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The Jeep Wrangler is a remarkable off-road rig. Like everything, there's always room for improvement. The title of this post is "Top 100 Jeep Wrangler Upgrades", when it should have been titled "Top 107 and counting Jeep Wrangler upgrades".
There is so much aftermarket support for the Jeep brand that it's hard to identify only 100 upgrades. This list could go on forever, however, for brevity's sake, we'll leave it at 105 for now.
In this post, we'll cover exterior, interior, performance and overlanding upgrades. Some of these could fit in multiple categories.
Table of Contents
The exterior Jeep Wrangler says a lot about your Jeep and your use of your Wrangler. Here is our list of exterior mods that are both protective and functional.
Face it, the factory bumpers are designed to offer minimal protection for your vehicle in the event of a crash. Sooner than later, you'll bump your Jeep into an obstacle.
The options are almost endless. Perform a good search to find a quality bumper that meets your requirements.
If you've got some skills and the imagination, you could fab up your own bumpers.
Aftermarket bumpers offer better protection and make your Jeep look better as well. Some brands offer winch plates, light mounts, recovery mounts for D-rings and protective guards for the winch and grill.
You could weld a bumper from a kit or build your own DIY bumpers.
2. Tire Carrier
Jeeps carry the weight of their spare tire on the tail gate. The tailgate is fine with the stock tire size. Add the weight of an extra-large spare while off-roading and you'll soon have problems.
Tire carriers built by the off-road companies are generally mounted to their bumpers and some can be mounted to any flat surface.
Not only will an aftermarket carrier stand up to the weight, but it'll also allow for a drop down tailgate.
Or you could build your own if you can weld with a quality hinge kit from Amazon and latch system.
3. Cargo Racks
Jeep vehicles are small by design. Their small design allows for easily maneuvering around obstacles. The small design unfortunately limits storage space, especially on 2 door Jeeps.
Find a cargo that will fit your Jeep and budget.
Adding a cargo rack doubles the storage and offers a place to mount pioneer tools, overland tents, lights and other accessories.
4. Rock Sliders
Rock sliders protect your Jeep's body along the bottom edge when driving over logs and boulders.
Find rock sliders that'll fit your Jeep.
5. Tube Fenders
Tube fenders are a practical way to enlarge the wheel opening on the front and rear to allow for larger tires. There are generally offered in multiple widths to keep mud and debris off the Jeep.
See the selection of tube fenders at Extreme Terrain.
6. Fender Flares
Fender flares are a good way to open up the wheel wells also. I was once pulled over by the Alaska Highway Patrol because my Wrangler's tires stuck out past the stock fenders. I bought aftermarket fender flares to stay legal wave the fine as it was a fix it ticket.
Fender flares are a great way to open up the wheel wells for larger tires.
7. Body Armor
Body armor is a good way to protect the corners of your Jeep and if done right can look pretty cool. It was originally designed to cover damaged and rotted out corner panels on older Jeeps.
Protect your Jeep's rear corner panels or dress up damaged ones.
8. Radiator Grill
If you drive in colder climates where the road service gravels the road or you travel gravel roads you'll likely want a radiator grill for protection.
Protect your Jeep's grill from rocks and gravel.
If your vehicle tows a trailer and is required to carry other racks off the back then you should check out the Versahitch. It can me used for mounting D rings for recovery and tons of other implements.
Click below to see it on Quadratec's website.
A winch is another must have tool for any serious offroader. There are ton of quality models out there. Be sure to choose a winch that is rated for your rig and then some.
Warn has been around for a long time with their trail tested winches.
11. Spare Fuel Storage
Nothing is worse than worrying about running out of fuel. You can repair a vehicle, however you can't just refine fuel. Adventure further out with extra fuel storage. Several systems are out there for fuel and water.
12. Spare Water Storage
If you overland and like the comforts of a shower, you'll have to carry extra water. You might as well get a system to carry water and fuel.
13. Soft Top / Summer Top
Nothing is cooler and says Jeep like driving topless. Not that kind of topless. It's fun until rains, hail, extreme sun or dust storms arrive. If you have a hard top, you'll want to invest in a soft top or Bimini top for protection and peace of mind.
