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Old 05-17-2010, 08:33 PM   #1
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New Stock TJ and $2500 what should I do?

Hi folks! I just bought my first Jeep, a Silver 2006 TJ 4.0 liter with 6 speed and 22K on the odometer in perfect condition. It is pretty much totally stock. I have about $2500 to spend on upgrades, and I'm wondering on some priorities/suggestions on what to do.

This jeep will be my daily driver for many years to come, and will not be used for wheeling. However I am an avid outdoorsman, and it will occasionally be on some rough terrain. Plus I want it to be built tough with the potential to get out of sticky situations (my former vehicle had a lift, a CB, and a winch... I used the winch a few times a year mostly for helping others and pulling out stumps).


Here is what I would like in a dream world. Let me know what you would recommend in terms of priority and where I should and shouldn't cut cost and corners.

Thanks!!

3" Lift
Bigger tires (32" or 33")
New steel black rims
Winch
New heavy duty front bumper with brush guard
Heavy duty Rubber Floor Mats
Pouches to protect the windows after they are removed
Upgraded speakers for the stock stereo (I heard you can add one in the center console)
iPod control for stock stereo
New vinyl or leather back seat (I have a dog)
New vinyl or leather front seats
CB Radio
Side steps

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Old 05-17-2010, 08:37 PM   #2
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Your lift and tires/wheels can easily take up your entire budget. Take care of that if it's most important to you, and then buy the other stuff as you go.

Otherwise.. you can almost buy ALL of the other stuff for that price if you get some bargains/used items here and there. Personally.. I'd get some 31X10.50's on stock wheels and buy all the other stuff plus get small goodies like under the hood upgrades.

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Old 05-17-2010, 08:41 PM   #3
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Soft or hard top?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinTravels View Post

3" Lift (2" BB and 1.25" BL and you should be good for 32-33's)Bigger tires (32" or 33")
New steel black rims Check craigslist for a set at a good price
Winch
New heavy duty front bumper with brush guard (check out thedirtworx for front and rear bumpers)
Heavy duty Rubber Floor Mats
Pouches to protect the windows after they are removed
Upgraded speakers for the stock stereo (I heard you can add one in the center console) center console sub suxs just toss a 12" in the rear
iPod control for stock stereo
New vinyl or leather back seat (I have a dog)
New vinyl or leather front seats
CB Radio Craigslist/ebay again
Side steps This guy makes a decent set for a great price just look at his listing Jeep Wrangler LJ Unlimited 04-06 Rocker Rails guards : eBay Motors (item 120521010314 end time May-21-10 08:26:18 PDT)
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:55 PM   #4
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Nice stuff.. but "thedirtworx" is a little too high on those prices for my liking, but you're right on the money.. like I said.. you've got to shop around and find the best prices on new and used stuff. Like that CB..
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:23 PM   #5
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Zone Offroad has a combo package where you get a 4" Lift, Black Steel Rims, 33" MT/Z's and a steering stabilizer for like $1,600. That takes 3 things off your lift for a good deal.
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:25 PM   #6
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Spend it all on a long arm kit, then save up again for wheels and tires. And an SYE.
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Old 05-18-2010, 12:06 AM   #7
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I would keep it stock and save the $2500 for gas. But that's just me...
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Old 05-18-2010, 12:22 AM   #8
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JP90Talon--

Thanks for all the good info and links! Very helpful. It is indeed a soft top. I am wondering about doing a BL/BB lift combo. Is that just as good as getting a suspension lift? I have done some research on the subject, however I am new to lifts and there seems to be varying opinions.

Oswald--

Why do you recommend spending it all on a long arm kit? Will I need this for a 3" lift? I was under the impression that those were for lifts over 4". Again, I am new to this whole thing.

PacMan55--

That seems like a great deal! This is a dumb question, but is a long arm kit included/necessary in that kit? Also, how is the quality of their items? Thanks! Here is the link for that combo deal.

4" TJ Suspension System

I like everyone's suggestion on doing the CB later. Good advice... keep it coming!
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:09 AM   #9
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You said yourself that you won't be wheeling this Jeep. DO NOT SPEND YOUR MONEY ON A LONG ARM LIFT. It will be totally wasted on your Jeep. If you don't plan on doing anything drastic when offroad, go with a 2"BB and a 1.25 BL and 31" or 33" tires. Putting 33" tires on this combo will limit what you can do offroad however, since you'll have to adjust your bumpstops to keep from destroying your flares. If you're VERY careful offroad (i.e. limit yourself to VERY easy trails), then you won't have too much to worry about.

