Beginners Guide to Modifying Jeep Wranglers

Jeep Wranglers are well known for their off-road capabilities, with their simplistic design and tough underbody, as well as solid axles that easily allow their owners to venture off the beaten track into tougher terrain. Even if Wranglers are capable off-road vehicles from the get-go, there's a whole world of aftermarket parts and accessories that can further improve those capabilities. As a new owner, you might not be sure where to begin. This guide is meant to help you navigate the variety of options available and get you started on your Jeep mods.

Protect the underbody and increase ground clearance

The differential covers are the lowest contact point for a Wrangler. As a result, they take the impact of rocks and other obstacles that you might not see or avoid while off-road. Replacing the factory covers with a heavier, thicker alternative will help your Jeep get past any obstacle with minimal damage. 

While on the trail, ground clearance is the next important aspect to consider for your modifications. In most cases, adding 1-2” of ground clearance is enough to provide your Jeep with enough underbody clearance to get past simple obstacles or absorb varying terrain dips in sandy/muddy areas.

Increase height with big tires

Adding a new suspension is usually enough to clear most of your Jeep’s underbody from potential obstacles, but the factory tire sizes will still keep the axles at the same height. The solution to increase the ground clearance for the axles is bigger tires. Increasing the size of the tires also elevates the overall height of your Jeep, providing a great increase in ground clearance.

Moving to a 33” tire will often require minimal changes to the vehicle and is often great for occasional off-roaders. Upgrading to a 35” tire will require at least a 2.5”-3" lift, which should include new control arms to correct drivetrain geometry and will work well on both paved roads and trails. A 37” and beyond tire increase, will require a  4”+ lift and complete replacement of the control arms and driveshafts. When you get off-road, these tires will perform nicely.

Light up the road ahead

LED lights are currently one of the hottest modifications around simply because their light output at both low and high beam is nearly double the factory headlight output, while consuming less energy. If you're looking to put some headlights with colored haloes around the light check your city’s laws to make sure you won’t get pulled over for your colored haloes. Check out our selection of LED Headlights.

If you're planning to take your Jeep off-road, we do highly recommend getting a light bar. Venturing off-roading with standard headlights might be dangerous, because the headlights are pointed in one direction. Adding a light bars or other lighting assistant sets - such as spot lights - will make an outdoor trip at night much safer. Check out our selection of LED Light Bars.

Bumpers & Fenders

Aftermarket heavier duty front and rear bumpers provide a higher level of protection, while also allowing better tire clearance. There are a lot of different kinds of bumpers to consider installing onto your Jeep, ranging from full-width replacements to short stubby. Think about the features you might be interested in - e.g. winch, rings - and shop around for the bumper that meets those requirements.

If you’re the kind of person that likes to go mudding and wants their tires to be able to kick up a bunch of mud, one suggestion we have is to remove the factory fender flares - as they will block mud from getting up on the sides - and replace them with a thinner fender flare kit that still protect your Jeep.

Lastly, modifying your Jeep is about expressing yourself. So go ahead, be bold, and decide what mods to go for based on what appeals to you the most!