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Toyota FJ Cruiser vs Jeep Wrangler

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    wideglidewideglide Member Posts: 146
    I too believe DCX is polluting the Jeep brand. The Compass IS a car, it is based on the Dodge Caliber platform. Fugly as hell, too! I was also sorry to see the 4.0L I6 replaced by the 3.8 V6, and the 2 door Unlimited dropped in favor of the 4-door. One thing I don't understand is why they don't offer the new (mopar) 4.0L V6 that has 260hp and 265lb/ft in the Wrangler, especially in the Rubicon. I guess I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for an '04-'06 2 Door Unlimited Rubicon at a good price....
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    fourx4everfourx4ever Member Posts: 169
    Mac,

    You may be right about the results of such a survey, however if you're poling the non-car buying public what difference does it make? - they're not buying the cars.

    It's the people that have the cash to buy the cars that Chrysler should be concerned with. Really, before 2003 (Liberty introduction) there was a very good reason to buy the Jeep brand over the Softroaders that all the other companies were pumping out. All the Jeeps offered true off-road ability. Moreover, they ALL had the ability to be built into hard core off-road machines for not very much work or money given the HUGE aftermarket parts selection.

    Fast forward to 2007 model year where there is really only one true off-road Jeep left in the line up that has potential to be modified to a true hard core off-roader. All the other Jeeps are either 'Wus You Vees' or cute Utes like the compass. DaimlerChrysler is making a huge mistake here.
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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    DC probably thinks the pool of hard core off-roaders is much smaller than the pool of potential soft-roader buyers. Maybe they can't afford to cater to you guys with more than the Rubicon?
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    mac24mac24 Member Posts: 3,910
    however if you're poling the non-car buying public what difference does it make? - they're not buying the cars.

    I think you may have misread it. What I said was:

    "Take 100 non-automotive enthusiast adult members of the car buying public........."

    The point I was trying to make was that the Wrangler will always remain the very embodiment of what a "Jeep" is in the eyes of the public, whether they're car enthusiasts or not. Even if DC brings out a minivan and slaps a Jeep label on it, the perception of the all american Jeep icon living in the form of the present day Wrangler won't change.

    This doesn't mean I like what DC is doing with the Jeep name though. From the 6.1 Hemi powered GC SRT8 road rocket, to the bleh Commander, to the "what were they thinking" Compass, they seem to be trying a scatter gun "all things to all people" approach, rather than sticking to historical core Jeep values.

    However, I agree with Steve's comment that the market will probably only support one 'true' offroad vehicle in the lineup, and if that's correct, what better than for the Wrangler to be that vehicle? :)
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    fourx4everfourx4ever Member Posts: 169
    Steve,

    I’m almost 100% sure that you are right about DC thinking that the pool of hard core off-roaders is the smaller piece of pie. That being said there is a real irony here:

    Many soccer moms, urban commuters, and daddy’s little rich girls, buy SUVs. Most of the reasons theses people buy such vehicles is not because they even want to take the beginner level off-road trail, or that they could even encounter bad weather in the winter. The main reason is IMAGE! Yes, they think it’s cool to drive an SUV. It gives them the image of being ‘outdoorsy’, rugged or perhaps powerful. The association of this image was brought about mostly by the entertainment media: Countless images of the Jeep ‘winning’ World War II and in M.A.S.H. Watching John Wayne in Hatari cruising Africa rounding up animals for the Zoo in a Jeep CJ-6. The Range Rover and Jeep Rubicon in Tomb Raider I & II. The Jeep J-10 Pick up in Twister and Tremors. The many Jeeps that were cast in the Matthew McConaughey movie Sahara. The numerous times we have seen Land Cruisers in Africa among zebras and lions.

    In every one of these cases we saw REAL, trail capable off-road vehicles pulling real off-road duty. The soccer moms and urban drivers flock to these films and aspire to have at least a small part of this action, if not for just show to impress there friends. In the early days they purchases the real Jeeps, LRs, and LCs with solid axles and in line six engines, but soon found that the ride was rougher, noisier and it didn’t have all the electronics stuff their mini-van had. They complained about this, the auto journalists complained about this, and so the pressure was on to make a softroader. No matter that this new cushy cute ute ride they now had could never do even 25% of the original vehicles that created this image. The uniformed public bought them not knowing their investments shortcomings when compared to the originals.

    Now almost nobody makes a true honest off-road machine. So the image will fade because the originator of the image has been killed (mostly). And soon I predict that people will lose interest in these softroaders because it’s a sham as much fake eyelashes, imitation leather, and Milli Vanilli. Once the (ignorant) public realizes that they are being laughed at by those who created the original off-road image, they will start to their rides in favor of a new trend. What you are seeing here is just such a back lash, started at the grass roots by those who need a real vehicle to take the trails – the word is spreading that a Honda CR-V is not quite adequate to take on the Rubicon Trail.

