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Old 06-24-2014, 09:41 AM   #1
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03-04 vs. 05-06 Rubicon

Hey all,
Was wondering if ya'll could help me figure out the differences in the year models? I may have an opportunity to acquire a new to me jeep rubicon soon and looking around the market, there are a few available. Prices ranging from $12.5k for 03 to upwards of $17-18k for 06.

Is one more reliable than the other? I know the OPDA issue seems to only be apparent in 05-06.

The main thing I'm noticing is that the 03-04 had the 5 speed and 05-06 went to a mercedes based 6 speed.

Thanks in advance for the help.

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Old 06-24-2014, 09:47 AM   #2
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The six speed sucks but if you have a chance to snag a rubi lj jump on it.

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Old 06-24-2014, 10:01 AM   #3
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The six speed sucks but if you have a chance to snag a rubi lj jump on it.
Yeah I'd love an LJ but probably going to be out of my pay grade. Haven't seen many around here for sale...but def keeping my eyes open.

I guess seeing the 03 for $12.5k kinda made me wonder if the slightly newer models were worth that much more cash other than just being a newer vehicle
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Old 06-24-2014, 11:08 AM   #4
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I personally would stick with an '03 or '04 (as I have). Some '05-06 4.0L engines have a problem with excessive wear on their Oil Pump Drive Assembly that often needs more attention to resolve than I would expend.
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Old 06-24-2014, 12:10 PM   #5
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also I believe the Rubicon differential was a Tru Lock in 2003 and 2004 and was a Trac Lock in the last two years.

the 5-speed manual is just a better system than the later 6-speed system if you ask me.

all this aside, the difference in TJ Rubicons are so minor as to really not come into play once you find a good example.
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Old 06-24-2014, 02:34 PM   #6
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05-06 TJs are not necessarily bad compared to the 03-04. I believe the 05-06 TJs had some power increases which is always nice, but yes the oil pumps on them do have a bad rep.

As far as the transmissions go, the 6 speed isn't a bad transmission just not quite the work horse like the 5 speed. Pretty good tranny otherwise, but avoid 05s with the 6 speed.

But honestly the 03-04 TJs are probably your best choice. Probably the best two years of the TJ as far as mechanics go
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:33 PM   #7
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Thanks guys...kinda sad that most people seem to be reccommending the older models rather than a newer one. These are the kinda things I"m looking for though.
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:37 PM   #8
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also I believe the Rubicon differential was a Tru Lock in 2003 and 2004 and was a Trac Lock in the last two years.
No, all years of the TJ Rubicon use the same TruLok locker. A Tracloc is just a limited slip differential.
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:32 PM   #9
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I must have the only decent 2005 out there....

No issues with the OPDA (yet) and when I do I will replace it with the redesigned Crown brand and then that will be a non-issue.

The 6 speed transmission isn't the smoothest shifting but no major issues yet. The only thing I would consider instead of the 6 speed would be an auto, but that is a whole different story/thread.

I do only have 143k miles though.... so everything is just getting broken in on mine.


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Old 06-24-2014, 08:41 PM   #10
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I must have the only decent 2005 out there.... No issues with the OPDA (yet) and when I do I will replace it with the redesigned Crown brand and then that will be a non-issue. The 6 speed transmission isn't the smoothest shifting but no major issues yet. The only thing I would consider instead of the 6 speed would be an auto, but that is a whole different story/thread. I do only have 143k miles though.... so everything is just getting broken in on mine. _
Your lucky.
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:16 PM   #11
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The oil pump drive assembly on the 05-06 has been corrected by Crown and Dorman. Non-issue.
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:22 PM   #12
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Find the options/price/mileage combo you want and be happy with your choice. People could nit pick any year and equipment combo to death. Your buying one of the most factory capable off road vehicles ever made, enjoy!

Ps, it's a Chrysler. Your going to work on it no matter what. Embrace and enjoy.
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:44 PM   #13
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Honestly I have an 05 Rubicon with the 6 speed manual and the only problem I have with it is the reverse. Must have a pretty good wrangler besides that, because there are no other problems.

Don't eliminate the newer models, but if you are considering one just ask the basics. Most of the problems like the TSB on the reverse and oil pump are a one time fix and don't require constant repairs. So if the part is already been replaced, most likely you won't have to replace for a long time.
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:35 PM   #14
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Thanks again fellas. I've been emailing the seller about it, but haven't had a chance to look at it in person yet as he's about 2 hours away.

Do ya'll think this is a good deal?
2003 Rubicon
133k hwy miles
5 speed
soft top
cruise control
2" coil over lift w/33x12.5 BFGs
No rust (according to him)

Asking $12,500. The mileage is a little more than I wanted, but not bad for an 03. and you all say they'll run forever. I was thinking about offering $11,500 or $12k and seeing if he bites...but even at $12,500 it doesnt seem ridiculously over priced to me. What do ya'll think?
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Old 06-25-2014, 04:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueBlueEagle View Post
Thanks again fellas. I've been emailing the seller about it, but haven't had a chance to look at it in person yet as he's about 2 hours away.

