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Old 06-06-2014, 12:02 PM   #1
JerseyDriver's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Philly Burbs
Posts: 107
New JKU Help

What do I need to know when shopping for a new (or lightly used) JKU? I have an '89 YJ now, and don't know much about JK's except that I want one and it's time to upgrade.

So... any models, features, or options that I should insist on? Or anything that I should avoid?
Long term plan is getting it off road capable. Wife will drive it as pavement princess for a few years before I take it over and start customizing for off road.
I doubt that the Ruby is gonna be in the budget with the already geared 4.10, but does it make sense to pay the extra now for a Ruby, or just get a Sport or Sahara... and then upgrade it later?

Any help is appreciated. Never really looked into JK's because I didn't want to tempt myself before. But now I'm ready and I don't want to regret getting a certain model if I can avoid it.


'89 YJ Sahara
4" lift, sitting on 33's, winch, light bar
(hoping to do an 8.8 swap one of these days)
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Old 06-06-2014, 12:09 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 8,141
VERY general:

2007-2008 sometimes burn oil.

2012 got the new Pentastar 3.6 engine, which is supposed to be superior to earlier models, but it is also known to have an issue with the heads cracking.

Differences in price between a 2012+ are typically so close to retail that you can get a brand new JK for just a couple of thousand more than what you'd pay for a used, plus you get the full warranty and no worries of what a previous owner may have done to it.

Trim level is really personal preference. You have to decide which options are important to you and then figure out which trim levels offers those options and go from there. Rubicon guys will tell you to get a Rubicon. Guys who are very handy will tell you go get a Sport and build it up. There's just too many personal factors in trying to help decide a trim level without knowing more about what you want/need.

Good luck!
2014 JKU FE - 'Celticon' - Hydro Blue Pearl - Auto - 3.73 - Premium Soft Top - TeraFlex 2.5" Lift w/Rancho 9000xl Shocks - 15" MBTKO/33" DuraTracs - ACE Rock Sliders/Cargo Basket - Rampage Recovery Bumper
My build thread: StarBrite's Celticon

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