If you’ve been off-roading for a while, you’ve probably made some mods to your Jeep. Perhaps you’ve already installed a lift kit and switched up to bigger tires and wheels. Maybe you’ve upgraded to a new Jeep Wrangler soft top in the process or mounted some auxiliary light bars. It’s safe to say that you know your way around modding a Jeep. But how do you get to the next level? Check out a few useful upgrades that can help you get even more out of your off-road vehicle.
After suspension upgrades, the next logical place to start modding your Jeep is its drivetrain. Fortunately, you have many options in Jeep drivetrain parts that help you achieve the power and performance you desire. The most common upgrades include locking differentials, which force both tires on each axle turn.
Traditional differentials allow only one wheel to spin, which is helpful in traditional road driving. But locking differentials are a major game-changer in one important way: making both wheels on an axle turn. This feature ensures that whichever wheel has more traction gets the torque needed for slicker and softer terrains like mud, snow or sand. Spartan is a popular brand for locking differentials, with dozens of versions available for many types of Jeep axles.
The nice thing about locking differentials is that you can activate and deactivate them as conditions dictate. Switching back and forth avoids the risk of drivetrain damage when you emerge onto better terrain. Installing a locking differential does require a bit of under-the-hood expertise. If you have the time, parts and tools, it can be a worthwhile investment.
Air Filters & Snorkels
Getting stuck in deep water can be disastrous for your Jeep. If the water is high enough to reach the air intake, it can enter and consequently travel to the engine. From there, water can end up inside the engine and cause hydrolocking. Fluid enters one of the cylinders, preventing the pistons from moving. Meanwhile, water in the engine also contaminated the fluids and leads to rusting. The resulting damage is often catastrophic, requiring extensive repairs and possibly an engine replacement.
So if water in the engine is a bad thing, how do off-roaders ford through it? The answer is simple: snorkels. These little devices solve the hydrolocking problem by preventing water from entering the engine in the first place. Snorkels install onto your Jeep’s air intake, allowing your engine to get a fresh air supply. Snorkels typically extend above a vehicle’s roof, drawing air from above.
Depending on your Jeep’s setup and your typical riding conditions, you may need a full breather kit as well. Common brands include Hauk Offroad, Rugged Ridge and ARB. Breather kits, snorkels, air filters and other exhaust mods can be found in your favorite dealer’s selection of JK Jeep Wrangler parts.
Shopping for Your Mods
Drivetrain and snorkel mods are serious upgrades that can prep your Jeep for more hardcore action. Whatever you choose to buy, be sure to shop at a trusted offroad parts and accessories retailer.