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Old 11-02-2012, 09:24 PM   #1
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Anyone own 2004-2006 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon? Opinion for buying...

So my dad who is retired has fallen in love with my Jeep (2012 JKU Rubi) and hitting trails. So much so he wants to buy one. I'm helping him look at options...he likes the longer wheelbase for the ride comfort (he's 70) and would prefer the unlimited. He's hooked on the Rubicon as well (he deserves it..always been a great dad, putting the family needs first and sacrificing for his country in Vietnam). Seeing as though he is retired and watching his $$$ he knows he may have to shoot for the 2004-2007 years.

I have found a 2006 unlimited rubicon for sale that looks pretty clean and has ok mileage (81k)...curiosity for those out there who have or have owned a 2004-2006 LWB? Reliable engine...quirks...build quality...prowess?

It is a soft top, but I know you can buy hard tops for it (again preference for his age)

Want to help him realize his dream of getting one so he can hit the trails before "spirit willing body not" limitations kick in. Any input y'all may have I'd be much obliged!

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Old 11-02-2012, 10:38 PM   #2
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My buddy has an 05 unlimited on 33 s locked front non rubi it has a hundred Sixty thousand miles on it. He has had no problems at all. Rides a whole lot better than my tj and does great on the trails all he has had to do is drive it and change the oil

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Old 11-02-2012, 10:42 PM   #3
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I have a 04 LJ and wouldn't buy a TJ after having a LJ. More cargo room, longer wheelbase for step-up climbs, larger towing capacity, better stance (in my opinion), better ride on the highway, etc. Those are just the pros off of the top of my head. Some cons (off the top of my head): has a greater chance of high centering, shorter break over angle in the rear, have to watch the years for a bad gear in the motor (05-Feb06; I think it is the OPDA), 04s only came with the 42RLE Auto transmission which is a dog on the highway and the axles need to be geared lower to accomodate for this.

I personally prefer Jeeps with Soft tops, because they seem quieter, more possibilities of look (ie: fastback, stock top, etc.), and the ease of getting the top up and down without a fancy lift in the garage or getting your neighbor to come and help take it off.

The engine (4.0 Inline 6) will go to 350,000 easily, depending on how it was maintained. It is a near bullet proof engine and wont give your dad problems. If you get a Sport LJ you will have a D44 rear axle and a D30 front. Rubicons will have the Front/Rear D44s with lockers, which are good up to 35" tires and then should be changed out for something else.

I hope I answered most of your questions
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:49 PM   #4
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I don't think you'll have a shortage of people raving about the Unlimited Rubicon. And if you wait too long for answers, the one you have your eye on will probably be gone. They seem to be a hot commodity. I know I wish I could get my hands on one.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:10 PM   #5
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Appreciate the response guys! My two models have both been JKs so don't have any experience with L or Ts. I've heard good things about the engines, but always best to have those who have "been there done that with t-shirt" fill in any "oh by the way" information.

I'm going to see if I can get him to mosey over and look at them both.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:30 PM   #6
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The engine is bullet proof, as others have said. If your father is looking at automatics, and tends to hold himself on hills with the gas rather than brakes, look into adding a transmission cooler. The only complaint i have heard about the 42rle is that it overheats in deep sand or when slipping the torque converter alot.

Beware buying soft top if he wants hard top in the future. You can find used LJs with hard tops for close to the same cost as LJs with soft tops for some reason. But buying a hard top after market is CRAZY expensive.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:47 PM   #7
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I got my LJ RUBI in march and i have loved it ever since, just know that any after market things he might want like rock sliders will cost a little more cause of length, but to me that has been the only downside. Otherwise its been Great. The ride as compared to a TJ is so much smoother.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:05 AM   #8
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From a production standpoint the lj or tj unlimited (same thing) was the rarest when compared to production #'s of current years aside from the cj4 which there is rumored to be 1 of in existence. An lj Rubicon would be more rare than that, score it while you still have a chance.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:22 AM   #9
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the LJ Rubicon was only made from 2005 to 2006
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:40 AM   #10
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I have an 06 LJ and I chose it over similarly priced 07 JKs (not JKUs though) because it has some torque. The V6 from 07-11 was pretty underpowered IMO.

As far as hard vs soft top - neither is particularly quiet. When I change my AC into "outside air" mode (as opposed to recirculate) it "puffs" the top out and keeps it from flapping on the highway - then you are just dealing with road noise which is not enough to keep you from having a conversation ( depending on your tires i suppose)
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:43 AM   #11
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I had bought my 04 LJ brand new and had 5 problem free years before moving on. I had 35's, RK lift, and spent lots if time off road. To me the LJ was the perfect combo and I always regret getting rid of it every time I see one.
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Old 11-03-2012, 06:24 AM   #12
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My husband and I own a 2006 Unlimited Rubicon. Plan on keeping it until it dies. And then, we'll revive it. Bumper to bumper overhall if need be. We'll have this thing for a few decades, hopefully.

