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Old 06-05-2021, 12:27 AM #46
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Wrangler Rubicon to 4Runner
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Old 06-05-2021, 12:34 AM #47
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Good info on the diesel. I was referring to an earlier post about the increased MPG on the diesel. I completely neglected the performance aspect.

Again, I give props to FCA for giving us the option.

Happy Trails
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Old 06-05-2021, 08:41 AM #48
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Originally Posted by shrub1 View Post
Nitto Ridge Grapplers 285/70/17 -C load.
I had Bilstein 5100's with OME spring (887 front) 295e(?) rear and also ran Icon stage 3 at one point.
Best bang for the buck is the Bilstein/OME set up.

bilstein 5100 set up is nice and during that clearance sale a few years ago it was well worth it. Think I paid about $400 for the TRD pro suspension. Really do enjoy the 17 4runner SR5 prem. Would like more HP & torque , LED headlights and an updated infotainment center. Wife did approve of a supercharger purchase.

As for the Jeep wrangler , my neighbor picked up the 2021 392 rubicon and that is a nice toy. 4runner is probably here for the long haul and next purchase will probably be a bronco, next gen tundra or 4runner.
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Old 06-05-2021, 11:10 PM #49
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One of the biggest differences between a 4R and a Jeep is the wind noise. I do not miss that one bit.
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Old 06-06-2021, 02:20 AM #50
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I think one thing this thread lacks is reference to the state of the OP, which is Arizona.

See, AZ is weird. You can totally go both ways here. So choose your preference.

The 4R with aftermarket suspension will rule most of the state over a Rubicon, hands down. You need comfort over rough desert terrain and long highway drives.

BUT, most people flock to a few specific areas that have the hardcore trails. Obviously, a 5th gen 4R should not even be there.

So, for a toy that drives a little north or southeast of Phoenix to test itself on hardcore trails, the 4R is not even a thing. But is a new Rubicon a good idea either? Do you really want to trash a 50k vehicle on the hardcore trails? Do you really think you can do the harder ones stock (nope)?

So that's the question. All regular difficult rated trails like Broken Arrow or Crown King or Crapshoot are straightforward in a 4R, I have done them stock.

While the very difficult trails are not for new family vehicles and the extreme ones are totally out of the league of any Rubicon that resembles its stock self anyway.

In sum, a stock Rubi in AZ gets you maybe a dozen notable trails over a 4R. To truly open it up, and do the trails that hardcore folks like, it will take a well build Rubicon and not just a stock one. And that costs money for quality parts on top of a pretty steep initial price. That's on top of the compromises with on road driving.

So it is a very tough question but it does have a pretty simple answer once the terrain and preferences are taken into account:

--for all around exploration, all sorts of easy, moderate, and regular difficult trails all over the place, hands down 4R on good suspension
--for focus on rock crawling around Phoenix, the Safari Moab trails, and the very hard CO trails (not Ouray), hands down the Rubicon.
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Old 06-06-2021, 10:41 AM #51
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My 2 cents: If you want the most capable stock off-roader you can get from a production vehicle, then the JL Rubicon is going to be the one that most closely meets your need. But requirements are rarely just singular, and I'd imagine if on was interested in heavy off-road usage then they wouldn't just be shopping around for a TRD-Pro 4Runner but getting something more basic (SR5 or OR) and customizing it to their liking/use-case. You can go basic OR and front lock it, re-gear it, add a long travel suspension, beef up the IFS, add a huge aux fuel tank, and lift to fit 33-35" tires depending on your flavor. But as others have pointed out, if majority of your use case is wheeling then you are probably better off getting something used and going to work on the customizations.

At the end of the day, its about trading pros and cons and seeing what fits your needs. The 4runner has reliability, is relatively simple to work on, has the size, payload and offers good on-road manners. Compared to a Rubicon, you are basically trading 20% of the off-road capability (for the average 4x4 user hitting trails or doing light-med. wheeling) get all of that so depending on one's use case they may not matter or they are all that matter. On the Rubicon, you have a smaller vehicle, Solid front axle, easier to build out, and better OR features stock. For these, you are trading away size, internal volume for passengers and storage, on-road performance and reliability. None of the Jeep drivers in my family or friends mind that at all - they are comfortable with what they are getting into and know it upfront.

