In this episode of Dirt Every Day, 4-Wheel & Off-Road’s Tech Editor, Fred Williams straps on his blue denim overalls and heads to the family farm in Pennsylvania to see if a new 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon can work the land as well as an old 1951 Willys CJ-3A.
The 2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is definitely a stout off-road vehicle but is it really worthy of the Jeep moniker? The new Rubicon boasts a pair of Dana 44 solid axles, 4:1 low range gearing, electronic differential lockers, sway bar disconnects and even leather seating along with air conditioning. The CJ-3A by contrast rolled off the assembly line with no roof, a fold down windshield that was optional, optional passenger and rear seat, optional spare tire and a PTO (Power Take Off) unit for heavy duty work.
Although both Jeeps share the same basic design of two round headlights separated by a seven slat grille, the 1951 Willys CJ-3A had to make do pulling plows and other heavy farm equipment with a mere 60 horsepower compared to the 2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon’s 285 horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. That being said, the well-seasoned pint sized CJ-3A has and always will be a workhorse at heart. The only question then is, does the Rubicon have what it takes to pull its own weight on the Farm?