Bought or Built it changing? Is it "Wrong"? - Jeep Wrangler Forum

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Old 01-08-2012, 12:36 PM
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Bought or Built it changing? Is it "Wrong"?

I know a lot of people like to "wrench"/ "build" their Jeeps---and some even turn them into "Rigs".

I also have seen the saying "built not bought", and it makes me think, is there something "wrong" with buying or paying for a Jeep the way you want it?

We almost all put the Rubi's among the best of the best off the shelf, but how many of us NEED lockers on a regular basis? And if we do we can add them right? and than we are building our own "Rig or Jeep" the way we want it. SO if we pay a pro to install those lockers, add the suspension lift, change the bumpers are we buying it or did we build it? Does it matter if it a after-maket or factory set up?

If your Jeep has to have been modified by you to be "worthy" of anything than I guess you should start with a Jeep frame and build from there??

I do understand and very much respect those how enjoy wrenching on their Jeep. Who "customize" switching in different axles/split transfer cases/ and who hark back to the days of old when you couldn't "buy most anything "off the shelf" if you had enough money--who truly do fabricate build and make something you can't buy off the shelf. There are turbos, superchargers Hemis V8 conversions etc. How many of the people who call themselves "Jeepers" have the skill, knowledge, know how, time and inclination to truly "BUILD" their rigs?

I will be honest, I wish I had those skills, the time and bank account to do that. I don't and I know I don't. I prefer "seat time" to "wrench time". I enjoy helping out other Jeepers when I am able to and time allows, but for me it is about the USING of my JEEPS not the working on them.

I will do basic things that I am comfortable with (fluids, filters, lights etc.) but I won't be pulling a motor or swapping a tranny "in my spare time". I will let a "reputable" professional do it so I know that I have the best chance of it being done correctly.

To me it is almost like tires we all switch out tires rims etc. How many of us have the equipment to do it in our garage? SO did you "BUID IT" or "BUY IT".

Rant over thanks.
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Old 01-08-2012, 02:07 PM   #2
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My rig is only customized to the point that it has different wheels/tires and a small lift. It was on there when I purchased it (used) and is part of what drew me toward this particular Jeep. I am on a limited budget and had I bought a stock Jeep, it would still be stock at this point in time. I think owning one that fits your needs and looks they way you like is the point, not everyone can afford to buy then immediately change everything. Just don't claim someone elses work as your own.

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Old 01-08-2012, 02:30 PM   #3
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I bought mine almost exactly the way I wanted it.. Its fully modified with gears, lockers, 6" suspension, on and on. BUT, I am comfortable with everything on it,
I can tear down rebuild anything on the jeep so I'm sure as much as I play with my bought Jeep, I will have plenty of wrench time with it.
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Old 01-08-2012, 02:31 PM   #4
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I consider myself one of the ones that have built my jeep. There are more bolts that I have turned on my jeep than ones that have been untouched. I pride myself on being able to do what I can and do what I have. I am currently finishing up my SOA and SYE and Ford 8.8 swap on my YJ. I also swapped out my 2.5L for a 4.0L and just cut and welded the factory engine mounts to fit. I built a roof rack for scratch on my jeep. I absolutely love it and am proud of my scars and tears to make it what it is today. The reason I have done it this way though is I am not one that can afford a shop to pay to have it done or buy all the parts I want. If I had the money to spend and let someone else bust their knuckles I would in a heart beat. I don't hate on the people that buy their Jeeps built or pay to have someone build them. It's your jeep and you make it how you want it. You can either pay for it with a busted knuckle or a busted wallet your choice. Just get out and ride. Sorry for the rant
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Old 01-08-2012, 02:34 PM   #5
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"Built not bought" means different things to different people.

Some don't believe a rig is built if it is modified with all bolt on stuff. That is where the term Wallet Wheeler came from.

