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Old 01-05-2012, 12:55 PM   #1
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Looking to Purchase new 2012 Jeep Unlimited to replace GMC 2500 HD

Hello Fellow Jeepers,

First off, I want to mention that although I'm looking to switch vehicles (A GMC to a new Unlimited 4d), I'm currently a Jeep owner. BUT...my jeep is a 1946 Willys CJ-2A, sooooo I've never really owned a newer Jeep. Hence, why I would like to ask a few questions of this forum's users, in hopes to make a more wise purchase.

Currently, my daily is a 2008 GMC 2500 HD 6L gasser. I'll include a pic with my willys below. I'm wanting to down grade in size (lengeth), and want to get better fuel economy (currently get no better than 11mpg) and I know the 2012's 3.6L has 285hp and up to 21 mpg. I've scanned through quite a few pages already to answer some questions, but being that the 2012 is a newer rig, it seems that I'm finding only a few things I'd like answered. I apologize if these questions have already been asked/answered.

So...the onslaught of questions:

1. What lift should I use? I hunt, offroad, and even rock crawl in the great state of Idaho (if that helps) I am learning that there could be problems with the driveline/exhaust with lifting from articles/videos online. I want at least 35" tires.

2. Transmission: Auto/stick. Being a crawler (with my Willys specifically), I've always been inclined to go stick. A few videos and reviews say the auto is just as good for road use as for off road. Opinions? Is the manual an easy shifter?

3. 4:10 in the pumpkins? My CJ-2A runs 5:38's and my gear ratio in 1st low is close to 94:1. I know that I'm not going to be doing that in the new Jeep, but does the 4:10 make a difference when putting around in the hills/rocks? Or on the road?

4. Leather/clothe? I've owned nothing other than leather/naga for quite a few years and love the easy clean smooth feel. But, I've owned vehicles (*cough* GM) where the leather cracked and fell apart in 5 years. Is the leather seating seem to be rugged enough for in and out use? Or even the clothe?

5. Is Quadrotec a good place for Jeep parts/access/supplies?

6. Rubicon or fancy it up with the MW3 version? I definitely want the Rubicon model. I heard the MW3 version is a Rubicon with fancy duds. Anyone on here have the MW3 version and what are your opinions?

7. I have two small girls, both of which are in car seats. Does the back seating take car seats well, or is it a cramped fit? (e.g. do you have to slide the front seats up just to fit them in?)

8. I want a black hard top for off roading (read branches and the like skidding across it) does the black coating stand up to brush and tree limbs? AND...once summer hits I'll rip that bad boy off. Are the hard tops easy to remove (i.e wires, clips/bolts/clamps, etc)?

9. How well does the instrument cluster work (knobs, buttons, nav)? Are they clunky or well designed for a Jeep?

10. When I go into the dealership, what are some questions I should ask, things I should looks for, or keep an eye out for when looking over or test driving the rig (I still haven't, but plan to this week).

Alas, I know there are a lot of questions here, probably more in my head that won't leak out at the moment. If my fellow Jeep friends would be kind enough to help me out, I would greatly appreciate it. And...if there's something here I missed that I need to know, feel free to tell me. I just want to make a wise purchase. Thanks everyone!

As promised, my 1946 CJ-2A and my current GMC daily driver.

http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w...n/DSCN1739.jpg

http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w.../P2130005a.jpg

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Old 01-05-2012, 01:12 PM   #2
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Ill answer a few:

5. Is Quadratec a good place for Jeep parts/access/supplies?
Yep. I buy a lot of my stuff there. Usually the first place I look. Wife bought me some goodies from there for xmas

6. Rubicon or fancy it up with the MW3 version? I definitely want the Rubicon model. I heard the MW3 version is a Rubicon with fancy duds. Anyone on here have the MW3 version and what are your opinions?
For the difference in price between the MW3 and Rubi, you could build up a pretty sweet rig. However, if youre going to build something up, just get a Sport and go from there.


7. I have to small girls, both of which are in car seats. Does the back seating take car seats well, or is it a cramped fit? (e.g. do you have to slide the front seats up just to fit them in?)

