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Old 09-12-2012, 06:24 AM   #1
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Why the tires, the lift, the armor without the drive

Rubicon not included. Every other thread I read is talking about tires, lifts, body armor on the basic jeep. The jeep with open differentials one drive wheel in the rear and 1 drive wheel in the front.
I'm probable going to regret posting this. IS it just to have the bad boy Looking Jeep without having a bad boy jeep. Or are most of these Jeep DD and spend no off road time ever.

I really don't know the answer to this. I see a bunch of cool looking jeeps on the road big tires lifts body armor and winches. One guy I talked to in a parking lot has no idea how the winch even works he said he bought it that way.
Or is it if it looks bad it is bad?

On this forum I think you have the hard core off roaders the rock crawlers and the mud divers and that's what a wrangler was built for.
I'm a trail and hill climber my jeep is my toy I drive it to and from our off roading events. Maybe 70% off road 30% on.

Here is my big question is How many of them are just for show?
My jeep with 488s would make a terrible DD at maybe 13 mpg.
Now let me have it, I can take it.

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Old 09-12-2012, 06:31 AM   #2
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:45 AM   #3
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It is what turns some folks on. An expensive hobby like restored muscle cars that will never see the drag strip or be driven in the rain. It may seem silly to you and maybe me , too, but I get it.
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Old 09-12-2012, 06:46 AM   #4
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Speaking for myself.... I have a 2011 JKU sport. I know it is limited and I plan to build the crap out of it. I bought this Jeep to have fun in and to have fun BUILDING it. I know its gonna be 80/20... DD/trail but I am having a blast just buying parts and researching parts and meeting new friends. When I am done my Jeep will be able to drive over anything I put in front of it.A street curb or a wall at MOAB. I love my Jeep and I love driving it. Most of all I love building this American made frankenstein of a machine with my own two hands.
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:56 AM   #5
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I wish I had lockers, mines a DD but I still go out almost every Sunday. Had plans for lockers/gears but that got set back when I bought a house. Then I had money saved up again but screwed up my stock flares, got new ones to pass inspection, got money again-broke my axle shafts. I can never win lol. I will have one by next year hopefully
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:20 AM   #6
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Give it good suspension to keep the wheels on the ground, then give it good tyres to give it better grip and many are very surprised how far a relatively stock JK can go with the ELBD. Not as good as lockers but a damn site better than just an open diff.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:38 AM   #7
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The jeep with open differentials one drive wheel in the rear and 1 drive wheel in the front.
I've never agreed with this. I understand it in theory, but it's just not true practically unless you're rock crawling or going through super slick mud. And even then, current Wranglers have an electronic BLD that makes this untrue in fact.

For your average offroad hobbyist riding local trails, his JK or JKU with it's electronic BLD is going to benefit more from the clearance advantages of a lift and bigger tires than from a locker or "real" LSD. And a winch then makes sense as a recovery device--and if I had to choose either/or, I'd rather have a good recovery device than a locker.

Ideally, you go "all the way" all at once. But most people don't have the coin to do that and need to prioritize over time. Looks and appearance obviously factors into that as well for people that are working with daily drivers, but I don't think it's necessarily crazy to put a lift/tires/winch before lockers/LSDs, particularly when the vehicle comes stock with an electronic BLD and perhaps with a rear LSD.

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One guy I talked to in a parking lot has no idea how the winch even works he said he bought it that way.
That's a different situation. These folks just don't know what they're doing and that's a different question entirely. There's a guy who drives around downtown Raleigh waiting at stop lights in a $250k Lamborghini--same thing.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:51 AM   #8
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I've got a stock JKU sport and take it offroading all the time. Think what you want, but it's a very capable vehicle off road. There are a few places at the off road park that I can't get to that a simple lift, some tires and some protection would allow me to access easier.

That little badge on the side of the Jeep that says "Trail Rated". We've all got them.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:52 AM   #9
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Some people want a Wrangler simply for the convertible aspect and door-less feature with the off-road "look" just for looks.


I do some occasional trail runs in my Grand and plan on the same thing when I get a Wrangler. Yeah, I'm one of "those people" who aren't going for a dedicated rock crawling or mudding machine. At ~$23k a base Sport Wrangler is a fantastic buy for people looking for a convertible and it's the only game in town for the door-less feature. It's also a decent work vehicle option for those who've got to drive in ditches and fields and deal with the limited IRS depreciation deduction.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:55 AM   #10
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Most people with open dif put lockers on
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:59 AM   #11
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I live rural life style and often am confronted with bad roads, mud/rain/snow/ice, no roads, or other impediments to my uninterrupted forward motion.