Oh, I bought my Cobra CB for $65 brand new from 4Wheel Parts online. Cheap and does everything I want it to do.
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:49 AM   #10
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cavediverjc--

Thanks for the info. It sounds like I don't need the long arm kit. I definitely won't be doing any serious wheeling. But I don't want to worry about being VERY careful on the rare occasion I run into a washed out road. What are your thoughts on that 4" TJ Suspension System above? Thanks!
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinTravels View Post
JP90Talon--
PacMan55--

That seems like a great deal! This is a dumb question, but is a long arm kit included/necessary in that kit? Also, how is the quality of their items? Thanks! Here is the link for that combo deal.

4" TJ Suspension System

I like everyone's suggestion on doing the CB later. Good advice... keep it coming!
I dont believe it is a long arm kit, but for what you are using it for I dont think one would be necessary. I have not heard a bad review for it. And the tires that come with it are kick ass. And you cant go wrong with black steelies. -Pearson
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinTravels View Post
cavediverjc--

Thanks for the info. It sounds like I don't need the long arm kit. I definitely won't be doing any serious wheeling. But I don't want to worry about being VERY careful on the rare occasion I run into a washed out road. What are your thoughts on that 4" TJ Suspension System above? Thanks!
Overall I think it sounds like a decent deal. One thing to keep in mind though is that it's generally accepted that when doing a 4" spring lift on a TJ, you're probably going to need a SYE (Slip Yoke Eliminator) on your transfer case and a new CV (Constant Velocity) driveshaft for the rear. Yes, the kit you're looking at has a transfer case lowering kit and a "cam" to rotate the pinion upwards, but usually that isn't enough to get rid of all the vibes. Some Jeeps can get away with the tc drop kit and not have any problems, but most can't. Something to keep in mind.....you can run 33" tires with a 2.5-3" spring lift and a 1.25" body lift without the added expense of the SYE/CV DS combo.

Congratulations on your new ride and welcome to the Jeep community.
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:23 AM   #13
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keep it stock and forward the $2500 to me.
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:13 AM   #14
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Put the $2500 toward the loan if you owe on it. Quicker you pay that bad boy off the quicker you can really afford to put money into it!!!
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:42 AM   #15
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I have to agree with the other posts regarding lifting your jeep. If you're not planning on serious, even moderate, off-roading, I'd bypass the lifting and go straight for 31" tires. My 04 Rubicon is a daily driver that I take trailing about once or twice a year and it has taken me through 97% of the roads and trails. The other 3% are trails where even a lift kit may get me through, but body damage would still outweigh my risk.

I'd actually agree with putting the money towards your loan (if you took one out) or gas money. Jeeps aren't too concerned about miles per gallon. Good luck and have fun!
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:57 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinTravels View Post
Hi folks! I just bought my first Jeep, a Silver 2006 TJ 4.0 liter with 6 speed and 22K on the odometer in perfect condition. It is pretty much totally stock. I have about $2500 to spend on upgrades, and I'm wondering on some priorities/suggestions on what to do.
This is my first post on this forum. I've enjoyed reading these jeep related internet sites for several years. I'm not claiming to be anybody to listen to. In case you haven't checked around, there are quite a few jeep web forums with lots of good information. As you learn more about the topics discussed, you learn that there is also a lot of incorrect information. I suggest you always keep that in mind.

Your question is often asked, so you could spend a little time reading some other postings on this site and others for typical response. There are so many possibilities for you and answers will often reflect the (sometimes limited) experience of the person typing. Sometimes the advice you get is not sound.

Based on that preamble, here is my contribution.

Do not spend any of your money for a few months. Use the time to school yourself about the basic subjects related to modifying a TJ model jeep. A few hours on the internet will pay you back with thousands of dollars saved on purchases that you may later regret.

An '06 TJ is the last production year for your model. The TJ started in '97 and many stock and aftermarket parts will work across the entire model run. There were, however, some factory variations along the way. Some are particularly useful to describe. It will benefit you and others who read your questions to know a little more about your jeep.

Is it a "Rubicon" model TJ? They were available '03-'06. This model jeep brings some valuable components that non-rubicon jeep owners pay good money for. Some of these are tougher front and rear axles, better axle gear ratio for larger tires, locking differentials, better 4wd transfer case.

We know you have a six cylinder motor and standard transmission. If your jeep is not a "Rubicon" model, then look under the rear axle and describe the shape of the center pumpkin. Is is oval shape or more polygon/octogon shape. Look for a small metal tag under one of the cover bolts that will have some letters and numbers stamped on it. It will identify the axle gear ratio. This information is useful when advising new tire diameter choices.

Does your jeep currently have tow hooks on the front bumper? A tow hook or hitch on the rear? Full size steel doors with roll up glass, or half doors with plastic windows? What style wheels and what size tires do you currently have? Is the tire tread still good?

