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Ever since we went car shopping for my wife last summer I have been jonesing for a Wrangler.  I figured out that I have a distinct preference for a certain style/look and I will end up needing to get a soft top, custom wheels and I guess a lift kit.  I think I can get close to what I want from stock with the exception of the lift - the look I like is soft top, slight lift, wheels slightly wider than the body.  Also want a newer model with a screen display, preferably car play.

Any of you guys also Jeep guys?  Where do you get your custom parts?  I need to price some things out to see what makes the most sense - should I buy new and then customize?  or look for something used that has what I want?  What parts/vendors do you recommend?  Online shops?

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21 minutes ago, tomk62 said:

Ever since we went car shopping for my wife last summer I have been jonesing for a Wrangler.  I figured out that I have a distinct preference for a certain style/look and I will end up needing to get a soft top, custom wheels and I guess a lift kit.  I think I can get close to what I want from stock with the exception of the lift - the look I like is soft top, slight lift, wheels slightly wider than the body.  Also want a newer model with a screen display, preferably car play.

Any of you guys also Jeep guys?  Where do you get your custom parts?  I need to price some things out to see what makes the most sense - should I buy new and then customize?  or look for something used that has what I want?  What parts/vendors do you recommend?  Online shops?

06 wrangler here build for mild to medium offroad use but i mostly cruze forest and logging roads. You can get everything you want from quadratec.com and they are right in Westchester PA so shipping is usually next day delivery or you can go and pick it up. Also keep an eye out for their ding and dent sale. Its a tent sale and you can get some really good deals and it's basically a jeep show in the parkinglot. 

Personally I bought a used stock jeep that had the factory options I wanted and then built it to how I wanted it for my uses. When you buy a jeep someone elce built you have no idea of the quality of components installed or how hard it was beat on. Also I'm a car guy and like to do all the work myself 

With that said if your just looking for a soft top, lift and wheels it sounds like your looking for a "mall crawler" instead of a "rock crawler" and since most mall crawlers have never been off road or beat on it might be cheaper for you to buy one already built. 

If you do end up lifting the jeep do your self a favor and spend the money on a quality kit because if you don't you will end up with death wobble and or sever driveline vibrations 

FYI JEEP stands for Just Empty Every Pocket 

Welcome to another money pit...    

 

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I am on my third Grand Cherokee in a row, lol.  I try to limit the customization since these are leases and mostly used for mall crawl (to coin Fishnut's phrase), but I just returned from driving the sand at island beach park this morning.  I air down and hit the buggy access path about halfway down the park road (its flat) and then steam down to the inlet where you can see the Barneget lighthouse.  The sand is littered with a hundred years of busted shells, so it is very firm at th inlet.  With stock all season tires, I can power on through deep sand as long as I don't stop midway.  The real offroaders use real mudbog rubber.  They never get stuck.  I just can't justify a real setup like that on a vehicle I may not have in 2 years.  But I do carry a tow cable, shovels, wheel jack and traction mats for bad situations.

I would never attempt  rock crawl in this unless I owned it as a second vehicle.  Imagine the lease return damage fee on a truck with a broken axle and half the paint scraped away.  Not pretty.

But I do see a number of older wranglers for sale every day that might do the trick...right on the highway.  Already done up and easy to work on.  Might be some good finds out there.  The Gas Monkey dude's buddy owns a parts warehouse for that sort of thing (part upgrades).  Can't recall the name though.

I do tend to browse the lot when in for an oil change.  But a tricked out Wrangler, brandy new for 50 grand?  Not in my budget.

But by the way, the higher trim models have air ride adjustments.  I can turn a knob on the center consol and lift 3 inches.  Pretty cool until it eventually breaks I guess.  But thats the next owner's problem.

 

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2017 wrangler JKU, freedom edition.   

I bought it new and modified as I wanted over 18 months.  First, bumpers and winch, then new fastback soft top, AEV lift,  armor and wheels.  I did a few minor cosmetic changes like stubbier antenna, rear door carrier bags and such.
 

I've taken it to Rausch creek Pa a few times and easily manage the blue trails.  Even had to tow out a buddy who got suck with his stock rubi.  
 

all my hard body parts were order from extreme terrain.com.  They are located in PA and have great prices and customer prices.  I ordered tires online and had them and my lift professionally install.  If you go with a lift, like Fishnut said, pay to have it done.  Personally I’d avoid the budget lifts, but I know plenty who went that route and have zero problems and love the zero rake look.  
 

in the end, it’s a jeep...modify as you like and how your budget allows.   It’s the adult version of legos...

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I have owned nothing but jeeps.  If you've never owned a wrangler and just want something to have fun with you'll be happy.  If you're looking for a daily driver or commuter vehicle, get a Kia.  

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I have a 2016 Jeep JK unlimited and love it, even more than all the pickup trucks I’ve owned. Being able to lock things up with the hardtop also played a role in that. Plus being able to take the top and doors off is golden, not to mention the true off-road capabilities 

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The new jl can fit 35's stock. Don't even need a lift. 

