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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK I have a 2003 TJ 50,000 miles. 4 cyl, 5 spd D30 and D35 2" Coil spacers, 31 x 10.50 R 15 Procomp xterrians, Jet stage 2 chip. and the list goes on. I was curious about what you guys thought should be my next step. This Jeep is my DD, I don't want some huge jeep but more a "sleeper". I want to keep a low center of gravity but much more capable Jeep. This is a list of some of the mods I was kicking around. I would like some opinions of which ones I should do first and why. remember I am Jeepin' on a budget. I am open to other suggestions also.
1. winch
2. new axles (D 44 front and rear)
3. armor( belly pan)
4. bumpers
5. Flat Fenders
6. New lift (maybe Old Man Emu)
7. Lockers with same axles
8. Building a new motor (I6 or V8)

like I said just looking for some suggestions. Thanks for everyones opinion!
-Hardy
 

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Armor. If you wheel it, start with the armor first then build from there.
 

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Armor. If you wheel it, start with the armor first then build from there.
yup, what he said. For now 400 bucks in skidplates will benefit you more than the axles.
 

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armor it until you break the dana 35 or armor it until its completely armored out and then (which ever one of those comes first) upgrade that dana 35 to something better like a dana 44 and while your at it regear it and throw in a locker.
 

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Here are my thoughts:
1. winch not a bad idea, but not something you may use everytime you wheel it.
2. new axles (D 44 front and rear) keep the 30 front, only 44 for the rear if you upgrade
3. armor oil skid of some kind as that sucker hangs low and rocker protection, are musts!( belly pan)
4. bumpers keep the stock one's
5. Flat Fenders you don't need these either
6. New lift (maybe Old Man Emu)
7. Lockers with same axles front yes, rear no
8. Building a new motor (I6 or V8) look into lower gears for more power
 

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as you get more into wheeling, you may find some mods are more necessary than others. the one mod that will always be needed will be skid plates. do skids first. wheel it. figure out what you like to play in and continue building your rig from there. but regardless of your wheeling style, you will still need skid plates.

you just don't want to get yourself having to buy stuff multiple times; i.e., bumpers. some bumpers are great design for trails but would get in the way while rock crawling. so don't buy bumpers for trails if you find out after wheeling a bit, that you hate dirt and you just want rocks. just an example, but hopefully you get the idea.
you may find for your level of wheeling, that upgraded shafts, gears, and lockers in your stock axles are fine. then again, you may also find that your driving style will lead to axle breaks over and over so bigger axles will be necessary. and then with that, do you go medium duty (d44, 8.8) or heavy duty (d60, 9", corp14)? all depends on how extreme you're going.
bottom line, you will always need skids no matter what kind of wheeling you do. everything else will depend on how and what you wheel.
 

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^ very true. When I bought my jeep (98 TJ 5spd. 4L) it had open diffs front and rear. with 31x10.50 BFG ATs. had it out a couple of times and im more of a trailriding, exploring, mudrunning kind of person. Not much into rock crawling. So the first this for me was some tires. Then I still had a problem with the open differentials and got a lunchbox aussie for the front. Then out on a trip i tore my smashed my steering box and learned about the armor. So now my next mods are going to consist of oil skid, steering skid, and some rocker guards. Just go out and have fun to see what you are into then do some add ons. I think its cool to see what a stock jeep can do then add stuff and watch the transformation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey thanks for all the responses! As far as the type of wheeling I do, it's mostly trail riding and playing in or around Mud. I don't do rocks (yet) cause there are not many places around here in TN without driving a cpl hours. I like the idea of the armor. As far as that is concerned, what brands or type of armor should go with? Rocker guards? oil pan? steering box? axle? I am impressed with what a fairly stock Jeep is capable of, I just want it to be more capable, and reliable. Again thanks for all the imput!
-Hardy
 

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here are some of my personal picks for armor:

-steering: Kilby Ent. - $45
-engine: Skid Row, claytonoffroad, or jeep medic. Nth* makes an oil pan skid that a lot of people like, but it doesn't cover as much as the others mentioned - $230
-gas tank: Kilby Ent. - $250
-diff covers: Rock Crusher - $45 each
-rocker guards: Shrockworks - $350
 
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