03 wrangler rubicon question

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03 wrangler rubicon question

Post by ProstheticWeasel » Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:59 pm

I am looking at an 03 wrangler rubicon. The price is decent at around 15 so that is not an issue. It is the Tomb Raider edition so it has some extra stuff hung on it already. The price is the same with or without that so that does not really factor in. I think it looks good and I know some think it looks ugly.

One thing I am wondering about is driving on the highway with it for any length of time. I need to take it home and make sure it fits in the garage. We measured and there is about an inch of clearance. So I will have some idea of how it drives for a period of time but what about longer amounts? Does it wear you out quicker and get old real quick or does it become normal?

I have wanted a wrangler forever and have had several grand cherokees of different years. So this is a big moment!

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Re: 03 wrangler rubicon question

Post by Murgatroy » Sat Apr 05, 2014 5:10 pm

I am not a Jeep person, but a brief look through at this model lists it as 'one of the most highly collectible Jeeps of all time.'

That would be enough for me to pull the trigger if I was on the fence and all other factors worked out in it's favor.
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Re: 03 wrangler rubicon question

Post by ProstheticWeasel » Sat Apr 05, 2014 5:26 pm

Murgatroy wrote:I am not a Jeep person, but a brief look through at this model lists it as 'one of the most highly collectible Jeeps of all time.'

That would be enough for me to pull the trigger if I was on the fence and all other factors worked out in it's favor.
heh. I guess I never considered that. :) I am not really a collector so plan on actually driving it. I checked it out though and its not all banged up so it is in good shape. I am hoping the previous owner was a collector and took good care of it.

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Re: 03 wrangler rubicon question

Post by Tdog02 » Sat Apr 05, 2014 7:36 pm

I've had my 02 Jeep for 3 years now. I daily drive it, and commute to work in it. Gas mileage is not really that good, I get 13-15 mpg depending on how slow I try to go. The ride is nothing like vehicles you might drive today. Its kinda noisy, the short wheel base makes it wander on the road, the heat works great but the ac fights to keep up during the summer, it really is too small inside. And I am happy everyday I'm behind the wheel. I wanted a Jeep since I could drive and finally got one. Make sure its what you want and you will be looking for a reason to drive it somewhere every damn day. I have a soft top with half doors and going topless will turn around a crappy day in a heartbeat. The 03 model TJ is nice with the updated interior and the Tomb Raider edition is cool but remember, there are so many special editions in the TJ line up that its not even funny. (so don't let the sale be based on the future value or collectability of TR model)

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Re: 03 wrangler rubicon question

Post by Coal-Cracker » Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:57 pm

Not everyone appreciates the onroad ride of a Jeep, especially the previous models. They are noisy, do tend to wander a bit on road, and are a little bumpy. But it is these traits (solid axle, short wheelbase, etc.) that make it so offroad capable. Bottom line, the Jeep Wrangler is a compromise on road. At least to those who've become accustomed to a smooth, cushioned, "Cadillac" ride.

I'm on my 3rd Wrangler. In the past I've owned a '97 Sport (TJ), an '07 Sahara (JK), and now a '14 Rubicon (JK).
And while a base Wrangler is impressive offroad and in inclement weather, the Wrangler Rubicon is generally regarded as the most offroad capable vehicle you can buy from the factory. The Front/Rear Lockers, swaybar disconnects, 4.1 crawl ratio, 4.10 gears, Dana 44 front/rear, etc., makes for a very impressive factory vehicle offroad.

The TJ ('97-'06) comes with either a inline 4 cyl (2.4 or 2.5 depending on year) or an inline 6 (4.0.) The 4.0 is considered one of the best motors Jeep ever used. I believe they are rated for over 250,000 miles. Your Rubicon will come with the 4.0.

The Tomb Raider edition is one of many special editions that Jeep introduced over the years. The Sahara and Rubicon are two examples that are still continued to meet marketplace demand, and are still made years later after their initial introduction.

Wranglers hold their value like no other vehicle.

The aftermarket options are absolutely insane.

My vote is, as long as the mileage isn't ridiculous, get it.
Last edited by Coal-Cracker on Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 03 wrangler rubicon question

Post by crypto » Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:10 pm

Murgatroy wrote:I am not a Jeep person, but a brief look through at this model lists it as 'one of the most highly collectible Jeeps of all time.'

That would be enough for me to pull the trigger if I was on the fence and all other factors worked out in it's favor.
You'll note that part of the article has no reference cited.

$5 says someone with a Tomb Raider jeep wanted to get more money for their sale and put that into the wiki page.

