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Old 07-07-2011, 06:57 PM   #1
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How did you prioritize your upgrades ?

Picture yourself in a town where you were surrounded by fishing and camping and almost no traffic lights. You had just bought a used JK U and were given a 200 a week budget to get it less boring for you and your son (and wife and daughter too...but more the boys...) to go have fun. No rock crawling. No major mudding. Just mainly on the road and occasional trails, and very snowy winters.

Do you focus on the wheels first? Or do you get the lower hanging fruit like interior and exterior upgrades such as replacement tubes, fenders, flares, etc.

I am overwhelmed by what I COULD do but need to start somewhere.

I'd hate to go buy new tires and then see that I should have lifted it first, or buy tubes and find out that the tires I bought won't fit without cutting the tubes.

Just do it does not work for me, I'm over analyzing the inevitable , I am going to spend lots on this, and I'm cool with it, but how do YOU start your list?

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Old 07-07-2011, 07:01 PM   #2
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plan plan plan.

sit down and write out every thing you think you want in the next 2 years or so.

for you i would start with a set of flat fenders then a good set of 33in tires and wheels (no need or a lift). get some armor Posion spider rockers are a very good choice ect. try not to buy anything twice aka tires do it once and be done.

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Old 07-07-2011, 07:05 PM   #3
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plan plan plan.

sit down and write out every thing you think you want in the next 2 years or so.
Great advice.

Looking at the list of what you want would make it easier to plan ahead and not have to redo any of the modifications later on.
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:05 PM   #4
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I would have done lift and tires first. During my similar confusion, that is what gave me the biggest amount of satisfaction, to have my TJ finally looking like a Jeep.
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:06 PM   #5
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If you want bigger tires, some sort of lift will have to come first or at the same time.

In my case, I upgraded bumpers first. I bought used and it had some amount of lift, but the car dealer didn't know. It had 31" tires. I upgraded the rear bumper to get the larger spare off the tailgate. Then I got a front bumper and winch. Then I bought 33" tires because it looked like they would fit. They did. Then I finally got the lift. Eventually it will be upgraded axle(s), regearing and 35" tires. Maybe flat/tube fenders of some kind. By then I'm sure I'll need some engine mods too.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:23 PM   #6
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That there is as far as I want to go as a visual guide. I know nothing about the parts beyond what I read here or on their site, but that is the look I am shooting for. Not the pretty blond with the sign. Yes, there is a jeep in that picture from what I am being told.

I'd however swap out my fenders with bushwhackers and go black rims.

What is the easiest thing to do first ?
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:30 PM   #7
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You can do a budget boost with suspension spacers, since your not doing any hardcore offroading.
Then rims and tires at the same time.
The rest would just be for appearance after that.
mabye some lights, fenders, bumpers, possibly winch.
Thats what i would do.

I dont know how much a budget boost (bb) is for a jk wrangler but i know for tj's they can be around 500.
so you should be able to get a lift pretty soon if thats what you do.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:30 PM   #8
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I went with the rescue gear and armor first, shovel, fire extinguisher, tow straps, new bumpers with shackles and winch, stinger, front skid plate and evaporator skid plate. picked up a set of stock 255/75/17s cheap, better than the stock 225/75/16s it came with. Tires will come when these need replacement by then I should have a better idea of whats best for my area and applications. Wired up a set of off road lights.

I have some concerns about security, the next stuff will be an under seat lock box and the Tuffy Security Deck.

I'll drive it and use it for a while then decide on what I want for suspension upgrades, maybe a slight lift/leveling, if needed for the wheel tire combo I decide on.

For the moment I'm good, I would like to put some fog lamps in the empty fog lamp holes in my Rugged Ridge XHD bumper but haven't made any decision on what to install yet and I'm in no particular hurry.
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:05 PM   #9
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Great advice.

Looking at the list of what you want would make it easier to plan ahead and not have to redo any of the modifications later on.
Hopefully the pic gives you an idea of what I was getting at.

