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Old 04-24-2016, 03:29 PM
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JK rubicon 3.8 vs sport 3.6

Hey guys,

So I am moving from a TJ to a JK. I want to know which one you'd rather do. I have these options.

1. 2008/2010 JK Rubicon manual with around 55,000 miles for $18-21k

2. 2014 JK sport manual with 11,800 miles for $24,500

3. Lease a brand new Jeep for $300+ a month

I'm aiming more for the used ones over the new one. I am a junior in college and want to move into something more comfortable than the TJ and with less issues. The TJ is a 1999 4.0 5 speed with 168k miles and has been giving me issues non stop for the past few months and I'm tired of it.

Which JK would you guys pick and why

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Old 04-24-2016, 03:34 PM
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It may also help to know that all of these are stock, no modifications done. The 2014 is the color I like, but a little expensive for me. Its anvil. The rubicons are yellow and silver

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Old 04-24-2016, 03:35 PM   #3
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3.6l is lightyears ahead of the 3.8L. 3.8L is plagued with oil consumption issues and low hp.

The 3.6L you just rev it up the more you need.
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Old 04-24-2016, 03:46 PM   #4
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A new sport can be had for +/- $25k. Do yourself a favor and consider shopping new, especially if you are financing (better rates on new vehicles).

As fare as the engines go, stick with the 3.6.
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Old 04-24-2016, 03:48 PM   #5
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Depends on what you want to do with it. The motor and trans are better in the new ones but my buddy has a 10 and he goes everywhere I do in my 13. Pretty much the same MPG. I do have a power advantage over him but in normal driving we seem to have no problem staying hooked up. I love having the lockers and the sway bar unlock. I use it when I need to flex big but then turn it back on when I go off camber.
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Old 04-24-2016, 04:27 PM   #6
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Depends on what you want to do with it. The motor and trans are better in the new ones but my buddy has a 10 and he goes everywhere I do in my 13. Pretty much the same MPG. I do have a power advantage over him but in normal driving we seem to have no problem staying hooked up. I love having the lockers and the sway bar unlock. I use it when I need to flex big but then turn it back on when I go off camber.
yeah I'm sure he'd love to have a 3.6 rubicon who wouldn't! Lol. Man id go with new. You can always build it up. Technology sometimes changes for the better and I think this is one of those occasions where this is true. Guys seem to love the 3.6
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Old 04-24-2016, 04:46 PM
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If I could I'd love to have a 2013 10th anniversary rubicon in anvil with the red leather, but they're still going for $30k used. So that's not an option. The only issue with the new ones is I'm not in love with the color choices. The granite isn't bad, but I wish they had kept anvil
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Old 04-24-2016, 04:53 PM
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I know the 3.6 is a much more powerful motor, and that the 3.8 is a hit or miss with the oil consumption. I have friends with JKs. a 2007 JKU manual on 35s with 3.21s which is a real dog and has the oil consumption problem, a 2011 JK auto stock with 3.21s which is okay performance wise but does not have the oil consumption problem, and a buddy with a 2012 JK manual on 33's with 3.21s which is very decent performance. I beat the 2012 in a 0-30 race in my TJ (4.0, 33's, 3.73s, 5 speed) but after that the horsepower of the 3.6 passed me by. I've driven them all and i don't mind the 3.8, but do like the interior change in 2011.

The way I look at it is that the 4.10s in the rubicon with the 3.8 wouldn't be horrible performance wise. And gas mileage isn't an issue, I'm used to 13mpg in my TJ

Another way I look at it is that the 3.8 will gain pretty good numbers from headers, exhaust, and a tune. Which can all be added later on. Obviously both significantly get improved by a supercharger but I'm not looking to spend $5000+ on that lol.

Anyone who has had a 3.8 rubicon that went to a 3.6 sport?
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Old 04-24-2016, 04:53 PM   #9
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If stick to a 3.6. I have an anvil 2014 that I leased, and now bought. I love it. Great color. If you go new though, the rhino is pretty close. You can always upgrade a sport slowly. Here's mine.
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Old 04-24-2016, 05:06 PM
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If stick to a 3.6. I have an anvil 2014 that I leased, and now bought. I love it. Great color. If you go new though, the rhino is pretty close. You can always upgrade a sport slowly. Here's mine.
I've seen the rhino and I'm not really a fan, its too blue for me
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Old 04-24-2016, 05:09 PM   #11
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If you plan on any mods at all then I say a '12+. You'd be much happier in the long run performance and fuel wise. I just sold my 2010 on 35's and 5.13 gears for a '16 rubicon with 4.10's and the same 35's, it is night and day as in 4cly TJ vs 4.0l TJ. The interior is a huge improvement too.
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Old 04-24-2016, 05:12 PM   #12
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I've seen the rhino and I'm not really a fan, its too blue for me



It is blue for sure. Especially at night but has a grey tone to it in the sun. Mine has grown on me and anvil was what I really wanted also.
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Old 04-24-2016, 06:14 PM   #13
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Honestly - unless it's a rust bucket, I'd consider combing through that TJ and get all your issues addressed then put some effort into restoration/upgrades. It'll be cheaper, more satisfying, result in a more rewarding vehicle and you'll likely get more return on your investment.