My only problem with JL-Rubicon is the prices with all the added stuff. I paid $34K for my 2019 Off Road and the value there is incredible. No one had a gazillion options that they wanted to tag along. It was a stock OR and with basic 4x4 features that come with the type and a blank canvas for me to build on to suite my needs. When I factor in all the crap most dealers around me offer on the JL Rubicon, I see sticker price in the $55-$65K range. If I were to ever get a Jeep, it would be a two door and used and would basically be a play rig and not a daily. My 4Runner with 33" AT's, a roof rack, and added weight isn't as good as stock when driving on the pavement, but it is still a light years ahead of my brother's Jeep when it comes to noise and comfort on road. I can't live with that, and I don't go tear it up on a trail every weekend so the decision was relatively easy for me. Both are going to be extremely fun. As always, know what you are getting and get it for the right reasons.
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Old 06-06-2021, 02:37 PM #52
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Let's end this now. There is nothing better than flexing the sunroof and back window down when a jeep is around. Instant convertible. Boom!!!!
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Old 06-06-2021, 05:27 PM #53
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Let's end this now. There is nothing better than flexing the sunroof and back window down when a jeep is around. Instant convertible. Boom!!!!
A convertible in AZ? I opted for no sunroof!

While we are on it, the Bronco with the new Bilstein shocks definitely deserves a good look. We are always solo so Toyota reliability trounces extra rock crawling ability but the Bronco is worth a look.
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Old 06-06-2021, 05:50 PM #54
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Originally Posted by MAST4R View Post
I think one thing this thread lacks is reference to the state of the OP, which is Arizona.

See, AZ is weird. You can totally go both ways here. So choose your preference.

The 4R with aftermarket suspension will rule most of the state over a Rubicon, hands down. You need comfort over rough desert terrain and long highway drives.

BUT, most people flock to a few specific areas that have the hardcore trails. Obviously, a 5th gen 4R should not even be there.

So, for a toy that drives a little north or southeast of Phoenix to test itself on hardcore trails, the 4R is not even a thing. But is a new Rubicon a good idea either? Do you really want to trash a 50k vehicle on the hardcore trails? Do you really think you can do the harder ones stock (nope)?

So that's the question. All regular difficult rated trails like Broken Arrow or Crown King or Crapshoot are straightforward in a 4R, I have done them stock.

While the very difficult trails are not for new family vehicles and the extreme ones are totally out of the league of any Rubicon that resembles its stock self anyway.

In sum, a stock Rubi in AZ gets you maybe a dozen notable trails over a 4R. To truly open it up, and do the trails that hardcore folks like, it will take a well build Rubicon and not just a stock one. And that costs money for quality parts on top of a pretty steep initial price. That's on top of the compromises with on road driving.

So it is a very tough question but it does have a pretty simple answer once the terrain and preferences are taken into account:

--for all around exploration, all sorts of easy, moderate, and regular difficult trails all over the place, hands down 4R on good suspension
--for focus on rock crawling around Phoenix, the Safari Moab trails, and the very hard CO trails (not Ouray), hands down the Rubicon.
Thanks for this. Yes I am in Surprise, work in central Phx and spend weekends up in Prescott area. You were able to do Broken Arrow in a bone stock 4Runner with no carnage or scraping? I find that hard to believe. The 4Runner just doesnít have the clearance even in Pro trim. I WOULD bet that a bone stock Rubicon Unlimited could do broken arrow without any scraping at all. AZ is unique, you are correct and I really do appreciate your input as I can relate to it perfectly. If I thought a bone stock Pro(mine does have upgraded tires) but stock otherwise could do Broken Arrow without trail damage I would not even be considering a Rubicon as that is about as rad as my wheeling gets. But, as you know here in AZ with tons of large rocks on our more challenging trails a solid front axle and more clearance is truly where it is at.
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Old 06-06-2021, 06:01 PM #55
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Originally Posted by bring_it_on View Post
My 2 cents: If you want the most capable stock off-roader you can get from a production vehicle, then the JL Rubicon is going to be the one that most closely meets your need. But requirements are rarely just singular, and I'd imagine if on was interested in heavy off-road usage then they wouldn't just be shopping around for a TRD-Pro 4Runner but getting something more basic (SR5 or OR) and customizing it to their liking/use-case. You can go basic OR and front lock it, re-gear it, add a long travel suspension, beef up the IFS, add a huge aux fuel tank, and lift to fit 33-35" tires depending on your flavor. But as others have pointed out, if majority of your use case is wheeling then you are probably better off getting something used and going to work on the customizations.

