Free Shipping on Orders Over $75. Details

Talk to an Enthusiast
1-877-870-8556
M-F 8:30A-11P, Sat-Sun 8:30A-9P
Win $6,000 In Store Credit Enter Now

Exterior Mods: The Many Faces of the Jeep Wrangler

Written By:

Shop Wrangler Exterior Accessories

Every Wrangler is unique despite being one of the most popular off-roading voyagers. Fender flares, for example, come in a low profile design as well as a burly, riveted design. Finding the right look and attitude for your rig is as simple as getting the right parts together.

Jeep Exterior Parts >

Jeep’s roots are of American pride; the vehicles serving our military and transporting our soldiers during the second World War. From there, Jeep’s popularity continued to grow, especially one of its most legendary models: the Wrangler, which replaced the CJ model in 1987. From the YJ model to its current JL iteration, the Jeep Wrangler has evolved significantly from its old heavy-duty boxed out appearance. Take a journey with us as we detail the changes the Jeep Wrangler has undergone and show you some aftermarket upgrades you can make to bring your Wrangler up-to-date or just add some utility.

Exterior Differences in Wrangler YJ Models (1987-1995)

Models Available:

  • 2-door convertible
  • 2-door hardtop

The YJ Jeep Wrangler introduced the now infamous square headlights. Most can distinguish this generation of Jeeps by this indicator, as well as the seven-slotted grille on its anterior. The convertible model was carried over from the previous generation and most of the other design elements of the previous generation as well as suspension elements. In total, the YJ generation continued with the same wheelbase, spring-leaf suspension system, and box-like design of its earlier CJ ancestors.

Exterior Differences in Wrangler TJ Models (1997-2007)

Models Available:

  • 2-door convertible
  • 2-door hardtop

But the Wrangler would get a new makeover with the arrival of the TJ generation and its retro round headlight design. With a redesigned hood, longer wheelbase, and heavier hardtop, this generation of Wranglers certainly prioritized utility over accessory.

The most noticeable changes were the round headlights, as well as the repositioned turn signals that were added to the front grille. It wasn’t until the Rubicon and Wrangler Unlimited Models that Jeep owners were able to choose between different options. With heavier bodies and a stronger suspension, these hot selling Jeep models would influence the future generation of Jeep Wranglers to come.

Exterior Differences in Wrangler JK Models (2007-2018)

Models Available:

  • 2-door convertible
  • 2-door hardtop
  • 4-door convertible
  • 4-door hardtop 

The JK models are recognizable by most for its remodeled front grille and a completely new frame. With a longer body and a more aerodynamic appearance, this made the new Wranglers lighter and more fuel efficiency. This also allowed Jeep to introduce a new line of four-door models that could only be possible thanks to these larger dimensions.

Exterior Differences in Wrangler JL Models (2018-2019)

Models Available:

  • 2-door convertible
  • 2-door hardtop
  • 2-door SUT (Sport Utility Truck)
  • 4-door convertible
  • 4-door hardtop
  • 4-door SUT

Finally, the next generation of Jeeps is upon us, as new lightweight aluminum materials have allowed Jeep to produce lighter Wranglers and new exterior trims. The longer wheelbase on new Sport and Sahara trims have made them favorable for off-roaders. Not only do new Wranglers have higher crawl ratios, but also significantly more durability with better materials being used for the body and frame. Aluminum comprises some of the exterior parts to help with weight and fuel efficiency.

Unique and Special Edition Exterior Parts

For Wrangler drivers who want more out of their vehicle, mods such as added hood scoops offer more air intake and thus greater power. Bull bars and spoilers offer your Jeep greater protection while off-roading, whilst giving it that bold and aggressive look it deserves.  

This was much of the philosophy behind the Rubicon and Ultimate edition Wranglers, with fender flares on each. Dana 44 axles and longer bigger wheelbases, these Wranglers created a new standard in off-roading. 

If you wish to upgrade your Wrangler to this point, then a nice lift kit and some rock sliders could make your factory Wrangler a truly hungry off-roading machine.​

Common Exterior Mods

By far, one of the most popular upgrades is the addition of rock sliders or rocker guards. This bolt-on extension protects the panel underneath your door when off-roading. These are some of the most vital and vulnerable parts of your Wrangler. If there are parts that you wouldn’t trust using for a tire jack then why would you trust it to survive rock crawling? 

You can also upgrade your bumper with a grille guard or bull guard to protect your Jeep from brush and other elements while off-roading. They can even serve to protect your Jeep from damage during a soft collision. Besides, they make your Jeep look like a literal bull while tumbling toward other vehicles on the trail. 

Fender flares and step bars offer great value to your Jeep and a more impressive finish. Finally, new aftermarket tops remain one of the most popular upgrades, whether it’s Jeep owners looking for a hard or soft top for their convertible. Most people are usually surprised to hear that some new tops offer aerodynamic advantages, which translates into greater fuel efficiency and economy.

Fitment includes: 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, JL, JK, TJ, YJ, Laredo, Sport, Islander, S, Sahara, Renegade, SE, X, Rubicon, Unlimited, Sport-S