    And Mac, sorry if I misunderstood you, your point is well taken.
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    steenhsteenh Member Posts: 103
    As you know, I doubt I'll ever own another jeep but for reasons other than market positioning. I too think DC is making a mistake by abandoning the "trail rated" approach to designing and marketing their products. Doubt you'll see the compass going on the rubicon to prove it's abilities. I at least hope they don't try that ploy.

    Used to be that Jeep stood for off-road capability. Now it doesn't... they've passed that badge to Wrangler. No one would argue that Jeep is better known brand name than Wrangler (both are strong though)

    Nothing wrong with catering to the market for more comfort... Land Cruisers have gotten progressively more upscale and comfortable over the years... but have maintained significant off-road ability and are "over built" for strictly on-road use. They don't have the same ability as an FJ40, but better than virtually all other vehicles sold in NA. People will pay for that heritage even if they never plan to go off road. Now Jeeps is marketing a compass that might as well compete with the Kia Sodona.

    This approach would be similar to Porsche building a non-performace economobile... cheapens the brand.
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    fourx4everfourx4ever Member Posts: 169
    Good analogy about the Porsche building the economy car to what Jeep is doing. There is no doubt that it will hurt the Jeep name in some respects.

    Jeep has dominated the off-road awards in magazines like fourwheeler, and petersons off-road more than any other brand. When you look back over the past 30 years or so Jeep has had more than anybody else even Toyota. Somehow I doubt if that trend will continue if DC keeps this up.
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    wideglidewideglide Member Posts: 146
    Many soccer moms, urban commuters, and daddy’s little rich girls, buy SUVs. Most of the reasons theses people buy such vehicles is not because they even want to take the beginner level off-road trail, or that they could even encounter bad weather in the winter. The main reason is IMAGE! Yes, they think it’s cool to drive an SUV. It gives them the image of being ‘outdoorsy’, rugged or perhaps powerful.

    Lots of posers. While perusing the Rubicon listings on eBay a couple weeks ago, I saw one that had been lifted, jumbo mudder tires, winch, even a SNORKEL! :surprise: Then: NEVER BEEN OFF-ROAD!!! :confuse:

    Now why, on God's Earth, would you spend all the money for all those mods, if you never intended to go off-road?!? A snorkel??? Was he thinking he might have to ford a river while traversing I-395?!? ;)
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    fourx4everfourx4ever Member Posts: 169
    Yeah there are posers in every camp. There is only one good thing about the guy that built that Rubicon: Someone else will be getting a really nice trail rig.
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    fourx4everfourx4ever Member Posts: 169
    So the long awaited test has been done: The 2007 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon vs. the Toyota FJC. It was Peterson's Four Wheel and off-Road's 4x4 of the year contest. Mixed in were a bunch of others that most of us don't care about.

    They did say that the FJC was the best off-road vehicle by Toyota available in North America. However, in the contest it still came third after some POS KIA creation. Ultimately, the 2007 Jeep won 4x4 of the year hands down!

    Comments from the testers about the FJC was that it [would] do the trail but with a lot of problems. The very very poor visibility, lack of front locker, poor tires, made it a lot of work. You really had to rely on your spotter much more than you should have to. Their conclusion about the FJC was that it was designed by some stylist that had never been off-road. That the masters of this creation didn’t seem to realize that actually being able to see the trail could really enhance the off-road experience! LOL no kidding. These are pretty much the same things I said months ago after I test drove the FJC.

    In contrast, they said the Wrangler was amazing. The off-road ability is that much greater than the previous Rubicon and that not only does the new one ride much better it is also much quieter. As they said in the article 'you'd have to be brain dead to not appreciate this Wrangler', 'Undoubtedly, the best bang for your off-road buck by far!'

    Apparently the new Wranglers are selling over list price – they can’t keep them on the lots.
    Despite all Toyota’s muddy little videos, and brown paper FJC ads in the 4x4 mags trying to tell us how good it is off-road, the new Wrangler is going to KILL the FJC in sales over the next 5 years.
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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Just curious, but which Kia was it and how big a gap was there between it and the Wrangler?
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    fourx4everfourx4ever Member Posts: 169
    Tomorrow I'll get the article and post some more detials. The gap between the Wrangler and the FJC was by no means small. They had numerous complaints about the Toy while the only bad thing they really had to say about the Jeep was that it could use some more power.

    I'll have more tomorrow on it.
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    steenhsteenh Member Posts: 103
    Remeber, when the FJC came out they were selling for $3-$5k over invoice as well. Every one of them that has hit the shores has sold. No doubt that the Wrangler will outsell them... they don't make as many FJC's.

    As far as the article, I haven't read it yet, but just the fact that Peterson's had the kahuna's to rate a KIA over any other 4x4 put's the results in serious doubt in my mind.

    What they point out as problems with the FJC are actually pretty mild. Visibility sucks... you can look at one from 100 yards away and know that. Lack of front locker? ATRAC makes up for that (people wheeling the FJC rarely use the rear locker because the ATRAC works so well). Why didn't they point more towards the IFS? (Maybe they did) Bad tires? Come on! Test it with real tires?

