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The 10 Best Jeep Mods To Get Your Rig Ready For Off-Road Adventures

With time, attention, and money, these Jeep mods can help conquer almost any terrain

Jeep Wrangler with LED Light Bar

A Jeep is a good place to start when you want to get off the pavement and into some fun situations. However, if you’re looking to really tackle the wilderness, you need more than just a little more clearance. Use this list of Jeep mods to start planning your build to get in and out of some rough spots.

10: Get a Good Quality Lift

There’s nothing like a quick and dirty slapdash lift job with some pucks to get the lifted look. However, this won’t hold up when push comes to shove on choppy surfaces or hard slopes. You will need suspension travel as well as flexibility and rigidness at the right times. When starting your Jeep mods, hard plastic pucks won’t give you the response and dependability you need.

 9: Keep Your Panels In Place With Body Armor

When you take your Jeep off-road, you may end up in situations where the body is going to take a hit. Hard knocks from rocks and boulders can pound dents and tears into your body in no time. The way around this with Jeep mods is to armor up and protect your vehicle from punishment. Rock sliders create a solid barrier between your Jeep and a hard surface. Meanwhile, replacing stock bumpers with steel fabricated off-road bumpers protects the front and rear from sharp slams. These can also give a greater angle of approach when going up slopes or coming down from them.

8: Protect Your Underside With Skid Plates

Right in line with body armor are more Jeep mods to make sure that the underside is protected. All it takes is one hard drop at the wrong time to snap off an essential part of your vehicle. Skid plates run from simple front and rear protection up to complete chassis coverings. The gas tank and oil pan, as well as the differential and transfer case, are all rather vulnerable spots on the underside. They may be able to take a little abuse but how much are you willing to risk?

7: Install A Winch That Can Handle Your Vehicle

This may be a no-brainer to some but those who forget this in their Jeep mods often regret it later. There’s nothing like a good winch when it comes to getting yourself out of a sticky situation. Whether you’re stuck in a swampy mud pit or have found a slope you can’t crawl up, these can save the day. It almost goes without saying but the weight allowance should give more than enough to haul your vehicle up or out. As a general rule of thumb, the winch should be rated for a minimum of 1.5 times the gross vehicle weight.

6: Choose The Right Tires For The Terrain

Tires are arguably the most important part of the Jeep mods you’ll want to consider before going off-road. If they’re too small, they make the vehicle look silly and performance just won’t be there. If they are too large, there will be clearance issues on flat surfaces as well as rubbing while turning. Nevermind what happens when you get bouncing around on choppy trails and crawling across rocky slopes. There’s a fine balance between size, tread, and overall quality that make knowledgeable product reviews a good starting point.

5: Invest In Bead Lock Rims For Low PSI Adventures

Speaking of tires, they do absolutely no good if side to side movement with low pressure causes them to slip off the rim. Being in the middle of nowhere with rubber out of place and no way to change it is an awful situation. However, there are already bead lock rims on the market to prevent this exact problem. They mechanically lock the rubber to the rim so that sidewall sag from less than stock psi doesn’t drop the bead and leave you stranded. An added bonus to these is that their distinctive look adds to the curb appeal along with other Jeep mods.

4: Install Differential Lockers To Get Out Of Sticky Situations

We will never understand why this isn’t always a default option on all new vehicles capable of off-road driving. There are times when you will need slow and steady power coming from both wheels on each axle. A limited slip differential will keep some of the single side spin down but a full locker is much better in terms of 4×4 Jeep mods. Locking both wheels to spin in unison is an easier way to get out of sticky situations. When combined with the use of a properly anchored winch, there’s almost nowhere you can’t go.

3: Check Up On Your Recovery Gear

While these aren’t necessarily Jeep mods, they should be checked and double checked when you’re putting in work. No matter how careful of a driver you are, there are likely going to be times when you get yourself into a bind. Even if it never happens to you, others who you come across or go adventuring with may need help. This is why you should be equipped with recovery gear. Tow and/or ratchet straps can come in handy in countless ways and you should always have a full size spare. These also stow away easily so they don’t take up much space or make a mess of your interior. When it comes to changing that spare, you may also have to look at a jack that can overcome your increased ride height.

2: Light Your Way With LED Pods And/Or Bars

These may be the most common of all the Jeep mods you’ll see, even on vehicles that never leave the pavement. There are times when low light, night time, and bad weather are going to get in the way. Lighting the path ahead, and maybe behind as well, is a great way to help ensure safe travels. There are many options from high intensity light pods to straight and curved light bars. These can be mounted in all sorts of configurations to meet your needs. Certain suppliers even offer packages that combine different types and length of lights.

1: Increase Gear Ratios To Preserve Power

With bigger tires and heavier rims on your list of Jeep mods, the stock gear ratio may not be enough to get you where you want to go. This is where changing the gear ratio comes in handy and reduces unreasonable stress on the engine.  If the wheels are too tall for the stock gear ratio, there will be a noticeable power drop off from its stock build. It also takes more torque to get oversized wheels turning which saps overall output and drains the gas tank much faster than normal. Swapping to lower gears and increasing the number in your gear ratio may be enough to offset the difference. A notable exception here is diesels, which sometimes put out so much torque that the difference with larger wheels isn’t noticeable.

There are other Jeep mods to get you ready to tackle all sorts of off road challenges you may encounter. Not all of the items on this list are universal and your chosen area may change your needs. For example, those who tend to stick to paths may not need as much added armor as someone else. However you get your off-road fun, do it safely and let us know what other mods you would add to this list.

About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them, but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. I founded GearHeads.org and then built and ran AutoWise.com until selling it to Lola Digital Media in 2020. I look forward to watching AutoWise grow as part of the AllGear group.