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Old 10-09-2011, 10:29 PM   #1
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No complaints about my 2012 Wrangler

I took delivery of my 2012 Rubicon 2 door, 3.73 Auto, dual top, pwr cnv, tow package, on the 27th of September and have put 800 miles on it since.

I am about as critical as anyone can be of the Jeep brand, as I am a lifelong Jeep owner, and have owned CJ's, TJ's, Liberty's, Wagoneer's, and now a JK. I also just came out of a 05 Tacoma and the Wife drives a 09 Volvo, so I know what quality is.

All of that to say that I am surprised at how content I am with Jeep's current attempt at the Universal Jeep (CJ YJ TJ JK)

The Good:

The Engine: is a rocket, really feels like a small block Chevy V-8, and I am an old school hot rodder. Fastest, most powerful open top Jeep bar none, and I have driven V-8 CJ-5's. The way I guage power is a 60-80 sprint....gearing and torque can make even the biggest slug feel like a dragster off the line...but punching it from 60 mph will tell you what you have. The new engine covers that gap in a matter of seconds...I cannot say how impressed I am, especially in a two door with the top and doors off. Even with a 4 door hard top Jeep, you wouldn't be winning and races, but I think it will be on par with your average v-8 full size pick up truck.

The A580 Auto Trans: Excellent, no problems with accidental downshifting as some early owners reported. Mine takes a solid push either way to change gears. Transmission is smooth, and crisp, and does not compression break too badly when you don't need it. For example, I walked away from a 10 Challenger Auto because everytime you lifted off the throttle it instantly slowed by 10 mph...even in top gear. So if you were cruising on a back road and lifted for any reason, if felt like you were dragging the brakes. Multiple units did this as I test drove thee. The old 42RLE did he same thing.

Hill start assist is a neat feature, holds the brake for 2 seconds upon releasing to hold you until you can get on the throttle.

The Interior:
I ordered the leather seats and power windows, etc. The heated seats are excellent and are much warmer than the wife's Volvo. The interior fit and finish is as good as any domestic, and is very nice overall. The controls are fine and have a quality feel. Again, not on the same level as a European car, but the best I have seen from Chrysler Group.

I have taken off the hard top twice, once to remove the soft top, and once to cruise open topped. I have had the Freedom Panels out twice in addition to the above removals. I checked for leaks when I bought it, and found none. I have checked for leaks after removing the top both times, and found none. But...I can see how a careless individual could screw up the Freedom Panels and cause a leak. Follow the directions and use care and I would think you will be fine.

Exterior: Paint and trim were flawless. Paint is decent for a domestic with very little orange peel and body gaps were good. Underneath is nicely painted unlike some domestics.



The Bad:

Defects: I found the cover on the rear wiper arm broken upon taking delivery, dealer covered with no questions asked. Also the rear wiper motor cover on the inside was not snapped into place. I snapped it in, but this was missed at the factory.

Steering/Drive: With the Rubicon Mud Terrains and the old school steering linkage and box, the steering is very touchy. If feels like your riding on marshmallows, which is not uncommon for new Mud Terrains as I have worn out several sets of BFG MT's and Goodyear MTR's, but couple that with the steering, and the Jeep is very hard to keep going straight down the road. Any twitch of the wheel and your nearly changing lanes. I would recommend driving a Rubicon before you buy it if this sounds like a problem to you. The Sports I have driven have not been as bad, but still have the wandering and sensitive steering since the hardware for the steering is the same across all model lines. It is just the tires are street tires so there is less wallowing from the lugs.

I am going to try 1/8th inch Toe Out in an attempt to improve tracking, but we will see.


Overall Impression:


Fix the steering and I think the 2012 JK is a solid 8 out of 10. By far and away the best open top Jeep I have ever owned, and I think the best open top Jeep ever produced. While it doesn't have the fit and finish of an Audi, or the quality of a Honda, Jeep has came a long way with the 2012 model and I think most of the general public would be happy with driving one on a daily basis now....something that was not true just a year ago.

Would I trade my TJ for a 2012? Finally I can say yes. The new engine and trans finally overcomes the fabled 4.0L inline from the past.

