If you are like me, and have taken your stock Jeep off road at some point, you have probably quickly realized that your beloved jeep wasn’t as capable as you had initially imagined. Whether you got stuck in the mud, or bashed your undercarriage on the rocks below, you and I both realized that some modifications had to be done in order to get our Jeeps truly trail ready.
Having been down this path already, I wanted to shed some light on the subject of modifying a Jeep for optimum trail performance. I will start with some of the basics to help you get started with your modifications. Later on, we will move on to some of the more advanced modifications.
Install a Lift Kit
If you have been off the road in your stock Jeep, one of the first major problems you may have noticed was the obvious lack of ground clearance. In most stock Jeeps, ground clearance is not very high. Unfortunately, this can pose a serious problem.
For instance, whenever you find yourself in a rocky terrain or any deep mud, you are likely going to run into trouble. Some of the common negative effects of this may include breaking things underneath your Jeep to incurring unsightly body damage.
With a simple lift kit, you will be able to have a much higher ground clearance. This can help you to avoid a lot of unnecessary problems. I cannot stress enough how much a lift kit could enhance your Jeep’s capability when driving off the pavement.
Another important thing to consider when modifying a Jeep is the addition of lockers. There is nothing more frustrating than being stuck in the mud or snow while only one tire is spinning in the air. Sometimes in such a situation, the other wheel will not move at all because of being planted firmly on solid ground.
Have you wondered what the solution to this all too common problem may be? In most situations, the answer comes in the form of lockers.
Lockers work by engaging both wheels simultaneously in limited traction situations. To put it plainly, lockers might be one of the very best investments you could make for your Jeep and any off road situations.
Protect Your Jeep’s Vulnerable Areas
Once you have lifted your Jeep and installed a pair of lockers, the next thing to do is to protect the vulnerable areas of your Jeep. To do this, I would suggest that you consider adding skid plates and rock guards.
Skid plates serve the very important purpose of protecting your Jeep’s oil pan, transfer case, and transmission.
Rock guards serve a similar purpose, except that instead of protecting your drive train, they protect areas of your Jeep that are prone to incurring body damage. Common areas for rock guards include:
*Fenders – The fenders are a prime spot for rock guards because they are very damage prone. They are especially prone to getting damaged by steep approaches and trail obstacles like trees and large boulders. Rock guards can help to protect against this specific type of damage.
*Rear corners – Rear corners are often damaged when driving off obstacles or backing up in tight situations. With rock guards in place, you won’t need to worry about your Jeep’s rear corners becoming severely damaged in these types of circumstances.
*Door areas – One of the most commonly damaged areas while off-roading is the body area that is directly below a Jeep’s doors. Damage to these areas can occur in numerous ways, including driving over obstacles, becoming high-centered, and encountering deep ruts along the trail. Protecting this highly vulnerable area will prove extremely worthwhile and definitely worth the investment.
*Bumpers – Bumpers serve a critical role in protecting the front and rear of your vehicle. However, your Jeep’s stock bumpers will likely fall short of doing the job when encountering common trail obstacles. There are numerous aftermarket options available that are specifically designed for off-road use. These bumpers often feature solid steel construction, better tire clearance, and winch mounting points.
Driving your stock Jeep in off road situations can be stressful; but, if you have prepared yourself by following these simple suggestions, you can ensure that your next outing will be successful, safe, and enjoyable.
Check out Bill Fitts Auto Sales in Little Rock, Arkansas. Go here to find a great used Jeep and get started building your very own off-roading experiences.