Considering my first jeep

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Considering my first jeep

Unread post by stevezammit » November 18th, 2012, 7:01 pm

I've been to and fro trying to decide on my next vehicle and I'm down to a choice between a JK Unlimited Rubicon in auto or a New GU Patrol. What I'm looking to learn is what little tweeks I would need to do to the Rubicon to have hassle free motoring. I understand there are some little problems like the plastic clip on the 4wd select linkage failing, what else do I need to sort before touring with the JK? The common stuff not the 1 in 100,000 things.
I was thinking of a 2" lift and 33's soon after purchase and a rear bar with swing away for the spare and rack system so I would have a serious roof rack for a rooftop tent etc plus drawers, fridge slide and dual battery. It will eventually be towing a camper trailer.
Looking forward to your feedback.

Peter Aawen
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Re: Considering my first jeep

Unread post by Peter Aawen » November 18th, 2012, 7:32 pm

Take them both for a drive, Jeeps are really capable vehicles but they are something that you just get completely or simply can't stand due to their little idiosyncrasies!

This 'liking a Jeep' thing is not likely to grow on you either, for most it's 'love at first drive' or 'never want to go near one of those things again' almost instantly - and some of the little things that get to people aren't always stuff you can do anything much about: there’s the different levels the pedals sit at (not quite so bad with the auto), the lack of left foot room (also not quite so bad with the auto), the (really!) weak high beam headlights, the over-tall reverse gear, and a whole bunch of little stuff more, almost all niggly stuff tho. But hey, they have character and they are bloody capable to start with and only get better as you mod it to make it uniquely yours; altho they are a tad breezy almost all the time, and if it rains the chances are the roof will leak somewhere; but what the hey, it's a JK Wrangler so if you can stand those things you’ll get where you want to go pretty much every time and usually have a ball doing it too! You can get mods to do just about everything, altho some of them cost a little if you don't fab them up yourself or have a mate in the business, and a lot of the good stuff comes from O/S, but that isn't too much more of a hassle except for the built in lead time for everything. But take one (or more) for a drive before going too much further down the Jeep track!!

GU's are pretty inoffensive as far as that sort of thing goes, and they are still extremely capable without anywhere near the niggly idiosyncrasies, altho they too have some issues that might irk if you want to look. They are still one of the most capable 4WD's around straight out of the box, and 33's & a 2" lift are pretty much automatic mods and mainly self regulated almost all around Aust now, which makes keeping legal a lot easier! And you can get accessories and parts for them from most corner stores nowdays too.

But drive them, if you love the Jeep, you probably won't be satisfied with the GU and vice versa!! And who cares about any of the niggles that both may have if you love the rest of the vehicle?? So take one or more of each for a bit of a drive before you go much further down the selection and planning track - no point in sorting out what needs doing to either if you really can't stand one of them! ;)
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Re: Considering my first jeep

Unread post by BLU-125 » November 19th, 2012, 7:50 pm

Capability or comfort...........that is the real question. City boy with little 4WD experience? Buy the Datsun. ;)


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Re: Considering my first jeep

Unread post by Paul-JK » November 19th, 2012, 8:24 pm

I'll second what Peter said. A test drive will likely decide for you and the rest becomes academic.

I've never driven the GU but by reputation the archaic 4 speed auto and somewhat underpowered 3l CRD put me off. Having said that, when I was buying I knew I really wanted the JK. The test drive was almost academic as I knew I wanted it anyway. The new Rubi's will have the Pentastar 3.6l V6 which is supposed to be a good engine (almost as good as my CRD ;)) and they also get a new 5 speed auto, which is a huge step up from the old 4 speed that was mated to the old 3.8l engines.

Everything Peter says about the JK quirks is true (and there's plenty more to add to the list!) but if you drive it and you know you like it then you'll learn to ignore them. The issue with the plastic clip on the transfer case lever is something to be aware of but it's not a significant problem. It can be fixed with a cable tie if need be but to be honest I think breakages are more down to misuse. Yes, it's not a great design but it will work if you look after it. I've never had an issue with mine. Just make sure you never force the lever (it should be firm but should move freely) and make sure you are moving ever so sightly if possible when you change in and out of low range so the gears can mesh. Follow that and you'll have no problems.

