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Old 07-07-2014, 08:39 PM   #1
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Question LJ Rubicon: tradeoffs?

I've been trying to find a manual transmission LJ to buy, and tonight I discovered a 2005 Rubicon Unlimited has popped up near me.

I haven't been particularly interested in Rubicons because I don't expect to do much off-roading (limited options in my area, and this will be my daily driver) but it beats driving 4 hours out of my way to test drive a standard LJ, which I was planning on doing later this week.

It seems clear that the Rubicon LJ has sacrificed some on-road comfort for off road capabilities, but it's not at all obvious to me in what ways or how much, and I don't have enough experience with Jeeps to know what I should be considering when I take it for a spin.

What should I be considering when I take a look at it tomorrow?

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Old 07-07-2014, 08:52 PM   #2
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LJ Rubicon is the same as a Standard Rubicon except you have the added benefits of the Rubicon model like, Front and Rear Locker, 4:1 Transfer case, Front D44 and other smaller things. It will ride the same on-road as a regular LJ, only problem is it costs more.

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Old 07-07-2014, 08:57 PM   #3
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Hmm. I got the impression that it might ride rougher and get lower gas mileage than a standard LJ. Not the case?

Edit: Also, are there performance tradeoffs? Acceleration or top speed?
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:05 PM   #4
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Not the case.

On the road, I can't think of any noticeable difference between a Rubicon and a regular TJ. Everything is the same except for 31" tires, selectable lockers with a LSD rear and the 4:1 t-case. The only thing that could possibly show itself during regular driving would be the LSD and the larger tires.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:06 PM   #5
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Nope....it's got better equipment than a Sport LJ which I have. Mine has the disc brakes all around....Dana 44 in the rear and the extended room. The Rubi has Dana 44 front and rear plus the no need for a yolk on the front end. There were LJ Sahara Rubi's made but only a 1K of them. The LJ is nice let me not state that....love ours. But the LJ Rubi is worth that much more and capable....whether you take it off road or not. It's going to be worth that much more if you ever come to sell it. Look up how many LJ Rubi were made my guess 35K. Now if you really are convinced that the Sport has a better ride and gas mileage....I'll trade you ours straight up... This maybe interesting to you ....http://4wheeldrive.about.com/od/allt...mitedjeeps.htm

Boy...I was way off.....
2004 - 11,822 Unlimited
2005 - 7,450 Unlimited
2005 - 5,854 Unlimited Rubicon
2006 - 14,624 Unlimited
2006 - 6,742 Unlimited Rubicon

Totals:

33,896 - Unlimited
12,596 - Unlimited Rubicon
46,492 - Total
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:11 PM   #6
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The Rubicon LJ should have 4.10 gears, and the standard LJ should have 3.73 gears, correct?
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:14 PM   #7
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Thanks, I appreciate the feedback. I always expect tradeoffs when considering something tailored for off-road use, glad to hear there's nothing to be concerned about.

Looking forward to seeing it tomorrow.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:16 PM   #8
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The Rubicon LJ should have 4.10 gears, and the standard LJ should have 3.73 gears, correct?
Yes, that's correct. Jeep Horizons :: 2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimted Specifications has what I believe to be accurate specs for LJ and Rubicon LJ.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:26 PM   #9
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Thanks, I appreciate the feedback. I always expect tradeoffs when considering something tailored for off-road use, glad to hear there's nothing to be concerned about.

Looking forward to seeing it tomorrow.
Nothing to be concerned about? You should be wicked excited....
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:27 PM   #10
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Either one would be an awesome Jeep! Best of luck with your purchase. I hope you find one in great shape at a really reasonable price.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:35 PM   #11
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Nothing to be concerned about? You should be wicked excited....
Trying to temper my enthusiasm: about to head out of town for a week, and I don't want to rush anything, so heartbreak is a distinct possibility.

But, yes, I'm quite excited. It's even my preferred (stock) color, yellow.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:55 PM   #12
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I've fancied LJs since they debuted in 2004. For me at least, the Rubi LJ the holy grail of that generation. I'd go for the rubi if you can swing it.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:57 PM   #13
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If you like this lj don't wait. It will be gone very soon. Especially if it's a ruby.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:06 PM   #14
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I've fancied LJs since they debuted in 2004. For me at least, the Rubi LJ the holy grail of that generation. I'd go for the rubi if you can swing it.

Mac...sorry for hijacking your thread momentarily, but I just wanted to comment on surfkaster's setup....looks freakin awesome. Looking to get a setup similar for fishing off Cape Cod and the Canal for stripers
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:43 PM   #15
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Mac...sorry for hijacking your thread momentarily, but I just wanted to comment on surfkaster's setup....looks freakin awesome. Looking to get a setup similar for fishing off Cape Cod and the Canal for stripers
Thanks Got the rod holder of CL awhile back. Attached PVC holders on the tray off the back. My Jeep serves as my DD/commuter & beach buggy.

