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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking to get a Jeep STRICTLY AS A TOY to get started in offroading. I am going to start off with playing around in the mud at first and some mild offroad trails then after i get experienced, I'll move up to more extreme offroading. I'm not convinced that I need a Rubicon because of how much NON extreme offroading i will be doing. Will answer any questions.

The Jeeps im interested in:

2006 Jeep Wrangler SE

2001 Jeep Wrangler Sport
2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
2006 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
2008 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

Need second opinions from the experienced Jeep community. Thanks Guys!

:Thanx:
 

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How thick of mud are you talkin? The gearing of a Rubi would be slightly advantageous in an extreme situation - but people who insist on Rubis typically use them for climbing. Anyway, it would help if you clarified what you think is "extreme" off roading as opinions always vary, but when the community hears that they're probably thinking some serious things.

So, as a toy only - I'd probably go with an LJ (if I could find one), or TJ. I'd want that good ole straight-6, or drop a 4BT in and call it a day. Those Wranglers have more salvage parts available that I could fill a trailer with and beat my rig to snot out on a trail without feeling too bad about it...I drive a 15 JKU because daily driver, and while I think it's my toy sometimes, it's certainly not treated 'strictly' as such lol
 

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Don't get the SE. I was about the Sport until I saw the 3.07 gears. My thoughts were to buy it cheap & build like you want. If 15k is your budget range you might as well opt for a Rubi. Whatever you buy just make sure she's ain't eat up with rust.
 

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I would go for the 03 Rubicon. It already has what you will need for off roading. Actually all the Jeeps you list have what you need. The 03 Rubicon will have the straight 4.0L six engine and as mentioned a good gear ratio for the trails and mud. You don't mention if any of the Jeeps on your list have automatic transmissions. I own an 03 Sport with an automatic transmission. We bought it new in 03. I have found that when we go out on the trails I am able to clear obstacles a little easier than the guys with the standard transmission. The main reason is I'm not having to worry about working the clutch and keeping the engine from stalling. I know it might bother some Jeep purest, but the auto transmission works for me.
 

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On a side note the Rubicons are geared super low in 4L for crawling. For mud and woods exploring the gearing in the non-Rubicons might help. If you get a Rubi you might just run it in 4H vs. 4L in the mud. Either way you will have a great woods/trail rig. The D44's in the Rubicons are stronger than the stock axles in the non-Rubi's.

I bought a pair of D44's for my TJ X because I am running 35" tires.

You will find Jeeps make great trail rigs. If you will be playing in the rocks get the Rubicon.
 

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why are you only looking at dealers?Big differnce is price from Rubicons to regular jeeps.Also stay away from the 4 bangers
 

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03 Rubi.....it's the best color
 

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Willys CJ3B

You can start mild for the light trail and offroading...



...and then you can go wild for the more extreme stuff



Easy to work on, endless engine options, gets lots of thumbs up on the road or trail, and a lot more fun than a 4-wheeler.

Just a thought ;)
 

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Gotta say I had a sweet 04 Rubi. It did all the easy trails in 2 WD. When I started to get use to those I started going out with friends on harder trails. I found that my Rubi did everything I wanted it to do. Do I think I overbought. Not at all. You never know what your going to run into off road. Maybe a simple trail run becomes something else if you have a problem and have to get turned around on a rocky hill to go back down or to rescue another jeep. I am always sorry I sold it but I do like my 4 door better for road trips and bringing friends along.
 

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Do NOT get the 2008. They are beyond horrid. The engine is an oil burning POS and they are plagued with electrical and electronic issues and wonky VSC.

The TJ, the most stock and the least rust. Rust is the killer, avoid it at all costs.

J
 

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Keep away from the 2.4 four cylinder

Offer ten grand on both TJ 2003 and 2006 Rubicons then walk away. Wait for your phone to ring. They both have outrageous asking prices for the mileage/Illinois road salt exposure in a place with no right at all to ask for an off-road toy premium.

Forget the mini-van engined 2008 Rubi. (personal preference)

I found my pristine original 2006 Rubicon with 21,000 miles on Craig's List back in 2012 for $16k


Been a few places since then
 
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