This one is the same one we run in the summer on the 2011 Rubicon.
Your hood can do more than just provide protection for your engine and vital components on your vehicle. It can help cool the engine and look awesome as well.
The Poison Spyder hood louver kit is a great way to hide hail damage, cool the engine compartment and look sharp.
15. Hood Locks
If you live in a sketchy area which is sadly, pretty much everywhere nowadays, you should keep honest people honest and get hood locks to lock up your engine compartment.
Protect your investment from the would be criminal with a good hood lock. These locks use your original Jeep key!
16. Hi-lift Jack
A hi-lift jack is an off-road warriors best friend. With attachments it can be used to lift and even winch out a stuck Jeep. Decide where you'll store it and get a mounting kit for it as well.
The Hi-Lift Jack will get you out of a lot of tight spots with the proper use, accessories and technique.
You'll need to have a way to store your hi-lift jack with a quality mounting system.
17. Skid Plate
If you are into serious off-roading, you'll want to invest in skid plates to protect your Jeep's undercarriage. The stock skids aren't strong enough for serious rock crawling.
18. Tailgate Reinforcement
If you don't want to opt for a spare tire carrier upgrade for large tires, then you'll need to buy a tail gate reinforcement kit. These kits strengthen your tailgate hinges or support them to prevent warping and damage.
If you carry a larger tire and hit the trails hard, you better reinforce your tailgate if you can't afford a tire carrier.
19. Door Off Mirror Kit
It's illegal to drive without side mirrors on the highway in a lot of jurisdictions. Keep the men and women in blue on real criminal activities by getting a pair of mirrors for when you pull off the doors.
Stay legal and safe with a door off mirror kit.
20. Half Or Tube Doors
If you've never wheeled with half doors, you're missing out. The give you better visibility, while a tube style door will give you more along with an array of accessories.
Safer than doors completely off and are just cool. Great visibility when off-roading.
21. Fender Liners
Fender liners help keep your engine bay cleaner than plain open wheel wells. This is especially the case with some tube fenders.
The factory has done a pretty good job with following the customer base, however their latest creation Rubicon 392 is out of my price range. I imagine it's out of a lot of peoples price range.
This next set of mods might not get you a 392, but they'll help your Jeep conquer the trail and you'll have the pride of building your Wrangler up.
22. Cold Air Intake
Cold intakes are an easy upgrade for your Wrangler. They bring cool oxygen into the engine instead of the hot air in the engine compartment. These generally have better filters that are serviceable.
Let your Jeep's engine breath fresh cooler air for better performance.
Snorkels help keep dust and debris from entering the filter housing and restricting much needed oxygen flow for your engine's combustion. Other benefits of a snorkel is insurance from ingesting water into your engine through the intake. Snorkels also bring cool oxygen into the engine.
Protect your filter and engine's intake during water crossings and dusty trial running.
A new exhaust whether custom or bolt on can be an excellent compliment to a new intake. The intake allows the engine to breathe and an opened up exhaust will let your engine exhale better.
25. Axle Gearing
If you plan to run larger tires, you'll need to change out the gearing in your axles. The gear change will put the performance feeling back into your Jeep Wrangler.
Yukon Gear & Axle has some excellent information on how to swap out ring and pinion gears along with all of the parts to make it happen.
If you are into serious off-roading, you may as well add lockers to your axles while changing the ring and pinion gears. If your Jeep Wrangler is the Rubicon model, then obviously you already have the lockers you need.
Selectable lockers are preferred so there is still an ability to drive on the road and in certain off-road situations. Selectable lockers come in pneumatic, electrical and cable actuated.
There are some lockers that are super easy for the beginner to install, and others are a little more advanced. Find a locker that works for you.
When it comes to Jeep mods, the suspension lift is often one of the first things Jeepers want to perform. Suspension lift kits are designed to lift the Jeep to allow for larger wheels and tires. They'll often perform better with better handling and geometry of the control arms if done right.
Suspension lifts vary in cost depending on the quality and lift height.
28. Tires / Wheels
Tires & wheels are another great mod. They allow for better traction. Wheels are either made from steel or aluminum. Some will heave the ability to deflate the tires to minimum pressures due to there bead-lock design. The meats you choose should be adequate for the terrain and season your wheeling in.
