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Old 02-22-2011, 12:07 AM   #1
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Real off-road difference between short and long unlimited Rubicon?

First time to buy jeep-want to make the correct choice. What will be the real practical differences off-road between the 2 and 4 door Rubis. besides the obvious turning diameter? I am in the West so mtns. are my hunting and play ground. Looking for all opinions. I was very serious about the 2006 unlimited LJ 2 door but no room for the left arm in the drivers seat has turned me against the older model.

Thanks for all of your advice

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Old 02-22-2011, 12:19 AM   #2
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Really the 4 door is longer so it will let you climb bigger walls and be more stable in the rocks for the most part. A longer wheel base will allow you to go some more cooler places with less effort.

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Old 02-22-2011, 03:35 AM   #3
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Really the 4 door is longer so it will let you climb bigger walls and be more stable in the rocks for the most part. A longer wheel base will allow you to go some more cooler places with less effort.
Or, you could say that the better breakover angle makes the 2-door better on the rocks, while the better turning radius and smaller size make it a better choice on the tight trails.

This argument is as old as time, and there will never be a clear "winner" because in truth, there are benefits to both. And perhaps more importantly, everyone is going to cheer for the model they own, much like the oft-repeated and generally contentious debate about manual vs. automatic transmissions.

Here is one other thread to look at:

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/unl...ice-61508.html

I know there are more out there, but it's too early in the morning and my brain is having trouble parsing the search results...
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:44 AM   #4
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I have rocked my stock wheel base all the way to hell and back. I am stretching my wheelbase a foot to the rear and 6in to the front when I get some free time. That is how much I think of the 93in's lol. I feel 104-108 is perfect (in wheelbase)
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Isn't the JK just a rebodied PT Cruiser?!

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Just a few more inches Red. You can take it.


If you haven't gotten more out of the insurance company than you deserve, then you haven't screwed them nearly as much as they have been screwing you for the past xx years.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:04 PM   #5
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nucofed,
I've been fourwheeling in the mountains of the west for more than three decades. And I've had a 2010 two door JK and now have a 2011 four door JK, and I've wheeled them both pretty much every weekend that I have owned/own them.

My first question would be - do you need the extra room of the four door? If so, then buy the four door.

Second question is - do you plan on doing any mods? If the answer is no, then buy the two door.

The short wheelbase two door JK will work really really well, even in stock form. It has decent ground clearance and is maneuverable enough that it can get around most of the obstacles it cant get over. It weighs 800 lbs less, and with the same engine it feels like it has more power. It is more fun to drive in my opinion.

The long wheelbase four door JK is quite limited in stock form because of its long length and low belly, which tends to drag frequently. But with minimal suspension lift, and a decent sized set of tires (minimum 35", preferrably 37") the four door JK is transformed into a very capable off road vehicle, that can match the two door JKs ability, and even exceed it in many areas, such as hillclimbing. The four door JK is a lot more roomy inside, so it feels more comfortable, especially if you have to take passengers with you. The extra storage space behind the rear seats is almost enough reason to get the four door JK in and of itself. The four door JK also has a four gallon bigger gas tank, so your fuel range while exploring the west is going to be considerably better. The four door JK is also easier to drive on the highway, it isn't as darty in crosswinds.

They're both great vehicles for exploring the west. Stock vs stock I prefer the two door. Modified vs modified I prefer the four door.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:24 PM   #6
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Like Jeff said, there's no "right" answer.

There's not enough practical difference between the two from an offroad standpoint to really make a case one way or the other. Driver skill, rather than wheelbase, will be the likely determinant of whether you can proceed.

Thus, my instinct is that if you're thinking you might want the practicalities of a 4 door in the near future (e.g., you've got kids, lots of likely passengers, this will be your only family vehicle, etc.) then get a 4 door.

Think of it this way:

- Odds that you'll ever be somewhere with a 4 door Rubi and say to yourself, "Damn it. I just can't get to XYZ offroad spot because it's impossible with my slightly larger turning radius and breakover angle. It just cannot be done under any circumstances. If only my wheel base was a few inches smaller, I could easily do it." Very, very low.

- Odds that you'll ever be somewhere with a 2 door Rubi and say to yourself, "Damn it. There's no way I can sit four adults comfortably while having room in the trunk for a few bags of gear so we can all go on a trip somewhere (or go grocery shopping, or go pick some folks up from the airport, or whatever) without me having to drive my Jeep separately or not at all. If only my backseat was in front of, rather than between, my wheel wells and if only I had a trunk to speak of, I could easily do it." Very, very high.

So there you go.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:32 PM   #7
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- Odds that you'll ever be somewhere with a 2 door Rubi and say to yourself, "Damn it. There's no way I can sit four adults comfortably while having room in the trunk for a few bags of gear so we can all go on a trip somewhere (or go grocery shopping, or go pick some folks up from the airport, or whatever) without me having to drive my Jeep separately or not at all. If only my backseat was in front of, rather than between, my wheel wells and if only I had a trunk to speak of, I could easily do it." Very, very high.

So there you go.
I just make people ride on top of my 2 door if they want to go when there isn't enough room. They usually like it better up there, more leg room
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:07 PM   #8
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I've owned both. If your going to be on tight tight trails get the 2 door. For most else get the 4. I love both, but will never get the 2 door again.
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:14 PM   #9
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personally, i'd like to own both
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:29 PM   #10
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If I was to do over again, I would have bought the 4dr over the 2dr. As much as I love the additional feel of power from the lighter 2dr with the shorter turning radius, it is a major pain when we have to pack the kids in the back with gear to go out for a weekend trip. I get to drive a 4dr for work, but unfortunately it isn't going to see any dirt or trail time.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:02 PM   #11
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As a relative new-comer to the Jeep world, and also new to off-roading, the short wheelbase has come in very, very handy when I get to some kind of obstacle I'm not confident in climbing/crossing/etc and have to do an 8 point turn on a very narrow track!
It's just me and the mrs, and if we're going away for a while we need to take the back seat out to create enough cargo space. But man the 2 door looks awesome with the roof off and back seat out.
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:53 AM   #12
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Keep in mind that 2D only tows 2500 lbs legally, while 4D tows 3500 lbs. If you ever get caught overgross or get into an accident, you may be in a big trouble. That said, 2500 is enough for a trailer with a factory LSA (Light-Sport Airplane) in it, it just looks goofy when the trailer is 3 times longer than the jeep.

I have 2D Rubi because it's cooler. It's my midlife crisis vehicle. Basically Mazda RX-5 only 4x4.

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