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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-09-2010 10:37 AM
Divotmeister Thank you all for the tremendous feedback!
09-08-2010 10:22 PM
gabby4x4wheeling To me it a personal thing for the top. I live in Kentucky and it gets cold as hell here and hotter than hell in the summer, as you can see I have a soft top and I love it and have no problem what so ever staying warm or cool. They are a bit nosiey, but if I want the top down I can do that anywere at anytime in just a few minutes time. If your going to lift your jeep it really depends on the type of tires and off roading you are going to do. You can stay stock up to 31" tires then the rule of thumb I have is add one inch of lift for every inch of tire increased in size to a point. But remember when you go above the 33" tire size you have alot of other things you might want to consitter, like your drive line will have a sharper incline to it and it will cause a vibration that will have to be corrected. Death wobbles will happen if you don't. Here is what I would do, dont go past a 33" tires, get a two inch lift, stick with a m8000 warn winch on the frontend and get a manual trans for sure. If your jeep is bought stock your total upgrade for your jeep will be about $2000.00 and you will be able to wheel your butt off and still be able to drive it daily to work without any big headaches. Hope this is a help, also the guys here will help you out and give you tons of info and most of them know what the heck they are talking about.
09-08-2010 09:56 PM
jk'n I had an early 08 model that I got in Nov. 07 and Chrysler bought it back because the hard top leaked. The hard top leaked in the same place on the replacement manufactured in May of 08. They got it back twice to adjust it and it hasn't leaked since. Leaks are a relative thing on a jeep. I expect it will leak at some point during ownership but when you pay 30 to 35K for it new, I expect it to be delivered water tight. It is now out of the manufacturer warranty period and if it leaks now, I will solve it myself. If you own a jeep and don't take care of the seals, or sometimes just from normal use, it will most likely spring a leak here or there. If it does, you will smell the mildew that is created when things get wet and then locate the problem and fix it. If you cringe at the thought that a vehicle with so many seals as a jeep might leak and you might have to do something to get it to stop then maybe a jeep is not for you. Right now at two years old, I use turtle wax ICE interior cleaner on the seals and they seal well...no leaks.

I have the standard with 4.1 gears. It is clunky at times and pickup is not too good. When I say clunky I mean at lower RPMs. One thing that is hard to get used to in a jeep is that the power band doesn't really begin until the RPMs get up to 2500. If I'm passing and want it to git up and go, I wind it out and it gits very nicely. It is no corvette so you will have to have a paradigm shift when driving it.

I have both tops. I store my hard top in the back yard on two - two by fours. In the fall, I give it a good wash and put it back on paying close attention to the seals including the one on the underside that seals the top to the tub...that one needs to be clean too and can get overlooked. I live in MA and I'm too lazy to go out and clean snow off of the thing when it piles up and I understand that the weight can damage the soft top if you are not diligent during heavy snow storms. I haven't tested this yet because hard top owners have no worries about this. I could have two feet of snow on top and I'll be snug as a bug in a rug watching it build up from inside my warm house. In the morning it gets cleaned off...one of the luxuries of having both tops.

My suspension and tires are bone stock and it being a Rubicon it performs REALLY WELL off road. I am not motivated to jack it up or put different tires on it yet. Maybe at some point but not yet. It is more fun to drive than I can handle at times. Off road in some situations it gets my heart rate up near its limit!! I get a kick out of owning it.

It is also my daily driver and I have put 39K miles on it. All fun miles. It goes just about anywhere and with confidence. I ski and travel in messy stuff. It handles very well in the snow and it has been on ice a few times...with great care and it did well as I arrived safely at my destination.

My ownership experience so far gets an A+. It is still unfolding.
09-08-2010 08:58 PM
gcrissman
Quote:
Originally Posted by AirDWN View Post
Speaking of Jeep heaters--the other night it got down to 60 (which is cold as hell for the South this time of year) and I was completely topless. I turned the dial all the way up and flipped on the heater. I SWEAR I burned off half the hairs on my right arm.
I swear the wife burnt the hair off my foot this weekend during out 2 late night/ early morning drives with the top off....
09-08-2010 08:56 PM
gcrissman We have the soft top '10 Sahara and while we have not had it when it snowed I can attest the heater works well. Used it twice this weekend driving home at midnight with the top off.

We bought the Jeep in June and the top has been off since (run with a spiderweb shade). My 2 neighbors have the Freedom tops on their Jeeps and they have not removed it once during the summer since they don't have the space to store it. The guy with the 09 doesn't even take the panels out now. He traded in his 08 with a soft top for the 09 wand Freedom top and has regretted it ever since.

As for snow and winter, our Jeep sits in the garage @ home and the parking garages at either of our offices so we were not to worried about the ice on the windows/top
09-08-2010 08:46 PM
AirDWN
Quote:
Originally Posted by InfernoGirl View Post
What these guys all said.... Jeep heaters work great. My TJ only has a soft top and half doors with zipper windows. Drove it all winter long last year and was never cold... I did park in the garage to keep from having to warm it up, so snow/ice on the windows wasn't a problem for me. The big ? is, do you have a place to store a hard top in the summer? Or are you going to be one of those top on year round kind of people? As far as I can tell with our week old dual top JK, the hard top is nothing more than a pain in my rear.... It's too heavy to remove easily, too bulky to store anywhere, and very inconvenient.... It will come off as soon as the rest of my soft top comes in, and will probably hit the for sale section sometime soon....
Speaking of Jeep heaters--the other night it got down to 60 (which is cold as hell for the South this time of year) and I was completely topless. I turned the dial all the way up and flipped on the heater. I SWEAR I burned off half the hairs on my right arm. But as far as storing a hardtop is concerned, I have no such problem with my JK hard top. It fits nicely in the garage. I carpeted part of the garage floor to keep from scratching up the edges any more than I already had when I first got it.

