Jump to content

How much does it cost to build a Jeep in the UK in 2022?


V

Recommended Posts

  • Platinum Member

I have been thinking about the cost of replacing my built XJs today and wondered what does it cost to build a Jeep in the UK now? I have two XJ Cherokees with different build specs, one a lot wilder than the other. From what Frosty said earlier in another thread, I reckon I could be looking at more than £60K on one and £25K on the other when factoring in labour charge for someone other than me doing the work.

 

Is a JK Rubicon still the best value by retaining a larger proportion of original parts when modifying up to 35" tyres?

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Platinum Member

If you are going to work this out, can you do two comparisons?
One with the labour charges and the other without.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Platinum Member
Black_box_jeep
6 minutes ago, V said:

I have been thinking about the cost of replacing my built XJs today and wondered what does it cost to build a Jeep in the UK now? I have two XJ Cherokees with different build specs, one a lot wilder than the other. From what Frosty said earlier in another thread, I reckon I could be looking at more than £60K on one and £25K on the other when factoring in labour charge for someone other than me doing the work.

 

Is a JK Rubicon still the best value by retaining a larger proportion of original parts when modifying up to 35" tyres?

Finding a good used stock JK Rubicon as a start point seems to be difficult at the minute. And anything good seems to be pricey compared to a JL rubicon due to the lower numbers of them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Platinum Member
18 minutes ago, JimC said:

If you are going to work this out, can you do two comparisons?
One with the labour charges and the other without.

 

Yes. I am going to work out both ways. It needs to be broken down into subsections, maybe also into stages.

 

I guess we need to start with a vehicle model and a specification. Is a 35" tyre JK still considered a reasonably high aim for the UK? If I was going to build another Jeep after my 93's refresh, I would do a solid axle swap with 35" tyres on a KJ or KK Liberty/Cherokee but I don't think that many would be interested in going in the same direction.

 

Is a 2007-2009 2.8CRD automatic JK Unlimited a reasonable bench mark? These appear to be the most common model of the affordable JK stock in the UK.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Platinum Member

I don't think the builds are documented entirely here. The info is scattered in snippets over the years in various posts. I have it all on my insurance proposal forms. I lost quite a lot of paperwork in a house flood in 2009. I have good records from that year onwards and a lot of digital records between 2000-2009. I am slowly getting to the point where I have collected digital versions of all of the product guides and manuals for the modifications on both Jeeps. Sadly, a lot of info on my incremental lifts on the '93 only exist in my memory now.

 

Fourpot has inspired me to do a better job of documenting my '93 XJ refresh which I am preparing to do in video.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Platinum Member
4 hours ago, V said:

 

Yes. I am going to work out both ways. It needs to be broken down into subsections, maybe also into stages.

 

I guess we need to start with a vehicle model and a specification. Is a 35" tyre JK still considered a reasonably high aim for the UK? If I was going to build another Jeep after my 93's refresh, I would do a solid axle swap with 35" tyres on a KJ or KK Liberty/Cherokee but I don't think that many would be interested in going in the same direction.

 

Is a 2007-2009 2.8CRD automatic JK Unlimited a reasonable bench mark? These appear to be the most common model of the affordable JK stock in the UK.

My 2010 2.8CRD JK runs 35s, I imported new axles from the US, a Dana 44 front and Dana 60 rear with 4.56 and ARBs, they seem spot on for me. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Platinum Member
8 hours ago, V said:

 

Yes. I am going to work out both ways. It needs to be broken down into subsections, maybe also into stages.

 

I guess we need to start with a vehicle model and a specification. Is a 35" tyre JK still considered a reasonably high aim for the UK? If I was going to build another Jeep after my 93's refresh, I would do a solid axle swap with 35" tyres on a KJ or KK Liberty/Cherokee but I don't think that many would be interested in going in the same direction.

