I know, I know I deserve to be shot
.. but hear me out and btw this is a post seeking a frank opinion..I am a Jeep lover.
So my first 4wd was an xj which I bought for 4k then spent about 10k on it to make it a great off roader. This included RE lift kit, flares, lockers, chromoly axle upgrade, JCR bullbar, steelies, discos, rock sliders. I was running MJ Thompson 33s on it till I got stuck in a water pit and drowned the jeep. Whenever I was out wheeling I had to keep an eye on the temp gauge and I was ALWAYS wary of my axle even with axle upgrades. The xj still had plenty of grunt but never felt planted when on the road.
Then I started looking at JKUs. The cheapest at that point was 25k which was more coin than I wanted to spend on a toy meant for bush bashing so I picked up a stock petrol GU for 10k since they hold their value..I said to myself I will keep all the bits I take off it and when the time comes to sell..I will put all the original stuff back in and sell whatever upgrades I buy. The
GU came with factory installed locker, leather seats and sunroof
So I got a used ARB bullbar from the wreckers for 300, a 2.5 inch lift kit from ebay for 700 , 5 35 inch MT Tyres plus steelies for 1800 and a snorkel from ebay for 70. I installed everything myself. While working on the patrol I noticed how much easier it was to work in the engine bay because of the space unlike the tightly packed xj. I noticed how thick the body sheet metal was compared to the xj. I noticed that the driveline looked like it came off a truck and how the 35s fitted with 2.5 inch lift with nothing else needed..no cutting no flares and no rub . And I noticed how the whole thing felt like a truck on the road too .Slow but solid.
The GU is extremely spacious but that doesnt matter to me. So all up it cost about less than the XJ after upgrades. Now here is the thing..offroad it can do everything the XJ could except where the space is tight, a tight turning radius or a steep climb without a runup. It does not have the same wheel travel as the discoed XJ but the XJs wheel travel also caused wheel rub even with chopped fenders. I do not think twice about bashing the GU on rocks or hammering the accelerator anywhere at anytime. On road it feels much more planted than the XJ ever did. I wheel the thin g like I intend to destroy it and after 3 years I have not had a single leak or fault. But everyone has a patrol, it is very common and it looks like a school bus as compared to a customised Wrangler.
So now the JKUs are more reasonably priced and I was looking at them but I cannot help but wonder whether it is worth it. Aftermarket scene is massive but then wreckers do not have after market stuff. Even if I get a stock rubicon at 20k, to run 35s I still need 2k and then to make it look good ..
. And even in a Rubicon, will I be able to trust the d44 , will I get an oil leak somewhere, will I be able to trust the stock ball joints ..I dont know and with the Jeep I will buy a lot of spares.
Because it is a jeep thing, inspite of all this I will still buy a JKU and pimp the crap out of it till I end up with a second mortgage . It has always been the JKU or XJ for me and it always will ..I dont like the looks of anything else barring a Defender
In my honest opinion as far as reliability, capability per dollar, availability of spares and value goes..In Australia I would have to say a used Patrol is a better buy for a bush basher than any Jeep. Having said that, I have never owned a JK before so would love to hear from someone who has owned a Patrol and a JK