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-   -   rubicon vs sport (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/rubicon-vs-sport-240317.html)

thegreyman 05-05-2013 01:57 AM

rubicon vs sport
 
So Fella's-

In real world terms, what can the rubicon do that the other models cant in stock platforms. So basically can a regular model keep up with a rubicon, on the same trail, with the drivers of equal skill level?

Again REAL world conditions.

Jared66 05-05-2013 02:16 AM

Lockers and the sway bar disconnect take it to a whole new ball game. Especially when paired with the 4:10 gears and Dana 44s. ( when talking stock options, when lifting is involved depending on what u get u may be looking at regearing anyway) rubicon will get farther while under more controll. Where as a sport will get beat on tryin to get over some obstacles to keep up. Both vehicles are jeeps. It's just the added tech that helps.

LameStory 05-05-2013 02:36 AM

Since you mention trails, I guess it depends on how you define "real world". Many people on this forum do trails that a stock Sport would struggle on, but this forum is probably comprised of only 5-15% of real world Jeep drivers. A Sport is plenty capable depending on what's around you. Here in Nebraska we don't have much for monster trails. We have mostly mud and creeks and I know plenty of Sport drivers who are very satisfied, more so with only moderate mods/tire upgrades.

But the reality is that everything extra that was put on a Rubicon was put there with purpose and if you're the type who would utilize those additions then you will find a Sport to be lacking. Here is a thread I recently found that didn't ask the same question you did so a lot of the discussion doesn't apply, but it still has some well explained points regarding the benefits of a Rubicon and/or modifications.

http://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=60339

LameStory 05-05-2013 02:42 AM

There are also a good many threads here with links to videos on YouTube that show the benefits of disconnecting the sway bar. You could add a manual disconnect to a sport, but I don't think you can add an e-disco, at least not easily or cheaply.

Abdul-Hakeem 05-05-2013 05:36 AM

In the desert they seem to have equal mobility. I never felt I needed diff. locks and can go anywhere I want to go. However, I would *still* choose a Rubicon over Sport if money was not an issue due to the D-44 in front for long-term reliability. In the desert it's sometimes necessary to hit a dune a bit hard and this stresses the front end.

That said I'm happy with the Sport and won't change it.

Raiderfan001 05-05-2013 05:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abdul-Hakeem (Post 3720847)
In the desert they seem to have equal mobility. I never felt I needed diff. locks and can go anywhere I want to go. However, I would *still* choose a Rubicon over Sport if money was not an issue due to the D-44 in front for long-term reliability. In the desert it's sometimes necessary to hit a dune a bit hard and this stresses the front end.

That said I'm happy with the Sport and won't change it.

The D44 has the same weaknesses as the D30 as far as the tube, Cs, knuckles, etc. The D44 only has a stronger R/P. If you'd beef up and reinforce a D30 for what you drive on then you better be beefing up and reinforcing that D44 as well.

Abdul-Hakeem 05-05-2013 06:02 AM

True, but... I am guessing on this and don't actually know... Isn't it much cheaper/easier to strengthen a d-44 on a Rubicon than strengthen the d-30? This would still give the Rubicon an advantage over the Sport. If not, it levels them in that respect.

I was going to try the "Artec" kit for my d-30, but I couldn't find a welder I really trust here other than the Filipinos who are impossible to hire (demand is too high). It was at that stage I began wishing for a Rubicon. I **think** with the Rubicon it's just a matter of buying some stronger parts and a decent upgrade can be done without welding.

baytownbert 05-05-2013 07:54 AM

Slap a LSD in the front pumpkin and swaybar discos on a Sport and you go a whole heckava lot of places for a considerable less cost than paying for a Rubicon, especially here on the flat and muddy Gulf Coast of Texas where the only rocks are at the Exxon gas station. The only Jeep I've pulled out so far has been a Rubicon who dug holes in 4 low with all four tires turning in slow mo. LOL I just had to throw that in.

