You’ve probably spent years pining after the Jeep Wrangler lifestyle. Whether your new Jeep is an older model, certified pre-owned, or brand spanking new, you probably can’t wait to get your hands dirty modifying your new ride after shopping at your local used car dealership. After all, the customization is part of what makes Jeep a lifestyle, not just a vehicle. So, when the time finally arrives, and you sign on the dotted line to become the proud parent to a new Jeep, get ready with a list of your most desired mods so that you can take to the open road!
Here are a few common mods that Jeep Wrangler owners agree are necessities for the first-time Jeep owner.
Let’s start with a truly fun one. LED (Light Emitting Diode) headlights make fantastic first customization to your new Jeep. If you don’t already have them, you probably don’ understand exactly what you’re missing. The light output of LED headlights and high beams is nearly twice that of the headlights that come standard out of the factory. If you’re getting a certified pre-owned or used Jeep, there’s a good chance the previous owner installed these as they’re one of the most popular mods around. Ask what kind of light is installed before you go about replacing something that already exists. And remember, try not to tailgate regular cars on the highway, or you’re likely to blind the driver with your super powerful lights!
Getting better bumpers installed is a must for most new Jeep owners. The ones from the factory are probably “okay,” but they aren’t built to take you off-roading. If you’re planning to put your Jeep to the test at any point, getting some upgraded bumpers can really help you out. Many are made with high-quality cold rolled steel and are prepared to take some real abuse from your excursions. They also last longer against rust and corrosion than ordinary bumpers. These heavier-duty bumpers for both the front and back of your Jeep will protect it from the bumps and dents which are par for the course when riding around in your new Jeep. After all, Jeeps aren’t meant to be kept in the garage, you’re supposed to live life to the max in them!
Replacing the hard top of your new Jeep is probably high on your to-do list. One of the allures of the Jeep lifestyle is the call of the open road and feeling the wind on your face. The solid frame keeps you safe, but you still feel connected to the outside world, as opposed to sitting cramped inside the cabin of a little car. If you’re ready to get some sun and experience nature in a whole new way, you should get a soft top. These tops roll down to give you more exposure to the outside world for an “open air feel” and are a traditional calling card of the Jeep Wrangler brand. If you’re going to get the most out of the Jeep experience, you definitely want to try a soft top.
This one’s kind of a no-brainer. You’ve just gotten yourself a new Jeep, the last thing you want to do is start damaging its floors. Floor liners will help to protect them from debris, water, and muck that you track in day to day or when you’re off-roading. They’ll make it easy for you to keep the interior of your jeep mess free and easy to clean. So, whatever you drag in on your feet won’t wreck your floors.
Different types of floor liners include carpeted ones, rubber slush mats, heavy-duty all-weather ones, and liners that are built to withstand the trail and are made of polyethylene and shaped with deep tire treads on their surface. Since this mod is quick, easy, and relatively cheap, many Jeep owners start with this mod first.
You’re probably going to be spending a lot of time in your new or certified pre-owned Jeep, and that can put a lot of pressure on your seats. Even though it might not seem like it, seat quality can degrade the elements just like anything else. Especially if you’ve got a soft top and are planning to be spending some time in the open air, it’s important that you protect your seats. Seat covers come in all types and colors so that you can customize the look of your Jeep’s interior. Some are made from polyester, others neoprene or nylon. You can match the color to the outside of your Jeep, or opt for a lurid pattern to express your own personality.
“What’s this?” You might ask. Entry guards are installed to protect your Jeep’s most highly trafficked location free from scrapes and grime. If you think about it, most places in and on your Jeep are protected in some way, so it doesn’t make sense not to protect the entryways to your vehicle. These guards install easily onto your entryways and are made from either aluminum, stainless steel, or thermoplastic. They work tirelessly to protect your Jeep’s body and are an inexpensive way to add some longevity to your ride. You can even install entry guards all by yourself without needing a lot of help. First project idea? Check!
This is a highly effective mod that a lot of people decide is a must-have after struggling to get in and out of their Jeeps a few times. Jeeps are pretty high up, especially if your Jeep is already lifted, and can be fairly precarious to climb in and out of. With grab handles installed, there’s something to cling on to in order to hoist yourself up or hold for dear life when you take a turn at speed and the G-force tries to suck you out the side.
Grab handles are fairly easy to install, and many are installed by simply wrapping Velcro tethers around the from A-frame pillars. Some are made of nylon or foam, while other more durable ones are made out of solid steel. If it makes sense to have these inside regular sedans, it definitely makes sense to have them in a vehicle that’s meant for off-roading.
Strong Hood Latches
This one comes as a surprise for many folks, but the latches on the hood which come standard from the factory aren’t meant to handle higher speeds. While they’re extremely unlikely to fail you in a dangerous sense, you might notice some noise coming from your hood where the latch doesn’t have quite enough strength to prevent it from shifting up and down. If this noise is distracting you, installing some strong replacement hood latches is your fix. Replacement hood latches will not only keep you hood securely in place even when traveling at speed on the highway, but will also look damn cool.
Make it Your Own
Whatever mods you decide to do first for your new, used, or certified pre-owned Jeep, the most important thing is to remember that making your Jeep your own is what it’s all about. Owning a Jeep Wrangler is a lifestyle that encourages adventure, fun, and being true to who you are without being put into a box by other people. After all, you can go anywhere and do just about anything in your new Jeep.