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Old 04-07-2011, 10:42 PM   #1
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Sport V.s. Rubicon

This might seem like a dumb question but bear with me im new to wranglers. Im looking at buying a 03 wrangler and in the pics it has the rubicon decals but when i got to the dealership it was listed as a sport. A friend of mine said it was probably not a Rubicon because the name would show up as wrangler R with the vin. But to be sure i was just wondering what is the easiest way to visibly tell the difference between a sport and a rubicon?
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:46 PM   #2
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should have a "factory" button for lockers....dana 44 instead of a 30 up front....factory rocker guards

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Old 04-07-2011, 10:47 PM   #3
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The rear axle has a dana 44 instead of a dana 35...that's about all I know
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swingtail82 View Post
should have a "factory" button for lockers....dana 44 instead of a 30 up front....factory rocker guards
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:50 PM   #5
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The V.I.N. should tell whether it's a Sport or Rubicon. Get the V.I.N. and call a different (Jeep) dealer and have them tell you.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:00 PM   #6
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The sixth diget in the vin will be an R if its a rubicon.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Redneck07 View Post
The sixth diget in the vin will be an R if its a rubicon.
Your mileage may vary. I have an '04 Rubicon with no R anywhere in the VIN. Still has the dealer window sticker in records.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:32 PM   #8
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05 rubicon with no r in it either. Call the dealer for the best verification, I am trying to remember if carfax will tell you.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:56 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Redneck07 View Post
The sixth diget in the vin will be an R if its a rubicon.
Carfax says sport, Dealer sticker said sport, and the sixth letter is S, but the decals say rubicon...im willing to bet some guy just wanted to look like he had a rubi and bought the decals. Kinda weird but w/e. you think if i take them off there will be a mark from where they were?
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bwood11 View Post
Carfax says sport, Dealer sticker said sport, and the sixth letter is S, but the decals say rubicon...im willing to bet some guy just wanted to look like he had a rubi and bought the decals. Kinda weird but w/e. you think if i take them off there will be a mark from where they were?
I would double check the axles. Somebody might have built it as a rubiclone and could have some D44s. Might be able to get a good deal if the dealer doesn't realize this...

But most likely it was just somebody trying to look cool with a rubicon sticker.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:07 AM   #11
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How could i tell? Just by looking at them?
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:09 AM   #12
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rubber plug = D35



metal fill plug = D44



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Old 04-08-2011, 12:14 AM   #13
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Thanks man. ill check it out on saturday when i go back to the dealer
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:20 AM   #14
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Checking the axels will tell you, but it would be easier to just open the door, look on the dash and see if there is an "axle lock" switch.
If yes, then it's a rubi
If no, then not.

A D44 rear was an option on the sport (I have one) but front/rear lockers were only an option on Rubis.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:24 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WarBoomer View Post
Checking the axels will tell you, but it would be easier to just open the door, look on the dash and see if there is an "axle lock" switch.
If yes, then it's a rubi
If no, then not.

A D44 rear was an option on the sport (I have one) but front/rear lockers were only an option on Rubis.
I think it's already been determined it's not a Rubi. But I was saying somebody could have swapped in D44s in an attempt to make a Rubiclone. Or it may happen to have the optional D44.
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:05 AM   #16
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well has its been said before check for a locker switch for starters. If it were me the first thing i would check is if it has a d44 front axle, then i would look under and see if it has a slip yoke or not
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:51 AM   #17
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The "R" in the VIN number is BS, but if you look at Decoding Jeep Wrangler TJ VIN Numbers, you will see that for 2003, Rubicon was coded as having "6" in the sixth position of the VIN#, whereas the Sport has a "4" in that position. The VIN # encoding changed from year to year, so what I quoted there is only for 2003.

Aside from all the good advice above about checking the differentials and locker switch (you should make sure the lockers are able to engage, BTW), you can also check the sticker in the drivers door. The Rubicon comes stock with LT245/75R16 tires, and the Sport I believe will have smaller tires/wheels.
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Old 04-08-2011, 03:53 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmacioce
The "R" in the VIN number is BS, but if you look at Decoding Jeep Wrangler TJ VIN Numbers, you will see that for 2003, Rubicon was coded as having "6" in the sixth position of the VIN#, whereas the Sport has a "4" in that position. The VIN # encoding changed from year to year, so what I quoted there is only for 2003.

Aside from all the good advice above about checking the differentials and locker switch (you should make sure the lockers are able to engage, BTW), you can also check the sticker in the drivers door. The Rubicon comes stock with LT245/75R16 tires, and the Sport I believe will have smaller tires/wheels.
Yes sorry about that you're right in the 2003 it is a 6 cuz that's what mine is. My mistake

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