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New 2007 Jeep JK Wrangler

Posted in Project Vehicles on January 9, 2006 Comment (0)
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New 2007 Jeep JK Wrangler
Contributors: Tori Tellem
Photographers: Courtesy of Jeep
The JK smashes through a window during it's debut in Detroit. The JK smashes through a window during it's debut in Detroit.

This is probably the most rumored, criticized, and hated Jeep vehicle that we can think of in recent memory (besides the Patriot, the Compass, the Liberty, the Commander, and the Grand Cherokee SRT8) -- and that's before anyone even saw it. Will it have IFS?! Will it have four doors?! Will it have a diesel?! Will the windshield flip down anymore?!

Here's the skinny on the all-new Wrangler -- decide for yourself whether you can finally sleep at night again.

It will come in three models: X, Sahara, and Rubicon. The longtime 4.0L engine will be gone, although we've been warning you of that for a while. We understood early on that it would be something other than the 3.7L V-6 from the Liberty; it's a 230.5ci 3.8L V-6 that will make 205hp at 5,200 rpm and 240lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm, hey, exactly like the Chrysler and Dodge minivans! It will have a compression ratio of 9.6:1. A six-speed transmission will be standard (still the NSG370), while a four-speed auto (42LRE again) will be optional. A diesel will be available for the international market.

The big bone of contention has been what would happen underneath. The Wrangler will have a five-link coil suspension (with lower spring rates) and solid axles, although all axle models will have been fiddled with internally. The X and Sahara will continue to run the Dana 30 and 35 front and rear axles, respectively, while the Rubicon will retain its 44s. The shocks will be tuned, and the X will have low-pressure twin-tubes while the Sahara and Rubicon will feature a high-pressure monotube with Low-Speed Tunable valve gadgetry.

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There's no escaping stability control, although there will be a choice of on, off, or partially on (which we think might fall in the same category as being partially pregnant). The X and Sahara will take on a second-generation Command-Trac (NV241) transfer case, and the Rubicon will have the NV241OR Rock-Trac. ASBS will be new -- as in Active Sway Bar System, an electronic disconnect, similar to what's on the Dodge Power Wagon. Approach angle on the JK will be 44.3 degrees, departure 40.4 (the current Wrangler is 42.2 and 31.5).

For the first time there will be an optional tow package for all models, which will include the Dana 44s, 4.10 gears, and a trailer hitch (the towing capacity will be 2,000 pounds). The X will get standard 16-inch rims, and Saharas and Rubicons will ride on 17s. Optional 18s will exist for the Sahara. Other tweaks include a new recirculating-ball steering system and new sheetmetal. Also, there will be a 100 percent stiffer frame and a 50 percent stiffer body.

Now, on to said body. The Wrangler will be longer (152.8 inches in length compared to the current 150.2; the wheelbase is currently 93.4 inches and it will be 95.4 for '07) and also wider (73.7, not counting the mirrors; it was 68.3). While the hood will be flat, the windshield will be curved (it's an aerodynamics and noise thing) and will still fold down. Soft and hardtops will be available -- the hardtop will be a three-piece, modular deal. The panels will be removable above the driver, passenger, and rear seat. Meanwhile, a Sunrider softtop will be available and offers a sunroof-style opening to the tune of 52x30 inches.

Both full and half doors will be available, and power windows and door locks will debut. Blow-mold, diamond-plate steps will be mounted to the body; the Rubicon will have standard rock rails. Speaking of blow-mold, it's what the bumper with built-in foglights will be made from. The fender flares will be separate fender pieces. And, yes, it will be available with four doors. Inside, it will get more roomy (4.8 cubic inches more of front-seat area, 4.6 inches of hip room, and 5.1 inches of shoulder room; in back, it'll be 3.9 inches more shoulder room, 1.6 inches of hip, and 1 inch more for legs). There will be lockable storage under the floor for small stuff, like a first-aid kit.

It will hit dealerships in the fall of '06. Watch for a road test soon in Jp!

What We Think
First off, it's a JK Wrangler, not TK like some others have been reporting incorrectly for months. The 3.8L is not actually a new engine; it can be found in the Dodge minivan lineup. It has similar max horsepower and torque as the 4.0L but at a much higher rpm. Only a road test will tell if it's up to the task of hauling the now-heavier Wrangler and even heavier four-door Wrangler. Rumor is that the four-door could get the 5.7L Hemi V-8. The suspension is still a five-link, like the previous Wrangler, but with slightly longer arms. A current Wrangler lift kit will not fit on the new Jeep, so expect the typical aftermarket lag time for a lift. Check out the flexible front fenders ... we're thinking they could come off and be replaced with some trick steel-tube fenders (or removed completely for a real aggressive look). We'd toss the plastic bumpers too. Ahem, aftermarket, get to work!

Underneath, you'll find a high-pinion version of the Dana 44 front axle on models equipped with it. Word is the new 44 internals will not interchange with the traditional Dana 44 axle. No word on high- or low-pinion for the Dana 30 version. You'll find an odd-ball, five-on-five lug pattern at the ends, same as the current Grand and Commander. The driveshafts are absolutely laughable. Only one real U-joint can be found. The rest are constant velocity joints. If you lift it, expect them to smoke. Fortunately there are no slip-yokes. We expect that several driveshaft companies will step up and offer a much-needed front and rear conversion (including yokes) to get some real U-jointed shafts in there.

