The Best Roof Rack for the Jeep Wrangler (JK/JL)

The best roof rack in my opinion for the Wrangler (JK/JL) is the Rhino-Rack USA JA8548 Backbone Roof Rack System.

The Rhino-Rack USA JA8548 Backbone Roof Rack System is the only roof rack that I have found that can truly meet the dynamic, as well as static needs of a roof rack.  And this capability still allows removal of the Jeeps hardtop, just as it was prior to the install of the Rhino-Rack USA JA8548 Backbone Roof Rack System.

The Rhino-Rack USA JA8548 Backbone Roof Rack System is able to accomplish this remarkable performance by utilizing a “back-bone” within the interior of the hardtop.

The Rhino-Rack USA JA8548 Backbone Roof Rack System can handle all of your gear-hauling and Overlanding/RTT needs with a Dynamic Load Rating of 264 lbs., and a Static Load Rating of 800 lbs.!

While there are other roof rack systems available that may offer the same dynamic and static load capabilities and may cost less, I believe that the Rhino-Rack USA JA8548 Backbone Roof Rack System is still the best rood rack system for your Jeep!

These other systems may add overall size to your Jeep, and not only the top!  With the Rugged Ridge 11703.02 Roof Rack, you are creating a small exoskeleton that will add wind noise to your Jeep as it goes down the road, and there is a big potential for squeaks and rattles.

I am sure that there are some Jeepers that may claim to like this exoskeleton look, however, it reminds me too much of the “Supermarket Safari” racks that we always made fun of on the Land Rover Discovery II’s!

Removal of the hardtop cannot be that simple either, by the looks of the exoskeleton Rugged Ridge 11703.02 Roof Rack system.  I imagine over time that the metal tubes of the exoskeleton will become corroded if you live in any part of the “rust belt”, or in a warm salty air climate.

All of this assumes that your Jeep has a hardtop, and if it does not, an exoskeleton type roof rack is what you will need, however, if you have a hardtop, go with the Rhino-Rack USA JA8548 Backbone Roof Rack System.

Altitude Edition? Really?

I was at the Detroit Auto Show in 2005 with clients from Jaguar/Land Rover, and they were poking fun at the then-new, Jeep Commander, making fun of how “boxy” it was.  I know, Land Rover guys making fun of a “boxy” Jeep?!

The Land Rover guys were also making fun of Jeep and the new Trail Rated line that had been introduced in 2004.  The Trail Rated scheme, I call it, had been established to allow Chrysler to utilize their car platforms for new Jeep models.  This scheme gave birth to the Dodge Neon based Compass and Patriot.

I argued at that time with the Land Rover guys that at least Jeep maintained a “real off-roader” with the Wrangler!

I get it, Jeep, like any automaker is in the business of selling as many units as they can, and expanding the brand with these “fake Jeeps” helped to catapult the brand’s sales numbers.  To Jeep’s credit, they have maintained the Wrangler line, even stepping up with the offering of the Rubicon line.

However, I cannot help but to cringe, and be concerned for the long-term identity of the Jeep brand with the announcement of the High Altitude trim being available on the 2020 Wrangler and Gladiator models!

The High Altitude trim has been available on all other Jeep models for some time, beginning with the new non-Trail Rated “fake Jeeps”, however, does Jeep REALLY have to water down the Wrangler/Gladiator line?!

The new 2020 Wrangler and Gladiator High Altitude models were introduced this week at the Chicago Auto Show, and ironically, Jeep seems to be going in the direction of Land Rover, with “luxury off-roaders”!

Again, I get it, it’s about selling units, however, I cannot help but think that this is another step towards the end of the Jeep brand as we have known it!

What’s next, an all-electric, Bro-Rated Jeep?!

Electric HUMMER? NO THANK YOU!!!

“Instant torque!”…”Sealed drivetrain for water crossings!”…”No more MPG worries!”…”1,000 HP!!!…and the list of silly comments goes on about the announcement that the HUMMER is returning.

The HUMMER isn’t returning!!!  GM is going to rebadge a GMC EV truck and hoar out the HUMMER image!!!

I have written about my take on an electric Jeeps previously, and you can link to that post here.

I find it laughable how many “sheeple”  believe first in global warming, and secondly that electric vehicles could have any impact on the fallacy of global warming!!!

