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How to Make your Jeep Off Road Ready

So you finally got a Jeep Wrangler. The world-famous, battlefield-born legend renowned across the land for tackling the most difficult terrain with barely a yawn. From tires to tailpipe, Wranglers have been designed for decades of optimum off-road performance. Short wheelbases, powerful engines, solid front and rear axles, and light weight all combine to make the Jeep Wrangler the standard in off-road design. Many try to recreate the Wrangler’s capabilities – none have succeeded.

But, did you know it is possible to make your Jeep an even more capable off-road machine? You may not know it, but Wranglers are one of, if not the most customizable vehicles on the planet. The modification options are virtually limitless – lifts, tires, bumpers, winches, lighting, storage… the list goes on. But how to know what to do first? A beginning off-roader may not need a $7,000 stage 6 lift kit. A commuter will soon discover that 38″ Super Swamper Bias Tires are not a good choice for extended highway driving. Let’s look into the most popular Wrangler modifications, and what works best for you.

How to Make your Jeep Off Road Ready

Plan your Jeep Build

The first step after deciding to modify your Wrangler for heavier off road use, is determining what you plan on doing in your Jeep. How often do you plan on taking your Jeep off-road? What kind of terrain will it be? Will you primarily be off-roading solo, or in groups? These are all important questions that determine what mods you’ll need. Let’s start with the most basic and move to more complex options.

Lift + Tires = Ground Clearance

The bread and butter of off-roading modifications are a lift kit and larger tires. These two modifications work together to do one thing – achieve more ground clearance. Higher ground clearance means you’ll be less likely to get stuck on stumps, rocks, and most importantly, deep mud. Your Wrangler has two solid axles beneath it, each with a “pumpkin” or differential housing. These globe-shaped steel housings sit roughly in the middle of the axles and hang down lower than the actual axle tubes, making them susceptible to getting caught on obstacles or digging into deep mud, thereby high-centering your Jeep and rendering you helpless. Larger tires will raise the height of the suspension and axles, however the size of tire than can be added is limited to the height of the suspension. The stock suspension usually only allows one or two tire sizes larger than factory before rubbing on body or suspension components. A basic 2.5″ – 3.5″ Suspension Lift Kit will enable you to easily fit larger tires, while not breaking the bank, or sacrificing on-road handling.

Tires are the next ingredient, and a hotly-debated subject in off-road communities. Options range from slick all-weather road tires, to gnarly, knobby monstrosities that whine and sing down the road. Most off-roaders opt for either All-Terrain Tires or Mud-Terrain Tires. Mud terrains have a more aggressive tread patterns than all terrain, but usually wear out sooner. Mud terrain tires are also louder. Radial tires offer better on-road behavior and tread life than their agriculture-based bias-ply cousins.

Protect Yourself

Your Jeep was designed to be rugged, however most Wrangler owners do not take their Jeeps off-road all that often. This means that Wrangler designers made front and rear bumpers that work well for most light off-road applications, but may fall short of the durability and ruggedness required by more serious mud-dwelling users. Luckily there are many choices of aftermarket replacement bumpers available to fit the task. You should replace the weaker stock front bumper with a heavy gauge steel one for several reasons. Most aftermarket steel front bumpers have what are referred to as better “approach angles.” The approach angle is the angle of slope an obstacle can have relative to the ground that will not hit the bumper before touching the tires. Stock bumper approach angles aren’t great. The equivalent of this for the rear bumper is a “departure angle.” Besides better departure angles, many aftermarket rear bumpers have racks and brackets that can carry gear and supplies, like gas and water cans, jacks, and more.

An Off Road Essential Tool

After the flimsy stock bumpers are replaced with tougher and better ones, a mud-minded Jeep owner might consider a winch. A winch is basically a powerful electric reel usually mounted on the front bumper and spooled with steel or synthetic cable that can be extended and retracted. Winches are priceless off-road tools, capable of freeing even the most buried rigs. Winches often keep additional vehicles from getting stuck when attempting to rescue a truck or Jeep stuck in the mud.

