A backbone, tune (Trifecta budget or a vendor remote tune) and a full set of Hawk pads would run you less than a grand and have you off to a solid start. You can do swaybars too and be around $1,000 or add a high flow cat downpipe and the front and rear braces and come in under $2k... intake... under $3K total.
Yea, I write a lot...
What you write is timeless. It is appreciated.
My plan: 2007 RL, Black.
1. Find a mechanic that can do the following without any Sky damage:
A backbone, sway bars, braces. Everything in Red, or, Canary Yellow. (Lol.)
Intake/Exhaust for deep grumble sound.
I'm worried about emissions (Smog check) with the high flow cat downpipe, but if no worries, that too.
Then, the vendor remote tune to "see" these mods and adjust accordingly.
Then Hawk pads.
Leather like Seat Covers (Red). I currently have cloth.
2. Have it all done (mechanical stuff), or learn from a pro as to how.