Jeep owners are a unique group of people—adventurous, stylish, and (often) all about after-market parts to enhance the look or function of their Jeep. Even first time Jeep owners quickly catch the “mod bug”; lifting their jeep, getting bigger tires, adding a winch, or installing bright LED’s for after-dark off-road exploration. There are many ways a Jeep can be enhanced for on-road and off-road purposes (sometimes, for both). If you are considering modifying your Jeep, here are some of the most popular and must-have Jeep modifications on the market.
- A Winch.
A winch is the most important modification for a Jeep owner to have and should be one of the first upgrades. Why?
A winch is a towing device that helps (immensely) during certain circumstance requiring vehicle recovery. Essentially, it is key in getting your Jeep—or a friend, stranger, date, etc.—unstuck and back on the road. It is common for Jeep owners to take their vehicle off-roading or to find themselves in landscape most vehicles cannot travel. When others try, or accidentally take themselves off road, they get stuck—and a winch is how you save the day and show off your Jeep. A winch is absolutely vital in saving your Jeep should you ever roll it while out on your adventures, or while showing off. When it comes down to “Which mod should I get first” or “Should I get a winch or this other mod”, the answer is “GET THE WINCH!”
- Appropriate Tires
The key word here is “appropriate”. Take into account what you are using (or planning to use) your Jeep for and upgrade accordingly. Is it your dedicated toy? Lots of regular off-roading? Potential rock climbing? Then go with M/T tires (M/T= Mud Terrain); with its more aggressive tread, these tires are ideal for unpaved roads. For the hardcore mudders, look into swamper tires larger than the stock tires (and note, you’ll likely need to re-gear the differential if you do, but its worth it when you are really slinging mud and get stuck).
However, if your Jeep is your regular commuter and your weekend fun, then M/T tires are not the way to go. Instead, opt for A/T (All Terrain) tires as this option will allow for optimal function on and off-road without having to change the tires between activities. If your Jeep is solely for looks and status, and there is no way you are taking your baby off highway roads, then stick with H/T (Highway Terrain) tires.
- Lift Kits.
Of course, this is on the list of top Jeep mods to have. Adding a lift to your Jeep allows you to drive over bigger things, making your off-roading explorations extra adventurous. Lift kits go with Jeeps as well as macaroni goes with cheese—are you even a Jeep owner if you don’t have a lift kit or plan to do so? Even though we highly recommend the winch first, lift kits are statistically the first and most popular Jeep modification. After all, a winch may get you home, but a lift is what gets you there in the first place.
Keep in mind when you are shopping for lift kits the type of adventures you are planning on. Face paced off-roading calls for a solid coil over system but frequent drives through a marsh or rock-climbing desire a basic spring lift kit. Also, the size of the lift can impact your tire type and size (and vice versa).
Lockers help improve traction by making the wheels spin identically to each other. Jeeps are not usually stocked with factory lockers, although some of the newer JKs come with differential lockers. They are quite handy to have in a pinch and can help you avoid having to use the winch on yourself!
If you opt for an air locker system you can enjoy the added perk of having on-board air to fix a flat or low tire pressure and it provides you with the option to also use pneumatic tools.
- Rock Sliders & Extended Hitch
While not entirely necessary or an absolute must, rock sliders and an extended hitch can be quite useful under the right circumstances and when those happen (and they likely could), you will be glad you got them. Rock sliders are meant to protect your Jeep—armor against rocks, downed trees, or climbing over other items that could snag on your Jeep. Plus, they serve as a step up into your likely lifted Jeep and a winch recovery point.
As an added bonus, rock sliders also help protect against the overzealous door openers from dinging your Jeep. Which brings us to the purpose of an extended hitch being on this list. Worried someone may be on the phone texting and not stop in time at the red light? An extended hitch will help keep their front end from touching your Jeep.
- Jeep Mod Insurance
While having insurance for your Jeep mods is true for most insurance companies and carriers, Magruder Agency is here to change the game. We are opening our insurance underwriting to Jeep owners and their aftermarket modifications. We offer more coverage options and most likely can do so at a better price. Learn more about our Jeep Owner Insurance here or call us at (813) 654-3100 to discuss your modifications and insurance coverage needs.