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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering about meaningful upgrades from Unlimited Sport to Rubicon, specifically around the drive train. I am new to Jeeps, and am wondering what the costs would be to upgrading a Sport to a Rubicon type drive train/suspension? Is it just the Dana upgrade in the front? Is this the only upgrade needed or are there others? What would it cost to have the Dana upgrade installed in parts and labor?

It seems like options are quite expensive from the factory, and am wondering if aftermarket is a better way to go in terms of price/performance.

Thanks for your informed comments from a potential new owner of a new Unlimited.
 

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Upgrades to a sport would likely cost around $6-8k but that's with a prorock or currie 44 a much stronger front axle. You'd pay the price upfront for a rubi. I went for a Sahara (sport with pain and trim package) and I've wheeled a lot of places and had a ton of fun with the basic stock drivetrain. Ungraded suspension but you'll need to do that with a stock rubi too. I'd say you're better off building the jeep over time and even getting a winch and using that over lockers.
 

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Upgrades to a sport would likely cost around $6-8k but that's with a prorock or currie 44 a much stronger front axle. You'd pay the price upfront for a rubi. I went for a Sahara (sport with pain and trim package) and I've wheeled a lot of places and had a ton of fun with the basic stock drivetrain. Ungraded suspension but you'll need to do that with a stock rubi too. I'd say you're better off building the jeep over time and even getting a winch and using that over lockers.
And the $8k price is for the addl, gear Change to the rear diff and also adding another locker in the rear north ridge and most other shops sell built prorocks for around $6k
 

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I was wondering about meaningful upgrades from Unlimited Sport to Rubicon, specifically around the drive train. I am new to Jeeps, and am wondering what the costs would be to upgrading a Sport to a Rubicon type drive train/suspension? Is it just the Dana upgrade in the front? Is this the only upgrade needed or are there others? What would it cost to have the Dana upgrade installed in parts and labor? It seems like options are quite expensive from the factory, and am wondering if aftermarket is a better way to go in terms of price/performance. Thanks for your informed comments from a potential new owner of a new Unlimited.
I'd say you need to determine what you want your jeep to be capable of in the end. If you know you'd be satisfied with what a rubi offers( F/R lockers and 4:1 T-case and available 4:10's) are the main differences, it's really a bargain if you want all the other standard options that come on a rubi. But, if you know (most of us don't at the time) you'll eventually want a harder core rig, get a sport and put the money saved toward the endless flow of $$$$$ you'll spend on replacing every single under carriage item that came from the factory with your jeep.
 

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...... My 2 cents :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Is Dana 44 a big deal compared to Dana 30 for moderate off road?

I live in a Rural community with lots of dirt roads, and can see myself taking my Jeep off-road in the Sand Dunes, Is the Rubi overkill for this use? Should I opt for, say a backcountry instead? How important is that Front Axle upgrade, and what would it cost aftermarket?
 

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I think the "Junior" Dana 44 front axle is the least of the Rubicon's drivetrain upgrades as far as usability goes. You'll get a lot of use out of 4:1 t-case and 4.10 gears and lockers and e-discos. You'll only appreciate the D44 if you bust your D30. And if you do... Chances are you can get home just fine and you can replace it at that time with something much stouter than the semi-44 in the front of the Rubicon.

Of course, if that happens any upgrades (lockers and diff-gearing) you've done to your D30 will be throwaways.
 

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It seems like options are quite expensive from the factory, and am wondering if aftermarket is a better way to go in terms of price/performance.
No. The after market might offer different ways to the same end but you will not save money. An all in Rubicon will be less expensive that a Sport made into a Rubicon..... with new parts.

The big question with the Rubi is do you really want to go that slow? If 4:1 reduction is not required.... stick with the Sport. Just add selectable lockers which are of more use than a winch.
 

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If I had bout a rubi I'd run 37s, but i got a sport so I'll stick with my 35s lol. Until it's paid off, then tons, portals, and 40's :)
 

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I live in a Rural community with lots of dirt roads, and can see myself taking my Jeep off-road in the Sand Dunes, Is the Rubi overkill for this use? Should I opt for, say a backcountry instead? How important is that Front Axle upgrade, and what would it cost aftermarket?
D44vsD30.jpg

^^^This is your major difference..
 

