Jeeps are known to be off-road machines, but the stock Jeep isn’t really tricked out like it could be for serious off-roading. So we asked the opinion of Steve Voudouris, owner of Turn5. (Turn5 is the parent company of two sites dedicated to modifying Jeeps and muscle cars.)
If you want to turn your Jeep Wrangler into an off-roading beast, here are nine things you’ll need to make your stock Jeep ready for anything.
Lift Kit: Teraflex 3 in. Suspension System w/ Shocks (’07-’16 Wrangler JK Models)
If you’re going to go off-roading, you need enough space under the vehicle to clear rocks and stumps, not to mention have room for larger off-road tires. This is a complete kit for raising the height of your Jeep Wrangler JK enough to clear most obstacles you’ll find off-roading. You'll still have good handling on pavement, too.
Skid Plates: M.O.R.E. Oil/Transmission Skid Plate (’07-’16 Wrangler JK Models)
No matter what type of wheeling you do, it's important to protect the undercarriage of the vehicle. One bounce too many and you could get a rock through something vital. The M.O.R.E. Oil/Transmission Skid Plate covers the transmission, the oil pan, and a critical part of the exhaust system. Yes, it adds more weight, but you don’t want to be in the middle of nowhere and have one of these parts break!
Rocker Armor: Barricade Rock Sliders (’07-’16 Wrangler JK 4 Door Models)
For the uninitiated, rocker panels are the part of the frame that runs under the doors. You step up onto them on your way into the vehicle. It’s very common for these to get scuffed, but if they get bent it can interfere with the doors and weaken the overall frame.
Barricade Rock Sliders fit on these panels to provide protection against off-road obstacles. They also provide a convenient step up to get into the vehicle and can make it easier for your Jeep to slide over obstacles. Also, as a bonus, these will mount to the factory default Rubi Rails. Most rocker armor requires compatible rocker panels.
Front Bumper: Barricade Extreme HD Front Bumper (’07-’16 Wrangler JK Models)
If you’re going to go off-roading, you need to have serious protection. The default plastic bumper may look good, but it’s not enough. The Barricade Extreme HD Front Bumper is just the thing. Front bumpers aren’t just for protection. They also provide mounts for lights, winches, and recovery points in case you need to get hauled out.
Rear Bumper and Tire Carrier: Barricade Extreme HD Rear Bumper w/ Tire Carrier (’07-’16 Wrangler JK Models)
Of course, if you’re going to make the front bumper metal, your rear bumper deserves the same treatment. Plastic just won’t do for off-roading. This rear bumper has a tire carrier for large off-roading tires and additional recovery points. You can never have enough recovery points.
Wheels: Mammoth Type 88 Black Wheel-17×9 (’07-’16 Wrangler JK Models)
Off-roading tires and lift kits often require you to get new wheels. Why? Backspacing â€” the distance from the inside edge of the wheel to the mounting face. If this is too large, the inside of your tire will rub against the suspension, or just won’t fit at all. But if you get these wheels you’ll have a tire with the optimum backspacing for this setup and will be able to fit your choice of tires, including …
Tires: BF Goodrich Mud Terrain T/A KM2 35×12.50R17 (’87-’16 Wrangler YJ, TJ & JK Models)
These are a common-sized off-road tire that do really well both on and off-road. A serious tire for a serious off-roading enthusiast. The sidewall lugs provide puncture and bruise resistance, as well as traction in soft surfaces. Try these tires and you may want to put them on your commute vehicle!
Winch: Barricade 9500lb Winch w/ Synthetic Rope & Wireless Control (’87-’16 Wrangler YJ, TJ & JK Models)
Every off-road vehicle should have a way to get themselves unstuck, or help others who are stuck. If you haven’t gotten stuck yet, one day you will be. Be prepared by having a winch ready. This winch can haul up to 9500 pounds using synthetic rope and features wireless controls so you can operate it from a distance.
Recovery Gear: Barricade Recovery Kit
Finally, you need to have gear to help you out if you’re in a jam. That’s what this recovery kit is for. This kit includes everything else that you'd need to recover yourself or a friend from a tough spot on the trail. It has a 17,500 pound snatch block, drag chain, two straps, gloves, and bow shackles all in a convenient carrying case.
With this setup, your jeep will be ready to leave the paved roads for some serious off-road adventures.