I have one small girl in a rear facing carseat in the back and it fits fine behind the passenger seat. Im 6'2 and can still sit in front of the carseat in the front without eating my knees

9. How well does the instrument cluster work (knobs, buttons, nav)? Are they clunky or well designed for a Jeep?


I think the ergonomics are pretty good. I do have a bit of a beef with the signal stock though; operation seems kinda cheap feeling. :/ YMMV


Good luck with the shopping. You wont regret it

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Old 01-05-2012, 01:43 PM   #3
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Hey, welcome! and from one newb to another -

Just took delivery of a '12 JKUS and with two kids in the back on a regular basis, I'm qualified to answer #7 -

The back seat is adequate in terms of room between the front and rear seats. I'm 5'11" but i tend to drive with the seat back further than most folks, and there is ample legroom for passengers and my 8 yr old (booster seat) and 4 year old (car seat facing front). But one thing that is somewhat difficult to navigate in the JKUS is that the rear seat back angle is not adjustable. My relatively new child car seat is NOT adustable in terms of the angle at which it sits (incline), making fitting it into the rear seats a bit of a challenge, but it is doable. Unlike sedans Ive owned previously, the rear seat is less inclined and more upright, causing the child seat to just barely still sit firmly on the seat bottom without hanging over.

For this reason above, you may want to consider cloth seats. In my previous experience, fitting a child seat into a vehicle in the manner I described above requires you to strap it down rather firmly so it doesnt move - a manner that typically depresses the leather seat supports underneath leaving lasting depressions in the leather and foam beneath it. My JKUS has leather, and while the leather is thicker and less supple than the leather in my Infiniti G35 was, i will rotate the seat to ther side every few months to avoid the lasting dents on the seats.

Good luck in your search! And nice Willys!
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:13 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses so far. Talk about quick responses. And I must say, this forum is quite active!

I think I will just take the seats out of the back of my truck and see how well they fit at the dealership. If they don't like that idea, they'll have to just eat rocks. My wife and I have been thinking of getting a lower profile seat for our two year old since the car seat in the back of my Jag ('10 XFR) makes her knees nearly touch the back of the seat, and I know this isn't safe. Oh, and for both seats, we purchased Eddy Bauer seat pads and it seems to keep the leather on my Jag seats from getting damaged (fyi). They're not to bad priced, and you can get them nearly everywhere (i.e. Target).

I thought of another question: What performance mods are not only popular, but beneficial (e.g. power, fuel economy, torque)? I know the '12 has only been out for a bit, and there might not be all that much available for it. But I thought I'd ask.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:34 PM   #5
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Welcome to the Forum, you've got some great questions.

I can't answer many of them, sorry. Mine is a JK 08.

Quadratech has given me great service with no hassle on a couple small return items. Certainly I'd buy from them for bigger items as well.

I grew up in the Eisenhower/Kennedy era learning to drive in a CJ 2 and dirt bikes in the grand Owyhee/Ada Co outback. Times and access has changed, but it was amazing what the old standard miliary universal bar skinny tires would do, and 'lifts' were unheard of.

You'll find even your stock JKU more like warp drive in the Enterprise in comparison.

Your CJ2 looks ready for action.

If that sage brush is SW region, for your entertainment: I recently drove up the old Rocky Canyon Road and down through Roby Creek after 40 years absence. It's far more civilized these days. Didn't have time to take the old Idaho City "Stage Road" route, but it looked pretty tame from the south end at least.

All your choices are pretty much of a personal nature. Re: transmission choices: as a geezer I've come to appreciate the virtues of autos. They are much improved and offer considerable advantages in rough terrain. Take a close look before you decide.
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:45 PM   #6
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im not at all qualified to help you with your questions but i just wanted to let you know that i would kill for your cj-2a
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacGordon View Post

2. Transmission: Auto/stick. Being a crawler (with my Willys specifically), I've always been inclined to go stick. A few videos and reviews say the auto is just as good for road use as for off road. Opinions? Is the manual an easy shifter?

I think the auto, unlike past decades, probably is better than, or at least as good, as the manual offroad--especially for guys like me who do BTM on rocky stuff.

3. 4:10 in the pumpkins? My CJ-2A runs 5:38's and my gear ratio in 1st low is close to 94:1. I know that I'm not going to be doing that in the new Jeep, but does the 4:10 make a difference when putting around in the hills/rocks? Or on the road?

IMO, the rear gearing will mostly impact how you do in 2w or 4w HI. In lo range, the Rubi is geared so low, especially when paired with the 285 HP Pentastar, that a 10% increase in gearing won't make much of a difference. So, it's mostly an on-road issue I think. Mine has the 3.73, and works fine. the 4.10 might be a bit better, but either will work.

6. Rubicon or fancy it up with the MW3 version? I definitely want the Rubicon model. I heard the MW3 version is a Rubicon with fancy duds. Anyone on here have the MW3 version and what are your opinions?

This is a personal-preference thing, but I don't like flashy things that have no function. I got the Rubi, and am spending the difference on the functional things I like.

