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Old 01-29-2013, 09:53 AM   #1
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New to Colorado, New to Wheeling

Hi!

I moved here 4 months ago from the East Coast, and have been wanting to explore the backcountry (old mining towns and such). I don't plan on any crazy rock crawling.

I'm looking to get a 2013 JKU but was wondering how essential lockers are? I know Colorado can have some varied terrain, but are there a lot of places I can explore without lockers? Or would getting a Rubicon be considered a better idea?

Money isn't a big issue, I'm just thinking that if I really get into it, I'd probably end up swapping out lots of stuff after the warranty expires, so it may be a good idea to save the $6,000 up front and go Sport S with 3.73 and limited slip?

How capable is the new Dana 30 compared to the 44? I've read that it's beefier than the old 44's, any truth to this?

Thanks a bunch for your replies/assistance Whichever way I end up going, I'm looking forward to meeting everybody!

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Old 01-29-2013, 11:26 AM   #2
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A jk sport with LSD will take you nearly everywhere you want to go in Colorado. what tire size you ultimately want to run is an important factor also. Can't speak for the d30 compared to older 44s, but the new 30s are stronger than the old ones. The biggest differences in the 30 and 44 as far as breaking stuff are ring and pinion size and axle diameter. If you are wheeling hard enough to worry about an hp 30 you should worry about the 44 too.
6k could fund a very nice suspension setup and some wheels and tires. only reason I would want a rubi at this point is the transfer case. but I may be biased since I drive a sport lol

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Old 01-29-2013, 11:28 AM   #3
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Welcome to Colorado, neighbor!!

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Old 01-30-2013, 07:34 AM   #4
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The rubicon does offer an out of the box type deal. a 3 inch lift and 35s with a few odds and ends and a rubicon will do 85% of what colorado has to offer. Now a sport will do fine but the rubicon will do better. At the high elevations and such even the 3.6L has power issues, so gears and such will need to be done on a sport. The 4:10s in a rubicon seem to be the bare minimum that 35s-37s can get by on.

honestly, a rubicon with some front axle work (gussets, control arm skids) some high clearance fenders, good flexy control arms, rear axle lower mount mods, and 35s will do about 90% of the trails around here without much hassle.

my rubicon debate is that that model gives you more time before must do mods are needed. plus the button pusher is kinda nice. functionally it is mainly the auto swaybar (not available aftermarket for a sport) the dana 44 front axle with locker (2500 used to 7000+ for a dana 60 for a sport) rear locker (all said and done around 1000 for a sport) The rock trac transfer case 4:1 ratio (up to 4000 to replicate for a sport) plus as you mod a rubi the take off parts have a market for re-sale. While sport stuff is a hard to give away. Typically the biggest thing is going to one ton axles, the front dana 44 usually goes between 1500-2500 resale, while a 30 is hard to get rid off.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:47 AM   #5
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Welcome .....Your in for a treat no matter which way you decide to go.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:06 AM   #6
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Me and my wife went back and forth on this subject before we ultimately decided on the Rubicon. Here's my reasons and you can see if they apply to you.

I'll start with my simple rule of thumb. If you plan on running 37" tires, or larger, you may as well get the sport because you're going to have to build the heck out of any of the jeeps. If that's the case, ignore the rest of this post.

Otherwise...
-You can't get the 4:1 transfer case for a comparable price aftermarket.
-You can get the 4:10 gearing at no extra cost. If you go with the '12 and newer auto transmission you can comfortably run 33-35" tires without re-gearing.
-I like the locking diffs for the snow. Up on the high trails you never know when you're going to hit a snow drift. Instead of freaking out, I just lock up and keep going.
-The electronic sway bar disconnect is like a TV remote. Once you get one you wonder how you ever lived without it.
-I'm a "go around it" type of guy. I know there's guys that love to rock crawl, but I have a lot of years of hard wiring that says, "go around the big rock". Therefore, I don't plan on building a huge rig. I like to use my jeep to get to places in the back country and there's nothing I hate more than hiking for miles only to find out that I could have drove up if I had a jeep. There's nothing I love more than 4 wheeling past obstacles that stop lesser vehicles.
-Besides the cost of the vehicle we didn't want to spend a ton of money on it right away. I'm extremely happy with what my stock rubi can do on its stock tires.
-You can buy 33" tires and wheels, stick them on and slightly mod the fenders for rubbing when flexed. You can get by with a 2.5 lift and get 35's under there and you'll probably only need some gussets to insure you don't bend an C over time. Being the thrifty guy I am, I'm able to do all that under $2k (including 15" wheels and 35x12.5 tires). That leaves a lot of money for other fun things like bumpers, winches, wenches, and cb's.
-We bought the rubi for the stuff under the hood, but I sure do love the bells and whistles in my old age. Heated seats are great, the 730 head unit is nice, push button everything is awesome. Leather seats clean up nicely, which is perfect since we have young boys. My wife loves driving the jeep more than her lexus. Maybe it's all the "jeep waves" she gets. The dual top group is nice. There's a lot of "nice" things that come along with the higher rubi price tag.
-This is our jeep for the next 10+ years. Why not start out with the best stuff you can get in it? There's no law against being comfortable in a jeep.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:47 PM   #7
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Thanks a bunch for the welcomes and replies... I think I'll be going Rubicon when the time comes!