My kid drives an 88 XJ, 4.0, auto approaching 200k miles that mechanically, we have in a pretty good place. Although it could use some restoration, he doesn't hesitate to hop in and go. It's run some significant road trips. - actually pulled exact same MPG on a recent road trip (33" tires 4.56 gears) as my 2014 JKUR (32" tires 4.10 gears).
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:23 PM
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It is blue for sure. Especially at night but has a grey tone to it in the sun. Mine has grown on me and anvil was what I really wanted also.
Definitely a nice jeep, but I'd probably go with granite if I was going brand new. I liked it on the 2014 Willys so I wouldn't mind it. My two top choices are Gecko green and Anvil, but both are discontinued and pull a premium. The hyper green thats coming out seems like it'll be too bright. I'm a little picky but would rather get a color I want than something I'm not if I have to spend the money on it
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Old 04-24-2016, 09:42 PM   #15
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A new sport can be had for +/- $25k. Do yourself a favor and consider shopping new, especially if you are financing (better rates on new vehicles).
Total cost of ownership.
A lower upfront cost + higher interest rate
vs. higher upfront cost + lower interest rate.

Doing the math there and also playing with term lengths can really show what the true cost of used vs. new will be.
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Old 04-24-2016, 09:51 PM   #16
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If your going say back 4 years (2011-2015) for used your not saving much at all in fact around here you can pretty much drive a jeep for 2-3 years and get what you paid for it on trade in or so forth. To save any great amount of money go back say 2007-10. Otherwise go new, sports around here can be had for about 25000. Never lease a jeep! And if you set on getting one why not hold out a couple months so the 17s are starting to be ordered and then pic up a new 16, leftover 15 , or a used 12 that will be 5 years old
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Old 04-25-2016, 08:35 AM   #17
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If you are considering spending in the $24k range for a used JK, I would suggest you seriously consider a new 2 door sport due to warranty and resale value alone. Non-warranty repairs on an older used JK can be problematic for you just like the TJ.
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Old 04-25-2016, 08:43 AM
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If you are considering spending in the $24k range for a used JK, I would suggest you seriously consider a new 2 door sport due to warranty and resale value alone. Non-warranty repairs on an older used JK can be problematic for you just like the TJ.
I'm really looking at the monthly payment aspect, not so much the total value. I'm looking to pay less than $300 a month. I'd get new but financing new is way out of my price range. The used 2014 is only 2 years old and has 11,xxx miles on it and soft top only. The 2010 is a rubicon and has 58,xxx miles on it but has a hard top too. The 2008 is also a rubicon with 58,xxx miles but no power windows/locks like the others have and only soft top, so that's the bottom of the list of choices.
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Old 04-25-2016, 10:13 AM   #19
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If you are considering spending in the $24k range for a used JK, I would suggest you seriously consider a new 2 door sport due to warranty and resale value alone. Non-warranty repairs on an older used JK can be problematic for you just like the TJ.
I'm really looking at the monthly payment aspect, not so much the total value. I'm looking to pay less than $300 a month. I'd get new but financing new is way out of my price range. The used 2014 is only 2 years old and has 11,xxx miles on it and soft top only. The 2010 is a rubicon and has 58,xxx miles on it but has a hard top too. The 2008 is also a rubicon with 58,xxx miles but no power windows/locks like the others have and only soft top, so that's the bottom of the list of choices.
Cost wise, that will most likely hurt you in the long run... Sounds like you might even want to wait. Fix up yours with the $300 a month, get a better resale value on it. And the price difference between a new and used 2012 plus isn't that much. If that puts you over your threshold, I again recommend waiting. The extra warranty time, knowing what its been through, and that lower (new vehicle) interest rate.

Performance wise, if you're not going to be using lockers, you'll probably feel more go from a 3.6 with 3.73 (maybe even 3.21 until you add tires)gears than a 3.8 Rubi with 4.1s. The performance gains on the Pentastar are huge. They also seem to be better to maintain long term, and I've never changed the oil in a 3.8 but it took me 15 minutes, including set up, drain/drip, and clean up.
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Old 04-25-2016, 10:41 AM   #20
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I'm really looking at the monthly payment aspect, not so much the total value.


If this is all that's important, then get whatever you want to get but be prepared to get screwed in the long run. This is a totally backwards philosophy. Always start with an out the door price in mind and work your payment strategy from there. Define a budget and get what you can afford, not what you wish you could afford. A junior in college? I'd keep the TJ, a roll of duct tape, can of WD40 and make it work. In fact, that's exactly what I did but it was an 84 Cherokee Chief with bad AC, used tires, dent in the drivers door and 4x4 vacuum lines that had to be put back on every time I left the trail. All that and I still regret ever selling it.
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Old 04-25-2016, 10:43 AM   #21
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I've seen the rhino and I'm not really a fan, its too blue for me
Exactly. Looked purple on 3 different occasions so I just went straight for Black. I liked it in pictures, just not in real life. Same with Anvil.

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