    I'll also point out one other thing. When all this started back before the FJC had hit the shores, there was a lot of talk about how the FJC was nothing more than a fluffy mall cruiser for women. Now even Peterson's says it's the most capable Toyota 4x4 in NA. (It's not a 70 Series :mad: )

    Give me some credit... I've always said that the Rubi probably wins the competition off-road (though maybe not when both have 100k miles assuming the Rubi makes it) but that the FJC will be a very capable machine. Looks like it is a capable off-roader as stated by Peterson's.

    So, who's first to market with Diesel?
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    murphydogmurphydog Member Posts: 735
    Thanks Steenh for pointing out the obvious. Keep in mind that our friend bleeds jeep colors. I suppose if there was a Jeep badge and a locking diff mounted to my old water heater Mr. fourX4ever would proclaim it to be the best vehicle ever! I am glad the jeep is so capable off road. I will let the sorority girls know what a great purchase they just made.

    In all seriousness, the Jeep is a fine vehicle, and if you can afford a pure fun car I say go for it. :shades:

    However if you desire to play on the weekends, but also need a vehicle to get you around town during the week I would take the FJ. ;)
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    fourx4everfourx4ever Member Posts: 169
    Steehn, LOL 'Interesting... Jeep must advertise in Peterson's more than Toyota' I often wondered how much the advertising plays a role in this too, however in this issue there is a full 2 page add for the FJC and not one single Jeep or Daimler ad. So really I don't think this happens too much.

    As far as the test goes, it is strange that they didn't make more the of the IFS solid axle thing. They did say however that the Jeeps articulation was 'Jaw dropping'

    Now I know several people think the A-Track is fantastic. The test teams didn't think so. In fact, in their summary they said the 'A-Track is worthless' - to use their exact words. The testers praised the rear locker and repeatedly, and I mean REPEATEDLY, said it needs a front locker - Did I mention repeatedly.

    The FJC took the praise in the sand. This is where the teams seemed to like the FJC the best.

    They tested FIVE main categories and the associated winner:

    RIDE AND DRIVE: Wrangler
    EMPERICAL: Sorento
    MECHANICAL: Wrangler
    INTERIOR: Avalanche
    EXTERIOR: Wrangler

    In those main categories there were sub categories. Out of ALL the subcategories the FJC only won one of them: Sand.

    Apparently the new Wrangler is nothing like the old one when it comes to road manners and comfort, so we're not talking about a comparison in comfort between the FJC and the out going Wrangler here.

    PS and for that other dog guy, it's not that I bleed anything. I like Jeeps because they are one of the best for getting the off-road job done. If you read back in my other posts I also like FJ-40's because they also get the job done.

    One of the summations the teams had for the FJC was: 'A great start, but not an FJ-40'
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    steenhsteenh Member Posts: 103
    I've driven them. ATRAC is far from worthless. Could be they didn't know how to use it because it works great. The FJC Trail Team rarely uses the rear locker because of it.

    I'm all for good competition. Maybe this will spur Toyota to revise the FJC and do the things that they should do. Front locker, removable top and Solid front axle. I'd buy one if they did that... well, maybe not. I like my 40 too much!

    Of course, from my perspective build quality and the ability to run well past 100k miles is still the downside to the jeep... and I haven't seen anything from DC in the past few years that indicates quality is improving.
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    murphydogmurphydog Member Posts: 735
    I guess I have to reply now and again as you are so intent of "being right". Vehicles are a matter of choice. Right for you ( or Peterson's) is not right for everbody else. I have to agree with Steenh, my experience is the quality is not there yet. I sat in a new Wrangler at the Auto show and felt let down. I was not impressed with the interior. If felt like a step back. In fact the interior is what I really liked and the previous jeep. That said I did like the exterior, I think the wider stance looks good. The changes to the top are a great feature as well.

    All that said with a jeep or an FJ I would be out in the woods maybe 20% of the time. The rest of the time this would need to be my daily driver, with a 20 month old son, wife and dog. I don't think I could trust a jeep, and I don't think I could live with the trades offs. The FJ also would force trade offs, but I can deal with those...if Toyota would put a darn factory sunroof in the thing!

    BTW if a solid front axle is the "bomb" why do the Ironman trucks they race in the desert have IFS? Surely there is more to going off road than rock crawling?
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    fourx4everfourx4ever Member Posts: 169
    'from my perspective build quality and the ability to run well past 100k miles is still the downside to the jeep...'

    This is where you and I have very differing experiences. To add to my long list of long lived Jeeps, just yesterday one of our suppliers' salesmen drove up in a Cherokee sport. He said it's been great; 325K on the clock and no problems. As I said before, I know of several (some friends) that have 450K, 500K and even 600K without any major repairs on that 4.0L in line six. From what I've seen it's pretty well bullet-proof.
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    fourx4everfourx4ever Member Posts: 169
    ‘BTW if a solid front axle is the "bomb" why do the Ironman trucks they race in the desert have IFS? Surely there is more to going off road than rock crawling?’

