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Old 01-25-2012, 03:05 PM   #1
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Thumbs up New Guy Here. What should I mod 1st?

Hi!
I just bought my 1st Jeep Jan 10th (actually 1st 4x4 vehicle also). Its a 2001 Sport, 137,000 miles, 4.0, 5 sp manual, D44 rear with Trak loc, stock suspension as far as I can tell, and stock wheels with 31x10.5x15 Firestone Destination M/T. I really love it and would like to do some mods to enhance its abilities off road. From reading here, it seems like some useful things would be: USA-made front/rear bumpers (I like the JCR offroad ones) and Warn winch (maybe VR8000). Are there vulnerable spots underneath that need skid plates? Or maybe some good aftermarket skid plates that are better than stock?

Sorry for all the questions at once. Feel free to add to my short list!
Here's a pic of my TJ

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Old 01-25-2012, 03:09 PM   #2
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congrats on your new jeep =D

just my .02 but I'd do front and rear bumpers for starters.

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Old 01-25-2012, 03:25 PM   #3
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plenty of skids, both to replace stock and in addition to stock.

What are your plans with the jeep?
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:30 PM   #4
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Do all the maintenance, fix anything broke, then drive it a while.

maybe then look at skids, winch, swaybar disconnects, all good compliments to a stock jeep.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:31 PM   #5
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plenty of skids, both to replace stock and in addition to stock.

What are your plans with the jeep?
What are some good skids in addition to the stock ones?

As far as plans, I'd love to hit some forest trails, old logging roads, etc...nothing too hardcore
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:33 PM   #6
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take it out on some light trails. do that for a few months to build up your confidence. then go out to wheel some harder trails. learn new stuff as you go. then replace or upgrade when necessary. but other than that it never hurts to have a decent winch to help you get unstuck.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:37 PM   #7
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Change all the fluids & filters.

Find some guys local to you, and take it out for a trail ride. Don't let yourself get pressured into doing anything you don't want to. See if you really like trail riding.

If you had fun, then get a high clearance belly pan.
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:15 PM   #8
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Whatever you decide to do, take pics along the way to share. And don't forget to..

I like the color BTW.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:07 PM   #9
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All good advice above. As senoJeoJ said, take it out and play a little. Get to know it. I think that you will be surprised at how well it performs stock. Join a club in your area and attend their next event. You will soon learn what you need as opposed to what you want.
There are only 2 things that I would do to it right now. 1 would be to replace the steps with rock rails or steps that don't hang as low or stand out as far and 2 would be to remove the milk jugs from the front bumper. Those are strictly my personal preferences. It is your Jeep and building it the way you want is part of the experience.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:16 PM   #10
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Lockers! Nothing improves offroad performance as much as a good locker front and rear. Bumpers only help if you hit stuff. Skid plates (especially a tummy tuck) will keep you from damaging important stuff if you wheel rocks or places with downed trees.
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:23 PM   #11
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As I tell one of my good friends about his 98 TJ with a 4" lift. We can either take those side steps off here in the garage of we can try to rip them off on the trail. One thing that I did to mine besides the upgraded bumpers is to put on some Rockers. These are steel tubes that attach on to your frame and goes right below the bottom of your frame between the tires. When you go over rocks, stumps or sharp little nobs you can hit your rocker pannels. By putting these on you helt ot prevent damaging your lower body panels.
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BV Jeep
As I tell one of my good friends about his 98 TJ with a 4" lift. We can either take those side steps off here in the garage of we can try to rip them off on the trail. One thing that I did to mine besides the upgraded bumpers is to put on some Rockers. These are steel tubes that attach on to your frame and goes right below the bottom of your frame between the tires. When you go over rocks, stumps or sharp little nobs you can hit your rocker pannels. By putting these on you helt ot prevent damaging your lower body panels.
Agree x 2 on the rockers, then discos,, + keep your jeep light,, if you get a winch, get synthetic line with aluminum fairlead.. Those aftermarket bumpers may look cool, but they are godawful heavy, keep your stockers and loose the jugs, and the rubber bumpstops up front.. the lighter you keep your jeep, the better it will perform on and off road.. For every extra 100 lbs you loose around 1 to 2% in MPGs, let alone wear and tear on suspension and drive train.. Just my opinion.
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:22 PM   #13
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I looked at anything that affected driveability, so tie rod, drag link, control arms, shocks, sway links, trak bar. Then I pulled out the carpets, cleaned them and bed lined the floors. Then when it drove solid on the road I bought some goodies - Trektop NX, warn VR8000, Mickey Thompson Side Biter wheels and Falken Rocky Mountain ATS tires. I leave the doors and side and rear cover off my jeep, so I also use a Bestop Trail cover.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLK00TJ View Post
Lockers! Nothing gets newbies in trouble as much as a good locker front and rear.
I edited it for you...


I am actually serious about this though, lockers can get someone who is not familiar with offroading, or their current vehicle, into some bad situations. I am mostly referring to putting them on their roofs.
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Old 01-26-2012, 12:07 PM   #15
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You got a great platform to start on! D44 rear= Bonus! Check everything mechanically first. Get all the fluids changed (engine oil, trany oil, TC oil, both diffs oil). Flush cooling system, replace radiator hoses, flush brake system, bleed brakes, Check brake pad wear. Steering (check all tie rods, ball joints, unit bearings etc.) Nothing worse than being in the middle of nowhere and having a mechanical breakdown cause you didn't check stuff out first. Stock tires were 30X9.50X15's, so looks like previous owner bumped to 31's. Might get some slight rubbing if disco'd. Might want to check that. Recovery gear, under armer, and a winch would be on my short list.

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