Ratio of Mechanical/performance upgrades vs cosmetic/practical upgrades - what’s your priority?

KSwilly

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Something I observed at a Jamboree event this year was a lot of owners focus on the mechanical upgrades - wheels, tires, lift kits, engine mods - and think the comfort/security upgrades are way too expensive. My JL is a daily driver, and a lot of what I’ve done is for security and comfort. People were giving me grief for having a Sunrider for Hardtop, a Diabolical Slipstream for security, etc as “wasting money “ while feeling completely justified in the thousands of dollars they’ve spent in axles, lift kits, and so on.
it’s not like I haven’t paid attention to off-road upgrades - focused on winch, sway bar disconnects, etc, but so far, my 32” tires and stock lift are enough for what I’m tackling.
Curious what you guys have done to your Jeeps. How much is focused on off-road mechanical upgrades? How much interior/exterior non-mechanical work have you done?
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jludave

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Curious what you guys have done to your Jeeps. How much is focused on off-road mechanical upgrades? How much interior/exterior non-mechanical work have you done?
My JLU is my daily driver and weekend family hauler. My mods have focused on comfort and aesthetics. I don't care what others say about what I choose to do to my vehicle. I buy and install what works for me and my family.

I have a Sunrider for Hardtop. It is the best investment I've made to my JLU. I had one on my JKU as well. I need the security of a hard top, but hate the stock freedom panels. The Sunrider is worth every penny and I could care less if others think it is a waste of money.

I ran the stock Bridgestone Duellers that came with my Sport Altitude for just over a year. I've since upgrade to 33" Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT tires in size LT275/70R18. I wanted an all terrain tire and these look great and perform well.

On the interior, I have custom PRP seat covers. I have stock cloth seats and wanted a quality seat cover to protect them. The PRPs look great and do the job. I also have a ShadeIdea (from Amazon) sun shade, GPCA grab handles and a GPCA cargo cover. I've also upgraded to an 8.4" Uconnect radio from the 7".
 
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Chris2183

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There is a lot of snobbery and gatekeeping in the Jeep community.

There are people who will always call out those with smaller lifts and tire as not being real off-roaders. Also there are those who will talk trash about mall crawlers and bro-dozer tires, and cosmetic mods. You even have a group of YJ/TJ guys that still refuse to acknowledge the JK as a real Jeep let alone the JL.

It's dumb and if they are worried about what mods you have or what You are doing with your Jeep, then they clearly aren't wheeling theirs enough.

As for me I run wider wheels, stock height, bike rack, a winch, and upgraded the sound system. Fits all my needs currently
 
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Mikester86

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Ran our JLUR stock for a year basically before 2" lift and 35" tires with the exception of the winch and rock rails. Being a 4 door, I wanted the extra clearance the lift and tires provide.

I added a JTopsUSA Bikini Sunshade on the interior.

For most wheeling the 2" lift and 35's will get it done without taking a huge chunk out of the daily driver use I need.

It makes sense for each individual to build their Jeep to their use cases, or for that "look' one may want whether or not it ever gets off road.

If you feel the need to go above and beyond the current setup for the trails or Jamboree runs, that option is always there for you.

To each their own, and hope the "grief" you were getting was all in good fun. Jeep on!
 

iboostgti335

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Of my current mods, Id say about 50% are for performance and 50% are for aesthetics/comfort.

The cool part about having a Wrangler is the plethora of parts, so you can customize them to your liking and needs. Every Jeeper knows this... Anyone who gives you flack just because their opinion doesn't alight with yours, is simply an asshole.
 

aldo98229

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Next time hang out with the mall crawlers. They will appreciate your mods better than those rough necks. :bandit:
 

4xFUN

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I would guess about 75%+ performance / functional vs -25% comfort / convenience / ascetic.

In any case, I spent many times my original 'upgrade budget'...
 

Ridgway Jeeper

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So we have purchased and fitted a factory soft top for summer and had ordered it with a hard top for winter. Not sure which category that falls into, seems functional to me. Fitted seat covers more for function that style, though they are stylish...lol Haven't made a single mechanical mod because I bought the Rubicon and it doesn't need any mods to do all the trails near me and 99% of the ones a few hours away in Moab should we want to go there. I see tons of Jeeps WAY over the top with mechanical mods simply not needed for the trails around here. When I do the front bumper and the winch that is more cosmetic than necessarily functional IMO, it will almost never get used. I will eventually fit 35" tires too but again that will be mostly for looks because they are not really needed for function. Honestly, most guys are modding JL's strictly for looks because there aren't very many trails where you need more capability than a stock Jeep comes with.
 