Rogerg 05-05-2013 07:56 AM

As previously mentioned it depends on what type of wheeling you do,if rock crawling is your thing and you like 4-5 rated trails then a sport would stuggle a bit.But the real weakness of both models if they are stock are clearance.

Lockers,4-1transfer case,e-disco,front d44 and 4.10 gears are what you would get with a Rubi.The first 2 I mentioned is well worth it...personally i would prefer a Currie or Sway lock over an e disco.

JTPhoto JK 05-05-2013 07:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Abdul-Hakeem (Post 3720864)
True, but... I am guessing on this and don't actually know... Isn't it much cheaper/easier to strengthen a d-44 on a Rubicon than strengthen the d-30? This would still give the Rubicon an advantage over the Sport. If not, it levels them in that respect.

I was going to try the "Artec" kit for my d-30, but I couldn't find a welder I really trust here other than the Filipinos who are impossible to hire (demand is too high). It was at that stage I began wishing for a Rubicon. I **think** with the Rubicon it's just a matter of buying some stronger parts and a decent upgrade can be done without welding.

Cost is the same to strengthen a D30 or D44. The D30 and the D44 have the same housing strength. The tube thickness, C's, knuckles, housing thickness is all the same. The D44 is not structurally stronger.

baytownbert 05-05-2013 07:57 AM

I will gladly pull the pin and repin each side when I go off-roading. It's not as easy as pushing a button, granted, but sure as heck is easier than airing all four tires down, which is a heckava lot more important than discos.

Quote:

Originally Posted by LameStory (Post 3720754)
There are also a good many threads here with links to videos on YouTube that show the benefits of disconnecting the sway bar. You could add a manual disconnect to a sport, but I don't think you can add an e-disco, at least not easily or cheaply.


TOK 05-05-2013 08:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thegreyman (Post 3720702)
So Fella's-

In real world terms, what can the rubicon do that the other models cant in stock platforms. So basically can a regular model keep up with a rubicon, on the same trail, with the drivers of equal skill level?

Again REAL world conditions.

I think the lockers are the big difference. Nothing more frustrating than having a wheel with traction just sit there while the wheel in the slop spins. I look at this from a different perspective... What mods could I do with the $8k price difference between a base Sport and Rubicon?

JeepHerz 05-05-2013 12:41 PM

First off- the E- disco on the Rubi is a pain- it's very fickle. I know because I installed one on my Sport. Love it when it works but....Most Rubi's I wheel with manually disconnect and don't bother with it. You have to be on a completely flat surface to start- kinda hard on a trial. Buy quick disconnects and be done.
LSDs get MANY a good driver very far along. Lockers are better.
You can't beat the transfer case for rock crawling.
The D30 is not structurally inferior as mentioned. Yes the D44 is better (the carrier for one) but realistically it the D30 will get 95% of Jeepers through anything.
All three of theses things are only relevant for frequent wheeling and difficult trails. Your average fire road or dirt road or rocky trail needs nothing a Rubicon offers. On the flip side i wheel hard trails with Saharas and Sports and TJs all day long- doing the same stuff a Rubi does. the Rubi just makes it easier. if you plan frequent off roading and difficult, difficult trails and want the best equipped vehicle- or you want everything right out the gate- and you can afford it- get a Rubicon.
Otherwise a Sport is quite capable and can do more than any other 4w drive vehicle out there. As mentioned you can add a lot to a Sport and still wind up spending less than a Rubicon; and dealers are much more inclined to deal on a Sport. Rubicons are great no doubt- just be realistic in your purchase or you may spend a lot extra for a sticker.

DJL2 05-05-2013 01:06 PM

I bought a Rubi because proper 4x4s have lockers =).

Kidding aside, when I looked at the price of the Sport S and looked at the price for the Rubi I came out with a difference of a few thousand bucks - certainly not insignificant. Then I went about determining how much it would cost to add lockers, gears and a new t-case on my own. Oh, and tires, because I'd never go back to something like an SR-A for wheeling. Then I bought the Rubi.

