Jeep JK Wrangler Upgrades To Add Performance

Aftermarket mods are a rite of passage for any true Jeep owner, and one that has been around since the Wrangler’s inception. The Wrangler’s unmatched off-road prowess makes it well suited for a host of modifications that have the potential to take the Jeep to the next level. There are many different ways to modify a Jeep Wrangler, depending on what you want from it. Modifying a Jeep for off-roading requires frequent maintenance but allows creative customization.

Modifying a jeep for overland expeditions is easier and less costly than renovating an expedition vehicle because it still fulfills other needs such as street driving or showmanship. We have compiled a list of some of the best JK Wrangler modifications that will upgrade your Jeep’s performance.

As a Jeep is modified for off-road use, it usually gains weight. Performance is also reduced when already atrocious aerodynamics are made worse by lifts and big tires. The mass of those big tires also soak up more power on their own. Even if correctly geared, a built Jeep with a stock engine is almost always slower than the stock Jeep.

Recently, gas mileage has become an important factor in motor vehicle selection. Gas mileage drops as the weight of a car increases. Lifts and big tires can decrease gas mileage even more significantly. You may not recover all your stock fuel economy, but engine modifications allow you to obtain higher horsepower while also improving fuel economy to some degree.

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aFe Mach Force XP 2.5" Cat-Back Exhaust System for Jeep Wrangler
JK Wrangler Upgrades
K&N Performance Air Intake Systems
JK Wrangler Upgrades
Nilight 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK Front Bumper
Nilight 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK Rear Bumper
Danti Black Cowl Body Armor Outer Cowling Cover for Jeep Wrangler JK
Xprite 4 Inch LED Fog Lights for Jeep Wrangler JK

jeep jk radiator upgrade

Engine Performance Modifications

Engine performance modifications can be a variety of things, from basic bolt-ons to forced induction. Tuning your motor can extract more horsepower as well as torque, and potentially improve fuel efficiency. Whether on-road or off-road, overclocking your engine by bumping from 25% to 75% overstock will leave plenty of power at your disposal.

Cold Air Intake

Quality cold air intakes offer a more efficient way of increasing power by changing both the type of intake tubing and the quality of airflow filter. The JK is equipped with a rubber hose from the factory, increasing engine heat; this causes less-efficient power. In addition, a high-flowing paper air filter replaces the factory microfilter for more surface area. When buying a cold air intake, there are many options to consider. Mopar, Air Raid, and RedRock are some of the popular manufacturers.

Forced Induction

Turbochargers and superchargers are the two main methods for increasing engine power. Each has strengths that make it a better choice depending on your needs – turbo chargers get more power when they’re working, whereas supercharger’s extra juice is only generated in boost mode. Turbo lag happens when the turbo is spinning too slowly with increased RPMs to compress the air intake. There are various companies that offer superchargers, such as RIPP, Edelbrock, Magnuson and Sprintex. TRE performance has a procharger option for the 3.6 liter engine at their level of prodigy Performance which offers two different kits increasing power levels almost 100% over stock!

Hemi Engine Conversion

For some, the factory six cylinder engines aren’t enough. Thanks to the AEV Hemi Conversion Kit, you are now able to install a Hemi 5.7 liter or 6.4 liter engine into your JK. The kit includes tons of swap components, such as motor and transmission mounts, wiring harness, and A/C lines to make your swap feel like a factory option. The Hemi engines make big power with the 6.4 liter producing 470 hp and 470 ft/lbs of torque. For an added bonus, forced induction options are easy to find for these engines.

Cat-Back Exhaust

Cat-back exhaust systems are designed to improve exhaust flow and create a louder sound without affecting emissions. They allow you to avoid the hassle of having an aftermarket tune installed that may disable your check engine light. Manufacturers install these kits using the factory mounting points, while increasing pipe diameter in order to prevent bending. One downside is that this reduces clearance for off-road use. Manufacturers solve this by installing systems with an increased clearance and rerouting the exhaust path closer to the vehicle body. There are many different brands of cat-back systems for cars, such as MBRP, JK Pypes, Gibson and Dynomax.