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Old 10-09-2011, 11:01 PM   #2
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The touchy steering issue is interesting. Yesterday I drove two 2012 JKU unlimiteds one auto one 6spd both rubicons with 4.10 gears. I didnt notice it on the 6 spd but on the auto it seemed a little squirrelly. Since the wind had picked up I assumed that was the issue also thought air pressure could have been a cause but I would be curious if others have noticed this

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Old 10-09-2011, 11:12 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by basecamper
The touchy steering issue is interesting. Yesterday I drove two 2012 JKU unlimiteds one auto one 6spd both rubicons with 4.10 gears. I didnt notice it on the 6 spd but on the auto it seemed a little squirrelly. Since the wind had picked up I assumed that was the issue also thought air pressure could have been a cause but I would be curious if others have noticed this
The Unlimiteds with their longer wheelbase are less twitchy from my experience. I drove 2 doors and 4 doors in both manual and auto, in both sport and rubi. (My best friend is a salesman for a large dealer....but after the 8th Jeep he still told me "Hey, if you want to ride the rides, go to Six Flags!!!").

It will also be dependent on what you are used to. I came out of a Tacoma with rack and pinion, and the Wife's Volvo is a C30, the sportiest Volvo they make, so with the exception of my 46 CJ2A, I havent driven a Jeep daily in over a year.
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:12 PM   #4
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Strange that, unlike yours, the steering/tracking of my 2012 Rubi is flawless. Best handling in terms of steering of any vehicle I can remember.

But, I am one of those early orderers with the hair-trigger downshift problem.

Because you, and lots of others, have properly working shifters, I know mine can be fixed (Jeep is working on the problem.) And, I hope that the fact I, and others, don't have any sort of steering or tracking problem, as you and others have described, means that your problem can be remedied!
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Up Hill Bill
Strange that, unlike yours, the steering/tracking of my 2012 Rubi is flawless. Best handling in terms of steering of any vehicle I can remember.

But, I am one of those early orderers with the hair-trigger downshift problem.

Because you, and lots of others, have properly working shifters, I know mine can be fixed (Jeep is working on the problem.) And, I hope that the fact I, and others, don't have any sort of steering or tracking problem, as you and others have described, means that your problem can be remedied!
I think mine probably is an alignment issue. I've heard many say on TJ and JK a 1/8" toe out helps out with a host of problems.
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:17 PM   #6
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I have not taken delivery yet on my Rubi and have already been looking to trade out my BFG MT's but won't take a bath on them. I had not heard about this squirrelly steering problem, but had heard that they are not great in the rain...which we get six months of here in No. Cal. I may have to bite the bullet and take what I can get for them.
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:25 PM   #7
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If you know so much about jeeps and hot roding, why on earth would you Buy a 12 rubi with the 3.73 when the much better and needed 4.10 is there for like $50 bucks or so. I test drove a new 12 Jesus jeep last weekend in Joplin mo and was not the least bit impressed. Jeep should not even offer any lower then the 4.10 and then offer at least 4.56-4.88-5.13 and 5.38. The pentastar is a gutless, torque less wonder with no balls just like most V 6 engines of the day! You got to wind it up to get anything out of it.
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:45 PM   #8
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If you know so much about jeeps and hot roding, why on earth would you Buy a 12 rubi with the 3.73 when the much better and needed 4.10 is there for like $50 bucks or so. I test drove a new 12 Jesus jeep last weekend in Joplin mo and was not the least bit impressed. Jeep should not even offer any lower then the 4.10 and then offer at least 4.56-4.88-5.13 and 5.38. The pentastar is a gutless, torque less wonder with no balls just like most V 6 engines of the day! You got to wind it up to get anything out of it.
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by KSCRUDE
If you know so much about jeeps and hot roding, why on earth would you Buy a 12 rubi with the 3.73 when the much better and needed 4.10 is there for like $50 bucks or so. I test drove a new 12 Jesus jeep last weekend in Joplin mo and was not the least bit impressed. Jeep should not even offer any lower then the 4.10 and then offer at least 4.56-4.88-5.13 and 5.38. The pentastar is a gutless, torque less wonder with no balls just like most V 6 engines of the day! You got to wind it up to get anything out of it.
While your post doesn't warrant a response, I will against my better judgement. I opted for the 3.73's because of the 4:1 transfer case. The 4.1 case is utterly useless for anything other than rock crawling. So my theory was, opt for the higher axle gears to make up for the low range issues that I will see in Missouri mud and snow.

I will not lift my Jeep, nor will I run larger tires. If those were my plans, I would have opted for a Sport and chucked the factory axles anyway. This Jeep is a daily driver that will be used, like all of my Jeeps are, to get from point A to point B off road, I am not a member of the "Tear it Up" crowd who inhabits most of the Midwest.....I spent the last decade as a cop so I avoid the tattooed, beer swilling rednecks that infest our local "mud holes".

