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Old 04-17-2013, 10:49 PM   #1
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Jeep jk- what do i really want?

Haven't decided what year i want for a used JK. I got some questions for you guys.

1. I would like a 12 or 13 for the 3.6. Is the minivan engine really all that bad?

2. Soft top or hard?

3. Any advantages the 07-11 have over 12-13? Besides being a couple grand cheaper? This will be my first jeep, so I don't want to spend too much as I will be out jeepin and trail driving as much as I can

Anything will help guys!

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Old 04-17-2013, 11:14 PM   #2
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I have a 2012 JKU rubi and I'm very pleased with it so far, although I have to admit that it's my dd and I can't afford repairs so I haven't had it on anything rougher than forest roads here around flagstaff and some muddy fields in TN. I have a soft top and that is my biggest regret. I had a hard top on the 08 JKU rubi I owned previously and I liked it much better. The road noise is not a problem. I have had jeepers who owned older models with soft tops and they say it is much quieter/better design than older softtops. The problem I have is that I can't fully access the rear cargo area without unzipping and rolling up the rear window. It's just so much easier to flip up the window on the hardtop to throw in gear or whatever. I thought I would really enjoy the ease of going topless with a softtop, but I honestly don't go completely topless that often. I personally just remove the front portion of the top over the front seats most often and the freedom tops on the hardtop provide this option. I also feel less secure having a softop on a dd because all a badguy has to do is unzip the windows to get access or slice them open. You can add a proximity alarm to guard against this (I probably will) but that's just an added expense. It's really a personal preference as both tops have their benefits. I personally feel the hardtops look much better, but I wanted to try the softtop and I got the deal I wanted on the jeep I wanted. I'm considering just going windowless this summer to provide greater access to the rear, but it will be easy access to everyone else too. Good luck in your jeep search!

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Old 04-18-2013, 12:00 AM   #3
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Was in same boat as you. I test drove both older engine and the newer 3.6. If you can I would go for as new as possible but keep options open on older one if right price comes around. Ended up with a 08 unlimited Sahara for cheaper than I would have got a 12-13 2door in my area. You will be happy either way so don't over think it. What ever makes most financial sence between yr and what your budget is go for.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:31 AM   #4
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What minivan motor are you talking about in the OP? The 3.8 and 3.6 are both in minivans.
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:40 AM   #5
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What minivan motor are you talking about in the OP? The 3.8 and 3.6 are both in minivans.
I know what he means... the 3.8 was an option in minivans since 1994. Underpowered for a Wrangler, even when updated.

To answer his question, unless you live in SoCal or a warm place I'd make sure to get a hardtop. I almost bought a new Rubi, but it had a soft top only so I balked. Hardtop is also better for security.

If you're not spending that much don't think you'll get a 12 or 13.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:51 AM   #6
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Right now I have a 2002 grand am 4 cyl that I drive so I think almost any v6 is good for me! Which year is better for the 6 speed manual? I know the newer JK has issues with noises and popping out of gear and such
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:54 AM   #7
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Also, is there any year of the jk that I shouldn't buy?
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:52 AM   #8
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Also, is there any year of the jk that I shouldn't buy?
If they don't have a warranty to give you, don't get a '12. Some had head issues that were fixed in '13. If you get a warranty which I'd assume you would, then you're all set. It wasnt all of them, and it wasnt even half of them with this problem. Only a select few but enough to keep it in mind
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:55 AM   #9
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Which year is better for the 6 speed manual? I know the newer JK has issues with noises and popping out of gear and such
The manual has been the same since 2004. It's the NSG-370. Some do pop out of gear and some make noise but keep in mind you may see a lot of that on forums, but its actually not common. People come on forums for help with issues, similar to you, and not to say how quiet and great their transmission is. You can't go wrong with any jk and a 6 speed
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:02 AM   #10
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What's a fair price for a pre 2012 JK? With around 70-80k miles
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:36 AM   #11
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Anywhere between 17000-28000 completely stock and in excellent condition
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:42 AM   #12
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Get the hardtop. it adds convience.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:44 AM   #13
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Anywhere between 17000-28000 completely stock and in excellent condition