I'm lucky I suppose - my lockers don't cause me problems, I like the lower crawl speed from the 4:1 t-case. If you're going to build big, it doesn't make sense to spend money on features you'll replace, but if you're more modest in your intent a Rubi with a lift and 35s will take normal folk most anywhere they care to go.

To answer the original question more directly, the key differentiation to me is actually the M/T tires and the lockers - those two things give you undeniably more traction than a Sport S. If you find yourself in a situation where you need that traction, the Rubi wins and then pulls the stuck Sport S out. I've seen guys here at Bragg get their rigs, including Jeeps, stuck in some of the nasty sand/dirt/mud we have around here that I wheel through without much drama/difficulty. One of my Troopers actually managed to bury their JK Unlimited with 3.5" lift and 35 inch A/Ts - so, like I said, if you need the M/T and lockers, nothing else will do.

You could probably just go with a rear locker and LSD up front and just deal with the 2.7:1 t-case and not need to worry about it for most wheelin'. Then you just swap the tires out and, in stock trim, the differences would be pretty negligible.

Old Dogger 05-05-2013 01:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thegreyman (Post 3720702)
So Fella's-

In real world terms, what can the rubicon do that the other models cant in stock platforms. So basically can a regular model keep up with a rubicon, on the same trail, with the drivers of equal skill level?

Again REAL world conditions.

Most of the trails, yes, but some of the trails no.
The difficulty factor determines your answer.
If you are going to use it as a DD "daily driver", and with some off highway usage on weekends, but nothing to extremely difficult, then the sport, or sport S will be all that you need. The stock sport will perform amazingly off highway, with no MODS!
If you plan on some serious high percent grade rock crawling, then get the Rubicon.
There are also some like me, that really don't need a Rubicon, but just want one. In that case, you will never be satisfied with anything less than a Rubicon!
Good Luck1:thumb:

MattK 05-05-2013 01:21 PM

I had a 2001 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 TRD edition. TRD means it has a rear e-locker and some different shocks. It's got the same basics as some of the Jeep features. That rear locker alone plus some rock rails got me more places than I thought. I've been all over Big Bear, Calico, Anza Borrego and a bunch of other places in that thing on some tough trails doing three wheel stands. You put a rear locker in a 4x4 and you're going to go places "you thought you'd never go"...

If you're ever only going to go light to moderate a rear locker 4x4 will get you there. If you ever truly need to use a front locker then you're hanging with the "big boys" trying to crawl over some serious stuff. Heck, I modified my Tacoma so I could use the low-range in 2-wheel drive and that was plenty to get me all kinds of places, with the rear locker of course.

I'm not comparing a Tacoma to a Jeep but the same essentials are there and in my experience did me just fine! Made it through all Big Bear had to offer in it. All said and done it had a 3" lift and BFG MTs, rock rails and custom fab'd front rear bumpers. I left the front differential alone as Tacomas are IFS and locking a front end with CV shafts seemed scary to me.

I wold say make sure whatever model you get has a rear locker and go! It will push you up onto things that will make you pucker! :thumb:

Did I need to buy a Rubicon? Probably not but it was the next step in my off-road evolution in my mind since it has a front locker, is a bit smaller and I can take the top off! I'm not a brand loyalist by any means. I got what did the next job I wanted done.

Hokieneer 05-05-2013 01:26 PM

I had this same discussion a few months back and what it really came down to was when I would build a sport with some of the stuff I wanted (which wasn't a lot) the price was only about 2500 off a rubicon I was looking at so I went with the rubicon and I have been very happy with it so far. My advice is if you are really going to mod it in a major ways go for the sport. Honestly I wasn't planning on huge mods but the more I use my rubi and the more difficult trails I go on its looking like she has some major mods coming her way. I do really like the 4.10s it makes driving around town much easier but on the highway the engine turns a little faster than I would like. The best bet is buy what you can afford and build from there! Good luck it can be a long road deciding took me almost a year, so sad I waited so long

Fellows 05-05-2013 04:14 PM

I bought a Rubicon because I wanted the climate control, heated seats, remote start, auto headlights, and MTs. None of those things are factory options on a sport. You can get them on a Sahara but I didn't like the painted fenders. The way I see it, Jeeps all pretty much depreciate the same, so either spend $30K on a sport and sell it later for $25K or spend $35K on a Rubi and sell it later for $30K, the only difference is the $5K I'm willing to give up while I own it.

