Building on a budget....A retrospect - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 17 Old 04-16-2010, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Building on a budget....A retrospect

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.

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post #2 of 17 Old 04-17-2010, 09:36 PM
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Thanks for the post man, just like the Johnny Cash song "One Piece at a Time" Nice work and if you enjoy it and love wheeling it thats all that matters man, I'm kind of doing piece by piece as well
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post #3 of 17 Old 04-17-2010, 10:18 PM
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just need some pics


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Everyone else can BLOW themselves cause im bad as FUCK!
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post #4 of 17 Old 04-17-2010, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBeatenPath View Post
just need some pics
Ha, should have figured on that one coming.

New



a bit of lift



Pre-tires, post lift




Pre-fender chop, wow, it will NEVER be this clean again. So shiny, no rock rash or undercarriage carnage, a rear plate that is not being held on only by the grace of god. Ahhhh the memories.



A bit later



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post #5 of 17 Old 04-18-2010, 09:16 AM
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Sweet!

2014 Rubicon on the build!
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post #6 of 17 Old 04-18-2010, 10:36 AM
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How's your driveshaft holding up?
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post #7 of 17 Old 04-18-2010, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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How's your driveshaft holding up?
Zero driveshaft problems whatsoever so far. It's only lifted 2.5", so I wouldn't expect much of an issue. I also have the 6 speed, so even less of a potential of a problem.

The D30 with the 37s on the other hand...... it is a bit of a time bomb, but I am very careful when I wheel and know when to let off of the throttle. There are MANY owners of JKs that say the D30 is garbage, but I have been wheeling for a very long time, and have had few issues running large tires with them. I do carry spare shafts on the trail, and tools, but have yet to use them on the JK. Most of the trails I run are in the 7-9 rating unless I am out for a leisurely day with freinds with less capable vehicles, or stomachs to handle the trail.

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post #8 of 17 Old 04-18-2010, 09:33 PM
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wow 37s with only 2.5 of lift and chopped flares, thats inspiring. Hows the rubbing, I see your rear flares are gone is that why?

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post #9 of 17 Old 04-19-2010, 12:48 PM
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Really nice rig. How big is the body lift? What problems have you had running the 37's. I love the look!
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post #10 of 17 Old 04-19-2010, 01:03 PM
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Kudos man, your build sounds alot like mine.

Good on ya for gettin it done and not breakin the bank!

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post #11 of 17 Old 04-19-2010, 01:08 PM
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Same boat here...
Slowly slowly getting there.
3 years now and I'm only sitting on 4" lift and 34's LOL

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post #12 of 17 Old 04-20-2010, 07:13 AM Thread Starter
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wow 37s with only 2.5 of lift and chopped flares, thats inspiring. Hows the rubbing, I see your rear flares are gone is that why?
Rear flares are still there, just looks like I chopped more because the fronts are so much wider to begin with. The are chopped just barely past the line of the curve. I haven't really had any rubbing issues at all, I chopped 2" off of the rubi rails in the back and cut a bit of the pinch seam off to avoid that.

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post #13 of 17 Old 04-20-2010, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSlothrop View Post
Really nice rig. How big is the body lift? What problems have you had running the 37's. I love the look!
Body lift is 1". I wouldn't have put it on at all if I could have afforded enough lift in the first place to clear the 37s. Hopefully by the end of this year I will have upgraded to a 3.5-4" spring lift with control arms and will remove the body lift after that.

No problems running the 37s at all except gearing. Only ran one trail last summer that I needed a pull on, and it was because I just didn't have the torque to the wheels that I needed and kept killing the engine. Shouldn't be a problem now with the 5.13s.

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post #14 of 17 Old 04-20-2010, 07:11 PM
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nicely done! I am also in the denver area (littleton), next time you hit some trails let me know...maybe we could meet up and drag over a few rocks together!!

I wish the snow melt would hurry up and go away, I want to run holy cross, spring creek, etc but all those trails are still snowed in. I resorted to the simple illinois gulch last weekend just to get out and play a litle in this great state

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post #15 of 17 Old 04-20-2010, 09:47 PM
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I'm down too..Headin down to hang with CO4LO this Sunday...anyone wanna meet up with us.. He knows the area...so I'll be following him..lol

I'm leaving Sat.night..stayin at his place..then out in the morning.. Just some fun and new friends is all..

Anyone wanna tag along?

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- 40" Pro Comp X-Terrain

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post #16 of 17 Old 04-21-2010, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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nicely done! I am also in the denver area (littleton), next time you hit some trails let me know...maybe we could meet up and drag over a few rocks together!!
Absolutely. I'm dying for the snow to melt too. I haven't done Holy Cross since I got geared, and I have some beef to settle with French Creek (one of the 2 times I had to winch last year).

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post #17 of 17 Old 04-21-2010, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fourplyn View Post
I'm down too..Headin down to hang with CO4LO this Sunday...anyone wanna meet up with us.. He knows the area...so I'll be following him..lol

I'm leaving Sat.night..stayin at his place..then out in the morning.. Just some fun and new friends is all..

Anyone wanna tag along?
Sounds awesone, too bad I work till 0630 Sunday morning, and I just moved from Denver to HR yesterday, so have to get all the damned unpacking and stuff done.

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