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-   -   2004 Rubicon Conundrum (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/2004-rubicon-conundrum-54859.html)

King of Beers 07-08-2010 09:09 PM

2004 Rubicon Conundrum
 
Hey guys and gals. It's been a while since I've posted here. I sold My 2000 Tj a little over a year and a half ago as I could not afford it at the time. I have been bitten by the bug again... and I'm in the market for a new vehicle.

I've found what seems to be a great deal. You guys let me know what you think.

It's a 2004 Rubicon with 94,000 miles on it for $9,000. I have not looked at it yet but I work with the owner and it sounds like it was well taken care of.

$9,000 is a little more than I want to spend on a vehicle but I've always lusted after the Rubi. Most of the times I have been stuck I don't think I would have been in a Rubicon.

What do you guys think? Is this deal too good to pass up, or is my infatuation with Dana 44's and Locking Diffs getting the best of me?

HuntingtonBeachMike 07-08-2010 09:28 PM

Great deal...If it looks good..not to beaten up...

InfernoGirl 07-08-2010 09:29 PM

Sounds too good to be true.... look at it closely, make sure it's really a Rubi... heck for that price make sure it's really a Jeep!

pakman55 07-08-2010 09:32 PM

you could make $5,000 easy on that if you drove it to the MA and sold it

lancetkenyon 07-08-2010 09:37 PM

BUY IT! Smoking deal if it is even in decent shape.

Image Group 07-09-2010 12:27 AM

That's a horrible deal!! You should give me the guys number so I can call him up and give him a good talking to for trying to rip you off.... Call me on my cell 'cause I'm driving to the bank right now.

cavediverjc 07-09-2010 07:36 AM

Check the axles to be sure they really are D44s. The new thing nowadays is slapping a RUBICON sticker on the Jeep then trying to sell it as one. If the buyer doesn't know anything about Jeeps, the seller can get away with it. If the buyer knows what he's/she's looking for, the seller can say the previous owner is responsible for the RUBICON decal, not them. Also, say it really is a RUBICON. A dealer can make more money by selling the Rubi TC and axles to a 3rd party, installing the 3rd party's D30/D35 and TC on to the "Rubi", then selling the legitimate RUBICON. Only it's a RUBICON on the title only at this point. Just make sure you're actually getting what you're paying for.

Also, if you do buy it, and we're assuming it's really a Rubicon, you might consider REMOVING the RUBICON decals. They (Rubicons) are highly sought after by chop shops (try finding a D44 in a junkyard) and are targeted more so than the average Jeep. Just a thought.

drivebytruckerz 07-09-2010 08:19 AM

Sounds like a great deal.

King of Beers 07-09-2010 08:24 AM

Thanks for all the replys. I thought it sounded like a great deal. I've pretty much decided to get it as long as it's what he says it is and provided it is in good condition.

I know how to discern the D44 axles, and Ill notice the diff lock switches inside.

What is an easy way to check the transfercase to make sure it was not swapped?

cavediverjc 07-09-2010 08:25 AM

Oh, and I forgot to mention........good luck!! It sounds like a great buy! :D

cavediverjc 07-09-2010 08:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by King of Beers (Post 682391)
Thanks for all the replys. I thought it sounded like a great deal. I've pretty much decided to get it as long as it's what he says it is and provided it is in good condition.

I know how to discern the D44 axles, and Ill notice the diff lock switches inside.

What is an easy way to check the transfercase to make sure it was not swapped?

The easiest way to tell if the TC has been changed is by looking at the front of the rear driveshaft. If it's a double cardan type, then you're good to go. If it's a standard slip yoke, you've been had.

King of Beers 07-09-2010 08:40 AM

Will the double cardan not bolt up to the standard TJ transfercase?

cavediverjc 07-09-2010 09:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by King of Beers (Post 682413)
Will the double cardan not bolt up to the standard TJ transfercase?

It will if the TC has been fitted with an SYE. The stock Rubicon TC already has what is essentially an SYE in its fixed output.

Or look on the TC for the label that says NVG241OR. That's the Rubicon TC. If it says NP231, it's a plain old TC out of a regular Jeep.

Jerry Bransford 07-09-2010 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cavediverjc (Post 682395)
The easiest way to tell if the TC has been changed is by looking at the front of the rear driveshaft. If it's a double cardan type, then you're good to go. If it's a standard slip yoke, you've been had.

Rubicons don't come with a rear CV driveshaft, they come with a conventional single-Cardin (one u-joint at both ends) driveshaft. While they don't use a slip-joint up front like the TJ has so they will never need a SYE, they don't come with a CV driveshaft. :)

cavediverjc 07-09-2010 10:28 AM

Thanks Jerry, my bad.

Kate 07-09-2010 11:01 AM

I would love to see some pics of this here Jeep.
Sounds like you fell into a pile of stink and are about to come up smelling like a rose!

King of Beers 07-09-2010 11:07 AM

Im going to look at it on Sunday. I've got my fingers crossed. It will be next week before I can get it though. I'll post up pics for sure if I get it.

Kate 07-09-2010 11:54 AM

Oh m'gosh.
I couldn't wait that long.