RKracing 05-05-2013 04:20 PM

Mama June = Sport

Kate Upton = Rubicon :dance:

JPi1 05-05-2013 04:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fellows (Post 3722140)
I bought a Rubicon because I wanted the climate control, heated seats, remote start, auto headlights, and MTs. None of those things are factory options on a sport. You can get them on a Sahara but I didn't like the painted fenders. The way I see it, Jeeps all pretty much depreciate the same, so either spend $30K on a sport and sell it later for $25K or spend $35K on a Rubi and sell it later for $30K, the only difference is the $5K I'm willing to give up while I own it.

^^^^^^^
This

michiganadam 05-05-2013 04:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fellows (Post 3722140)
I bought a Rubicon because I wanted the climate control, heated seats, remote start, auto headlights, and MTs. None of those things are factory options on a sport. You can get them on a Sahara but I didn't like the painted fenders. The way I see it, Jeeps all pretty much depreciate the same, so either spend $30K on a sport and sell it later for $25K or spend $35K on a Rubi and sell it later for $30K, the only difference is the $5K I'm willing to give up while I own it.

The x model has a heater as well.

COLOUJK 05-05-2013 05:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by baytownbert (Post 3720984)
I will gladly pull the pin and repin each side when I go off-roading. It's not as easy as pushing a button, granted, but sure as heck is easier than airing all four tires down, which is a heckava lot more important than discos.

I disagree here. I would rather disco than air down, there are far more benefits to having your suspension being able to flex more than the tires being able to wrap around the rocks.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JeepHerz (Post 3721655)
First off- the E- disco on the Rubi is a pain- it's very fickle. I know because I installed one on my Sport. Love it when it works but....Most Rubi's I wheel with manually disconnect and don't bother with it. You have to be on a completely flat surface to start- kinda hard on a trial. Buy quick disconnects and be done.

Just because you put it on the sport does not mean thats how it works with the Rubi's. It will unlock the swaybar no matter the position of the axle. It will disconnect whenever the load is off of the sleeve on the inside. Same goes for connecting. You hit the button and the swaybar will automatically reconnect when it gets back to the original orientation.

Everyone I have talked to and showed the swaybar disconnects are jealous. It is far and away easier and more hassle free than manual disconnects which you do need to be relatively flat to remove or attach the links. I know many times where it takes someone to lift on the fender to get the links to line up properly.



I bought a Rubi because that is what 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.

SquareLite 05-05-2013 05:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by COLOUJK (Post 3722299)

I disagree here. I would rather disco than air down, there are far more benefits to having your suspension being able to flex more than the tires being able to wrap around the rocks.

While suspension articulation is important, all the flex in the world wont help you if you don't have traction. Airing down your tires is no to make your tires "wrap around" rocks. The purpose of airing down is to get a larger footprint on all surfaces. The contact patch that a tire has with the ground when it is inflated at street pressure, is a fraction of what it will be when aired down to trail pressure.

sinbob 05-05-2013 05:36 PM

To give you an idea of what a Rubi can do that a sport won't.

About a month ago I was up in the hills playing and took this old fire road. There was a wrangler sport and a built Toyota that followed me. The road hadn't seen any action in a long time and was well grown over (pin striping). After a while the jeep and Toyota were in front of me when we started up this ridge. About half way up they got into trouble. There was a small break in the brush and I took it to get around and in front of them. Mission accomplished. Winched the jeep up and told him to keep his momentum going to the top. He did and ran back to help. Winched the toy up but he couldn't keep it running because it was carbed and the ridge was to steep. So I turned around, ran the winch cable under the jeep and hooked up to him. I crawled the 150 yards to the top pulling the toy behind me. I never spun a wheel or bogged down. The other jeeper kid rode with me and just couldn't believe it.

