Here are my Top 5 Modifications to make to your Jeep Wrangler for off-road readiness. These Top 5 aren't all the modifications you can make, but a great basic start.
#1 Tow Points
When you go off-roading there is always a possibility your Jeep could get stuck. To help in your recovery efforts you should have good, strong tow points on your Jeep. I decided this was the first place for me to start. I replaced my plastic bumper and hook type tow points with a steel metal bumper from Extreme Terrain, The Barricade Trail Force HD Front Bumper.
While I off-roading in my stock Sahara my plastic side step would get caught up on a rock. One time a rock pulled off my side step. However, I was able to knock it back into place. I would have been better off with out them. My suggestion is to remove the stock side steps if you plan on doing any sort of trail rides with medium sized rocks.
If you are getting into some more serious rocks you may want to consider rock sliders like my Barricade Rock Sliders. They help to protect the body of your Wrangler.
#3 Diff Cover
It seems I am always running into rocks. The first thing they hit are my diff covers. I replaced mine with the Riddler Diff Covers which are cast from high grade iron with a lip free transition. This helps prevent a rock from 'grabbing' the cover.
#4 Skid Plates
Your stock Jeep is outfitted with some skid plates and they hold up well in mild to medium rock crawling. Your transmission and oil pan are not protected. I added the M.O.R.E oil and tranny skid plate.
I also added skid plate to the rear control arm and shock mounts. That's another place I tend to get hung up on. I used the EVO Rear Lower Control Arm Skids.
#5 Air Dam Removal
What is an air dam? It is a piece of plastic under the front of your Jeep. Some say it's to help hood flutter, some say it's to prevent debris from flying up into your engine or possibly to keep your engine cooler. Whatever it does I ended up removing mine when I installed my new front bumper. This plastic piece also has a potential to being ripped off while rock crawling.
Should I remove my Jeep Wrangler Air Dam Jeep Momma Blog Post - April 2014
Stay tuned to next week when I share my Top 5 Tools to take with you when you off-road.