Do ya'll think this is a good deal?
2003 Rubicon
133k hwy miles
5 speed
soft top
cruise control
2" coil over lift w/33x12.5 BFGs
No rust (according to him)

Asking $12,500. The mileage is a little more than I wanted, but not bad for an 03. and you all say they'll run forever. I was thinking about offering $11,500 or $12k and seeing if he bites...but even at $12,500 it doesnt seem ridiculously over priced to me. What do ya'll think?


That is close to kbb and seems like a fair price mine was a 04 139k and I paid 13 for it and it didn't have any lift and was in good shape runs great didn't have any mods just a 2 owner stock jeep but I don't worry about the miles to much but that is me I wish you luck post some pics and keep us updated



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Old 06-25-2014, 06:42 PM   #16
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Simple. Buy the best Rubicon you can afford irrespective of year.




Quote:
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I must have the only decent 2005 out there....

No, no, no. You and all the other '05-'06 owners who've had a good ownership experience are wrong. Believe the handful of members who regurgitate "OPDA problem" and "NSG370 sucks" ad infinitum.


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Your lucky.

No, you're unlucky.
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:48 PM   #17
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NSG370 is geared better......

And I own an 04.
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:35 PM   #18
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No, no, no. You and all the other '05-'06 owners who've had a good ownership experience are wrong. Believe the handful of members who regurgitate "OPDA problem" and "NSG370 sucks" ad infinitum.
I really don't see how you can assume that all us 05-06 owners are wrong. You can't just assume that we all are false in what we have each individually experienced. Some of us have good experiences, some have bad, and some in between.

I have nothing against the NSG370 myself, but I understand that there are different perks of having either of the two manual transmissions offered during the TJs reign.

Personally I like my tranny, despite my reverse going out on me. I love it's gearing and the way it shifts.

And about the oil pump problem; from everything I have read it's a one fix problem. I don't know yet if my oil pump has been replaced yet, however if it hasn't, whoopty doo, I will replace it when it eventually fails on me.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:04 PM   #19
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I really don't see how you can assume that all us 05-06 owners are wrong.
Is it too late to add a sarcasm smiley?
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:13 PM   #20
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Is it too late to add a sarcasm smiley?
Sorry man. Really tough seeing the humor and sarcasm in text unlike being in person. Apologies
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:18 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by my996duc1 View Post
I must have the only decent 2005 out there.... No issues with the OPDA (yet) and when I do I will replace it with the redesigned Crown brand and then that will be a non-issue. The 6 speed transmission isn't the smoothest shifting but no major issues yet. The only thing I would consider instead of the 6 speed would be an auto, but that is a whole different story/thread. I do only have 143k miles though.... so everything is just getting broken in on mine. _
05 LJ here .....no probs and love it. I didn't opt for the Rubi version though because I wanted to do the mods myself.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:29 PM   #22
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IMO as long as you stick to the TJ's you're headed in the right direction...I think it's the best breed Jeep ever produced and I speak from owning CJ's, TJ's, XJ's, and test drove several JK's.
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:51 AM   #23
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Appreciate it ya'll. I'm gonna talk to the credit union and possibly go check it out saturday. I've known from the time I started looking at jeeps that I wanted a TJ. My buddy got an 07 Rubi, and it's nice. But I personally just have always liked the looks of the TJ.
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:12 PM   #24
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Paid $16k in 2012 for my 2006 TJ Rubicon with 32,000 miles and lock stock
Never looked back
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Old 06-29-2014, 07:22 PM   #25
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I have a 05 rubicon with 86k on it second owner and love it no problem with the 6sp or the oil pump as of yet
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Old 06-29-2014, 07:48 PM   #26
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Love my 05 Rubicon. It is an automatic. Had approx 45K miles on it when I bought it. I yanked the stock OPDA and it looked great still. Regardless I popped in a new Dorman. All is great.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:17 AM   #27
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Well I started calling banks and credit unions last week to see what kinda rates I could get. Turns out nobody wants to do a vehicle loan on an 03 model. They'll do personal loans but that jacks the rate up towards 9-12% which just seems ridiculous.
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:19 PM   #28
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Well I started calling banks and credit unions last week to see what kinda rates I could get. Turns out nobody wants to do a vehicle loan on an 03 model. They'll do personal loans but that jacks the rate up towards 9-12% which just seems ridiculous.
Several places will give you a loan... Pentegon Federal Credit Union does not care what year the car is. I got a loan on my 04 last year at .74%APR for example. They sent me a blank check, and I picked out the vehicle I wanted.

Back to the topic, my 04 had 14,000 miles on it. 23k now.
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:01 AM   #29
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05-06, have to change to oil pump drive or watch the oem version for bad wear.
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:31 AM   #30
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All I can say is....I LOVE MY 06!!


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