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Old 11-03-2011, 08:58 PM   #1
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what to do first?!?!?

sooo picked up my jk from the dealership today. it's an 09.. excited and i love it, but need some advice on what is needed for a jeep. is there anything that is a must have?

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Old 11-03-2011, 09:02 PM   #2
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Experience. Then you will know what you need. Congrats on the Jeep.

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Old 11-03-2011, 10:18 PM   #3
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Best advice would be to read through the forum as much as possible. Don't be afraid to ask questions, and don't let the fear of what others might think about your questions keep you from asking them.

Take your time. You will see many, many threads where people have rushed to mod their Jeeps, and are suddenly in a panic because the things they bought weren't well thought-out, and are now causing them problems.

Research before you buy. Look at pricing, availability, reliability (if those things are important to you). Try to spend once on each item you want to add to your rig. That sounds really simplistic, but it's not so easy to do.

Be aware that what works on your '09 may not work on someone else's '12.

Avoid causing a chain reaction beyond your control. Case in point: If you're like most folks, you're gonna want bigger, meaner tires. Choose wrong, and you could end up HAVING to buy new rims.

Or let's say you decide to go with a new tire/rim combo: choose wrong, and you could end up HAVING to buy a lift, and possibly new fenders. Choose wrong on the lift, and you may end up HAVING to buy a new front driveshaft.

Make sense?

I'm not trying to scare you. Making your Jeep truly YOURS can be a blast...if you do it right.

So take your time. Do your homework. Ask questions.

It's not a race.

Congrats on the new Jeep, and welcome to WF.
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RHJEEP View Post
sooo picked up my jk from the dealership today. it's an 09.. excited and i love it, but need some advice on what is needed for a jeep. is there anything that is a must have?

Here are a couple of links to recent threads. The first one should give you some suggestions on a few of the less expensive things you can do to your Jeep.

The second one is informative in a different kinda way. I'll let it speak for itself.

cheap JK mods please share

Help pick rim and tire
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:42 AM   #5
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How will you use it

when looking at upgrades for your Jeep you should always ask, "How do I use my Jeep and do I really need this?"

I've had my Jeep for 4 years...round about...and so far I have no lift and still have stock sized off-road tires. I found out, based on where I go, that I don't need a lift as long as I take the right line. I really need the lowest center of gravity I can get due to the off camber situations I'm in all the time, so again no lift. For me lower is better.

I also found through experience that I want to keep the original fenders or if I do upgrade, I want to keep plastic fenders. I need a fender that will flex and absorb an impact rather then transferring the impact to the body.

A Jeep setup for rock crawling will be very different then a Jeep setup for mud running or in my case a Jeep setup for hunting, ice fishing and daily use.
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Old 11-04-2011, 01:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwaynejeep View Post
when looking at upgrades for your Jeep you should always ask, "How do I use my Jeep and do I really need this?"
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwaynejeep View Post
when looking at upgrades for your Jeep you should always ask, "How do I use my Jeep and do I really need this?"
I was glad to see this statement. I am fairly new to the forum and notice from many of the posts how easy it is to get caught up in the excitement of making mods. I think many people don't really consider how they are going to use there Jeep and spend money they don't need to because others have a particular mod.

I bought my first Jeep 25 years ago and can guarantee you that how I will use my 2012 JKU will be completely different than how I used my '83 CJ7. Drive your Jeep for a while and determine what isn't working for you. Then you can decide the best place to spend your money. Plus, that will give you some time to learn from other people here on the forum. Just look for these smileys on posts to know that you can learn from someone else's mistake:
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbwwolf View Post
Best advice would be to read through the forum as much as possible. Don't be afraid to ask questions, and don't let the fear of what others might think about your questions keep you from asking them.

Take your time. You will see many, many threads where people have rushed to mod their Jeeps, and are suddenly in a panic because the things they bought weren't well thought-out, and are now causing them problems.

Research before you buy. Look at pricing, availability, reliability (if those things are important to you). Try to spend once on each item you want to add to your rig. That sounds really simplistic, but it's not so easy to do.

Be aware that what works on your '09 may not work on someone else's '12.

Avoid causing a chain reaction beyond your control. Case in point: If you're like most folks, you're gonna want bigger, meaner tires. Choose wrong, and you could end up HAVING to buy new rims.

Or let's say you decide to go with a new tire/rim combo: choose wrong, and you could end up HAVING to buy a lift, and possibly new fenders. Choose wrong on the lift, and you may end up HAVING to buy a new front driveshaft.

Make sense?

I'm not trying to scare you. Making your Jeep truly YOURS can be a blast...if you do it right.

So take your time. Do your homework. Ask questions.

It's not a race.

