How to Upgrade Your Jeep Wrangler for $1500

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How to Upgrade Your Jeep Wrangler for $1500

The Jeep Wrangler is one of the most customized vehicles in the automotive world, and there is no end to the upgrades you can bring home for the Wrangler.

From important functional upgrades like wheels and tires to style-changing grilles, you can take a Wrangler from ordinary to unique with just a few quick purchases. Now, if we had all the money in the world, our Wrangler would be lifted with big 37-inch tires on it, but we’re looking at something a little more subtle, mainly on the wallet, so we took a look at what we would buy for a Wrangler with just $1,500.

The best part of all is that our suggestions could become reality, thanks to a new contest over at JeepForum.com offering a gift card for $1,500 to 4WD.com.

Get over there right now and enter, then come back and read all about great Jeep accessories!


Winch

For anyone serious about off roading, a winch is absolutely necessary. It can be the difference between walking off the trail and driving home. If you’re looking for something on a tight budget, this Smittybilt XRC GEN2 Recovery Winch looks perfect. With a weight rating of between 9,500 and 17,500 pounds, it should be more than enough to carry your Wrangler over or through obstacles.

This winch will cost your $299, although it will require some assembly and a new bumper.


Bumpers

Adding new bumpers to your Wrangler has multiple benefits, including boosting the approach and departure angles along with accommodating that new winch. Something like this  bumper adds multiple benefits, including those added d-rings in case you need to be pulled out of the mud.

Having a nice steel bumper also means that if you rub against some rocks you’ll be less concerned about ruining your stock body work.

At $249.99, this is an affordable way to bump up the off-road credibility of your Jeep. So now we’re sitting at $550, let’s keep building (and no, we’re not including taxes. You’re on your own there!).


Bits and Pieces

Rule number one when heading off road is be prepared, so spending some money on tools and equipment that may help get you out of a sticky situation is worth it. Things like recovery straps, and extra d-rings can come in seriously handy when out on the trail.

A first-aid kit is also a good thing to bring, along with a fire extinguisher.

All that stuff will set you back another $200, but when those things are bailing you out while off-roading, you won’t regret spending the cash.


A Lift

Lifting your Jeep’s body up helps it cruise right over whatever obstacles you choose to drive over, making it a crucial off-road upgrade. For just $230, you can lift your Jeep by four inches. Out on the trails, that will make a big difference.

All told we’re now in for $950.


Tires

This may end up being one of the most expensive upgrades you do, but when heading into the dirt or mud, tires are everything. You can spend lots of money on tires, like this set of mudders for example, but most folks want something that will be good on- and off-road.

For that, something like these Toyo Open Country A/T II tires will provide decent performance on and off the pavement.

At just over $560 for a set, that brings our total budget to just a hair over $1500.

But that leaves us with a lifted Wrangler with new tires, proper equipment, a winch and a nice new front bumper. Not bad at all for $1500!

  • Jonny_Vancouver

    How to Upgrade Your Jeep Wrangler for $1500: Step 1: Spend $1500 as down payment for another vehicle. Step 2: Sell Jeep Wrangler.

  • Larry0071

    The link posted for a lift is leading people to a page of search results for a Hi-Lift Jack line of products.
    While you may be able to physically lift your Wrangler for $260, it will be a starting point that needs additional hardware. Also note that you should not cross 3″ of suspension lift without intent to do a high steer conversion that will eliminate bump-steer. 3.5″ and above start getting unruly with bump steer as well as the loss of caster. There are caster correction brackets (commonly called Geometry correction brackets) that will give you back the original stability provided by the caster that was built into your front axle when new/stock.
    I would actually suggest doing a Teraflex 2″ budget boost level kit that provides 2″ front spacers and 1″ rear spacers that go over the OEM coils. Also, you can look on Craigslist for a set of 19/59 tagged coils from a JKU/Automatic/Hard Top that will lift a 2 door soft top 1-1.5″ more.
    Also note that when lifting your Jeep Wrangler, your front axles moves left and your rear axle moves right. A front adjustable track bar allows you to re-center that front axle, and in the rear it is most common to use an axle side bolt on raised track bar bracket to move that axle back to center.
    You can easily start (and even stop) with a Budget Boost kit and 285-70-17 tires, or you can add more as time and finances allow to correct the things effected by moving the axles down further from the frame.
    Going to 3.5″ or 4″ should be left for folks that have the knowledge going in that they will be spending a great deal more money to get the Jeep sorted out and driving correctly.