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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-06-2013 07:48 AM
beatboy77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rooster76 View Post
You defiantly don't NEED those items for light off-roading. The biggest cost saver would be the gearing.


You need to figure out
  • What options you cannot live without. What packages you have to get for those options and the final invoice price vs MSRP.
  • What size tires you want to get. Your going to need to get new wheels with the proper backspace also. It's best to see some pictures and copy what someone else did.
FACTORY GEARING
It sounds like your going to want bigger wheels to go with your lift. It will look pretty dumb otherwise. With that you need the right gearing. Otherwise its not going to accelerate or take hills well. It will struggle like if you picked the highest mountain bike gear to get up to speed. The lower the gearing (higher number) the more acceleration and crawling ability you'll have. The higher the gearing (lower number) the better gas mileage in general you will get.The tire chart above will give you an idea of what gearing you can run with what tires. People have run 35" with 3.21 gearing. At some point though lower gearing just sucks and doesn't give you better mpg or performance.

From the factory these are your options
  • You can go up to 4.10's vs 3.73 gearing on automatic Rubicons. 4.10 are standard on stick shift transmissions. 4.10 would support a 35" tire. 35"-37" is what I personally think looks the best on Unlimited's. 3.73 is the autos default gearing if you don't upgrade.
  • Sports/Sahara's come with 3.21 gearing. You can get 3.73 gears for a sport as an option. This would support a 33" tire.
AFTER MARKET GEARING
Of course you can get aftermarket gearing done on a Sport. That would most likely be much more expensive than getting it from the factory and wouldn't be under warranty. I'm beginning to feel that the warranty is about useless with my dealer because they will try there best to dodge any claim. You might want to call up some places and see what adding new gearing would cost installed. My guess would be in the 1200-2000 range.

LOCKERS vs LSD ON A SPORT
Being that it will see alot of snow, if you decide to regear a sport
I would highly consider putting in Eaton TrueTrac LSD (Limited Slip Differential) at the same time. At least on the rear axle. It's a better aftermarket choice than the "anti locking rear diff"/trak-lok factory sport option. It's not an option on Rubicons that use lockers instead. LSD will help with moderate to heavy wheeling along with better snow and rain performance. Not really necessary but nice to have. For light wheeling they would be better than lockers which wouldn't get used. You don't really need to know anything for them to help you stop wheel spin when you need it. They work auto-magically with physics. It is good to know to add a bit of break if you are spinning with LSD though. All JK's come with a stock computer driven break LSD (called BLD Break Lock Differential on the forums most often). All the rubicon jeeps you see driving around are just using that BLD stock option on snowy roads. It could be argued that good snow tires like Duratracs could be a better upgrade than LSD.

SELLING PARTS
People are always looking for Rubicon wheels, shocks, and coils. You can sell them and get some money back. Selling your sport wheels would likely be much harder to do and would get you less money back. I'm going to guess you'll get $750 off craigslist for those items. Ask a shop around you and they can give you a better estimate. I would guess with a sport you might get $200 maybe.

WHATS THE REAL DIFFERENCE IN INVOICE PRICE AFTER OPTIONS?
The bare bones JK price can be misleading when you add the "packages" you have to add to get the options you want. I personally felt that I needed power windows because the window knob hit my knee on the test drive. When you get all the packages to make it possible to get the power group it got pricey adding some pointless crap also. I'm sure leather is the same way. It was about $3000 difference between a sport invoice price and a rubicon invoice price for my situation. With that money you could maybe get the price a bit lower on a sport with better upgrades arguably. I'm guessing at resale the rubicon stock parts would get more money back. I don't sell cars so maybe call up a dealership and ask what they think about that? Or ask them how they will value upgrades when trading.
Thank You VERY Much for this answer! It helps me understand the big picture a lot better.

As of right now, I am leaning towards the Sport S with the 3.73. With this model, I can get the creature comforts I would like in the interior (minus leather) plus the ability to mod, all at a price around $6100 less than the Rubicon.