Congrats on the new Jeep, and welcome to WF.
The Wolfman offers some of the Best Info on this site! READ and pay attention to what he said above!

I got new tires, one size too large and had to get new wheels (Rubbing). However, I am still pleased, as I then had an excuse to get the wheels I had my eye on Jeep looks a 110% better

So, for me it was a win, win situation!

Welcome to the family!
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:29 AM   #9
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if you do decide to go place in the woods, i always recommend some rock sliders, like the ace rails. your pinch seam will thank you for it. personally, and i'm sure most people will agree, but tires and lift are the 2 most important things for any semi serious offroading. the stock tires are very capable, but if youre going to drop money, spend it in the right places. it's pretty expensive all around to upgrade those 3, so i would recommend sliders, then tires, then lift. especially since you can pick up a budget lift for cheap in the used section until you save up for one you really want.

but again, do what everyone else said. decide what you're going to do with your rig, then try to find some local clubs or jeep folk and see about going offroading with them (if thats your thing). see what you think of the local trails, some mind be kinder than others and going crazy on upgrades may be pointless!
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:37 AM   #10
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first things first:

read my tag lines, eventually the 'second' thing will present itself
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:44 AM   #11
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What are the rest of the specs? Unlimited? Rubicon? Do you intend to mud? Rock crawl? Or city drive?
I got my 09 JKU Rubicon a month ago and my first mods were stuff that came out of my previous vehicle.. Dual battery, HAM, CB, mid mounted lights. The first big ticket is going to be a 3" lift, keeping stock wheels and tires for now because that would break the budget lol.

Good luck and post pics!
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbwwolf View Post
Best advice would be to read through the forum as much as possible. Don't be afraid to ask questions, and don't let the fear of what others might think about your questions keep you from asking them.

Avoid causing a chain reaction beyond your control. Case in point: If you're like most folks, you're gonna want bigger, meaner tires. Choose wrong, and you could end up HAVING to buy new rims.

Or let's say you decide to go with a new tire/rim combo: choose wrong, and you could end up HAVING to buy a lift, and possibly new fenders. Choose wrong on the lift, and you may end up HAVING to buy a new front driveshaft.

Make sense?

I'm not trying to scare you. Making your Jeep truly YOURS can be a blast...if you do it right.

So take your time. Do your homework. Ask questions.

It's not a race.

Congrats on the new Jeep, and welcome to WF.

Thank you for your thoughtful post. I recently purchased a '12 Sahara Unlimited. I want to run trails, get a little muddy, visit the beach and the sand, and use it for my day to day commute.

My thoughts are to use my stock tires P255/70R18 OWL On/Off Road. I was thinking a little higher may be better, but not too much. I also think that the tubular side steps that come on the Sahara may be a liability on trails and that putting on some Rock Rails would be good. I think they will also help my wife and kids get in and out of the Jeep. At some point I would think I would be interested in a winch up front. I have seen some steel and some aluminum/steel front bumpers.

Based on the "it’s not a race" and my budget I was thinking of moving forward in the following sequence.
1. Rock Rails
2. Lift Kit or Spacers
3. Front bumper and winch

Would the weight of the front bumper help me determine if I should use Spacers or a Lift Kit? Are spacers just a minimal version of a Lift Kit? Does this make sense to you? Opinions and suggestions are welcome, seeking wisdom from the knowledgeable.
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:57 AM   #13
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Drive it...take it offroad...you will get a better idea of what you need vs what everyone else says you got to have.

just my 2 cents.....
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OH9JK
Drive it...take it offroad...you will get a better idea of what you need vs what everyone else says you got to have.

just my 2 cents.....
I'll adin 2 more cents and just agree
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanJKunlimited2012

Thank you for your thoughtful post. I recently purchased a '12 Sahara Unlimited. I want to run trails, get a little muddy, visit the beach and the sand, and use it for my day to day commute.

My thoughts are to use my stock tires P255/70R18 OWL On/Off Road. I was thinking a little higher may be better, but not too much. I also think that the tubular side steps that come on the Sahara may be a liability on trails and that putting on some Rock Rails would be good. I think they will also help my wife and kids get in and out of the Jeep. At some point I would think I would be interested in a winch up front. I have seen some steel and some aluminum/steel front bumpers.

