Top 10 Upgrades For Jeeps

Custom Jeep With Upgrades

The Complete Guide To The Most Popular Customizations For Jeeps

Hands-down the most customizable vehicle on the market has to be the new Jeep Wrangler & Gladiator. If you just bought your first Jeep or are thinking of buying a new Jeep then we are here to help you in the process of customizing and personalizing your Jeep. If you already consider yourself a “Jeeper” then you will most likely agree with this list and can get some ideas for your next upgrade:

  1. Wheels & Tires
  2. Suspension
  3. LED Headlights/Taillights
  4. Steering Components
  5. Bumpers
  6. Fenders
  7. Sound System
  8. Off-road Lighting
  9. Side Steps/Rock Sliders
  10. Cold-air intake & Exhaust

Wheels & Tires

New wheels can be considered the most obvious modification that you can do to any vehicle but it is also the most difficult decision because of the thousands of options to choose from. The best way to start your decision making on choosing the right wheels is to decide how you plan on using your Jeep.

Daily Driver (Minimum Off-roading):

Sizes: Wheels 18”-22” & Tires 34”-37”
Wheel Brands to Consider: TIS Wheels, Fuel Off-road, KG1 Forged, Hostile Wheels, 4Play Wheels

When you use your Jeep as a daily driver and don’t plan on taking it off-roading, you want a wheel and tire setup that’s going to give you a smooth ride and a distinctive eye-catching look.

*AVOID Mud-Terrain tires and beadlock wheels.

Weekend Warrior (Occasional Off-roading)

Sizes: Wheels 17”-20” & Tires 35”-38”
Wheel Brands to Consider: Fuel Off-road, KMC Wheels, DirtyLife Wheels, HardRock Off-Road, Vision Off-Road

If you only plan on using your Jeep for weekend rides to the beach, go to social events, occasional trail-riding and off-road parks then you want a more aggressive all-terrain tire with wheels that are not too big and not too fancy.

*AVOID chrome or polished wheels.

Mud/Rock Crawler (off-road every weekend)

Sizes: Wheels 15”-17” & Tires 38”-42”
Wheel Brands to Consider: Black Rhino Wheels, Raceline Wheels, Method Race Wheels, Pro Comp Wheels, Metal FX Off-Road

If you plan on making your Jeep your toy to go off-roading more than twice a month then you want beadlock wheels and big mud-terrain tires.

*AVOID low quality tires


The most foundational part of your Jeep build is going to be your suspension. This upgrade allows you to use your Jeep to its full potential and maximize the performance. When it comes to choosing the right lift kit and suspension system you also want to consider how you plan on using your Jeep. If you want the best ride quality and off-road performance you definitely don’t want to cut any corners on getting the right suspension for your Jeep.

Mild: Leveling kit (0.5-1.5”) to 2.5” Lift Kit
Brands to Consider: Rough Country, ReadyLift, Zone Off-Road (BDS)

Moderate: 2.5” Lift Kit to 4.5” Lift Kit
Brands to Consider: Skyjacker Suspension, FabTech, JKS Manufacturing

Wild: 4.5” Lift Kit to 6” Lift Kit
Brands to Consider: Evo Manufacturing, Rock Krawler, Teraflex

LED Headlights/Taillights

Probably the most iconic and recognizable headlights of any vehicle are the round Jeep headlights. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until 2017 when Jeep started to offer the LED package for headlights and fog lights. Fortunately the aftermarket industry is full of awesome lighting companies that not only provide LED replacements for both headlights and taillights but also have some cool features included.

Brands to Consider: Oracle Lighting, Morimoto Lighting, KC Hilites, Quake LED, Recon Lighting, Rough Country

Steering Components

Buying a Jeep for the first time is probably one of the best decisions you’ll ever make, but every Jeep has it’s pros and cons. One of the negatives of owning a Jeep is that there is such a thing called the “death wobble”. Sooner or later most Jeep owners will come to experience this phenomenon called the “death wobble” UNLESS, you equip your Jeep with high quality steering components from the beginning of your Jeep’s life. To find out more about the “death wobble” go read our article which gives you all the information you need on how to fix it if you already have it and all the upgrades to help you avoid it.

Brands to Consider: Teraflex, Synergy MFG, JKS MFG, PSC Motorsports, Rock Jock 4×4


When you upgrade to aftermarket bumpers it completely transforms the exterior aesthetics of your Jeep. This upgrade is also a difficult decision as you have to consider the fenders, wheels and tires that you already have on your Jeep or are planning on upgrading in the future. Once again, how you plan on using your Jeep should also come into consideration when choosing the right bumpers. There are plenty of manufacturers who make quality bumpers and each of them have different styles so take your time to do some research or come speak to a Jeep specialist near you at CTM Customs who can guide you through the best options.