Now do I wait for 2014 in hopes of the new (but, untested, kinda scary) 8 speed and miss out on most of the summer? I've been watching CL for a TJ as an alternative option but reasonably priced doesn't seem to be commonplace... kinda hard to justify the asking prices.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:18 PM   #8
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The 5spd auto is going to be around for awhile I think. Go 2013, get to the enjoying quicker
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdAudio View Post
Thanks a bunch for the welcomes and replies... I think I'll be going Rubicon when the time comes!

Now do I wait for 2014 in hopes of the new (but, untested, kinda scary) 8 speed and miss out on most of the summer? I've been watching CL for a TJ as an alternative option but reasonably priced doesn't seem to be commonplace... kinda hard to justify the asking prices.
I spent 7 months watching autotrader before I found "reasonably priced". Wranglers hold their resale value too well. Plus, people love the straight 6 in the TJ, so don't expect a deal there. If anything 07-11 prices could be dropping since people weren't fans of the 3.8L engine. I have a '12 auto and I'm very happy with it. This is coming from a guy who had only drove manuals up until now (my wife wanted a jeep we could both drive). I'm not sure the 8 speed trans gets you anything more than a bit better gas mileage on the interstate if you're using it as a daily driver. Research the difference in performance on the grand Cherokee when they switched to the 8 speed trans. That might be your best indicator of what to expect.

If you don't want to wait 8 months looking for a used jeep, I came to the conclusion that getting a loan from a credit union below a 3% rate and being able to finance a new vehicle for 6 years was probably worth the trade off of a 5 year loan on a used vehicle and a higher interest rate. Credit Union of Colorado did my loan for 2.79% for 5.5 years and it cost me a $10 "donation" to a charity of their choice. Well worth it.

You will get hammered at DMV if you buy a model year vehicle. For a rubicon, expect to pay $800 in registration. For a 2012, I think you'll be around $650-$700.

Whatever you decide, good luck! My whole family loves our jeep and the great experience it brings us.
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:31 PM   #10
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Welcome to Colorado! What region are you in?

Was in the same situation as you were when I first found how much I love Jeeps and wheelin' in the Rockies. Initially I started out with a manual Sport. She was fun and capable (had the older 3.8 so slow like a turtle, wasn't going to win any races against Buicks but boy was she faithful). It was a common sense thing to me, wouldn't attempt something I didn't feel comfortable with especially since she was my dd as well.

I'm not an extreme rock hopper. I'm probably not the guy to hit the 8-9-10 level trails. Maybe I'm just old, but I enjoy spending my time throughout the whole day hitting multiple trails and goofing off in the back country...trailin', shootin', picnic/bbqin' and picture takin'. But...you knew that was coming right?...but I wanted the capability to not shrink away from obstacles, and have the additional safety in "beefiness" of the chassis and components. Being prepared, safe and cautious on the trails is the way to be, but you can still find yourself suddenly in a situation you didn't plan on. It's the whole respect the mountains or they'll kill you. I initially thought I'd take my Sport, put on a lift, up the tires, winch, hi-lift, etc and when I started calculating how much it would cost I had already moved into the price range of the Rubicon and then exceeded it.

So I traded up and went with a Rubi. Having lockers is a very nice to have, but they aren't deployed nearly as often as the sway bar disconnects. I'm with what others have said...Rubi's give you everything you can want to start with right out of the box, you can still grow it if you want, but you start out pretty formidable machine when you switch that key to start. Your idea of saving the $ is cool, but wonder how quickly the itch will need to be scratched once you are out in the back country and then the $ becomes $$$

Either way, I'm very happy with my decision to go up to the Rubi and haven't looked back.

Let us know what you end up going after!!
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:48 PM   #11
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You won't be disappointed with a rubi at all. like the others have said, out of the box its an awesome machine. It took a lot of work to my sport before I stopped wishing a bought a Rubicon.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:11 PM   #12
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X2

The best thing about a rubicon for a newb... You can go wheeling out of the box and as you gain experience(and pay off the jeep) you can make mods as you go.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bumble77 View Post
I spent 7 months watching autotrader before I found "reasonably priced". Wranglers hold their resale value too well. Plus, people love the straight 6 in the TJ, so don't expect a deal there. If anything 07-11 prices could be dropping since people weren't fans of the 3.8L engine. I have a '12 auto and I'm very happy with it. This is coming from a guy who had only drove manuals up until now (my wife wanted a jeep we could both drive). I'm not sure the 8 speed trans gets you anything more than a bit better gas mileage on the interstate if you're using it as a daily driver. Research the difference in performance on the grand Cherokee when they switched to the 8 speed trans. That might be your best indicator of what to expect.

If you don't want to wait 8 months looking for a used jeep, I came to the conclusion that getting a loan from a credit union below a 3% rate and being able to finance a new vehicle for 6 years was probably worth the trade off of a 5 year loan on a used vehicle and a higher interest rate. Credit Union of Colorado did my loan for 2.79% for 5.5 years and it cost me a $10 "donation" to a charity of their choice. Well worth it.

You will get hammered at DMV if you buy a model year vehicle. For a rubicon, expect to pay $800 in registration. For a 2012, I think you'll be around $650-$700.

Whatever you decide, good luck! My whole family loves our jeep and the great experience it brings us.
This is exactly what I've run into! And, considering I currently don't have a workspace at the moment, I'm not sure something used would be a good idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeauJeep View Post
Welcome to Colorado! What region are you in?
I'm in DTC now, but am looking to move further south or west to save a little money when my lease is up in June.


I'm the same way as most here, I'll avoid the big stuff and anything I've got questions about. This is going to be my DD after all Just looking to do some exploring.

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