Based on the "it’s not a race" and my budget I was thinking of moving forward in the following sequence.
1. Rock Rails
2. Lift Kit or Spacers
3. Front bumper and winch

Would the weight of the front bumper help me determine if I should use Spacers or a Lift Kit? Are spacers just a minimal version of a Lift Kit? Does this make sense to you? Opinions and suggestions are welcome, seeking wisdom from the knowledgeable.
Spacers are just blocks that sit on top the coils- lifting the jeep. 2 inches is the most I believe. Some kits come with shocks or shock extensions.
Do some research on a Mopar HD spring conversion, not for everyone but it could help, best of all your still stock- if the upgrade works for you.
These two ideas are the least expensive options.
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:09 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ryanJKunlimited2012 View Post
I recently purchased a '12 Sahara Unlimited. I want to run trails, get a little muddy, visit the beach and the sand, and use it for my day to day commute.

My thoughts are to use my stock tires P255/70R18 OWL On/Off Road. I was thinking a little higher may be better, but not too much. I also think that the tubular side steps that come on the Sahara may be a liability on trails and that putting on some Rock Rails would be good. I think they will also help my wife and kids get in and out of the Jeep.
First of all, congrats on the new Sahara. Unless you intended to buy a flawlessly built vehicle that gets outstanding gas mileage, doesn't rattle, squeak or sometimes choke up a mechanical hairball, you'll love it.

I'm gonna address the whole tire/rim thing first; that's where a lot of people get into trouble. First, the stock tires on a Sahara aren't all that great for offroading or for driving in the snow. Then again, too many people think it's the TIRE that determines how well / poorly their Jeep performs in slippery conditions. Since you live in PA and deal with snowy roads I'm gonna assume that you know better.

Your stock tires will work fine, as long as you learn their limitations. Since you mentioned being on a budget, I'd say keep the tires till they wear out, then look at getting better ones (maybe even a little more aggressive looking, if that appeals to you.)

That'll give you plenty of time to look through the forum, see and read about some of the combinations other people use, save up some cash, etc.

As for the side rails, they are different from side steps, although there are some products that attempt to perform both functions. Smittybilt, for example, makes a product called SRC side armor that has "steps" built into the rails. True rails (such as Ace rock rails, which are VERY popular w/folks here) may not actually help your wife and kids get into the Jeep as much as side steps. To get around this, some people put friction tape along the rails.

Again, you'd be best served by doing a search for rock rails, side steps, etc., and reading the threads that come up. Or start a new, separate, thread. You'll likely get a wide variety of endorsements and advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanJKunlimited2012 View Post
At some point I would think I would be interested in a winch up front. I have seen some steel and some aluminum/steel front bumpers.
Why do you "think" you'd be interested in a winch? Based on your description of the type of wheeling you plan on doing, you should be fine with some basic recovery gear...a good tow strap is fairly cheap. It's not a good idea to wheel alone, anyway, although folks do it all the time.

If you find yourself wanting to do more intense off-roading, you can always add a winch later. There are winches out there that can actually be mounted to the OE front bumper.

There's all sorts of bumpers / bumper mods out there. The front bumper I bought for my Jeep weighs over 100 lbs and cost $500. Aluminum bumpers are much lighter, but generally more expensive. They also don't "give" the way steel does; you're more likely to crack or even break a weld from an impact.

Here is an inexpensive front bumper mod that you'll find all over this forum:

Vertically Driven Products 31550 - VDP Stubby End Cap Kit for 07-12 Jeep® Wrangler & Wrangler Unlimited JK with OE Bumper - Quadratec

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanJKunlimited2012 View Post
Based on the "it’s not a race" and my budget I was thinking of moving forward in the following sequence.
1. Rock Rails
2. Lift Kit or Spacers
3. Front bumper and winch

Would the weight of the front bumper help me determine if I should use Spacers or a Lift Kit? Are spacers just a minimal version of a Lift Kit? Does this make sense to you? Opinions and suggestions are welcome, seeking wisdom from the knowledgeable.
The lift is another area that messes people up. Spacers will work fine if you want to save $$. If you're planning on adding bigger tires, heavier bumpers, and a winch you'll probably want to go with a spring lift.

Understand, however, that the higher you go, the more expensive it'll get. Once you get to the 3" threshold you're looking at new shocks, springs, adjustable control arms and trackbars, bump stops, sway bar links, brake line relocation brackets...yup, it gets expensive. Fast.

Personally, I'm not a fan of spacer or budget boost lifts. That's just me. So here's a link on one of the cheaper, more effective mods you can do to give your Jeep a lift:

figuring out the spring rate code?

One of the members here, daggo66, did this to his Jeep awhile back. IIRC from my readings, he was pleased with the results. Maybe he'll chime in here.

In the end, the advice I gave to the OP in this thread still holds. Take the time to figure out exactly what you wanna do with your Jeep. Be realistic about it (i.e., don't think "Well, what if an asteroid slammed into Bethlehem, PA and me & my peeps had to survive with only our Jeep and a few cases of stolen beef jerky...)

Do your homework, and you should be fine.

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