7. I have two small girls, both of which are in car seats. Does the back seating take car seats well, or is it a cramped fit? (e.g. do you have to slide the front seats up just to fit them in?)

How old are the girls? My last two vehicles ('03 GMC Crew Cab 2500; '06 H2) had much bigger rear seats, but my boys now can fit in the booster seats, which don't take up nearly as much room as the full-scale seats. That makes a huge difference in the jeep. Switch to those as soon as it's safe. It also makes it a lot easier to go on cargo-intensive missions without the kids and just easily place the seat back in the back when done.

9. How well does the instrument cluster work (knobs, buttons, nav)? Are they clunky or well designed for a Jeep?

I went from the big GM truck cluster to the Rubi, and it's just fine. Some things you will like better. Some, you will like less. And, after a few weeks, you will barely remember anything else.
Good luck.
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aspohr89 View Post
im not at all qualified to help you with your questions but i just wanted to let you know that i would kill for your cj-2a
Much thanks! Took me 4 years and a lot of ingenuity.

And to MarineHawk:

One daughter is 2.5 yrs, one 2.5 months. I definitely want to get our oldest into a booster as soon as it's safe and legal. I just think it's ridiculous how large those seats are!

To JeeperJake:

That pic was it's maiden voyage after I completed it. We were driving through the gentler hilly parts of the Owyhees heading to a little area called Boyscout Camp (just past the weight station near Marsing) We have found quite a few rock crawling areas back in there. I absolutely love the Owyhees. Since it's first run after being rebuilt (2005), it's been all over those mountains, and several trips to Wyoming.

It runs pretty good with the Buick 231 oddfire V6, an old GM SM420 4 speed tranny with a 7:1 1st gear. The bottom and inside of the tub are rhino lined, new top, body work and paint, and a whole mess of other contraptions to make it easier to drive (hanging pedals, power steering and brakes, new seats, etc).

And Aspohr89: I actually had someone drive up to me on a 4 lane road while driving and yelled at me that he'd buy my Jeep that instant. Ha!
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:37 PM   #9
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Welcome to the forum. I have a '12 Wrangler Unlimited Sahara that I wish was a Rubicon.

So...the onslaught of questions:

1. What lift should I use? I hunt, offroad, and even rock crawl in the great state of Idaho (if that helps) I am learning that there could be problems with the driveline/exhaust with lifting from articles/videos online. I want at least 35" tires.

I have a 2.5 with 33" tires on 16" wheels, gets the job done, and I don't need a new rear tire carrier as the 33" spare is light enough. You can put 35" on a 2.5 lift, but you'll need a new tire carrier, which usually means a new rear bumper.

2. Transmission: Auto/stick. Being a crawler (with my Willys specifically), I've always been inclined to go stick. A few videos and reviews say the auto is just as good for road use as for off road. Opinions? Is the manual an easy shifter?

From what I have read the serious crawlers are now using automatic. With two kids in the back, you may want an automatic based on the ability to swat one while driving (Don't make me stop this Jeep and come back there) Naturally I am not advocating swatting a child with anything less than an approved non-violent, non-abrassive item, or using harsh words that may affect their self-esteem.

3. 4:10 in the pumpkins? My CJ-2A runs 5:38's and my gear ratio in 1st low is close to 94:1. I know that I'm not going to be doing that in the new Jeep, but does the 4:10 make a difference when putting around in the hills/rocks? Or on the road?

My Sahara now is now geared at 4.88, I like it. Never experienced the 4.10, but from what everyone has told me, mine are bigger now

4. Leather/clothe? I've owned nothing other than leather/naga for quite a few years and love the easy clean smooth feel. But, I've owned vehicles (*cough* GM) where the leather cracked and fell apart in 5 years. Is the leather seating seem to be rugged enough for in and out use? Or even the clothe?

The leather is nice and seems to be durable. Only had mine since Sept, but it cleans up well, and my 14, 12, and 10 year olds haven't trashed it yet.

5. Is Quadrotec a good place for Jeep parts/access/supplies?

The short answer is yes. There are other smaller vendors here as well. I own a small business, so I like to support other small businesses. Given that, I have ordered from Quadretec and their service is good. I often use their site to research items I can't find easily.

6. Rubicon or fancy it up with the MW3 version? I definitely want the Rubicon model. I heard the MW3 version is a Rubicon with fancy duds. Anyone on here have the MW3 version and what are your opinions?

Totally your call. I like my creature comforts, if the MW3 has stuff you like, go for it. But you may want to make it yours based on what you want rather than what a marketing person thought would sell. If it trips your trigger, I say yes.

