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Old 02-27-2014, 09:51 AM   #1
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Sport VS Rubicon?

Whats the difference in them? Which one os better for a daily driver/ light off roading?

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Old 02-27-2014, 10:00 AM   #2
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Biggest differences:
Rubicon will have d44 front and rear axles as well as factory lockers. Rubicon transfer case also has lower gearing.

Sport has an option for a d44 rear axle but majority do not have this and simply have the d35.

If you're doing light offroading and daily driving, i'd vote to just go with a sport since you'll get it a lot cheaper and you wont need the features of the rubicon. But if money isnt really a factor, then just go for the rubicon.

The d35 you'll most likely get in the sport will be ok up to 33's for light offroading and your daily driving.

Rubicon is overkill for most people who lightly offroad.

just my .02

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Old 02-27-2014, 10:00 AM   #3
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Both are equal where daily driving is concerned, the Rubicon is WAY WAY WAY overkill for light offroading that the Sport is more than great at.

Basically the Rubicon's chief claim to fame is that both of its axles have a locker in it that make doing more difficult trails easier or sometimes just possible. Lockers are not needed for "light" offroading. The Rubicon also includes a transfer case with lower gearing in its lowest gear range which is better for "crawling" super slow on super difficult trails.

But if you think you may ever want to get into more difficult trails, the Rubicon would not be a bad choice. But for the other 99% of people who only occasionally offroad & only do mild trails, the Sport would be a more economical choice that is capable of doing trails that are more difficult than 90% of the offroading Jeepers ever do.
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:13 AM   #4
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Rubicons also come armored up underneath from the factory, protecting vital components when off going off road.
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:19 AM   #5
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Rubicons also come armored up underneath from the factory, protecting vital components when off going off road.
Nothing more than the Sport comes with, both include essentially the same big skidplate under the transfer case.
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:36 AM   #6
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Used 2005 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon For Sale in Arlington TX | 4A9761A | Serving Fort Worth, Grapevine & Dallas, Texas


This is the one im looking at.... Any thoughts?? unfortunately the sport sold
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:43 AM   #7
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^that's looks to be a good Rubicon for that price point I'd scoot over there and give it a thorough inspection and test drive, good luck.
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:44 AM   #8
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I personally wouldn't buy an 05 or 06, the 4.0L engine in those two years has a potentially serious issue with the oil pump drive assembly. Some claim it is fixable with a kit from Dorman but I'm not convinced of that having a good long term prognosis.
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:59 AM   #9
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That is a good price on the 05 Rubicon. I wouldn't let the OPDA issue stop me from buying it. I have an 05 and plan to keep it for a very long time. Do yourself a favor though and do a little research on the OPDA (OIl Pump Drive Assembly) aka Camshaft Synchronizer as all 05 and 06 model 4.0L engines have this defect. The good news is that it is actually very easy to inspect and you could get a mechanic to do it before you buy it. If the drive gear on the OPDA (and camshaft) doesn't appear to have abnormal wear, a Dorman OPDA is less than $150 and they are pretty easy to install.
Do a little research. There is plenty of info on this site and youtube.
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:17 AM   #10
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i had the camshaft Syncro go out in my ford ranger. it was fairly simple to replace. just getting to it was a pain in the ass
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:59 PM   #11
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Old 02-27-2014, 02:34 PM   #12
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^ X's fall below the Sport but above the SE and all came with the 4.0L but not a lot of standard stuff and some of the best TJ options were not offered on the X like the Dana 44 rear axle and the 30" Tire and Wheel Group....but the one in your ad is way, way over-priced. that Rubicon is much closer to a fair deal especially if you can negotiated a grand off the asking price.
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Old 02-27-2014, 03:22 PM   #13
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how over priced?
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Old 02-27-2014, 03:29 PM   #14
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Another place to look in the Metroplex would be Collins Bros Jeep in Wylie. All they deal in is Jeeps, and they've been in business for years.

