Monday, September 3, 2018

The Third Generation Jeep Wrangler JK/JKU



The JK/JKU's body and chassis were completely redesigned during the era when Jeep was part of Daimler Chrysler. 



What is a Wrangler? The JK/JKU ~ Jeep Talk Show Podcast 

However, this third generation Wrangler continued to have a separate body and frame, rigid live axles both front and rear, a fold-flat windshield, and can be driven without doors.


The Wrangler Unlimited is the only American four-door convertible in production. The Wrangler Unlimited became a big sales success — by mid 2017 three quarters of all new Wranglers listed for sale were four-door models.

New Features to the JK/JKU Wrangler 

  • The Unlimited's wheelbase was stretched from 10 inches like the TJ-based Unlimited to 20 inches. 
  • Noticeably wider track , 3.4 inch, than the previous model.
  • Though the two-door model has a 2-inch longer wheelbase, it is actually 2.5 inches shorter in overall length than the TJ which allows for a 44.3° approach angle and a 40.4° departure angle.
  • With a larger factory available tire size of 32 inches, the breakover angle on the Rubicon is increased from 22.6° to 25.4°
  • The four-door Unlimited model has an over 20" longer wheelbase at 116" to offer much improved rear seating room, but is nevertheless only 2.4" longer than the 2006 TJ Unlimited.
  • Stability control added as a new safety feature.
  • All versions offer off-road tuned Anti-lock braking system and traction control system with electronic limited slip differential.
  • The electronic sway bar disconnect became standard on the Rubicon trim.
  • Runs almost all vehicle functions, other than steering, under computer software control. 
  • Engine, transmission, and to some extent braking are computer controlled, as are lights and auxiliary systems. 
  • There were three safety recalls for software fixes.
  • The Sunrider convertible soft top is standard equipment. 
  • Also available on the JK model is an optional 3-piece modular hardtop.
  • This is the first generation of the Jeep Wrangler to have a change in the tail lamps.
  • The Wrangler X is available with factory installed right-hand drive, targeted at U.S. Mail carriers. 
  • Dana 44 Rear Axle

The Unlimited offers more options and equipment than any previous Wrangler model, including standard electronic stability program and optional seat-mounted side airbags, remote keyless entry, navigation system, and Sirius Satellite Radio. 

The Sport base model is the "bare bones" Wrangler that can be customized to a buyer's specifications by adding such options as air conditioning and other accessories. It was originally called the "Wrangler X" until 2009.

The Sahara model is the "luxury" model offering exterior-color fender flares and gold 'SAHARA' decals and stitched into the seats.The Sahara's and Sports have the Command Trac Shift on the fly part time 4WD. 

All three trim models come with factory skid plates on the transfer case, gas tank and evap canister. 



The Rubicon is the "off-road ready" model named after the famous Rubicon Trail. It offers 32" BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain KM off-road tires with aggressive tread, seventeen-inch alloy wheels and RUBICON decals. 


The features that really set the Rubicon apart are...

  • Rock-Trac 4x4 system
  • Tru-Lok front/rear locking diffs
  • Dana 44 heavy-duty axles
  • Front sway bar disconnect system
  • Performance suspension system High-pressure monotube shocks
  • Tunable valves
  • Heavy-duty suspension
  • Gas shocks  


The Dana 44 Heavy-Duty axle not only reduces the joint angles of the driveshaft for better ride quality, but it also increases ground clearance.

The Rubicon has a 73.1:1 crawl ratio for better rock crawling and off-road performance. The Rock Trac System gives you more control and more torque  for superior off road performance with the 4:1 low gear ratio that lets you crawl at a lower speed with a greater increase in torque in all the wheels! 


3 months ago the last JK rolled off the assembly line at the Toledo plant to make way for the JT Truck which will be assembled on the old JK line. They are in the process of retooling that line right now.