Basics and Mods for Rock Crawling with a Jeep
When going rock crawling with a Jeep®, it’s always good to be prepared. There’s a few things any off-road enthusiast should know, as well as equip their vehicle with. If driving a Jeep Trailhawk model, then you’ll know from this page that some of the modifications have been done for you. However, when it comes to rock crawling, mods are just one of many things.
What to Know
Before venturing out onto rocky terrain, be sure to to understand a few things. Depending on which Jeep you have, then the 4×4 system may come with the Quadra-Lift air suspension system, which can provide up to four inches of additional lift. A vehicle’s lift is an important factor of rock crawling, as it controls exactly how high an object a vehicle can climb over without damaging the differentials of the Jeep. If Quadra-Lift isn’t installed, then prior to going off road and rock crawling, you may want your Jeep to have some additional height with a lift kit and larger tires.
A stock Jeep Wrangler Rubicon can fit tires as big as 35 inches tires, but if being modest, tires that are an inch or two smaller in addition to a 4-inch lift kit is enough for most adventures. In addition to lift, keep gear ratio and crawl ratio in mind. Remember from Jeep Parts Explained that a low crawl ratio means a high gear ratio, and thus higher torque generated at slower speeds. If not equipped with a 4×4 system that already has a decent crawl or gear ratio, re-gearing rings and pinions when upgrading the tires is a good practice.
Most Jeep 4×4 systems have some form of locking differential that engages in the event of tire slippage. Check yours out to know what it’s capable of. If you own a Jeep Trailhawk model, then your Jeep may also come with noticeable add-ons as mentioned in the article referenced above.
Standard and Safety Equipment
Aside from lift kits and tires for additional clearance, there’s two more things to look into before rock crawling. Rock sliders and differential covers, and getting out of a jam. Both are important for when climbing over rocks.
Rock sliders act like a set of armor for Jeep vehicles, and not only do they double as a step, but they can be used as a winch recovery point, should the Jeep get stuck – more on that in a bit. In addition, rock sliders can offer protection against rocks, trees, and even other vehicles. Differential covers will keep many powertrain and 4×4 system components safe when trekking through uncharted territory.
The best way to get out from a tight spot when going off road is to have a winch to pull your vehicle out. However, that relies on having someone with a winch to help you out. Even if you have your own winch, and you should if going off road and rock crawling, you still need to connect it to a vehicle or something that is strong enough to tow your Jeep out. So unless with a friend, this list of ways to get your Jeep unstuck should help.
Know of any other good tips for our rock crawling Jeep enthusiast readers? Share them with us on social media.