Prager University has produced the most succinct explanation of why electric vehicles are NOT “Green”.

IF electric vehicles were ultimately MORE efficient AND better for water crossings and instant torque, why didn’t HUMMER electrify their line up years ago and keep the brand alive?!?!?

 

Top Jeep (JK) Mods – EVERY Owner should do!!!

Many new(er) Jeepers often post about “What mods should I start with?”  Following is my listing of the Top Jeep (JK) mods I believe that all JK Owners can and should do.  These mods apply to the Mall Crawlers, as well as the Trail Kings, any type of JK; Sport, Sport S, Sahara or Rubicon.


#1 – Replace the OEM lug nuts

The stamped cap lug nut will eventually cause you an issue.  These type of lug nuts are prone to corrosion between that actual lug nut and the cap, causing the cap to bulge, loosen and eventually fall off.  The lug nut will be a different size than that of your lug wrench, and very difficult to remove when necessary.

Replacing the OE lug nut with a quality 1-piece lug nut, will alleviate these concerns, as well as make your wheels look a little bit better.


#2 – Install JL Hood Latches

Any JK owner that has driven over 52 MPH knows about the Jeep JK “hood flutter”, and Jeep fixed this issue with the JL latch.

JL hood latches are easily installed onto the JK and are available for under a $100.00 from Mopar Parts Direct – https://moparonlineparts.com/jeep-wrangler-hood-latch-upgrade-p-8715.html


#3 – Upgrade the Front Track Bar

If you take a look at your JK’s track bar while you have someone turn the wheel side-to-side while parked, you can see the bar deflecting, even on a completely stock JK.  If you have lifted your JK, and/or added larger than stock tires, the deflection can be even worse.

I chose STEER SMARTS Yeti XD JK Adjustable Track Bar and it GREATLY improved my Jeeps handling!!!

I believe that the front track bar is a commonly overlooked cause of death wobble, either in stock, or lifted JK Wrangler.


My Top Jeep (JK) mods won’t make your Jeep necessarily more capable, however, you’ll appreciate these over time more than an angry eyes grill, hi-lift jack or Rhino-lined door hinges!!!

Why all the EXCITEMENT over an Electric Jeep?!?!?

“Instant torque!”…”Sealed drivetrain for water crossings!”…”No more MPG worries!” and the list of silly comments goes on about the announcement from Jeep about the electrification of the complete Jeep line up.

With the Jeep brand experiencing record sales volumes, nearly year over year, they are faced with the conundrum that the rest of the automotive industry is, electrification.  Jeep is simply electrifying their line up to meet the government’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards.

I have written about my take on an electric Jeep previously, and you can link to that post here.

Jeep is electrifying its entire line up simply to satisfy the CAFE standard as their sales numbers have made Jeep a greater player in the overall automotive market.

I find it laughable how many “sheeple”  believe first in global warming, and secondly that electric vehicles could have any impact on the fallacy of global warming!!!

Prager University has produced the most succinct explanation of why electric vehicles are NOT “Green”.

IF electric vehicles were ultimately more efficient AND better for water crossings and instant torque, why didn’t Jeep electrify their line up years ago?!?!?

I am sure that I’ll get all kinds of hate for my take on electric Jeeps, and I say thank you!!!  Thank you for buying an electric Jeep, so that Jeep can continue to produce an internal combustion engine-powered Jeep for me to buy!!!

WHY Does ANYBODY Think That This is a Good Idea?!?!?

Why does ANYBODY think that a cup mount phone holder is a good idea?!?!?  There are MANY things in life that I wonder about, however, a cup mount phone holder is borderline dangerous!!!

I have always heard good things about WeatherTech Products, however, seeing their cup mount phone holder, the CupPhone product makes me cringe!!!

Mobile phones are often a distraction while driving, however, using mobile phones hands-free functions, lessens the dangers.  Using a cup mount phone in many ways defeats the purpose of the hands-free functions!!!

IF you must use your mobile while driving, OR if you use the GPS functions, put the phone in a holder that is at LEAST within your sightline while driving!!!

I run the Daystar, Jeep JK Wrangler Upper Dash Panel with holder for Large I Phone and I Phone Plus; Mini Pad; Cradle; Black, fits 2011 to 2017 2/4WD, KJ71057BK and KJ71047BK in my Jeep.