    There is one place IFS works better than a solid: In washboard – it gives the driver more control at high speeds… This is why all teams use IFS in BAJA trucks. Pretty much everywhere else it’s a off-road detriment. IFS is inherently weaker and more prone to rock damage. It makes the vehicle much more expensive to lift and it really really kills articulation: The FJC’s Ramp Travel Index (RTI) is 491, while the new Wrangler is 835! That’s something you tend to notice off road.

    ‘All that said with a jeep or an FJ I would be out in the woods maybe 20% of the time.’

    This is probably about right. So in the test, why did the teams feature the Wrangler as best in Urban driving out off all the other contestants? My guess is because it is so easy to park because of the awesome visibility and the world class 34 foot turning circle. Moreover, the 4-door Wrangler has more room and much better access to the back seat than the FJC. This makes the Wrangler much more practical than the FJC for most people with a dog, wife and a 20 month old son – but perhaps this is just not you Murphy.

    ‘Vehicles are a matter of choice. Right for you ( or Peterson's) is not right for everbody else.’

    Again you may be right. Perhaps Petersen’s didn’t know what the heck they were doing when they awarded the Tundra 4x4 of the year in 2000 or the Lexus GX 470 in 2003. Rather, I think we should just leave their judgement as being listed as ‘experienced’ and call this just one more valid opinion on the FJC matter.

    ‘ I have to agree with Steenh, my experience is the quality is not there yet’

    Nobody knows yet what the quality will be like for the new Wrangler: its only been out for 3 months!!!! To say the quality is not there yet is nothing short of asinine. The history of the mechanical reliability for outgoing WRANGLER (not talking about other Jeeps here) has been impeccable over the last 10 years if you {bother} to look it up! The resale value has historically also been astounding; the industry’s best, tied with the Tundra.
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    murphydogmurphydog Member Posts: 735
    Tee hee...That is what I love about fourx4ever. Always right and always the last word. My experience with morpar products is that they break down. My friends experience with morpar products is they break down.

    I don't know people who have 300k on jeeps and are "happy" with them, heck they get rid of them long before 300,000 miles, and they are sad to have to let it go.

    Kind of cute how you manage to praise the 4.0 six (which is not in the new wrangler) then some how pan people who question the quality of the new wrangler. Either history is an indicator of future performance or it is not. Pick one argument and stick with it.

    For me the 4 door wrangler is a no go. Too weird looking. The current 2 door version looks pretty darn good on the outside, but the inside let me down.

    IFS vs solid axle - non issue. I have no intention of a lift kit, nor do I intend to go rock crawling. Wrangler may have a huge ramp travel index - however I do not intend to spend much if any time on the ramp.

    I like the style, size and ability of the FJ. You like the style size and ability of the wrangler. 'nuff said.
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    fourx4everfourx4ever Member Posts: 169
    Murphy, the thing I like most about you is your ability to morph what other people say into suiting your argument. I didn’t make a statement about ‘mopars’ – I made a statement about wranglers and ONLY wranglers, and unlike you, I can back it up with published surveys.

    But hey don't let me stop you - go buy an FJC! I don't really care how you waste your money, at least I won’t have to drive it. Why don't you buy a Honda Element – Honda says they are the 'Swiss army knife' of vehicles - probably much better than a Jeep or even an FJC.

    The 4.0L was a damn good motor. I have seen it listed as ‘the best off-road’ motor ever made in more than one off-road publication and my experience backs that up. It’s a heck of a lot more bullet proof than ANY V-6 and it makes the torque where you need it off-road; at the bottom end not way up at 3700 RPM! Sad to see it not offered anymore.

    And as far as panning people who comment on the reliability quality of the new wrangler - who wouldn't?? Where do you go for your information, the psychic hot line?
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    murphydogmurphydog Member Posts: 735
    tee hee...again. Silly boy. you make me giggle reading your posts. I for one would wish you luck and many years of enjoyment with your new jeep should you choose to buy one. It sounds like your perfect car. ;)

    As far as wranglers and jeeps go, I have two friends who both dearly love their Wrangers - yet both of them lament the quality issues. I for one am not willing to endure what they endure to enjoy their 4x4's.

    Why the obsession with the 4.0 motor anyway, as you stated it is no longer offered anymore.
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    fourx4everfourx4ever Member Posts: 169
    Murph, what's up with the 'tee hee' stuff anyway? You sound like some kind of school girl bud.

    Hey man I was just passing on some published stats on the Wrangler. Sorry I don't have any buddies with 'gut intuition' and 'scientific' opinions on the topic.

    As for the 4.0L. It’s an inline 6; probably the best basic configuration for an engine around that displacement. It has a main bearing on each side of every con rod (7 in total) providing excellent crankshaft stability which in turn provides longevity and strength. It has natural harmonic balancing so it is smooth, once again helping to provide longevity. I6 engines also are capable of having a long stroke for much more bottom end torque. They generally also offer good space in the engine compartment for performance modifications or just general maintenance - oil changes etc.

    I have owned several I6 motors. Most of them were original 20 years old and upwards of 200 – 300K with no major repairs. NONE of them burned oil or had any mechanical problems.