Don't be that person that will install a lift, install larger tires and then have a factory spare hanging off the back. The spare needs to be the same diameter or you could damage your running gear components.
Larger tires cause other issues to include steering linkage. This problem only gets worse off road and locked. The factory Mopar steering will eventually get destroyed with 35" or larger tires. A heavy-duty steering, whether custom or kit will keep your Wrangler moving. At a minimum is a steering stabilizer.
You can find Heavy Duty Steering upgrade components at Barnes 4WD.
One important and often overlooked Wrangler mods is the brakes of the vehicle. Lifted vehicle with larger meats under it will need extra stopping power. Improve your brakes. Swap to disc brakes on the rear if you have drums.
32. Engine Swap
Engine swaps are another great option in the way of performance mods. Obviously, this will void any factory warranty so you may want to wait until you sack out the original engine.
You can source donor engines off of Craigslist, Facebook Market place or Copart.
33. Axles Swap
If you plan to get in to serious off-roading in extreme terrain, you'll want stronger axles. A vehicle with locked axles, large tires and rock crawling a prone to snapping smaller spline axles. Even coming off rocks hard or drop-offs can bend axle tubes.
34. Axle Shafts
Upgrading to chromoly axle shafts or larger spline axle shaft kits are a cheaper way to beef up factory axles.
35. Axle Truss
An axle truss is another inexpensive way to protect your axle tube from bending. They can also be used in the rear to build a custom triangulated rear suspension.
36. Transfer case
Synonymous with extreme drivetrain is the upgraded transfer cases for Jeeps made by Advance Adapters. The 2 Speed Atlas II and 4 Speed Atlas IV. Both are a twin stick design to offer two wheel drive in low range. Gear driven instead of the suspect chain cases.
37. SYE Slip Yoke Eliminator
If you don't have one of the Rubicon TJ models, you'll want to install a slip yoke eliminator to protect your driveline and keep moving in the event you lose the rear drive shaft. JKs don't need them.
If your lifting a TJ 4 or more inches you'll need a slip yoke eliminator.
Swapping out to a heavy-duty transmission is another great option when it comes to strengthening your drivetrain. NV-4500s and T-19s are some common swapped manual transmissions in TJ Wranglers. The current line up of Jeep Wranglers has pretty good transmissions.
39. Transmission Shifter
A short throw shifter can be a nice upgrade that any Jeep owner could install themselves with minimal mechanic's skills.
I currently have a manual transmission in my TJ Wrangler. I have the Center Force dual friction clutch and it has held up well. An upgraded clutch will give you better holding power.
Centerforce Clutches offer excellent holding power. Had mine for years.
41. Chip / Tuning
A chip and programmer can gain you descent amount of horsepower and torque.
Plug and play tuning for performance or fuel economy.
A costly mod for your Jeep, but the horsepower gains can be astronomical with a supercharger. At least its an easier install than an engine swap.
Upgrading to better batteries is a must with lighting, winch, power inverters and stereo equipment upgrades.
If you're running winches, lights and everything else, get one.
You'll want a heavy-duty alternator for your upgraded batteries.
You'll need a heavy-duty alternator to keep up with the Optima batteries.
There are custom radiators for every model of Wrangler to include engine swapped applications for better cooling and longer engine life.
46. Transmission Cooler
If you tow, rock crawl or do a lot of desert running, a transmission cooler is a great mod.
47. Sway Bar Disconnects
Disconnects replace the front sway bar links so that you can gain maximum articulation for better traction. Vary in length depending on the lift height.
48. Roll bar
The Mopar roll bar is for a minor roll over at best. If you've ever seen a Jeep flip over in Moab's Hell's Revenge or Hot Tub obstacles then you know why you need a sturdy roll bar for your Wrangler. A quality roll cage can save your life and Jeep.
49. Under Hood Storage
Under your hood is a great place to hide valuables and spare tools. I'm always hiding things in plane sight. I'll do a post on under hood storage ideas someday.
Your stock seats are good for cruising. Eventually, the seat springs and fabric will get sacked. Replace that worn out stock seats with quality replacement seats. If you want custom, check out these ones from PRP.
