Turning a Wrangler into your own unique creation is less expensive than you might think.
We have a lot of fun testing the latest and greatest new cars, but there's something satisfying about buying a car and making it your own by performing modifications. Sometimes these modifications can go horribly wrong, as we've seen extensively on our Car Mod Atrocities series, but get it right and the results can be stunning. Among new cars sold today, few can compete with the blank canvas that is the Jeep Wrangler. In stock form, the Jeep Wrangler is already an impressive off-road machine, but the aftermarket is littered with amazing parts that can take it to the next level.
Motocross legend Brian Deegan has teamed up with Extreme Terrain to create a new product line for the Jeep Wrangler called Deegan 38. If you've just purchased a new Wrangler, Extreme Terrain has created a top five list of affordable, must-have parts to help make your Jeep even better. We have also picked three of our favorite custom Wranglers that take the Jeep modifying game to dream levels.
Some Wrangler models already come with off-road capable tires, but no serious enthusiast keeps stock wheels and tires. Extreme Terrain recommends a set of Mammoth Boulder Beadlock Style Black Wheels that cost around $120/each for 16 inches or around $160/each for 17 inches.
Of course, you'll probably want to wrap some new off-roading rubber around those new wheels and a set of Nitto Trail Grappler Tires (around $230/each) will help you get up even the toughest trails.
If you do opt for some new shoes for your Wrangler, you may find that the stock ride height isn't enough to fit those massive 31 to 37-inch tires. That's why many Wrangler owners opt for a lift kit like the $683.80 SkyJacker Dual Rate-Long Travel kit to raise the car by 2 to 2.5 inches. With a higher ride height, the Wrangler will cruise over even the largest obstacles. Extreme Terrain recommends that first-time modifiers stick with 35-inch tires, as 37-inchers may require additional modifications such as gearing.
If you do go all in on wheels and tires, the spare tire included on the back will no longer be of any service to you. Luckily, companies like Extreme Terrain offer reinforcement kits to help the tailgate hold a massive 37-inch tire as well as a relocation kit to reposition it in the center of the car. Expect to pay around $1,000 all in.
The front end of the Jeep Wrangler is already quite cool, but there are plenty of more aggressive units on the aftermarket. For around $500, these aftermarket bumpers are tougher and can hold up to more abuse. They are also a great place to mount auxiliary items like a tow winch.
One of the advantages of a new bumper is that you can mount a variety of auxiliary items to it such as LED off-road lights. For around $35/each, LED lights will help make poorly-lit roads safer on the way home from an off-road adventure.
To do up a Wrangler Extreme Terrain style will set you back around $3,600, which is relatively affordable. Extreme Terrain will even be giving away two builds (valued at $3,000) to anyone who simply enters their name into the sweepstakes. $3,000 is enough to create a truly awesome Jeep, but what could you create if your budget was unlimited?
Though it may seem hard to believe, the Rezvani Tank is actually a Wrangler underneath. Under the hood sits either a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 with 500 horsepower or a more potent 707-hp supercharged Hellcat V8. The Military Edition pictured below starts at a whopping $295,000, though a "base" model can be purchased for a slightly less eye-watering $180,000.
The Jeep Wrangler is already one of the coolest cars on the road, but in terms of storage space, it lags behind vehicles like pickup trucks. Jeep is working on a pickup version of the JL Wrangler, but there are already plenty of aftermarket companies that will build one for you. They aren't cheap, with some conversions costing around $90,000 including the cost of the donor vehicle, but at least you'll end up with one of the most unique Wrangler models on the road.
What's better than building an awesome 4x4 vehicle? How about a 6x6? A company in China called G. Patton transformed a Wrangler into this creation known as the Tomahawk. The vehicle is powered by the Wrangler's 3.6-liter V6, albeit with a supercharger added on. We doubt any will make their way onto US roads, but we can dream can't we?