    Also, when I test drove the FJC I did some light off-road with it – took it over some moguls, varied ground etc. It stalled repeatedly when I tried to idle it over this stuff. I later took a 2005 Rubicon (4.0L) over the same place and it idled through without the slightest hint of stalling.

    The one short coming I see in the new Wrangler is that it does not have an I6 motor. Word is that will be rectified very soon with a common rail diesel.
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    fourx4everfourx4ever Member Posts: 169
    Petersens just put on paper what I already found after I tested the FJC. Several concessions were made to production and corporate practicalities which have sacrificed the off-road ability of the FJC. Moreover, the styling department appears to have completely overridden any thought about trail visibility or that

    I have heard the FJC being compared to a cocoon. One off-road publication compared off-roading in an FJC to "having sex with a snowsuit and mittens on’. Comments like this don’t come for no reason.

    Based on Toyota press releases and their continued ‘brown paper’ magazine adds we are led to believe that this vehicle’s intended market is for the hard core off-road crowd, aka, the FJ-40 crowd. Now we see it is not so; the only thing that is remotely like a 40 is that piece of plastic between the front headlights they call a grill. So where does this vehicle belong? It seems to be an orphan! Its not a hard core off-roader, that’s the Jeep. And if you want a great vehicle to go to the lake and up rough logging roads then drive to work on Monday, take the family on vacation in comfort, then the 4-Runnin is a much better choice.

    I challenge Toyota to give the people what they want: An open top FJC, with good visibility, solid axles, a 60:1.0 (or better) crawl ratio, lockers in the front AND back axles equipped with a diesel engine! Then we’ll talk.
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    murphydogmurphydog Member Posts: 735
    I understand about the motor, so why do you think it is no longer offered?
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    steenhsteenh Member Posts: 103
    Now, if we are going to start talking about stupid add campaigns, how about the jeep commander ads where they drive up to the beach... from the ocean? And, that's to advertise a true "Mall Rated" vehicle.

    Or, let's cover a jeep in tons of mud and put it on the street in downtown NY and let people swoon over it.

    At least the "brown paper bag" campaign actually shows the vehicle driving on a real trail? Haven't seen a rubi ad with one on dirt yet.

    Maybe it's also time to be realistic. Hard core wheeling means a high potential for body damage, or it isn't hard core wheeling. Who's going to take a $35k vehicle into that type of environment? What the hard core people do is take an old vehicle with a junk body and modify the guts of it to the hilt... both jeeps and yotas. Out of the box, neither the Rubi or the FJC would hold a candle to the real hard core vehicles that are built for a fraction of the price by garage mechanics.

    People in the market for a new rubi or FJC are not hard core wheelers... period.
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    fourx4everfourx4ever Member Posts: 169
    Steehn,

    You are absolutely right. I have not seen the commander ads, but from what you say it sounds dumb. Jeep does have ads of the wrangler doing real off-road stuff but most of other ads for their other vehicles show something that is ether impossible or ridiculous! Not that I like any of the other Jeeps in their line-up today anyway.

    The FJC ads just push the bounds of what most people could ever do with that vehicle - kind of like if Kawasaki had a dirt bike ad that showed the bike being jumped 30 feet in the air and performing a double back flip. Yes, a trick rider could do this with THAT bike, but could you and I? Hmmm well perhaps with a lot of practice and some broken bones. The FJC COULD negotiate a difficult trail with a very experienced driver and a lot of spotters. Jeep had promoted the Rubicon as capable for the average person to do fairly serious off-roading out of the box.

    About the hard core stuff with a new vehicle. I totally have to disagree with you dude. Just look in Fourwheeler, 4x4 and Off-road, or JP magazine. There are scores of people that bought and buy Rubicons and hit the hard core stuff from brand new. Lots and lots.
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    steenhsteenh Member Posts: 103
    "About the hard core stuff with a new vehicle. I totally have to disagree with you dude. Just look in Fourwheeler, 4x4 and Off-road, or JP magazine. There are scores of people that bought and buy Rubicons and hit the hard core stuff from brand new. Lots and lots."

    Why would they? I could buy a $2k vehicle, put maybe $8k into it and blow a stock rubi away on the trails, and not care if I hit a rock or a tree? Quite a waste of money... and if they don't suffer body damage, they aren't wheeling hard enough. Guess if you have money to burn... but not many buying rubi's or FJC's have money to burn.
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    fourx4everfourx4ever Member Posts: 169
    Murphy,

    The reasons that I6 motors have fallen out of favor is largely political. I6 motors have been in automobiles for probably close to 80 years in one form or another. It is seen as an 'old' engine architecture. I have seen many cases where automotive journalists have panned I6 motors just because of this. The didn't say much about how it functioned just that it was 'old' and should be replaced with 'something else new'. They don't acknowledge the virtues that I sated in the previous post nor do they seem to have a concrete reason why they don't like the I6 - they just don't - so the seed of ignorance is sewn.