At the end of the day, its about trading pros and cons and seeing what fits your needs. The 4runner has reliability, is relatively simple to work on, has the size, payload and offers good on-road manners. Compared to a Rubicon, you are basically trading 20% of the off-road capability (for the average 4x4 user hitting trails or doing light-med. wheeling) get all of that so depending on one's use case they may not matter or they are all that matter. On the Rubicon, you have a smaller vehicle, Solid front axle, easier to build out, and better OR features stock. For these, you are trading away size, internal volume for passengers and storage, on-road performance and reliability. None of the Jeep drivers in my family or friends mind that at all - they are comfortable with what they are getting into and know it upfront.

My only problem with JL-Rubicon is the prices with all the added stuff. I paid $34K for my 2019 Off Road and the value there is incredible. No one had a gazillion options that they wanted to tag along. It was a stock OR and with basic 4x4 features that come with the type and a blank canvas for me to build on to suite my needs. When I factor in all the crap most dealers around me offer on the JL Rubicon, I see sticker price in the $55-$65K range. If I were to ever get a Jeep, it would be a two door and used and would basically be a play rig and not a daily. My 4Runner with 33" AT's, a roof rack, and added weight isn't as good as stock when driving on the pavement, but it is still a light years ahead of my brother's Jeep when it comes to noise and comfort on road. I can't live with that, and I don't go tear it up on a trail every weekend so the decision was relatively easy for me. Both are going to be extremely fun. As always, know what you are getting and get it for the right reasons.
Excellent synopsis. Having restored two FJ40ís, fixing nearly everything I feel like owning something new but less reliable would not be a big deal at all, ha ha! I miss the wheeling experience that only a solid front axle vehicle can deliver. I also feel a solid front axle is more durable and reliable as well, then there is the articulation which blows away IFS in really tough terrain. I donít really care nor want to go fast off road, but want capability above all else. I donít even mind a less comfortable highway ride quality, the Rubicon is like a Lexus on the highway compared to either of my 40ís! Incidentally I do realize domestic stuff is junk and donít expect Toyota quality which is a shame as seeing Jeep has made the Jeep forever you would think even union labor could have that perfected by now 🙄. Maybe I expect too much🙄
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Old 06-06-2021, 06:20 PM #56
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Thanks for this. Yes I am in Surprise, work in central Phx and spend weekends up in Prescott area. You were able to do Broken Arrow in a bone stock 4Runner with no carnage or scraping? I find that hard to believe. The 4Runner just doesn’t have the clearance even in Pro trim. I WOULD bet that a bone stock Rubicon Unlimited could do broken arrow without any scraping at all. AZ is unique, you are correct and I really do appreciate your input as I can relate to it perfectly. If I thought a bone stock Pro(mine does have upgraded tires) but stock otherwise could do Broken Arrow without trail damage I would not even be considering a Rubicon as that is about as rad as my wheeling gets. But, as you know here in AZ with tons of large rocks on our more challenging trails a solid front axle and more clearance is truly where it is at.
Broken Arrow is about as straightforward as they get. You have a small ledge up to the Submarine rock I think it is called that is no problem at all.

Then you have the area before the Devil's Staircase. Here, you can scrape or not depending on your experience. I did not when I was fully stock clearance wise. I did when I had temporarily a front 1" lift and nothing in the rear. I took a step straight instead of sideways so the rear scraped. But that's fine. I have Rockmen rear lower control arms for that reason.

After that very short section, you have the staircase itself. There is a bad hole in the middle at the start but because the path is so narrow, it would be hard to fall in it; it would require a very inexperienced driver to do so.