So spend the money for a RUBI it is more than worth it!!!!!!:dance:

TOK 05-05-2013 05:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fellows (Post 3722140)
The way I see it, Jeeps all pretty much depreciate the same, so either spend $30K on a sport and sell it later for $25K or spend $35K on a Rubi and sell it later for $30K, the only difference is the $5K I'm willing to give up while I own it.

Thats actually an excellent point. I originally started looking for a clean, unmodified TJ. Rubicon TJ's were still pushing 20K.

I paid cash for my Jeep so I had a pretty firm budget, but I think maybe next time I will consider your way. :thumb:

Miser 05-05-2013 05:41 PM

WELL ARE YOU NOW MORE CONFUSED THAN EVER?
If you plan on keeping it long term and can afford it without strapping yourself financially, then I would get the Rubicon, BUT BY ALL MEANS WAY ALL OF THE OTHER OPTIONS FIRST! For many of us this is a long term purchase.
I have a 2013 Rubicon and I have never looked back.
It is quiet evident, that whenever a OP asks this question, that in most cases, you are just trying to justify spending the extra money for the Rubicon.
They are all expensive so whatever you decide on, I hope that you will receive many years of enjoyment from it!!!

COLOUJK 05-05-2013 05:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SquareLite (Post 3722339)
While suspension articulation is important, all the flex in the world wont help you if you don't have traction. Airing down your tires is no to make your tires "wrap around" rocks. The purpose of airing down is to get a larger footprint on all surfaces. The contact patch that a tire has with the ground when it is inflated at street pressure, is a fraction of what it will be when aired down to trail pressure.

I know this but you can air down all you want but when the weight is removed off the tire airing down does not help you.

I am simply saying my opinion is that I prefer to disconnect vs airing down. I am able to do alot more with more articulation. I actually rarely air down.

SquareLite 05-05-2013 05:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by COLOUJK (Post 3722388)

I know this but you can air down all you want but when the weight is removed off the tire airing down does not help you.

I am simply saying my opinion is that I prefer to disconnect vs airing down. I am able to do alot more with more articulation. I actually rarely air down.

Dont know what kind of rock crawling you claim to do, but around the Sierra nevadas, we can't roll like that. Don't know anyone that can.

COLOUJK 05-05-2013 05:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SquareLite (Post 3722405)
Dont know what kind of rock crawling you claim to do, but around the Sierra nevadas, we can't roll like that. Don't know anyone that can.

I dont know what kind of wheeling you do, but I know I like as much articulation as possible.

thegreyman 05-05-2013 06:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JeepHerz (Post 3721655)
First off- the E- disco on the Rubi is a pain- it's very fickle. I know because I installed one on my Sport. Love it when it works but....Most Rubi's I wheel with manually disconnect and don't bother with it. You have to be on a completely flat surface to start- kinda hard on a trial. Buy quick disconnects and be done.
LSDs get MANY a good driver very far along. Lockers are better.
You can't beat the transfer case for rock crawling.
The D30 is not structurally inferior as mentioned. Yes the D44 is better (the carrier for one) but realistically it the D30 will get 95% of Jeepers through anything.
All three of theses things are only relevant for frequent wheeling and difficult trails. Your average fire road or dirt road or rocky trail needs nothing a Rubicon offers. On the flip side i wheel hard trails with Saharas and Sports and TJs all day long- doing the same stuff a Rubi does. the Rubi just makes it easier. if you plan frequent off roading and difficult, difficult trails and want the best equipped vehicle- or you want everything right out the gate- and you can afford it- get a Rubicon.
Otherwise a Sport is quite capable and can do more than any other 4w drive vehicle out there. As mentioned you can add a lot to a Sport and still wind up spending less than a Rubicon; and dealers are much more inclined to deal on a Sport. Rubicons are great no doubt- just be realistic in your purchase or you may spend a lot extra for a sticker.


Great points. I purchased a sport. I am not a rock climber not big into the whole mud thing either. I do like hitting trails, fire trails, and general intermediate off road riding. I will mostly use my jeep for getting from point a to b when hunting on the weekends.


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