    Marketing departments in most automotive companies tend to be pretty sensitive to what is written about their brands. I believe this has prompted many companies to dump tried and true designs for something new - anything new just so they could say it was NEW! We can see many examples of this if we look. Just because the BASIC design is proven and has been in use for some time does not mean that it should be thrown away just for the sake of being old.

    If I was manager at DCX I would have done things a little different in the engine department. I would have taken the 4.0L idea and ran further with it: I would have designed an aluminum high flow head; perhaps even reworked it to have an aluminum block. Given it variable valve timing or perhaps a throtleless motor where all air flow is controlled at the intake valves like BMW's valvetronic motors. I would have probably made provisions for the future addition of direct injection also.

    Then this engine would not only be lighter but have even more torque and hp at all RPMs, get better fuel economy and have lower emissions than the 4.0L. I would dump the V6 option in all the Jeep and Dodge truck line up. This 'new' I6 would be the base motor in all mid and full size dodge trucks. And one of the options in the Wrangler (among a diesel).

    As it is now. I feel the 4.0L is still a much better off-road engine than the either the Mopar or Toyota V6.
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    fourx4everfourx4ever Member Posts: 169
    Steehn,

    I don't know why they do this but they do!

    Well on the other hand let's examine it a bit closer:
    I have heard several people say that to bring a stock TJ up to RUBI it cost about $10K. So lets see if that makes sense. I'll be guessing on some of this so let me know if you have a line on a price

    4.0:1.0 Ratio transfer case with fixed yokes - Replace with Atlas T case - $2200.00

    Rear Dana 44 axle with limited slip and air locker - Replace with Currie Enterprise built 44 with air locker system and rear disc breaks - $3000.00 (includes air system)

    Front Dana 44 axle with air locker - $2200

    Five 16" Moab aluminum wheels - $1600.00

    Five Good Year MTRs - $ 1200.00

    Various rocker and other skid plates - $600.00

    Bumper tow hooks: $50.00

    Off Road fog lamps: $250.00

    300 Watt amp, 7 speakers - $700.00 (Hey ya want loud trail tunes right?)

    I come up with $11200! Not far off.

    But Steehn you're hard presses to even get a Wrangler beater that runs for $2000.00 - If you want something that isn't a Flintstones floorboard special with a soft top that has a stereo thief installed sunroof - aka a big rip, you're gonna pay more - more like about $5000.00 So lets call it $16 200.00 now.

    So now you're up to the same standards as a RUBICON TJ probably with a carburetor breathing 20 year old motor. Want a new fuel injected 4.0l? Add another $3000.00 - now you're at $19 200 (NOT INCLUDING LABOR)

    But you have all the bells and whistles of a Rubi, good motor, good drive line and a body that still looks like crap. Basically $20 000.00 and all your time to do this.

    OR

    Spend another $8 000.00, skip the skinned knuckles and the wife screaming at you because of your eyesore project and all the help she doesn't get because you're in the garage, and have a brand new Jeep that looks great with a warranty.

    I can see why some people would spend the cash for the new Rubicon. But to be honest Steehn, I'm like you though, I take my '81 CJ-5 out to do the hard stuff. It's not as capable as the Rubi but I still have piles of fun.
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    murphydogmurphydog Member Posts: 735
    I wonder if there is any bean counter behind the change as well. Is it somehow cheaper to make the V6 vs the I6? Smaller brands like BMW seem more immune to this kind of engineering by accountant, but not detroit.

    Or, I wonder if the overall packaging is easier with a v6 for saftey reasons?

    Either way seems silly to drop a proven winner and go with an unknown engine.

    Of course it has been ages since Toyota did an I6, and their trucks are all V6 or V8, so I can see why they stayed the course.
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    fourx4everfourx4ever Member Posts: 169
    Murphy,

    I think you hit the nail on the head more than once here. Sadly, the fact seems to be that the bean counters rule these companies with few exceptions. I can just about guarantee, that the reason we didn't get a REAL FJ is mostly because of bean counters.

    Probably (for Chrysler anyway) the other issue is that the I6 won't work in a minivan and since the 'bean counters' (yes again) want to cut cost so they put the pressure on development to 'streamline production' Why have 2 engines when you can have one. That kind of thinking - no matter that one of them doesn't do the job properly, bean counters don't care about that stuff.

    - Do I come off as having a lot of contempt for bean counters and many automotive journalists? Oh yeah add the marketing department to my list of hated groups too ;)-

    I don't think there is much difference in the crash safety of an I6 or V6 when the engine is mounted longitudinally, in fact the slightly longer hood on an I6 vehicle could be an asset in this regard.
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    2climbbig2climbbig Member Posts: 20
    actually, the changed the engine because of new DOT regs...
    Since the new jeep does not have a crumple point on the core frame in order to keeps its rigidity, they had to build a crushable front end. Having an engine that goes into the crush zone would not allow the vehicle to pass its front end crash tests. So they chose a short stocky engine. The next time you look at the new jeeps, look how much space there is between the engine and the radiator. Then look and the extended frame that is crushable.