I don't have time or interest in those extreme angle games all the videos celebrate....yet I have memories of my own efforts from decades past.

I like the options available the Wrangler as a DD give without the needs of lifts/etc. I like the general configuration of the pretty-much-stock Jeep and just don't need most of what the catalogs have to show me.

I don't have to go anywhere that requires most of the mods. My Willys Overland had 5.89 gears & that pretty much satisfied that side of the game. Once I found a bottomless swamp that the rescue crew lost first a 4x4 mudder pick up, then a tractor and then a larger tractor before getting back to where I could move under my own power. So I've taken the cure for many fantasies already.

Today I'm going to tow a 2000# load of pellets to a buddy who lives in another county. Yes, I could use the Ram 2500 perhaps easier....but I plan to take the roof off and get a little fresh air & sunshine along the way.

The Wrangler still lives a smile on my face every day I drive it.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:32 AM   #12
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Ideally, you go "all the way" all at once. But most people don't have the coin to do that and need to prioritize over time.
This is exactly my situation. I would love to be able to do it all at once, but I just can't handle the cost yet. To make matters worse, I'm eyeing the expensive side of the spectrum with RK lift, ARB lockers etc. It will take some time for me to be able to get it all together.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:40 AM   #13
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I don't really get the "just for looks" crowd either.....I built mine right so that it can do whatever I want it to do, whether it be bashing into rocks or driving to work. A nice byproduct of a custom suspension, proper gearing, great brakes, and quality components all around = a rig that drives better than stock in every way and delivers semi-decent mileage for DD duties. I prefer a direct relationship between 'show' and 'go' rather than the inverse.

As for the open/locked debate, if you don't have to put power to more than two corners, then you don't need any of the other upgrades.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:42 AM   #14
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I drive a 2010 Camaro SS with 427 HP, loud exhaust , yada yada yada and in the 2 years I've owned it I've only pushed it to my driving potential 3 times on the Watkins Glen track.

When I get my JKU I plan on a mild lift, F&R bumpers, rims and tires, not that I'll likely ever need any of these mods. My love for Jeeps goes way back to the CJ5 days and I still love the look of an off road vehicle. No one should be told they can't drive what they want because they don't use it's full potential.

I also own a 2011 Ninja 1000 that will never be ridden as it was meant to be.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:45 AM   #15
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its really cute how people in my club think they can make it everywhere i can with the Rubicon. they say i made it and i didnt even need lockers. i just smile and say good job. hop in mine. lock the front and let the clutch out and just idle up and over what they just spent 30 min trying to spin there way up ( <- that was sunday).

just be cause you started with me and finished with me does not mean we ran the same race.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:46 AM   #16
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Now let me have it, I can take it.
That's what she said...


..and yes, there are people who just want the badass Jeep look, but will never go offroad. No big deal, it's like the people who dirve a corvette, but will never race it or even go above 70.

On the other hand, like others have said, you'd be surprised what a lifted Wrangler with more ground clearance will allow you to do offroad. My TJ (LSD) had a 3.5" lift and tiny 31s, but I could go anywhere in that thing. The only people who were going places I couldn't go were rolling in locked (Rubi and otherwise) jeeps with 33"+ tires.

Whether people take their Jeeps offroad or not is a personal choice. I'm a fan of Jeeps anyway, so I won't give you too much crap about it.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:03 AM   #17
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It's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it..wait I think that's how it goes.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:32 AM   #18
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No one should be told they can't drive what they want because they don't use it's full potential.
Damn right, this is America!
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:48 AM   #19
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I'm so sick of the perspective on this and other forums that if you aren't using your Jeep for hardcore offroading, you somehow shouldn't be driving a Jeep. That's all I have to say about that.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:54 AM   #20
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This is exactly my situation. I would love to be able to do it all at once, but I just can't handle the cost yet. To make matters worse, I'm eyeing the expensive side of the spectrum with RK lift, ARB lockers etc. It will take some time for me to be able to get it all together.
This fits me and a lot of people exactly. I really couldn't afford a third vehicle and needed something that would work as a daily drive. After a lot of research on used Jeeps, I found them so high in resale value in my mind I talked myself into a new one that I would keep for many years to amortize the higher initial costs. So a 2012 Sport S 2 dr was at the very high end of my budget.