aFe Mach Force XP 2.5" Cat-Back Exhaust System for Jeep Wrangler


aFe Mach Force XP 2.5
Despite the mini size of the included engines, these two powerful powerplants from Jeep will serve your needs..Performance upgrades are created by people just like us. In turn, these upgrades will make your next drop-top adventure a go and you’ll be ready to ditch the pavement. Provide a cooling breeze to your engine with a cover that is resistant to the elements. We have innovative covers for adventure-seeking riders, as well as classically designed products for those who prefer the purist look. The Mach Force XP exhausts are available in cat-back, axle-back, and downpipe-backed designs. This makes installing them a simple task because they require no cutting or drilling, and include all necessary hardware for installation. One of the most conspicuous features on aFe power intake systems are the beautiful tips. The company offers black wrinkle powdercoated or polished 304 stainless steel tips with a laser-cut stainless steel power badge. Select models include carbon fiber tips with CNC-machined inserts that display their logo nicely.

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K&N Performance Air Intake Systems


K&N Performance Air Intake Systems
The state-of-the-art filter system features thousands of microscopic cotton fibers that help to protect your engine from contaminants. Precision engineered to provide increased horsepower and torque over the stock intake system. K&N starts with a conical shaped air filter that fits into your factory engine compartment using factory holes and mounting points. This K&N filter offers improved airflow at lower restriction than a standard replacement filter. Standard filters are limited to the size of factory airboxes. The oversize air filter also captures and holds more dirt, meaning it will need less cleaning (up to 100,000 miles).

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Jeep Wrangler JK: Off-Road Modifications

Lift and body modding for Wranglers can take up all the data storage on the World Wide Web, leaving little room for cat videos. To give the cats a break from conventional roads, you should purchase Wrangler modifications to improve its handling and make it safer.

Installing larger tires with better traction and improved suspension provides protection against adverse wear and tear. Installing fenders will help keep dirt, snow, or mud out of the vehicle while improving visibility to what is in front of you. Installing a lift for the truck helps prevent any obstacles from damaging it on either roads or rough terrain.The recovery attachment hard-points allow for hooks of various shapes and sizes depending on the type of rescue needed. They come with a tow hitch receiver tube that allows a winch to be installed either at the front or rear bumper, with 3/4″ threaded steel inserts.

Here are a few definitions related to the brand Wrangler:

  • The weight of a Wrangler is the total force applied to the vehicle’s suspension system. A lighter Wrangler will require less energy to move and won’t run out as quickly.
  • Unsprung weight includes the suspension that isn’t supported by a spring, including the drive shaft, axles and wheel/tire components. Adding unsprung weight reduces car performance. For every pound of unsprung weight added, there is an equivalent reduction in performance to carrying around 10 pounds of extra load on your tires.
  • The stock Wrangler tire size is 255/75/17. The tires have a tread width of 255 millimeters, sidewall height of 75% of the wheel’s width (191 millimeters) and bead diameter is 17 inches (46 centimeters).
  • Wheel backspace is the distance between the rim and where it meets the wheel mounting face.

Wheel off-set is the distance between where the wheel mounts to the car and its center line.

Upgraded Aftermarket Tires

Tires are literally where your adventure meets the road and no other upgrade will have as big of an impact as adding a set of solid tires to your Jeep. Choosing the right tire for your terrain and type of play is absolutely vital to ensuring you get the most satisfaction from them. While there are many good brands like BFGoodrich K02s, it’s important that you really analyze your needs before picking the best one.

When you are looking for tire recommendations, be sure to include the following to get an in-depth breakdown of what fits your Jeep best. Size does matter but not in the way you think–smaller is often better if you regularly drive on pavement and have only a few off-road trips planned. If money spent on tires will significantly contribute to upgrading your Jeep, bigger may seem sweeter but it won’t be more valuable when it comes time to upgrade your vehicle. If you intend to lift your Jeep, make sure that you upgrade from stock tires when switching. This is because a lifted vehicle often needs a new set of larger-sized tires so that the tire can handle the heavier load on it.

Slight Lift

The Jeep Wrangler is already stunning, but adding a lift kit will not only make it look better, but increase performance off-road. Though many people do not need extremely high lifts on jeeps, the convenience of a more intense set-up does come at the cost of increased labor and cost. However, there are plenty of aftermarket kits that provide clearance and articulation to tackle tougher terrain without any added difficulties or headaches!

