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I am going to buy myself a new JK. I won't be using it as a daily driver. It will be for weekends and trips to the mountain. I might buy brand new and am wondering if I should buy from the factory the 3.73 axle. Is it worth the extra $500.
 

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Depends on what you want to do with it. I have 3.73s in mine and love them. Mine is a daily driver with several trips to light-to-moderate trails per yr on stock suspension. I occasionally tow a trailer as well.
 

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If you are considering bigger tires at any time, you should really consider getting the 3.73s from the factory.
 

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I am going to buy myself a new JK. I won't be using it as a daily driver. It will be for weekends and trips to the mountain. I might buy brand new and am wondering if I should buy from the factory the 3.73 axle. Is it worth the extra $500.
Absolutely worth the money. To regear from 3.21 would be significantly more than $500. 3.73 should work up to 35" tires, but that depends on who you ask.
 

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The gears are worth every penny given that a swap will cost you 4x that including labor. The more you drive it off road the more you will be tempted to get bigger tires and the more important the gearing will become. Read some of the dozens of threads of owners asking about gears such as this nice summary thread:

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/3-21-gear-threads-summary-list-209000.html
 

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I'll give you a straight answer as this has been beaten to death. Get the 3.73 and don't look back.

You're going to be going up to the mountains and the 3.73's will better suit you for the inclines and the increase in altitude. However, go to the dealership and test drive both. You can only be happy with the decision you make.
 

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I am going to buy myself a new JK. I won't be using it as a daily driver. It will be for weekends and trips to the mountain. I might buy brand new and am wondering if I should buy from the factory the 3.73 axle. Is it worth the extra $500.
Yes. After having gone through this exercise twice I would recommend three things to you: get the 3.73 gears, the supplemental side front airbags, and the dual tops. Doing any of those after the fact is a pain.
 

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I went the other way. I had a 2011 JK 6 speed with 3.73 and now have a 2014 JK auto with 3.21. I much prefer the 2014 with the 3.6 motor. As a DD it is great on the interstates turning lower RPM. For me I would not pay $495 for the difference.
 
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