Jeep JK Wrangler Upgrades To Add Performance
Aftermarket mods are a rite of passage for any true Jeep owner, and one that has been around since the Wrangler’s inception. The Wrangler’s unmatched off-road prowess makes it well suited for a host of modifications that have the potential to take the Jeep to the next level. There are many different ways to modify a Jeep Wrangler, depending on what you want from it. Modifying a Jeep for off-roading requires frequent maintenance but allows creative customization.
Modifying a jeep for overland expeditions is easier and less costly than renovating an expedition vehicle because it still fulfills other needs such as street driving or showmanship. We have compiled a list of some of the best JK Wrangler modifications that will upgrade your Jeep’s performance.
As a Jeep is modified for off-road use, it usually gains weight. Performance is also reduced when already atrocious aerodynamics are made worse by lifts and big tires. The mass of those big tires also soak up more power on their own. Even if correctly geared, a built Jeep with a stock engine is almost always slower than the stock Jeep.
Recently, gas mileage has become an important factor in motor vehicle selection. Gas mileage drops as the weight of a car increases. Lifts and big tires can decrease gas mileage even more significantly. You may not recover all your stock fuel economy, but engine modifications allow you to obtain higher horsepower while also improving fuel economy to some degree.
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Engine Performance Modifications
Engine performance modifications can be a variety of things, from basic bolt-ons to forced induction. Tuning your motor can extract more horsepower as well as torque, and potentially improve fuel efficiency. Whether on-road or off-road, overclocking your engine by bumping from 25% to 75% overstock will leave plenty of power at your disposal.
Cold Air Intake
Quality cold air intakes offer a more efficient way of increasing power by changing both the type of intake tubing and the quality of airflow filter. The JK is equipped with a rubber hose from the factory, increasing engine heat; this causes less-efficient power. In addition, a high-flowing paper air filter replaces the factory microfilter for more surface area. When buying a cold air intake, there are many options to consider. Mopar, Air Raid, and RedRock are some of the popular manufacturers.
Turbochargers and superchargers are the two main methods for increasing engine power. Each has strengths that make it a better choice depending on your needs – turbo chargers get more power when they’re working, whereas supercharger’s extra juice is only generated in boost mode. Turbo lag happens when the turbo is spinning too slowly with increased RPMs to compress the air intake. There are various companies that offer superchargers, such as RIPP, Edelbrock, Magnuson and Sprintex. TRE performance has a procharger option for the 3.6 liter engine at their level of prodigy Performance which offers two different kits increasing power levels almost 100% over stock!
Hemi Engine Conversion
For some, the factory six cylinder engines aren’t enough. Thanks to the AEV Hemi Conversion Kit, you are now able to install a Hemi 5.7 liter or 6.4 liter engine into your JK. The kit includes tons of swap components, such as motor and transmission mounts, wiring harness, and A/C lines to make your swap feel like a factory option. The Hemi engines make big power with the 6.4 liter producing 470 hp and 470 ft/lbs of torque. For an added bonus, forced induction options are easy to find for these engines.
Cat-back exhaust systems are designed to improve exhaust flow and create a louder sound without affecting emissions. They allow you to avoid the hassle of having an aftermarket tune installed that may disable your check engine light. Manufacturers install these kits using the factory mounting points, while increasing pipe diameter in order to prevent bending. One downside is that this reduces clearance for off-road use. Manufacturers solve this by installing systems with an increased clearance and rerouting the exhaust path closer to the vehicle body. There are many different brands of cat-back systems for cars, such as MBRP, JK Pypes, Gibson and Dynomax.
Jeep Wrangler JK: Off-Road Modifications
Lift and body modding for Wranglers can take up all the data storage on the World Wide Web, leaving little room for cat videos. To give the cats a break from conventional roads, you should purchase Wrangler modifications to improve its handling and make it safer.
Installing larger tires with better traction and improved suspension provides protection against adverse wear and tear. Installing fenders will help keep dirt, snow, or mud out of the vehicle while improving visibility to what is in front of you. Installing a lift for the truck helps prevent any obstacles from damaging it on either roads or rough terrain.The recovery attachment hard-points allow for hooks of various shapes and sizes depending on the type of rescue needed. They come with a tow hitch receiver tube that allows a winch to be installed either at the front or rear bumper, with 3/4″ threaded steel inserts.
Here are a few definitions related to the brand Wrangler:
- The weight of a Wrangler is the total force applied to the vehicle’s suspension system. A lighter Wrangler will require less energy to move and won’t run out as quickly.
- Unsprung weight includes the suspension that isn’t supported by a spring, including the drive shaft, axles and wheel/tire components. Adding unsprung weight reduces car performance. For every pound of unsprung weight added, there is an equivalent reduction in performance to carrying around 10 pounds of extra load on your tires.
- The stock Wrangler tire size is 255/75/17. The tires have a tread width of 255 millimeters, sidewall height of 75% of the wheel’s width (191 millimeters) and bead diameter is 17 inches (46 centimeters).
- Wheel backspace is the distance between the rim and where it meets the wheel mounting face.
Wheel off-set is the distance between where the wheel mounts to the car and its center line.
Upgraded Aftermarket Tires
Tires are literally where your adventure meets the road and no other upgrade will have as big of an impact as adding a set of solid tires to your Jeep. Choosing the right tire for your terrain and type of play is absolutely vital to ensuring you get the most satisfaction from them. While there are many good brands like BFGoodrich K02s, it’s important that you really analyze your needs before picking the best one.
