Few vehicles on the road have a more recognizable profile than the Jeep Wrangler. The popularity of the Wrangler and the multitude of upgrades available for every aspect of its features and performance have created a dedicated segment in the aftermarket industry. It’s time to take a look at some of the most popular upgrades available for this versatile off-roader.
Jeep Wrangler Audio Upgrades
Though great for car stereo shops, Wranglers have never come with what would be considered a genuinely premium audio system solution. The accoutrements of the first-generation YJ were, frankly, sparse. It had a single DIN-sized radio in the dash and 4×6-inch speakers on the sides of the dash. Now, radio upgrade options are endless, with AM/FM receivers that include Bluetooth wireless audio streaming and hands-free calling. Likewise, support for MP3 and FLAC digital media file playback from a disc or USB memory device is found on almost every source unit option. To extract the most from this decidedly basic platform, you are going to need to add a subwoofer of some kind. A set of 4×6 speakers will never make any reasonable amount of bass.
Fast-forward to the latest JL chassis Jeep, and we’ve got room for 6.5-inch speakers at the bottom of the dash and the overhead soundbar. The touchscreen Uconnect audio system with its large 8.4-inch display does an admirable job of providing the connectivity most people want. Fortunately, companies like iDatalink and PAC make great interfaces that will let your installer add high-quality amplifiers directly to this radio so you can create an amazing audio system.
It’s worth noting that the speakers in the JL-chassis Jeep have shrunk in size compared to those of the JK-chassis predecessor. To fit those 6.5-inch drivers, you’ll need to have your installer mount a set of replacement speaker pods from a company like Metra.
Subwoofers and Custom Audio Upgrades
For those serious about adding realism and detail to their listening experience, you’ll want a subwoofer. The options are, as always, nearly endless and range from truly mild to impressively wild. A subwoofer upgrade not only adds bass to your music, but it also alleviates the need for the smaller speakers to try to reproduce these frequencies. The result is that the entire audio system will sound better and play louder.
Jeep Backup Cameras
With the big spare tire hanging off the back of your Jeep, seeing what’s behind you when parking or maneuvering isn’t always easy. Adding a backup camera is a wise solution to reduce the risk of an accident. Thankfully, the aftermarket has dozens of options to add a camera and, if needed, a monitor to your Jeep. All the systems work automatically, so the camera image is displayed as soon as you put the transmission into reverse.
Jeep Lighting Upgrades
If you’ve got an older Jeep, then you’ll likely want to look at upgrading the headlights so you can see safely once the sun starts to set. There are dozens of 7-inch round replacement headlight assemblies available, and you can choose from LED or HID bulb solutions. Integrated LED accent lights are also an option.
If you’re planning an off-road adventure, well, there’s no end to how many lights you can add to the front, sides, bottom and back of your Jeep. Of course, a high-output LED light bar on the front bumper or roof is one of the most potent single-light options to let you see down the trail and what’s around you. We suggest working with your installer to develop a plan that will provide the right lights for your vehicle. You’ll also want to consider how you’ll control those lights. Many companies make bespoke switch panels for Jeeps, or the shop you are working with may be able to create something specific for your needs.
Keep in mind that the same way that speakers, amplifiers and subwoofer can look similar on paper, the performance of lighting upgrade options vary dramatically. As always, if something looks like too much of a good deal, you are likely sacrificing something in terms of performance or durability.
Window Tint Adds Style and Comfort
If you live in an area that’s extremely hot during the summer, having the windows of your Jeep tinted with a heat-rejecting film is a great idea. Depending on the film you choose, some can block as much as 65% of the infrared heat energy from the sun. Of course, window tint also reduces glare, so it’s easier to drive when the sun is coming in from the side of your vehicle. Finally, there’s no denying that a nice tint job can make your Jeep look fantastic!
Winch and Compressor Upgrades
If you’re planning on adding a high-current device like a winch or an air compressor, drop by your local specialty mobile enhancement retailer. Nobody in the automotive aftermarket understands how to maximize the performance and reliability of these devices better. They’ll make sure the system has properly sized power wire and safe short-circuit protection devices. Likewise, they’ll ensure that the control switches are easily accessible and wired properly. Many shops can even source winches from Warn, Rough Country and Smitty Built and compressors from VIAIR and ARB.
Bumpers, Side Steps and Body Accessories
If you’re shopping for a new front or rear bumper for your Jeep, or a set of side steps or rock sliders, your local stereo shop can likely help you out. If you’ve added larger wheels and tires or a lift kit, you may want to inquire about a solution like the AMP Research PowerStep or PowerStep XL motorized running boards. These convenient steps make getting in and out of your vehicle easy. They extend down when the door opens, then retract up close to the rocker panel a few seconds after you close the door. Once they’re retracted, you’ll have lots of ground clearance for the trails. Mobile enhancement specialists are the right choice to integrate the wiring for these steps into the electrical system of your Jeep so that the system is reliable.
Wheels, Tires and Suspension
Though not available from every shop around the country, many retailers offer a wide selection of wheel and tire upgrades, along with lift kits to transform the look and performance of your Wrangler. Upgrading to a larger-diameter tire will add clearance under the front and rear axles so that you can climb over logs and rocks without drama. Suspension upgrades can improve articulation and increase approach and departure angle to make getting in and out of even the craziest of trails more fun.
Upgrade Your Jeep Wrangler Today!
Whether you need a new set of speakers in a TJ or want a concert-quality audio system in your new JL Wrangler, your local mobile enhancement retailer can help. Take your Jeep for a drive today and see what upgrades are available to make your commute or trail adventure more entertaining and fun.