Lift is not important to me, but in the same breath, I might need it to go bigger than my 18x32s. Being a jeeper is going to be expensive, and I'm not even scratching the surface.


Comfort for the kids (childproof/spider screen)
Build a frame to store the freedom top outside for summer
Bigger tires on stock OR smaller black powder coat
Replace the stock side step or remove completely
Lights
Bumpers


That's all I got. Lol
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:40 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by DonC72
Lift is not important to me, . . .

Replace the stock side step or remove completely
. . .
Bumpers
If you already know all this, just imagine the stuff that hasn't occurred to you yet!

That said, I got some news for you--new rock rails/sliders (steel replacements for the side steps) and bumpers (steel too) add a lot of weight, which lowers ("sags") your jeep. Your stock springs weren't made to carry an extra 90+ pounds front and rear. Add bigger tires and you'll be riding right on top of them.

At least a small lift (~2") or leveling kit is coming your way I expect.
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:06 PM   #11
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I started with the motor since that's where I've always started with any auto project.
After a lot of reading here (and not taking _all_ the advice ) I put in new wires, plugs, coil, filters, throttle body, chip and exhaust. After that, I moved to the interior and added accessories that I thought would enhance the look moreso than functionality, although uConnect was added for convenience as well as an inverter for AC stuff. I also ordered a Supertop NX to replace the factory softtop (and waiting patiently since April for its _SPEEDY_ delivery in July). I then returned to the outside and added Delta Quad headlights and Delta 55w fogs, as well as a pair of nice 100w hood-mounted aux lights. Next up is re-gearing to 4.88 (I'm running a manual).

Beyond that, I'm looking at weight that gets added to balance out my choices of wheels/tires, bumpers/winch, another set of doors (treks or something), and possibly a lift/level (although I'm unsure if I really need this part since I don't go beyond about a tech level 2 in this buggy but would like to know it's fully capable of wherever I feel like going).

At that point I'll be about 9K into it, and still want to decide on beefing up the axles (gussets,etc), skids, and diff covers (although these will also figure into the total weight picture, I'm sure.

Once I feel like I have a project complete with the "baseline" of all of this, I'll think about changing the paint - that silver color just causes me to think "whatever" when I look at it.
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:42 PM   #12
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I know you said that you don't plan on mudding or rocking much but I have given your question thought as it relates to my upcoming project.

I plan on taking the bottom/center then outward apporach:

Keep in mind I live in Michigan where we have mostly forest trails with logging trails and mud/water bogs

Phase 1:
Extend breather lines and route to airbox
Add plates/armor underneath where needed
Interior upgrades

Phase 2:
Lift, shocks, gussets
Wheels, tires
(If going w/>33" address rear tire carrier)

Phase 3:
Front Bumper w/winch
lighting
Snorkel (maybe matching AEV hood)
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:06 AM   #13
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No rock crawling. No major mudding. Just mainly on the road and occasional trails, and very snowy winters.
why even buy a jeep?
these new, pricey jeeps that ppl are buying are soooo beautiful...almost too beautiful because people are afraid to use it for what it was built for. it's like someone buying a sports car with a huge engine in it and never going over the speed limit.
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:45 AM   #14
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Kinda a silly question. Does every Jeep owner rock crawl? I want to improve the stock vehicle, not turn it into a cover model for Offroad Mag. I'd be houseless and divorced. I didn't say I'd just do highway driving, we spend plenty of time out doors, but not on huge rock piles.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:08 AM   #15
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why even buy a jeep?
these new, pricey jeeps that ppl are buying are soooo beautiful...almost too beautiful because people are afraid to use it for what it was built for. it's like someone buying a sports car with a huge engine in it and never going over the speed limit.
Nah. I suppose some people never take them offroad, but I wager most of the folks that appear regularly on this forum will eventually get into doing so with at least a modest level of frequency.

