How to Increase the Towing Capacity of a Jeep Wrangler

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The Jeep Wrangler is a rugged off-road vehicle with a low-torque straight-cylinder engine. Its power and four wheel drive capability would lead you to believe it is a good vehicle with which to tow. The fact is that the Wrangler is not designed to tow heavy loads. The brakes are not calibrated for towing and the narrow wheel base, which is ideal for off-road capabilities, is dangerous when towing heavy loads. There are a few modifications that would allow for the safer towing of heavy loads.

Things You'll Need

  • Tow bar
  • Frame reinforcements
  • New wider tires
  • New high performance brakes
  • Increase the weight of the Jeep Wrangler. The Wrangler is often times lighter than the load it wants to tow. This creates a dangerous situation in which the load behind the vehicle can push the Wrangler around during travel. Load the rear of the vehicle just over the axle with sandbags or gym weights.

  • Increase wheel base by installing wider tires. The load behind the vehicle can become unstable when it is significantly wider than the vehicle towing it.

  • Install a heavier duty tow bar. Many times Jeeps are limited by the tow bar they employ.

  • Weld frame reinforcements into the Jeep Wrangler frame. The rigidity of the frame determines just how much load it can tow. The reinforcements are welded into the frame's joints.

  • Install high performance brakes. A critical part of towing capacity is the ability to stop with the tow load safely in traffic. Stock brakes can fail while towing heavy loads leading to the Jeep being pushed around in traffic.

  • Have the axles of the Jeep Wrangler geared. The gears inside the differentials can be tuned for optimum towing performance. It is a complex task and should be done by a professional.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always allow for ample space to brake in traffic when towing.
  • Take extreme caution when attempting to tow at the listed towing a capacity of your Jeep Vehicle. The towing capacity for your specific Jeep can be found in the owner's manual.
  • Depending on your state's laws it may be illegal to tow anything above the listed towing capacity of your vehicle.

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References

  • "Jeep Wrangler 1987 through 2008 Haynes Repair Manual"; Max Haynes; 2008
  • Photo Credit Andy Reynolds/Lifesize/Getty Images
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