In late 2002, Jeep started putting out information regarding their new “Rubicon” edition Jeep Wrangler. It was going to be a Wrangler built up from the factory with all the off-road goodies that people were putting on after market. What would these items be? Well, to start: Front and Rear Dana 44 Axles, Front and Rear Air Lockers, Side Rocker Protection, 16″ MOAB rims, 31″ Goodyear Wrangler MT/R tires, and four wheel disc brakes. This all came from the factory with a warranty as well.
Even after I got rid of my 1998 Sahara, I never fully let go of it. I still liked Wranglers, it just wasn’t practical at that point in my life. But once I saw that Jeep was going to produce the Rubicon, I got the itch to get another Wrangler. I looked around at them, but I had just spent the cash for a 3″ OME lift kit, SYE, driveshaft, and new tires for my Cherokee. So that kind of put an end to my Rubicon dreams.
Even though I was pretty content driving my Cherokee, I never stopped looking at the Rubicons. As a rule of thumb, I always check out the Auto Trader just to see who is selling what, and what type of prices people are asking. It was at this point that I spotted a 2003 Flame Red Rubicon for sale at a local dealership.
To make a long story short, after talking to the wife, and some negotiating with the dealer, we now have a 2003 Rubicon.We purchased the vehicle in July of 2004 with 1500 miles on the odometer. With the exception of the few
I did however have a chance to take it off road at Paragon Adventure Park in Hazleton, PA. It performed great. At one point, I had a problem getting up a rocky section of the trail. I popped the front and rear lockers on, and it walked right up. I’ve never wheeled a vehicle with lockers before, so I had no idea on what a difference they made. Anyways, I am a believer that the Rubicon package is the best thing Jeep has ever produced.