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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some advise from some experienced JKU folks.

I'm going to pull the trigger on buying a JKU in the next few weeks. It all started with wanting to replace my tow vehicle behind my RV (A Ford Focus on a Tow Dolly = a PITA :)) So I test drive a 2011 and 2015 Rubicon and I didn't like the fact I could not turn the lockers on in 4 Hi. So I thought, maybe I should buy a Sport or Sahara (or any other model without the factory lockers) and just put in something like a ARB Air Locker. As for the sway bar disconnect, I'll just buy a kit and do it manually at the trail head. Then I see a way to add a switch and trick the computer on a Rubicon into seeing 0 ohms and thus allowing you to turn on the lockers in 4Hi. Plus sticking with a Rubicon gets me the Dana 44 front axle and the lower gearing in 4lo, suspension and such.

Just a little more info. I want to go with an automatic for the wife and for off roading. I had a Jeep around 2002 or so and did off roading for the whole weekend and Sunday night my left leg was killing me from working the clutch. This JKU will probably be used 80% dry pavement, 10% moderate trails, 5% as TOAD behind RV, and the remaining 5% being a weekend of sand and whatever snowy days we get in NC. The JKU will not be a daily driver for me.

I'm leaning 2011 Rubicon to save some money vs. a new Rubicon. I'm thinking having a Sport built would end up more expensive (I would do the easy mods but stuff like putting the ARB Air Locker in I would let a pro do).

Thanks so much. Any advise is appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've heard the 3.6 has quite a bit more power and torque, but the 3.6s were problematic. But I guess they should be covered up to the 100k with the powertrain warranty.
 

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I think the 2012 had some head gasket issues on some of them. I think if they fix it they last.
You will find on here guys love their
3.6s
280-285 hp not bad.
 

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As a guy who build his Sport, go with a Rubicon. You will save money that way. And the Rubi is a really nice package. Building a Sport benefits only if you go with 37"+ tires.
 

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Go with the Rubicon. Either a small lift or changing out the fenders allow 35s. If you get an automatic the speedometer and shift points will need reprogramming. You can get an aftermarket unit that will do that for~$170. It can also reprogram to allow diffs locked in 4H.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys! I have no intentions of going with anything but factory tire sizes. Moonrider, you kind of are confirming my thoughts, the Sport would just end up more expensive. I think I'll avoid the 2012's and look at the 2013s and 2014s too. Dr. Obbins, do you have a link to the aftermarket unit for switching into 4H? Dr. Obinns, I see your photo is on the beach and you are from NC. What beach is that?
 

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FYI, the rubicon front axle is not a true d44. The only thing 44 about it is the gears. Everything else on it are the d30 components
 

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FYI, the rubicon front axle is not a true d44. The only thing 44 about it is the gears. Everything else on it are the d30 components
Not exactly true the tubes, housing, and knuckles are the same as a 30 but in addition to the internal ring and pinion the axles in the 44 are 30 spline opposed to 27 spline the 30.
 

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FYI, the rubicon front axle is not a true d44. The only thing 44 about it is the gears. Everything else on it are the d30 components
The diff housing is 44. Different axle shafts. Spline count. But other than the gears and all that, same tubes, C's, ball joints.

OP if you're not going for larger tires ever, get a Rubi. And as well as prices are holding up on the used JK's, you probably wouldn't have to pay much more for a Rubi ordered through your dealer than a 2 year old Rubi.
 

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So on the cheap a couple of chromolly axle shafts and some c-gussets would get you well on your way to Dana 44 strength?
 

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Yesterday I was at my local 4x4 shop and there was a guy with a very nice JKUS he just finished doing AEV front/rear bumpers, winch, lights, 315 Duratracs and more. He was talking to one of the guys about how much it would cost to do gears and lockers, add leather, sway bar discos... He admitted he should have just bought a Rubicon instead and is considering selling the sport to start over. Expensive lesson - do it right the first time.
 

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Yesterday I was at my local 4x4 shop and there was a guy with a very nice JKUS he just finished doing AEV front/rear bumpers, winch, lights, 315 Duratracs and more. He was talking to one of the guys about how much it would cost to do gears and lockers, add leather, sway bar discos... He admitted he should have just bought a Rubicon instead and is considering selling the sport to start over. Expensive lesson - do it right the first time.
Sometimes you can find Rubi axles for sale, that's another option. I've seen them on jeepfreaks before, and another used parts site (I don't recall which one tho)
 

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So on the cheap a couple of chromolly axle shafts and some c-gussets would get you well on your way to Dana 44 strength?
I wouldn't put chromomolys in d30. Shifts more stress into the weaker-than-d44 carrier/gears.

Think from the tires, and work your way back up the driveline to the transfer case. If you strengthen something towards the end of that chain (end being the wheels/tires),.it shifts that stress up the line.

I'd rather replace a broken shaft. On the trail you can often remove a broken shaft, stuff the tube with rags, and limp it out. Not so with broken gear teeth. Just ask @Tweak.

Pick your weak point. That's how you play the odds more into your favor.

Sent from my SM-N920T using Tapatalk
 
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