A great read on how the Wrangler Rubicon came to be

Jerry Bransford

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RustyAutoholicGuy

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Jim Repp, the "father of the Jeep Rubicon" and I were texting each other and he reminded me about this article on how the Rubicon came to be. It's a great read, he had a lot of obstacles and skeptics to overcome and convince before it was finally approved for production. It was definitely his baby.

https://www.motortrend.com/reviews/...0Q3FcI2DyKzBsOnn98-BbNGt23ebdyBwq-nldjpNnfz5A

That was a fantastic read! Crazy to think the Rubicon package only happened because Jim and Dave upgraded a test mule TJ with $5K of their own money on parts to prove to Chrysler it would work.

-Grant
 

Apparition

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10 seconds after they hid the mules behind the motel...

Not surprising.

We were in Moab when they were testing the diesel Gladiators. Everyone wanted a closer look.

Especially when one came into town on a rollback with a busted front axle.

Apparently an intern sent it a little bit too hard.
 

AndyG

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I have tried and tried to find the interview with Jim on youtube ....if I do Jerry you will be first to get it.

Jim is a University of Kentucky graduate I believe and really accomplished.

I think everyone knows that I’m a pretty big fan of that model but just to call a cat a cat, The Wrangler Rubicon is absolutely nothing short of one of the most important 4 wheel drive vehicles ever sold to the American public. It set the standard for off road performance......and is not only the most sought after model but the most valuable....even to people that buy them and think the lockers are to store guns or gym clothes in.

I think another thing that is notable is a project that was received with a lot of skepticism has became an icon. Like Elvis being a flop at the Grand Ol Opry. It’s never over until the fat lady sings.
 

TheBoogieman

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I think another thing that is notable is a project that was received with a lot of skepticism has became an icon.

(y)

Rubi decal icon (4).jpg
 

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John Cooper

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Gilaguy23

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Cool read but for the life of I cant understand why a Rubicon like package wasn't done years ago, and I do mean years ago. I say this considering some other factory vehicles with lockers and low range TC type setups. Its a Jeep for chriminey sakes, Americas king of offroad travel. Guess its better late then never.
 
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Jerry Bransford

Jerry Bransford

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Better late than never but it's amazing how it was really just one guy, Jim Repp, who made it happen. What was very cool is Jim had contacted me through a forum a couple years before the Rubicon was introduced to ask me about a problem my TJ was having that was plaguing the '97-98 models. It was a misfire that caused multiple '43' DTCs. He ended up sending me 1-2 care packages of parts to try including new injectors, injector wiring harness, clock spring, and a bunch of other parts that I don't recall. We'd talk every so often to see if anything had made a difference. None of them helped, the problem was finally tracked down to a bad batch of valve springs.

Eventually, because I was actively involved in several forums, he started telling me about the upcoming Rubicon, its lockers and how they were being tested, etc. for purposes of occasionally leaking tidbits about it to help keep the rumors at bay before it was finally introduced. It was fun talking with Jim, I had no idea I was talking with Jeep Royalty at the time.
 
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Jerry Bransford

Jerry Bransford

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Did original Rubi have sway bar disconnects from factory, I've read this was the case?
Dropping the automatic disconnecting front antiswaybar was a token offering to the bean counters before being approved for production. Fortunately just about everything else was approved.