Special edition jeeps like that seldom command more than an equally equipped jeep in the same condition. Note that no one's beating down anyones door to get the call of duty jeeps either.
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Re: 03 wrangler rubicon question

Post by Coal-Cracker » Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:12 pm

crypto wrote:
Murgatroy wrote:I am not a Jeep person, but a brief look through at this model lists it as 'one of the most highly collectible Jeeps of all time.'

That would be enough for me to pull the trigger if I was on the fence and all other factors worked out in it's favor.
You'll note that part of the article has no reference cited.

$5 says someone with a Tomb Raider jeep wanted to get more money for their sale and put that into the wiki page.

Special edition jeeps like that seldom command more than an equally equipped jeep in the same condition. Note that no one's beating down anyones door to get the call of duty jeeps either.
Crypto makes a good point.

While I would definitely pay more for the Rubicon features, the fact that it is a Tomb Raider shouldn't effect price.
If the seller tries to get you to pay more because it is a "Womb Raider", counter that it is more "Rare" simply because that edition wasn't that desirable in the marketplace. That said, there are some hardcore Jeep collector/enthusiasts that place a premium on such things. Different strokes, I guess.

Like I said. Buy it cause it is a Rubicon. Not because it is a Tomb Raider edition.
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Re: 03 wrangler rubicon question

Post by Comanche » Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:53 pm

I still have my 1997 Jeep Wrangler that I bought new.
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Re: 03 wrangler rubicon question

Post by Murgatroy » Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:00 pm

Like I said, I am not a Jeep person.

Ask me about Celicas. ;)

If the price is right, and the features are right, do it. For me, if everything was right, and I was slightly uncertain, fancy badges would sway my opinion.

But then again, I own a Mustang.

Because it has a chrome pony in the grill.
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Re: 03 wrangler rubicon question

Post by ProstheticWeasel » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:03 pm

I bought it. Picked it up this afternoon. I am pretty excited. I will have to find some kind of trail club in the area so I can get it out in the wild. It's not the most comfortable vehicle but I think it is the favorite one I have had so far. I think it beats the convertible trans am as well.

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Re: 03 wrangler rubicon question

Post by afd660 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:37 pm

That's a clean Rubicon. It may not be the most comfortable ride but you don't buy a 300 WINMAG and complain about recoil.. lol.. But there could also be other reasons its riding rough, to much air in the tires, shock selection. On my JK I have the Bilstein 5100's. Rides a bit rough unlike my buddy with the same Jeep and lift but he has Old Man Emu shocks. You'll like it though. Theres a bunch of clubs up in MN and IL. Wranglerforum is a good forum to start out.

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Re: 03 wrangler rubicon question

Post by Coal-Cracker » Thu Apr 10, 2014 1:52 pm

Very nice. Looks to have been well taken care of. Welcome to the sickness. :lol:

Like afd660 mentioned, check the tire pressure. Also check the load rating of the tires. If they are E- Rated, they will ride on the stiff side. I just picked up a set of E-Rated GY Duratracs (285/75r16) for my Wrangler JK (after having them on a previous JK) and have to air them down to about 28-30 psi in order to keep the fillings in my teeth on a bumpy road. A chalk test confirmed this was the ideal street air pressure.

I can also vouch for the soft ride of Old Man Emu shocks. I had an OME lift on my last JK and it rode pretty nice for a lifted Jeep. Another shock option is the Rancho RS9000XL, which has 9 levels of adjustment from firm to soft, so you can custom tune your shocks. Additionally, Rancho is running their annual promotion currently, so you can save a ton of cash.

Another consideration is to have the alignment checked, (ie., toe-in checked on the tires, as well as the castor angle) as this can cause some bumpy steering. Now, in order to make adjustments to the castor angle (I seem to remember 7 being the factory setting on a TJ - you want higher if you lift the Jeep), you will have to spend some money on some adjustable lower control arms. (Keep in mind how this can also effect your pinion angle.) By all means, if you plan to adjust your castor angle, do NOT let an alignment shop talk you into cam bolts as a cheap solution. At least, not if you plan to offroad it.

It wouldn't hurt, given the age, to check your track bar and control arm bushings.

And finally, it may be totally normal. :)
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Re: 03 wrangler rubicon question

Post by MachineGunMonkey » Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:08 pm

Congrats on the purchase - that's one fine looking Jeep.

I love my '07 Wrangler Unlimited. My credit card hates it :clap:

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Re: 03 wrangler rubicon question

Post by leadpulaski » Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:41 am

I'm jealous! That is a nicely set up Jeep. Mine isn't as nice and Ive got quite a bit money moolah wrapped up in it.

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Re: 03 wrangler rubicon question

Post by ProstheticWeasel » Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:47 pm

Heh. It's like a boat(Break Out Another Thousand). There is no shortage of accessories that seem to be available for Wranglers.

I found the first issue with Wranglers when we went to Costco. :) There is just not a lot of room in them.

