so I can get another mile per gallon.
Exactly. Nobody would do this. And yet they agonize over making an essentially very similar choice on the front end.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:22 AM   #19
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I wish I knew about the different gears when I was purchasing mine. Mine came with 3.21's and now that I am running 35's, I am going to have to look into spending another $500 for gears and about a grand for install. The pentastar with the automatic transmission can handle the added size and weight on the highway just fine, but I am not building mine to be a highway crawler. Yes it is my daily driver, but on hills, it is needing to downshift in order to maintain speed. I did not purchase mine by ordering it, so I was left with what ever option was available on the lot at the time.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:47 AM   #20
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I have 3.21 on my 2dr 6sp manual w/stock tires. It's a DD and does fine. However, if I could do it all over again, I would go with the 3.73.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:54 AM   #21
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I was in the same boat trying to decide between 3.21 and 3.73 searched, and asked around for days (maybe weeks). I was also able to test drive both, and while the 3.21 seemed nice for highway cruising which I mostly do (DD) the 3.73's offered very nice smooth power, but saw that as getting myself in trouble with MPG.

One of my driving forces for getting a JKU is to put a plow on to do my driveway that along with the smoothness and potential resale value (towing, larger tires) led me to get the 3.73's
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:47 AM   #22
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3.73 is just a better use of the power throughout the power band. The difference in fuel economy will be minimal. Everyone asks me if I get better gas mileage going from an 01' GC 4.7 V8 AWD 3.73 5sp auto to a 13' 3.6 Wrangler JKU 3.73 5sp auto, the answer is NO.

We knew before we bought it what it would be like... I find my Wrangler with 3.73 on the highway to be great. I was going 70mph on the freeway and I was at 2300 rpm. Very happy with my 3.73 performance and glad I didn't buy the 3.21.
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Old 04-27-2013, 01:22 PM   #23
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I got 3:21 on my ordered 2013 JKU Sport. After 6 months of ownership, very glad for two reasons:
There is a difference in gas mileage. Just drove a near 400 mile trip at speeds averaging around 67MPH with an occasional burst to 75 to pass . Got 22.8 MPG.
The new motor is plenty quick enough with either a stick or auto and the stock alum. rims and tires on my Unlimited Sport.
I'm not into mods, big tires, etc. Not against them, mind you. Keep all my vehicles, including a collector car , bone stock. It's just what I'm about.
You could say I'm thrifty and HATE buying things I don't need and especially sensitive about gas prices, but not so thrifty that I want a Prius !
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Old 04-27-2013, 01:36 PM   #24
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I got 3:21 on my ordered 2013 JKU Sport. After 6 months of ownership, very glad for two reasons:
There is a difference in gas mileage. Just drove a near 400 mile trip at speeds averaging around 67MPH with an occasional burst to 75 to pass . Got 22.8 MPG.
The new motor is plenty quick enough with either a stick or auto and the stock alum. rims and tires on my Unlimited Sport.
I'm not into mods, big tires, etc. Not against them, mind you. Keep all my vehicles, including a collector car , bone stock. It's just what I'm about.
You could say I'm thrifty and HATE buying things I don't need and especially sensitive about gas prices, but not so thrifty that I want a Prius !