SH556JL

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First mod was window tint and JTops. I am currently in the process of upgrading audio and leather seats. So I went comfort first, before off road add ons. First will be front bumper with winch, along with dual battery setup and probably do full skid at the same time.
 

Punknhed

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Having come to Jeep from the Harley world, i learned real quick you can go as mild or wild as your pocket book will allow. Some have deep pockets, some don't, i fall in the 2nd group lol.
i did tires, and window tint on mine the day after i got it. I then realized being a redhed with short hair and a soft top, i needed a sun shade. Did a couple trails, realized both diffs needed skids, and i wanted new floor mats and rock sliders. Then i got bored, so i painted my dash. Found a set of Rubi take off springs and shocks locally so i did that. Eventually ill lift, and go bigger on the tires, but for now Im happy. My last add was on board air. Ive not run into anyone who has criticized my jeep, even if they did ohwell lol. I say do what you like and makes you happy.
 

omnitonic

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I'm not sure what comfort/security upgrades I would even want. I spent my money focused on specific goals. I formulated the goals driving around in my shiny red F150 XLT with street tires. Where was I afraid to go? What would it take to go a little farther than I dared to explore with that really pretty highway truck?

I was told not to go down a certain road without a winch, so I didn't until I had a winch.

The winch caused its own sort of cascade effect. Winch needs mounting location equals bumper, more weight equals sagging front end, equals Rubicon takeoff springs.

I experimented with disconnecting my front sway bar, and was very, very impressed. I didn't need quick disconnects, and they were a frivolous luxury, but I really like my TeraFlex front sway bar quick disconnects. So sue me.

I experimented with airing down, and I really liked the result. It rides better off-road. It's more grabby than slippy on rocky terrain. Airing down is a win, but the first time I spent 90 minutes airing back up with a crappy portable compressor from Walmart was the day I invested in a nice onboard air system.

I'm still on my stock 32s. I will probably regear to 4.10 and switch to 33s in a year or so, whenever I burn off my factory tires. I have no plans to go to 35s or 37s, because that would require more lift and other upgrades than I want to pay for.

There is one trail around here I have been told I cannot do until I have 37s and skids and triple winches and a hoverboard and six blonde Jeep girls doing hula hoops on my roof, and I have just accepted that I don't like Meth County that much anyway, and I can live without tackling that trail. There is a lot of fun to be had within 30 minutes of home.

I did it all in a stock JLU Willys, but it's a lot more fun to do that stuff after my upgrades.
 

Trainman

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I keep my Wranglers pretty much stock, I do like the themed models, Willys, Islander, etc. When I'm able to order my new 2022 2dr Wrangler it will probably be the stock Sport Model and I will probably add the old style Islander decals and call it done. I like Jeeps as an American Traditional vehicle and just enjoy cruising on the streets. I've done all the off roading on motorcycles for the last 50 years, I'm pretty much done with that at 76.
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Walker Texas Wrangler

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I find it kinda funny that YJ/TJ owners would not accept JK/JLs as "true" off-roaders. I had a 99 TJ and was a member of Jeep forums at that time. TJ owners ribbed the YJs for their leaf springs and square headlights. If you had a sway bar disconnect and a locker running 32's or 33's you were pretty much built up for anything. 35's were out there but they were pushing the limits of the stock D35/44 combo with 3.73 gears. Mind you, TJs stock "big" tire package was a 30" and had open diffs.

With that being said, when I got a Rubicon that had 33's, front and rear lockers, electronic sway bar discos, wider and stronger axles and 4.10 gears stock. I felt that the "performance" had already been handled for me. So, I focused on more comfort features as this is also my secondary daily driver.

As far as I know the trails haven't changed that much since then. Plus, I'm in Texas where it's pretty flat. I brought my Jeep over to my mechanic who used to build up TJs. He took one look at everything and said, you have everything we wanted to add.

For me, it's plenty capable out of the box for what I need. But I do enjoy seeing them built up for what someone else needs. Keep it fun....and exciting.
 

Dkretden

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With the exception of recovery gear, I am almost 100% comfort mods. your Jeep, your way.
 
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