 

Is a 2007-2009 2.8CRD automatic JK Unlimited a reasonable bench mark? These appear to be the most common model of the affordable JK stock in the UK.

same with me, i started off with a new 2007 JK diesel Sahara, then imported axles ( D44) form USA as new parts, but there are lots of used D44 axles available in USA, if you are going for a JK, get an early one, that is Sahara spec, some of the early sports didnt have the brake lock system, which is fantastic for rock crawling, and more effective than diff locks in some situations ( as you mentioned in another thread), also early ones were 4.10 ratio axles, in 2009 they went to 3.73. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Platinum Member
13 hours ago, 46stm said:

My 2010 2.8CRD JK runs 35s, I imported new axles from the US, a Dana 44 front and Dana 60 rear with 4.56 and ARBs, they seem spot on for me. 

Your rear D60 is probably good for 40" tyres, the front D44 is good for 37", a little more if it is a high pinion. I don't think most people will consider importing axles, but it certainly makes sense if you intend to keep the vehicle for a number of years.

 

I suppose that's the fundamental difference between my two XJ builds. The '93 was built first and my budget limited me to doing the best I could incrementally with the axles I had in the UK to get to a 33" tyre. The '01 started with a 35" tyre spec and the axles were chosen to fit the budget. This was tight doing an XJ and TJ at the same time. I regret, not breaking the budget to have high pinion D44 instead of the high pinion D30 with D44 shafts and hubs. I think most people in the UK will be modifying incrementally. Imported axles make a lot of sense if you are building a Jeep to a spec in one go for a number of years of enjoyment.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Platinum Member
1 hour ago, V said:

Your rear D60 is probably good for 40" tyres, the front D44 is good for 37", a little more if it is a high pinion. I don't think most people will consider importing axles, but it certainly makes sense if you intend to keep the vehicle for a number of years.

 

I suppose that's the fundamental difference between my two XJ builds. The '93 was built first and my budget limited me to doing the best I could incrementally with the axles I had in the UK to get to a 33" tyre. The '01 started with a 35" tyre spec and the axles were chosen to fit the budget. This was tight doing an XJ and TJ at the same time. I regret, not breaking the budget to have high pinion D44 instead of the high pinion D30 with D44 shafts and hubs. I think most people in the UK will be modifying incrementally. Imported axles make a lot of sense if you are building a Jeep to a spec in one go for a number of years of enjoyment.

 

Importing is a lot of hassle and expense, I did this around 2013, I specced the axles up myself, was a slight gamble going 4.56 but it was spot on. Had the ARBs installed at the same time so basically the axles could come here and be an instant bolt on replacement. I had them professionally fitted as I don't have a car lift. They cost me £11k from build to delivery, a big expense but to me it was worth it. 

Last outing was in November, got a JL Rubicon now on 35s so the JK and TJ are stored in my heated garage, lovely ornaments now 😂 all 3 do look pretty cool lined up though 😏

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Platinum Member

Are the JL axles further beefed up versus the JK ones?  I ask because I believe 37s get fitted to stock JL axles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Platinum Member

Yes and No.

 

Yes when:

The JL is a Rubicon or has a M210 front axle and a M220 rear axle. It will have 32 spline 1.41" diameter axle shafts.

 

No when:

It has a 27 spline M186 front axle and a 29 spline M200 rear axle.

M186 is as strong as a Dana 30, OK on 32", adequate on 33" with respect for the driveline.

M200 is as strong as a Chrysler 8.25". OK on 33", adequate on 35" with respect for the driveline.

 

It is likely that some JLs with 37" tyres have stock M186/M200 axles because those installing them don't really know what they are doing.

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Platinum Member

Assuming a starting point of a UK spec 2007 RHD JKU with 2.8CRD engine, auto transmission, JK D30 front axle, JK D44 rear axle.

 

RCV Performance front axle shafts cost $1339.95 in the USA. They are claimed to be twice as strong as the OEM axle shafts but the warranty is void if used with tyres larger than 35" diameter.

 

or

 

2 x USA Standard 4340 Chromoly replacement outer stub for Dana 30, Jeep JK

1 x 4340 Chromoly replacement Axle for Dana 30 JK right hand inner, 27spl

1 x 4340 Chromoly replacement Axle for Dana 30 JK left hand inner, 27spl

2 x 7166 u-joints

Usually $1026.89, on sale at $682.76 so you could buy a spare set and still have change from the cost of RCV. But with RCV, would you need the spare set when your original shafts can be used for get-me-home repairs.