And for god sakes....5.38's??? My Willys has factory 5.38's and has a top speed of about 50 mph on 29" tires........ Even with an overdrive trans and 32" tires of the modern Rubi's you would be spinning some high rpm's at 70mph. That's what the aftermarket is for.....
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Old 10-10-2011, 12:14 AM   #10
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It looks to me that you know about as much about jeeps and gearing as the op. I have a 11 jeep, auto 3.73 with 32 inch tires and it turns about 1900 @ 70 MPH. I am going to regear in the next week or two and am debating between 4.88 which is about 2475 @ 70 MPH or 5.13 which is about 2600 @ 70 MPH. I would even consider 5.38 ratio but with my Dana 30 up front I am limited to 5.13. I believe JIMBOX regarded to 5.38 in his jkur recently and is loving every minute of it. Oh and I only plan to run stock size tires so I am leaning towards the 4.88. Your old willies is a whole different animal so we will let it be out of respect for all old jeeps.
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Old 10-10-2011, 12:20 AM   #11
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It looks to me that you know about as much about jeeps and gearing as the op. I have a 11 jeep, auto 3.73 with 32 inch tires and it turns about 1900 @ 70 MPH. I am going to regear in the next week or two and am debating between 4.88 which is about 2475 @ 70 MPH or 5.13 which is about 2600 @ 70 MPH. I would even consider 5.38 ratio but with my Dana 30 up front I am limited to 5.13. I believe JIMBOX regarded to 5.38 in his jkur recently and is loving every minute of it. Oh and I only plan to run stock size tires so I am leaning towards the 4.88. Your old willies is a whole different animal so we will let it be out of respect for all old jeeps.
Why is it that the people who dismiss the Pentastar with the most vigor all own 2011 JKs?
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Old 10-10-2011, 12:34 AM   #12
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Why is it that the people who dismiss the Pentastar with the most vigor all own 2011 JKs?
And if I may ask, what ratio did you get in you new jeep?
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:44 AM   #13
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Why would 4lo be a decision in gear ratio? It is an option you hardly ever use unless rock crawling. 4 hi is all you ever need on 99.99% of trails and 4.10 gears are so much better in 2wd and 4hi. Not sure of the logic of choosing 3.73 because of 4lo. But If you do need 4lo then the lower the better for final gears anyways.
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:46 AM   #14
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It looks to me that you know about as much about jeeps and gearing as the op.
I bet that's because he IS the OP.
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:47 AM   #15
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Why is it that the people who dismiss the Pentastar with the most vigor all own 2011 JKs?
He also likes chrome, lots of chrome.
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Old 10-10-2011, 02:26 AM   #16
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I have about 500 miles on my 2012 Unlimited with 3.73s. So far I have not noticed any quick downshifting issues. In fact, I sometimes have to push it a little harder than I want to in order to get a downshift, but then it holds the gear and rapidly accelerates until I really let off of it. The transmission seems to want to stay in the ECO range most of the time which I guess is a good thing. To the person who complained about the lack of power--I own a Pontiac GTO with 475HP/500TQ, so while the Jeep is a far cry from that, it still has plenty of power for a 4X4, and the power is great both on and off road. The steering is fantastic and tracks straight--no squirrelly issues here. As you can tell, so far I am very pleased with the 2012.
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:15 AM   #17
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Hmm, I just got a 2012 JKU with 3.73, LSD. I don't know much about gearing (yet) but it seems to perform quite nicely. It has enough pickup and acceleration so I don't feel like shoving the pedal into the firewall all the time. I test drove a 2011 to decide if I even can live with a Jeep as DD and with a 2011 the answer would have been no. Automatic, 4 speed, no way. And the manual was just geared too short in the first two gears for my taste. Engine, asthmatic getting on the freeway. But I am sure someone else feels completely different about that.
Now, since I don't go rock crawling the 2012 as configured is fine for me. It'll do fine on California back roads and in the snow in Tahoe.