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Old 02-27-2014, 05:14 PM   #15
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I'd say that is a very fair price for the Rubicon and provided it checked out mechanically I wouldn't hesitate to buy it. Maybe more capable than you believe you want, but certainly not LESS capable than you might find out.
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Old 02-28-2014, 02:09 AM   #16
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how over priced?
imo, about $4,000 over.
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Old 02-28-2014, 06:28 AM   #17
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Another option is to look for an 04-06 LJ/Unlimited TJ, the extra room is a serious plus with Dana 44 in the rear and disc brakes all around. Just saying, if you're going to spend that limit, it's worth a check.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:11 AM   #18
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For a dealer listing that rubi is fairly priced. I shopped for the last month and watched 03-06 rubi's sell quick. Private sale 80-90k mile soft top, manual rubi's sold in days if not hours at the $12-$13k price.
I paid a lot more but I found a stock, dual top, manual 2004 rubi with 16,800 miles.

The rubi has several unique features:
d44 front and rear
4:1 t-case low range
factory rocker guards
t-case has a fixed yoke
4.10 gears in axles
rear disk brakes
factory lockers
unique rims
245 factory m/t tires
I may be leaving something out. It is a great value.
They are holding their value well. Only offered 03-06 in TJ platform.
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Old 02-28-2014, 08:30 AM   #19
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For a dealer listing that rubi is fairly priced. I shopped for the last month and watched 03-06 rubi's sell quick. Private sale 80-90k mile soft top, manual rubi's sold in days if not hours at the $12-$13k price.
I paid a lot more but I found a stock, dual top, manual 2004 rubi with 16,800 miles.

The rubi has several unique features:
d44 front and rear
4:1 t-case low range
factory rocker guards
t-case has a fixed yoke
4.10 gears in axles
rear disk brakes
factory lockers
unique rims
245 factory m/t tires
I may be leaving something out. It is a great value.
They are holding their value well. Only offered 03-06 in TJ platform.
Damn, thanks man! im going to look at it tomorrow and test it out. if all goes well itll be mine!
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:21 AM   #20
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What is bothering me is all the recommendations for the more expensive Rubicon when the OP says he will only be doing light offroading. That's like being told you need to spend the additional $$$ for an F250 pickup truck when all you need is a car trunk to carry the groceries home in. The Sport costs less and stock, will do far more difficult trails than would be encountered in "light offroading".

I have a friend who came to me for advice on a Jeep & I recommended the Sport over the Rubicon the salesman was pushing on him. He does not offroad on anything more than a dirt road but he bought the Rubicon anyway. I took him on his first offroad trip in it and he didn't want to do anything that required 4Lo or its lockers. It was a big waste of the additional $$$.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:26 AM   #21
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What is bothering me is all the recommendations for the more expensive Rubicon when the OP says he will only be doing light offroading. That's like being told you need to spend the additional $$$ for an F250 pickup truck when all you need is a car trunk to carry the groceries home in. The Sport costs less and stock, will do far more difficult trails than would be encountered in "light offroading". I have a friend who came to me for advice on a Jeep & I recommended the Sport over the Rubicon the salesman was pushing on him. He does not offroad on anything more than a dirt road but he bought the Rubicon anyway. I took him on his first offroad trip in it and he didn't want to do anything that required 4Lo or its lockers. It was a big waste of the additional $$$.
Let me redefine light off-roading. I'm always in my deer lease, or wanting to go on a trail. I just don't get to very often. I'll be doing pretty good trails. But only like once a month.
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:11 PM   #22
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Go with the Rubi.
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Old 02-28-2014, 06:49 PM   #23
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You can buy a PowerSonic battery for $XX or a Diehard Platinum for $XXX
You can buy some Yokohama tires for $XXX or a set of Goodyear Wranglers for $XXXX
You can buy a tank of Kwiki-Mart gas at $X or fillup with Shell for $X+.05
You can hunt deer with a .22 but you might want to take a rifled slug 12 gauge instead

They all work. You might never exceed the capacity of the cheap stuff, but then again, you might.