New manufacturing processes have lowered the prices of winches substantially over recent years, making them a desirable choice for Wrangler owners.

Let’s Get Technical

Ok, you’ve got your lift and you’ve crammed the biggest meats you can fit under your fenders. But what other options are there to further your Jeep’s off-road capabilities? Probably the best bang-for-the-buck is a Differential Locker. Your stock Jeep axles are likely what’s referred to as “limited-slip,” meaning that power isn’t distributed to all four wheels equally. To change this and vastly improve your performance in mud and rocks, a differential locker will “lock” your axles, meaning all wheels receive even power. This is a more advanced modification, and will likely require a professional to install unless you have advanced mechanical experience and tools. However, once installed, a locker will have an equal, if not greater effect than a lift and larger tires.

Get Involved

The Jeep Wrangler is a unique, rugged, and let’s face it, cool vehicle. It only makes sense that there is a dedicated following of enthusiasts and clubs spanning the globe. These communities exist both online and in person. Most are comprised of good-natured, helpful people that will do anything to help their fellow Jeep enthusiasts. From amateurs to expert fabricators, all experience levels are encouraged to join a local Jeep community. Additionally, it’s a great way to make new friends while enjoying the outdoors, and the thrill that owning a Jeep Wrangler has to offer. An added bonus is having other Jeeps with you as you tackle the toughest off-road trails.

What do think is the most important component in building an off-road Jeep? Leave a comment and let us know!

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20 Awesome Jeep Interior Accessories

20 Awesome Jeep Interior Accessories

The inside of your Jeep is where you’ll spend 100% of your driving time so making it more comfortable and functional should be a top priority for any Wrangler owner. We have put together a list of 20 Awesome Jeep Interior Accessories that we consider must haves. There is something on this list for every Jeep owner whether they need more storage or more functions. The Jeep interior accessories listed below are all high quality and unique. A lot of times we upgrade the exterior of our Wranglers and disregard any new mods for the interior. Well, we think it’s important to upgrade both especially if you do a lot of driving which most of us do! We hope you enjoy browsing through our 20 awesome Jeep interior accessories and we guarantee by adding any of these items your next Jeep ride will be much more enjoyable.

20 Awesome Jeep Interior Accessories

Jeep Center Console Organizer Tray

Jeep Wrangler JL Center Console Organizer Tray

Jeep Wranglers can always use more places to store items and it’s super important for those added spaces to be organized! The Jeep center console organizer tray provides extra space with sections to keep everything nicely organized which gives you a whole lot of extra room. It easily fits in your Jeep Wrangler center console for a simple and easy installation.

Jeep Wrangler Fridge and Freezer

ARB Jeep Wrangler Fridge Freezer

Coolers work for some, but if you want to ensure your drinks and food stay cold no matter how long your trail ride is then adding a fridge/freezer to your Jeep is the way to go! The Jeep Wrangler fridge and freezer can hold up to 50 quarts of goods. It’s easy to attach it to the back of your Wrangler with the included tie downs that make installing and removing it a cinch.

Ultimate Grab Handles

Full Set Roll Bar Grab Handles for Jeep Wrangler

Most of us have lifted Jeeps which make it tough for some people to get in and out of them. That’s why we recommend everyone purchase a pair or two of grab handles for their Jeep. Our top choice because of their high quality design and inexpensive price are this set of Grab Handles. The grab handles have a molded, sure grip design and they feature adjustable straps for an easy and quick installation.

Overhead Weapon Carrier

Jeep Wrangler JK Overhead Gun Rack

Every hunter or gun enthusiastic that drives a Jeep should invest in an overhead weapon carrier. The overhead weapon carrier easily connects to the roll bars and can hold up to 2 full size guns with or without scopes.  It even has a place for your gun clips to be held securely. Just think about all of the extra room you’ll have in your Wrangler for other gear once your guns have a safe, secure, and out of the way.