 

Interestingly, the Randy's/Yukon/USA Standard warranty on axles is 5-years but the maximum tyre size for the warranty is 33" for the D30. The limiting factor here is the skinny 27-spline inners, ho-hum progress! The XJ, YJ, ZJ, TJ, LJ D30 can take 30-spline inners and outers from RCV and u-joint axle manufacturers. ARB and some Detroit/Eaton products support 30-spline D30 on the older Jeeps.

 

When you carry in your arms a stock 32" tyre on a JK Sahara alloy, and then afterwards lift a 37" tyre on a 17" alloy wheel, you will appreciate the difference in rotational mass. When you pull out a stock D30 axle shaft and see how skinny it is, you will appreciate why doing it right can cost a lot of money. Starting your build with a Rubicon, means you already have a 30-spline front locker, and can go up to 35-spline with an ARB. RCV Performance warranty on JK Rubicon D44 front axles is void over 40" tyres. Yukon u-joint axle warranty for a D44 is void over 35".

 

The freight weight of shipping RCV compared to ChroMo u-joint axles is the same. In the absence of 30-spline D30 shafts, if you want 35" tyres on a JKU with a D30, 27-spline RCV is the way to go. The original shafts can be used for a get-me-home emergency much like you would use a skinny emergency spare tyre on a car.

 

If you are starting with a 30-spline Rubicon, Yukon ChroMo u-joint axles are a good upgrade that provides increased strength and your old shafts can still be used as emergency spares. 

 

Another potential problem for some is the warranty on the differential. I doubt that Jeep's warranty will support tyres larger than what was on the type approval sticker. Not a problem for a 2007 JKU long out of warranty, but something to consider if your chosen differential has tyre size limit that is smaller than what you want to run.

 

Eaton's warranty is 12 months for 'normal operating conditions' - Does this include off road?

ARB warranty is 5 years and it is not a normal use part, it's a performance part.

OX warranty is 12 months and is tyre and horsepower specific.

Powertrax warranty is 2 years

Yukon Zip Locker is 6 years

 

If warranty is a concern for you, get it in writing before purchasing that your specification satisfies the warranty terms.

Edited by V
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Platinum Member
2 hours ago, frosty said:

as ever, great informative write up's Vince. 

+1 for that.  Cracking post @V.

Edited by UKTJ
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Platinum Member

One of the issues I have found with sourcing parts from the US is the cost and variability of shipping costs.  The same part from two different suppliers can cost 50% more in shipping if you pick one supplier.  And, indeed, many US sellers do not support shipping beyond Canada.  I have not tried using many sellers’ free shipping within 48 States and then using a freight forwarder, so not sure if that is any cheaper / more consistent.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Platinum Member
9 hours ago, UKTJ said:

I have not tried using many sellers’ free shipping within 48 States and then using a freight forwarder, so not sure if that is any cheaper / more consistent.

 

Check if the retailer already has an eBay account. I have used eBay global shipping programme (GSP) many times and asked sellers to use it in order to ship to me. I've not had any eBay seller decline yet. My Metra double DIN dashboard panel that I fitted last month arrived by eBay GSP. I like it because the items arrive undamaged and the customs charges are prepaid.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Platinum Member

Moving on to the rear axle and regearing. I am fairly certain that all UK spec JKUs have a D44 rear axle, as did all of the UK spec TJs. With 35" tyres, the necessity to install stronger chrome-moly axle shafts will be dictated by your driving style. From my own experience, the OEM shafts will be strong enough for those that don't beat on their Jeep. If you have a heavy right foot when driving off-road, like using lots of revs when you get stuck, ChroMo axles would be a worthwhile enhancement. The OEM shafts will be useful as emergency spares.

 

For a Rubicon, your rear axle is 35" tyre ready if you are happy with 4.11 gears.

