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Old 06-02-2010, 01:05 PM   #1
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Sahara vs Sport

Sorry in advance for the possible dumb question.

Besides the seats and exterior trim, what is the difference between these Jeeps. My only requirements for a Jeep are: 6 cyl., sound bar, cruise control, standard trans, and hard doors. It seems that you get all of this on a sport and they're less expensive. Am I wrong on this? Are there noticible mechanical differences?

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Old 06-02-2010, 01:08 PM   #2
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Nothing really. Saharas often times came with with the D44 rear axle as opposed to the standard D35, but both the Sport and Sahara had the D44 as an option so it wasn't standard. Check the rear axle to see which one it is. The D44 is nice if you're looking to lift w/ some bigger tires greater then 35". Otherwise, it's not that important. The Sahara is mostly a cosmetic package. The X edition is a 6cyl. base model with most things an option, but it sounds like a Sport would suit you fine.

http://www.jeep4x4center.com/tj/Axle...ationChart.htm

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Old 06-02-2010, 01:13 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply! I love the look of the Sahara and would prefer one if the price was right. I just don't want to pay thousands more for one.
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Old 06-02-2010, 01:39 PM   #4
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here you go:
Jeep - Compare Vehicle and Model Specifications - Highlights

there are a lot of subtle differences, too many to list, mostly luxury items. Traction control, more durable cloth seats, sub-woofer and height adjustable drivers seat were a few of the standard items that caught my eye.
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Old 06-02-2010, 02:25 PM   #5
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A lot of those features were also available on the Sport though. The biggest difference is the aesthetic differences like the seats and the colored fender flares. I personally hate the fender flares, and you can always paint them to your own liking. The seats also weren't my taste, plus I think they probably will burn your ass in the summer to a crisp. The subwoofer is weak, but the height adjustable drivers seat WOULD be a nice feature to have.


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Old 06-02-2010, 04:25 PM   #6
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Yep the only features on the Sahara that you can't get on a Sport include the painted fender flares, carpeting that covers more of the interior, and the seat fabric. All of the other options are available on the Sport. Dana 44 rear axles are an optional upgrade for either one.
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by lonur1 View Post
Sorry in advance for the possible dumb question.

Besides the seats and exterior trim, what is the difference between these Jeeps.
Stock TJ Specifications - JeepForum.com
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:30 PM   #8
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JeepForum? jk

great post, what extra carpet is added? I ripped mine out so I would just hate to have to rip more carpet out. Plus, I hate the painted fender flares. Reminds me of the Renegade YJs.
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Old 06-09-2010, 03:00 PM   #9
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Do the different Sahara logos on the side mean anything at all? Like made in a specific region? My Sahara has the sailboat in the sunset logo, but most I have seen are the palm trees.. Prob means nothing, but figured i'd ask..
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Old 06-09-2010, 03:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
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JeepForum? jk

great post, what extra carpet is added? I ripped mine out so I would just hate to have to rip more carpet out. Plus, I hate the painted fender flares. Reminds me of the Renegade YJs.
Where did you get that smiley? Thats great!!
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Old 06-09-2010, 03:33 PM   #11
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I opted for the Sahara. It came standard with nicer tires/rims, a running board and I just liked some of the interior touches as well. I priced them both out and once I started adding back in the options that I wanted the Sport came to the same price as the Sahara so I just went with the one that had everything I wanted anyway. Then I let my wife talk me into even more stuff. I got mine in flame red and the body colored fender flares reminded me of a picture from my grandfathers old service station of a jeep firetruck, so some nostalgia there.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:14 PM   #12
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Hmm, wondered about these differences too. Thanks guys!
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:22 AM   #13
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Buddy of mine has a 98 sahara and besides a new radiator (cracked when we got 7+ ft of air jumping dirt hills at a construction site) And regular fluid maintnence. Runs like a champ. I'm sure this is true with all TJ's. But the saharas seem to last the test of time a little better. Can't compare to a rubicon...but since this is what your looking at the sahara is a real treat.
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Old 03-01-2011, 05:53 AM   #14
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Buddy of mine has a 98 sahara and besides a new radiator (cracked when we got 7+ ft of air jumping dirt hills at a construction site) And regular fluid maintnence. Runs like a champ. I'm sure this is true with all TJ's. But the saharas seem to last the test of time a little better. Can't compare to a rubicon...but since this is what your looking at the sahara is a real treat.
Its a trim level... Thats like saying a honda civic ex with a sunroof and leather wrapped steering wheel lasts the test of time better than a civic lx without those features. Wranglers in general are beasts and last the test of time, the trim level wont effect that. (the dana 44 is available regardless of trim level)
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:51 AM   #15
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Honestly, you need to ask yourself this question...."Do I wanted color matched fender flares, or do I want black fender flares?"
All the other things you can add/remove and may have been added/changed at the dealership.