Tailgate Stealth Speaker Pod

Select Increments Jeep Wrangler Stealth Subwoofer Pod

Upgrading your sound system without taking up valuable real estate in your Jeep used to be a challenge. Now we have quite a few options that allow us to add speakers and amps to our Wranglers without taking up extra room. The tailgate stealth speaker pod is an excellent choice because it allows you to install a 10 inch sub-woofer without taking away any functionality from your Wrangler’s tailgate. It also has rubber pads that isolate the speaker which keeps it from vibrating so it always sounds great!

Overhead Storage Console

VDP Jeep Wrangler Overhead Shelf

The overhead storage console takes advantage of the space above your visors which isn’t typically used for anything. It allows you to add more storage space without interfering with your top. It fits with hard tops or soft tops and it doesn’t matter if your top is up or down. The overhead storage console is fully enclosed and doesn’t require any tools or drilling to install.

Soft Top Window Storage Bag

Rightline Gear Jeep Soft Top Window Storage Bag

One of the questions I always had when I put my soft top down was what to do with the windows? The Rightline soft top window storage bag eliminates the need for leaving your windows at home or being shoved somewhere in the back of your Wrangler. The soft top window bag keeps your windows safe, scratch free, and out of the way, but easily accessible. The bag easily attaches to your Jeep’s roll bar either behind the front or back seats.

Safari Straps Pet Divider

Jeep Wrangler Mesh Dog Barrier

Instantly increase the style of your Jeep Wrangler’s interior with the Safari Straps Pet Divider. Not only does it look awesome, but the safari straps will keep your pet safely in the back and out of harm’s way. The nets are made of heavy duty webbing and are very durable.

Seat Back Organizers

Jeep Wrangler Backseat Organizers with Tablet Holders

Another Jeep mod sure to increase the space inside of your Wrangler. These seat back organizers are a great way to store extra items that don’t have a home. It is a very simple install and can easily be removed. The seat back organizer features lots of extra pockets and even a space to secure and watch a 10 inch or smaller tablet.

Interior Trim Kit

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Full Set Interior Trim Kit

One of the more stylish upgrades for your Jeep Wrangler is changing the trim colors with an interior trim kit. Choose from a ton of different colors available to best match your style. It’s a very easy installation utilizing self adhesive 3M tape. The interior trim kit comes with everything you need to completely redesign the inside of your Wrangler in a cost effective way.

Dead Pedal Foot Rest

u-Box Jeep Wrangler JL Metal Dead Pedal

If you drive an automatic Jeep Wrangler then you know what it’s like not having a place to rest your left foot. Once you install this you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it! The dead pedal foot rest features a non slip design and a textured black coating for extra durability. The install only requires basic hand tools and takes less then 5 minutes.

Front and Rear Floor Liner Kit

Rugged Ridge All-Terrain Black Jeep JK Front and Rear Floor Liners

All Jeep Wranglers need protection for their carpets otherwise they will not look new for long. We recommend the Rugged Ridge Front and Rear Floor Liner Kit because it has a raised lip which captures all types of elements and a custom fit design which allows it to seamlessly be installed in your Wrangler.

Cargo Pet Cover

Jeep JK Black Pet Trunk Liner

Dogs and Jeep Wranglers go together like peanut butter and jelly, but unfortunately they get hair and scratches everywhere! Adding a cargo pet cover is the best way to keep you happy and your pet safe and secure. You can use this with the rear seats down or up to give your pet a nice area all to themselves. The cargo pet cover includes a built in curtain which keeps your dog or other pets from entering the front seat area.

Unlimited Cargo Carrier

Hooke Road Jeep JLU Cargo Basket Rack

Need more room in the back of your Wrangler? The Jeep unlimited cargo carrier is an excellent addition to your Jeep which provides a secure and safe storage area. The carrier makes it easy to organize and access your gear. You can bolt your accessories to the rack or store your gear in the cargo area beneath the rack.