Here's a recent thread with some pics of one of our recent offroading excursions. Scroll down and you'll see a blue 4 door JK (me), and a silver 2 door as well as a black (COD edition) 4 door. The next page in the thread has more too. So JKs do get wheeled. I go about once a month.

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Kinda a silly question. Does every Jeep owner rock crawl? I want to improve the stock vehicle, not turn it into a cover model for Offroad Mag. I'd be houseless and divorced. I didn't say I'd just do highway driving, we spend plenty of time out doors, but not on huge rock piles.
Of course not. When I go, I prefer trails to rocks and mud. Rock crawling breaks stuff and is too stressful for me to enjoy, and mud takes forever to clean. Trails are just good fun.

Regardless though, you're going to have this Jeep for a long time and what you're willing (and have the time) to do five, six, or ten years from now might be different.

My build out plan--like yours from the sounds of it--is to improve it from stock levels for both on and off road. It's actually tricky to find mods that improve both of those areas, and it's been fun planning it out and making the modifications as time and money allows. I expect the whole process will take years, and, perhaps by then, I'll have even more time to wheel it.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:22 AM   #16
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I just noticed you bought the Jeep used. I would take the doors off whenever you get a chance to. Some Jeeps have never had them removed, after 3 years it can become dificult to do so.
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:52 PM   #17
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In my old jeep I often had them off. If it is nice this weekend, I want to get the top off and doors off just to see if I remember how to do it.
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:01 PM   #18
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Quote:
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why even buy a jeep?
these new, pricey jeeps that ppl are buying are soooo beautiful...almost too beautiful because people are afraid to use it for what it was built for. it's like someone buying a sports car with a huge engine in it and never going over the speed limit.

he's using the jeep as it was built. DD and dome outdoor recreation with his family. Yes I'm a hard core rock crawler and truing mine into a buggy but I'd love a JKU as a DD and save the miles on my truck. I'd also do the exact same thing he's doing. minor mods to make it more my own.
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:01 PM   #19
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Nah. I suppose some people never take them offroad, but I wager most of the folks that appear regularly on this forum will eventually get into doing so with at least a modest level of frequency.

Here's a recent thread with some pics of one of our recent offroading excursions. Scroll down and you'll see a blue 4 door JK (me), and a silver 2 door as well as a black (COD edition) 4 door. The next page in the thread has more too. So JKs do get wheeled. I go about once a month.



Of course not. When I go, I prefer trails to rocks and mud. Rock crawling breaks stuff and is too stressful for me to enjoy, and mud takes forever to clean. Trails are just good fun.

Regardless though, you're going to have this Jeep for a long time and what you're willing (and have the time) to do five, six, or ten years from now might be different.

My build out plan--like yours from the sounds of it--is to improve it from stock levels for both on and off road. It's actually tricky to find mods that improve both of those areas, and it's been fun planning it out and making the modifications as time and money allows. I expect the whole process will take years, and, perhaps by then, I'll have even more time to wheel it.
Great pics! My son asked when we could do that he was spying over my shoulder on the iPad. Some day, kiddo.

That is what I absolutely cannot wait to do. Trails look fun, but I want to get the stock smell off of the thing. After reading these posts, I think a smaller lift and bigger wheels might be the way to go at some point soon. God only knows there are some places around me to get off the pavement.
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:05 PM   #20
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I'm assuming your in PA there is a great place to go providing you have another vehicle with you and thats Rausch Creek Offroad Park in Pine Grove PA they have a lot there from easy dirt road trails to stuff you need a ultra 4 buggy to do
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:31 PM   #21
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Yea, I went to a PA trail site to read about it and I might have to do it. I want to take my son up to the jeep expo thing up in York next week just to get some ideas. Is there places there that a stock could at least get dirty? I'd be embarrassed to show up with my son and see monster trucks and then get the look of not belonging. Lol.
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:36 PM   #22
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Order a free quadratec catalog and you will see what you want for your jeep, drive it for a while and you will see what you need. Mine is a dd and I only do minor rock crawling if it is in the way of where I am going. I will turn around if it looks like I will break something but you would be surprised what these things can go through in stock form. My first mod was rims w/ 33" tires then nerf bars for shorter people to get in.
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:40 PM   #23
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nerf bars for shorter people to get in.
If not for the towel rack above the glove box, my mom can't get in.. She likes getting shotgun without having to call it
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:47 PM   #24
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Order a free quadratec catalog and you will see what you want for your jeep, drive it for a while and you will see what you need. Mine is a dd and I only do minor rock crawling if it is in the way of where I am going. I will turn around if it looks like I will break something but you would be surprised what these things can go through in stock form. My first mod was rims w/ 33" tires then nerf bars for shorter people to get in.
Yep, it's enroute and there isn't a day that goes by where I am not on their site and making a wish list.

