Saturday, January 5, 2013
How to Build a Budget JK Rubicon
JP Magazine has published an article on how to build a JK with similar capabilities as the Rubicon but on a much tighter budget. I've written before about what distinguishes a JK Rubicon from lesser Wrangler models, and after 4wheeling and daily driving my Jeep over the long run, I stand by my decision. However, the author Verne Simons who wrote this piece makes some very good points that are certainly worth considering for anyone who's working within a tight budget.
The basic principles mentioned in the article apply to any 4x4, not just Jeeps. The decision should boil down to what your final goal entails in regards to what parts you plan to install and what sort of trails you intend to frequent. With little more than a suspension lift and bigger tires, my Jeep does everything I need it to do in quiet, reliable comfort - the extra equipment included in the Rubicon package is exactly what I needed above and beyond a standard Wrangler. But if I was building a hardcore dedicated rock buggy, I would likely be replacing most of the Rubicon parts with specialized aftermarket components in which case it makes no sense to start with the Rubicon.
It's definitely good practice to start with a basic vehicle and build it up in stages so that you can learn the vehicle's capabilities and the value of each modification. A well-used, bare-bones Wrangler is a perfect clean slate with which to start building a budget or high-zoot 4wheeler.