Off-Road

The Best Jeep Wrangler Build Sheet For Beginners (A Complete Guide)

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If are intending to build your Jeep, this article provides you with a complete Jeep build guide to help you make the right decision once you decide to go down that road.

One thing to note is that when it comes to doing some modifications on your Jeep, you get what you pay for. 

That said, if you go for the cheap parts then expect to experience problems down the road.

1. Jeep builds for an improved on and off-road performance

Suspension Lift Kits

If you are going off-roading, the suspension is one of the most important Jeep builds. This is especially if you will be carrying lots of gear and want to have a smoother ride.

This is because it gives you more clearance for articulation without tire rubbing.

There are 2 types of lifts: body and suspension lift.

Here is the difference between a body lift and a suspension lift:

Body LiftSuspension Lift
Gives you the ability to add bigger tires but no ground clearance benefits.
You will gain no articulation benefit
You get more ground clearance, better driving experience, and performance when done right.

Buying a used Jeep Wrangler JK? here is what to know & look out for.

Check out also these 14 Cheap Off-road Vehicles (For your off-road & Overlanding Adventures).

Types of Jeep Lift Kits 

1. Leveling Kit

A leveling kit helps bring the front of the Jeep a little bit up. 

A spacer leveling kit does not have many benefits when it comes to the Jeep’s overall performance. However, it helps improve the look of your Jeep.

If you decide to get the leveling kit, I recommend getting a Mammoth 2 IN Front / 1 IN Rear leveling kit.

Check out the current price on Amazon.

2. Coil Spring Spacer Lift

The coil spring spacer lift is used when you want to fit bigger sets of tires to give the Jeep more off-road capabilities.

If you are on a tight budget or don’t want to spend much money lifting the Jeep, then the coil spring spacer lift is a fairly inexpensive option.

However, going for this option means that, you may start to experience problems a bit sooner. For example, one of the common problems that you could expect is “coil bind”.

Coil bind is what happens when the spring fully compresses and the coils get close together. This could damage your suspension components.

If you decide to get the coil spring spacer lift, I recommend you get the Rough country 2.5 IN Series II Lift Kit w/shocks.

Check the current price on Amazon.

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Common Issues To Check Before Buying 3rd Gen Toyota 4Runner (Buyers Guide).

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3. Coil Spring Lift Kit

The coil spring lift kit has the same function as the coil spring spacer lift. However, this will give you a taller ride height and hence better off-road performance.

And in case you are worried about “coil binds”, the coil spring lift will be much better compared to the coil spring spacer lift as it is able to serve you for a longer duration.

Additionally, most of the coil spring lift kits have stiffer springs that help in case you add additional weight to the Jeep. 

If you decide to get the coil spring lift kit, I recommend you get the Rough Country 3.25 IN Suspension Lift Kit w/shocks because it is stiffer and has good quality.

Check the current price on Amazon.

You may also like: Is the Ford Bronco Reliable?

4. Complete Coil Spring Lift Kit

The complete coil spring lift kit helps lift the Jeep and fits bigger tires. It also helps to correct any issues that may arise after.

This means that when you use this kit, you are going to change how the Jeep rides (both on and off-road), its performance, and how some components hold up for the long term.

Though it is the most expensive option, it is absolutely worth it, especially if you are looking for better performance.

I hence recommend Teraflex 4 IN. Lift Kit W/Flex Arms W/O Shocks.

I hope that gives you a better idea of the Jeep leveling kit vs a lift kit.

Pros of a lift kit on your Jeep

The following are the pros of a lift kit on your Jeep:

  • Better driving experience when riding both on and off-road. It is also comfortable and offers more stability when driving on long off-road adventures
  • The Jeep is able to handle the corners better.
  • The steering feels great when driving.
  • Driving on bumpy and rocky off-road terrains seems effortless. This is because the suspension does a good job of absorbing shock impulses from the bumps and keeping your Jeep settled.
  • The increased ground clearance ( 2.5”) and suspension articulation makes rock crawling nearly effortless. This is perfect for people who are driving through challenging off-road trails.
  • You get a good balance when driving on any trail.
  • The Jeep handles well when driving on-road at both high and low speeds.

When choosing a suspension it all comes down to personal preferences. For example, you may want it to feel softer than the stock suspension or firmer and more stable than the suspension stock.

See also: How to Find Overlanding Trails (Best Tools & Resources).

Best Jeep suspensions based on our experiences

Since suspensions work differently depending on the manufacturer’s design, we are going to divide them into four categories: on-road, off-road, rock crawling, and easy to moderate trails.

Best Jeep suspension for on-road driving 

The following suspensions are more suitable for long on-road adventures because they absorb the shocks much better. 

Additionally, they perform better than the Jeep’s stock suspension when driving on-road.

  1. AEV 2.5” Dualsport RT Suspension.
  1. Dynatrac Endurosport 2” Suspension Lift Kit  
  1. American Expedition Vehicles 2.5” Dualsport RT Suspension.
Best Jeep suspension for hardcore rock crawling

The following Jeep suspensions are great for people who seek challenging trails such as rock crawling.