    I just bought the Unlimited X with rear lockers… It is a great off –roader.
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    wideglidewideglide Member Posts: 146
    Four-By, what's with the obsession with the I-6? Yeah, my Cherokee has one, and it's a good motor. And I generally like them better than V-6's. But some of what you're saying isn't accurate. I haven't seen many automotive writers panning an I-6, unless they were talking about an old Chevy stovebolt motor. I've yet to see anything but praise for BMW's I-6, which is about the only one still in mass production. As far as torque, an I-6 isn't inherently any more torquey than a V-6. It's all in the tuning; oversquare vs undersquare design, cam and ignition timing, flywheel weight, etc. BMW's motors are wonderful, high revving engines, but they are not terribly torquey. An I-6 is inherently smoother, but that hardly matters in a Wrangler.

    The motor you proposed would be nice, but it would also be very expensive, raising the Wranglers price considerably. And high-flow heads are for high RPM operation, which again is not really needed in a Wrangler.

    Instead of carping about something DCX is never going to do (resurrect a discontinued engine), we should be petitioning them to drop in the new 4.0L V-6, which has much more horsepower AND torque than the old I-6 has. That would be easy for them to do, and much more likely to happen.
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    fourx4everfourx4ever Member Posts: 169
    wideglide,

    I don't think you were paying attention to what I was saying in some cases.

    I did not say the 4.0L necessarily had MORE torque, but it gets the torque where it is needed in an off-road vehicle (and trucks in general) - at a low RPM. True that most of this comes from the LONG stroke of the 4.0L engine, but then this long stroke is not really possible in a V-6 since the geometry of the engine does not allow for it.

    I have seen so many auto journalists pan the 4.0L (and other I6 motors) just because they were an 'old' architecture - I wish I had a dollar every time. But about all they can come up with is the word 'old' to knock it.

    About my 'dream' engine (because that's about all it will ever be): I disagree that it would be expensive; in the long run it would be a lot cheaper than what they (DCX) has now. Here is why I think this:

    First, such an engine would be used in a very wide range of vehicles bringing economies of scale into play; right now DCX uses several engines to cover what could be done by 'my' motor.

    Second, with the advances that I spoke, of emissions could be controlled with much more ease, meaning less catch-up foot ball and fewer major revisions over the ensuing years to just scrape by the ever tightening EPA requirements.

    Third, such a motor could be made to get significantly better fuel economy AND better performance over all RPMs! The better fuel economy plays into reducing the fleet vehicle fuel consumption saving DCX even more money and/or reducing the ticket price of their products. While the both the better fuel economy and better performance are selling features which would help move more vehicle across the dealer floors.

    Fourth, there is little argument that an I6 is more robust and durable than its V6 counterpart. (I can give numerous examples of this if you wish). With a main bearing on each side of every con-rod there is no doubt this engine would stand a lot more abuse or better yet, performance tweaking ;)

    This is why I think it would be in DCX’s best interest to invest in the development of such an engine rather than what they are doing now.
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    fourx4everfourx4ever Member Posts: 169
    2climbbig,

    Yeah I know this is one of the reasons we are given, but believe me, if you want a crush zone, then you shouldn't let the type of engine in the vehicle stop you. It would be a simple matter to maintain the collapsing frame rails and add motor/trany mounts that would 'break away' allowing the drive line assembly to submarine in a collision. It's just really not that complicated.
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    2climbbig2climbbig Member Posts: 20
    Fourx, Sure you can put crumple points into the vehicle, but then you loose valuable stiffness. When designing a vehicle with crumple points, there needs to be two points. One between the firewall and radiator and the other just forward of the firewall... that ensures the front will crush and not affect the passenger compartment. The first hard jump or other forces as a result of off-road activity could result in a bent frame. I am sure there are other ways to meet DOT regs, but not sure if it is as economical.
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    fourx4everfourx4ever Member Posts: 169
    2climbbig ,

    No need to do it the way that you are describing. The collapsible frame rails you see in the 2007 Wrangler could have been incorporated regardless of engine type. All I was saying is that mount(s) could be made to let the engine/transmission assembly break free during a front impact - further absorbing crash energy - this would in no way affect the chassis stiffness since loading due to frame flex is not transmitted through the drive-line.

    If you want to get really carried away, you could add a collapsible frame element before the fire wall with an internal sleeve that would maintain rigidity and loading in shear, but collapse in compressive loading beyond the yield point of the element along the longitudinal frame axis.
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    2climbbig2climbbig Member Posts: 20
    FourX,

    Your probably right... my background is in ship design so I am always thinking for the structure carrying the load. On a ship, I would be very nervous having any crumple points especially in high sea states.. ;)
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    2climbbig2climbbig Member Posts: 20
    I absolutely love it. I went 4 wheeling with a couple of my friends, one owning a 2004 jeep and the other has an FJC. We all concluded that my new jeep is better than his FJ. We switched vehicles for a bit. funny thing was that I wanted my jeep back and he wanted to keep it. The things that I felt where easier on the jeep was visibility, steering, and it just seemed like the jeep was better able to climb. We had similar components minus the IFS. I only have a rear locker and so does his FJ.

