If you take a mouse to the movies...

Dogboyslim

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If you don't have kids you may not know this book series, but as I was talking to a local jeep specialist, I felt like I was trapped in this type of a book. Anyway, this is my first jeep, so the Just Empty Every Pocket thing just got real for me.

If you want to go offroading, you are going to want some armor
After you have the armor you are going to wish you had bigger tires
If you want bigger tires, you are going to want a lift
If you want to return to stock gearing, you are going to want to regear
If you are running hard on oversized tires, you are going to need to deal with the weight
To deal with the weight you will need to address the spare tire carrier
to deal with the stress on the drivetrain, you are going to need to reinforce your axels...

OMG! He was really good about saying you don't have to do everything up front and walking through options of priority given what I want to do, but how the hell do people pay for all this? I started adding it up and if I did everything above, it would be near $10k worth of parts!

I don't want to go cheap on something only to buy it again later, so I'm thinking the following 6 steps is probably what I ought to consider (I already have LOD side-step/rock rails):
  1. Skid plates (something like undercloak, differential and FAD protection) (~$1500)
  2. Lift (right now I'm waffling between 3.5 gamechanger and TerraFlex ST4 (so ~$3k prior to labor or do it myself)
  3. Tires/tire carrier (Right now thinking 35s, but may decide to go 37s. I can't go over 37 and still run local trails, so that would be the upper limit, but I need to address the spare carrier at the same time, so this step will be $3k ish if I get new rims)
  4. Axle reinforcement (no idea cost)
  5. Regear (I've heard ~2k)
  6. Buy a new jeep and start over. ($$$$$$$)
Do I have my steps right? This is a daily driver weekend wheeler.
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TJ2018

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I second what @Arterius2 said. Rubicons (ALL Wranglers for that matter) are quite capable completely stock. No reason you have to upgrade unless that is what you want to do. Unless you plan on rock crawling you don't really need anything. And even a stock Rubicon can successfully navigate the Rubicon trail.
 
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Dogboyslim

Dogboyslim

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2018 JLU Rubicon Punkn.
I don't think I really do want to spend a fortune, but I'd like to be able to relax the sphincter a little while on the trail. Right now I'm focused on protection because there are several places on the local trails where rocks/stumps are unavoidable. I have had a few bumps that made me uncomfortable with respect to damage. I landed hard on my destroyers but no issue there other than scratching the rail. I'm wanting to feel better all around. That led to the discussion from the jeep club of: "a bit of lift (4") and 35/37's and you would hit a lot less. Its why I had the conversation with the jeep guy recommended to me. He just started going down the rabbit hole of: upgrade this and you will probably want to do xyz to accomodate it and in my head I just kept hearing "ca-ching!"

Mostly I was just floored by the cost of all this stuff. Yes the jeep was expensive, but holy crap! Throwing $10k more into a jeep that you will never get back? I'm not yet sold.
 

Slowpoke

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Kinda like owning a Harley. You are buying a platform to build on. You have a lot of $$ in added accessories, extras and upgrades after you purchase the vehicle. But you know this going in. Then it's to your liking and better than new.
 

Roky

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If you don't have kids you may not know this book series, but as I was talking to a local jeep specialist, I felt like I was trapped in this type of a book. Anyway, this is my first jeep, so the Just Empty Every Pocket thing just got real for me.

If you want to go offroading, you are going to want some armor
After you have the armor you are going to wish you had bigger tires
If you want bigger tires, you are going to want a lift
If you want to return to stock gearing, you are going to want to regear
If you are running hard on oversized tires, you are going to need to deal with the weight
To deal with the weight you will need to address the spare tire carrier
to deal with the stress on the drivetrain, you are going to need to reinforce your axels...

OMG! He was really good about saying you don't have to do everything up front and walking through options of priority given what I want to do, but how the hell do people pay for all this? I started adding it up and if I did everything above, it would be near $10k worth of parts!

I don't want to go cheap on something only to buy it again later, so I'm thinking the following 6 steps is probably what I ought to consider (I already have LOD side-step/rock rails):
  1. Skid plates (something like undercloak, differential and FAD protection) (~$1500)
  2. Lift (right now I'm waffling between 3.5 gamechanger and TerraFlex ST4 (so ~$3k prior to labor or do it myself)
  3. Tires/tire carrier (Right now thinking 35s, but may decide to go 37s. I can't go over 37 and still run local trails, so that would be the upper limit, but I need to address the spare carrier at the same time, so this step will be $3k ish if I get new rims)
  4. Axle reinforcement (no idea cost)
  5. Regear (I've heard ~2k)
  6. Buy a new jeep and start over. ($$$$$$$)
Do I have my steps right? This is a daily driver weekend wheeler.
You’re getting a lot of good advice here, if you want to keep it stock. Certainly nothing wrong with that. I bought my Jeep with the goal of making it a kinda hybrid. I wanted a very capable wheeler with some creature comforts for highway driving. You can check out my garage page to see all I’ve done so far, so this doesn’t end up a wall of text, lol. We sometimes drive a few hours to get to our wheeling destinations. So if you want to modify your rig, the first thing I would suggest doing is lift it and put your wheels and tires on it. Then wheel it and you’ll see what you need next. As the guys mentioned, rubicons are very capable stock, but if you give it more ground clearance it’s amazing where it will take you. And don’t worry about messing up your stock ride or drivability, with those lifts you mentioned, they will retain your geometry and most likely drive better , I know mine does.
 
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