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Jeep Modifications The American Way - Tax Dollars At Work

Jeep Rubicon Jk
John Cappa | Writer
Posted May 1, 2008
Photographers: Courtesy of Jeep, JP Staff

How We'd Spend Your Tax Return

It's that time of year again-when Uncle Sam reaches into your pocket to take even more of your Jeep money. Or if you're like most Americans, he reaches into his bottomless britches and pays you instead! Last year the average tax refund was $2,183. It was surely meant to upgrade your Jeep! If we had the opportunity to steal your wallet and your Jeep for a couple days, here's how each of the Jp editors would spend your money modifying it.

Cappa-Built JK

It wouldn't really matter whether I were starting with a two- or a four-door; the mods I would make would pretty much remain the same. First on the list would be a set of rocker guards. Not some cheesy ones that bolt to the stock location, though. I'd spend the extra money to get something that mounted solidly in several locations. Look for rockers that attach to the side of the body and body mounts or directly to the frame. I prefer a small, round, tube style or something that protrudes from the body at least an inch or two for better door and fender-flare protection.

Next, I'd add a stubby-style front bumper so the front tires would be free to roll over obstacles. It should have a built-in winch mount as well. A Superwinch EPi 9.0 is a great buy and would be added along with a winch-accessory kit, complete with tow strap. To compensate for the additional weight of the winch and bumper and to level out the suspension, I'd add a 13/4-inch spacer kit to the front suspension. A Poly Performance steering-stabilizer relocation bracket would finish off the otherwise factory-original suspension. I'd add 11/2-inch wheel spacers all around to push out the original 32-inch tires for more fender flare and body protection. The interior would receive a Daystar upper dashpanel and a set of carpeted Nifty Catch-All floor liners.

rocker guards: $500
13/4-inch coil-spacer leveling kit: $122
Poly Performance stabilizer relocation bracket: $30
Stubby front bumper: $400
Nifty Catch-All floor mats: $75
Daystar dash panel: $59
11/2-inch wheel spacers: $199
Superwinch EPi 9.0: $599
Complete winch accessory bag: $199

Hazel-Built JK

If some cosmic miracle happened that actually allowed me to purchase a brand-new '08 four-door JK Jeep, I don't think I'd be too quick to do anything that would void the lifetime warranty. Instead, I think I'd lean on the Mopar Performance Web site ( to upgrade the stripped-out Wrangler X model that's sure to be the only one I could "afford." After adding some decent tunes and navigation for family road trips and off-road exploration down dusty desert roads, the piggy bank would be pretty much empty until next year.

MyGig nav/radio kit: $1,950
Front-seat covers: $205
Gas: $28
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