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Old 01-22-2014, 11:45 AM   #1
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Prospective JK owner

Hello all, as the title says I'm looking into the Wrangler. My background: A large portion of my childhood was spent wheeling in the passenger seat of my dad's CJ-7. The Jeep was heavily modified for crawling by 90's standards and dad was a talented wheeler. Most of my driving life has revolved around sporty cars (mostly 4 cylinder turbos) and I'm accomplished at SCCA RallyCross.

To get the Jeep I think I'd want I'd probably have to order it. That'd be a 2012 or newer, blue 2 door, manual trans, 3.73 gears and rear lsd, hard top with performance suspension and M/T tires. Yesterday I drove a used '12 that meet almost all those criteria, it was silver, regular suspension, with all-seasons. I came away with two questions:

1: Does the Pentastar hate being reved? In first and second gear while in 2wd the engine became very rambunctious above ~4,500 rpm, even to the point of the gear lever shaking about. Yes, the engine was fully warmed up. I never took it the engine to its rev-limit because of this.

2: Does the Rubicon suspension vastly change the way the Jeep drives? I fully understand that to get the off-road suspension the vehicle sways and dives on pavement. And I'm okay with that. I wasn't however, expecting the massive axle tramp I experienced on a wash-boarded gravel road. I went back over the same gravel road in my current car, VW Golf R, and it was much better. Though I will admit that regular use on such a wash-board road would eventually destroy the suspension on my Golf.

Thank you.

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Old 01-22-2014, 11:53 AM   #2
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I don't think a 12 has the Pentastar, right? The Pentastar came in the 13 was my understanding but I could be wrong.

EDIT Opps, yup the Pentastar came in the 2011 line. My bad. My last Jeep was a 2010 that did not have the Pentastar. My 2014 does not get rambunctious yet but mine is too new and too untested to compare.

I think you need to drive a few others to compare to this one as neither issue sounds right to me.

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Old 01-22-2014, 12:01 PM   #3
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The 3.6 started with 2012. 2011 was the new interior.
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Old 01-22-2014, 01:56 PM   #4
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I have a 2012 Rubi unlimited. Don't waste your money. If you really want a wrangler, save your money and buy and older one for cheap then modify it. The new ones are WAAAY over priced for the poor quality.
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:36 PM   #5
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I have a 2012 Rubi unlimited. Don't waste your money. If you really want a wrangler, save your money and buy and older one for cheap then modify it. The new ones are WAAAY over priced for the poor quality.
I disagree with this. I don't think you can buy a comparable vehicle in terms of capability for a significant lesser amount. Jeeps hold their value amazingly well as I found out when I traded in my 09 after driving it for a couple of years and only losing 5k on a dealer trade in. Its amazing to see what a JK can go up, through, and over without suffering any damage and then driving home without issue. Seeing as that I also have a 2012 rubi, I can tell you first hand that they are very very capable and even comfortable. The aftermarket support will make any JK as capable as you want it but more importantly you can truly tailor your ride to you tastes.

The new motor, as in the OP question, is pretty rev happy with a manual trans configuration and will gladly bounce off redline.
The suspension and tires that the rubi has does change the ride in comparison to a sport or sahara. The 09 sahara I had rode quite a bit better in comparison to the rubi but was lacking offroad.

Good luck with the purchase.
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:42 PM   #6
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A couple notes:

You can't order any model except 2014 currently.

Jeep doesn't offer a performance suspension per se, but each model Sport, Sahara and Rubicon have components (coils and shocks) that are slightly differently tuned.

The Pentastar is not high reving engine that will redline at 9000 RPM but it revs quite freely. The limitation if any is more on the driver side. Many of us owners down like to rev the engine too high for two reasons: Fuel consumption and off-roading is mostly a low to mid range low end torque affair.

Axle tramp is something leaf springs suspensions mostly suffer from and the JK has coil springs with a track bar so I am not sure what you mean. The JK has fairly thick sway bars for safety so if you want to cruise over washboards or even over rolling whoops the suspension does need some tuning. Keep in mind the JK is not designed for autocross.
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Old 01-22-2014, 02:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weasel Soup View Post
Hello all, as the title says I'm looking into the Wrangler. My background: A large portion of my childhood was spent wheeling in the passenger seat of my dad's CJ-7. The Jeep was heavily modified for crawling by 90's standards and dad was a talented wheeler. Most of my driving life has revolved around sporty cars (mostly 4 cylinder turbos) and I'm accomplished at SCCA RallyCross.

To get the Jeep I think I'd want I'd probably have to order it. That'd be a 2012 or newer, blue 2 door, manual trans, 3.73 gears and rear lsd, hard top with performance suspension and M/T tires. Yesterday I drove a used '12 that meet almost all those criteria, it was silver, regular suspension, with all-seasons. I came away with two questions:

1: Does the Pentastar hate being reved? In first and second gear while in 2wd the engine became very rambunctious above ~4,500 rpm, even to the point of the gear lever shaking about. Yes, the engine was fully warmed up. I never took it the engine to its rev-limit because of this.

2: Does the Rubicon suspension vastly change the way the Jeep drives? I fully understand that to get the off-road suspension the vehicle sways and dives on pavement. And I'm okay with that. I wasn't however, expecting the massive axle tramp I experienced on a wash-boarded gravel road. I went back over the same gravel road in my current car, VW Golf R, and it was much better. Though I will admit that regular use on such a wash-board road would eventually destroy the suspension on my Golf.

Thank you.
Look at a Willys edition in Hydro blue.

1. The 3.6 has plenty of power...up the the redline. With manaul Wranglers, you can expect the shifter to shake and vibrate. It is normal on Wranglers.

