The Search got real...TJ Rubi questions - Rubicon Owners Forum
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post #1 of 57 (permalink) Old 02-25-2017, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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The Search got real...TJ Rubi questions

Hey all, after doing my reading I've decided to stick with a 05 - 06 TJ Rubicon as opposed to newer high mileage JK. Easier said than done....seems like they are all beat in this area, and the ones that are far away, well....are far away. I did however just find one yesterday.....06 Rubicon...looks stock, soft top 6spd, no rear seats...LOW miles....43,000 to be exact. Which brings me to my questions....what should I look for when I go see it....it's an hour and a half away so I want to make sure I go over it with a fine tooth comb.....I even have a borescope to borrow from work so I can look inside the frame for rust or rot.


Anything specific I should look for? Is it bad to have such low mileage on an 11 year old vehicle? Means it has been sitting for a long time? Also, I know I wouldn't have the rear wiper or defroster but can I purchase a hard top for it or is the soft top jeeps strictly for soft tops somehow? Same question for the rear seats....they advertise NO rear seats in this one....assuming I can just find a rear seat used and install it into factory mount points or did they actually make a TJ rubicon without rear seats??


Thanks again for any advice!


-Chris-
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post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old 02-25-2017, 01:15 PM
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No real issues with it being low mileage, it all depends on the owner and how they maintained it. Its possible it was only a weekend vehicle or they only took short trips in it. A guy local to me found a LJ with under 20,000 miles a few months back its amazing. Check the normal wear and tear issues and for any dry rot depending on how it was stored. Hardtop can be added, just be aware the 03-06 hardtop does not have the vents in the top like to 97-02 hardtops. Jeep relocated the vent from the hardtop to the tailgate for 03-06. When looking at the jeep from the rear, look inside above the back left taillight where the roll bar bolts to the tub. If there is a harness and what looks like a vacuum tube(washer fluid tube) there, then it has the hook up for the rear defroster and rear wiper (button on center console for defroster/washer is a clue to). If not then you might need to get the harness and dual pump reservoir tank for the washer fluid under the hood along with the in cab button. Rear seats are easy and not rubicon specific. Once again just know that the 03-06 has a different seat and floor brackets then the 97-02 model. If it still has the four factory floor brackets mounted in the tub, then you only need the seat.

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post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old 02-25-2017, 08:26 PM
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Would help to know where you are located to have folks local comment. In some areas areas it may be reall hard to find things like used rear seats.

Frank!
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post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old 02-25-2017, 08:51 PM
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When I removed my rear seat I listed it on CL and it was gone in a matter of days. BTW, got $150 for it. Don't forget rear seat belts.....I'm pretty sure I have a set if interested.

Black 2003 Rubicon Set up how I want, with what I want, for how I use it. Just like everyone else.
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post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old 02-25-2017, 09:20 PM
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For some reason I thought he was up in the northeast. Like Ct or Mass or something like that, which would make sense if the jeep was stored for the winters to keep the miles off of it. Rust would be my big concern if I was living up there, when I lived in Michigan and Ohio rust would destroy cars. Also make sure it actually has the dana 44's and the 4:1 transfer case. A forum member bought a Rubicon and the previous owner removed the front dana44 locker combo.



I forgot to mention on the hardtop soft-top debate, mine came with factory dual tops, so it came with both tops which is why I have the removable door surrounds for a soft-top and the hardtop hookup. There isn't a traditional winter in Florida, but we have a rainy season. I run the hardtop during the rainy season otherwise its soft-top fun the rest of the time.

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post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apexkw View Post
...Rust would be my big concern if I was living up there, when I lived in Michigan and Ohio rust would destroy cars. Also make sure it actually has the dana 44's and the 4:1 transfer case. A forum member bought a Rubicon and the previous owner removed the front dana44 locker combo.....
Another vote for rust and checking axles. Try to find one from the southwest or was stored inside during northern winters.

John - WB5THT
=======================
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post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 01:49 PM
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Might also be worth making sure it is a real Ruby and not a clone as well
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Chris
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- safety first..... Or at least top 4... -
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post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 06:40 PM
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On the '05 and '06, the Oil Pump Drive Assembly can be a problem. If you google it, there is a lot of info.
Only way to check it is to pull it and check the OPDA gear and cam gear.


They can fail with low miles.




As stated above, be sure the 4:1 tcase and Rubi axles are still in it.

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post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all. I'm in CT, the Jeep I'm looking at is in NY. I have a borescope to get into tight areas and inside the frame rails to check for rust. I read about the oil pump drive assembly so if I hear noise from that I will definitely make note of it. I'm not going to be able to disassemble it at a dealer to inspect it though.


As for making sure the rubicon parts are still there, I have pictures showing the differential shapes so I can compare between the 44, 8.25 or d35 in the rear or d30 up front. If the housing is a 44, I assume the shafts themselves would not have been swapped to something weaker right? Based on fitment issues inside the D44 housing I wouldn't think that was possible? Also, I used to recall a way to confirm gear ratio, by checking how many revolutions the driveshaft makes in comparison to the tires? Does anyone remember that method or is there another way I can confirm the 4.10's are in there?


As for the t-case, would there be a rubicon specific stamp somewhere on it? I know in my Cherokees some were the NP231 and some where the NP 242....how can I make sure the 4:1 is there??


Also, if the lockers don't engage, is that reason to not buy? Hoping if they don't its just a simple air line or something along the lines of a fairly cheap repair....as opposed to having to scrap the entire axle or the locker assembly?


Thanks again for all the info, I'm going to see it this afternoon.
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post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 08:11 AM
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You can determine gear ratio by rotating the drive shaft (or wheel) and comparing drive shaft to tire rotation. You will need to figure out the math or do a search.

The transfer case should have a round (think it was round) metal tag with NP241 - NP= New Process. I think the tag is on the aft end of the case near the drain plug. If the T-case is the 241, you should have the proper gear ratio in it (the NP241 was used in other applications with different gear ratios, but I wouldn't worry you had the wrong one.)

If it does have a D44 axle (odds are great it is the real deal) it will have the appropriate axles - a D44 axle won't fit into a D30 and vice versa. If you buy this and want go the mod route with lift and larger tires, you will want to replace all of the axles with chrome moly high strength versions anyway.

If a locker doesn't engage, I wouldn't buy it unless you are going immediately with the upgrade route - Dana 60s and/or ARB lockers. A locker problem could be dirt simple to fix or it could be really expensive - usually it's one extreme or the other.

On pavement, engage rear lockers (need to be in 4-low) by pushing locker switch once. Locker light will flash for a few seconds until it actually engages. Make tight turns and feel the locked axle (it's obvious), you might hear a tire chirp. Push the locker switch again to engage the front locker and make the same driving test. You cannot engage the lockers in 4-high or the fronts only without a mod. Pull the switch up to disengage.

Check the steering linkage (tie rod and drag link, ball joints) by having the salesman turn the steering wheel (parked, engine off, ignition switch on to where it unlocks steering wheel) while you look at the linkage. It should be 'tight' with no play.

Like buying any used vehicle, listen for any unusual noises from the engine and drive train. Be sure and do a highway drive at 50+ MPH, shouldn't be any loud whine or vibration or steering wheel wobble.

Oh, one more thing to check - a digit in the VIN will indicate if it left the factory as a Rubicon, do a search for that specific detail.

John - WB5THT
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