This post will certainly be too much for some, so the TL;DR crowd can go to the bottom to find my questions, however any suggestions are much appreciated (if not needed) in regards to my plan.
I am sure that a lot of these are covered in so many places on the internet, but I figured I'd try to ask here for some help in learning because the community seems great.
I am extremely new to the Jeep community (As in I don't even have a Jeep, yet!) and to the car world in general, but I have been car shopping for a few months now, and have decided on a Wrangler. Nothing catches my interest more.
I'm sure I'll get flamed for this, but I want a decently capable off-roader that still holds a little bit of highway friendliness. I currently drive a '99 Cavalier that's (slowly) falling apart, so anything will be an upgrade in creature comforts. I plan to buy a 2013 Wrangler Sport with no options packages. AC has never been important to me, I hate power windows, and the standard transmission is cheaper (I have seen some baseline, and even some communications group 2013s at local dealers for >$20,000). With this, I intend to build a decently able off-roader, highway commuter, general purpose Jeep. From what research I've done, it seems that lift height and tire size limits for highway friendliness tends to be 2-3" lift with 35s.
Now, I have watched tons of YouTube videos and read a lot of forum posts about different kinds of lifts, but none of them help me out a lot because they have a specific budget in mind, do x with y amount of money, talking about specific parts without explaining their purpose. I am more interested in long term durability, quality, and function than the initial budget. Obviously stuff breaks, and I think that will be half of the fun of owning a Jeep... ANYWAYS!
I have read that a 3" lift with 35s is generally the max without running into spending money in lots of other places like fixing the gearing ratios, adding a lot of drag underneath of the vehicle, and losing horses... Is this true?
I have also read that the better route to lift is with shocks and coils, not spacers. Is this true?
In regards to shocks and coils, what adjustable pieces make life easier in terms of longevity and durability? Will adjustable control arms or track bar help with minimizing wear and tear?
In one video I saw, the driveshaft, or I guess more directly the pinion angles, were messed up after a 3" lift. The driveshaft couldn't sit straight after the lift due to the strange exhaust set up in the JK. Is a new, slimmer driveshaft the better way to go when tackling this problem? I have also seen what I guess are exhaust extensions, which allow the pipe to sit back far enough to not mess with the driveshaft/pinion angles.
Are c-gussets or axle housing worth it? Does it really minimize axle damage?
EDIT: Could someone also please explain the terminology associated with the axles? What is a dana 30 vs 44, which one is on the standard 2013 Sport? Are the axles themselves worth replacing?
And lastly, this is the least important question in my mind but still something worth receiving input on, what are the most reputable brands for aftermarket JK parts? I have seen tons of kits, is this the way to go? Can you even viably lift your vehicle using parts from different vendors/manufacturers?
If it is possible (have to see if my uncle will let me use his garage), I would like to install it myself when the time comes, and I will probably get it aligned at a shop, depending on my uncles tools.
SORRY FOR ALL THE NEWBISH QUESTIONS!
I am a brand spanking new amateur tinkerer/Jeeper, so if these questions are just stupid or don't make any sense I am very sorry! I know this was a long read and I thank anyone for their time if they read it/contribute! THANK YOU!