Seems like your questions have basically been answered at this point. If you're eyeing that 2006 LJ Rubi, don't delay. They are very in demand and tend to disappear from dealer lots and private driveways quickly. Yes, it's reliable. It has power and torque. The longer wheelbase rides smoother and has much greater towing capacity if you ever need to haul something. Back seat gains 2" of leg room and you actually have cargo space in your Jeep. Perfect for everyday use and hitting the trails.

Some things to consider: A 2007 JK Unlimited will ride a lot smoother than a LJ. They're simply built to be more street driving-friendly, so it would prove to be the more comfortable ride for a daily driver. LJ is definitely more rare, particularly the LJ Rubicon, so it holds its value even better than other Wranglers (good investment). The 2007-2011 JK engines are often called "gutless", so if your dad is in love with your 2012, which has the new Pentastar V6 engine that Jeepers are raving about, he's more likely to enjoy the engine of the LJ as the LJ's engine creates more power at a lower RPM. The LJ has got the guts. LJ is easier to work on mechanically, according to some who have experience in that area. Less electronics in the LJ. An aftermarket hardtop for a LJ is ridiculously expensive ($1800++), and used ones are difficult to come by. When purchasing certain items, such as replacement carpet or corner guards, etc, the prices are usually a tad higher (not extreme - maybe $20-40) and the item takes more time to search for since there are less options to choose from. But most Jeep parts are interchangeable between the TJ and LJ.

That's about all I can think to mention at the moment. Have your dad stop somewhere to test drive a 2007 unlimited, then compare to the 2006 and see how he likes it. Be sure to test the engine's power. And make sure he has fun!
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:34 PM   #13
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Hey guys...I really appreciate all the input and feedback!! WF folk rock!

I'm forwarding him everyone's comments and am going to see if I can get him out today to look at it. Updates to follow
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:24 AM   #14
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I have a 2005 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon "LJ" 55k miles and no problems! At first I did not like the long wheel base look but now I love it! 3" lift, 31" tires too. We have packed it up to go camping for three people and also a 5hr drive to the beach. The gas mileage isn't great to say the least but that's not why we get jeeps.

I'll have a hard top for sale in the classified section soon too if anyone is interested.

Did you guys decide yet?
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:34 AM   #15
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I've had my 05 LJ (non-rubi) for 5 years.
I've installed a 3" lift, adjustable shocks, skids, etc.
I love it!
I'm 58... I expect I'll still have this rig when I'm 70.

Best of luck to you and your Dad... post pics when he brings one home!
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:43 PM   #16
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the only "negatives" are the mpg and the cost of flares and exhaust due to extra length. i get 9 mpg with a 9" lift and 35's.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:19 AM   #17
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I have the 06 LJ rubicon. Best jeep ever made.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:00 AM   #18
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Quote:
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I have the 06 LJ rubicon. Best jeep ever made.
X2. 06 Rubicon. Best jeep ever.

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Old 12-12-2012, 03:57 PM   #19
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not a Rubi, but still an LJ!! (and in the classifieds)
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:40 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bama6banger View Post
the only "negatives" are the mpg and the cost of flares and exhaust due to extra length. i get 9 mpg with a 9" lift and 35's.
Pics? If you don't mind.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:46 PM   #21
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If there were three otherwise identical Rubicons that only varied by their model year, 2004, 2005, and 2006, I'd go for the 2004 just so I wouldn't have to worry about the OPDA issue that exists with some 05/06 4.0L engines.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:51 PM   #22
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Didn't they only make rubi LJs in 05/06?
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:08 PM   #23
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Didn't they only make rubi LJs in 05/06?
correct. Also the OPDA issue is minimal and can be fixed for <$200.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:46 PM   #24
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What's the best way to fix it?
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:50 PM   #25
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What is a Opda issue? Is it easily fixxed?
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:12 PM   #26
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What is a Opda issue? Is it easily fixxed?
This is the OPDA issue: I got lucky because I have an early 05 but they are still nothing to really worry about. It's a pretty easy fix.

Chrysler is paying to install a new cam (2005/2006 owners should read this) - JeepForum.com

As to the original question YES LJ Rubi's are worth it. Here's my dads rig (old pic):

The only thing we have done to it is so far is take all the extra chrome the PO put on and put some 32's on it. It's super nice, the extra wheelbase and room are very .
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:03 PM   #27
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What is a Opda issue? Is it easily fixxed?
Just put a new one in. Its not hard, but its still low on my priority list.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:01 PM   #28
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I know this is probably somewhere but what build dates does this affect?
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:06 AM   #29
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I realize I am a little late to the party, but +1 on the Unlimited.

I love mine.

The length works well on the trails without being too long, and it's not as expensive to get into as a JKU.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:31 PM   #30
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Pics? If you don't mind.
yeah if you would explain to me how to post them!

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