Off-Roading 101: Jeep Wrangler JL 101
The classic boxy shape and seven-slot grille are iconic. Yep, we’re talking about the Jeep Wrangler, a nameplate dating back to the 1980s and a torchbearer of the rugged reliability found in the earliest Willys MBs and CJs of the 1940s. The latest Wrangler, the JL, has been out since 2018. It took the best parts of the older JK and refined them.
Here at Off Road Warehouse, our mission is to take every vehicle to the next level, no matter your vehicle. Let’s explore a few areas unique to Jeeps and upgrades you should consider.
On the ground level, tires, wheels, and suspension are critical. Which way to go depends largely on how you use your vehicle. Do you plan to use it to commute to work or take it off-roading on serious trails? If you’re more the off-road type, you’ll need to make sure your suspension can handle rough terrain.
Rough Country 2 Inch Jeep Suspension Lift Kit is will give your Jeep the extra boost it needs to navigate off-road. It increases ground clearance in the front and rear of the vehicle up to 2 inches. What’s more, the N3 series shock absorbers are designed for on and off-road use, so you can anywhere with confidence.
Wrangler Shock Absorbers
Fox Performance Elite 2.5 and ICON Vehicle Specific CDC Valve Shocks
In terms of suspension, our ORW spacer kit provides a simple 2” solution. You can also check out the more refined adjustable struts like those offered by Eibach and Bilstein. Beyond simple lift, however, a smoother ride is also desirable as the vehicle’s weight increases. Bolt-in solutions from ICON, Fox, King, and others step into coilover and remote reservoir territory without requiring fabrication.
Looking to improve your ride quality and performance on rough terrain? An upgraded suspension system will do the trick. The ICON Vehicle Dynamics Suspension System is specially designed for the Jeep Wrangler JL. Not only does it give you an extra 2.5 inches of lift height, but also boosts your wheel travel over 30% (up to 3 inches in the front and 2 in the back), letting you handle even the bumpiest terrain with ease. This system will fit on any 35-inch tires, as well as 37-inch using the bump stop spacer kit. Easily installed with a full bolt-on system.
Off-Road Wheels and Tires
Beadlock wheels, like those made by Method, Fuel, and others, will be up your alley. This is because they’ll let you run very low tire pressure, which lets the tires deform and create a larger contact patch for enhanced grip.
Speaking of tires, we recommend checking out mud-terrains, like the Toyo Open Country M/T, BFGoodrich KM3, and others. With larger voids and chunky tread blocks, these tires are well-suited to gaining traction in the worst terrain. Not to mention, they come in larger diameters, topping out at 37” or larger. As for suspension, a lift kit that supports crossover steering and high articulation should be at the top of the list. Check out Icon Vehicle Dynamics, Teraflex, EVO Manufacturing, and others to see what these kits look like.
For the weekend warrior, you’ll want a good mix of off-road prowess and on-road manners. This type of Jeep can explore its fair share of trails without sacrificing streetability.
The wheels are the dealer’s choice, so it’s up to you what kind of style would fit your build. Nowadays, you can’t go wrong with 17-inch wheels from Black Rhino, Dirty Life, Mayhem, and others. For tires, we’d recommend checking out all-terrains. The Falken A/T3W, AMP Terrain Pro A/T P, and Toyo Open Country A/T III are all solid options. Tighter voids and optimized rubber compounds give all-terrains better longevity than mud-terrains, making them ideal for this kind of build.
Wrangler Off-Road Bumpers
A bumper is an essential piece of equipment for any sc0e0erious Jeep enthusiast. Not only do they add extra protection to your vehicle’s front end, but they can also be used for vehicle recovery. Here are a couple of off-road bumpers that are the perfect fit for the Jeep Wrangler JL.
DV8 Offroad Front Bumper is a standard stubby bumper with built-in LED lights and a winch plate for vehicle recovery. Its shorter length makes it ideal for quick tire installation and removal. These bumpers are bc0e0est for smoother terrain where the tires won’t be obstructed.
Rough Country Full-Width Winch Bumper is a full-length bumper complete with a winch plate and D-Ring set for the toughest extractions. This off-road recovery bumper provides your Jeep with complete front-end protection. The tapered ends and high-clearance design make vehicle recovery easy. With multiple recovery options, there’s no sticky situation you won’t be able to get out of.
Body Armor and Protection
As an off-roader, you know that your vehicle can get dirty out there on the trail. Dust, mud, and debris can get stuck in your frame and cause problems down the road. Body armor gives your Jeep Wrangler JL the extra protection it needs to keep running when things get messy. Check out the modifications below to keep your Jeep clean and performing at the highest level.
Rough Country Front and Rear Fenders keep the junk out of your trunk. Your engine bay will stay clear of dirt and debris with them installed. Made of solid steel, these fenders get a final black powder coat to stop corrosion early. They’re also easy to install, just bolt them. Keep your engine clean and protected with these exceptional fenders.
Body Armor Front Bumper Skid Plates are another piece of protection worth purchasing. These 3/16 inches thick steel plates give your undercarriage unparalleled protection from anything you might run across on the road. Combined with the fenders mentioned above, your Jeep Wrangler JL will be ready to tackle the dirtiest trails.
As you look over upgrades for your JL, you’ll come across other areas you can improve - fender flares, rock sliders, lighting, stubby or full-width bumpers, winches, and more. How far you want to go with your Jeep is all up to you, and we’ll be there to help guide and install when you’re ready. Stop by today at any of our locations and ask our expert staff about what’s next for your build!