Additional Accessories (some come included):

  • Winch
  • Winch fairlead
  • Pod lights
  • Lightbar
  • Tow hooks
  • Grille guard tube
  • Tire Carrier (rear bumper)

Brands to Consider: RoadArmor, BodyArmor 4×4, FabFours, Addictive Desert Design, Westin Automotive


If you want to make your Jeep look higher than it really is or want to fit a bigger tire without getting too big of a lift kit then you need to upgrade your fenders. We highly recommend that you upgrade your fenders along with your bumpers so that the aesthetics of your Jeep correlate. You might also consider getting the same manufacturing brand for bumpers and fenders on your Jeep as it might complete the exterior look that you are going for. We also highly recommend getting steel fenders rather than plastic for longevity and durability.

Brands to Consider: Poison Spyder, Fishbone Off-road, DV8 Off-road, Rugged Ridge, Smittybilt

Sound System

Planning on getting a Jeep with a soft top, taking the doors off or just simply riding with your windows down? Then you will probably notice that the factory sound system that comes with your Jeep is not as loud as it should be. Upgrading the sound system of your Jeep will make your ride more enjoyable for yourself and your passengers. From speakers, amps, head-units, subwoofers to tweeters there are many components that are involved in a sound system. There are also many ways to bump up the volume of your Jeep but our 12volt and audio experts at CTM Customs can guide you to the best options available.

Brands to Consider: DS18, Rockford Fosgate, Stinger Electronics, Kicker Audio, Kenwood USA

Off-road Lighting

A Jeep without a lightbar is like a BMX bike without pegs. Unlike pegs tho, there are multiple places where you can install a lightbar on a Jeep and they also come in many styles and sizes. For those of you that don’t plan on off-roading or aren’t a fan of having a lightbar, there are many other lighting options to help your visibility at night. Lights, camera, action… off-road lighting also adds the element of making your Jeep look cooler and catching the attention of others.

Lighting options:

  • Windshield lightbar
  • Windshield pillar pod lights (ditch lights)
  • Front bumper fog lights
  • Front bumper lightbar
  • Front bumper pod lights
  • Rock lights (under carriage)
  • Rear bumper pod lights
  • Tire carrier brake light
  • Roof rack lights
  • Hood lights

Brands to Consider: Rigid Industries, Baja Designs, Morimoto Lighting, KC HiLites, Cali Raised Off-road

Side steps/rock sliders

After lifting your Jeep and adding bigger wheels & tires, you will notice that it makes climbing in and out of your Jeep a little more difficult. Upgrading to aftermarket side steps or rock sliders is not only a matter of comfort and accessibility but also a matter of added style to your Jeep. Just like the rest of the upgrades for your Jeep on this list there are many options to choose from but it once again comes down to how do you plan on using it. For the daily driven Jeep we will most likely recommend electric steps but for the consistent off-road Jeep we would recommend tubular steps or rock sliders.

Types of side steps:

  • Power steps (electric)
  • Oval drop steps
  • Flat drop steps
  • Nerf bars
  • Running boards
  • Rock sliders, guards or rails

Brands to Consider: AMP Research, Rock Slide Engineering, N-Fab, Go Rhino, ARB 4×4

Cold air intake & exhaust

Unless you have a new 392 Jeep Wrangler then you will most likely realize that your Jeep could use some additional horsepower and a better sounding engine. While Jeeps aren’t meant to go fast, there are some aftermarket performance upgrades that can help you get from point A to point B quicker and not just sound like any other SUV. A cold air intake and a cat-back exhaust system is the perfect upgrade combination for any Jeep and you will definitely notice a difference.

Brands to Consider for Intakes: AFE Power, S&B Filters, K&N Filters, AEM Filters, Mishimoto

Brands to Consider for Exhaust: Banks Power, Magnaflow, Flowmaster, Borla, MBRP

In conclusion

We know it could be overwhelming when choosing the right upgrades for your Jeep or just simply knowing where to start. That is why we have put together this list and we hope that it has been found as very valuable information. We also want you to feel confident in choosing CTM Customs as the shop near you to get all of your Jeep upgrades. Our staff is dedicated to providing the best customer service, the most honest and reliable information, as well as quality installations for all of your upgrades. We look forward to serving you and making the process of customizing your Jeep more enjoyable. For any further information please feel free to call or visit us during business hours or you can click on the link below to request a quote today.

Interested in joining the CTM Team? We need accessory installers and more!