Tire Thread Center Console Cover

Boomerang Tire Tread Center Console Cover for Jeep Wrangler JL

One of the areas that always end up being scratched and damaged is the center console. Now you can protect it with the Boomerang tire thread center console cover. It adds a cool look and a comfy spot to rest your elbow all while protecting your console from any type of damage.

Pistol Grip Shift Knob

DV8 Offroad Jeep Wrangler Pistol Grip Shift Knob

Talk about a conversation starter when others step inside your Wrangler and see this they are gonna want to know more about it! The pistol grip shift knob is one of the coolest interior mods available for Jeeps. Not only does it look awesome, but it also has a finger formed grip for added comfort.

Underseat Security Storage Vault

Tuffy Jeep JK Driver Side Security Drawer

All Jeep owners worry about having items stolen from their Wrangler especially when they have a soft top installed. Having a safe and secure storage area to keep valuables is a must have. The Tuffy underseat security storage vault can support up to 350 pounds and is constructed from 16 gauge cold rolled steel. It acts as a drawer so you can easily open and close it when retrieving your items.

Hi-Lift Jack and Accessory Mount

Dominion-OffRoad-4-Door-Jeep-JK-Wrangler-48-Hi-Lift-Jack-Mount-kit-Please-Read-Fitment-Details-in-Description-Below-0-0

This is one interior modification that stores some very important tools. The Hi-Lift jack and accessory mount allows you to carry a hi-lift jack and other accessories like a shovel in your Jeep safely and securely. It’s important to be prepared for anything when out on the trails so having the right tools with you is a must and now you can do it without taking up valuable space inside your Wrangler.

Hardtop Insulation

Jeep JLU Hardtop Insulation Kit

Keep your Jeep warm or cold and reduce the outside noise in your Jeep with this Hardtop insulation kit. Not only does it reduce the noise outside, but it makes your music comes to life inside. This is an excellent addition to any Jeep with a hard top.

Dashboard Phone Mount Kit

Dash Multi-Mount Jeep JL Phone Holder

Need a secure place for your electronic devices? This dashboard phone mount kit is a great choice to hold your gadgets safe and accessible. Utilizing the factory dash recess it does not require any modifications to your Jeep to install. It can easily hold phones, cameras, GPS devices, and much more.

20 Awesome Jeep Interior Accessories

That ends our list of 20 awesome interior Jeep accessories. If you didn’t find the right interior modification for your Wrangler perhaps browsing the rest of our shop will help you find the right products for you and your Wrangler. Shop for more Jeep interior mods by clicking here.

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Time for Change

Time for Change

Hello from Pennsylvania!

You might have noticed that our website looks completely different from the last time you shopped here. Well, that’s because it is!!! The original Black Dog Mods site was getting slow and outdated so we needed to make a complete overhaul starting with finding a new, secure, and reliable hosting provider and getting rid of the outdated site from the past.

It’s a lot of work getting things back in place, but I promise you it’s for the better! The new site is gonna feel so much faster, we also want to make sure it’s easier to navigate so you can easily find Jeep parts that fit your build and budget. I know a lot of our products are missing right now, but we are starting from scratch and making sure that each Jeep part we add is a good buy for our customers.

Not only are we redesigning our whole site, but we are planning on spending a lot more time adding new content and exploring fresh ideas to give you the absolute best buying experience possible! Which reminds me, this is our 1st blog post we are adding to the site because a lot of our blog posts from the past included outdated information and products. So, yes we could transfer those posts here and add some extra content, but I feel we can do BETTER! Expect to see new and interesting blog posts coming soon.

This site means the world to me and without all of you it would have failed miserably a long time ago. I want to THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!!! I hope you all have a fabulous day and please say hello on one of our social media profiles. I’d love to hear from you.