Roof Rack

A well-built roof rack is essential for any type of vehicle, but it is especially useful if you have a Jeep. A roof rack can store bikes, kayaks, paddle boards and other equipment. It also makes it easier to carry things in storage boxes attached to the roof when the Jeep has limited space under its hood. Wolfpacks from FrontRunner are one hardy option that will make your life much easier.

Front & Rear Bumpers

Placing an off-road bumper on your vehicle can help protect you from some of the less favorable aspects of driving. Off-road bumpers come with many different benefits, including added storage space and a stronger body.

  • Implementing quality bumpers protects your rig so it is not damaged when the bumper hits the ground or scrapes against an obstacle.
  • A good aftermarket bumper not only provides a place to securely mount winches and other hardware, but they also provide extra mounting points for accessories.
  • Adding a rear bumper with a rear swing out is essential if you have installed larger or heavier aftermarket tires (which often happen to weight more than stock), but will save your rear door in the long run by taking your spare tire off of it and moving it to the swingout.

Aftermarket rear bumpers in several styles are available for most Jeep owners, those who desire the ‘strong tubular’ design or a more robust style such as the ‘full length solid ‘rock’ or ‘super duty type, and even modular. For those who plan to install larger tires at some point, various rear bumpers come with tire carrier capability.

Nilight 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK Front Bumper


Nilight 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK Front Bumper
With OE Fog Lights Housing and Winch Plate To last and look good, the Cajun Crawler bumper guards are made from 5/32" steel plating and 2"x0.120" tubing in an epoxy pre-coated finish. Providing OEM quality, this front bumper comes with a 10x4.5" winch mount which is capable of supporting up to 12,000 pound winches. The Bumper is perfect for off-road use. Each bumper equipped with two 3/4 inch pin d-rings able to handle a load of 9,500lbs.

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Nilight 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK Rear Bumper


Nilight 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK Rear Bumper
w/ 2X18W Nilight Upgraded LED Lights & 2" Hitch Receiver D Rings Rear Bumper Kit, manufactured from 3/16" mild steel plating and completed in a two stage finish using epoxy precoating and high-grade textured black powder coating for long lasting durability. The D-Ring mounts are welded both inside and outside for extra strength. Perfect for off-road use, Jeep JK rims are an essential accessory for your vehicle. This remodeled and updated Rear Bumper is perfect for off-road use with a 2" standard receiver hitch, two high strength D-Ring mounts and 18W upgraded LED lights.

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Rock Sliders

Consider rock sliders an essential purchase for anyone who wants to explore the off-road capabilities of their Jeep. Stock JKUs are as capable as many other driving vehicles when on asphalt, but due to their longer wheelbase they can get hung up on ledges or drops. Rock sliders act as protection for your rocker panels against dents caused by dragging them over objects and allow you to scoot around these obstacles more easily. Rock sliders also protect your vehicle’s body from debris and hazards when traveling over irregular terrain. This includes side impacts from rocks and other debris on off-camber surfaces.

Body Armor & Skid Plates

You need body armor and skid plates in your Jeep for extra protection. Skid plates protect the undercarriage from large obstacles, while body armor allows an extra level of protection to be added to places like the rear corners and tail lights.

One way that a Jeep can get stuck off the trail is by damaging its oil pan or transmission. To avoid these occurrences, some people prefer to attach aftermarket bumpers with skid plates. If you are still learning about your Jeep or working on it yourself, additional protection won’t hurt. The added weight will be worth the safety that comes with heavier-duty skid plate options like those from MetalCloak, Rock Hard, Artec and EVO.

Door Steps

Installation is simple; these roof and carrier rack steps install directly onto a Jeep’s hinges. This provides easier access to the top of your vehicle, not to mention convenience when you want to tie something down on it.