When you are looking for tire recommendations, be sure to include the following to get an in-depth breakdown of what fits your Jeep best. Size does matter but not in the way you think–smaller is often better if you regularly drive on pavement and have only a few off-road trips planned. If money spent on tires will significantly contribute to upgrading your Jeep, bigger may seem sweeter but it won’t be more valuable when it comes time to upgrade your vehicle. If you intend to lift your Jeep, make sure that you upgrade from stock tires when switching. This is because a lifted vehicle often needs a new set of larger-sized tires so that the tire can handle the heavier load on it.
The Jeep Wrangler is already stunning, but adding a lift kit will not only make it look better, but increase performance off-road. Though many people do not need extremely high lifts on jeeps, the convenience of a more intense set-up does come at the cost of increased labor and cost. However, there are plenty of aftermarket kits that provide clearance and articulation to tackle tougher terrain without any added difficulties or headaches!
A well-built roof rack is essential for any type of vehicle, but it is especially useful if you have a Jeep. A roof rack can store bikes, kayaks, paddle boards and other equipment. It also makes it easier to carry things in storage boxes attached to the roof when the Jeep has limited space under its hood. Wolfpacks from FrontRunner are one hardy option that will make your life much easier.
Front & Rear Bumpers
Placing an off-road bumper on your vehicle can help protect you from some of the less favorable aspects of driving. Off-road bumpers come with many different benefits, including added storage space and a stronger body.
- Implementing quality bumpers protects your rig so it is not damaged when the bumper hits the ground or scrapes against an obstacle.
- A good aftermarket bumper not only provides a place to securely mount winches and other hardware, but they also provide extra mounting points for accessories.
- Adding a rear bumper with a rear swing out is essential if you have installed larger or heavier aftermarket tires (which often happen to weight more than stock), but will save your rear door in the long run by taking your spare tire off of it and moving it to the swingout.
Aftermarket rear bumpers in several styles are available for most Jeep owners, those who desire the ‘strong tubular’ design or a more robust style such as the ‘full length solid ‘rock’ or ‘super duty type, and even modular. For those who plan to install larger tires at some point, various rear bumpers come with tire carrier capability.
Consider rock sliders an essential purchase for anyone who wants to explore the off-road capabilities of their Jeep. Stock JKUs are as capable as many other driving vehicles when on asphalt, but due to their longer wheelbase they can get hung up on ledges or drops. Rock sliders act as protection for your rocker panels against dents caused by dragging them over objects and allow you to scoot around these obstacles more easily. Rock sliders also protect your vehicle’s body from debris and hazards when traveling over irregular terrain. This includes side impacts from rocks and other debris on off-camber surfaces.
Body Armor & Skid Plates
You need body armor and skid plates in your Jeep for extra protection. Skid plates protect the undercarriage from large obstacles, while body armor allows an extra level of protection to be added to places like the rear corners and tail lights.
One way that a Jeep can get stuck off the trail is by damaging its oil pan or transmission. To avoid these occurrences, some people prefer to attach aftermarket bumpers with skid plates. If you are still learning about your Jeep or working on it yourself, additional protection won’t hurt. The added weight will be worth the safety that comes with heavier-duty skid plate options like those from MetalCloak, Rock Hard, Artec and EVO.
Installation is simple; these roof and carrier rack steps install directly onto a Jeep’s hinges. This provides easier access to the top of your vehicle, not to mention convenience when you want to tie something down on it.
For a first time Jeep owner, the realization that factory headlights are weak. Some might not even know until they compare an industry standard like aftermarket LEDs to see how much brighter those lights can be. Flashlights using LEDs, or Light Emitting Diodes, can provide twice the light at low and high beam than factory headlights while requiring only half the amperage.
Compared to the past, LED lights have more power and use less amperage. But it doesn’t stop there–over the last few years improvements in technology means that LEDs also have greater affordability too. In the world of LED headlight upgrades, there are two types – reflector and projector style housings. Both produce great light, but with different effects on the road surface.
Reflector style light housings are almost exactly like the factory headlight housing, with a clear lens and fluted reflector at the back of the housing. LED lights are positioned in the middle of this type of light, which bounces light off of the reflector. These lights usually come with an upper and lower half for low-beam and high-beam respectively.
Projector-style headlamps have a more focused beam of light as well as cut-off patterns that are much sharper than reflector-style lamps. They also use separate lenses for high and low beams, which offer different lighting options for the rider.
Apart from the additional lenses, projector style lights are generally more expensive than LED reflector style bulbs. However both offer benefits over your stock Jeep’s factory lights, so it just comes down to personal preference for aesthetics and cost.
When adding a winch to your car, there are many factors to take into consideration. Winches can be expensive and, depending on the terrain you travel on, they can range from being necessary all of the time to only helpful in some situations. If you wheel regularly in snow, sand or mud then it’s highly recommended that you purchase a winch. Being able to complete successful self-recovery is invaluable and could save your life someday. When choosing a winch, consider the reputation of the brand and what kind of warranty they offer. You will need to think about a few things while picking out your winch.
- The weight of the vehicle can be measured in several ways. Purchasing a winch that is underpowered for your vehicle could render it useless; you must know how much your truck weighs to avoid this problem. When stuck in mud, a vehicle will also become heavier and need more pull power to get out.
- There’s a long-standing debate over steel versus synthetic lines. Do your research, and then make a decision based on what you prefer.
- It is important to remember that winching can be dangerous and it is best to take the proper training before practicing. Here are a few of the top rated winches on the marketplace.
One of the challenges with owning a Jeep is that it has limited cargo space. Unfortunately, this problem will be exacerbated if you remove the hardtop in favor of a soft top or have a 4-door model as they have just slightly more room inside than do 2-door models.
A first-time Jeep owner that seeks security can have a lockable console in several different places, like either between front seats, under seat, overhead or at the rear cargo area. Jeep cargo storage options expand your available space by adding storage bags or packs to places such as the tailgate, roll cage, seats, or soundbar.