Pretty big stretch there... the 11's and 12's were almost the price of new here (Employee price & rebates), so I bought new. Some used 12's were more expensive than what I paid for my 13'.
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:42 PM   #14
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What's a fair price for a pre 2012 JK? With around 70-80k miles
When I was shopping last year, private sale JKs (2dr) 2008-2009 with manual trans 6spd and 60,000-70,000 miles on them were selling for about $16,500 to $18,000 depending on condition. Rubicon models were getting about $4000 more than that, all else being equal in comparison. These were actual sale post-sale prices (I did a lot of follow up on JKs I shopped) from private sellers. The 2007s I looked at were all rough, high milers and still got $14,000 to $15,000.

Dealership asking prices on used JKs are typically $2000-$4000 higher than what a private seller was asking or willing to take and you can figure most dealers might come down $1000 or $2000 if you wave cash at them on used JKs. I almost bought a loaded used non-Rubi 2011 JK at a dealer until I found a lightly used 2012 JK Sport private sale for less than the dealer's bottom line price on the 2011. Shop, shop, shop!

If you're shopping older JKs, the 2009-2011 years have most bugs worked out.Most 2007s and many 2008s that I found had lots of issues, too many to mention. The 2007 had rear drum brakes and for 2008+ they roll with rear disc brakes. IMHO the 2009-2010 are the best used value for older JKs. However, if you find a good 2012 from a private seller, I'd take it far and away over the older ones now that I've lived with my 2012 for a while.

The 2011 have the same mediocre powertrain (3.8, 4spd auto or 6spd manual) as the 2007-2010 but the 2011 gets you the nice new interior. Many 2011s are overpriced, IMHO, and some sales jerks will try saying that the 2011 is "all new" with the 300hp V6. Good luck!
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:02 PM   #15
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I know what he means... the 3.8 was an option in minivans since 1994. Underpowered for a Wrangler, even when updated.

To answer his question, unless you live in SoCal or a warm place I'd make sure to get a hardtop. I almost bought a new Rubi, but it had a soft top only so I balked. Hardtop is also better for security.

If you're not spending that much don't think you'll get a 12 or 13.
I cannot stand when people say that the 3.8 is underpowered. No its not underpowered. It has better power numbers than a 4.0, better power to weight ratio than a 4.0.

The reason that everyone thinks the engine is underpowered is the POS auto transmission that was put in the 07-11. That transmission is undergeared so bad that even a rubi with the auto and 4.10 is geared worse than my manual rubi on 35's.

Thats the problem with the JK's NOT the engine. I love the 3.8.
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:15 PM   #16
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3.6 in 12's and 13's is better. Or they just have a better tranny in them.
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:28 PM   #17
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Mine is a 2nd vehicle for fun, so I had time and could find a project. I bought an '08 with 110k miles and an engine knock for $9k, put in a new engine and soft top and I was at $13k. Of course, I went further...Click image for larger version

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Old 04-18-2013, 02:36 PM   #18
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I find my 09 3.8 with 6 speed 2.5 lift 33.5" tires has good power .
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:37 PM   #19
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I cannot stand when people say that the 3.8 is underpowered. No its not underpowered. It has better power numbers than a 4.0, better power to weight ratio than a 4.0.

The reason that everyone thinks the engine is underpowered is the POS auto transmission that was put in the 07-11. That transmission is undergeared so bad that even a rubi with the auto and 4.10 is geared worse than my manual rubi on 35's.

Thats the problem with the JK's NOT the engine. I love the 3.8.
The OP like most prefer the 3.6 over the 3.8. Torque numbers for the 4.0 may be lower but more available in low rpm's. Lots of people love the 4.0 too, doesn't mean it'll compare well to a new 3.6.

So answering the OP's question, if looking for a used JK, I'd buy a 12' over an 11' due to the 3.6 motor. Definitely didn't say anything was wrong with the 3.8.

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