I pretty much echo this. I have a 2013 JKU 3.21's auto. I test drove both 3.73 and 3.21 in 2dr's prior to getting my 4dr and I could not tell the difference between the two on a 20 mile test drive. Both were sport S models. I never get less then 18mpg back and forth to work in town driving and easily get over 20mpg on the highway at 70-75mph. I am running 285/75-16 tires (~33") and can chirp the tires at take off if I want. At 70mph I am just above 2000 rpms. It shifts well and does not hunt for gears. I live in western Montana so lots of up hill and down hill. While mine is not bone stock I am at the limit on tire size because for the kinds of useage my jeep will get those are about perfect. I won't be rock crawling or mud bogging. If I were going to do hard core wheeling I would probably be getting an older wrangler. I know these rigs are not bought for thier mpg but I still like getting better then 15mpg. I read often about people who do not understand how others are getting 20mpg and it would bug me if I did not get 20mpg on the highway.
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Old 04-27-2013, 01:38 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by novassfan View Post
I got 3:21 on my ordered 2013 JKU Sport. After 6 months of ownership, very glad for two reasons:
There is a difference in gas mileage. Just drove a near 400 mile trip at speeds averaging around 67MPH with an occasional burst to 75 to pass . Got 22.8 MPG.
The new motor is plenty quick enough with either a stick or auto and the stock alum. rims and tires on my Unlimited Sport.
I'm not into mods, big tires, etc. Not against them, mind you. Keep all my vehicles, including a collector car , bone stock. It's just what I'm about.
You could say I'm thrifty and HATE buying things I don't need and especially sensitive about gas prices, but not so thrifty that I want a Prius !
That's great gas mileage and your thinking was the same as mine, but the plow tip me over to the 3.73, otherwise 3.21s.

My Murano I just sold is pretty aerodynamic and got 21 MPG day after day of 99% highway driving, hard to imagine a Jeep getting more.
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Old 04-27-2013, 01:43 PM   #26
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OP - don't sweat the small stuff. Get the 3.73s and don't look back. The difference in mpg is negligible.
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Old 04-27-2013, 02:15 PM   #27
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what's the downside??
Mileage? a guy with a heavy foot and 3.21s will get worse milege then a guy the drives normally with 3.73s
3.73 is better off the line, better for trailer...
Be happy you have the option...and be VERY happy you can change it for less then $100
i have a 2013 Sahara 2 door auto 3.73s with limted slip.. i upgraded the tires a little ...went with Grabber AT2s 275/65-18 same diameter as stock but 1" wider, better tread and about 2# heavier then stock tires....
I regularly average around 19-20 mpg with a mix of highway and backroads..not really a lot of "city driving"
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Old 04-27-2013, 02:50 PM   #28
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3.73 without a doubt. I have 4.10 and it was a bit much with 32s on the flat highways but good for Colorado and great offroad. Now with 35s, I have lost some of that power and while it is better on flat highways, it lacks a bit of power on the steep highway passes. It downshifts two gears to stay at 65ish and revs pretty high. I think the perfect gear for me would be 4.56. Anyway, this is about you so 3.73 now and 3.73 with up to 33s. There is no real upside to getting 3.21s.
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Old 04-27-2013, 03:14 PM   #29
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what's the downside??
Mileage? a guy with a heavy foot and 3.21s will get worse milege then a guy the drives normally with 3.73s
3.73 is better off the line, better for trailer...
Be happy you have the option...and be VERY happy you can change it for less then $100
i have a 2013 Sahara 2 door auto 3.73s with limted slip.. i upgraded the tires a little ...went with Grabber AT2s 275/65-18 same diameter as stock but 1" wider, better tread and about 2# heavier then stock tires....
I regularly average around 19-20 mpg with a mix of highway and backroads..not really a lot of "city driving"
Not too bad ^. I do a lot of city, wish I lived in the country. Due to take a drive north of Toronto, I'll hopefully hit at least 20 on the freeway.
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:23 PM   #30
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Well, I am having a hard time finding one with the 3.73 max tow package and the other options (3.73, power windows/locks, hard top) I want within the price I am willing to pay. I've got one dealer that is close, but doesn't have power windows/lock and wants an additional $1,800 to install them. Then I had another dealer that had one like I wanted and quoted me a good price. But when it came down to it the salesman gave me the wrong price. The price he gave was for a different jeep that has the other options but not the 3.73 rear end.

He tried to make a sell for the one that has all the options I want but with the 3.21 in it. I told him that I was ready to make a deal until he informed me of their screw up and I really want the 3.73. We'll see what he comes back with.

On a side note, I thought about going ahead with the deal with the intent of re-gearing it later on since I would be running pretty much stock for a while until I have the funds to mod it.

I can get a '13 4dr with the 3.21, hitch, power windows/locks, hard top for $28,087. Should I go ahead with the deal since I won't be lifting it anytime soon?

I guess re-gearing later would costs about $2,000 right?

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