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The Rubicon is a pretty good value for what you get. You can build a base sport to be "better" than a rubicon for cheaper, but once you add the "S" package to the sport to bring the standard features more in-line with the rubicon, the price difference is only about $5k. But if you are fine with crank windows and manual locks then the price difference is $9k and you can do some pretty serious upgrades with that. Prorock44 $5k, Rear locker/gears/shafts 2k, Rubi T-case 1.5k, sway bar discos $150 = $8750.
 

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The Rubicon is a pretty good value for what you get. You can build a base sport to be "better" than a rubicon for cheaper, but once you add the "S" package to the sport to bring the standard features more in-line with the rubicon, the price difference is only about $5k. But if you are fine with crank windows and manual locks then the price difference is $9k and you can do some pretty serious upgrades with that. Prorock44 $5k, Rear locker/gears/shafts 2k, Rubi T-case 1.5k, sway bar discos $150 = $8750.
I'd do most of that to a Base JK/TJ any day. But I really do prefer the Sport 2.72 Transfer Case. And be way happier than buying another Rubi.

Don't forget you can sell the old parts too.
 

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These threads get kinda old.

If you want what a rubicon offers, you simply can NOT effectively turn a sport into a rubicon for cheaper.

You can do a fairly mild build on a rubicon and be capable of following all but the big boys just about anywhere.

If you want something much beyond what the rubicon offers (60's and 40" 's) you could probably save a few bucks by starting with a sport. BUT if your prepared to go that route you'll probably want the 4:1 t-case and the money saved by starting with a sport is probably not significant within your overall build budget.
 

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I think the "Junior" Dana 44 front axle is the least of the Rubicon's drivetrain upgrades as far as usability goes. You'll get a lot of use out of 4:1 t-case and 4.10 gears and lockers and e-discos. You'll only appreciate the D44 if you bust your D30. And if you do... Chances are you can get home just fine and you can replace it at that time with something much stouter than the semi-44 in the front of the Rubicon.

Of course, if that happens any upgrades (lockers and diff-gearing) you've done to your D30 will be throwaways.
Most likely, in the broken R&P scenario, just replacing those. I think the majority of failures have been axle shafts, from what I've been reading.
 

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These threads get kinda old.

If you want what a rubicon offers, you simply can NOT effectively turn a sport into a rubicon for cheaper.

You can do a fairly mild build on a rubicon and be capable of following all but the big boys just about anywhere.
You assume Lockers, Discos and 44s are only of value to rock crawling "big boys". Lots of us, actually most of us, live where there are no rocks or waterfalls to climb/crawl.... which means the Rubi case is a disadvantage. Not to mention all the other "accessories" included when you tick the "Rubi Box" which are better left in the Bimmers... and are useless if you want a rugged 4x4 to explore with.
 

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Worth it? Well the trim level is superior to the Sport, and as I recall there are options available for the Rubicon that are unavailable on the sport. If that is important then that may make it worth the extra bucks.
I have replaced some of the things that make a Rubicon a Rubicon: rockers, gears, shocks, tires, and wheels. But I really like the electronic disconnect (this is really huge, think having to get out and lick the hubs), the transfer case, and I do not think I could live without the locking differentials. I plan on keeping this rig for a long time and if I were honest with myself I have so much money "invested" that the upgrade to Rubicon does not really move the needle.
Bottom line is it is your Jeep and you get to decide what you want, or what you want to spend.
 

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You assume Lockers, Discos and 44s are only of value to rock crawling "big boys". Lots of us, actually most of us, live where there are no rocks or waterfalls to climb/crawl.... which means the Rubi case is a disadvantage. Not to mention all the other "accessories" included when you tick the "Rubi Box" which are better left in the Bimmers... and are useless if you want a rugged 4x4 to explore with.
Agree. If you think the 4:1 transfer case is a disadvantage, that's a factor to consider.

Besides driveline, not sure there are a bunch of "accessories" thrown in with the Rubi package, unless your comparing to a base sport v a sport S.

There are still lots of options to be selected on the Rubi.
 
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