2021 Jeep Wrangler
The 2021 Jeep Wrangler comes with further off-road refinements and, for the first time ever, a factory available honking big V8 engine. Starting with the off-road bits, Jeep has made available their Select-Trac 4WD system to base level models where previously they could only be paired with the Command-Trac 2-speed transfer case. For Rubicon models, Jeep has also integrated Select-Tracs full-time 4WD abilitity with the 4:1 low ratio of the Rock-Trac system. The last notable off-road feature is the addition of a forward looking trail camera which will show drivers obstacles directly in front of the vehicle and are otherwise blocked by the hood. The 3.6L Pentastar and 2.0L Hurricane turbo-four carry over, with the big news being the release of the Rubicon 392. This model features a 6.4L (392 cubic inch) Hemi V8, producing 470 horsepower and the same in torque. With 33" tires, Fox shocks and Dana 44 axles, this hot-rod edition of the Wrangler is claimed to hit 60 miles-per-hour in only 4.5 seconds.
Easy Storage Solutions
The JL Wrangler is an off-road machine, but one area in which it lacks is storage space - even moreso in regards to 2-door versions. A rear cargo rack will give owners plenty more space to securely store their gear. Tail gate mounted racks will be the smallest of the bunch, with the lowest weight rating. Either mounting where the spare tire carrier goes, or to the upper roof line, these types of racks generally have a 75 lb weight capacity - good for storing jerry cans, coolers or extra (waterproof) baggage. The next step up would be a hitch mounted carrier. Because these racks use a much stronger mounting point (the hitch reciever, bolted to the frame), hitch mounted racks or baskets are considerably more capable - usually in the neighborhood of 250-300 lbs and with size to accomodate an action packer. Their only disadvantage is they effectively increase the overall length of the Jeep, which could hamper tight maneuvering and obstacle clearance. On the other hand, they won't interfere at all with the spare tire carrier mount or any other tailgate mounted accessories (such as a folding work table). Finally, for unparalleled cargo volume are roof mounted baskets. These can come in with half roof or full roof coverage, giving the largest surface area in which to store extra gear. Half baskets mount with two supports at the rear or are a quick-release system using clamps in the roof channels. Still with more real estate available than rear mount racks, there weight capacity is limited to around 150 lbs. The full-length basket racks will mount at all four corners of the Wrangler, giving them the most weight capacity at 300 or more pounds. Paddle gear, action packers, camping equipment - you name it, it can be secured up there. The only downside to these complete coverage Jeep roof baskets is they generally need to be used with the hard top installed.
Tire Carrier Upgrades
The factory spare tire carrier is limited in two dimensions - weight and spacing. Considered to have a weight capacity of 85 lbs, if you're running larger than stock tires and want to carry a spare along, pushing over 85 lbs on the stock mount is likely to cause it to sag and flex the internal tailgate welds. The second issue a 2021 Wrangler owner can encounter when trying to mount a larger tire on the factory carrier is physical spacing. Sticking a big 35" or 37" tire on the back may interfere with the stock bumper, as the factory cutout in the middle of it may not be deep enough. An aftermarket spare tire carrier can solve both of these problems.
- Accomodate larger tire
- Reinforce hinges
- Modular functionality
The main focus for 2021 JL Wrangler owners should be spare tire carriers that incorporate a reinforced hinge section. It is possible to get a new carrier that will accomodate a 37" tire, but without reinforcement to the factory hinge points, you can expect considerable tail gate sag and eventual failure to due fatigue. Reinforced carriers will come with complete bracing that runs from the tail gate hinge mounts to the tire carrier itself, making it one, complete structural piece. Aluminum or steel with a black powder coating is the industry norm, both exemplifying excellent strength and durability. Further, most aftermarket tire carriers are adjustable, meaning their height can be adjusted in order to accomodate the tire without interfering with the bumper. And with this, they often relocate the third brake light and the license plate mount too, so neither will be obscured by the installation of a larger tire. The last advantage to an aftermarket spare tire carrier is the possibility of its modularity. Some manufacturers build theirs to be compatible with other accessories, such as racks and tail gate tables, all sharing common mounting points.