I'm not an off-road guy, but I know this feeling.
20 years ago, I had a brand new Cavalier Z24. GM was getting into the import compact drag scene and was building up some wild and competitive race cars. They published several papers and had race parts available over the counter through GM performance parts.
I started to follow the scene and began to compile a build sheet. That eventually became a notebook. And just as I was about to start tossing money into the fire I realized that I could spend $25k making a faster Cavalier (I know) or just buy a used Corvette. Which would be faster and also not be broken all the time.
Anyway. I gave up and bought a motorcycle.
Start with the right tool for the job.