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Need opinions: new rubicon vs. used sport


 
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mooch
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Joined: 15 Feb 2004
Location: danville, pa

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 4:23 am    Post subject: Need opinions: new rubicon vs. used sport Reply with quote

I am finally ready to buy a jeep to use as my daily driver adn trail rig. I want to be able to eventually do fairly difficult trails but also spend a day at the trails with my wife and 2 kids. I am thinking 35's for tires or such.
My question is, should I buy a new rubicon to get the lockers, low gears, and axles, or... a used sport and build it. I like the idea of the rubicons lockers, etc. but are they any good, or would I just end up replacing those anyways?

thanks
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WhatWasIThinkin
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Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Location: Epping New Hampsha

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, Welcome to Jeep Horizons Very Happy

I sort of faced the same problem a while back. My Rube is my 2nd TJ. My decision to build or buy was helped by a good ol' dose of looking at the facts.

I questioned myself on some things.

1. Do I have a lot of spare time to devote to a build up? no

2. Am I a hardcore offroader? no

3. While keeping in mind #1 and 2, if I spent $10K on my X model would I be happier with it then If I trade the X for the Rubi at only a few thousand more bucks? no

I do go offroad, but so far just trails and forrest riding. The X I had was capable in stock form and my Rubi will run rings around it and then some. Would Currie custom made D44's or 60's or a ford 9" axles be stronger than the OEM Rubi' D44's? yes Would I ever get the full use out of axles like that after spending the money? its doubtful, and more likely, no. so that stuff would be way overkill for me, so now the Rubicon is becoming way more attractive for me. I got lucky and worked out a great deal for myself when I traded my X for the Rube.

Now if you were to ask yourself the same questions and be the opposite as mine, then maybe a built rig would be better for you.


As far as tire size the Rubicon's 4.10 will easily handle 33's. 35's will be pushing it a bit, so 4.56's would be better for those. Now for offroad with the Rubes 4:1 low tcase and 35's, you can still crawl slowly with the 4.10's but the true "creeping" of 1st gear low will be gone. Again 4.56's or 4.88's would bring that back for 35's.

The Rubicons lockers work great. They are strong and quiet. Most of the bad rumors flying around about the front locker causing issues or breaking u-joints/axles etc. stem from way too many people switching on that front locker the moment that they hit the trail. Most people that arent familiar with front lockers are the ones that get in the most trouble with them. A couple of no-no's that people do and break parts is: turning the steering wheel too much, or worse yet steering and standing on the gas pedal at the same time. The dealers are no help, they use the lockers as a selling point but nobody ever explains how to use or when not to use the damn things. A front locker is a wonderful item to have when you need it, but for the most part its not needed very often.

The other way to look at it. If you find a decent used TJ and buy it for say $10-12K and then spend another $12-15K on aftermarket Axles, tranny, tcase, suspension, tires etc, you would have an awsome rig for the same price as new. It should be a whole bunch more capable off road too.

Good luck
Todd
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ehirner
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Todd, I think you make some good points, but I think a late model used Jeep would be much better if any one has plans for lifting and 35s.

Think about it, you buy a used Sport for $15,000. (I'll be selling a 99 Sport in about 2 months for $8-9K if everything goes right)

That gives you a stock Jeep. You want 35s??? Drop about another $8000 on mods including lift, tires, wheels, SYE, CV shaft, trackbars, etc. I'm sure you could still get bumpers, a tire carrier, and rocker protection in there for that price. Maybe even a winch.

That puts you at about $23,000 (probably much higher that it would really cost).

Now you check out the Rubicon. If you plan on running 35s, you'll have those same expenses on top of the $22,000-$26,000 you'll be paying for the Rubi.

So that modified Jeep you could have for $23,000, will now cost you about $30,000-$34,000.

And when you bash it off a rock or tree, I'd feel much banging a older, used Jeep than a brand new one.

Now, myself, I wouldn't bother with the Rubi. If you're interested in taking the family out, wait a couple months and check out the Wrangler Unlimited. It's got 13" more cargo space behind the rear seat versus a regular Wrangler, 10" longer wheelbase which will translate to a smoother ride, and 2" more between the front and rear seats for better legroom for the kiddies in the back. MSRP pricing starts at $24,995 but you can get better deals.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it was new vs. new, I'd say the Rubicon wins hands down because of the lockers, 4:1 case, and what not already in the box. Used, depends on how used you're talking. If you're looking at something under ten grand like mentioned above, it'd obviously be more cost efficient to go that route. All sorts of routes to go that way with axles and such and the cost is only gonna be limited to the amount of work you wanna do yourself. If you'd be looking at 35's, the 4:10's aren't gonna be too pleasant off the trail. I've got 4.56's and 35's and kinda regret not going 4.88. I think it really depends on what kinda level of "used" you're looking at. If you want something with low mileage, there might ot be enough of a price difference to justify not getting the Rubicon. Some CTM's and stronger shafts can address the front end issues on the Rube 44 and like WWIT said, ya just gotta know how to wheel with a front locker (re: locker engaged, wheels turned, rock in front of you, don't floor the throttle Mr. Green ). As far as getting a new one and bouncing it off the rocks, I never cared much about resale value myself Mr. Green .
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ehirner
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://jeephorizons.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=843
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WhatWasIThinkin
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hehehe.....I should never try xplainin' something early on a sunday am on one cup of coffee drool

New Vs. New go for the Rube if ya want to spend more time wheeling and less time building.