2. The only difference with the Rubicon suspension are the shocks.
Keep in mind that it is basically a truck with solid axles front and back. It won't behave like a sporty car at all.

Good luck!
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:46 PM   #8
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Look at a Willys edition in Hydro blue.

1. The 3.6 has plenty of power...up the the redline. With manaul Wranglers, you can expect the shifter to shake and vibrate. It is normal on Wranglers.

2. The only difference with the Rubicon suspension are the shocks.
Keep in mind that it is basically a truck with solid axles front and back. It won't behave like a sporty car at all.

Good luck!
That is exactly what I'd be looking at if I ordered. In the '12 I drove the shifter was moving about so much as I pushed the revs past 4,000 that it drew my attention away from the road (looked like 3-6 inches left to right). Is this something that happens in every stock JK? What is it that is different between the shocks? Is it legnth, stroke, valving, all of those? For those that have installed Rubicon take offs onto a Sport, what (if any) were the noticable differences?
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weasel Soup View Post
That is exactly what I'd be looking at if I ordered. In the '12 I drove the shifter was moving about so much as I pushed the revs past 4,000 that it drew my attention away from the road (looked like 3-6 inches left to right). Is this something that happens in every stock JK? What is it that is different between the shocks? Is it legnth, stroke, valving, all of those? For those that have installed Rubicon take offs onto a Sport, what (if any) were the noticable differences?
I have an auto, so I don't have much experience with the JK manual. But from all of the comments over the years, it is very common to see a lot of movement. Some like it...reminds them of driving a truck.

Sahara and Rubi shocks are better (longer, thicker, gas) than the Sport shocks. The Rubi shocks are the longest of the group. Lots of people like them as take-offs...then again...lots of people swap out shocks anyway...so they are easy to come by.
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:31 PM   #10
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Just a warning, there were some head problems with the Pentastar engine that I believe were fixed for the 2013 model. So, you may want to get a 2013 model if you get a Wrangler with the Pentastar engine.
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:40 PM   #11
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I've heard it called axle wrap, never axle tramp. According to google however, they mean the same thing. Must be a regional thing.
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Old 01-22-2014, 07:14 PM   #12
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Just bought a 2014 Wrangler 1-13-2014

Hi, @ just over 400 miles I'm all smiles with my new Jeep !
I can hardly believe the raw H.P. & speed when needed anytime you need it & when driven civilized the milage is in the 20's .
Everyone I see say I've always wanted a Wrangler . Just do it you'll enjoy it.
These new Wranglers are a modern vehicle with all the capabilities of any old Wranglers with the modern day conforts . My Thoughts . Biff
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:03 PM   #13
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I've heard it called axle wrap, never axle tramp. According to google however, they mean the same thing. Must be a regional thing.
I believe "tramping' is a British term. I am also used to axle wrap and wheel hop.
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Old 01-22-2014, 11:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I believe "tramping' is a British term. I am also used to axle wrap and wheel hop.
You are correct sir
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Old 01-23-2014, 12:40 AM   #15
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If you can afford it, who cares - yeah things break, mods, things to do, warranty, no warranty, voided warranty - these are all valid outcomes. Before you enter into the commitment make sure you have accounted for any of those outcomes.

Nostalgia is a bitch - keep in mind you'll never have your old mans jeep from yesteryear. Do what's right for you and what fits your commitment.

I have a bad habit of picking what might be considered vehicles you WANT to own, but not in practicality. Yeah I bought a Wrangler.... I do most of my own work and the jeep is pretty basic (to me) - its really about what fits your scenario and where you are in life. If you have the buffer and the will - 100% do it.....
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Old 01-23-2014, 09:27 AM   #16
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I didn't start looking into the JK to recreate something from my childhood. I just get easily distracted by the next best thing when it comes to vehicles (new cars/trade ups in '07, '10 & '12). Guess I'm a good consumer... Although this is the most thoroughly I've researched a vehicle purchase, so that's gotta count for something.

I'm in the boat of people who like knowing they have the capabilities of a Jeep, even though I would hardly ever use it on serious trails. That said, most people think that what I do with my cars (RallyCross) is abuse, but that's nothing for a Jeep.

Back to my original questions. Do all JKs have a gruff engine note/slow rev characteristic/shifter shake? And is it normal to get nasty axle movements over washboard roads?
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:23 PM   #17
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Also, the traction control. When you turn it off how 'off' is it? In my 2010 MazdaSpeed3 I had to disconnect an abs/wheel speed sensor to fully disable the traction control. In my 2013 VW Golf R I had to go to a friend's tuning shop to have them enable a hidden second stage traction control mode. In both cars this was necessary to be able to defeat the stability control so the cars' computers wouldn't fight me and my commands on low traction surfaces.
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:15 PM   #18
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I think all of the things you've described are not indicative of Jeeps in general. Mine revs nicely and although an automatic, I've driven plenty of manuals and they have not jumped around as much as you describe. My Rubicon does not suffer from wheel hop and it does not sway. The suspension is stiff, but the tires have a large sidewall, so it's not a Miata, but handles well in the twisties until the sidewalls give in. I can turn off the traction control (I don't think you can totally defeat it though) and the Jeep handles predictably. I've done some drifting in my days (we didn't call it drifting back then) and while certainly not intended for this purpose I was able to have some fun. Go for it, you won't regret it.
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:46 PM   #19
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Bumping this up to the front page in the hopes of getting more responses.

Looks like I need to find a dealer and test drive a new 2014 to see if there is a difference compared to the used '12 I was in a few days ago. I work at a parts store and just spoke to a 2014 owner who just traded up from a pre-2010, he's thrilled with it and thought my experience w/shifter shake was out of the ordinary.

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