So then started my long road down the concept of "budget creep". First she wanted the auto, hard top and air. The Rubicon was a distant dream. Our $21k stocker ended up at $26k new pre tax, but at least I got the 3.73 and limited slip.

We pull the Jeep behind a motorhome. No hardcore rock crawling, but a lot of general purpose off road and exploring. The next build decision was more ground clearance (lifts) and more traction ( 35 " tires) vs. lockers. We chose the former, and to be honest, the cool looks of the lift and custom wheels influenced our decision. We want the lockers someday, but our budget is definitely "busted" for now.

In the meantime we have a very capable off road, very fun on road, in my mind cool looking Jeep. Instead of comparing it to a Rubi, I like to compare to what I had before. (see below, before and after).
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:59 AM   #21
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Who cares? Whether for looks or "70%" off-road, does this really make a difference? If i have a Corvette and dont drive 100 mph all the time, does that make a difference? Mine is a DD and i off-road as much as possible, however, i have a neighbor that has a pretty well built Jeep that he doesnt off-road and he love his as much as i do my own. This topic is as worthless as the two door VS the four door.
Now, iam sure you expected this comment.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:59 AM   #22
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It's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it..wait I think that's how it goes.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:59 AM   #23
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I'm so sick of the perspective on this and other forums that if you aren't using your Jeep for hardcore offroading, you somehow shouldn't be driving a Jeep. That's all I have to say about that.

You beat me to it.
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:08 PM   #24
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Who cares? Whether for looks or "70%" off-road, does this really make a difference? If i have a Corvette and dont drive 100 mph all the time, does that make a difference? Mine is a DD.

'zactly what I was going to say
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:20 PM   #25
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It is what turns some folks on. An expensive hobby like restored muscle cars that will never see the drag strip or be driven in the rain. It may seem silly to you and maybe me , too, but I get it.

We always want something bigger and badder no matter what.

Saying that, I think a Jeep is a very personal vehicle. There is an inherent need to personalize it. It really is part of the Jeep culture at this point. No matter if you wheel it or not, you have a desire to make it your own. You rarely see someone outright copy another persons Jeep. They may get an idea from someones Jeep but not the entire theme. It is a hobby of sorts, like the off roading itself. A Jeep sort of follows the custom bike crowd. No one there would make a exact copy of another's bike but they all want to customize it to fit their style.

It takes a curious person to want to off road. I think that same nature makes us build our Jeeps. Showing it off a little is a little in our nature too.
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:24 PM   #26
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To be honest I bought it cause a. Wranglers are freaking sweet vehicles and I think we all could agree on that. Whether you offroad or commute to work everyday in them they still look great stock or built up. I will rarely go offroa because where I live has no offroad anything and is nothing but the snow in the winter an this is reason b why I bought it cause I know it will demolish snow and be safer and more fun in the winte than my 2011 mustang. All that matters Is that you love your wrangler an make it your own and are proud of what you made and built up no matter what its purpose is. This is true with every car. The dumb ricers who put thousands of dollars into Honda civics and think they are race cars is the same thing but if they like it and think it look good who cares. But wrangler and civic are not in same ball park sorry to even compare them lol
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:26 PM   #27
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Anyone that says bigger better tires don't make that much difference haven't been on some of the trails I have been on or maybe just haven't tried better tires to see the difference. The last group ride I went on wouldn't even let you on the trail unless you meet one of two tire requirements. Either 33's with lockers or 35's w 4wd. Most trail aren't like that but tires do make a difference and I wouldn't take a stock SRA tire anywhere except maybe a scenic route.
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:34 PM   #28
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Wow. My wife collects shot glasses, I'm going to tell her she has to start drinking or stop collecting. They're not made for just looking at.
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:39 PM   #29
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Wow. My wife collects shot glasses, I'm going to tell her she has to start drinking or stop collecting. They're not made for just looking at.
Mandatory cocktail hour!
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:59 PM   #30
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My wifes stock jeep w/265/70/17 cooper AT3 ,can go places my 73 suburbon which is on danna 60's , 40" boggers , lockers , w/a 468 big block , the biggest thing about off road driving is expeirence , i've had a lifted truck for the last 25 years , and a stock jeep w/ the right driver will go places a lifted jeep or other rigw/ a rookie behind the wheel, i know a guy that has a Rubi , his idea of off roading is riding around on paper company roads i doubt he ever has locked it up , but he love his jeep , it's his $$$

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