I will agree 100% that if you were to spend short money, say @ $10K on a decent rust free, I6 that had some care taken on it. Then add another $10-12K on offroad parts you would have a real beast and would still be in the "new" price range. But again building a rig like this by an experienced Jeeper would still take many months on the average persons scheduel. To a novice builder, lots of luck.
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mooch
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for all the info.

I have built early broncos before, so I am sureI could, but I dont have much time anymore with work and my kids. If I have a satruday free, I would much rather hop on a trail than under a truck.

My main question I guess is, are the parts on the rubicon tough enough to withstand wheeling or did jeep just throw them on there for selling points. I dont see any point in buying a rubicon and then after I lift it with 35's have to change the axles, or the lockers. I am ok with changing the gears. If I have to change everything then I might as well get a used one then.
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ehirner
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mooch wrote:
thanks for all the info.

I have built early broncos before, so I am sureI could, but I dont have much time anymore with work and my kids. If I have a satruday free, I would much rather hop on a trail than under a truck.

My main question I guess is, are the parts on the rubicon tough enough to withstand wheeling or did jeep just throw them on there for selling points. I dont see any point in buying a rubicon and then after I lift it with 35's have to change the axles, or the lockers. I am ok with changing the gears. If I have to change everything then I might as well get a used one then.

I don't know if I'd say they're reliable to put up with 35s routinely. Those are some big, heavy tires to be spinning all the time...especially off road with locked axles.

I know of a couple people who've bent their rear TJ44s. It's more of an issue b/c the TJ44 is a D44 center section and shafts with D35 tubes. Same thing for the front end of a Rubi 44. It's a D44 center section and inner shafts but everything else is a D30. In both cases, you're getting upgrades over what's standard on an X or Sport package, But some of the major weakness of the stock axles are still there with the Rubicon. Now the t-case is certainly cool. I wouldn't mind having one of those. I haven't heard much about how the lockers are holding up...but that could be a good thing. If a lot of people aren't complaining, then they won't be heard much.

I think the Rubicons were a great idea from DC and I'm sure have helped sell more Jeeps. But I think they lack a little for being the "toughest Jeep ever built" or whatever DC likes to claim.
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WhatWasIThinkin
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The D44's are a good axle, but have limits. Can ya put 35's on these axles? Yes you can, others have. Do you need to be a lot more cautious with the skinny pedal w/35's? You betcha! When DC came up with the Rubicon, they decided to take the front D44 assembly and mate it to D30 ends with the D30 u-joints. The u-joint being the weak link. There are better upgradable joints that can be gotten, and are a must for heavy offroad use, especially with 33's or larger meats.

It realy comes down to how heavy or hardcore do you plan on running.
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Jeepfreak
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2004 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally would rather get a cheaper used jeep and spend the extra money on making it to where I know it's not going to break rather than buying a rubi with some ok stuff in it but then still having to worry about breaking it. Now I'm not saying the stuff in the Rubi's isn't any good because I do have a friend that has a Rubicon that he wheels hard and it has 36's on it and he hasn't broken anything yet.

If it were me I would get like a 99 or 00 sport or maybe an x and then a D44 with 4.88's and an ARB for the front, and then a 9" or a D60 for the rear with a spool. Then put some type of 5" or 6" long arm lift, I like the Rubicon Express one the best, and get your 35's for it. Then you could put a SYE and a Tera low 4:1 lowrange conversion in the stock 231 or even a better option would be to just buy an atlas for it. If you look hard you can probably find a good deal on a used one. Those things are built so tough that even if it was wheeled hard it is very unlikely that it was damaged. After doing all this you would have a more capable jeep than the Rubicon and should still be under what a new Rubicon costs.

Just a few notes, I wouldn't get the ARB compressor I would save my money and buy a higher out put compressor and then you could have good on board air also. You may also want to get an ARB for the rear, I just said the spool because that's what I have in mine and I like it alot. Not to mention that a spool would cost like $30 for a 9" and maybe $70 for a D44 or D60 compared to $600 for just the ARB locker.

Anyway that was supposed to just be my $.02 worth but I think that may have been more than $.02, sorry I got carried away.
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