51. Seat Covers
Seat covers is an inexpensive way to dress up your interior and keep your vehicle looking new. Well, at least the seat covers. Some covers are waterproof.
52. Seat Storage
Several companies make a style of set cover that has modular stowing on the back.
53. Heated Seats Kits
There are a few companies that offer heated seat kits that will fit any style seat in any kind of vehicle. A great idea for kids and your better half if they're cold natured when driving topless.
54.Tub Bed Liner
The first mod I did was removing the carpet so I could put a roll-on bed liner in the tub to protect it from rusting. Still there to this day. You can always put the carpet back in when your done coating your tub.
55. Trail Rated Floor Mats
I bought these trail rated floor mats from Quadratec. There great if you play in the snow and mud.
Who doesn't want to jam out on a long trip or just cruising. Some models offer GPS, touchscreen and tie ins for front & rear cameras.
57. Front / Rear Camera System
A front and rear camera system will help when backing up or hooking up to a trailer. A front camera mounted under the hood in the grill opening can help you navigate over obstacles.
A GPS or navigation system is another great interior mod for safety. These are great when planning routes and building new trails also.
59. CB Radio
The CB radio is a great upgrade for communication between friends and even during emergencies. Some off-road parks and Jeep groups require a CB in the vehicle.
60. Storage System
When hitting the trail, it's important to have all of your belongings safely stored in some kind of storage system.
61. Storage Safe
If you carry valuables or a firearm, you'll want a safe to lock and keep them out of the wrong hands. An overhead vault is good and an under seat option is even better unless you frequent deep water crossings.
62. Dash Cam
A dash cam with mount is pretty cool to record adventures and can save you money in the event of an accident. It's another way of protecting yourself.
63. Go Pro & Mounting System
A GoPro with mounting hardware is a good way to record your adventures. They can attach to the Jeep, cage and under carriage for really cool off-road footage.
64. Floor Liners
I don't have carpet in my TJ but in the Rubicon JK 4 door we do. I bought these floor liners to protect the carpet. It makes clean up easier.
65. Overhead Storage
The Jeep JK Attic Storage system is great to keep light stuff out from under your feet.
66. Hard Top Insulation
Living in Fairbanks, Alaska with a Wrangler for 15 years, I wish I would have had insulation in my hard top. If you live in cold regions or hot, this will be a good option and drown out excess road noise.
67. Grab handles
Grab handles are another cheap and easy mod that will help your passengers climb up in to a lifted Jeep. Grab handles come in fabric with a rubber/plastic grip and there are weld in grab handles for custom cages. Some new Jeeps come with grab handles, our 2011 did.
Lighting Upgrades -
68. LED Headlights
LED headlights are absolutely awesome. I bought these inexpensive pair for our 4 door Rubicon Wrangler on Amazon 3 plus years ago and still work great. I'll eventually install them on our TJ Wrangler "Golden Dragon".
Read our Jeep headlight post: Shopping For The Best Jeep Headlights For Your Wrangler In 2022?
Excellent lights for the money. Had them on for 3 plus years.
69. Fog Lights
I installed these LED fog lights on our stock JK that I bought on Amazon 3 plus years ago and still working great. Fog lights really help light up the trail.
Excellent fog lights for the money. Had them on for 3 plus years as well.
70. Light Bar
A light bar is another great Jeep mod to use off-road at night.
71. Auxiliary Reverse Lights
Nothing worse than trying to back up at night on the trail. Grab a pair of auxiliary back up lights before you run over something you'll regret. You won't need these if you get tail lights like the ones below.
72. LED Tail Lights
LED tail lights are extremely bright when they light up. The vehicle behind you can't say they didn't see them. I bought these for the 4 door JK Wrangler about three years ago on Amazon and they work great.
Have these on our JK for 3 plus years. Reverse lights are super bright.
73. Turn Signal LED Lights
LED turn signals are a great compliment to LED headlights and tail lights. I bought these on Amazon 3 years ago for our 4 door Wrangler.
Have these on our JK for 3 plus years.
74. I/R Lights
If you live in an area that offers hog hunting, then IR lights or an IR spot light is a must.
If you don't have night vision or night vision front cameras, don't buy these.
75. Ambient Lighting
Another popular trend is different colored ambient lighting below the dash.
