How to Increase Towing Capacity of Your Jeep Wrangler
Having your jeep wrangler capable of towing other cars can be a huge save, especially in specific regions. This goes beyond your jeep having the right hitch and wiring as there are other proven ways or upgrades like enhancing overall performance and suspension that make your vehicle fully equipped to tow cars.
This article provides detailed information about how to increase towing capacity Jeep Wrangler by properly explaining towing capacity and showing all the upgrades you can give your vehicle to achieve this.
What is towing capacity?
The towing capacity of your jeep is the maximum weight it can pull safely and legally. If you tow a vehicle that exceeds your jeep’s capacity, you run the risk of losing control of your car by swaying and swinging and your brakes may wear out and fail in the process. In all regions, it is illegal to tow more than your car can handle.
There are two types of towing capacity: braked and unbraked towing capacity. Brake towing capacity is the weight your Jeep can support while towing a car with a working braking system, while unbraked towing capacity is the maximum weight you can support when towing a car without a braking system. In braked towing capacity, the braking system of the car you are towing is connected to your Jeep’s braking system using wires.
How to determine the towing capacity of your Jeep Wrangler
To determine IF your Jeep can tow a vehicle, you need to compare your weight rating to the weight rating of the vehicle you are towing. You can obtain this information from the manual of both vehicles. However, in some cases, you may come across some terms that may confuse you, and here are these terms you need to look out for.
- Kerb weight: This is the total weight of your Jeep with just the driver and the fluids available. Payload refers to any additional materials you add to your vehicle
- Gross vehicle weight rating: This is the maximum weight can support and your Jeep kerb weight and payload put together should not exceed this value.
- Gross combined weight rating: This is the maximum amount your jeep and the vehicle you are towing weigh when loaded. The tare mass (the weight of your trailer excluding gears) combined with the kerb weight of your car, the payload, and your trailer’s payload should not exceed the value of this weight.
Increasing the towing capacity of your Jeep Wrangler
To improve the towing capacity of your jeep wrangler, you need to make upgrades to certain parts of your vehicle involved in this process. These parts determine your vehicle’s ability to tow another car.
The suspension system includes the spring, shock absorbers, axles, and steering linkage. You need a better suspension system that can support the weight of the vehicle you are towing and evenly distribute this weight on the four tires of your Jeep Wrangler.
A good example of how a better suspension can help you is seen when you maintain a great level ride with a lot of loads and when your car does not bottom out due to this load. Your car will also bounce or sway less with an improved suspension system, and this reduces the risk of having a car accident.
Your initial suspension system alone won’t cut because it was designed to handle lighter loads.
Positioned close to your car’s radiator, the transmission cooler is responsible for dissipating the heat produced by transmission fluids. When your jeep carries more load than needed, the fluids in your engine and transmission system do a lot of work to ensure that the components involved are kept in good shape. With this excess work, the transmission fluid can get hot and cause overheating of parts which does more harm than good.
Your jeep is equipped with stock brakes which are designed to stop just fine, however, when you are towing a trailer or other vehicles, your stock brakes are not sufficient to avoid a collision. The type of brake and the components involved determines how your Jeep tows vehicles effectively. Normally, disc brakes at all four wheels of your jeep are better than drum brakes, but you need relatively larger components like brake rotors, calipers, and pads for a higher stopping power. As a plus, upgraded brake fluid and brake lines can improve the performance of your braking system.
The engine provided by your car’s manufacturer is great for optimal performance without heavy loads. However, if you plan on using your Jeep Wrangler for towing vehicles, you need a more powerful engine. This is because a more powerful engine produces more horsepower and torque compared to your stock engine.
Increase the weight of your jeep wrangler
One of the reasons your jeep wrangler may be ineligible to tow a car might be that its weight doesn’t match the weight of the vehicle you intend to tow. To fix this, you can add some load to your Jeep to increase its weight. Some materials you can consider for this task are sandbags and gym dumbells, however, ensure that these materials are well-positioned to prevent any damage.
Set up a weight distribution hitch
A weight distribution hitch is also called a load-equalizing hitch or load-leveler hitch. This is a structure used to evenly distribute the weight of a trailer to the four tires of your Jeep Wrangler. Without this hitch in place, you can observe that the front of your car is slightly above the ground due to the uneven weight distribution among the tires.
This component ensures that you remain safe while driving and that the heavy weight of the trailer or vehicle you are towing doesn’t have much of an impact on your Jeep.
Installing a weight distribution hitch is one of the most affordable upgrades on how to increase towing capacity Jeep Wrangler.
The tires are the car component that receives the entire weight of the vehicle you are towing. This component along with the brakes and suspension work together to keep your car moving and stable while towing. With this being said, your regular Jeep tires may not be sufficient for this task and you may need more powerful tires that can support the weight of a trailer without being affected a lot.
There are several reasons why you need your Jeep Wrangler to tow a vehicle. This may be because another vehicle is broken down or because you have a travel trailer and you need to move it from place to place. Whatever the reason is, it is clear that you need to improve the towing capacity of your Jeep Wrangler to achieve this and still keep your car in a good condition.
We have seen that the towing capacity is the highest weight your Jeep Wrangler can support safely and legally, and we have shown how you can check your car’s capacity and some not-so-technical terms you may come across. When finding out how to increase towing capacity Jeep Wrangler, you need to make upgrades to several components of your car like the suspension system, braking system, tires, engine, and transmission system, and maybe install a hitch.