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Re: 03 wrangler rubicon question

Post by Coal-Cracker » Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:52 pm

ProstheticWeasel wrote:Heh. It's like a boat(Break Out Another Thousand). There is no shortage of accessories that seem to be available for Wranglers.

I found the first issue with Wranglers when we went to Costco. :) There is just not a lot of room in them.
For aftermarket, check out Quadratec. Amazing selection of aftermarket. Currently Quadratec is offering free shipping, which is typically expensive. If you join http://www.jk-forum.com, you will receive free shipping all the time to members of the forum. I've also bought from Northridge 4x4 and recommend them as well.

As far as storage, I've been using a hitch mounted rack and have been researching roof rack options. Roof racks aren't cheap. If you don't need to remove your hardtop, you can save a couple bucks as there are some less expensive racks that mount directly to the hardtop. Most roof racks for wranglers work as a "cage" that surrounds your top, and then the rack mounts to that. This cage allows for removal of the hardtop/softtop. From what I've been reading on Expedition Portal, the Gobi roof rack system is the way to go, but it is also very expensive. Unfortunately, you gotta pay to play. :)

Another option if your family situation allows for it, is to remove the rear seat all together.
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Re: 03 wrangler rubicon question

Post by ProstheticWeasel » Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:30 pm

Coal-Cracker wrote: For aftermarket, check out Quadratec. Amazing selection of aftermarket. Currently Quadratec is offering free shipping, which is typically expensive. If you join http://www.jk-forum.com, you will receive free shipping all the time to members of the forum. I've also bought from Northridge 4x4 and recommend them as well.

As far as storage, I've been using a hitch mounted rack and have been researching roof rack options. Roof racks aren't cheap. If you don't need to remove your hardtop, you can save a couple bucks as there are some less expensive racks that mount directly to the hardtop. Most roof racks for wranglers work as a "cage" that surrounds your top, and then the rack mounts to that. This cage allows for removal of the hardtop/softtop. From what I've been reading on Expedition Portal, the Gobi roof rack system is the way to go, but it is also very expensive. Unfortunately, you gotta pay to play. :)

Another option if your family situation allows for it, is to remove the rear seat all together.
Oh man. Everytime someone suggests a site I find HUNDREDs of dollars worth of stuff that would be cool to have...

I think the first thing I am going to do is to build up the foam on the drivers seat. It is smashed down on the outside and I suspect I am sitting with a tilt that will kink my back if I drive too much. Fortunately I can do that pretty cheaply I think.

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Re: 03 wrangler rubicon question

Post by Tater Raider » Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:17 pm

Just Empty Every Pocket.

I did 6k on my '11 JK in 2 weeks. Front seat was not very comfortable at the end of that trip. The back seat was brutal. The most I'd do over a 3 day road trip is somewhere around 1,800 miles because anything more is just too painful for me anymore. I'd want a couple days away from it after that to recover.

High winds and poorly maintained roads are to be avoided if possible. There's nothing as tiring as a 30+ mph wind hitting you broadside while trying to drive highway speeds.

Welcome aboard.
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Re: 03 wrangler rubicon question

Post by Beowolf » Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:07 pm

I just made a deal to trade in my 2008 Wrangler X toward a 2014 Willys edition 2-door. :D

I <3 Jeepies.
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Re: 03 wrangler rubicon question

Post by Coal-Cracker » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:17 pm

Beowolf wrote:I just made a deal to trade in my 2008 Wrangler X toward a 2014 Willys edition 2-door. :D

I <3 Jeepies.
That's awesome. You're gonna love the 3.6.
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Re: 03 wrangler rubicon question

Post by 74 or more » Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:27 pm

Congrats on the Jeep. Looks awesome

I can't get past the fact that the Wranglers have no room. Tell me guys, does liking the 4 door Wranglers make me a jackass? Everyone always gives me crap for liking the 4 doors.
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Re: 03 wrangler rubicon question

Post by Beowolf » Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:37 pm

Nah, just personal preference. I just sorta twitch when I think of a classically styled Jeep with ::gasp:: four doors. ;)

That, and most of my driving is solo, and the two door gets slightly better gas mileage.

All of these points could be contested, which is why it's a personal preference thing. You're not a jackass for liking something else.
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Re: 03 wrangler rubicon question

Post by 74 or more » Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:26 pm

haha good to know.

When ever I talk about getting a 4 door people lose their minds. I figured I was committing some kind of Jeep treason....like the new Cherokee :wink: :lol:

Sorry for the quick derail.
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Re: 03 wrangler rubicon question

Post by Tater Raider » Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:10 am

74 or more wrote:Tell me guys, does liking the 4 door Wranglers make me a jackass? Everyone always gives me crap for liking the 4 doors.
Yes. Unless it's a Brute conversion.

:wink:

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