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07JeepJK

2007 Jeep JK Wrangler

 

Assembly Plant

Toledo, Ohio

 

 

Engine

3.8 liter, OHV, 12-valave SMPI V-6

Type and DescriptionHBZSEL28

Six-cylinder, 60 V-type, liquid-cooled

Construction

Cast-iron block, aluminum alloy heads

Compression Ratio

9.6:1

Power (SAE net)

205 hp @ 5,200 rpm

Torque (SAE net)

240 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm

Oil Capacity

6 qt. (5.7L) plus filter

Alternator

160A

 

 

Transmission NSG 370

Manual, Six-Speed Overdrive

Gear Ratios

 

1st

4.46

2nd

2.61

3rd

1.72

4th

1.25

5th

1.00

6th

0.84

Reverse

4.06

Axle Ratio

3.21 Std., 4.10 Opt. (Std. on Rubicon)

 

 

Transmission 42RLE

Automatic, Four-Speed Overdrive

Gear Ratios

 

1st

2.84

2nd

1.57

3rd

1.00

4th

0.69

Reverse

2.21

Axle Ratio

4.10

 

 

Transfer Case NV241

Part-Time Command-Trac

Operating Modes

2WD High; 4WD High; Neutral; 4WD Low

Low Range Ratio

2.72:1

 

 

Transfer Case NV241 OR

Part-Time Rock-Trac

Operating Modes

2WD High; 4WD High; Neutral; 4WD Low

Low Range Ratio

4.0:1

 

 

Dimensions and Capacities

 

Overall Length

152.8

Overall Width (without mirrors)

73.7

Overall Height, Hard top

70.9

Wheelbase

95.4

Track, Front

61.9

Track, Rear

61.9

Overhang, Front

26.7

Overhang, Rear

30.6

Maximum Payload (includes occupants and cargo)

1000 lbs.

 

 

Curb Weight

 

Wrangler X, Man. / Auto Trans.

3760 lbs. / 3785 lbs.

Wrangler Sahara, Man. / Auto Trans.

3951 lbs. / 3976 lbs.

Wrangler Rubicon, Man. / Auto Trans.

4104 lbs. / 4129 lbs.

 

 

Body and Chassis

 

Layout

Longitudinal front engine, four-wheel drive

Construction

Ladder-type frame, open steel body

 

 

Suspension

 

Front

Live axle, leading arms, track bar,

coil springs, stabilizer bar,

low-pressure (on 16 inch wheel packages) gas-charged shock absorbers--std.;

Monotube high-pressure (on 17 and 18 inch wheel packages)
gas-charged shock absorbers--std. Rubicon;

Electronic Sway Bar Disconnect System (ASDS) opt

Rear

Live axle, trailing arms, track bar,

coil springs, stabilizer bar,

low-pressure (on 16 inch wheel packages) gas-charged shock absorbers--std.;

Monotube high-pressure (on 17 and 18 inch wheel packages)

gas-charged shock absorbers--std. Rubicon

 

 

Steering

 

Type

Power, recirculating ball with damper

Overall Ratio

16.7:1

Turning Diameter (curb-to-curb)

34.9 ft.

Steering Turns (lock-to-lock)

3.5

 

 

Brakes

 

Power Assist Type

10 (254) single-diaphragm vacuum

Four-Wheel Anti-Lock with on- and off-road calibrations

Standard

Electronic Stability Program (ESP)

Standard

Parking Brake Type

Drum-in-hat

Front Size and Type

11.9 x 1.1 vented rotor with 2.6 (66) single-piston floating caliper

Swept Area (total front)

190.8 sq. in.

Rear Size and Type

12.44 x 0.47 solid rotor with 1.9 (48) single-piston floating caliper

Swept Area (total rear)

55.4 sq. in.

 

 

Wheels

 

X

16 x 7.0

Sahara

17 x 7.5 (std.); 18 x 7.5 (opt.)

Rubicon

17 x 7.5

 

 

Tires

 

X (standard)

 

Size and Type

P225/75R16, On/Off-road BSW

Mfr. and Model

Goodyear Wrangler ST

X (optional)

 

Size and Type

P245/75R16, On/Off-road BSW

Mfr. and Model

Goodyear Wrangler SRA

 

 

Sahara (standard)

 

Size and Type

P255/75R17, On/Off-road OWL

Mfr. and Model

Goodyear Wrangler SRA

Sahara (optional)

 

Size and Type

P255/70R18, On/Off-road OWL

Mfr. and Model

Bridgestone Dueler 693

 

 

Rubicon

 

Size and Type

LT255/75R17, Off-Road BSW

Mfr. and Model

B.F.Goodrich Mud Terrain

 

 

Towing

 

Axle Ratio 3.21

1,000 lbs.

Axle Ratio 4.10

2,000 lbs.

View Slideshow

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