Do you want to know how to build a rock climbing Jeep? Most of the SUVs on the market today can, with a few modifications, make a good rock climbing vehicle, but none of them is more sturdy and reliable than a Jeep. What makes the more sturdy and better performing Jeeps overall is their adaptability and basic construction.
To build a rock climbing Jeep you will need:
- A Jeep. Depending on your budget, you can start with a newer or older vehicle. However, to make a rock climbing Jeep, you're better off getting an older Jeep Cherokee. The choice is justified with the legendary performance of that vehicle. However, any Jeep will make a good rock climber.
- Spare parts. Shock absorbers must be upgraded, together with taller body mounts and elastic beds. You can buy the whole set or gradually upgrade your vehicle.
- Tires and rims. This is the core of a rock climbing set for your Jeep. Depending on how tall the vehicle is going to be, you can use different sizes of wheels and rims. Keep in mind that clearance between the Jeep's body and the tires must be kept.
- A rolling cage. If you want your Jeep to withstand a few mistakes, a rolling cage must be installed. It can be either custom-build or bought from a manufacturer.
- Choose a base vehicle. Rust and scratches on the body should not be a concern. You have to look for a Jeep with a strong engine and drivetrain, including four-wheel drive transfer case and clutch. Manual gearbox is preferable for four-wheeling.
- Determine how tall is the vehicle going to be. Choose a set of tires and rims related to the chosen height. If the vehicle is not going to be lifted more than four inches, the original fifteen or sixteen-inch rims are fine with deep thread tires. With this item you can go as big as you want every time you lift the car in relation with the wheel size.
- Install shocks and elastic beds. If you are planning on installing shocks and elastic beds at home, make sure you have all the parts you will need before you start. Work on both sides of each axle at a time. Doing the right and then left of the car is a very bad idea. Get yourself a lifter able to raise the car high enough to let the shock absorbers in full extension to go in.
- A steering reinforcement bar is going to be required for taller settings on road or highway use. Most commercial brands offer a set that includes a hydraulic arm for making steering at low speeds easier. Install this equipment once you have finished with replacing shocks and elastic beds.
- Install the rolling cage. The rolling cage can either be internal or external, the second being more resistant. Make sure that the rolling cage is linked to the frame and not the body of the Jeep. Avoid using heavy bumpers, as they will make your Jeep lower and less able when it comes to rock climbing. Remember that the angle of attack and the back clearance are critical for rock climbing.
There's an infinite variety of accessories to upgrade a rock climbing Jeep, but it all depends on your budget and personal preferences.