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WranglerWrangler Changes For 2003
Posted by mike on 2002/9/11 0:00:00 (1039) reads

Find out what's new with the 2003 Wrangler

The Rubicon name isn't just for a Class 10 off-road trail anymore - it's also what the Jeep brand is calling their limited production, ultimate off-road rig. The new 2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is engineered to take on the most demanding trails, including those previously reserved for only highly modified vehicles.

"The 2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon features an off-road performance package, as only Jeep can engineer, allowing serious off-road enthusiasts the opportunity to drive over some of the most extreme trails in the country, and then drive it home," said Craig Love, Vice President - Jeep Product Team, DaimlerChrysler Corporation.

While beefy off-road tires and diamond plate sill protectors hint at the tremendous capability of Wrangler Rubicon, the underpinnings make it worthy of the Rubicon name. In response to the demands of hardcore off-road enthusiasts, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon model features locking front and rear differentials, front and rear Dana model 44 axles and a 4:1 low-range transfer case.

Jeep Engineered Off-Road Model

The new Wrangler Rubicon features Tru-LokTM locking differentials that can be driver-actuated when the transfer case is in low range with vehicle speed below 10 miles per hour. A dash-mounted rocker switch allows the driver to lock the rear axle and toggle the front axle locker on and off for improved maneuvering. When engaged, this feature mechanically locks the axle shafts together to drive all four wheels at the same speed. When unlocked, the rear axle has a torque-sensing limited-slip feature to provide better traction and handling on-road. Dana model 44 axles with 4.10:1 ratios front and rear provide the durability and strength needed for extreme off-road driving.

"This combination of what would typically be aftermarket hardware provides tremendous off-road capability to give our enthusiast owners a rig that is ready for their favorite trails, right out of the box," added Love.

The Rock-Trac

TM transfer case with 4:1 low range slows vehicle speed to give the driver more control and increases the amount of torque available at the wheels. This fixed-output NV241 Off-Road transfer case was engineered specifically for the Wrangler Rubicon to meet the demanding durability requirements of an intense off-road vehicle. For the same reason, this model also includes heavy-duty driveshafts with 1330 universal joints.

Goodyear Wrangler "Maximum Traction/Reinforced" 31-inch tall tires feature a beefy tread pattern that wraps around the sidewall to help grab ledges along the trail. This state-of-the-art off-road tire includes a three-ply sidewall and advanced silica compound for excellent durability and puncture resistance. The new tread pattern provides increased tread stiffness and uniform tread wear. The largest tires offered from the factory on Wrangler, these LT245/75R16 tires add an extra half-inch of ground clearance over the 30-inch tires.

Unique Exterior Appearance

The Jeep Wrangler Rubicon features unique exterior design cues and will be available in all 10 Wrangler exterior colors. Reminiscent of legendary Jeep vehicles, a "Rubicon" graphic is prominently placed on each side of the hood. Heavy gauge diamond plate sill guards are bolted to the bodyside to protect rocker panels from damage in off-road situations. And new 16-inch, five-spoke aluminum wheels are designed with a dished face to protect the wheel from off-road obstacles.

2003 Wranglers Feature New Powertrain Choices

For 2003, an all-new 42RLE four-speed automatic transmission debuts on Jeep Wrangler. Offered on all models, this smoother-shifting transmission provides better highway fuel efficiency and quieter engine operation at highway speeds compared to the previous three-speed automatic transmission. In addition to the standard fuel tank and transfer case skid plates, a new automatic transmission skid plate provides additional off-road protection.

New for Jeep Wrangler SE is an NV1500 five-speed heavy-duty transmission. Also used on Jeep Liberty, this transmission gives Wrangler a synchronized reverse gear and improved shift quality in cold weather.

Offering significantly more horsepower and torque, Jeep Liberty's 2.4-liter Power TechTM I-4 replaces the 2.5-liter I-4 as the standard engine on 2003 Jeep Wrangler SE models. This 2.4-liter engine provides an estimated 150 horsepower (112 kW) at 5,200 rpm and 165 lb.-ft. (224 Nm) of torque at 4,000 rpm, representing a 25-percent increase in horsepower and an 18-percent increase in torque. This increased power and torque is achieved through the use of aluminum cross-flow cylinder heads, dual overhead cams and a four-valve-per-cylinder design. The new 2.4-liter engine is quieter, more fuel-efficient and engineered for longer life and ease of maintenance. It also meets NLEV (National Low Emission Vehicle) standards.

The Jeep Wrangler X, Sport, Sahara and Rubicon models feature as standard the 4.0-liter Power Tech I-6 mated to a five-speed manual transmission. Also available with the new 42RLE four-speed automatic transmission, the 4.0-liter engine is rated at 190 horsepower (142 kW) at 4,600 rpm and 235 lb.-ft. (319 Nm) of torque at 3,200 rpm.

Enhanced, Comprehensive Safety System

New for 2003, available four-wheel disc brakes give Jeep Wrangler better brake feel on-road, with decreased stopping distance and reduced brake fade. Off-road, four-wheel disc brakes are self-cleaning.

A new fold-and-tumble rear seat can be more easily removed. Jeep Wrangler's rear seats are equipped with the LATCH (Lower Anchors and upper Tethers for CHildren) system in 2003 for mounting the new generation of aftermarket infant child seats. With the LATCH system, child seats attach directly to the structure of the rear seat, so they are easier to install.

Safety features standard on all Jeep Wranglers include next-generation air bags, a driver's side constant force retractor, self-adjusting low-tension three-point belts, height-adjustable shoulder belts, and new for 2003, energy-absorbing foam is added to the sport bar and new trim is added around the windshield and on the back of the hard top.

All-New Interior Offers a New Level of Refinement

An all-new interior gives Jeep Wrangler several interior refinements, while still preserving the true essence of the Jeep brand icon.

