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Old 01-20-2009, 08:01 PM   #1
ABSOLUTnie's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
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Looking for Jeep Advice

I'm in a pickle. Bear with me here:

I have a 99 Sport, lifted, 33s, soft & hard top and a few other minor goodies, which I picked up for about $9.5k a year ago (45k miles). The only thing that bothers me is that it's auto. I thought it wouldn't bother me at first but now its starting to get to me. Every car I had before this one was stick. The other thing is that I don't have lockers (piece of my mind type thing). I haven't really taken it to an offroad park yet or done any heavy duty offroading yet. I messed around in some mud and some easy trails on my buddy's property.

So now im debating. Should I just sell this thing and buy a stick Rubi (about $15k Im guessing) and go from there? OR......Do I swap the tranny with a 5 speed and swap out my axles with Rubicon axles?

You might say that I don't "need" the Rubi because I haven't really tested my Jeep out to the max yet. I can see that argument but I fell in love with Jeeps and I'm not gonna stop till I get the Jeep that I want. Im planning on doing lots of wheeling this year.

If you read through all this, knock some sense into me.


BTW - Here's a pic of my rig

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Old 01-20-2009, 08:14 PM   #2
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Nice rig so far. Just a suggestion, you can take those wires from the windshield mounted lights and run them between the door and the A post of the frame. There should be a rubber grommet on the frame you can snake the wires under. That way they aren't visible from the front of the Jeep.

I got 99 Problems but a Jeep ain't one
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:49 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Twozerofd View Post
Nice rig so far. Just a suggestion, you can take those wires from the windshield mounted lights and run them between the door and the A post of the frame. There should be a rubber grommet on the frame you can snake the wires under. That way they aren't visible from the front of the Jeep.
Yah, I've been meaning to get to that.
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:34 AM   #4
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As far as your overall question, my first suggestion would be: wheel it first to find out what it can currently do. Best bet is to take it out with your club, wheel it, and THEN see what you would like to change.

Auto vs. Stick? I bought a standard way back when, but have found, after wheeling it a bit, that I wish I had auto. Trust me, get positioned, in a standard, on a rock facing 70 degrees straight up where all you can see is clouds and you'll wish you had automatic.

To each his own, tho. Wheel it. Watch what others do with theirs, see what the difference is between yours and theirs, and THEN make your shopping list.
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:40 AM   #5
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i perfer autos offroading.. i have never drivin a stick while wheeling but a few guys in my club has em..

as for lockers.. it would be easier to get them installed in your current jeep than to buy a new jeep just for that reason..

heck i swapped in both front and rear axles n my jeep instead of buying a rubi..
99 sahara :: 2'' coils (front), jks acos f&r, jks front trackbar, jks bl/mml, RE monotube shocks, hp30/d44, 33'' procomp mts, 15x8 eagle alloy 187s, hella optilux fogs, raingler nets, & more random junk::

06 charger r/t :: 5.7l hemi w/ flipstick, tinted windows, leather heated seats, 2 kenwood 12s =D my new baby ::
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:45 AM   #6
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Wheel it the way it is, you'll be surprised how amazing it will wheel and the things it will get you thru. I've lead a few stock vehicles and Non-rubi thru the badlands and even some YJs and they've all handled it pretty good. Sometimes have to take different lines or bypass, but they all loved it.

Definately hit the offroad parks and see what you think after a couple of visits. Trail riding with a group and rock crawler is totally different then mud bogging and or field riding.

As for auto vs. stick, thats a debate in it's self... lol I have stick and there's times I wish I had auto for the rock crawler I do, like the above mentioned.

Check out the Badlands Offroad park, in Attica, IN, its about 3-4hrs away depending on traffic and have everything for stock & built. Since I see your in the Chicago area let me recommend a great group of guys that I helped form a club there with.
extremejeepclub.com • Index page They typically hit the badlands usually once a month & more in spring, summer & fall. They are sponsered by the Jeep deaer, Extreme Jeep.
98TJ / Hi-Lined / Zip Lockers / 35s

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Old 01-21-2009, 09:47 AM   #7
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if you want to swap trans and put new axles thats going to cost a lot of mula... if you can find a decently priced Rubicon id go gor that
1997 TJ, 6cyl, 4' Skyjacker, Custom Bumpers Front and Rear , Rocker Rails, Magna Flow Muffler, Light Bar , Custom Intake, Optima Yellow Top ,33x12.5x15 Procomp X-Terrain, Alpine Type S Audio, 10' polk sub, Recaro Seats.

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Old 01-21-2009, 05:37 PM   #8
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FWIW.....I have a stock Rubicon (at the moment) and just can't believe the places it's taken me. I wouldn't trade it for anything. But I don't think you'll find many around in great shape for $15K. They have much more of a tendency to get wheeled than the average Jeep. If you consider one, look at it very carefully.

-My only problem is I keep forgetting the things I can't remember-
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:55 PM   #9
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Just an opening note,

I have a stick. Everything I've every wheeled with has had a stick. I'll stick with my stick. That said, an auto can do some things that you have a very difficult time doing with a manual.

So, if you just can stand the auto and no one is gonna talk you out of it (I get it) then sell and buy what you want.

DO NOT buy a Rubi not for the lockers! If you have a D44 rear and D30 front you can get 99% of that capability with some fairly cheap mods. Buy the Rubi because of the Tcase! That 4-1 transfer case is a friggin' wonder!! Not many folks mention the t case when comparing TJ's but after owning a 2000 sport and a 2006 Rubi, I would buy a sport and slap some ARB's in it IF I could get it with the rubi transfer case!

So, don't swap in "rubicon" axles into your TJ unless you find a pair for free or nearly so.

And changing the trans to a stick FROM an auto has got to be a PITA. The other way should be easier as you just have to remove stuff instead of installing it where it never was...

At the end of the day, it's a jeep addiction and spending money on them is "normal".

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