Go to the website, 4wd.com, and register for a free catalog. I''m not suggesting you buy from them, (though I haven't had any problems with using them occasionally). The wrangler model catalog has thousands of popular products for you to review and ask questions about on the internet.

Use the internet to search for a jeep club local to you. There are several near where I live. Some are better organized than others. Go to a club meeting or gathering. They usually welcome newcomers without any obligation. Look at some other jeeps with suspension lifts, tires, winches, etc. Get some ideas of what you like the looks of. Sometimes good looks are otherwise useless products. There are a lot of useless "dress-up" products to learn about.

Some common subjects to become familiar with....

Body lift....(tub lifted off the frame rails).
Budget boost suspsension lift vs. replacement coil springs suspension lift.
Short control arms vs. long control arms.
Transfer case drop....(lowering the belly pan, transmission, and transfer case below the lower frame rail).
Modifying the 4wd transfer case to accept a fixed yoke rear driveshaft....(slip yoke eliminator kit).
Double cardan rear driveshaft to accomodate lifted suspensions.
Wheel back spacing to allow wider tires to clear steering and suspension components....(your factory wheels may work with wheel spacers).
Axle gear ratio changes to effectively use larger diameter tires.
Locking differentials vs. limited slip vs. open (non-locked).
Common steering and brake improvements over factory design.
Rocker panel armor vs. side steps.
Winch brands, wire rope, synthetic rope, front bumpers for winches, safety.


If you just can't resist purchasing something/anything right away, I suggest you ask about tow straps, fire extinquishers, simple and compact cb radios and a good antenna, seat covers, bikini tops, tools, factory service manuals. These kind of things will be useful to you at whatever stage of jeep ownership you get to.
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Old 05-18-2010, 12:10 PM   #17
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My Jeep is 99% on road so I can relate to you.

I'd go with 31x10.50 tires. no need to lift it as all it will do for you is make it "look cool". Other than that you'll decrease your mpg further.

Winch is always a good thing to have.

Seat covers - check out Iggee's. they are synthetic leather (vinyl, but nice feeling), rather tough, water resistant, and look fantastic.

bumpers - there's so many options, start looking and buy the ones you think look cool, and can justify the price of.

pouch for windows - check out clover patch roll...it gets good reviews.

I actually bought my couple pieces of armor before I realized that there is little to no offroading opportunities near me. but it was still a wise purchase to me. HD tie rod - OEM ones bend. Diff covers- lowest point, so making it strong is wise.

If you owe on the Jeep, I'd work on paying it off as well.
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Old 05-18-2010, 02:11 PM   #18
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locker in the front
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Old 05-18-2010, 02:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Put the $2500 toward the loan if you owe on it. Quicker you pay that bad boy off the quicker you can really afford to put money into it!!!
I was going to suggest that as well, but people loooooveeee paying interest these days.. A Jeep drives better when you own it..
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:06 PM   #20
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Great input from everybody; I really appreciate it.

I really want to avoid anything that puts unnecessary strain on the driveline and transfer case (as it will be a daily driver and only offroad occasionally), so I think a 4" lift is out of the question for my needs. That is why this forum is so helpful!

I just want it to look cool with some bigger tires and gain a little more clearance (about the height of the new stock Rubicons). Mine is not a Rubicon, it is a Wrangler X soft top with full size steel doors (and it is paid for, so saving money on payments is not an issue).

Camper and MrCarCrazy make some really good points about upgrades. Love those Iggee seat covers... they don't look like seat covers! Also that Clover Patch Roll looks like a must have item. Good suggestion.

I know a 31" tire will fit on the stock rig; what about a 32"? As far as the bumbers go, they are totally stock with no hooks/hitches anywhere. I do want an upgraded front bumper/winch, and it sounds like I will need something on the rear with a shackle on it as well, as I don't see any attachment points.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:53 PM   #21
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maybe a high lift
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:58 PM   #22
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OME TJ/LJ Kits


Second one down. OME kits have the rep of some of the best around. Dirk (the owner of the Site) will help you out too. Grab the lift, some black steelies, and tires then see how much u have left.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:33 PM   #23
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I know a 31" tire will fit on the stock rig; what about a 32"? As far as the bumbers go, they are totally stock with no hooks/hitches anywhere. I do want an upgraded front bumper/winch, and it sounds like I will need something on the rear with a shackle on it as well, as I don't see any attachment points.
A 32" will fit. My buddy had 32's on his before he sold it , but they do rub a little bit with some flex. I'd say get maybe a 2" lift (OME is good as probably stated) and maybe a 1" BL. Slap some 33's on with some black Cragar soft 8's that I picked up from summit for $226 for 5 rims and you'll be good to go!
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:45 PM   #24
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