Driving A Moparized Rubicon
As you read this story, put your mind back eight years to when the media went into a frenzy over the announcement of the Rubicon package for the TJ Wrangler. "Best Jeep Ever!", "Finally!", and "Most Capable Jeep" were but some of the headlines, and they were all correct in 2003. At the time, it was the most off-road-capable Jeep ever.
Fast-forward eight years, and we got our hands on a Jeep that far surpasses the basic Rubicon. Sure, it is built on a Rubicon platform, but with a liberal application of the Mopar performance catalog, installation of a lift, bumpers, armor, winch, tires, DOT-compliant beadlocks, and more, this is the most capable off-the-lot Jeep ever. And we can say that because all the parts on this Jeep are available through your local dealership, won't affect your warranty, and can be wrapped into your payment plan.
We recently got two weeks of seat time in a two-door, soft-top '10 Wrangler Rubicon. We drove it from Southern California to Moab, Utah, and back for Easter Jeep Safari. We racked up over 3,000 miles, ran trails such as Fins N Things, Flat Iron Mesa, Mashed Potato, Steel Bender, and more. Going into it, we didn't really expect much more out of this Jeep than what a stock Rubicon would give. Boy, were we wrong.
As delivered, this Jeep has a short-arm 2-inch lift and 305/75R17 (about 34-inches) Goodyear MT/Rs. Mopar also offers a 4-inch short-arm and a 41/2-inch long-arm kit. The 2-inch lift is stable on-road, and performs great off-road. We followed Jeeps with 40-inch tires with no problems, and our winch was never needed for self-extraction, although we did help a couple others out. Also, we feel that these skinny metric tires are a great match for the strength of the stock axles. They are the right size for a Jeep driven on- and off-road. In our nine days of wheeling Moab, we never wished for a bigger tire. If we scraped, we'd engage the lockers. If we got hung up, we could back up and take a different line.
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|The Price Sheet|
|Part Number||Component(s)||$MSRP||Install (hrs)||Total|
|82211715AB||Mopar Off Road Bumper - Front||$612||1.2||$708|
|82210401||Skid Plate - Front||$254||0.5||$294|
|82209909AB||Warn Winch 9500 XP||$1,349||1.0||$1,429|
|82209744AD||Mopar Off Road Bumper - Rear||$558||0.8||$622|
|P5155349||"Mopar by AEV" Rear Corner Guards||$402||0.6||$450|
|82210270AB||Black Taillamp Guards (set)||$132||0.2||$148|
|82210285||Black Fuel Door||$111||0.2||$127|
|82210574AC||Mopar Rock Rails (set)||$572||1.0||$652|
|HELLA500||Off Road Lights (set, including wiring)||$125||0.3||$149|
|82210556AB||Off Road Lights - Mounting Bracket Kit||$103||0.6||$151|
|82210104||Door Sill Guards (set)||$25||0.2||$41|
|82210331AB||Seat Covers - Front||$226||0.4||$258|
|82210332||Seat Covers - Rear||$166||0.4||$198|
|77KICK10||Kicker Rear Sound Bar Speakers (set)||$79||0.3||$103|
|82210164||Slush Mats (set)||$48||0.0||$48|
|82207660AB||Grab Handle/Coat Hook (two kits)||$33||0.2||$82|
|77060081||Cold Air Intake||$359||0.7||$415|
|P5155208||2-inch Lift Kit||$1,510||8.0||$2,150|
|659744RR||Front Differential Cover||$79||0.3||$103|
|659744RR||Rear Differential Cover||$79||0.3||$103|
|82210855||Mopar Beadlock Wheel (17x8.5) ( five wheels)||$662||2.0||$3,470|
|NPN||Tires - 305/75R17 Goodyear MT/R (puchased seperately)||$307||home install||$1,585|
|NPN||Front 4.88 Gear Set||(actual mopar pricing TBD - price as shown general market pricing for gears only||$205||4.1||$533|
|NPN||Rear 4.88 Gear Set||$205||2.9||$437|