I think there are so many different options and aftermarket things to upgrade that there is no "better" in a universal sense. We all have different uses. While as a newbie I learn a lot from this forum and posts like this one, I just wish some folks wouldn't go on a Jihad every time someone prefers a different gear ratio or tire size than themselves.
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:41 AM   #18
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And I know that the new 12 auto has a way better overdrive ratio then the 11 and previous year JK wranglers and if I had that 5 speed auto in my 11 I wouldn't have near as bad a need to regear as I do now. I probably wouldn't even need to regear at all with the new 5 speed auto and the 3.6 engine. But the sad fact is I have a 2011 and it is still 2011 last time I looked and it is probably the most miss geared vehicle I have ever owned. And that new 12 model jeep I drove was a auto with the 3.21 and it was slightly better then my 11 4 speed auto with the 3.73 but not by much. I wanted to drive a 4.10 or 3.73 but just about every new one I have seen on a lot has the 3.21 ratio as the order guy is so far out of it that he can't check the 3.73 option and they get the standard 3.21 and thus save what $50 dollars I am thinking and end up with another miss geared vehicle to sell to the unknowing John Q Public. But life is good and if all I ever have to worry about is the gear ratios in my jeep I am a fortunate man, and for about 2 k I can make this gear problem go away and find something elso to complain about!
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:38 AM   #19
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Why would 4lo be a decision in gear ratio? It is an option you hardly ever use unless rock crawling. 4 hi is all you ever need on 99.99% of trails and 4.10 gears are so much better in 2wd and 4hi. Not sure of the logic of choosing 3.73 because of 4lo. But If you do need 4lo then the lower the better for final gears anyways.
Your right, but.....I wanted factory lockers, leather heated seats, and the sway bar disconnect all in a factory package with a warranty. Had Jeep offered a standard transfer case instead of the 4:1, I may have opted for the 4.10's.

Another factor in choosing the 3.73's was the fact that I drive my Jeeps.....A LOT!!! I've taken Wranglers on trips several states away, thousands of miles, and put around 25k a year on them. So highway drivability and mileage was a factor in my decision.

For me, the 3.73's are perfect for the tire size and transmission gear ratio's.....that's why Jeep made the 3.73's standard in the auto this year because the gear ratios are different than the 42RLE.

Oh, and low gears dont necessarily make a better 4x4. You need wheel speed to push through mud or snow....wheel speed to clear the lugs.....if you have low t case gears and low axle gears, your not going to be able to spin the tires fast enough to clear the lugs.....in low range at least, where the factory lockers work.......a mud truck and a rock crawler are nothing alike......not many rocks here in Missouri.
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:36 AM   #20
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a mud truck and a rock crawler are nothing alike......not many rocks here in Missouri.
I agree, getting through a 2 mile greasy muddy road or the same road with occasional 3 foot drifts sometimes takes velocity and momentum to get you through the obstacle. I did get the 4:1 t-case just in case I make some trips to the mountains. However, I'm pinning my hopes on getting one of the "superchip" programs, so that I can lock both front and rear while in 4 hi. I suppose it will be a few months before the software techs get the code for the 2012's. I hope that my decision won't haunt me. We live in Nebraska on a very hilly country road lined with brush. In 60 MPH blizzards, every bush makes a 2 to 3 foot drift going across the road. Our road becomes impassable by all cars and some 4x4's for weeks at a time.

Also, I'm no expert but the pentastar with 4:1 seems very fast and responsive. This off-road beast steers and tracks down the road like a laser and is a joy to drive with all the amenities of a luxury sedan. That being said, the steering wheel is very sensitive. You don't want to give it any unnecessary commands.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:04 AM   #21
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I bet that's because he IS the OP.
This gave me a good laugh this morning. It was still a true statement, but I was mostly laughing at myself. Maybe the three crown and sodas last night had a little effect on my posting.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:16 AM   #22
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Don't worry, KS-I think it's just VEX with a new seasoned attempt at entry !

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Old 10-10-2011, 10:08 AM   #23
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Your right, but.....I wanted factory lockers, leather heated seats, and the sway bar disconnect all in a factory package with a warranty. Had Jeep offered a standard transfer case instead of the 4:1, I may have opted for the 4.10's.

Another factor in choosing the 3.73's was the fact that I drive my Jeeps.....A LOT!!! I've taken Wranglers on trips several states away, thousands of miles, and put around 25k a year on them. So highway drivability and mileage was a factor in my decision.

For me, the 3.73's are perfect for the tire size and transmission gear ratio's.....that's why Jeep made the 3.73's standard in the auto this year because the gear ratios are different than the 42RLE.

Oh, and low gears dont necessarily make a better 4x4. You need wheel speed to push through mud or snow....wheel speed to clear the lugs.....if you have low t case gears and low axle gears, your not going to be able to spin the tires fast enough to clear the lugs.....in low range at least, where the factory lockers work.......a mud truck and a rock crawler are nothing alike......not many rocks here in Missouri.
Too me the V-6 and even the 3.6 especially preforms better at higher RPM. that is where their power band is but that ok if you like the 3.73 but still 4.10 should be a dream gear for the new Jeeps and that new tranny when it doesn't even peak to 6000rpms. But if you like it thats fine too.

