Re: \'03 Rubicon Edition TJ
Ok, lets review the latest round of "hey! I heard DC is releasing a serious Jeep for the public".
I have recieved a few E mails, that I am a little harsh with my opinion of DC, and the TJ. So 1st lets get one thing straight. I like the TJ just fine, just like I like the CJ and the YJ. What I get tired of hearing is that the TJ is some kind of wonder rig from the factory, when it is as anemic as the YJ, and has less favorable factory off road features than a CJ. And most of all it is too expensive, both in terms of original cost, and in upgrades.
Lets list the most expensive elements of a TJ upgrade.
Suspension is number 1: A quality 4" or taller long arm suspension, if performed at a shop will cost you about $3000, the no holds barred version will be about $5000 +, will this change with the Rubicon eddition? Not likely.
New axles 2: This will save about $7000 if you were to purchase shop built and swapped D44's(this would be a couple grand more if Dynatracs were used).
Gearing and lockers 3: This is being fairly well addressed, with the Rubicon, provided the lockers really are lockers, and they prove reliable, but we will assume at this point that they are and will. Savings about $2000, but was addressed with your choice of ratio and lockers with the above axle swap.
Gearing in the T case 4: This is also addressed very well and saves about $1200 if shop installed. One point of concerne is will their be any way to twin stick it?
Slip Yoke Eliminator and new drive shaft 5: No one has addressed this point so I dont know, so that is about $800 in questionable mods in limbo.
Locking front hubs 6: Again no one has addressed this issue, but I cant see it as being a viable factory option, unless they go to a 5 on 5 1/2 lug pattern. if the factory sends the TJ out with 5 on 4 1/2 then the conversion to locking hubs will most likely be a Ford ranger light weight version, and will run in the $1000 range to convert, if it is 5 on 5 1/2 the conversions should be possible with normaly available D44 parts, but a store bought shop installed version will likely be $750- $1000. These items would already be addressed with new axles above.
Bigger tires and wheels will remain the same between the 2
Most other mods should also be about the same, but they will more than likely add quite a few upgrades to the package to make it appealing ie: high amp alternators, Optimas, etc....????.
SO you will save the cost of new axles, and an installed 4:1 kit, or about $8000.
You will need to spend about $1000 for locking hubs. for a total savings at the axles of about $7000 dollars.
You will still need to spend the cost of a high quality lift, an SYE and CV drive shaft, or about $4000 - $6000.
You will also need to spend about $2500 for wheels, tires and winch to make it fully capable.
I would estimate the cost of an RE TJ at about $34K, but lets assume $30k plus aprox $7,500 = $37,500.00
RE TJ Total: $37,500.00
Lets buy a used TJ for $13k add the axles, and 4:1 kit as well as the $7500 in wheels tire, and winch of the TJ and we $13K + $7k + $1000 + $7500, = $27,500
Built TJ = $27,500
Now in actuality, I think you could do the built up TJ for about $20K, and I think the RE TJ will really cost you about $40k when modified. A built CJ or YJ costs about $20k also.
SO it(the RE TJ) will be axpensive, but it would also be a very, capable, once built to this level, I would prefer lower axle gears but that would add another $1000 or so I would assume(dont know what these new lockers will be like to swap gears).
$40K is a lot to spend,.. The Jackyl is for sale right now with a factory warrantied crate FI 4.3, dynatrac axles, and more, for $30k negotiable.
The biggest clincher though guys, is the fact that no dealer I have talked to yet (2) in the Sacremneto area, (2) in the So Cal area, has even heard that they will be getting this machine, and they would not even take a reserve deposit at any of the 4. Just because an Off Road rag gets a tip from a zealouse, or even manipulative marketing dept, does not mean that it is so. I would still be very surprised to see it ever released in the full Ballyhoo'd version.
Im to much of a "show me,anything to prove your sincerity" and Ill believe it" kinda guy. And they have not made one improvement to the weak links of the TJ since it was introduced. They cant get rid of the slip yoke, but they can mass produce a fully capable no holds barred TJ????? Yeah right!
I would like to seee it come to fruition. I think it would be cool to see just how stuck the neophites could get that thing.
So a rubicon Eddition TJ will cost; Purchase price
(sensibly altered for occasional off road use)
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