If you’re a regular visitor to this site, there’s a chance you’ve got modifying your Jeep all figured out. But perhaps you just got one and want to know how to make it more bad-ass without screwing it up.
Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some top tips for upgrading JKs from Bond Gilmer, the president of Rebel Off Road.
1) Build around the tire size you’re after. “Keep the vehicle sitting a little bit lower.” So, if you’re going for 35 or 37-inch tires, get a lift that’s only 3-4 inches high. Don’t put your center of gravity up in the clouds.
2) Thinking a few years down the road…er…trail can save you money. Once you know how you want your rig to eventually look and perform, you’ll have a better idea of the right hardware to buy to achieve that vision. Don’t skimp now because you’ll more than likely spend twice that amount of money in a few years when you replace that second-rate part with the one you really should have bought in the first place.
3) Don’t just focus on the big picture. If you bolt on bigger tires to your late-model JK (Gilmer recommends something in the 35 to 37-inch range), remember to make sure your sway bar links and brake lines are the appropriate lengths, otherwise, when your suspension is fully flexed in a place like the Rubicon, you’ll end up puncturing one of your tires with a link that’s too long, or snapping your brake lines because they’re too short.
4) Beef up your driveshaft. That up-sized rubber and those larger wheels bring additional weight and physical stress, so you need a driveline that can handle those forces. This is an especially important change to make if you have a lift of 3 inches or greater, particularly on a two-door JK.
There you have it. Now you won’t break the bank or your dirt-road rambler.