Well, I've been thinking about doing one of these for a while. I've had my Jeep over three years and it's been through a lot of changes, some of which I happened to take pictures of. Been here on JF less than a year, so I never really thought to document anything before then. I've been on a college student budget the whole time, and I've gotten pretty creative at times, so I'm mainly creating this thread not only to keep everything in one place for me, but to try to help out the many others on here who are wheeling on a tight budget, so I'll be trying to mostly gear it towards that.
The Jeep is a 2003 that I purchased Dec 31st, 2005 with just over 42k on the clock. By coincidence it was almost EXACTLY 100k less than the Jeep it was replacing, within a couple hundred miles. It was also the only WJ local to me that I could find with the 4.0/242 that I was looking for (this was before I'd heard of craigslist). I never took any pictures stock, but here's the closest I have, after adding a 2" BB and Rancho RSX shocks
Thinking back on it, I'm pretty sure I actually purchased the BB from a RRO ebay auction (
). The shocks were an amazing deal because I bought them in October, when Monroe does their buy three get one free promo. This also applies to Rancho, and at the time I think it was 4 wheel parts that had the best price on the RSX as well as free shipping. The full set of four cost me $173, and they've held up fantastically.
Probably the first mod I did was the ebay special air intake and TB spacer, before learning that TB spacers were a useless waste of money. The K&N filter was also a waste of money as I've since replaced it with the MUCH better amsoil dry cone filter (thanks, Gabe!
). For a while I ran it with the filter exposed, and it got wet if I splashed up enough water, so a friend and I came up with this solution:
Basically, we put the stock airbox back in place, and then proceeded to beat the crap out of the back corner of it with a hammer, allowing the air intake to run back in it and protect the cone filter from getting soaked.
I'd say it's one of the only mods you can do to a Jeep using nothing but a hammer
I also noticed a significant difference in power based on outside temp, and realized that the intake pipe was heating up too much. A trip to home depot for some AC duct insulation and aluminum tape solved that nicely. Three layers thick and I can blast the outside with a heat gun and it barely warms up inside.