Part 3: Where To Spend The Money
There are many levels to being a cheapass, but it’s okay to spend coin if you see value. Carpet stains, dents, and scratches aren’t going to affect capability, but if you’re stuck in a mud pit with a set of tires that came cheap cause one was bald, you’re gonna regret it. If you bought a Jeep for a song, then even a cheapass can stomach spending a few bucks to make it what you want it to be. Only cut corners where you won’t notice or care. Sometimes there’s no inexpensive or free way around it, so you pull out that wallet, creak it open, and dump the Benjamins to pay for it.
When making repairs to a Jeep, why not consider making upgrades rather than paying too much for OEM parts that may get tore up again. Even Jeep designers and engineers are forced to make some compromises in the name of safety and vehicle codes. The JK’s gigantic front fenders and a park-bench front bumper are fine examples. Not all factory components are expensive, but if you plan on taking the rig on a trail, there are upgrades you’re gonna make anyway. It’s a long list. Wheels, tires, rocker protection, bumpers, steering, and suspension parts are just a few easily upgradeable items. In most cases, aftermarket parts are cheaper and don’t alter your Jeep so much that it looks or drives like a three-wheeled golf cart.
Damage is a great excuse to open up the latest issue of Jp magazine and start searching for trinkets to bolt on your rig. Also check your local 4x4 clubs, favorite Jeep forums, and online vending sites like eBay and Craigslist. You may find what you’re looking for locally. We know of a Jeep dealer that strips factory Rubicon rocker guards and tosses them in the trash in favor of chrome tube side steps from the Mopar catalog. That’s not to say everyone who reads this should call their local Jeep dealer and ask for free rockers. Just go dive in their dumpster instead. They like that.
You Might Be a Cheapass If…
• Your kitchen cabinets are full of dishes from past relationships
• Some of your favorite shirts have work logos
• Bringing home dinner includes Taco Bell’s value menu, ’cause you can eat pretty well for $3
• You sneak your trash bags into your neighbor’s cans every week to avoid paying for disposal
• You don’t water your grass…or what’s left of it
• You steal Wi-Fi from your neighbor
• Your mom buys you underwear at Christmas because she knows your current collection is full of holes and skid marks
• You’ve bought used tires
• You drive across town to use your bank’s ATM to try to avoid the transaction fee
• You could fill a shopping cart at Harbor Freight Tools and spend less than $100
• You’ve had the same bed since high school
• You buy one-ply toilet paper