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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I am a first time Wrangler owner. Its a 97 2.5, not sure if it has a lift on it or not, but it has 32x11.5R15 tires on it. Just wonderering what upgrades would be nice for it. I know I want a bigger engine, as well as need to paint sand and paint the bumpers. Any and all suggestions\comments are welcomed, good or bad.
 

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Dont forget a Jack strap
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New front bumper, not tube
 

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Your rig looks fine. My brother just bought a 97 last week and has already spent over a thousand dollars on upgrades. I say hold on. Take a trip to an off road park (like Superlift in Arkansas) or at least do some off road excursions, with friends of course. Then you will have a list of upgrades a mile long, and which ones you want to do first. By the way chrome and tube bumpers are not real cool. Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Your rig looks fine. My brother just bought a 97 last week and has already spent over a thousand dollars on upgrades. I say hold on. Take a trip to an off road park (like Superlift in Arkansas) or at least do some off road excursions, with friends of course. Then you will have a list of upgrades a mile long, and which ones you want to do first. By the way chrome and tube bumpers are not real cool. Good Luck
drjay, thanks for the tips. I am going to be in Augusta area, do you know of any trails in that area? Also, what kind of bumper would you suggest or isthe only one other kind? Sorry but I am new to the Jeep world.
 

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drjay, thanks for the tips. I am going to be in Augusta area, do you know of any trails in that area? Also, what kind of bumper would you suggest or isthe only one other kind? Sorry but I am new to the Jeep world.
It's YOUR Jeep dude...If you like the bumper, keep it!
 

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google Jeep parts- but have a couple hours to spare-there are many many many aftermarket parts-bumpers are tip of the iceburg. Before buying and bolting on, need to figure out how you are going to drive it/what do you want it to do?
 

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Welcome to the Forum

You can go online to quadratec.com or 4wp.com and request catalogs. The most important thing to remember when modifying is that as mentioned above, IT IS YOUR JEEP!! You build it the way you want and don't worry about others opinions on the appearance. Wouldn't the world be a dull place if we all had the same tastes? Take it out and play, your jeep will tell you what it needs.
 

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Thanks for the input so far guys.Does anyone know how I can tell if it has any type of lift kit on it?
It appears to have a little bit of lift. Pics of the springs/spring mount area would help - it is possible they put in small spacers (I have a 1.25" spacer up front to compensate for my winch weight, for example) or a budget boost (2" or so).

As for what to do with it, it really depends what you plan to do with it. Swaybar disconnects (or ditch the front swaybar entirely) would be my first purchase on any TJ/LJ that didn't already have them. Beyond that, I'm a huge proponent of being 100% on your preventative maintenance. All the flashy accessories won't be worth a damn when your dry u-joint breaks apart or when your leaky rear main seal contaminates your clutch 1000 miles from home...

So I'd say:

1. Preventative maintenance - axle and ds j-joints for sure, all fluids changed, inspect belts/hoses, balljoints, unit bearngs, steering, fix leaks, check engine/trans mounts, etc.
2. Swaybar disconnects.
3. Recovery gear/tool kit, adding recovery points if you don't have them already.
4. Get gearing in line with tire size (factory four-cylinders had 4.10 gears + 32" tires = suck), and differential type in line with intended use.
5. Get out and use the thing, and add/subtract stuff as necessary for how you use it.
 

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If you know you want a bigger engine then why didn't you buy the Jeep with the bigger engine to begin with? Just curious.
 

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If you know you want a bigger engine then why didn't you buy the Jeep with the bigger engine to begin with? Just curious.
Maybe bigger means > the power of a 4.0L. Could you shoehorn a Cummins 4BT or an International 3.0tubrodiesel into a Wrangler? Might be interesting...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It appears to have a little bit of lift. Pics of the springs/spring mount area would help - it is possible they put in small spacers (I have a 1.25" spacer up front to compensate for my winch weight, for example) or a budget boost (2" or so).

As for what to do with it, it really depends what you plan to do with it. Swaybar disconnects (or ditch the front swaybar entirely) would be my first purchase on any TJ/LJ that didn't already have them. Beyond that, I'm a huge proponent of being 100% on your preventative maintenance. All the flashy accessories won't be worth a damn when your dry u-joint breaks apart or when your leaky rear main seal contaminates your clutch 1000 miles from home...

So I'd say:

1. Preventative maintenance - axle and ds j-joints for sure, all fluids changed, inspect belts/hoses, balljoints, unit bearngs, steering, fix leaks, check engine/trans mounts, etc.
2. Swaybar disconnects.
3. Recovery gear/tool kit, adding recovery points if you don't have them already.
4. Get gearing in line with tire size (factory four-cylinders had 4.10 gears + 32" tires = suck), and differential type in line with intended use.
5. Get out and use the thing, and add/subtract stuff as necessary for how you use it.
Thanks man, this is exactly the type of info I was looking for. Very helpful.
 

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Save your money for gas. That thing will go anywhere as-is :D
 

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Dont forget a Jack strap
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If you like it keep it, I just personally don't but at least its not chrome!
 

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Most people dislike the tube bumpers, but they get the job done. I would not make it a priority to change. It will practically go anywhere you need it to now. I'd start by mechanical stuff such as a tune up, checking/changing your fluids, getting it mechanically sound if it needs it. That motor will do anything you need it to do, I wouldn't waste your time doing a swap if you're just using it for hunting and fishing. In the meantime, you could sand and paint some stuff that would make it look tons better....fender flares, headlight bezels, and even the bumpers
 

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Personally, I'd take those little chrome thingys out of the grill. (They just snap in)

Otherwise....just clean it up, paint the bad parts, check all the mechanicals ....and just drive it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Most people dislike the tube bumpers, but they get the job done. I would not make it a priority to change. It will practically go anywhere you need it to now. I'd start by mechanical stuff such as a tune up, checking/changing your fluids, getting it mechanically sound if it needs it. That motor will do anything you need it to do, I wouldn't waste your time doing a swap if you're just using it for hunting and fishing. In the meantime, you could sand and paint some stuff that would make it look tons better....fender flares, headlight bezels, and even the bumpers
not wanting to sound dumb, but what is the headlight bezels?
 
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