Top 10 – Cheap Jeep mods!

We all know what it’s like to have the mod bug, but not the mod budget. Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to your Jeep without cleaning out your bank account and driving your spouse to run for cover! Here, then, are 10 simple ways to address the performance or aesthetics of your Jeep for less than $200.
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IMG_20771. Plastidip! ($20): We’ve all been there — no mod budget, but desperate to in some way improve the appearance of our stock Jeep. At just $5 a can, Plastidip is your new best friend. This liquid rubber is available in an array of colors, easily sprays on like traditional spray paint and, when applied in thick enough layers, is easily removable. It won’t harm your painted or chromed surfaces, is durable enough for trail use and is very forgiving to work with. Apply it to wheels, your grille, key holes, antennas — the possibilities are endless!

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IMG_54422. Relocating breather tubes ($21): Why risk expensive engine and transmission damage from those inevitable water crossings? For just $20 in hardware and a 10-foot length of fuel line, you can extend your axle, transmission and transfer case breather hoses to place them safely out of harm’s way. The transmission and transfer case tubes are terribly difficult to reach. Many replace the entire hoses, leaving the old ones in place. Whatever you decide, good luck!
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IMG_37573. Grille guard ($28): Your Jeep is a serious investment. For mere pennies, you can protect your Jeep’s radiator from rock and bug impacts and achieve a good style, too. A number of parts companies sell kits to fill those gaping open slots, but these products often sell for as much as $200. Instead, pick up five aluminum-mesh gutter guards from the home-improvement warehouse, along with some zip ties and stick-on zip tie bases. It’s a piece of cake!
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Door Sill Guard4. Door sill guards ($35): OK, so it’s not exactly the sexiest mod you can do to your rig, but if you care about your Jeep’s paint at all, you’ll be glad to have a set of door sill guards as you raise that step-in height. These guards, available from Mopar, Quadratec and a number of other manufacturers afford paint protection and just clean-up your Jeep’s appearance. Most attach in minutes using 3M double-sided tape. The devil is in the details, they say!
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IMG_57205. Aftermarket headlight bulbs ($40): From the factory, Jeep’s headlights are the epitome of inadequate. And, while everyone wants a nice aftermarket set of headlights, no one wants to fork over the $500 to $1,000 a set of quality DOT-approved LED or HID projector headlamps will cost. As a stopgap, consider a set of high-performance aftermarket halogen bulbs. At $20 each, they make a noticeable difference and provide enough light to serve you until that set of LEDs is in the budget.
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1185555_833343883349035_1553190802_n6. Fire extinguisher ($40 – $120): If you haven’t heard by now, Jeep JKs are prone to fires, usually stemming from overheated transmission fluid. Whatever the cause, who wants to be stranded on the trail, watching the Jeep you’ve spent so much time planning and building go up in flames? A simple one- or two-pound fire extinguisher and $20 roll-bar mount is cheap insurance.
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75WXST-crop7. CB, antenna & antenna bracket ($80 – $150): Communication is crucial on the trail. Terrain and conditions won’t always allow you to hop out and discuss an obstacle with the vehicles around you. A reliable CB radio, such as the Uniden Pro510 XL, can be found for less than $40, and there are countless deals to be had on eBay as well. There’s simply no excuse not to have a CB in your Jeep.
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1898118_833343826682374_1475486286_n8. Spiderweb shade ($100): Just about every new Jeep owner recalls the first time they pulled the top off their rig — and the inevitable sunburn that followed. For just one Ben Franklin, the Spiderweb Shade’s mesh bikini-style top seriously reduces those harmful rays and keeps your skin from matching that Lobster Red Jeep. There are many copycats on the market today, but there’s no substitute for the original.
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1558585_794289603921130_1942727146_n9. Evap skid ($90 – $130): Jeep, in its infinite wisdom, placed the JK’s evaporation canister in a very vulnerable spot, right below the left rear passenger seat. Making matters worse, early JKs didn’t include a factory evap skid, and dealers were known to charge outrageous prices for these plastic boxes. In 30 minutes or so, you can protect your underside and be ready to hit the trails.
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10. Sway bar disconnects (~$130): No other modification offers more bang for the buck than an easy-to-install set of quick discos. They offer a modicum of added safety and control, and enhance actual off-road performance. (Note my Teraflex discos on their parking studs as we install my leveling kit, right.)
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Bonus!
While not technically modifications, here are three cheap pieces of gear no Jeep should be without.
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Defator1. Tire deflators ($30 – $100): Available in a variety of styles and price points from a dozen manufacturers, easy tire deflators take the chore out of airing down for the trail. Some are a simple screw-on valve opener, while others remove the valve and come complete with a built-in pressure gauge.
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Strap2. Tow strap ($25 – $50): Having a way to get yourself unstuck is just common sense, and not everyone is going to have a winch to pull you out of whatever you get into. These deceptively simple-looking nylon straps are a must. Just make sure you pass on models equipped with a steel hook These hooks make nasty projectiles when they slip and come rocketing toward your head!
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FA Kit3. First-aid kit ($25): I’ve harped on this subject before. Every rig should have a rudimentary first-aid kit, stocked with fresh supplies to handle minor emergencies. You can compile your own in a simple zipper pouch, or purchase a small kit at your preferred big-box retailer.
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