Jeep Wrangler Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all. Thanks for the forum. I appreciate some advice from experienced Wrangler owners. I'm looking at picking up a used JKU. Here's my deal:

First, I am not a gearhead. So whatever I pick up, I will probably keep "relatively" stock - maybe a lift here or a rack there, but no plans to change out an axle or anything like that. Second, I am a family man. I have a 4 y/o, 3 y/o, and another on the way (literally any day now). So I need space and don't have an endless budget. Third, I do plan on enjoying the off-road trails here in Colorado (mostly to access new hunting locations).

I've always owned Jeeps, but never Wranglers. I had a couple of WJ/WK's that I replaced front suspensions and dinged undercarriages. I worked those grocery-getters. My wife traded those in for a minivan and handed me her Jeep Compass.


So I decided that I'm getting a JKU. What I know/Concerns:
1. Does anyone know if 3 kids will NOT fit in the back? 1 booster, 2 car seat. (Deal Breaker) :confused: I've heard there's as much space as in a WK2 or KL.
2. I know that I'm getting 2012+ because of the new engine.
3. Are there really issues with the hard tops leaking that I should be aware of? When checking out a used Jeep, anything I should be looking for that would indicate there is a problem?
4. Just how capable is the Sahara w/ the limited slip Dana 44 rear? At most, I'd like to take the family to Hell's Revenge or over the Poughkeepsie Gulch trail. I'm all about the diff-lock but it's hard to justify another ~$5k if I'll use it just once at The Wall on Poughkeepsie Gulch and can just winch up if I don't make it. I rather have a Sahara that I push to the limits than a Rubi that is never touches its max potential.
5. Manual or Automatic (if I have a choice)? I like manuals and would probably lean that way, but I've been warned that in the mountains, the "constant" shifting will make me wish I had an automatic. How about off-roading as well? I never imagined getting a JKU with automatic, but Jeep makes them for a reason. Thoughts?

Once again, I appreciate any advice...and any other tidbits I should be thinking of as well.
 

·
Registered
2020 JT Mojave Sting Gray
Joined
·
273 Posts
I haven't had my JKU long but I can shed some light in these a little:

1. 3 kids should fit. It may take some maneuvering to get all the car seats in there, but it should work. Might be a PITA for a while getting all of them in there though. I would suggest taking the car seats with you when you do a test drive. The difference in backseat space between jeep models is almost unnoticeable.

Also, they recommend only using the latch system on the outermost seats, if that matters to you.

3. You'll want to check the seals well to make sure they're in good condition and not cracked or disfigured anywhere. As long as the freedom tops are reinstalled correctly, it shouldn't leak. That's not to say it won't ever happen, but it shouldn't.

5. I prefer the automatic. The vast majority of my driving is in traffic to and from work/daycare and an automatic is just easier. Sure, there are times I would like a stick, but they're few and far between.

Sorry I can't comment on the off-roading stuff, just picked up my JKU and haven't had a chance yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
659 Posts
Re: rear seat space-

I've got 16 month old twins who are still in car seats. On the occasions that they ride with me, they and my wife all fit comfortably in the back seat.

Your three kids will be fine.

--

Get the VIN of the vehicle and obtain the build sheet from Chrysler.

You want to verify 3.73 gearing, minimum.

http://www.jeep.com/webselfservice/...ountry=us&emailUrl=goToEmailForm%28%27R%27%29

Look under "Equipment Listing" for the build sheet form.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Guys,

Thanks. I think after checking the dimensions of the JKU, WK2, KL, etc. that you're right. Essentially all back seats are the same. Seeing as I will only drive Jeeps, I guess it really doesn't matter then.

Adisa, I assume that the picture is what happiness from having 16 month old twins looks like.

I appreciate the information on the seals as well. I didn't know to check for that.

-And I think that I have to go with the Rubi. I watched some videos of Wranglers with open diffs trying to go up some "easy" obstacles, and it was not pretty. Adisa, that would mean the 4.10 gearing; so I would be good there.

And I'm still on the fence on the Manual and Auto. I think that I'm going to go for a great price on a Rubi Unlimited as my primary goal and just accept whatever transmission it has.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
It may be harder to find a Rubicon with 4.10 gear ratio, FYI. The website configurator defaults to 3.73 when you select the auto, so double-check that before purchasing/ordering. It looks like the quick order package 24R has that configuration though, but the last thing you want to do is take home the wrong config.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,099 Posts
All JK/JKU's will come with a "brake lock differential", it works very well at allowing open diff Jeeps tackle obstacles that would usually require a limited slip at the minimum. Basically the computer will sense wheel spin in 4 hi/lo and will apply brake torque to the slipping wheel to allow more torque to the other wheel. You would be shocked what it allows you to do. I do pretty serious off-roading and I have 2 open diffs and haven't needed my winch yet. I wheel with several Rubicons as well and I go where they go.

For no more than you're talking about doing, the BLD will suit your needs so don't limit yourself to just looking at Rubicons.

As for leaks, take it to a car wash on your test drive and spray it down really good around the doors and the freedom top. That should give you an idea of leaks. Apparently they're common but I have not had any issues with mine leaking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks OSUjk for making my life harder. I assumed that every hardcore Wrangler owner would just scoff at BLD. I saw that the Command-trac has it, but no one really ever talks about it. My only concern is the roll-back that some Jeepers sometimes experience in getting BLD to engage. I'm not really planning on doing any hardcore rock crawling, but there are some places (Black Bear Pass) where rollback may be bad.

Still, I definitely appreciate you chiming in. It'll make me reconsider.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
I'm in the same boat kid wise, you will be fine (and kids LOVE riding in Jeeps). As for the possibility of leaking, the one I wanted was actually on the lot, so I was able to test drive it through a high pressure car wash and verify no water came through.
Auto/manual. Manual is more fun, but that is pretty much the only advantage it offers. More of a personal preference call than anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,112 Posts
from personal experience 2 boosters (with high back) and a 5 point car seat in the middle will fit in a JKU....bring the car seats to see if they fit.

or do like my wife did and get a used seven passenger xk (jeep commander) :surrender:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So I decided - from information I could dig up and your posts - that a Rubicon may be overkill. I did some research on the BLD and LSD systems working together and think that it would be pretty robust for what I want to do. With that, Sahara's are awesome, but I went for a Sport with all of the Sahara upgrades so I didn't have to pay the Sahara price.

So I just bought a 2012 JKU w/ 3.73 gearing, LSD, "Rubicon wheels," body colored hard-top, and fully loaded interior, but paid a used Sport price ~$26k. (and manual - because it's more fun for me to drive - plus my in-laws can't borrow it when they come to visit).

Oh, and 1 booster, 1 infant carrier/car seat, and 1 toddler car seat all fit in the back.

I appreciate the advice guys.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,007 Posts
So I decided - from information I could dig up and your posts - that a Rubicon may be overkill. I did some research on the BLD and LSD systems working together and think that it would be pretty robust for what I want to do. With that, Sahara's are awesome, but I went for a Sport with all of the Sahara upgrades so I didn't have to pay the Sahara price.

So I just bought a 2012 JKU w/ 3.73 gearing, LSD, "Rubicon wheels," body colored hard-top, and fully loaded interior, but paid a used Sport price ~$26k. (and manual - because it's more fun for me to drive - plus my in-laws can't borrow it when they come to visit).

Oh, and 1 booster, 1 infant carrier/car seat, and 1 toddler car seat all fit in the back.

I appreciate the advice guys.
Well done!
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top