Getting the Best Body Armor for Your Jeep
Body armor for Jeep vehicles is a must-have for those who frequently leave the paved surface highways and byways and take to the wild. Driving off-road means that you will no doubt encounter flying rocks, hidden tree stumps, and loads of dirt and dust; all which can chip paint, dent your exterior, and crack plastic housings. Wrangler body armor is made to protect those areas on your Jeep that tend to be vulnerable to off-roading hazards. Unfortunately, most Jeep owners learn the hard way the first time out, that not all factory installed components will hold up in challenging terrain. Strategically purchased and installed body armor for your Jeep can protect your investment and give your Jeep the necessary tools it needs to take you further down the trail, and remain in good condition.
The Function of Body Armor for Your Jeep
So just how safe does Jeep body armor make you? That depends on what type of armor you’ve purchased, and what your trim is like. Most stock Wranglers are game little vehicles, but even they need a little extra help. Some of the main components to protect include the lights, mechanical components, oil pans, and the side panels.
What's the Best Material for Armor?
Aluminum Body Armor
Aluminum is lightweight and offers better fuel economy. The lighter weight will also help your Jeep with its ability to be agile and maneuverable. If you live in the great white north, then aluminum is particularly beneficial as the road salt won’t rust it out like it will steel components. Aluminum can have its own form of rust, called corrosion, but unlike rust won’t spread to other parts.
Steel Body Armor
Steel body armor is as tough as it gets, and is very useful for protecting suspension, skids, and side panels. The drawback is that it will rust out, but conversely is easier to patch up than aluminum if it is damaged. It is heavier and will add to the center of gravity in your Wrangler, making the roll-over tendency greater. Steel weighs three times as much as aluminum.
Plastic Body Armor
You can’t beat the lightweight and durable features that plastic body armor can offer you, in comparison to the other two types of body armor. While plastic is not ideal for all areas that need to be protected, they kick it when it comes to protecting your light fixtures, fenders, and bumpers. One of the largest advantages, aside from the fact that it won’t rust or corrode, is that plastic body armor can usually be installed using a strong adhesive so you won’t have to drill into your Jeep’s body tub.
Key Areas to Use Body Armor On
Wranglers especially get nicks and dings from stones that are kicked up from the tires, so purchasing a grille cover or inserts is a good idea. They can also protect your radiator fins, or your AC condenser. Fenders and bumpers take the punishment on most off-road explorations, so adding an extra layer of protection is a good way to prevent damage, and keep the scratches and chipped paint to a minimum. If you like to rock crawl, then reinforcing and protecting your undercarriage is a must, as well as putting in rails to protect the sides of your Jeep.