Torque News sat down with Eric Nielsen of JC Whitney for an exclusive interview discussing different ways one could use to customize his Jeep Wrangler.
What are some unique ways to transform your Jeep into a perfect all-terrain vehicle?
One of the reasons Jeeps are so highly modified is due to their modular construction. From the earliest Willys military vehicles, Jeeps were designed to be pulled apart by anyone with a basic set of tools. Jeep even provides a small tool kit with every new Jeep to remove the doors and fold back the windshield. Many owners begin from the ground up, adding larger wheels and tires combined with a suspension lift kit for additional off road capabilities and ground clearance. Off road bumpers, a winch and auxiliary lighting are very useful when tackling more challenging trails and obstacles. Jeeps have been part of the JC Whitney DNA for over 75 years.
5 Ways To Customize Your Jeep Wrangler
1. Install a front bumper/Winch mount. This will help with clearance, as well as added protection.
2. Skid bars to protect your doors.
3. LED Headlights and fog lights to improve visibility at night. (Here, also see Scott Willenborg's story "Adjusting your Jeep Wrangler headlights or "I promise, they're on low beam")
4. Tire upgrades will help prevent punctures and grip surfaces better.
5. Create a kit. Creating an "unstuck" kit will come in handy if you're crawling and get stuck. This might include things like a shovel or traction aids.
Let's also talk about rock crawling lights, what are some pros and cons, do they last long?
As automotive lighting continues to improve, Jeeps and other off-road vehicles have been some of the biggest benefactors of newer technologies like LED lighting; which enhances daytime visibility while making night time driving and off-road adventures safer for all. There is no "downside" to high quality and correctly installed auxiliary lighting, just make sure and consult your state motor vehicle code for specifics on how and where auxiliary lighting can be used before purchasing and installing.
The lifespan of high quality auxiliary lighting is dependent on several factors, but typically equals or exceeds OE standards. Most "bargain" lighting won’t last long due to poor quality materials and design flaws that allow moisture to enter the light housing and eventually render the light useless. To see an example of high quality lighting being produced in America take a look at JW Speaker in Germantown, Wisconsin: Made in America-J.W. Speaker Corporation - JCWhitney Blog
Are there any stats about the average cost of jeep modification and replacing parts?
According to SEMA research over 25% of Jeep owners have spent at least $5,000 dollars on their Jeep to enhance off-road capabilities. The most popular aftermarket parts installed include Exterior Accessories like rock rails and fender, Upgraded Wheels and Tires, and Hard and Soft Tops. Jeep owners that regularly venture off road spend even more. In the pursuit of more power and torque, many late model Jeep owners replace the stock 3.6L V6 motor and transmission (265 horsepower) with a 5.7L Hemi V8 with 383 horsepower or even the 6.2L Hellcat V8 with 707 horsepower!
Have you done any modification to your Jeep? Let us know what mods you have done in the comments section below for discussion.
Image source: JC Whitney