Originally Posted by captain58
I just bought a 2013 Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited. It is being shipped to me from the factory and before it gets here I want to have everything that I want done to it sorted. My plan is to drive it from the dealership to the shop and have them give it back to me when it's completed and ready to go. My dilemma is that I don't have much experience in the realm of vehicle modifications, especially to this extent. It doesn't have to be able to climb Everest but I'd like it to be built in a way that it'll do pretty much whatever I ask it to. However, the jeep will still be my primary vehicle. So, I'll be driving it to work, around town, the occasional 3 hour trip to see my brother who is in university, and to whatever off road park or mud pit I happen to find. So, highway ride comfort is paramount. With that being said I don't want to sacrifice off-road capability. I love off-roading and have been doing it for a while now. This is just the first time I've bought a vehicle new and done everything myself. I bought previous vehicles already modified, so I don't mean that I'll do the actual labor. I'll leave that to someone smarter than me. In a nutshell, I want the thing to be like a tank but still ride and handle like a normal vehicle should. I may be asking for the moon here but that's what I'm going for. It's all about finding that magical point where it's all in balance.
Now that I've given an overview of what I'm going for, let's get down to the nuts and bolts. Straight from the dealer I'm looking to modify my front and rear bumper, winch, fender flares, skid plates, lift, tires, shocks, lighting, intake, exhaust, and a few other odds and ends such as window tinting and the like. The first three items are fairly straight forward in that a winch is a winch is a winch and the bumpers and fender flares are, aside from doing what they all do, more or less based on aesthetic appeal. Regardless, any comments on those items would be greatly appreciated. While I haven't made a final decision on the bumpers. I'll probably go with the WARN PowerPlant Dual Force HP 9500LB Winch and the bushwhacker flat style fender flares. Skid plates are pretty straight forward as well I know but, is there any specific package out there what I could just buy that would cover everything that needs to be covered? As for the lift I don't know what would be best either. I'm looking to get 35" tires. For the lift I wouldn't want to do anything less than a 3" lift and probably no more than a 4.5". I'll stress that balance between off-road capability and ride comfort. If I had to sacrifice one by just a wee bit it would be ride comfort. I'm willing let the scale tilt toward off-road capability but not by much (I hope I'm making sense). On the topic of a lift my question is not only what size lift I should get but also what is the best lift out there for me. My budget for the whole project is about $11,000 give or take a bit not counting labor (I've got all that sorted). My point being that I don't want to skimp on the lift at all. I don't need some off-road rally championship lift. Or do I? I don't know what I need here. I don't want to waste my money on something that I don't need. Obviously, the more I can save the better. But, I don't want to look back later and say I could have spent $300 more and had the best lift. It's all about do it right the first time and not having any regrets about the way I did it. The lift also makes you start thinking about suspension/shocks. What's all that about? Do I need to change my suspension? If I do what exactly do I need? This is another area that I don't want to skimp on. I want something that's going to do it's job well and last. But again, I don't want to waste my money on something frivolous. I'm completely in the dark on that one so any advice there would help. As far as tires go I have a pretty good idea of what I want. I was thinking Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ Radial Traditional Light Truck 315/70 R17 8-Ply. But, if anyone has any first hand experience and you think that another tire would be better then I'm all ears. Again, looking for that balance here. I would like to point out that when I say balance I mean it in more of an existential way. The jeep needs to be in harmony. I want it to do two jobs. I want it to get me to work/be a comfortable ride for me and my passengers on a trip and I want it to be able to traverse just about any terrain I ask it to within reason (it's not a swamp bogger). And, I want it to do both of those jobs to the absolute best of it's ability. So wherever those two meet is the balance I'm talking about. But then take one step to the right (the right being the side of off-road performance) and that is exactly what I'm looking for. I hope that clarified a bit or even made sense. I know this is probably becoming exhausting to read but please bare with me. You can't possibly image how much I value the opinions of what I'm considering to be the experts on the matter. Mostly because I'm assuming that you guys know more about all this than I do. So hang in there please, I'm almost done. For lighting I want to put two lights down on the front bumper and then two more on the windscreen. My question here is, what type of light should I get and where should I put them (i.e. fog lights, driving lights, etc.)? I want to be able to turn night into day essentially. The second question there is what brand of lights should I get? Lastly, air intake and the exhaust systems. I think I want to put in a cold air intake immediately. I've read that it can add 12HP and improve fuel efficiency. So that seems good. Which intake is best or will get the job done? Also, should I consider a snorkel? Apart from the obvious benefits, is there anything else that a snorkel would help me with? Would I need to get a snorkel and a cold air intake or is the snorkel just it's own system? I'm in the dark on this one too. I've been told you can spend silly amount of money on intake systems and have paid $300 less and have the same improvements and benefits of the more expensive system. So what's up there? What do I really need? Like I said earlier, I want to have the best but not at the risk of just throwing money away. As for the exhaust system, I literally know nothing. All I know to say is that when it's done I want a pretty hawse sound but not so much that it's annoying to my passengers or myself on a drive. It needs to be intense but not obnoxious. That being said what do I need to do there. What systems would give me that sound (they all sound good at the end of the day) and give me some performance enhancements as well (I'm just assuming here at the risk of showing my true ignorance on the topic that different exhaust systems give different enhancements or even any enhancements at all). I also know that I don't want straight pipes. I don't really know what that means. I'm assuming that pipes are just straight from the engine to out the rear end but again I have no idea. My cousin has straight pipes on his truck and while that's cool for him, they weren't exactly my style. Also, I should give a reminder that I will be using the jeep (as all jeep owners should) for it's unintended purpose. That being said I don't need or want some super flashy "pimp my ride" exhaust pipes that shoot flaming balls of glitter and bling out the end. I want a system that makes that sound and aren't going to be messed up when everything inevitably comes crashing down on a boulder, bashed on a fallen tree, or dug into the earth in a mud pit. I don't want to spend money fixing some fancy tail pipe just because it wasn't designed for off road use. Now if I can get that performance and sound out of a specific exhaust system and it just looks like a normal exhaust system then fine. It doesn't matter. If I can get all that with one that looks good even better (still don't want those pipes that shoot out shinning wheels of light and say "hey look at me I'm a massive cock"). However, I do tend to like those systems with a twin exhaust. Whatever that means. Not too flashy though. I'm just not a flashy person. I'm more reserved but I always get the job done without much of a fuss; I want my jeep to reflect that personality. That's about all I have. I also wanted to ask about other random performance enhancers. Specifically engine performance parts like throttle body spacers and the like. I have no idea what that means or what they do. Are they necessary for a more intense experience and if they are, exactly what should I get? The only other thing I would ask is have I missed anything at all? Is there some other big picture item that I'm missing? Or, is there any small piece of the puzzle that would really just tie everything together in a nice little bow? Again, I want to hand the jeep to the shop and tell them EXACTLY what I want and have them do it. But, I don't want to muck it up. I don't want to do all of these things to the jeep just to find out that I didn't do it right and end up spending 11k and have a jeep that isn't going to perform well, have a bad ride, or just not be what I wanted it to be. I'm really set on trying to do all these modifications in one go so I can be done with it and not be riding with it half way done. So, the more input I can get on the matter the better. So if I've overlooked something big or small please let me know. Remember I'm fairly new to the modification side of all this so assume for now that I'm completely daft. Thanks everyone.