Danti Black Cowl Body Armor Outer Cowling Cover for Jeep Wrangler JK


Danti Black Cowl Body Armor Outer Cowling Cover for Jeep Wrangler JK
Protect your Jeep JK from the hazards of brush, rust, and other trail debris with a set of Danti Body Armor Cowl Guards. These coil guards both protect your jeeps paint, giving it protection from the elements and also cover up some more prominent marks. Cowl Guards that are designed from the original CAD data. This ensures a perfect fit every time.Body Armor Cowl Guards are manufactured from high-quality acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), and these guards come in an attractive textured black finish. Providing people with the best possible products and service is our goal. If you're not 100% satisfied with your Body Armor Cowl Guards cover, just return it within 30 days for a full refund in addition to receiving 2-year warranty coverage on all parts that are defective or damaged during regular wear and tear.

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Led Light

For a first time Jeep owner, the realization that factory headlights are weak. Some might not even know until they compare an industry standard like aftermarket LEDs to see how much brighter those lights can be. Flashlights using LEDs, or Light Emitting Diodes, can provide twice the light at low and high beam than factory headlights while requiring only half the amperage.

Compared to the past, LED lights have more power and use less amperage. But it doesn’t stop there–over the last few years improvements in technology means that LEDs also have greater affordability too. In the world of LED headlight upgrades, there are two types – reflector and projector style housings. Both produce great light, but with different effects on the road surface.

Reflector style light housings are almost exactly like the factory headlight housing, with a clear lens and fluted reflector at the back of the housing. LED lights are positioned in the middle of this type of light, which bounces light off of the reflector. These lights usually come with an upper and lower half for low-beam and high-beam respectively.

Projector-style headlamps have a more focused beam of light as well as cut-off patterns that are much sharper than reflector-style lamps. They also use separate lenses for high and low beams, which offer different lighting options for the rider.

Apart from the additional lenses, projector style lights are generally more expensive than LED reflector style bulbs. However both offer benefits over your stock Jeep’s factory lights, so it just comes down to personal preference for aesthetics and cost.

Winch

When adding a winch to your car, there are many factors to take into consideration. Winches can be expensive and, depending on the terrain you travel on, they can range from being necessary all of the time to only helpful in some situations. If you wheel regularly in snow, sand or mud then it’s highly recommended that you purchase a winch. Being able to complete successful self-recovery is invaluable and could save your life someday. When choosing a winch, consider the reputation of the brand and what kind of warranty they offer. You will need to think about a few things while picking out your winch.

  1. The weight of the vehicle can be measured in several ways. Purchasing a winch that is underpowered for your vehicle could render it useless; you must know how much your truck weighs to avoid this problem. When stuck in mud, a vehicle will also become heavier and need more pull power to get out.
  2. There’s a long-standing debate over steel versus synthetic lines. Do your research, and then make a decision based on what you prefer.
  3. It is important to remember that winching can be dangerous and it is best to take the proper training before practicing. Here are a few of the top rated winches on the marketplace.

One of the challenges with owning a Jeep is that it has limited cargo space. Unfortunately, this problem will be exacerbated if you remove the hardtop in favor of a soft top or have a 4-door model as they have just slightly more room inside than do 2-door models.

A first-time Jeep owner that seeks security can have a lockable console in several different places, like either between front seats, under seat, overhead or at the rear cargo area. Jeep cargo storage options expand your available space by adding storage bags or packs to places such as the tailgate, roll cage, seats, or soundbar.

Xprite 4 Inch LED Fog Lights for Jeep Wrangler JK


Xprite 4 Inch LED Fog Lights for Jeep Wrangler JK
This LED re-purposing maintains the functionality of a standard eye care clinic light bulb but with bright white, 6000K lighting. The light from this conversion is closer to the color temperature of daylight and dramatically improves visibility for your safety. Hard Rock 2007 Jeep® Wrangler Bumpers require an additional bracket for installation, and are not compatible with 2018-2019 models. Additionally, steel front bumpers from the 2016-2019 Jeep® Wranglers’ Sport and Rubicon models are incompatible. Includes wiring adapters for plug and play installation as well conversion cables for direct fitment. Compatible with 2007-2018 Jeep (excluding Hard Rock Edition)/ Jeep Wrangler JK, JKU TJ LJ Freedom Edition, Rubicon Sport, Sahara Unlimited Hard Rock Edition Willys Wheeler Altitude Dragon Edition X Sports Utility 2 Door 4 Door & 4 Inch Fog Light.

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