The difference in my mind is whether you want to be a rig-builder, or do you just want to wheel. The Rubicon is clearly atop the heap for streetable stockers.
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:46 PM   #24
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I have a Sport and only go weekend off roading, really nothing above a trail level 8 at its highest. I also have a lift and 33's and honestly its all I need for now. Still have stock everything . And yes its also my daily driver. Rubicons are nice, don't get me wrong, but I'd rather build my under armor with things I know will hold up. Not factory OEM stuff.
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:38 AM   #25
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I have a Sport and only go weekend off roading, really nothing above a trail level 8 at its highest. I also have a lift and 33's and honestly its all I need for now. Still have stock everything . And yes its also my daily driver. Rubicons are nice, don't get me wrong, but I'd rather build my under armor with things I know will hold up. Not factory OEM stuff.
I'm confused by this statement... There's no difference in the under armor of a Rubicon vs. a sport or any other trim level.
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Old 03-01-2014, 03:02 AM   #26
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...and I was not making a general recommendation of a Rubicon over a Sport or an X, no way, I was only commenting on the op's specific TJ's that he is currently looking at and of the three, the Rubicon appears to be the best deal.
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:24 PM   #27
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I'm confused by this statement... There's no difference in the under armor of a Rubicon vs. a sport or any other trim level.
There isn't. But its factory not aftermarket skid plates. Granted they do the same job, but to be able to take theirs off and replace it with something else I'd prefer. I've already dinged my factory skid plate pretty good and I've heard and read that there are higher quality ones that won't dent and what not as much because of the material they use. Trying to explain it better.
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:42 PM   #28
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If I were the OP I would go with the sport. It will perform above and beyond in light trail use. Take the difference in price and invest it in some aftermarket parts or just pocket it. Like Jerry said, there's no need to buy a 1 ton pickup to deliver pizzas.
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:54 PM   #29
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Let me redefine light off-roading. I'm always in my deer lease, or wanting to go on a trail. I just don't get to very often. I'll be doing pretty good trails. But only like once a month.
Having owned both a Sport and currently a Rubicon purchased used from a friend after my Sport was stolen, a Sport would be fine.

Too many inexperienced Jeepers underestimate the Sport and think only the Rubicon is worthy of offroading & they couldn't be more wrong. Personally, I actually liked my previous Sport, admittedly well built, better than my current Rubicon. If I could have my current Currie suspension on my previous TJ I'd be in hog-heaven. If you started doing hardcore trails, it's easy to add a locker or two which is what I did to my Sport. The Rubicon's ultra-low 4:1 transfer case ratio is good for technical extra-difficult trails but the Sport's 2.7:1 transfer case ratio is still a good low ratio that is good for all but the most extreme trails... though the below pics show the 2.7:1 doing just fine on an extreme-level trail. And even my 2.7:1 Sport transfer case made it through trails that most would consider "extreme".

Most of the Rubicons I see on the trail never get onto the level of trail they were designed for so they overpaid for ability they'll never need. Some don't believe their Sports can do the really tough trails & they couldn't be more wrong. Again, it's easy to add a locker or two if you do get to the level of trail where lockers are required.

Every one of these pics show my previous Sport on a trail (Sledgehammer in Johnson Valley) that few would even take their Rubicons on.
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:59 PM   #30
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What is bothering me is all the recommendations for the more expensive Rubicon when the OP says he will only be doing light offroading. That's like being told you need to spend the additional $$$ for an F250 pickup truck when all you need is a car trunk to carry the groceries home in. The Sport costs less and stock, will do far more difficult trails than would be encountered in "light offroading".

I have a friend who came to me for advice on a Jeep & I recommended the Sport over the Rubicon the salesman was pushing on him. He does not offroad on anything more than a dirt road but he bought the Rubicon anyway. I took him on his first offroad trip in it and he didn't want to do anything that required 4Lo or its lockers. It was a big waste of the additional $$$.
the reason people suggest it is since the noobicon has come out people think you need lockers to hit gravel roads. You were wheeling when lockers were something only the super hardocre had installed in their vehicles, now that anyone can buy a rubicon everyone thinks they are a must have for going off road.

Its sad really, people are far less capable drivers in vehicles that are far more capable then the driver ever will be now.

I'm with you, unless you plan on doing trails that will be causing your tires to leave the ground then you do not need lockers.

That being said i wish i bought a rubicon back in 03 as i am at the pint where i am installing lockers and beefing up my rear axle with a super 35 kit.

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