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A few weeks ago I bought a 2008 JKUR its pretty much stock with the gutless auto trans (had to make the woman happy too) it has 187k on the chassis and 60K on a reman. dealer installed 3.8. although its not the ideal set up I paid around $12k for it which I think is still an OK deal. My questions is, should I put money into this jeep and build it how I want or should I go for a newer JK just because the motor is much better? Its not my daily driver but I plan on using to go into the mountains and camp as well as some decent off-roading. Thanks for the help/opinions in advance.
 

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Dump it. And, it's not the tranny that's gutless, it's the engine.
This....

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There's no doubt the newer 3.6 has much more HP, and there's no doubt a much newer Jeep will cost you more. Is the 85 additional HP worth the additional money out of pocket? Only you can decide.
 

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Totally agree with fungun. Both of our Jeeps are '08s. Mine is an U Sahara and my daughter's is a 2 door X. Yes, I wish they had more power, but they aren't terrible. My daughter's 2 door is surprisingly quick, especially with 35s. We do have a Flashpaq for hers though. Sure, I'd love to have 3.6s, but they're a good compromise, considering our other priorities and commitments.


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My advice from my recent purchasing experience is to sell the 3.8 and look for a 2012 or newer if you're going to put some money into your Jeep.

This past December, I bought my preowned 2013 for that reason. I initially found a very clean 2011 at a good price and I test drove it. I figured that it was something that you had to live with owning a Jeep, because I read that they were notoriously underpowered. I discussed with my circle of friends and relatives that are more versed in mechanical and automotive aptitude.

However, my son, who has a Chrysler Town & Country minivan with the 3.8 (he has 2 tiny babies) said it's not a bad powerplant and does the job, but it's a pig in comparison to the Pentastar 3.6. He strongly advised to go with the 3.6 and forget about the 2011. With that advice, I eventually found the 2013 that I now own. Upon the test drive at the dealership, I knew what my son was talking about. It actually has a good power to weight ratio and is by no means anemic. Paid a few $1000 more for the newer model, but glad I did.

Try one out (2012 or newer) at a dealership if you have a chance. You don't have to buy, just try. You'll probably have a for sale sign in the window of the one that you currently have.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the feedback a bit of buyers remorse coupled with all the negative things out there about the 3.8 had me second guessing my decision. I will test drive a 3.6 but a rubicon with the 3.6 easily commands prices of $25k or more and that's definitely out of the budget. So I just need to decide if I want more offroad capability or the power of newer non rubi jk. Thanks for the input.
 

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I wouldn't let the 3.8 stop me from wheeling. I owned 2008 and 2009 JKs: they are not as bad as people in forums paint them to be. Besides, that motor's lower output is most noticeable on freeway driving, not on the trail.

For $200 you can add a 2" budget boost to fit larger tires. You will be able to do plenty of wheeling with a setup like that. And if you decided to get a winch and new bumpers, most can be transferred to a newer JK relatively easily later on. Same goes for the budget boost, wheels and tires.

Good luck!
 

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I've owned both. 3.8 in a manual, i'd say keep it. 3.8 with the Auto, sell it as fast as you can. 3.6 with the Auto is night and day to a 3.8 with an Auto... Well worth the extra $$$.
 

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if you'll always be driving that jeep wishing you had a 3.6 then it's worth it. I can't stand driving a car wishing I had a different year/engine/transmission. that's why I sold my 2012 wrangler sport with 3.21 gears. made a mistake so I sucked it up and sold it! next WILL be a rubi auto. hopefully that recon
 

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I Enjoy my Rubi AT. I also have a 2 dr MT. Fun BUT for about 20 minutes.
IF I get caught in ANY kind of traffic with the MT :pullinghair:
 

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I have never experienced the pure joy that is the 3.8L...
But...
if it is geared correctly, I would bet you really would never know the difference between it and a 3.6L
through in some more performance oriented gears and I bet it would be just fine? I am not at all famillier with the 3.8, but maybe go with a 6.17?

while I despise auto's in a jeep, I would keep what I had and build it how I want...
there is nothing on a jeep that can not be replaced if you have the time or money to do so...
and you jeep has passed the point where one needs to worry about 'preserving the value' or whatever, you truely are free to do whatever you want to it...
 

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I also have a 2 dr MT. Fun BUT for about 20 minutes.
IF I get caught in ANY kind of traffic with the MT
wuss...
and you don't even know what real traffic is... living out there on the fringe of civilization...
were you aren't even allowed to take your doors off your jeep like you can in any civilized society...
being stuck in traffic with your doors on is far worse than anything the MT could ever do...
 

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Assuming the previous post is intended to be humorous.... There is plenty of road construction in N/E Pa which causes trafic jams lasting 10's of miles and hours of stop/go movement.
A MT of any kind is less than ideal in such an environ.
 

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I Enjoy my Rubi AT. I also have a 2 dr MT. Fun BUT for about 20 minutes.
IF I get caught in ANY kind of traffic with the MT :pullinghair:
I'm with you on that. My Jeep is my DD most of the time and I have a commute in the Boston area that is miles and miles of stop & go. Age and the effects of motorcycle accidents mean that an auto is my only workable choice in a DD. At least it has the manual mode if needed.
 

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I'm with you on that. My Jeep is my DD most of the time and I have a commute in the Boston area that is miles and miles of stop & go. Age and the effects of motorcycle accidents mean that an auto is my only workable choice in a DD. At least it has the manual mode if needed.
Yes but..... Driving a Manual makes us Sooooo Much more Mui Macho!!:)
 

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Yes but..... Driving a Manual makes us Sooooo Much more Mui Macho!!:)
Yes, of course. Sadly, I maxxed out my macho quotient some years ago, and now have to work on lowering it back down to the point where other males in my presence don't spontaneously burst into tears.
 
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