& to keep things fairly on track. Go for the Rubi. If it's fair price it won't last long.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:59 PM   #16
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I have a 06 LJ Rubicon. I love it! The ride is better than a TJ, the mileage on the LJ vs TJ is the same, maybe better due to 4:10 vs 3:07.

I put 32" tires on, and a 2.5" lift. I have a new Sail Cloth top waiting for the time to go on.
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:08 PM   #17
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I have a 06 LJ Rubicon. I love it! The ride is better than a TJ, the mileage on the LJ vs TJ is the same, maybe better due to 4:10 vs 3:07.

I put 32" tires on, and a 2.5" lift. I have a new Sail Cloth top waiting for the time to go on.
The OP was questioning the difference of a LJ Sport and a Ruby....not a TJ.

When will it be OK to put the soft top on??? What weekend does summer arrive in Wyoming? To me the 06 LJ Ruby is the acme of Jeepdom....
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:15 AM   #18
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Can't sleep. Too invested in a Jeep I haven't even seen photos of yet!
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:54 AM   #19
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Can't sleep. Too invested in a Jeep I haven't even seen photos of yet!

Now you're in a pickle. If you go and have any thoughts of this rig and don't act....imagine the week off.....a week of constant thoughts and what ifs. My wish for you is......it's a POS and you have no doubt you are passing.......you fall in love and secure it until you get back or take it with you. Good luck and report back. We've all been there. I went 856 miles to buy a Jeep that I only saw pics of.......turns out the best deal I have ever made.
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:57 AM   #20
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I scored a 06 LJ rubicon and I'm stoked on it.
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:28 AM   #21
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Buying the 2005 as I write this. Pics later. Thanks everyone for encouraging the plunge.
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:24 PM   #22
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Waiting for pics, it's been two hours already!

Congratulations!
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:42 PM   #23
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A couple of quick snaps. Thanks again, she's a beaut, other than the bumpers and the hard top, all of which must go.
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:48 PM   #24
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Looks great!

Folks will line up for that hardtop...
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:29 PM   #25
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Very nice, how many miles? You'll love the LJ, I'd keep the hardtop if I were you. I put a harken hoist in my garage where mine spends the summer. Highway driving with the soft top will get old quick in the winter.
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:32 PM   #26
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84,000 miles.

I'll consider keeping the hard top, maybe see how this winter goes before I decide whether to sell it, but most years winter has mild stretches and I'll be annoyed if I can't easily take the top off. (And for various stupid reasons, my garage isn't an option for now.)
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:42 PM   #27
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A couple of quick snaps. Thanks again, she's a beaut, other than the bumpers and the hard top, all of which must go.
to the obsession......the waters fine......oh..wow ...you just dove in with no hesitation......oh you're one of us that's for sure. . Congrats on the Ruby LJ...she is sweet.

Yes I concur on the bumpers. Black Rock Crawler bumpers from Smittybilt are pretty cheap and Class III towing capable. The towing on a LJ is 3500 lbs.....1500 for a regular TJ. Now just for giggles.....go test drive a few TJ's if you get the chance and see the difference you have in a LJ.......The extra room is a PITA but you'll get used to it. You'll be able to sell those bumpers pretty easily and I agree on the hardtop......do not let that go too quickly they are getting rarer and rarer. We store ours outside on pallets with a tarp covering it to help prevent sun damage. If you have no door surrounds, be on the lookout for a pair. CL is usually a good place to come up with those. You can email Chrysler with your VIN # and request a build sheet and they will send it to you no charge. You can see when your build date is and have peace of mind with the overstated screaming monkeys issue. The OPDA....you'll hear enough about it, but I haven't and several others on here have never had an issue with it. The NSG370 gets some negative feedback, but usually from ones that don't own one. Love ours.....up on the highway and hitting 6th and just cruising along at 70-80 is so nice. Well get back to us once you come down from the high.
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:30 PM   #28
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The key to the NSG 370 is S-L-O-W shifts from 1st to 2nd.
Since your rig has 84K miles, I suggest draining the transmission, check to see how much metal is in the oil... then re-fill with Amsoil Synchromesh or other high-quality oil of the correct, compatible grade.
Also get the factory service manual. Do a search, free on-line copies can be found.
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:37 PM   #29
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The key to the NSG 370 is S-L-O-W shifts from 1st to 2nd.
Since your rig has 84K miles, I suggest draining the transmission, check to see how much metal is in the oil... then re-fill with Amsoil Synchromesh or other high-quality oil of the correct, compatible grade.
Also get the factory service manual. Do a search, free on-line copies can be found.
The Amsoil Syncro is highly recommended along with the Royal Purple Syncro.......both are very good. Lynn helped me to decide and take care of some things when we first got our LJ.....she is very knowledgeable and helpful as many others on here.
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Old 07-08-2014, 04:03 PM   #30
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( Lynn = 59 year old guy )


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