Could the JK be dying?

Wyatt1234

Basic User
City
Orange
State
TX
#21
Wm69, I fear you are correct, as I have the same opinion about pickup trucks. As much as Id love to see things like a metal dash come back, I could live with something that looked like a CJ, and still had soccer mom features, similar to the TJ, only more CJ looking. Though even with that I wouldn't be entirely satisfied. You would have to start making true CJs again to impress me. Though we won't see that until we realize what truly a practical vehicle is.
 

Moabite

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
Moab
State
UT
#22
WM69...I'm regularly on several off-road forums and that post is one of the best I've ever read. Spot on. "Wussification" is an appropriate term. It's surprising how many people I see on the trails hermetically sealed in their newer Jeeps...top on, windows rolled up tight, filtered and conditioned air, etc. They are missing a huge part of the outdoor experience...but at least they are out on a trail. On Wrangler Forum, I'm a regularly outspoken proponent of dropping the windshield. The reaction I get to that concept is sad. Most of those folks are afraid of getting a little dust on their faces...or in their vehicles.
 

wm69

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
God's Country
State
AR
#23
Wm69, I fear you are correct, as I have the same opinion about pickup trucks. As much as Id love to see things like a metal dash come back, I could live with something that looked like a CJ, and still had soccer mom features, similar to the TJ, only more CJ looking. Though even with that I wouldn't be entirely satisfied. You would have to start making true CJs again to impress me. Though we won't see that until we realize what truly a practical vehicle is.
I currently drive a 94 Accord with a 5 speed to work every day (30 miles each way). My truck is an 83 GMC with SM465 and manual windows and door locks. I would like to fix the A/C but it hasn't worked since the early 90's so I might get around to it one of these days....probably not. Have a couple of CJ-7's of course, and the Scrambler.

My ATV's are the last model Honda made that were air cooled and foot shifted. Same thing is happening in the ATV market; automatics with power steering, and I'm sure at some point soon we'll start seeing A/C on those too.

The biggest problems I have with all this "comfort" crap is ALL of it adds components that can and will break at some point and the COST of all this crap drives prices through the roof. We've become a nation of softies. Power steering on an ATV? That's just sad.
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#24
Personally, I lay blame on the "wussification" on lawyers at least equally, if not more so, than politicians. Sadly, it will never change unless we start penalizing frivolous lawsuits to get away from the "no fee unless you win" mentality in our litigious society. but I digress...

One thing stuck out to me in this thread and it's a common comment about the JK/JKU: that it's "too big".

I just found some JKU dimensions online:

173.4" long
73.9" wide

I just went and measured my Postal, which has NT Wagoneer axles and 12.5x35" Interco TrXuS MTs on steelie rims, I didn't get straightedges out to do it precisely, just eyeballed something pretty close:

~172" long
~72" wide

So, as Scrambler fans, does the "too big" argument actually hold any water? I don't think so. Many Scrambler (and Jeep folks in general) build much wider Jeeps than mine and those same axles (essentially) can go under JKs. On top of that, the JKU has none of the rear overhang of a Scrambler, so on a trail, it's actually much better in rear departure angle, only getting better as you lift it.

You can go off on a JKs looks, plastic bits, etc. and a crappy initial engine in the 3.8L with an equally crap automatic transmission, but size simply isn't a realistic complaint.

Most folks have wheeled with JKs and know full well that they have zero problem fitting on any trail. And no matter how much you hate on them they JUST SIMPLY WORK off road. They have their own Jeep quirks, like a too-weak front axle in the base D30 and even the Rubicon 44, bracketry issues, weak sector shafts in the steering box, death wobble, etc. but every CJ and Wrangler has had similar faults.

The body and frame see much better rust protection overall than the CJs and the body/seals fit and finish is much better. There's MILLIONS of them out there, so we're going to be neck deep in used JKs for decades **IF** the electronics hold up. That's a pretty big if, but (:fingerscrossed:) I'm running a 97 XJ ECU and engine wiring that's going strong almost 20 years later, so I fully expect to see wheeling JKs into 2030 and beyond.

What gets me about a lot of the JK hate is that whatever the JK (and the JL and whatever follows that) is or isn't has exactly zero to do with how much we love and enjoy our CJs. A lot of the time, it appears as if people were to say they appreciate a newer Jeep that it somehow means that they can't like the older Jeeps, and that mentality makes zero sense to me.

Do I like the JK better than my CJ? Absolutely not.

Can I appreciate the JK for what it is and state how much more capable a stock JKU is than a stock Scrambler was without feeling bad? Sure. I saw this first-hand last week in South Dakota.

BTW, you can't overlook that there was a side step option for the CJs that, when added, hung so low as to make off-road use almost impossible without incredible care, killing a TON of ground clearance. The JKs have no such thing, the side steps for them are more like rocker guards in design (though not in strength) in that they don't hurt ground clearance except up above the level of the bottom of the body on the sides.

I do wish that Jeep would make a "builder" model JK/JKU that got rid of everything that's not absolutely required to have a lower price point for folks to buy to build, but as a senior Jeep official told me directly when I asked about that possibility, "That would be great if we weren't selling $50k Wranglers as fast as we can make them."