The place where I hit my front skid plate when I had stock clearance was at the bottom of the stairs, when I stopped paying enough attention. I cleared that spot easily at 1" lift, which you have from the factory if you have a Pro.

On Backaway to Crown King
, you have all sorts of optional crap. But on the main route, you have 3 spots to pay attention to:

1/ The rocky riverbed. I can do that in a lifted Subaru.
2/ The step after a small creek bed crossing after the riverbed. That would stop a Subaru. I did scrape my 3/16 skid plate there.
3/ The hardest spot on trail by far is a large embedded rock after the step. It is in the middle of trail and unavoidable. You WILL scrape something there, no doubt. I scraped a bit of my right main frame rail on that rock as I was fully stock clearance wise. However, I did have rock sliders that took the real hit.

Finally, hits and scraping are a normal part of offroading. I don't care if you are an inexperienced driver or Lite Brite, you will be hitting and you will be scraping, albeit in different types of terrain. There is nothing wrong with that so long as they are mild. Also, I have 3/16 full skids to use them, not to look pretty and same for my sliders.

So, yes, I was fully stock clearance wise but I was armored and I do and have been using my armor. That's why I paid for it, not to look at it

When I say you need a Rubicon, I mean:

Terminator, Ajax, Bad Medicine Bypass. Those are trails a 5th gen 4R cannot touch.

When I see you need a heavily modded Rubicon, I mean Axle Alley, Highway to Hell, and then for buggies you have the various TV trails in the Table Mesa areas as well as other stuff to the SE. I don't have personal experience on those, but I have read enough and walked one of the hardest extreme TV trails. I have zero interest in any of those.

If you are new to offroading, you need to accept that the vehicle is much more capable than you and that this will remain the case for at least a couple years. A Rubicon is overkill for Broken Arrow or Crown King.
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Old 06-06-2021, 06:27 PM #57
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In Utah, difficult rated trails I have done bone stock in terms of suspension are Fins and Things (the entire trail, both loops, but not the optional stuff), Towers Arch, and Rainbow Terrace (recently upgraded to hard from moderate due to one spot). I did have 1" all around lift on Elephant Hill, Kamikaze, Boxcar. All the rest I have driven there is rated moderate or easy.

In AZ, other trails rated difficult I drove on stock suspension are Red Rock Powerline, House Mountain (sucks on stock suspension, very bumpy on top), and Crapshoot.

I have driven Diamondback Gulch in my Outback and I only had 1" lift and went up the big hill that the pink Jeeps only drive downhill.

Sedona trails are a good beginner's ride. They are nowhere like what Moab can throw at you.

As for the hard Sonoran area desert trails, I don't see the point. Those are only driven for the sport. So a toy is the appropriate vehicle. They offer no scenery that you cannot see from a trail any 4R can do.
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Old 06-06-2021, 06:33 PM #58
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Oh, and one more: Cliffnager, I don't even know why it is rated difficult by Wells but I guess it is good because people stay out of the last section, which is the one worth doing. I have done it 3 times, this is the easiest hard rated trail I have done anywhere.

Also, you need to buy the latest edition of Charlie Well's AZ guide. It is the best for a 4x4 and you will see which difficult rated trails have an SUV pic and which only have a hardcore Jeep pic. If you cannot do any of the former, you should attribute that to inexperience, not to vehicle insufficiency.
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Old 06-06-2021, 08:10 PM #59
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A convertible in AZ? I opted for no sunroof!

While we are on it, the Bronco with the new Bilstein shocks definitely deserves a good look. We are always solo so Toyota reliability trounces extra rock crawling ability but the Bronco is worth a look.
Still got that power down back window. Love opening it when a jeep is behind me. I see the sadness in their eyes.
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Old 06-06-2021, 10:16 PM #60
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Gamma Ray is a jewel in the rough Gamma Ray is a jewel in the rough Gamma Ray is a jewel in the rough
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Location: New Jersey, USA
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Gamma Ray is a jewel in the rough Gamma Ray is a jewel in the rough Gamma Ray is a jewel in the rough
Quote:
Originally Posted by rushrunner View Post
Still got that power down back window. Love opening it when a jeep is behind me. I see the sadness in their eyes.
The rear window is the best of all worlds in the 4Runner.
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