There is no doubt that Jeep has proven its capabilities when it comes to off-roading. The Jeep Wrangler is a favorite among adventure seekers when it comes to off-road-ready vehicles. The Jeep Wrangler made off-roading more accessible even to newcomers because you can easily drive to a nearby trail and jump into action.
But before you start off-roading, is your Jeep Wrangler fully protected from the harsh environment of the trail?
It is common for everyone, especially for new Jeep Wrangler owners, to preserve the longevity of their vehicle with utmost care. You want to make sure that whenever you overcome the obstacle of the trail, you can still get the Jeep Wrangler back in one piece.
Good thing it is easy to modify the Jeep Wrangler and make upgrades for protection. There is no shortage of options in the market when it comes to Jeep Wrangler aftermarket parts specifically for those who need added protection. After all, Jeep stands out when it comes to the aftermarket.
For starters, installing aftermarket bumpers is the easiest way to gain that extra protection. This is your first line of defense when deflecting rocks, and absorbing impact from bumps when off-roading. It also adds utility which is beneficial and adjustable to your off-road needs while enhancing the overall appearance of the Jeep.
The Jeep Wranglers stock bumpers are made of a combination of metal and plastic materials. The Jeep Wranglers’ standard front bumper consists of an aluminum plate and plastic end caps while the rear is completely made of plastic with metal mounting plates.
These kinds of bumpers are engineered towards on-the-road driving protection rather than the harsh off-road environments. It offers zero protection off-road which makes it vulnerable to debris and rock particles that may cause dents and cracks to the stock bumper.
Choosing the right aftermarket bumper can be a bit overwhelming due to the abundance of available selections. There are several factors you might want to consider when you buy an aftermarket bumper.
The durability of materials is the benchmark in choosing the right bumper. Most aftermarket bumpers are made out of melded heavy gauge steel plates which are superior in toughness to stock bumpers. You can assure that they can withstand the intense off-road obstacles. Aluminum bumpers are also available if you prefer lighter materials that do not rust and increase your fuel mileage. They are generally more expensive than their steel counterpart and are susceptible to dents when subjected to extreme off-road conditions. Aluminum is an ideal choice if you’re into mild to moderate off-roading and over-landing.
Upgrading your bumper can also improve both the approach and departure of your Jeep. Certain bumpers can give you more clearance to overcome sharper angles but that would depend on the type and width of the bumper.
The full-width bumper surrounds the entire width of the Jeep Wrangler. It provides all-around protection to the body and fenders of the Jeep Wrangler. The tires can benefit from this because it gives a layer of protection against direct collision from elements that may puncture the tires. A full-width bumper is commonly the heaviest choice and directly affects the gas mileage. It can also be expensive given its materials.
The mid-width bumper is narrower but still can provide the protection that you need. It is more ideal when you need more space for tire articulation. The mid-width bumper is slightly less heavy which gives better clearance and approach angle. Although, it leaves some exposed areas, unlike its full-width counterpart.
The stubby bumper is typically shorter and lighter than others because it is only as wide as the grill’s length. Even if it leaves the tires exposed to some obstacles, it is a popular choice among Jeep owners. It adds more tire clearance and increases the level of approach and departure angle. Another selling point is the number of accessories you can mount to it which makes it highly functional as well. It may be light and least expensive, it can still provide better protection than the stock bumper.
The tubular bumper is simpler and classic in terms of design. It is commonly full-width but lightweight and cost-effective. It can give basic support from direct impact but it works well in woodland terrain as it can endure branches and brushes. Some tubular bumper has a built-in bull bar or grille guard which protects the grille and radiator. It can also accommodate winch and lighting.
The stinger bumper looks aggressive with its triangular tube extension in the middle that tips upward. Its primary use is to keep the vehicle from toppling over if it rolls downhill. It shifts the momentum of the Jeep to the side when it contacts the ground to halt the rollover forward. The stinger can be used as a ramp for the Jeep to move over and above large rocks and higher obstacles.
The rock crawler bumper can help you get across large boulders with minimal obstructions. It is similar to the stubby bumper in which it can provide a greater approach and departure angle and clearance. You can also accommodate oversize mud tires and fender flares with little to no compromise to the front and rear bumpers.
Most owners of Jeep Wrangler upgrade their stock bumper to aftermarket bumper to expand their option of the winch to mount. They install a winch to their front bumper to allow them to pull other vehicles out of a tough spot or in some cases tow them for safety and repair. The bumper must be sturdy enough to handle this task thus replacing the stock bumper is required. Recovery points are essential when upgrading a bumper. Aftermarket bumpers provide a good amount of shackle mount where you can attach D-ring or shackles whenever needed for recovery. Aftermarket and auxiliary lights can also be mounted on the bumper that can help with visibility on the night and any given weather conditions. Some build their Jeep Wrangler to serve the purpose of an off-road recovery vehicle
Replacing your stock bumper also allows you to fit 30 inches rims and tires or larger without the worry of tire articulation. Mid-width and shorter kind of bumpers made these possible. They do not hinder approach angle making it easier for tires to grab rocks as it climbs higher obstacles.
Reinforcement of the rear is also a benefit of replacing the stock bumper. It allows the rear of the Jeep Wrangler to fall off ledges with the assurance that it can handle the bumps and impact. The improved departure angle makes it possible to come down from the obstacle unscathed. Many rear bumpers offer D-ring hookups and hitch receivers. Some also want a sturdy spare tire carrier system like the one made by Smittybilt.
Modifications and upgrades are part of the culture of owning a Jeep Wrangler. Aftermarket front and rear bumpers are widely available in the market. Some are interchangeable and versatile to the type of off-roading you’ll do. You only have to determine its intended purpose before you make the upgrade. Always remember that protecting your Jeep Wrangler is a priority when it comes to choosing your first aftermarket bumper. 4WheelOnline can help you start with building your first line of protection against harsh off-road environments.