New front seats on Jeep Wrangler offer an additional 20 millimeters of rearward travel, allowing taller drivers to sit a more comfortable distance from the steering wheel. Taller seat backs provide a more comfortable ride, with a lever on the side of the front passenger seat for easier access to the rear.

In addition to new front and rear seats, the 2003 Jeep Wrangler features:

New interior electrochromic rearview mirror with map lights, temperature and compass display standard on Sahara, optional on Sport and Rubicon models

New four-spoke steering wheel

Additional power outlet on the dash

Replacing the optional sound bar, new standard corner pods located just behind the b-pillar on both sides of the vehicle house interior lamps, providing theater lighting and optional speakers

Dark Slate or Khaki interior

For 2003, Jeep Wrangler is offered in four new exterior colors - Bright Silver Metallic, Inca Gold Pearl Coat, Intense Blue Pearl Coat and Light Khaki Metallic. Dark Khaki replaces Tan on the new three-ply soft-top, that retains the quiet features of the previous four-ply top, while being easier to operate. Sport and Sahara models feature new badging. A new exterior mirror design reduces vibration, while increasing stability and durability.

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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Scott
here is my comment
In case anyone wants to know the cut off date for ordering a Rubican was Oct. 11, 2002. If you haven't put your order in you've got problems. You're gonna have to find one on the lot.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Rubicon on order
It must be a goof, but it's on the Jeep.com website under 2003 preview. If you click on build your own it lists it as a 4.0L V6. Thanks for the reply Rubicon owner.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: RUBICON OWNER
My Rubicon has the straight 6, so someone has been mis-informed. Also, there's a Rubicon on ebay for a starting bid of $29,500!!


(OIIIIIII0)

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Rubicon on order
I've had my Rubicon on order for a couple of months now. I've not been informed about the V6 change and when I talk to Chrysler they did not indicate the change. Of course I did'nt specifically ask them, but now I will. I also makes me a little mad that someone bought one off the dealers lot before my already sold unit was built. Hmmmmmmmm..........

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Scott
The four speed automatic is a really nice
option. However, I do not understand why it
only gets 16 mpg city and 19 mpg highway.
My 2001 Sport with the 3 speed auto gets 15
and 17. I expected more than a 2 mpg gain.
Also, the rear drive shaft gets even shorter
with the 4 speed, so lifting these Jeeps may
lead to severe vibrations.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Mr. Natural
I had a deposit for the first Rubicon at a dealer in the San Francisco Bay area, and was told they would arrive by the end of Sept. When that came, they told me the end of Oct. I started searching the 'net and found one in LA and purchased it for MSRP from the fleet sales dealer. It does have the inline six, I don't know who heard they were substituting the V6. I've heard rumors that DC has suspended production of Rubicons, although I cannot get confirmation none of the dealers here in the bay area have any Rubicons yet...something strange going on. It is far more capable than my old '77 CJ, yet is comfortable easy to drive. Good work DC! (I'm still amazed an American car company actually built a vehicle with improved performance instead of a "stripes and spoiler" cosmetic package).

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Jon E.
thanks everyone for your input.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: OMFG
Did anyone see the new 4 Runner? HAHAHAHHAHAHA, and you though Jeep ruined the Cherokee with the Liberty!!! To think the 4runner used to be one of my dream vehicles!!! Oh my god Toyota sucks so bad these days!!!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Rubicon on order
It must be a goof, but it's on the Jeep.com website under 2003 preview. If you click on build your own it lists it as a 4.0L V6. Thanks for the reply Rubicon owner.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: RUBICON OWNER
My Rubicon has the straight 6, so someone has been mis-informed. Also, there's a Rubicon on ebay for a starting bid of $29,500!!


(OIIIIIII0)

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Gary
Good catch Jon E., but Jeep does not make a 4.0 Liter V6. The V6 in a Liberty is a 3.8. I find that many people think that all 6 cylinders are v6's (look at any classified ads for Jeeps and you'll see what I mean-these people must never look under the hood), unfortunately some of them now work for DC. Everything else I've seen, including this article, say that the six is straight. It just shows that DC has resorted to hiring idiots that don't understand vehicles and especially Jeep buyers.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Jon E.
i just got off the official jeep website and i have bad news. people that already own the rubicon already know this, but for those of you who dont, DC put in the V6. that means the only way you can get the I-6 is through the grand cherokee, and im sure that ones going the way of the dodo as well. if this is an issue of gas milage, i will hate DC if anyone knows why they made the switch post somthing.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: RUBICON OWNER
I can now say I'm the proud owner of a 2003 Rubicon. It's Shale Green with the Dark Khaki top. I wonder if anyone else has one yet??? It was the first one to show up in my area. I'm in Pittsburgh, PA. Yep...I got robbed, but ya only live once!! It didn't help that I was trading in a 2001 TJ. It hasn't been in the mud yet (Just got it on Saturday). The ride is about the same as my other Jeeps. I'm not too fond of the new seats, because they limit your visibility. Anyways, the Jeep looks awesome with the new rims and the mud tires!!!!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: rich
I checked out a new Rubicon. Nice vehicle!
Of course it had a sticker of $28 grand!
I did wonder if I could retro fit the excellent new seats in my 2000 TJ........
The old TJ fold and tumble sucks, and the buckets
wiggle ...

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Tim
here is my comment
Ordered one last week. I'll let ya' know.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Jon E.
this new TJ rocks!!!! i dont like the new steering wheel though because i dont like broken fingers when offroading

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: dana300
Drove it twice at Camp Jeep.....whatta vehicle....makes rockcrawling a walk in the park !!!! I want that powertrain for my CJ !!!!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Lenny Nichols
I want a Rubicon!b
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