My 2014 required 2" of lift and flat fenders. ROCK Krawler springs and tetraflex trackbars plus their upgraded steering links.

I stayed low CG and spent the money on full belly skid system from rock hard 4x4. 

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On 5/29/2020 at 11:44 AM, fishnut said:

06 wrangler here build for mild to medium offroad use but i mostly cruze forest and logging roads. You can get everything you want from quadratec.com and they are right in Westchester PA so shipping is usually next day delivery or you can go and pick it up. Also keep an eye out for their ding and dent sale. Its a tent sale and you can get some really good deals and it's basically a jeep show in the parkinglot. 

Personally I bought a used stock jeep that had the factory options I wanted and then built it to how I wanted it for my uses. When you buy a jeep someone elce built you have no idea of the quality of components installed or how hard it was beat on. Also I'm a car guy and like to do all the work myself 

With that said if your just looking for a soft top, lift and wheels it sounds like your looking for a "mall crawler" instead of a "rock crawler" and since most mall crawlers have never been off road or beat on it might be cheaper for you to buy one already built. 

If you do end up lifting the jeep do your self a favor and spend the money on a quality kit because if you don't you will end up with death wobble and or sever driveline vibrations 

FYI JEEP stands for Just Empty Every Pocket 

Welcome to another money pit...    

 

This.  I owned Wranglers from 1997 to this past January.  They're the ultimate vehicle for customization.  So many options.  Quadratec has received more of my money than the Federal government.  Great message board there too.

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Sort of amusing story..not a Wrangler...my other GC.  Parked in the supermarket lot like anyone does.  Come back out to find somebody with  a ball-hitch backed into my the spot in front and tapped my under-bumper where the big plastic eye resides for cruise control distancing.  I didn't notice the plastic bits on the ground and just drove home.  Next day I noticed some bits were pushed in way down below the main bumper.  Oh crap.  I will deal with it another day.

Start driving and the thing locks into 2nd gear.  I call the dealer and ask what to do and they say to bring it in right away.  So I limp 20  miles over.  Trans intercooler destroyed...trans destroyed...9 weeks later, a tech comes in to replace all of it.  Insurance cost - close to $15000.  Insurance company not happy.  Oh well.

Traded it in last year. New owner should be good to go for a few extra years.

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17 minutes ago, AlDente67 said:

Sort of amusing story..not a Wrangler...my other GC.  Parked in the supermarket lot like anyone does.  Come back out to find somebody with  a ball-hitch backed into my the spot in front and tapped my under-bumper where the big plastic eye resides for cruise control distancing.  I didn't notice the plastic bits on the ground and just drove home.  Next day I noticed some bits were pushed in way down below the main bumper.  Oh crap.  I will deal with it another day.

Start driving and the thing locks into 2nd gear.  I call the dealer and ask what to do and they say to bring it in right away.  So I limp 20  miles over.  Trans intercooler destroyed...trans destroyed...9 weeks later, a tech comes in to replace all of it.  Insurance cost - close to $15000.  Insurance company not happy.  Oh well.

Traded it in last year. New owner should be good to go for a few extra years.

Can't tell you how many times I heard stories like this when I was doing autobody. Many people fail to realize that the plastic bumpers often just pop back out but many times there is a lot of damage underneath. 

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10 minutes ago, tomk62 said:

Sounds like I should find something new stock and then customize the wheels and lift.  Thanks everyone for your input.

Agreed.  Don't waste money on the special packages with stickers, wheels and shit unless that's what you're into.  Oh, and I have a friend who works for https://www.extremeterrain.com  They're trying to catch Quadratec.

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16 minutes ago, CMJeepster said:

Agreed.  Don't waste money on the special packages with stickers, wheels and shit unless that's what you're into.  Oh, and I have a friend who works for https://www.extremeterrain.com  They're trying to catch Quadratec.

Is your friend Ryan?

Extremterrain.com Is a good one 

Morris 4x4.com is also another good one 

When looking at lift kits I recommend old man emu. My wrangler rides better than stock and 100% of the suspension is old man emu. There is litterally nothing stock as far as the suspension and steering on my jeep. 

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I had 3 jeep kiddie buggies at one point.  Kids outgrew them and I gave them away for free to a forum member for his kids to enjoy.  One was a Peg Perego that my neighbor put out for trash.  Damn, that thing cost about 400 new.  My daughter had the pink barbie jeep with a working radio.  Now she drives a 120 foot ship in Hawaii.

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Side question for TJ owners. Anyone have an aftermarket cat back exhaust? My stock muffler is rusted out and won't pass inspection. I'm looking for something that sounds close to stock but preferably made of stainless 

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4 minutes ago, fishnut said:

Side question for TJ owners. Anyone have an aftermarket cat back exhaust? My stock muffler is rusted out and won't pass inspection. I'm looking for something that sounds close to stock but preferably made of stainless 

Probably better off posting the question either on the Quadratec board, or Wrangler forum.

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