I still intend to research this, as I still am not 100% sure and I welcome further opinions.
05-05-2013 11:29 PM
Rooster76
Quote:
Originally Posted by beatboy77 View Post
This brings me to the question I am having the most difficulty with. If I plan to do just light off-roading, do I need these features you mention above?
You defiantly don't NEED those items for light off-roading. The biggest cost saver would be the gearing.

You need to figure out
  • What options you cannot live without. What packages you have to get for those options and the final invoice price vs MSRP.
  • What size tires you want to get. Your going to need to get new wheels with the proper backspace also. It's best to see some pictures and copy what someone else did.

FACTORY GEARING
It sounds like your going to want bigger wheels to go with your lift. It will look pretty dumb otherwise. With that you need the right gearing. Otherwise its not going to accelerate or take hills well. It will struggle like if you picked the highest mountain bike gear to get up to speed. The lower the gearing (higher number) the more acceleration and crawling ability you'll have. The higher the gearing (lower number) the better gas mileage in general you will get.The tire chart above will give you an idea of what gearing you can run with what tires. People have run 35" with 3.21 gearing. At some point though lower gearing just sucks and doesn't give you better mpg or performance.
From the factory these are your options
  • You can go up to 4.10's vs 3.73 gearing on automatic Rubicons. 4.10 are standard on stick shift transmissions. 4.10 would support a 35" tire. 35"-37" is what I personally think looks the best on Unlimited's. 3.73 is the autos default gearing if you don't upgrade.
  • Sports/Sahara's come with 3.21 gearing. You can get 3.73 gears for a sport as an option. This would support a 33" tire.

AFTER MARKET GEARING
Of course you can get aftermarket gearing done on a Sport. That would most likely be much more expensive than getting it from the factory and wouldn't be under warranty. I'm beginning to feel that the warranty is about useless with my dealer because they will try there best to dodge any claim. You might want to call up some places and see what adding new gearing would cost installed. My guess would be in the 1200-2000 range.

LOCKERS vs LSD ON A SPORT
Being that it will see alot of snow, if you decide to regear a sport
I would highly consider putting in Eaton TrueTrac LSD (Limited Slip Differential) at the same time. At least on the rear axle. It's a better aftermarket choice than the "anti locking rear diff"/trak-lok factory sport option. It's not an option on Rubicons that use lockers instead. LSD will help with moderate to heavy wheeling along with better snow and rain performance. Not really necessary but nice to have. For light wheeling they would be better than lockers which wouldn't get used. You don't really need to know anything for them to help you stop wheel spin when you need it. They work auto-magically with physics. It is good to know to add a bit of break if you are spinning with LSD though. All JK's come with a stock computer driven break LSD (called BLD Break Lock Differential on the forums most often). All the rubicon jeeps you see driving around are just using that BLD stock option on snowy roads. It could be argued that good snow tires like Duratracs could be a better upgrade than LSD.

SELLING PARTS
People are always looking for Rubicon wheels, shocks, and coils. You can sell them and get some money back. Selling your sport wheels would likely be much harder to do and would get you less money back. I'm going to guess you'll get $750 off craigslist for those items. Ask a shop around you and they can give you a better estimate. I would guess with a sport you might get $200 maybe.

WHATS THE REAL DIFFERENCE IN INVOICE PRICE AFTER OPTIONS?
The bare bones JK price can be misleading when you add the "packages" you have to add to get the options you want. I personally felt that I needed power windows because the window knob hit my knee on the test drive. When you get all the packages to make it possible to get the power group it got pricey adding some pointless crap also. I'm sure leather is the same way. It was about $3000 difference between a sport invoice price and a rubicon invoice price for my situation. With that money you could maybe get the price a bit lower on a sport with better upgrades arguably. I'm guessing at resale the rubicon stock parts would get more money back. I don't sell cars so maybe call up a dealership and ask what they think about that? Or ask them how they will value upgrades when trading.
05-05-2013 06:49 PM
MTH
Quote:
Originally Posted by beatboy77 View Post

This brings me to the question I am having the most difficulty with. If I plan to do just light off-roading, do I need these features you mention above?
Of course not. Remember when I said non-rubicon wranglers are "excellent" offroaders? What do you suppose I meant? Gravel driveways?
05-05-2013 06:17 PM
Senior Chief
Quote:
Originally Posted by beatboy77 View Post
Can anyone give me a ballpark idea of how much a 3" lift kit would cost with installation? Also the cost of Katzkin leather covers with installation?
If you're in central Colorado, give the boys at High Country Performance 4x4 a call. They stock most of AEV's product line. They did my lift, bumper, lights, and tires/wheels....
05-05-2013 06:05 PM
beatboy77
Quote:
Originally Posted by COLOUJK View Post
Here is why I bought a Rubicon. I too live in CO.