This ought to be a fun thread!
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Old 01-08-2012, 02:36 PM   #6
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When the Rubi first came out- that's all I heard.
Jeeper? I've driven nothing but jeeps so even if I did not modify-I still consider myself one.
I bought my Rubi used so I still have money to spend on modifications.
Just because it's a Rubicon, there is still room to grow/build-modify to our liking.
$35k really is not expensive for what you get out of the box.
For me though-
I wanted the lower 4.10 gears.
Bought my Tj 10 yrs ago new for the same price. Those 3.07's were pitiful when I upgraded to 32's.
But coming from the Tj side I know what they think of the newer jeeps.
Some of these guys spent 20-30k on their rigs and when they see a loaded shiny Rubicon- with a smiling yuppy sitting In the drivers seat in his first jeep
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Old 01-08-2012, 02:41 PM   #7
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The bigger difference is that by wrenching on them you understand how things work and are supposed to look. When the day comes (God forbid) that you bend or break something on a trail. AAA isn't going to tow your butt out. They'll pick you up once you get back to a trailhead. So if you can't understand what's wrong and how to either bandaid it or fix it to get home you're up a creek without the proverbial paddle.
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Old 01-08-2012, 03:05 PM   #8

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I have the knowlegde & ability to repair/replace/upgrade anything on my Jeep.What I dont have the ability or equipment to do Is to make parts.On my Mustang I pulled the engine & totally rebuilt it.While I didnt & cant bore the cylinders or grind the crank or make the bearings in it I consider that I BUILT the engine.

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Old 01-08-2012, 04:36 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by whiteyj View Post
The bigger difference is that by wrenching on them you understand how things work and are supposed to look. When the day comes (God forbid) that you bend or break something on a trail. AAA isn't going to tow your butt out. They'll pick you up once you get back to a trailhead. So if you can't understand what's wrong and how to either bandaid it or fix it to get home you're up a creek without the proverbial paddle.

I think that's the most important part of built, not bought. People who throw money at a shop or professional to do all the work for them are going to be severely unprepared and in for a shock when the inevitable happens on the trail. "Building" your rig yourself will ready you for whatever may happen out there.
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Haha, just don't let Mitch teach you how to wheel, he is really scary
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Old 01-08-2012, 04:43 PM   #10
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There is nothing wrong at all with buying over building. Economically it the right decision. Very, very rarely do you get your $$ back out of building something.

I enjoy seat time but I also enjoy working on mine. It comes down to what kind of person you are, how much $ you want to spend, how much time you have. A lot of people are on budgets these day and you can't build a rig on a least not quick. Doesn't take long to spend $300 or $400 in a month and that payment would cover most jeeps out there.

I built mine...a few times to be honest. I've had help and I've done stuff right and wrong along the way but that doesn't make my rig any better than someone that buys there.

I would say if there is someone giving you a hard time about this issue (i don't know your situation) just let it go in 1 ear and out the other. Many times those people don't really build them either...their daddy's do.

But I also would do my best to research and understand how things work. Learn what you can, when you can. At least understand the basics. Mechanical skills go a lot further than just with jeeps.
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:11 PM   #11
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I've done engine swaps and installed my own lockers before.

Nowadays, given the opportunity, I'll let someone else pay retail if I can. Based on my past experience I better know what I'm looking at. There is no shame in saving a buck. However, I do feel it's dangerous to try to let your wallet purchase experience.
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:27 PM   #12
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I guess I'm kind of in the middle of the "built or bought" road. A few months ago when I decided I needed a new Jeep I headed to the dealer. As I was looking I found a beautiful '07 JKU already lifted with 33" tires (this is the bought part). Every other mod, repair, oil change, etc. has been done by me and I LOVE doing it.

If someone has the money and wants someone else to modify their rig, well that's up to them.

I get the satisfaction of working on my own Jeep and I know it's done right!
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:23 PM   #13
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The beauty of a Wrangler is that they are simple enough mechanically that you usually can DIY if you choose.

BUT, wrenching takes knowledge,time,tools,space and some experience if you are going to do it safely and correctly.

I've been working on cars for decades, and I still often come across problems that I have to get help with, either because time is a factor, I don't have a specific tool I need, or I just don't know how to fix it the right way.

I have a friend who can build anything, but he lives in an apartment and has to take his stuff to a shop for bigger jobs, including just changing a tire.

And we all know the "shade tree fixer" that gets stranded or even hurt, because they tried to wrench on something and did it wrong.

There is never any shame in getting help or paying someone to do it, regardless of what the "Build it" guys say.

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