I have a sport...came with D44, side steps, upgraded rims, 31" tires, etc. However any Sport/Sahara can have any number of add on's making each one unique (which is why most of us love Wranglers to begin with).

The most glaring difference will be painted fenders. If you decided against them, then look for a sport with all of the add on's you like in the Sahara you like. (or vice versa). I assure you, there's one out there just like it or CLOSE.

As far as engine or longevity go....they are the SAME. One will not outlast another. Painted fender flares do not add Horsepower, gas mileage...................
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:34 AM   #16
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The Sahara model is strictly trim (1" wider colored flares and distinct interior upholstery). The D44 rear is an option and not a standard. I personally have been a victim of the Sahara model (D35 and 3.07 gearing). Mine's a '98.
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:46 AM   #17
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I love my Sahara. Mechanically, it is no better than a sport or an X, but I do love my painted flares. It may be a small thing, but for me, it is nice not to sweat discolored or faded flares.
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:49 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WarBoomer
Honestly, you need to ask yourself this question...."Do I wanted color matched fender flares, or do I want black fender flares?"
All the other things you can add/remove and may have been added/changed at the dealership.

I have a sport...came with D44, side steps, upgraded rims, 31" tires, etc. However any Sport/Sahara can have any number of add on's making each one unique (which is why most of us love Wranglers to begin with).

The most glaring difference will be painted fenders. If you decided against them, then look for a sport with all of the add on's you like in the Sahara you like. (or vice versa). I assure you, there's one out there just like it or CLOSE.

As far as engine or longevity go....they are the SAME. One will not outlast another. Painted fender flares do not add Horsepower, gas mileage...................
Awww man are you serious?? Lol, I for sure thought having the matched painted flares would make it more aerodynamic and give it better gas mileage and make the jeep go faster! I'm glad I don't like the painted flares then. Lmao
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Old 05-08-2014, 12:39 PM   #19
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This post is old but my 98 sahara came with brake lock differential (not sure if sports have it too) a more heavy duty hydro steering stabilizer, slightly different spring rate, a more dropped pitman arm to maintain steering angles after a lift, different interior trim (wider painted flares, interior came in different colors etc.) it also has 3:73 axle gear ratio, it has AC and cruise control and an improved radiator and transmission cooler. I'm not sure what rad I have but Its bigger then my friends sport rad. I'm sure there's other stuff that I am forgeting too.
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:07 PM   #20
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This post is old but my 98 sahara came with brake lock differential (not sure if sports have it too) a more heavy duty hydro steering stabilizer, slightly different spring rate, a more dropped pitman arm to maintain steering angles after a lift, different interior trim (wider painted flares, interior came in different colors etc.) it also has 3:73 axle gear ratio, it has AC and cruise control and an improved radiator and transmission cooler. I'm not sure what rad I have but Its bigger then my friends sport rad. I'm sure there's other stuff that I am forgeting too.
Your rig may have been equipped with the tracloc LSD but it didn't come stock with a drop pitman arm.
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:45 PM   #21
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the Sahara model is just a highly optioned TJ with three or four distinctive and unique cosmetic touches, but most of the Sahara's content consisted of functional and desirable options that you could order for extra cost on the Sport. The "Sahara-only" stuff was just cosmetic (painted flares, tan roll cage padding, better carpeting, unique seat fabric, etc.)

....and the standard content of the TJ Sahara changed over the years. For example the early Saharas did not come with the 30" Tire and Wheel Group and cruise control as standard. In later years they did. In the final year of the Sahara, the 2003 model came with the most amount of standard stuff including the D44 rear axle, duel tops, larger tires, etc.

When you see a Sahara you are really looking at a Sport with many extra-cost Sport options already included. But to say the Sahara is a "cosmetic only" package is wrong because most of the options you get on the Sahara are functional.

............when you ordered a new Sahara, Jeep was essentially giving you a discount over ordering a Sport and then adding on all the stuff line-by-line to the Sport that you would get as standard on the Sahara.
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Old 05-10-2014, 09:19 AM   #22
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I got a sport with most the options listed but can a person buy a height adjuster for the driver seat?
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:38 AM   #23
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The only height adjustment would be via a set of spacers to make the seat taller. There's no easy way to make it shorter like if you were extra tall. Seat spacer puck kits are easily found for the TJ seats.

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