The Rubi has everything I wanted to start my build off. The things that the sport did not have that I wanted are below.

4:1 Transfer case
4.10 gears (these could be found on sahara and sport I think but very hard to find)
e-Swaybar disconnect (not necessary but one of my favorite features)
front Dana 44
front and rear lockers

To get a sport to have these features would actually cost more than buying a Rubicon.

Most of these things were a requirement for me because I do alot of rock crawling and all of those features help immensely, and get me alot further than a sport will.

If this is what you plan on using your Jeep for or plan to upgrade most of these in the near future then go with the Rubi, you will not regret it at all.

Everything you mentioned only adds to the capabilities of the Rubi, you are actually not changing any of the stock parts on the Rubi. If you can afford it go with the Rubicon.
This brings me to the question I am having the most difficulty with. If I plan to do just light off-roading, do I need these features you mention above?
05-05-2013 05:54 PM
COLOUJK Here is why I bought a Rubicon. I too live in CO.

The Rubi has everything I wanted to start my build off. The things that the sport did not have that I wanted are below.

4:1 Transfer case
4.10 gears (these could be found on sahara and sport I think but very hard to find)
e-Swaybar disconnect (not necessary but one of my favorite features)
front Dana 44
front and rear lockers

To get a sport to have these features would actually cost more than buying a Rubicon.

Most of these things were a requirement for me because I do alot of rock crawling and all of those features help immensely, and get me alot further than a sport will.

If this is what you plan on using your Jeep for or plan to upgrade most of these in the near future then go with the Rubi, you will not regret it at all.

Everything you mentioned only adds to the capabilities of the Rubi, you are actually not changing any of the stock parts on the Rubi. If you can afford it go with the Rubicon.
05-05-2013 05:24 PM
beatboy77 Can anyone give me a ballpark idea of how much a 3" lift kit would cost with installation? Also the cost of Katzkin leather covers with installation?
05-05-2013 11:51 AM
Rooster76 All jeeps are super capable for moderate wheeling. That said get the Rubicon.

You should get 1% below invoice. There are a number of sites that give invoice prices. Truecar.com and Edmonds come to mind. You can search "tread lightly discount" and find out more about a haggle free way to get that pricing. I would suggest talking with Internet sales managers vs sales guys on the lot regardless. That invoice price discount takes thousands off a rubicon vs hundreds off a sport. The rubicons also hold their resale very well.

If you get an auto get the 4.10 axle ratio option and you should be good with 35" wheels. Those look good on the 4 doors.


You also get a beefier Dana 44 front axle that will be beneficial to bigger wheels. You can see the difference here> http://project-jk.com/jeep-jk-tech/j...er-axle-basics.

When you lift your jeep and get new wheels you'll be able to sell the parts for more money, and faster on Craigslist. At minimum you should get $500 for all your tires and wheels. Rubicon coils and shocks can get you some cash back too.

The rubicons electronic quick disconnect sway bars are cool vs climbing under the jeep.

Lockers are nice when you need them. Nothing is better when a wheel gets off the ground. You don't need them, and shouldn't use them, all the time off-road. That's hard on your wheels and axles. Front lockers especially make it hard to turn. On off camber slick situations, lockers can slide you sideways. It's good to have a general idea of when to use them basically. If going through some very muddy spot, majorly uneven ground, or up a very steep incline, they are great to have. Stock they only work in 4low. They don't help in daily snow driving unless your stuck.

If you do get aftermarket lockers they are not going to be under warranty or have as much money added to resale.
05-05-2013 11:27 AM
beatboy77
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTH View Post
Do you need (or think you may need) an "exceptional" offroad vehicle, or will "excellent" be enough?
That's the thing, I would be doing light to moderate off-roading. This is why the more I think about it, the more I think my best plan of attack (both from a use perspective and cost perspective) is to get JKUS and mod it to my likes.