 

For other JKUs. If you like your OEM Limited Slip Differential (LSD) and you are not regearing your axles at this point, then stick with it until you get fed up with the poor fuel economy and performance. If you are regearing to 4.56 or 4.88, then it is time to choose a traction aid. If your current axle gear ratio is numerically smaller than 3.92 you will need a new differential carrier to go higher. If your Jeep already has 4.11 gears, you can just change the ring and pinion to 4.56 or more.

 

Remember, when regearing you have to do both front and rear axles at the same time. If you can only afford to do one axle at a time, you could drive in 2wd until you do. I think it is worth waiting to do the tyre change and both regears together. This may also be when you install a lift kit or a bigger lift kit. If you have to do one axle before the other, regear the rear axle first and remove the front propshaft. Tie a string and card parcel tag to your 4wd shift lever that explains that your front propshaft has been removed until matching 4.56 gears are installed in the front axle. When you regear the front axle, the front propshaft can be refitted. I have no idea what construction and use law would be broken (if any), if it would fail an MoT, or if your insurer would void your insurance in a claim. All* my Jeeps have had both axles regeared when bigger tyres were fitted and my insurer was notified before the change.

 

*UK Customs lost a pair of my TrueTracs at the freight airport after clearing customs. I had to wait for replacements to arrive but went ahead and installed the lift kit and tyres on the weekend that I had rented a two post lift in a workshop. Driving on 33" tyres on 3.55 gears for a few weeks is awful. I wouldn't do it again.

 

Sorry, ran out of time tonight to get prices for parts. Feel free to add them before me. Next week I will cover lift kits. Primarily those available from UK suppliers.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Platinum Member

Rubicon JKs had a Dana 44 but the rest had a Dana 35 with 3.73 or 3.21 axle ratio. I ran 35"s on a Dana 35 with 3.73 for a month, man was it better when I changed to a Dana 60 with a 4.56 ratio. Shouldn't snap the half shafts now 😉 snapped one clean in half on a WG running just over 32" tyres, now that made a noise as I drove out of the French mountains to somewhere flat where I could remove it. Then drove home with it all dismantled.... Will have to find the photos. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Platinum Member
29 minutes ago, 46stm said:

Rubicon JKs had a Dana 44 but the rest had a Dana 35 with 3.73 or 3.21 axle ratio. I ran 35"s on a Dana 35 with 3.73 for a month, man was it better when I changed to a Dana 60 with a 4.56 ratio. Shouldn't snap the half shafts now 😉 snapped one clean in half on a WG running just over 32" tyres, now that made a noise as I drove out of the French mountains to somewhere flat where I could remove it. Then drove home with it all dismantled.... Will have to find the photos. 

Actually I think I'm wrong, most did have a 44..... But ratios was correct. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Platinum Member
On 31/03/2022 at 18:23, V said:

Yes when:

The JL is a Rubicon or has a M210 front axle and a M220 rear axle. It will have 32 spline 1.41" diameter axle shafts…

Thinking about this a bit more, a JL Rubicon can go straight 37s with nothing more than the necessary amount of lift.  I guess that ties in, I have now seen Buzz do a package with a 2.5” lift and 37s

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Platinum Member

Just think for a minute on the economy of scale. If Jeep had decided to equip EVERY JL made from the beginning with the M210/M220 with 32-spline shafts. If the only axle variation that the Rubicon had was selectable e-lockers and all other models had Truetracs instead of open. I am sure there would be a much bigger modified Jeep community than there is now.

 

If Jeep under Renault ownership had put a high pinion D44 in the front of the XJ and a D44 in the rear as standard, all MJ, YJ, ZJ/ZG, TJ, WJ/WG, KJ, LJ would have also been D44. The D44 would have been prolific worldwide. The lost economy of scale that Jeep would have benefited from by standardising on the D44 back in 1984 is staggering. But it is not something that any executive will get sacked over. Imagine what the Jeep modified community would be like now if for the last 38 years, Jeeps under 2.5 tons had been fitted only with D44 axles. I reckon there have been millions of dollars of lost opportunities to up sell Mopar lift kits, tyre and gearing packages on brand new vehicle sales.