The Daystar mount holds my phone well, and within my line of sight while driving.  I REALLY cannot imagine mounting my mobile phone anywhere else within the cab of my Jeep!!!

There are many dash mount phone holders available on the market. Bulletproof Mounting Solutions has a great looking product available for the JK/JL Wranglers.

While a windshield mount phone holder doesn’t work very well in a vehicle with a flat windshield, it’s still better than a cup mount phone holder!!!

PLEASE!!!  Whatever you do, DO NOT use a cup mount phone holder!!!  IF YOU MUST use your mobile phone, keep it within your line of sight while driving!!!

Jeep (JL) Stubby Front Bumpers

A stubby front bumper installed on your JL Jeep Wrangler can greatly improve off-road capability, giving you a better approach to the front tires of your Jeep.

Stock


Jeep offers an OEM version of a stubby bumper with the Rubicon Steel Bumper option that has removable end caps.

 

As far as replacement Jeep (JL) stubby bumpers, the options are plentiful!!!


Motor City Aftermarket

Motor City Aftermarket offers a GREAT stubby bumper for the JL, “Built with Tank DNA” as they state on their website, as they are closely partnered with a defense partner that produces parts for the M1 Abrams tank, Stryker vehicle, EFV, and Humvee.

All of their products are designed for no-drill installation, welded by AWS Certified welders and finished with SaltShield Coating System.

 

The M1 JL Stubby Bumper from Motor City Aftermarket provides a maximum approach for the front tires.

 

The M1 JK Stubby Bumper from Motor City Aftermarket also provides an optimal mounting area for a winch, as well as heavy-duty D-ring mounts!!!


Warn

Speaking of winches, Warn offers several JL Stubby Bumpers that of course integrate their winch products.




EAG – E-Autogrilles

EAG is a popular brand online and offers a more economical replacement stubby bumper.



Install a stubby front bumper on your JL to improve your off-road capability, and have the optimal winch location!!!

Jeep (JK) Stubby Front Bumpers

A stubby front bumper installed on your JK Jeep Wrangler can greatly improve off-road capability, giving you a better approach to the front tires of your Jeep.

Stock


Jeep offered an OEM version of a stubby bumper with the Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition, that had removable end caps.  This bumper was also available with the Rubicon Hard Rock Edition and can be installed on any JK.

And you don’t have the Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition Bumper, you can modify your stock bumper into a stubby!!!


Vertically Driven Products offers their VDP 31550 Stubby Bumper End Cap kit to make the stock plastic JK front bumper into a stubby.

As far as replacement Jeep (JK) stubby bumpers, the options are plentiful!!!


Motor City Aftermarket

Motor City Aftermarket offers a GREAT stubby bumper for the JK, “Built with Tank DNA” as they state on their website, as they are closely partnered with a defense partner that produces parts for the M1 Abrams tank, Stryker vehicle, EFV, and Humvee.

All of their products are designed for no-drill installation, welded by AWS Certified welders and finished with SaltShield Coating System.

The M1 JK Stubby Bumper from Motor City Aftermarket provides a maximum approach for the front tires.

The M1 JK Stubby Bumper from Motor City Aftermarket also provides an optimal mounting area for a winch, as well as heavy-duty D-ring mounts!!!


Warn

Speaking of winches, Warn offers several JK Stubby Bumpers that of course integrate their winch products.




EAG – E-Autogrilles

EAG is a popular brand online and offers a more economical replacement stubby bumper.




Install a stubby front bumper on your JK to improve your off-road capability, and have the optimal winch location!!!

GREAT Time for a Winch for ONLY $479.99!!!

How else does a red-blooded American spend Thanksgiving Day?  Overeating and researching Black Friday Jeep deals!!!

While surfing the World Wide Web, I found the Harbor Freight Badland Apex Synthetic 12,000 Lb. Wireless Winch listed for $599.99.  After applying Coupon Code # 17711796, the Harbor Freight Badland Apex Synthetic 12,000 Lb. Wireless Winch can be had for ONLY $479.99!!!

The Harbor Freight Badland Apex Synthetic 12,000 Lb. Wireless Winch has received GREAT reviews, and at just over $500.00 with tax, it seems like a GREAT holiday addition to your Jeep, HMMWV or HUMMER!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!