7. I have two small girls, both of which are in car seats. Does the back seating take car seats well, or is it a cramped fit? (e.g. do you have to slide the front seats up just to fit them in?)

While my crew is out of car seats, I think an earlier post covered that. As you probably do all ready, but a towel underneath the car seat to prevent the permanent mark in the leather. Puke always comes off leather, not so much off cloth.

8. I want a black hard top for off roading (read branches and the like skidding across it) does the black coating stand up to brush and tree limbs? AND...once summer hits I'll rip that bad boy off. Are the hard tops easy to remove (i.e wires, clips/bolts/clamps, etc)?

I would suggest getting the standard black top rather than the matching painted version. Scrapes will show on the painted version. Come to my house if you need proof. And that idiot that took us down a bike path has already heard about it from me. The top comes off very easily. You can replace the bolts with knobs if you are inclined to, I don't think its that big a deal, and I generally make the switch 4 times per year max. If you get the rear wiper and defogger, it's a clip and a pinch, and they are disconnected. There are also a number of high quality soft tops available, you may want to wait to buy a soft top till you see all the cool stuff out there, at least I wish I had.

9. How well does the instrument cluster work (knobs, buttons, nav)? Are they clunky or well designed for a Jeep?

Took me a week to get used to the cluster. Love the 730N, its expensive, but as I stated above, I like my creature comforts. Love voice commands that work with the top down.

10. When I go into the dealership, what are some questions I should ask, things I should looks for, or keep an eye out for when looking over or test driving the rig (I still haven't, but plan to this week).

If you are military there are programs to get you 1 or 2% below invoice. Joining Tread Lightly will get you 1% below invoice. There are some other threads about how to prepare yourself for the dealer. I knew what I wanted, I had the financing squared away prior, and I told them I would walk away if this took over 3 hours. 2 hours 50 minutes later I drove away in the most fun vehicle I have ever owned.

Just ask, there are a ton of answers, and people are here to share their knowledge. Have fun.
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Old 01-05-2012, 03:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanJKunlimited2012 View Post
Welcome to the forum. I have a '12 Wrangler Unlimited Sahara that I wish was a Rubicon.


2. Transmission: Auto/stick. Being a crawler (with my Willys specifically), I've always been inclined to go stick. A few videos and reviews say the auto is just as good for road use as for off road. Opinions? Is the manual an easy shifter?

From what I have read the serious crawlers are now using automatic. With two kids in the back, you may want an automatic based on the ability to swat one while driving (Don't make me stop this Jeep and come back there) Naturally I am not advocating swatting a child with anything less than an approved non-violent, non-abrassive item, or using harsh words that may affect their self-esteem.
Thanks Ryan! Tons of great info. My favorite of course is your quote above!

After doing more internet research here in the past couple hours, as cool as the MW3 version is (and I'm a big MW fan), it just seems a little over priced. When playing around on the Jeep.com site I thought the rubicon and MW3 were both the same base price, but it show's the "BASE" price for all unlimiteds at the top, not per the model, lol.

Very helpful and super fast help from this forum community. I'm quite impressed.
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:13 PM   #11
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New Question: Anyone tow with theirs, and how well does it do, and what do you pull?
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:42 AM   #12
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I have an 05 GMC 2500 Crew cab and just purchased a 2012 Rubicon 4dr Unlimited...Love it. Haven't done much to it other than put a Rough Country 2.5" spacer lift and 325/65R18 Nitto's and Fuel Krank wheels. Still have the 2500 so I can have best of both worlds as I hunt, work, play in my 2500 while use the Rubi as a fun family convertible. I have 3 kids, 12, 10, 8 and we all fit in it just fine. A lot more foot room than I imagined. Bought it to enjoy, payoff, and give to my 12 yo when he turns 16, as i have 2 more coming up behind him.

I enjoy the new Pentastar and have not really noticed a power/lag difference in switching to the larger tire set up.

It takes a while to get used to the doors not staying open when you are trying to exit the cab. I put the WeatherTech floor/cargo liners in as there is a definite need if you hunt/fish or kids in sports!!!

I would like to add front/rear bumper, tire carrier, cameras, winch, and back up lights in the next few months. tube doors, extra lighting, etc for the summer...
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:31 AM   #13
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Just a side note that has nothing to do with your questions, if you want to match that Jeep in your avatar I think the new Gecko Green color would be spot on.

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/off...gs-135525.html


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Old 02-07-2012, 08:00 PM   #14
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I tow =D not a whole lot but she does just fine with my two other toys, and I wouldn't be the least bit hesitant to throw some more weight at her either. Also not to mention the box is filled with about a hundred lbs of tools and about another 100 in spare parts

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