 

I really dislike bean counters that cannot see the big picture and only think of the short term share holder gains and not the long term gains for the brand and the customer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Platinum Member
58 minutes ago, V said:

Just think for a minute on the economy of scale. If Jeep had decided to equip EVERY JL made from the beginning with the M210/M220 with 32-spline shafts. If the only axle variation that the Rubicon had was selectable e-lockers and all other models had Truetracs instead of open. I am sure there would be a much bigger modified Jeep community than there is now.

 

If Jeep under Renault ownership had put a high pinion D44 in the front of the XJ and a D44 in the rear as standard, all MJ, YJ, ZJ/ZG, TJ, WJ/WG, KJ, LJ would have also been D44. The D44 would have been prolific worldwide. The lost economy of scale that Jeep would have benefited from by standardising on the D44 back in 1984 is staggering. But it is not something that any executive will get sacked over. Imagine what the Jeep modified community would be like now if for the last 38 years, Jeeps under 2.5 tons had been fitted only with D44 axles. I reckon there have been millions of dollars of lost opportunities to up sell Mopar lift kits, tyre and gearing packages on brand new vehicle sales.

 

I really dislike bean counters that cannot see the big picture and only think of the short term share holder gains and not the long term gains for the brand and the customer.

In defence of bean counters, when I was one at Ford many years ago I tried to have the top of the range alloy wheel standardised across the Fiesta range.  At the time the volume increase and complexity reduction would have meant that was cheaper overall than using the many different steel wheels with trims and alloy wheels across the model range in Europe.  It was the marketing people that vetoed that as they wanted to maintain the differentiation between the different models to justify the price premium.  Since those days the list of available options on new cars looks to have shrunk significantly and many are in a small number of 'packages'.  That makes sense to me, complexity was always a big driver of cost when I was in the car business.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Platinum Member
2 hours ago, UKTJ said:

In defence of bean counters, when I was one at Ford many years ago I tried to have the top of the range alloy wheel standardised across the Fiesta range.

 

Well done! I'm sure you were one of the bean counters that got on well with engineering. As a previous XR2 Mk1 owner, thank you.

 

I don't think Renault could have predicted how successful the XJ would be during it's production run and how long it has hung on 21 years afterwards. I realise the commercial pressure to ensure profitability will always mean that someone somewhere is always looking for cost reductions, but if that person is not looking at the big picture they can make a small change that has much bigger consequences down the line.

 

I also realise that marketing people need to create differences in a model line up to justify a range of prices and the perception of value amongst buyers. I don't know what the pressure factors where at Jeep since the 1980's be it marketing and bean counters. From an enthusiasts perspective, they made a lot of poor component decisions between them. This must be especially visible to the insiders that know that the TJ Rubicon concept had to fight every step of the way to make it to production.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Platinum Member
9 minutes ago, V said:

 

Well done! I'm sure you were one of the bean counters that got on well with engineering. As a previous XR2 Mk1 owner, thank you.

 

I don't think Renault could have predicted how successful the XJ would be during it's production run and how long it has hung on 21 years afterwards. I realise the commercial pressure to ensure profitability will always mean that someone somewhere is always looking for cost reductions, but if that person is not looking at the big picture they can make a small change that has much bigger consequences down the line.

 

I also realise that marketing people need to create differences in a model line up to justify a range of prices and the perception of value amongst buyers. I don't know what the pressure factors where at Jeep since the 1980's be it marketing and bean counters. From an enthusiasts perspective, they made a lot of poor component decisions between them. This must be especially visible to the insiders that know that the TJ Rubicon concept had to fight every step of the way to make it to production.

 

It is usually the old story, 'what gets measured, gets done'.  When I worked on the development of the Mondeo pre launch, at one point we were tasked with finding ways to get $200 out of the avergae build cost.  There was very little if any focus from the finance team on anything other than getting the cost of building them down.  There were countless battles with engineering when it came to questions of part longevity, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

guidelines