There's my one real complaint with the JK/JKU and sure to be for the JL/JLU and upcoming pickup, they've moved them so freaking far up the price scale that normal folks can't buy one.

That brings us back to the fact that there's going to be HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of lightly used JK/JKUs out there for those folks who can't get new.

What a simple X model Pentastar JKU can do with a lunchbox rear locker, a spacer lift and 35s is simply INSANE. Drop 2-3k more for some choice upgrades and it gets silly how capable they'll become. Start with a Rubicon and it's even more true. You could find a soccer mom $15-$18k ('07-'10s around here are in this range) JKU, add a spacer lift and/or fenders, a set of low-option Dynatrac (or any axle supplier) 44s and used 37s/rims and have a completely stupid Jeep for under $30k that's completely daily drivable.

JKs aren't dying, I'd argue that we're about to see more of them hit the trails in the next decade than ever before, which hardly seems possible, but I totally see it coming.

I don't think anyone would say I don't love the Scramblers, CJs and FSJs, so I'm far from in love with the JKs, but I certainly still consider them Jeeps worthy of the Wrangler name. Just keep IFS away from them :eek:
 

Polarfire

Jeep Aficionado
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Columbia
State
MO
#25
I have to agree with BW. I'm not a big JK fan but I see how well they work and they can function much better as a daily driven "family" vehicle in today's world of regulations then a CJ ever could if they even could. Those with small kids that still need car seats can attest to that.

JK's and newer Jeeps like the Cherokee are the "gateway drug" for the younger generation to get into Jeeps. Before I was into the classic stuff I owned TJ's. As my Jeep habit matured my tastes evolved into a love for the old iron. But like BW said, I can still appreciate the new stuff and I can easily see my daughter driving a built JK when she is 16. Although I will still require it to be a manual!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G850A
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#26
... I can easily see my daughter driving a built JK when she is 16. Although I will still require it to be a manual!
I have a dream of finding a lower-mile late XJ somewhere crispy dry and flying in/road tripping home to get it with Laura for her first Jeep :fingerscrossed:
 

wm69

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
God's Country
State
AR
#27
I can easily see my daughter driving a built JK when she is 16. Although I will still require it to be a manual!
You don't love your daughter?:D

My two girls have already claimed which of the CJ's they want. Whether they will get them will be another matter entirely, but the fact that they want them, and laugh and point at newer "Jeeps" tells me that I have properly indoctrinated them.
 

AdamH

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Mt Holly
State
NC
#29
I've stated my stance on JKs quite a few times here so no need to bring it back up but I obviously agree with BW 1000%.

And the argument of soccer moms are the ones buying most of them - that most JKs wont see the trail. I consider that a win. Let's face it, my daughter's generation (she's 1.5 yrs old) wont have the luxury of looking up CJs on Craigslist and picking one up for cheap. 15 years from now CJs will be hard to come by that aren't outrageous in price or scrap metal. When she's old enough to drive the "newest" TJ/LJ she could buy would be over 25 yrs old. Realistically a JK will be in her ballpark and with all the ones being used as Mall Crawlers now, well that just means lots to choose from!

More than likely she will get a JK of mine but hopefully I have made my point ....... (by the way, I have owned 3 JKUs and now have a JK 2-door and am sure there will be more in the future)
 

wm69

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
God's Country
State
AR
#30
On the contrary, I would never want her driving a CJ at 16 as her daily driver because by then it will be worth more then all the used JK's!
Well you have that, which I've thought about, and the other side of it is the safety aspect.

Before the age of 10 I wanted a CJ. When I started getting up to driving age, Dad said I'd get a car as long as I kept my grades up, and asked what I would prefer. I said, of course, CJ. He said "I'm not buying you a CJ. You will roll it." Me, being the stubborn *** that I am, started scouting cotton at 15, saved some money, borrowed the rest, and bought my first '7 the summer before my senior year of high school. I had it for about a year and a half before....I rolled it. Was driving slow on gravel, fishtailed when I started right, then realized I needed to go left. Road grader had left a pile of gravel at the Y in the road, and my right rear wheel hit it. Rolled it back over, drove it home, but was luckily unhurt.

Soooo, aside from the "I don't want my 35 year old CJ ragged out by my teenager" I wonder how careful they will be. I learned a valuable lesson, but was lucky I wasn't hurt. My eldest is 12 now, so not too far in my future. The younger is the hellion so I've got a bit before she'll be behind the wheel.
 

gr8dain

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
SOA Member
City
Ashburn
State
VA
#31
This talk of daughters and JKs is what I am experiencing right now. My daughter is driving our JKU. My son won't touch it since only girls have them at his HS and is thus a "chick car". He wants classic muscle. But will my daughter go aggressive and hit the trails? Nope. I don't see it. Someone may get a used JKU in great condition in a few years. And I hope it is me. Then I will build it up and hit the trails.

I have been in JKUs on the trails and can testify that they are very capable.
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#33
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