I have been meaning to write this up for a while, but just haven't got around to it. Now that my Jeep is nearly a year old, I thought I'd share how I got to the point I'm at and some of the experiences that I had along the way. I don't have all the extra $$ for the fanciest of things, so I had to do it my way, and usually a piece at a time, and buying things used or waiting for the best deal I could find. I was unemployed for a while last year too, so many of the things I bought I sacrificed things like having beer in the fridge or eating out, and staying away from a bad Xbox addiction
I have included prices to the best of what I can remember and how I got a hold of many of the parts.
Suspension. I didn't have the money to buy a full out kit all at once. Like I said, piece at a time.
Rubi springs and shocks. Picked up off of CL for $100
TF 2.5" spacers. Off an internet board for $85 shipped
Bump stops. Machined them myself out of aluminum $0
Brake line drop brackets. off the internet $20 shipped
Longer rear sway bar links. Ebay $25 (switched the fronts for the old rears)
JKS track bar. Ebay $125 shipped
Rear track bar bracket. Off of a local 4x4 board. $20
Total comes to $375. Not too shabby, and couldn't find a kit with all that for that price. Even the TF BB with shocks is over $500, no trac bar. I did end up dropping another $140 on some softer shocks because I didn't like the ride of the 4 door Rubi shocks, so total then became $515. Still less than most BB's with shocks and a track bar.
Next: The rubber. Wanted to run 35's, but ended up getting an awesome deal on a set of 37" Iroks with about 75% tread from a board member (actually met him through a local 4x4 board) So..
(5)Interco Irok radials 37x12.5x17 $500
Spidertrax spacers. Used, off the net. $150 shipped
Mount and balance $135
LED lights for side markers because I had to cut the flares to run them $15
Daystar body lift to fit 37s. $100 Ebay
Total: $900. Wouldn't change a thing. Can't wait till these wear out so I can get a larger set!!
Externals: A lot of this was purchased because it was needed or wanted, and couldn't find/afford better stuff.
Mopar slush mats and entry guards. Don't remember how much these were.
KC windshield mounts. $35. I will be replacing this because of the hood glare.
KC lights. $100
Mirror relocation brackets, rugged ridge. Love em. $50
Bikini top and header. $140
Duster cover. Off of CL. brand new. $50
Rubi Rails. Another CL find. $100
Rancho rear bumper to hold the 37. $400 out the door. DO NOT BUY THIS BUMPER. It is total shit, and will be replaced when I am able. (more on this Here: post #11 https://www.jkowners.com/forum/showth...ho+rear+bumper
Expedition one front basic DX bumper. $160 shipped. This bumper is more expensive now, they added D-ring mounts. I love the simplicity of it.
Other stuff: This I guess isn't really a part of a budget build, but I did find some budget solutions.
Alpine CDA-9883. I already had this head unit. I thought it was rediculous to have to pay $100 for a wiring harness made to retain the radio on after ignition off feature. The metra part # for JKs is XSVI-6522, it retails for $100-$120. I just picked up a regular 6522 harness for $15 at a local sound shop and found an ignition wire off of the steering column for the ignition radio wire.
Added XM direct connect for Alpine. Circuit city out of business sale $30
Already had: Alpine Amplifier, just purchased an amp kit
Already had: Alpine type E 10" sub and box
CB: Cobra 29, bought it new on sale $100
Antenna mount. Found an open box at a local 4x4 shop of a TF bracket, minus bolts, think I got it for $20
Now, the retrospect. All in all I am pretty pleased with most things of my build, but there are some thing that will definately change. First off, the Rancho Bumper. It is garbage in its finest form, it pisses me off on an almost daily basis. I will never buy another Rancho product.
Suspension, I will be upgrading to springs this year, adding control arms, and brake lines. I wheel a lot, and it could be much better. Not saying it doesn't work, I have wheeled some pretty intense trails here in CO, but can definately be improved.
Wiring through the JK isn't too bad, but I bought an SPOD when they had their sale late last year (to be installed when I have some time). I had a mess of wires and relays under the dash and in the engine compartment, and one failed. Do not buy auto relays off of ebay, cheap and can short out causing a dead battery and being stranded (believe me).
Drivetrain: I finally got gears and a Detroit in the front. I still wheeled all last season with the 37s and 3.21s. Anyone that says you can't is full of crap. Ideal? no, but it can be done.
With all that said, I searched, auctioned, bought used when I could, fabricated my own parts, and came up with as many solutions as I could to save a buck and build my Jeep. Still a very long way from being done, but well on the road. As she passes her first birthday next week, I know that this year has only just been the beginning!
I hope this helps some in thinking of some new ideas of going about doing things, not always having to buy things brand new and at full price. If yu are able, awesome, but if you are like me, you gotta get what you can find.