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Old 03-19-2017, 07:33 PM   #1
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Build a jeep up... or buy Rubicon?


I'm looking at new vehicles and I think I have settled on the idea of a jeep (4 door)

No matter what jeep I get I'll be doing some mods anyway... lift kit, 33" wheels, bumpers, winch... etc.

The one thing that is really important to me though is locking front and rear diffs (it makes the difference between a real 4x4 and a fake one), which comes standard with the rubicon... it's a lot of extra bucks though.

Thought it might be cheaper (and probably more fun) just to buy the basic jeep sport and build up from there. I can install after market dif locks for about $2000... and there are some advantages with aftermarket. The rubicon only allows you to lock diffs in 4 low while aftermarket locks you can lock anytime

I guess what I'm asking is whether the rubicon is worth the extra bucks?

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Old 03-19-2017, 09:20 PM   #2
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Re: Build a jeep up... or buy Rubicon?


Does the Rubicon have front locking diffs?

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Old 03-19-2017, 09:51 PM   #3
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Re: Build a jeep up... or buy Rubicon?


This episode indicated the front diff was not locking.

Maybe they have added it.

http://cdnapi.kaltura.com/index.php/.../embed/dynamic
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:55 PM   #4
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Re: Build a jeep up... or buy Rubicon?


Difficult question without knowing more information about you, your budget, daily use... concerned about resale?

My 2006 TJ Unlimited I built up myself- Steering, control arms, suspension, gearing, lockers. Resale & comfort wasn't a concern, nor inflecting damage.

Selectable lockers wasn't a worry for me since I don't live in snow country. Only thing I don't have that Rubicons do (Besides selectable locker) are front Dana 44. (Easy enough to fix if needed)
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Old 03-20-2017, 12:43 PM   #5
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Re: Build a jeep up... or buy Rubicon?


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Originally Posted by Nobr8ks View Post
Difficult question without knowing more information about you, your budget, daily use... concerned about resale?

My 2006 TJ Unlimited I built up myself- Steering, control arms, suspension, gearing, lockers. Resale & comfort wasn't a concern, nor inflecting damage.

Selectable lockers wasn't a worry for me since I don't live in snow country. Only thing I don't have that Rubicons do (Besides selectable locker) are front Dana 44. (Easy enough to fix if needed)
Not concerned about resale at all. Not concerned about voiding warranties due to mods. I'll spend up to 55 or so if I have to but I would rather not.

I'm not even sure if dana44 is important. I'm not doing heavy rock crawling. Steep snow covered (unplowed) hills/roads and muddy trails is my main concern. The rubicon can select to lock rear only or both front and rear but it can only do this in 4 low. I'm not sure I like that.

I thought of the Sahara but it's not that much cheaper than the rubicon and when you figure I'll have to install after market locks anyway....
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:27 PM   #6
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Re: Build a jeep up... or buy Rubicon?


I bought a stock 2005 and did exactly what your talking about. It was garage kept and had 70,000 miles on it and clean as could be. I put a lift kit on it. Keep
In mind that if you put bigger tires that you will also have to regear. That was about another $2200 over the locker. I put an Aussie locker in the front of mine. That suited me perfect but there's no snow here so I don't think that would
Work for you. Luckily I had the Dana 44 rear end already. I could not sell it for what I have in it but that was never my intention anyway. I'll put up a few pictures and answer any questions that I can
this is when it was stock and my daughter was trying to talk me out of it lol


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Old 03-20-2017, 03:31 PM   #7
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Re: Build a jeep up... or buy Rubicon?




This is how she sits now. It floats cross the mud lol. It's pretty light, fun vehicle to drive


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Old 03-20-2017, 03:38 PM   #8
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Re: Build a jeep up... or buy Rubicon?


I love the cat chilling on the hood. Fantastic.
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:16 PM   #9
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Re: Build a jeep up... or buy Rubicon?


For what you are using the jeep for, a JKU WW is better suited for snow conditions IMO. That's on road snow, not deep trail snow.


Take a read:

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/wl...rubicon+willys

There are a bunch of discussions on that forum about buying a stock Sport and building it vs buying a Ruby. Take a read and pick a package that bests suits you.

I am in snow county and love the WW.
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:23 PM   #10
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Re: Build a jeep up... or buy Rubicon?


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This is how she sits now. It floats cross the mud lol. It's pretty light, fun vehicle to drive


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That's a nice machine!

I did a bit of study on the wheels. They say I can go up to a 33 inch wheel without having to regear so I'll probably leave it at 33 and do a 2 to 3 inch lift. I'd like it to be as much 'off-roadish' as possible without losing too much in the way of street driving ability and comfort. If we have to get out a ladder every time we need to get into it, the wife will kill me.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:08 PM   #11
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Re: Build a jeep up... or buy Rubicon?


I was worried about the lift too and the stability. I put an ol man emu lift on it. It rides better than stock now. A little extra but worth it in the long run. Added a transmission cooler for towing boat and four wheeler. It was a dog before it was regeared. Good luck with your project!


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Old 03-20-2017, 06:29 PM   #12
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Re: Build a jeep up... or buy Rubicon?






some old photos @ various times of use.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:32 PM   #13
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Re: Build a jeep up... or buy Rubicon?


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I love the cat chilling on the hood. Fantastic.


That cat just showed up one day. He has become part of the family. He opens the back door to let himself in. Wish I could get him to close it lol


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Old 03-20-2017, 07:39 PM   #14
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Re: Build a jeep up... or buy Rubicon?


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Not concerned about resale at all. Not concerned about voiding warranties due to mods. I'll spend up to 55 or so if I have to but I would rather not.

I'm not even sure if dana44 is important. I'm not doing heavy rock crawling. Steep snow covered (unplowed) hills/roads and muddy trails is my main concern. The rubicon can select to lock rear only or both front and rear but it can only do this in 4 low. I'm not sure I like that.

I thought of the Sahara but it's not that much cheaper than the rubicon and when you figure I'll have to install after market locks anyway....
There are other vehicles out there that can handle unplowed snowy/muddy trails with various locking solutions. LR3/4, 4Runner, even an older LR Discovery- They require fewer component upgrades. Unlike Jeep where some parts require welding.

I have an 06 LR3 with over 130k miles thats seen those exact conditions you described, never needed a locker. I did remove the air suspension in favor of coils though. Used, you'll find them around 10k and under.

You also need to be completely aware of the inevitability of trail damage, so if you like clean & shiny things, look for something used.

I love my Jeep, but thank God I don't daily drive it....
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:52 PM   #15
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Re: Build a jeep up... or buy Rubicon?


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That cat just showed up one day. He has become part of the family. He opens the back door to let himself in. Wish I could get him to close it lol
That is too funny. We have a guy that is bit like that (i.e. in terms of free spirited).

They are quite a mixed bag from time to time.

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