I will admit that some of the mods will be more aestectics than for a practical use. Just something about a lifted JKU with the right wheels/tires looks bad-ass to me

Josh
05-05-2013 10:34 AM
MTH
Quote:
Originally Posted by beatboy77 View Post
So my question is, what is maybe a good starting point model to get in at, at a good price and mod to my likes?
All wrangler models are excellent starting points for aftermarket modification.

The sky is the limit on price. There are members here with no mods, members with a few thousand in mods, and members who gave spent more on mods than the original cost of the jeep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beatboy77 View Post
Some mods I would like to make:
3" Lift Kit
AEV Wheels/Tires (Nothing monsterous)
Wild Board Fastback Hardtop
Leather Seats
None of those affect any of the added features you would get with the rubicon. In other words, you wouldn't be paying for extras only to pull them off and replace them.

The significant additions offered by the rubicon are front and rear selectable lockers, D44 front axle, 4:1 t-case, optional 4.10 differential gears, and an electronic sway bar disconnect, along with some rock rails.

The purpose of that stuff is to take the best mass produced offroad vehicle ever offered for sale in the United States (the JK wrangler) and make it even better offroad.

It's taking "excellent" to "exceptional" in terms of offroad capability, especially for a stock, mass produced vehicle.

Do you need (or think you may need) an "exceptional" offroad vehicle, or will "excellent" be enough?

Also keep in mind that many of the rubi features aren't visible. Nobody can see your 4:1 t-case for example. So you're spending money to get something that only benefits you if you actually use it for its intended purpose. By contrast, lifts/tires help offroad too but also "look good" all of the time.

Be realistic with yourself about your needs.
05-05-2013 10:12 AM
RKracing Simply answer..........

If you are a thinker....go with what your brain say's.

If you enjoy everyday of life......go with what your heart tells you to buy.

Or just sit down and and who knows what decision will come out of your head.

I hope this helps.
05-05-2013 10:06 AM
Brewbek I have the JKUS. It has some nice options but basically is a plain-Jane. I love it. Does everything I need right now and when I get done modding it, it will be MY Jeep EXACTLY the way I want it. One example, it has 3.21s. Don't like 'em at all. When I regear for the 35s I will go right to 4.56s. The JKUR comes with 4.11s, may be ok, but not like the 4.56s, so I would probably regear the Rubi. See where I'm going with this.

Take your time and make a smart choice, whatever you buy will be a ton of money and only be a starting point. Good luck.
05-05-2013 10:04 AM
FBomb24 I have a 2012 JKUS with the Katzkin leather seats with airbags and heaters and we absolutely love them. I have two large dogs so cloth wasn't a very good option for us. Plus the Wifey really loves the heaters on the cold mornings. As for the leather in the sun, we have ordered the DirtyDog sunshade and will just be careful when getting in. My wifey was the one who really wanted the leather and heaters and I was a little reluctant...(it's a Jeep it's gonna get dirty!) but I must say I really do think they were a great idea for us. Either way it will bring a smile to your face every time you sit down to go somewhere...it does with us!
05-05-2013 09:27 AM
troy b I have the leather seats in my Sahara, they came with it. I would like to add some Trek Armor seat covers in the future. I have the black interior, and although it has not gotten that hot yet in southern Louisiana, I am betting the black leather will be extremely hot once the top is off and sun is beating down. We couldn't pass up on the deal with this one, and it has so many luxuries that were not even available on my '05 model. I was just surprised by power windows, but to have leather seats and seat warmers, holy cow! I absolutely love it with all of it's bells and whistles, but I also think I could be perfectly happy with a Sport with less options. It all comes down to what you prefer, and what you are willing to pay for.
05-05-2013 07:51 AM
BadOleRoss It all depends on the company that does the work. Our dealer here uses an installer and when they are done you can't tell the difference between factory and after market leather seats. I am sure there are installers out there that do not have the same standards.
05-05-2013 07:23 AM
beatboy77 Are the after-market leather seat kits as good as the originals from the factory?
05-04-2013 07:29 PM
mike1158
Quote:
Originally Posted by beatboy77 View Post
Thank You for the great replies. Is it possible to get a Sport model with Leather interior?