    I have the unlimited X with 410 gear ratio, dana 44’s in the rear with trac-lok. The front axle is a Dana 30. I wanted the Rubicon but no one had them in stock and I was without a car. The dealer said it would take 3 months to order one and I just didn’t have the time nor patients… So this was the next best thing.

    A couple of really cool feature is the seat jack and engine restart without the clutch being depressed. The fly by wire feature also makes a difference when you are bouncing all over the place. My last jeep was a 90 with the square eyes and the leaf spring suspension. The difference between the two is amazing.
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    fourx4everfourx4ever Member Posts: 169
    Is the engine restart (without the clutch) an optional thing? I mean can you disable this feature so that for every day driving you have to push the clutch in and then when you're rock climbing can you flip a switch to start it without pressing the clutch?

    Yeah it sounds like a fairly impressive machine - I still haven't taken one out for a test drive yet though. Gonna have to do that; see how much better the ride is over my 2005 Rubi.
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    2climbbig2climbbig Member Posts: 20
    The engine restart(without the clutch) is only when you are in 4 wheel drive. I know everyone is worried about the torque, but I can put it in 4 wheel low, let go of the clutch and depress the brake and the car will not stall. I have to press on the brake extremely hard to force the car to stall... trust me its not easy. My wife can't make it stall.
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    steenhsteenh Member Posts: 103
    Sounds like your friend should have test driven a jeep before spending $30k on an FJC if one drive convinced him the "jeep is better". That's just silly talk.
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    2climbbig2climbbig Member Posts: 20
    Well lets see... ah yes.. because they did not have 4-door jeeps when the FJC came out. And you think our discusion was silly talk. When you have kids, you choices are more limited and at the time, the FJC was the best bet. I personnaly would take an FJC over a hummer 2 or 3 if jeep did not come out with a 4-door.
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    steenhsteenh Member Posts: 103
    Yes... that is silly talk. When the FJC came out, everyone knew that the jeep was coming out with a 4dr (ugly as it is) so if you are going to spend $30k, you could wait... or drive a 2dr and see what the difference is. Most people won't make a $30k decision over a couple of months wait.

    In the end, he made a better choice... far less travel to the dealerships :)
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    canman1971canman1971 Member Posts: 61
    Well, I had a Wrangler, traded it for a BMW, now I have an FJ and if I'm going to spend the money, I'm looking for reliability and I see Toyota blowing Jeep out of the water. I don't like Chrysler. That being said, I loved my Jeep. It just got too small with my dogs and wife. Plus, I became a teacher and my Jeep was all decked out for a pro surfer, not a teacher. All in all, I had to make a decision with the 4 door Wrangler and the FJ and I feel I made the right one. I like to be unique and the FJ is certainly that. But, so does the Wrangler. But, if I had chosen the Wrangler, I'm sure I'd be happy. FJ just is a nicer ride. Offroading is a different story.
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    fourx4everfourx4ever Member Posts: 169
    Canman,

    1. If you traded your Jeep for a BMW, then you aren't interested in off-road ability in the least; not that BMW makes bad SUVs. However their off-road ability is nil.

    2. If you really checked on the reliability of the WRANGER (I'm not talking about OTHER Jeep Models here) then you would see that its history of reliability is excellent. Nobody can say for sure what the reliability rating will actually be on new models like the FJ or the new Wrangler as they are new designs in many respects, but I'm willing to be they will both be good.

    By the way, if you had kept the surfer Jeep, you could have been one of those 'cool teachers' that every kid wishes they had a class with. ;) Just buggin' ya man, I'm sure you're a cool teacher.
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    2climbbig2climbbig Member Posts: 20
    Ahh the power of a wrangler. I bought my first wrangler in 90 (new) for 9500. I sold it 6 years later with 148k miles on it for $6K as a trade in. So basically the jeep cost me $3500 and only had to add pads and an exhaust. Not bad reliability if you ask me.
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    fourx4everfourx4ever Member Posts: 169
    Well now Steenh hold on a minute. Just because you would make an informed decision and check things out carefully before dropping 30K does not mean someone else will.

    It's statistically accepted that most of the North American consumers are impulsive. They make on the spot emotionally based snap decisions regardless of cost or facts. This is why there is so much consumer debt in Canada and the USA. So I don't find it hard to believe that someone signed on the dotted line one afternoon for an FJC without giving the matter much logical thought; never mind waiting to do a comparison with a model that might be released in 6 months or more.

    Furthermore, I believe at the time of the FJC's March 21st Debut, the only Wrangler that was confirmed for release was the 2 door, so this would further remove the Wrangler from the equation for those who needed the extra space.
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    2climbbig2climbbig Member Posts: 20
    Solid front axle
    Lockers and more lockers ;)
    Roll Mitigation
    Seat Jack (Very cool toy)
    crawl ratio of 73:1 or 49:1 depending on the model
    You can sleep in the back or... :)
    you can see where you are going!
    Doors come off
    top comes off
    Window folds down
    It has a cage!
    and the most important of them all... its a jeep.
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