But why would you be in 4lo in that situation? If you need speed to clear the lugs then you shouldn't be in 4lo to begin with. That's why there is 4hi - 4lo. 4lo suppose to be for super slow crawling not for driving in the snow or for going fast enough through mud to clean out the lugs.
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:39 AM   #24
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Front and Rear Lockers in 4 Hi

I really think that for certain rare instances, having both front and rear locked and having the speed of 4 hi would be the cat's ass!!!!! Especially in deep mud, going up a hill in deep mud or deep snow, going through a 2 foot deep drift that is 100 feet long etc.... I've been using 4x4's for 35 years in mostly snow and mud. My home sits atop a hill on a hilly country road. When the road turns to slime and you have to fight both gravity and no traction for 200 yards, only speed, fast spinning tires, lots of steering commands and some luck gets you to the top. Sometimes you just need speed to carry you through the obstacle. On rocky steep trails, that's why I have the 4:1 gears and 4 lo.
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:49 AM   #25
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It's interesting to read how different people view the Wrangler's handling.
My opinion is it steers fast, but handles poorly. It's got 2 solid axles and is top heavy, it's basically impossible for it to handle well. But the quick steering might fool some into thinking it handles well. You will feel like you're tearing through a corner, until you look at the speedo and see you're only doing 30mph.
But, it's a Jeep. I didn't buy it to carve corners.


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Old 10-10-2011, 12:25 PM   #26
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...
For me, the 3.73's are perfect for the tire size and transmission gear ratio's....
You're in good company in that opinion.

Dave Harriton, founder of AEV, posted this on another forum:

Quote:
Originally Posted by AEV Dave:

...The A580 auto is geared lower throughout its range. What’s this mean? It means that 4.10s with the A580 is equivalent to 4.88 with the 42RLE. So 4.10 is ideal for 35s.
...
The 3.6 does not require the same ratios as the 07-10 JKs, which is good because the pinion gears are that much stronger. 4.88 would be fine for 37s.
So then, it is reasonable to deduce that 3.73's would be ideal for the stock 32" tires.

I know that 3.73's are perfect for my Jeeping needs. YMMV.
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:33 PM   #27
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Too me the V-6 and even the 3.6 especially preforms better at higher RPM. that is where their power band is but that ok if you like the 3.73 but still 4.10 should be a dream gear for the new Jeeps and that new tranny when it doesn't even peak to 6000rpms. But if you like it thats fine too.

But why would you be in 4lo in that situation? If you need speed to clear the lugs then you shouldn't be in 4lo to begin with. That's why there is 4hi - 4lo. 4lo suppose to be for super slow crawling not for driving in the snow or for going fast enough through mud to clean out the lugs.
Your right, but the Rubicon lockers only engage in 4-Lo......if they worked in 4-Hi this wouldnt even be an issue :-). I am hoping for the Hypertech solution for the locked 4-Hi.
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:56 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared1956
not many rocks here in Missouri.
I guess we need to go to Arcadia valley.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:55 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by KSCRUDE View Post
If you know so much about jeeps and hot roding, why on earth would you Buy a 12 rubi with the 3.73 when the much better and needed 4.10 is there for like $50 bucks or so. I test drove a new 12 Jesus jeep last weekend in Joplin mo and was not the least bit impressed. Jeep should not even offer any lower then the 4.10 and then offer at least 4.56-4.88-5.13 and 5.38. The pentastar is a gutless, torque less wonder with no balls just like most V 6 engines of the day! You got to wind it up to get anything out of it.

So wait.... you test drove a jeep with 3.21's and havnt even driven a 12' JK with 3.73's and you want us to think you know what the hell you are talking about???

At least spend a few minutes driving one with 3.73's BEFORE you try and bash it..
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:05 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Chasin Tail View Post
So wait.... you test drove a jeep with 3.21's and havnt even driven a 12' JK with 3.73's and you want us to think you know what the hell you are talking about???

At least spend a few minutes driving one with 3.73's BEFORE you try and bash it..
Yes this is true as this was the only 12 on the lot. I did say it had slightly better rpm in overdrive then my 11 does with the 3.73 thanks to the better geared auto in the 12 model. I would like to drive both the 3.73 and the 4.10 but that will have to Waite. I am putting 4.88 gears in my 11 next week and I will have almost the same overdrive RPM as a 12 with the 4.10 ratio. While I am at it I am putting a eaton e locker in the front, as it will not cost me any more labor as it all is coming out anyway. The 12 five speed is cool and I really liked the gear selection on the stick, and this one was stiff enough not to be accidentally bumped up or down a gear. New gears with locker in the front about $3000 dollars. Price to trade up to a 12 just like my 11, about $12,000 dollars and I only have about 11 k on the 11 and no more sahara tan so I would of had to get the winter chill if possible. Keeping my 11 with a top that don't leak, priceless!

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