About a year ago my wife and I decided to buy a Wrangler. The forums were invaluable for deciding what to buy and continue to be for the mods we’ve made since. I wanted to pay it back and forward for those who might find my experiences helpful, so I thought I'd share them with a build thread. Hopefully someone will find it helpful.
My wife and I both turn 50 in 2013 and in mid-2012 my wife said “we should do something crazy like buy a Wrangler for our 50th”. I wasn’t going to ask if she was serious (and she wasn’t initially, but now she’s really really happy that she said it), so I never looked back and dove right into the process of exactly what to buy.
We took delivery of a new 4 door 2013 Sport S just after Christmas 2012 and totally love it. It was really nice to be able to order exactly what we wanted, and we’re able to justify buying new since we don’t have a cabin, boat, motorcycle, atv, kids, etc. etc.
Here’s what we ended up buying and why
– We prefer to buy our vehicles used with warranty and < 25k miles, however we were a bit concerned with the engine issue on 2012’s, and with used pricing not that much less than new we decided to go for it. We also wanted the upgraded engine and tranny that came out in 2012.
– needed the extra room for dogs, luggage, trips to the hardware store, etc.
– We want to keep it for as long as we can (20 years??) so we wanted as few things as possible to go bad. Would have gone with the Sport but really wanted the electric locks and windows on the S. If we went with the 2 door we probably would have gone with the Sport without electric locks/windows because it’s easier to reach the doors from either seat. I also prefer to go with aftermarket electronics (radio, GPS, etc.) since whatever comes from the factory will be obsolete in a few years. In addition, we aren’t too fond of the extra bling on the Sahara and its side steps, so the Sport S fit our needs perfectly.
- The wife didn't want to deal with a manual, and I’m getting a bit lazy in my old age. Glad this is what we went with. It’s also much easier while off-roading in the tougher spots.
– We’re a bit conservative with our colors, and we love this one. It also looks a bit like the original green from WWII so what an awesome tribute to the Jeep’s roots.
Dual Top group
- premium soft top for the summer and hard top for the MN winters. Works well since we have extra room for storing the hardtop, but plan on taking some time to figure out how to store it.
– We need a hitch and based on people’s opinions in the forums the 3.73 seemed like the safest bet.
– inexpensive option and provides better traction.
Side air bags
– could have gone either way with these, but thought we’d err on the safe side.
– can get them for cheaper someplace else, but not too much so why mess with aftermarket. And the factory mopar mats fit and look great.
So you ask how we plan on using it. It's not going to be a daily driver, but 90% will be on paved road. Since we don’t have a cabin, etc. we’ve done lots of joy rides in the evening and weekends with the top down, and occasionally with the doors off which is really fun. Most off-roading will be moderate, but I’ve already had it to the 4x4 park in Gilbert a couple of times and got a few scratches on its belly. I also want to take it to the black hills for some exploring next summer. I’ve already made quite a few mods which I’ll be detailing in later posts.
And lastly here are a few pics........................
The day we picked it up
Most of the external mods are done:
Just got the hard top off and had to go for a ride - who cares that it was only 35 degrees:
Got my doors blown off:
After getting the badging removed: