Jeep owners are somewhat blessed considering the unlimited options they have in the market to give their 4x4 a personalized touch. The list of possible upgrades on a Jeep is beyond the scope of any single article, and yeah, it can also get overwhelming. One way to avoid this confusion is to prioritize what you want out of your 4x4. Decide whether you want a performance upgrade or a cosmetic upgrade.
Irrespective of the type of upgrade you want to do, know that you can find an affordable one or find something that can cost you a bit. In this article, we’ll focus on 10 affordable ways to upgrade your Jeep.
Let me list those modifications that I would personally consider to my jeep upfront.
- Hood latch replacement
It’s no secret that our jeeps are not built aerodynamically. The jostling sound you hear while you push harder on the gas on the highways is one of the reasons why. The soft and stretchy rubber offers space for the hood to vibrate while the Jeep is pushing its limits.
The irritating noise makes me want to make this modification in the first place. Heavier and rugged options are also available from different manufacturers that can reduce the annoying factor to a greater extent. Do this upgrade and get ready to enjoy a more peaceful time with your Jeep.
- LED lights
If you have been on an adventure trip to the hills at night with your jeep, you’d know the importance of having auxiliary LED lights. Without LEDs to illuminate your way ahead, you can find yourself in a compromising position at night in off-roads. Contrary to popular opinion, aftermarket lights are not as expensive as it’s thought to be.
We’d recommend you to invest in a projector-style headlamp as it’s visually pleasing while serving the purpose well too. Also, the reflector-style housings are functional as well. Ideally, you should also be investing in a third brake light.
- Recovery gear
A recovery gear doesn’t always have to be those fancy hydraulic winches you commonly see. There are alternative simple winch accessory kits in the market that are near functional to that of those hydraulic ones. Ideally, your winch should have a capacity of nearly 1.5 times the curb weight of your jeep.
Make sure that you keep this in mind while investing in one. Also, a winch can’t complete the recovery gear kit. You should also get a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit and a jack as well. This gear set will get you out of situations and improve your confidence.
- Entry guards
Entry and exit out of the drivers’ seat attract a lot of scrapes. The higher the climb is, the more the wear and tear on the lower door area would be and you will have to regularly paint to cover it. This is where an entry guard can come in handy
- Grab handles
Ever been in that copilot seat of your jeep in an off-road adventure? Well, if you have, you’d know how difficult it can get. Doesn’t matter if you're a premium seat belt buckled around, you’ll always want a grip to hold on to to make yourself feel comfortable and safe.
This is where attaching grab handles to your A-Pillars can come in handy. It’ll make you or your co-pilot safe during those off-road adventures.
Grab handles don't always have to be attached to the A-Pillars. You can also find ones that can be mounted onto the roll cage as well. In fact, you should get one grab handle each for the driver & the co-pilot. We recommend attaching the grab handle on the driver side to the roll cage. It’s a good place to keep your hands on when in a relaxed drive or as a support while climbing onto the driver seat.
- Seat covers
There are people like me who would like to see my jeep neat and tidy. I can’t hold my nerve when it is muddy and messy. A water-resistant seat cover will be easy to clean and attract less dust and mud. It’s one of those cheaper upgrades that can enhance the interior look by a great margin. It can also offer some amount of storage space in addition.
- Floor mats
Floor mats are another must-have upgrade on your 4x4. Though they don’t add to your Jeep’s aesthetics, floor mats can be a real-life saver for you when you take it out onto dirt tracks. Like seat covers, there are different kinds of liners and mats available such as all-weather heavy-duty liners, stain-resistant liners, and so on. You can choose one based on your needs.
- Axle conversion
This can be the most controversial part of this article. Have you ever taken your jeep to the garage with an axle problem and they asked you for a tie rod replacement? In my case, yes. Literally twice, but not anymore.
Let me tell you what happened to me. One weekend while I was on a casual off-road, I started hearing an annoying noise from the differential and I took it to my friend who was a mechanic. He was quick to tell me that I’ll have to replace the tie rod. Since I had already spent money on replacing the tie rods twice, I was not happy about what was happening. I replaced the tie rod and did some research to know why this was happening and here is what I found.
I understood that these tie rods are made of steel tubes which will bend the moment they take hard hits. So, I looked for alternatives and found tieuji rods that were made of aircraft grade aluminum. The best part? These tie rods made of aircraft grade aluminum can get back to its original shape after taking a hard hit on off-roads.
There were some spacers and basic drilling required for my rubicon which was taken care of. I would recommend you the same source as well as they provided a taper sleeve that made the installation easier. Please check out their product page and happy trials.
- Safari Top
If you own an open jeep, you might very well know its limitations. Unlike a hardtop, a safari top lets you zip out the windows and enjoy the open air whenever you want. You can choose to remove it while you take your 4x4 off-road & zip it back in while you take it out on tarmac.
Safari tops are also available in many shapes, sizes, and options so you’ll have the option to choose a one that best suits you.
- Decals & Stickers
Decals & stickers are probably the easiest way to give a custom touch to your Jeep. You can choose from a wide variety of decals & stickers online or you can even custom design one.
- Lift Kit
Lift kits aren’t a cheap upgrade option but if you can push your budget by some 10 to 20%, you’d be able to afford a lift kit for your Jeep. They can be a worthy investment considering you get to add larger tires that are more suited for off-roading.
To sum up
As mentioned, the extent of upgrades that you can do on your Jeep is well beyond the scope of one article. The 10 upgrade ideas we’ve mentioned in this article are the most affordable ones that you can find in the market.