King of Beers 07-10-2010 07:20 PM

Photos
 
Here are some pix of it taken with my phone.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/b...n/IMG_0729.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/b...n/IMG_0730.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/b...n/IMG_0732.jpg
:D

cavediverjc 07-10-2010 07:24 PM

Huh.......I didn't know they made Rubicons with half doors. Learn something new every day!! So far, so good. Looks good. How does she drive?

King of Beers 07-10-2010 07:31 PM

I just looked at it in the parking lot at work. I'm so stoked! It's definitely a Rubicon! :punk:

I was not able to drive it as he was not there when I looked at it. I'm going to look at it and drive it tomorrow.

What is an easy way to test the 4WD and the locking Diffs without taking this guys Jeep through the mud?

I was thinking about maybe finding a dirt lot and turning circles With the jeep in 4WL with both diffs locked. I have never driven a vehicle with locking diffs but I have a couple r/c cars with them. I assume I will be able to tell by feel if they are working. What if I have no dirt lot? Is there an easier way to test them?

I cant wait to get this thing!!!!!

King of Beers 07-10-2010 07:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cavediverjc (Post 684079)
Huh.......I didn't know they made Rubicons with half doors. Learn something new every day!! So far, so good. Looks good. How does she drive?

He said that it was special ordered and the guy who ordered it bought something else. So he bought someone else's custom order.

Kate 07-10-2010 08:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cavediverjc (Post 684079)
Huh.......I didn't know they made Rubicons with half doors. Learn something new every day!! So far, so good. Looks good. How does she drive?

I have a good friend with an 04 Rubi, same color and half doors. Yup... I'm a little jealous.

Doggone kid, that looks like a cherry that's ripe for the picking!

The jeep looks like it's parked in the dirt where the pictures were taken.

Here's what you do.

Start 'er up
put 'er in neutral
pull the transfer case lever all the way to 4lo
drive it around a little, see how it feels.

Then, there is a button below the stereo that says AXLE LOCK

push it once and it engages the rear locker, twice and it engages the front locker.
There are lights on the dash that will tell you it is engaged.
To disengage, lift up on the switch once for the front, twice for both. The dash lights will flash. Sometimes you have to hit it a third time or move the Jeep a ways before they go out.

It might be a little hard to get it into 4LO, sometimes you have to hold your mouth right. It WILL be hard to turn and it WILL try to crawl out from under your brake pedal. They kind of hunker down and grunt.

It's gonna give you such a feeling of excitement that you may want to take a magazine with you to lay across your lap :rofl:

Don't foreget to check out 4 HI while you're at it.
Unless the mod has been done to it, lockers will not engage in 4HI.

I'm excited for you!

King of Beers 07-10-2010 09:36 PM

Thanks for all of the informative answers. WF really comes through when I'm in need.

I'll keep you guys informed. :cool:

King of Beers 07-11-2010 05:04 PM

So Just got back from looking at it and driving it and...

It looks Great!

4WD worked Lockers worked. Everything looked good. It had a little wear and tear on the interior but nothing too bad. I wonder if a good cleaning may not take care of most of the issues.

Engine compartment look good. It had a K&N cold air intake on it that to me was a negative as I would like to have a snorkel on it and he does not have the stock airbox. I'm a little worried about sucking up a little water.

Undercarriage Looked good. I only saw one spot where it looked like the bottom scraped on anything and it was very minor.

She accelerated and stopped well.

Red Flags

-front end has a slight shimmy over 50mph. The steering wheel rocked back and forward (right and left) about 1/2" or so. The tires were pretty worn. It had 97,000 miles on the original tires (Front tread depth +1/8" and rear is ~3/32"). He says it just needs a tire rotation but somehow I doubt that will fix it.

He says if the rotation and balance does not fix it he will take it to a shop and have it fixed before I buy it.

-Shift from third takes more effort. It goes into and out of all of the gears with no trouble but there is a slight resistance to shift out of third. Anyone know what this is or if it is even a problem. Whenever I have heard of a tranny problem it is going into gear not coming out.



I'm hoping none of this stuff is a deal breaker because otherwise it is quite a nice vehicle. Let me know what you think.

Jerry Bransford 07-11-2010 05:29 PM

Shimmy like that is generally always nothing more than a tire problem... worn unevenly or just plain out of balance. It's not an alignment problem unless a bad toe-in has screwed up one or both of the front tires.

Not sure why it is shifting hard out of 3rd.

GoldTJ 07-11-2010 07:07 PM

@King of Beers-I will gladly trade you the stock air filter box in it's entirety for the K&N cold air intake!Just give me a holler!I am jealous of the deal-can't touch a Rubicon around here for any less than $15k!

King of Beers 07-12-2010 06:39 AM

Anyone have an Idea about why there would be resistance when shifting out of third?

King of Beers 07-12-2010 06:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GoldTJ (Post 684821)
@King of Beers-I will gladly trade you the stock air filter box in it's entirety for the K&N cold air intake!Just give me a holler!I am jealous of the deal-can't touch a Rubicon around here for any less than $15k!

I may end up fabricating a custom snorkel that incorperates the K&N. But I will keep your offer in mind.

alstjruby03 07-12-2010 08:38 AM

every transmission shifts a bit different. if its not real hard wouldn't be too concerned.besides at that price it still a great deal.and yes the half doors were an option.


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