09-08-2010 08:34 PM
AirDWN the freedom hardtop is excellent but be careful with how you handle the t-tops. If you lose the rubber boot on the clamps that fasten to the windshield new clamps are $50.00 a pop. Otherwise hardtop is the way to go especially if you commute everyday.
09-08-2010 06:58 PM
KooL My hardtop hasn't had any leak issues so far, but I have only had it a few weeks. I've had the top off on 4 different occasions and its not a hassle at all for me, BUT I do have a garage I keep it in so I don't have to worry about overnight pop up showers.
09-08-2010 04:55 PM
krutj I live in the snow belt in NW Pennsylvania and have a soft top, absolutely, no problems with snow.

My JK came w/32" tires, which get me around anywhere that I need to go.

I've never gone out in the middle of the night to brush off the snow either.

I think you should look at the build sheet on whatever JK that you are dealing on, don't get the 3:21 gearing, go for the 3:73's.
I also have the 6sp tranny and am very happy w/it.
You should also try to get the performance suspension, basically it's the Rubi suspension w/32" tires for the Sport model.

just my 2 cents....
09-08-2010 04:51 PM
InfernoGirl What these guys all said.... Jeep heaters work great. My TJ only has a soft top and half doors with zipper windows. Drove it all winter long last year and was never cold... I did park in the garage to keep from having to warm it up, so snow/ice on the windows wasn't a problem for me. The big ? is, do you have a place to store a hard top in the summer? Or are you going to be one of those top on year round kind of people? As far as I can tell with our week old dual top JK, the hard top is nothing more than a pain in my rear.... It's too heavy to remove easily, too bulky to store anywhere, and very inconvenient.... It will come off as soon as the rest of my soft top comes in, and will probably hit the for sale section sometime soon....
09-08-2010 04:07 PM
jayc Everything captobvious said. If you can get the dual tops, if you cant afford it and you have a garage you can go with one or the other. The hard and throw it in the garage when you want it off in the summer or the soft and garage the jeep in the winter.

Tires...i'd split it and go 33s if you're worried about fuel. I'm not sure which axel that is in the front of the 08-09 but to run the 35s you may need to upgrade that first. the Dana 30 and 35 can run 33s no prob, 35s might require the bigger axel, look that up or maybe one of these guys can clear that up for you.

I'd go manual, it's a Jeep thats just me tho.

Hope this helps good luck
09-08-2010 04:06 PM
mrcarcrazy regarding tire and lift size if you aren't doing much difficult stuff the JK's seem to be rather impressive offroad in stock form. You can up the tire size w/o a lift, and That's what I'd do (unless you want a lift specifically) - others will know how much you can up it. as I have a TJ, and I'm just repeating what I've seen/read/watched.
09-08-2010 04:05 PM
The Budd I have an 09 Sahara and no difficulties whatsoever with the hardtop in the winter. Jeep have monster heaters. I haven't run it with the soft top in the winter though. I did once had an Asuna Sunrunner with only a soft top and I had a choice of either defrosted windshield or side windows -- but not both at the same time!

If you are primarily using it as a commuter vehicle and only are going to be doing light offroading you probably don't need any lift kit or new tires. Mine is stock and it goes through plenty.
09-08-2010 03:49 PM
CapptainObvious From what I understand, the hard top insulates better. You can also get a liner that helps to insulate better. I have the soft top on my 2010 Unlimited Sport and love it. Depending on the amount of snow you get, you may want to consider the dual tops option. With the soft top, you have to go out every few hours and brush the snow off so it doesn't cave the top in. You don't have to do that with the hard top. The only reason I didn't get a hard top is because I don't have anywhere to store it during the summer when I would want the soft top on. I NEED a soft top for the summer lol. It's just not a jeep without being able to take it off.

Also, if I had to do it over again, I'd get a manual. Only reason for this is that I don't like the way the transmission behaves at highway speeds when overdrive is on. It is just super unresponsive when going 65-75 until it gets out of overdrive. Especially when using cruise control. Hope that helps answer some of your questions.
09-08-2010 03:01 PM
Jkw I have a 2010 unlimited sport with the hard top not been through winter yet but I can tell you it holds heat and with the ac blasting seems to hold that well to so I think it's pretty well insulated
I have an automatic and like it but I also know it's not a cummins turbo diesel haha
It's a matter of opinion on her for manual/ automatic most are gunna say get the manual but it's really up to you good luck just my.02 cents lol
09-08-2010 02:54 PM
Divotmeister
I need your opinions. I'm stuck

I'm new to this forum and I apologize if these topics have been discussed before. I searched the site and didn't really find what I was looking for. Car dealers pretty much tell me what they think I want to hear.

I live in a climate with hot summers and cold/snowy winters. I'm looking to purchase either a used 2008 or 2009 Wrangler Unlimited.

Generally speaking:

1. With your experience, does the Hardtop leak water, or react bad to snow? How well does the softtop handle snow/water/cold? Does one insulate better than the other (I've heard both, thus the confusion). Do the 2010 models have an improved softtop?

2. Do automatic transmissions get sluggish/slow over time? The used Jeeps I've driven don't seem as "peppy" as manual, or new.

3. 70% of my driving will be back and forth to/from work. In your opinion what is the perfect blend of lift height/tire size? 2"/32", 3"/35?? Looking for balance between gas mileage, quiet ride, yet can still go off roading (non technical/difficult trails).

Thanks for helping "newbie" like me. I really want to get into this and do it right!

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