NO...but you can get a kit afterward...from someone like Katzkin..or i beleive even MOPAR makes a leather seat kit...

and P.S. if you would "like to do some light to moderate off roading, however nothing extreme"...The JKUR would be overkill and a waste of your money...IMO
05-04-2013 07:00 PM
BadOleRoss Pretty sure you have to jump up to a Sahara or Rubicon to get leather seats....at least that what my spread sheet indicates.
05-04-2013 01:46 PM
beatboy77 Thank You for the great replies. Is it possible to get a Sport model with Leather interior?
05-04-2013 10:20 AM
woansleftpeg
Quote:
Originally Posted by beatboy77 View Post
Doing some research before I purchase my first Jeep Wranger Unlimited. I am really struggling to make a decision of which JKU to purchase. At first, I thought the JKUR was the obvious choice for me. Then as I dug deeper and learned more, I realize I want to do some custom aftermarker mods to whichever Jeep I get and it probably would not make sense to jump right to the JKUR, as a lot of what I pay for would be essentially replaced with mods.

I then jumped at the idea of getting a JKUS and modding it. Almost viewing it as an empty canvas, at $10k less price.

So my question is, what is maybe a good starting point model to get in at, at a good price and mod to my likes?

I live in Colorado and would like to do some light to moderate off roading, however nothing extreme, so I do not need the Godzilla of JK's. It will also be used as my daily job commuter vehicle (around 6 miles each way).

Some mods I would like to make:
3" Lift Kit
AEV Wheels/Tires (Nothing monsterous)
Wild Board Fastback Hardtop
Leather Seats

Thanks for any input!

Josh
I have a JKU Sahara with leather seats, and I wish I hadn't bothered. Black leather and soft top are a bad combination; save the money, get cloth and then buy a set of the huge array of really nice aftermarket covers that are available. You'll save money and have a far more practical set up.
05-04-2013 10:17 AM
ahsumtoy
This is a hard choice

Which ever Jeep model you get, you will end up loving it. I went through the same thought scenario. I knew I wasn't going to do major rock crawling with major articulation, so I opted to save money so I could add my modifications. Even with a Rubicon, people still lift them and change out the tires for starters. Some even change out the 4.10 gears after putting on larger tires. That is a lot of money. With the money I saved, I was able to put a 2.5 lift on it, 33 tires, better wheels, tinted the windows darker, changed out the sterio system, wheel locks, door hinge locks, hood lock, rock guards, changed out bulbs in lights, put in grab handles for the back seat people, and a AEM lifetime aircleaner. My 3.73 gears are just fine for what I do with my Jeep. I have taken some difficult trails with not a lot of articulation, and haven't had a problem. You will be surprised on what these Jeeps can do.

I did pick my Jeep due to color, auto windows, and interior, along with bluetooth and uConnect for the audio. I ended up with the Oscar/Mike version of the Jeep. Good luck in picking out what you want to do.
05-04-2013 10:04 AM
beatboy77
Newbie Question

Doing some research before I purchase my first Jeep Wranger Unlimited. I am really struggling to make a decision of which JKU to purchase. At first, I thought the JKUR was the obvious choice for me. Then as I dug deeper and learned more, I realize I want to do some custom aftermarker mods to whichever Jeep I get and it probably would not make sense to jump right to the JKUR, as a lot of what I pay for would be essentially replaced with mods.

I then jumped at the idea of getting a JKUS and modding it. Almost viewing it as an empty canvas, at $10k less price.

So my question is, what is maybe a good starting point model to get in at, at a good price and mod to my likes?

I live in Colorado and would like to do some light to moderate off roading, however nothing extreme, so I do not need the Godzilla of JK's. It will also be used as my daily job commuter vehicle (around 6 miles each way).

Some mods I would like to make:
3" Lift Kit
AEV Wheels/Tires (Nothing monsterous)
Wild Board Fastback Hardtop
Leather Seats

Thanks for any input!

Josh

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