  1. Rock Krawler 3.5” X Factor “No Limits” Mid Arm.
  1. Rock Jock Pro Edition 4” Suspension Lift w/Fox Shocks.
  1. Icon Vehicle Dynamics 2.5” Stage 3 Suspension Lift.
Best Jeep suspension for easy and moderate off-roading

The following suspensions are great for people who are looking for easy, moderate, to mild off-road adventures.

  1. Teraflex 3.5” Sport ST3 Suspension System
  1. Dynatrac Endurosport 2” Suspension Lift Kit

NOTE: If you are going to be lifting your Jeep, be sure to always service the joints on the suspension lifts, especially if you live in snowy, muddy, and salty locations.

Cons of lifting your Jeep

  1. Expect your MPG to drop when you lift your Jeep and also when you install bigger tires.
  1. A bad lift may end up ruining your on and off-road ride.
  1. Some people (perhaps yourself included) will struggle to get in the Jeep. 
  1. If you do a high lift, the Jeep may end up not fitting in your garage.

Other Jeep builds for better performance

1. Hub Centre Wheel spacers 

The wheel spacers are used on the Jeep when you’re installing larger/bigger tires. This is in order to get proper tire clearance and better Jeep handling.

What to consider when installing wheel spacers on your Jeep:

  1. Buy and install wheel spacers and adapters that are designed specifically for your Jeep model.
  1. Always go for high-quality wheel spacers for better results. As mentioned earlier you get what you pay for.

Spidertrax and Rough Country are some of the best brands that offer quality wheel spacers.

  1. Make sure you choose the correct sizes.

If the wheel spacers are either too thin or too thick then you may encounter some serious problems with your Jeep.

  1. If you are going to install them by yourself, I highly recommend that you keenly follow all the manufacturer’s guidelines for safety reasons.

Improper wheel spacers can cause torque and wheel bearing issues.

Jeep wheel spacers’ pros and cons

The following are some of the Jeep wheel spacers’ pros and cons:

Jeep wheel spacers pros
  1. Improved handling performance.
  2. Allows you to fit large custom tires.
  3. Improve your Jeep’s looks.
Jeep wheel spacers cons
  1. Incorrect installation may cause problems.

2. Install adjustable front and rear shocks

Shock absorbers help:

  1. Control the movement of the suspension and springs.
  1. Keep the Jeep’s tires in contact with the ground when driving, at all times. This gives you a smooth and even ride.

Note: When the tire’s contact with the ground is reduced or broken, this severely compromises your ability to steer, brake, and drive.

2. Jeep body armor build sheet

  • Oil/Transmission Skid Plate

This gives you underbody protection when going through rocks e.t.c.

  • Rock Guard/Sliders

Rock Sliders help protect the sides of the Jeep (by the doors) from getting damaged when going over roots, rocks, and other hazards.

  • Front bumper 

A good front bumper should have a Hi-lift jack mount, a low winch mount (which does not hinder airflow), and D-Rings.

  • Rear bumper with tire carrier

A good rear bumper should come with D-Rings, a tow hitch, and a good tire carrier for the bigger/larger tire.

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3. Space/storage Jeep build

Space is king when going Overlanding. 

The following Jeep builds will help provide more space for your gear:

  1. Roof rack at the top

You can take advantage of the rooftop space on your Jeep for extra storage space for your gear.

  1. Roof rack at the back/trail rack

For that extra storage at the back, I would recommend installing the LOD Offroad destroyer trail rack.

  1. Install hinge steps

Installing hinge steps will allow you to reach the center of the roof rack system.

Check it out on Amazon.

  1. Jerry can mounts

Jerry can mount is a smart way of saving space when carrying extra gas for emergencies. 

Check it out on Amazon.

You may also like these 9 Important Overlanding Tips and Tricks.

4. Lighting

  • LED Headlights and lightbar

The Jeep comes with factory lights that are not that great especially when you are driving on back roads.

Therefore, you may need a good set of LED headlights and lightbar that will significantly improve your visibility when driving through the trails at night. 

Check it out on Amazon.

Check it out on Amazon.

5. Jeep Overlanding gears

  • Recovery Damper

I recommend getting the ARB ARB220 Offroad Winch Cable Recovery Damper in Orange and Black Line Dampener.

Check the current price on Amazon.

Related: A Complete Overlanding Checklist.

  • Snatch Block

I would recommend you get the ARB 10100020A Snatch Block Recovery Pulley of 20000 lbs.

Check the current price on Amazon.

  • Recovery strap & Rope 

I recommend getting GearAmerica Recovery Tow Straps 4″ x 30′ | Ultra Heavy Duty 45,000 Lbs.

Check out the latest price on Amazon.

  • Tree Strap

Check the current price on Amazon.

  • Ground/winch anchor

A ground/winch anchor will help you during recovery when you are in an area that does not have trees.

I recommend the Smittybilt wasp winch anchor support platform. 

  • Hi-Lift Jack

Check the latest price on Amazon.

See these 8 Must-Have Hi-Lift Jack Accessories.

  • Winch

I recommend Smittybilt X2O COMP – Waterproof Synthetic Rope Winch – 10,000 lb. Load Capacity.

Check out the current price on Amazon.

Hey, I'm Matthias. I am passionate about adventure travel, EVs, and tech in general. I am open-minded and pretty curious. But you know what they say, blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures!