Picked up a '08 2-door JK Rubicon auto a few years ago. It was basically stock with the exception of a 1" leveling kit on the front. Had all the stuff that I was looking for (Dana 44s, e-lockers, 4.10 gears, electronic sway bar disconnect, low range transfer case, etc.) plus manual windows, doors. My 5th Jeep (YJ, XJ, TJ, WJ), but my first JK seemed like a perfect blank canvas for a build.
: Low, Light, and Functional. Daily driver capable of wheeling moderately hard trails on a variety of terrain.
Took it wheeling in stock form and quickly found some limitations.
: Clearance! Lockers, sway bar disconnects, and 31" ATs only take you so far! Even on moderate trails I would get hung up on the skid plates.
: 3.8 and transmission. Decent horsepower but lacks torque and the transmission bogs down and doesn't let you get wheel speed when you need it.
: Steering. Flighty and unpredictable. Constant steering input required. I would end up changing out just about every steering component to fix it.
I'll end up fixing two of my three limitations. The third will just have to wait until the engine dies and I swap in a diesel!