I'm embarrassed to ask. DD? I read it 2 times in my thread so far, and I don't recall that one.
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:51 PM   #25
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Damn, I forgot my favorite saying. GTS. Google That Sh*t. Found the answer. But for the record , I am home based for my company so it is parked all day long. My wife likes it, but she takes my 2011 Mazda3Speed to her office.
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Old 07-08-2011, 08:55 PM   #26
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Yea, I went to a PA trail site to read about it and I might have to do it. I want to take my son up to the jeep expo thing up in York next week just to get some ideas. Is there places there that a stock could at least get dirty? I'd be embarrassed to show up with my son and see monster trucks and then get the look of not belonging. Lol.

I went last year with my only mod being 33" tires, there were a lot of stock jeeps there and anyone can do the obstacle course, there was a log bridge to cross some pretty big hills to climb and 2 different levels of rock piles to crawl. Quadratec is the main sponsor and the Jeep club has spotters and guides for the course so no matter what your level is you can run through it as often as you like. Itís a lot of fun no matter what your level of off roading is.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:11 PM   #27
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Cool. York is not that far from me, slightly more than an hour. Might do it, have no plans.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:15 PM   #28
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Absolutely List!

What was mentioned above, do it. The most important thing is to let that 200 a week accumulate while you make the decision. Make a list. Consider it again, and again, and again. 4wd.com and Quadratec.com. I would start with the lift and wheel/tires first for sure.

It is tricky though. All 3 go hand in hand. Make sure you decide on the tire size you want first. If you are considering 33's, look at the gallery here and make sure you aren't going to want 35's once done.

Lift, wheels and tires first. That goes a long way to deciding the rest of it. Example, bigger than 2.5" with 33"'s requires re-gear which is $$$.

The rest can happen pretty quickly after that...fender flares, speakers, bumpers, lights etc. I have learned it is a slippery slope thought.

Jeeps are awesome. Yours will ROCK. Go with what you want and take your time to figure it out.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:26 PM   #29
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Gallery? Ive been stalking people's avatars. Did I miss a button on the menu?

I think the body color wrap around fenders on this is what is screwing me up. I bet if I had 33s with that BB and pocket bushwhackers I'd be thrilled. Lol. Man I love quadratec and this site!
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:39 PM   #30
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Yep, it's enroute and there isn't a day that goes by where I am not on their site and making a wish list.

I'm embarrassed to ask. DD? I read it 2 times in my thread so far, and I don't recall that one.
Daily Driver. Just a suggestion, this is your rig and you can/will do it the way you want. Build it for your purpose and not somebody elses. Start with the things first that fit where you want to go with it. If you won't wheel it for a while start with interior, outside accessories, bikini top, then safari doors, wheels, lift, fenders, bumpers, lights, winch or whatever you need first. I personalized mine a little with the inexpensive stuff before I decided on 33" A/T tires since I am on road a lot and don't get much mud in the desert. 33x11.5" tires fit great without lift with proper backspacing and rub the rear fenders a little when off road. My next mod is bushwhacker flat fenders to cure that.

I prioritize my mods first by $$$, then by what I feel I need for my rigs purpose.

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