If you own a JK, I'm pretty sure you have already found out just how deep your pockets need to be. The one thing that all JK owners (OK, at least 95 percent of us) have in common is that no matter how you build up your Jeep, it can be a big money pit.
However, the "Jeep life" can be expensive for someone who has bought parts for a '86 CJ-7 and an '07 and '12 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, there can be a huge difference between the CJ and JK whether it's a Mopar part or an aftermarket part. To the best of my memory, building up the CJ-7 has cost me roughly $6,000. Being a mother and, let's face it, an adult, I have other things that cost me about as much money as my Jeep habit. Some of them are all those dang fundraisers at my daughter's school!
One of the things I look for when I'm planning an upgrade to my JK is whether I can buy one thing at a time or if I have to drop the full amount right away. There are some companies that allow you to pay bit by bit. It took me two JKs, a whole lot of research, and some amazing new contacts to figure that out. There are some things that are worth waiting two weeks for with no running Jeep until the next paycheck comes. One of those things is getting your steering box upgraded.
Having two JKs has taught me a lot more than I would have guessed. What I mean is that now I notice the little things, such as the difference between how it feels when steering the Jeep on- and off-road with 35-inch or 37-inch tires. If you have a set of 37-inch tires, then you know what a pain in the biscuit it can be to turn those huge tires when you're on a rocky trail, especially when your spotter (spouse) gives up and walks away because he (or she) thinks you aren't listening.
So one of the most important things I did recently was get a Hydro-Assist kit from PSC Motorsport for my JK. Even better was the fact that they worked with me and let me buy one part at a time. With the help of my husband and brother-in-law, who basically lifted and held it in place for me while I bolted it up (it was really heavy and nearly impossible to do by yourself), my JK now has a new and more powerful steering system that's strong enough to let me turn those 37-inch tires and point them where I want in any terrain.