Thinking about a Rubicon LJ. What to know before purchase?

Rhrrsn

New Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
6
Location
Virginia Beach
I’m thinking about potentially purchasing a rubicon lj. Is there anything I should be aware of before I start looking? I already own a 2001 TJ and I know the obvious rust problems they can have. I more so want to know if there is a specific year I should look for or anything else I should be aware of. Thanks!
 

Starrs

TJ Expert
Joined
Aug 1, 2017
Messages
5,322
Location
Indiana, United States
Get an 04 lj and with all the money you save buy real lockers and real sliders and even pretty stickers for the hood.
Starting to think this is the way to go also. LJR would be nice, but you can build a very nice LJ. No sense in paying a premium price when you can possibly get a low mileage LJ and make it better than a Rubicon. Paying 30 plus for an LJR is just plain dumb IMO when a stock LJ with under 60k miles can be bought for 15-18k in most cases.
 

Rubi04

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 3, 2019
Messages
275
Location
Jefferson, Oregon
If you haven't already, check out this thread:

What should I look for when buying a used Wrangler TJ?

I also agree with what @Starrs said about the non-Rubicon model as well. If you plan to mod it heavily, a Rubicon would be a waste. If you plan to keep it mostly stock, then I could see going for the Rubicon.

This. Lighter mods, 33’s at most, armor, tummy tuck, makes a rubicon worth it if you can find one within a few grand of a regular TJ...if it’s double, nope.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Chris and JMT

Irun

Jeep Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2019
Messages
541
Location
Virginia
Personally, I didn't care if the sixth number in the VIN was a six (6). The '04 LJ route is the one I took. No transmission computer or OPDA issues to worry about. I then bought a TJ Rubicon, with a rusted frame, for the axles and transfer case. I sold the Rubicon hard top, full doors, engine, transmission, interior, etc. and ended up breaking even.

The results are worth it. Less money spent on the Jeep purchase meant more I could spend on modifications. The only downside to an '04 LJ is if you want a manual, because all 04s were automatic. The flip side is the automatic allows you to install a RubiCrawler. This is hands down my favorite mod!

xYNa5Vp.jpg
 

oldjeepman

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2019
Messages
203
Location
Nebraska
Like what was said before, if your plan is to build it to wheel the snot out of it. Get an 04 and do that. For more of a milder build get the LJR. I love my 06 LJR as it is except, I am tired of the 6spd wish it was an auto.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Starrs

DrDmoney

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
2,345
Location
El Dorado County NORCAL
Personally, I would only buy a Rubicon model if I stumbled across one in pristine condition and at a ridiculously low price. A 4:1 T-case is not for everyone in fact Jeep put it in there for one purpose and that was navigating the Rubicon Trail, if your going to buy an LJ to modify then buy a Sport model for less, you can probably buy a nice one for much less and as @Irun stated with an automatic you can add a Rubicrawler box and get a super low crawl ratio if you need it and a standard low range for 98% of most people’s wheeling needs.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Alex01