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Old 08-30-2018, 03:45 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Altamonte Springs, FL
Posts: 5
Shadow Build 2014 JKUS


I'm super new to the Jeep life (and vehicle enthusiast scene). I've always been one to have a vehicle that needs to "stand out" in a crowd. However, I've never had one that's worth the time and effort to mod.

That being said - I intend to use this section/thread for my newb questions and general blog of stuff so I have a point of reference for past accomplishments, failures, tips and tricks. I have an instagram for mah Jeep (@thelostwrangler). I'm not trying to be all like "ermagherd ferlow me on insta". I just wanted to point that out because that's where I'll be posting pics since I'm too lazy to upload from my phone to my (work) computer to here, etc.

ANYWAYS - I do have an actual question.

Shadow is my daily driver, but I work from home so errands, gym and stuff, not work. I want to take him off-roading eventually and as a general utility vehicle for trails and camping once I move to Colorado this fall. I'm more of a loner, but will be seeking out fellow enthusiast as I've never been off-road driving in my life and it scares the bejeezus out of me and will most definitely need some guidance.

I want to be prepared enough to Jeep alone, but not so overkill that people think I'm doing wtf things to the Jeep and look like an idiot.

My first question is should I start with bumper + winch combo OR get the other recovery accessory package? My definition of an accessory package being track mats, shovel, tools, jack, jack board, radio, and stuff to get out of binds that is not a winch. And if I do go the winch bumper route, do I need to get the front and rear bumper upgrades at the same time? I'm worried about weight being off balance with the added to the front and the stock on the back. I'm sure all the accessories will be necessary at some point in the future, but at the moment, I'm lookin for the bucket list of necessities and where to spend my bonus.

TLDR - newb should I get a winch? or general recovery accessories as a first time off-roader but solo wannabe.

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Old 09-04-2018, 10:40 AM   #2
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Location: Glenpool, OK (Tulsa)
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1) Never wheel alone (especially if you're new)
2) Any recovery gear is a good investment. Winch, straps, snatch blocks, etc

IMO find a local Jeep club and attend some of their rides. Most likely you'll find that what you think you know now, might not be what you think after a few experienced rides.

Just my opinion

Good luck!!
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:05 AM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2018
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I wheel alone all the time but I don't do any of the hard core stuff.. Yes if you are going to venture out on your own then get a winch! I also carry a Garmin inReach sat communicator just in case I don't have cell service.

Along with the winch you'll need basic recovery gear like a recovery strap, a tree protector, gloves, d-rings and I'd also suggest a snatch block. You can find complete kits that will come with everything you need or buy them all separately.

In addition to the winch make sure you have water, food, first aid kit and weather determining gear just in case you are stuck somewhere for an extended period in bad weather.

Also, look into tire deflators and an air compressor of some type to air back up afterwards. You can get a portable compressor or on-board air from an ARB.

As to the bumper question, I use a Rock Hard winch plate for use with the factory bumper. It has stellar reviews and cost a fraction of the price of a steel bumper. It also weighs MUCH less.... I added a .75" spacer leveling kit to the front to make up for the added sag caused by the additional weight. You can look through my build thread for some photos..

Do not go out on your own unprepared and have a plan for when, not if, stuff happens. Get the gear you'll need and have a thorough understanding of winching and recovery before you venture out alone.. Always tell someone where you are going and when to expect you back.
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Old 09-04-2018, 08:57 PM   #4
Join Date: Mar 2016
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Welcome to the community. Excited to see where shadow goes.
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Old 09-14-2018, 03:44 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Altamonte Springs, FL
Posts: 5
Hey guys!

Thanks for the feedback! I think I'm going to go with tires and a lift to start. I know that seems backwards and nothing that I mentioned... but it's (likely) the most expensive pieces of the mods and will add the most impact. It'll take me awhile to actually go through with it as I'll be moving to Colorado in November - ROAD TRIP - and saving up to travel to Hawaii and Chicago (SW Celebration).

ALSO - the main reason I have to post-pone my first "big purchase" (I've already done little tiny things), is because I was in an accident labor day weekend. I literally had it for 5 weeks at that point and it was definitely not my fault. Light version of the story is on my Instagram with a pic (@thelostwrangler).

So my bonus that I wanted to spend on parts will go towards the deductible to get him fixed since the other guy was uninsured. *heavy eye roll* I still might do a few more little things like a CB radio, under glow, yeah I'm gonna be that person, under-seat lock box, air compressor etc.

Here's my anticipated list for major mods in order so far:

1. 2.5 lift w/ suspension
2. 35' tires, considering pro comp A/T
3. rubicon rock rails
4. front bumper
5. winch
6. rear bumper
7. fenders

List of Minor mods/purchases to be made:

1. cb radio
2. weather proof box w/ tools & first aid supplies
3. air compressor

I probably won't be able to go overland camping 'till the Spring, but I have met with a local Jeep group here in FL (their advice was taken into consideration) and I plan on joining one when I get to Colorado, the Mile High Jeep Club. I still have to look over their requirements and what not but I've got time!! There's a Jeep Beach meet in the beginning of October I'm looking forward to.

I'm taking my time as it's (hopefully) a decent journey and not a sprint.
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