Just wanted some advise about some good yet affordable mods that someone that is on a limited budget can do yet still good for everyday use. Everything and anything would be good from power to lift.
Well, I will be the first to bite - so here goes.
First, here are street-friendly mods I have done (or are in the process of doing) to mine to make it easier/more comfortable/more convenient for everyday purposes:
- Daystar dashboard holder - replaces the tray over the radio to give you little storage space there.
- Grab handles - makes it easier for my short girlfriend and my kids to get into and out of the Jeep - also handy to tie things down with (general stability - not load bearing)
- Gadgets - I am a gadget guy, so I am installing three power bulkheads in the firewall to safely run hot, switched, and ground from the battery/engine compartment. This way I can wire up toys SAFELY
- Power Inverter - did I mention I liked gadgets?
As for the street stuff, when I start building mine for the trail, this is what I am planning on doing, based on past experience with my YJ and TJ:
- Lift Kit - this is almost a religion-like conversation. Cost is always an issue here, but you get what you pay for. I am saving my pennies for the RE 3.5" extreme kit - long arm, radius arm, VERY flexy, GREAT ride - but expensive - $2500-$3000. Does not include driveshafts either.
- If you want to start wheeling NOW on your budget, ARMOR should be your #1 priority. You can do a lot low, but you are likely to rip something. Start with oil pan, gas tank, muffler armor, and go from there.
- Bumpers - again, a religion in itself - personal opinion: get one that is solid, but doesnt hurt your approach or departure angles. I personally like ARB, but that's personal preference.
- Wheels - I would go with basic black rims - they are cheap and if you tear them up, who cares. Steer away from bling at all costs
- Tires: Go for an all-around good tire, on and off road. The Swamper TSL Radials are good if you do a good amount of wheeling, but there are tons of different options.
If you boil everything down, here are the NUMBER ONE AND TWO lessons -
--- DO NOT SKIMP --- It is better to wait and do it RIGHT ONCE than spend twice the time and money re-doing it because you got cheap junk.
--- SHOP AROUND --- I like 10 miles from a Quadratec warehouse, so they get almost all my business - but they are not always the cheapest. Find the guy who IS, and they will match it. If you can, stay with one supplier, history goes a long way if down the road there are issues or you need help.
Hope this helps!