The 4dr JK's do need a lift as the ramp over angle isn't great but a 2" and 33's (that's what I run) and it'll go almost anywhere. Between the traction control and the flex you get when you disconnect the front sway bar (you can do this electronically on the Rubi's) there aren't many places you can't get and with the lockers as well and the lower transfer case gearing it'll crawl up anything.

All that said, if you want a rig with some space then don't be fooled into think the JK has any, even the 4dr. Between the narrow body, the short overhangs and the roll cage the load space in the 4dr is probably equivalent to Holden Barina. Packing it is an artform. A roof rack is a good idea, or a camper trailer as you mentioned. Plenty of folks do tow with them but their towing limit isn't great......about 2300Kg I think for the 4dr. Not sure what the GU is but I'll bet it'll be more. 2300Kg is more than enough for most camper trailers though.

JK's are certainly a love/hate sort of truck. I love mine and wouldn't have anything else but I can also understand why others are less than enthusiastic about them. I use mine as a DD around Sydney and have done everything from day trips to week long High Country trips with it and find it comfortable enough to drive wherever I'm going. One serious down side to them is with the sheer number of accessories available for them you can guarantee you wallet will be empty for years to come!

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Re: Considering my first jeep

Unread post by stevezammit » November 20th, 2012, 3:41 pm

Thanks for the replies, I've driven the Wrangler and I love the vehicle, the style, the soft top and I even fit in it (6'4"). The majority of my offroading is weekends away, 2 or 3 trips a year for a week but mostly beach fishing. The vehicle will be a daily driver for the first couple of years but why I ask about the fiddly things is because my wife isn't "into" 4wd and camping like normal people :lol: and any breakdown in the bush requiring a tow or major hassle will likely turn her off it completely. I love her to death but she's a princess who so far has been very tolerant and patient with my boyish hobbies and toys. My other hope is that she will enjoy driving a Jeep, she quite likes the look of them and if I can get her to have a steer when we go bush she will hopefully get a handle on what a 4wd can really do before you end up stuck which will in turn make weekends away more relaxing.
There's only 3 of us in the family and the young bloke will likely stop doing trips with us in a couple of years so removing 2/3 of the back seats and creating a secure storage is no drama. Eventually I could make a cargo barrier and make everything behind the front seats storage. If nothing else the replies have encouraged me to wait until a 2013 Rubicon is available to drive and check out thoroughly so either way I'll get a Jeep or a much cheaper run out Pootrol!
I do get the "Jeep thing" they are a horn car, you don't get many people checking out a stock 4wd like they do a Jeep.

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Re: Considering my first jeep

Unread post by Boozer » November 20th, 2012, 5:52 pm

I have a 08 crd 2 door and I wouldnt swap for anything. The wife and kids love it, especially with the top off, kids grin ear to ear. One of the most capable vehicles of the shelf, and as said the more mods you do the further it can go. I have never had the hard top leak or know of anyone who has a leak, but its one of those things that you only hear of the small things.
At the moment I have 2 inch lift, bar work, winch lights and 33's and like they say, the amount of extras out there will blow you away.
Check out Ausjeepoffroad for help and more info.

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Re: Considering my first jeep

Unread post by Lackuwaxa » March 16th, 2014, 8:27 am

Hi guys,

I too am looking at a jeep, jk sport (2door, not unlimited). I am tossing between a rubi and a Landy deefer. The only thing that concerns me bout the jeep (aside from the fact I can't get an oil burner in rubi spec) is the payload. It's around the 600kg mark so if I add my real weight (not the 75kg used) plus my missus that takes it to bout 500-550kg, then you have bull bar, winch, rear wheel carrier, roof racks and roof top tent and before you even look to add recovery gear, fridges, drawers or anyth you are starting to really get down, in available weight. I am spoiled for weight coming from a crew cab ute, but does anyone run into issues with this?



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Re: Considering my first jeep

Unread post by 1mak » November 21st, 2014, 9:12 pm

Hey Lackuwaxa. I've got a friend who bought a JKU CRD (2008) with the so called Offroad Group package. It's closer to the Rubicon as it comes with a rear locker, electronic front disconnects, Dana44 rear and front axles and a gear axle ratio of 4.11. Maybe that's closer to what you're looking for. :)

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