76. Undercarriage Lighting
Has been a trend the last few years. You'll see a vehicle with them on videos of King Of The Hammers.
77. Interior LED Lights
At work we use LED dome lights in the cold dark winters in Alaska. They work great and would work good in your Jeep as well.
Trail Safety & Recovery Upgrades -
Not all of these are mods but are good items to have in your Jeep on your next adventure.
78. Tool Box
Your tools need a place to stay. You'll want it secured in case of you find yourself upside down.
79. Small Mechanic's Tool Set
Every Jeep owner should have a small tool set when leaving the road.
80. Torx Sockets & Bits
Jeep loves to use the torx screws and bolts. Don't be caught off the road with out these tools.
81. Onboard Air Compressor
Used to inflate tires, small pneumatic tools and operate pneumatic lockers.
82. Onboard Air Tank
Added volume with an additional tank will give you more inflation power. Especially trying to set a tire's bead.
83. Onboard Welder
Not necessary, but a dang nice thing to have is an onboard welder. Pay a recovery fee on the trail and you could have almost paid for an under hood welder.
84. Power Inverter
A power inverter is great for battery charging, running small power tools and a mini blender for a margarita at the end of a long day on the trail.
85. Tow Straps
Tow straps are self explanatory. You or someone you know ill break down or get stuck.
86. Ratchet Straps
Ratchet straps come in handy when trying to set a bead when you've come off the wheel not to mention the other million uses.
Shackles are always handy to have around to connect various straps for recovery operations or towing. Grab a couple three for your tool box.
88. Rated Fire Extinguisher
You should have a fire extinguisher in your Wrangler. Grab a mount with it to secure it in a place you can easily get to in an emergency.
89. Battery Disconnect Switch
Safety is important. I've personally had a vehicle catch fire. It could have been saved if I would have had a way to kill the battery power. The only saving grace was that nobody got hurt and it wasn't a Jeep Wrangler!
90. First Aid Kit
A quality first aid kit is a must when off-roading. Make sure to purchase a mount for it so that it's always where it should be. Replace items and check for expiration dates of perishable items.
91. Tire Repair Kit
Another one of those things that you'll wish you had it when you don't.
92. Tire Deflator
Great tool to lower your tire pressure for better traction.
You need light during an emergency and a flashlight is the right tool for it.
94. Work Lights
Working light are a great nicety to have during a breakdown or working under the hood.
95. Locking Lugs
If you value the wheels on your Wrangler, locking lugs guards your wheels from a would be thief.
Overland & Camping Upgrades -
96. Overland Tent
Great way to camp and sleep above the snakes.
97. Water Filtration System
Turn almost any water source into potable drinking water.
98. Kitchen System
All I can say is, "people got to eat!"
99. Fridge Freezer Combo
Great upgrade over a traditional cooler. Even make a small one for a 2 door Jeep.
100. Portable Shower Kit
Who doesn't like to be clean?
101. Awning Kit
Keep the hot sun off of you during your next outing.
102. Jeep Mattress
A jeep mattress is a great way to get started overlanding.
103. Sleeping Platform
More expensive than a simple mattress but great idea is the Oryx Platform. Products for 2 door and 4 doors. They are based out of Fort Collins, which is 7 miles from me.
104. Solar Kit
Great for trickle charging and emergency power. Here is an inexpensive on on Amazon.
105. Power Bank
Another great option for electrical power. Here is a highly rated one on Amazon.
106. Overland Trailer
You can buy or build a DIY overland trailer for upgraded camping.
If you can't quite afford the Tentrax, you could easily build one using a Dinoot Trailers kit.
107. Off-road Hitch
An off-road hitch keeps the trailer on when you're off-road.
Final Thoughts On Jeep Wrangler Upgrades and Mods -
If your a Jeep Wrangler owner, hopefully this list of mods and gear has inspired you to get out and modify your vehicle no matter which model you have. If you're not an owner then hopefully this list inspired you to consider a Jeep vehicle or at least gave you ideas for upgrading your rig.
Other than tops and cargo racks, most mods will fit both 2 door and 4 door Wranglers. If there is something you think we missed, let us know. We like good, bad and indifferent comments.
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