Last Updated on February 12, 2023
6th Gen Bronco Mods and Accessories Guide – Must-Have Overland Gear to Get You Started on Your Adventure
When it comes to owning a 6th gen Bronco, you will want to test its limits sooner or later. To go on a true adventure though, you’ll want to do some modifications and gear up.
When it comes to building your 6th Gen there are so many options out there for upgraded mods and accessories, it can become overwhelming when trying to choose. Most of these parts, mods and accessories can be found on TrailBronco.com – a detailed step-by-step & Bronco product review site.
Hopefully, this post will help you get your adventure started with quality parts and gear.
WHAT IS OVERLANDING?
According to Google: Overlanding is self-reliant overland travel to remote destinations where the journey is the principal goal.
I think this is somewhat accurate, but here is my spin on the term:
In my personal opinion, overlanding is a truly amazing adventure anyone can experience. Since the first four-wheel drive vehicle, eager adventurers like myself have been captured by the thrill of going places not everyone can quickly get to or places that haven’t been seen in years. You get to go on-road, off-road, and off-the-grid all together while driving something you have built or bought, all while making memories you will never forget.
No matter what your definition is though, as long as you’re getting out there and enjoying what you’re doing it’s being done right.
DETERMINE WHAT YOU NEED
Now that we have discussed overlanding you need to figure out what type of overlander you are and what you’ll be using your Bronco for.
If you are going for a budget-friendly weekend build, it will look different than someone who is only going for the looks of an off-roader to build a show truck. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as you are happy with your build.
Don’t get me wrong, you can always change things after trying out parts, but it is always a smart choice to think your build plans through. You don’t want to spend your hard-earned money and not be happy with the end product.
So before we get further into this post, think about what you want to do with your Bronco.
Do you want to be able to crawl it over trails and head home, stay in it for multiple nights in the middle of nowhere or would you like it to just be a very clean off-road build that is more of a daily?
In life, we all have different needs, and there is no one “best” mod for every build because every build is unique, so keep that in mind. Feel free to comment at the end if you have any mods or gear you would recommend to fellow 6th gen owners.
Let’s jump into the post. Here are the top 12 Mods & Accessories you should consider for your 6th Gen Bronco.
Changing your tires is one of the most dramatic and easiest changes you can make.
I get asked all the time… what are the best tires and what size should I run? That is not something I can answer directly, but I can help guide you in the right direction based on facts and your goal.
For a good reference on 6th Gen Bronco tire size information, check out this post on TrailBronco.com.
- All-Season & Highway: Performs well on-road and not off-road (minimal road noise)
- All-Terrain (AT): Performs well on-road and off-road (more road noise)
- Mud-Terrain (MT): Performs incredibly well off-road (most road noise)
- Mud and Snow (M+S, M/S, M&S): Used to indicate Mud and Snow + Winter rated.
- Three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF): Severe snow service-rated. This passes a minimum required performance test on snow – the so-called “snow grip index”.
- Siping: Thin slits across the surface of a tread block or lug to improve traction for driving in snowy, wet, or icy conditions.
- Tread Blocks/Lugs: The raised portion of a tire. The most important gripping aspect of the contact patch.
- Shoulder: Where tread blocks and the sidewall meet.
- Sidewall: The outside edge/wall contains markings and protects the cords/plies on radial tires.
- Load Range (B, C, D, E, F): A tire’s ability to hold pressure and carry weight. A higher load range letter typically equals a stronger/stiffer/higher weight rating capacity.
Choosing the best tire for your setup really depends on how you use your Bronco. Everyone is different.
For brands, tires have so many different options out there that it can be hard to choose after determining your needed type.
The main thing though that you need to make sure of is that you don’t cheap out and get a bad tire. Cheap tires could cause you to be an accident waiting to happen or leave you stranded. So I repeat, do not buy cheap tires. If you can’t afford it, I recommend saving up or waiting on other mods so you can stick with name-brand tires such as Yokohama, Toyo, BFG, Mickey Thompson, Cooper, Bridgestone, Michelin, Goodyear, General, etc…
Aren’t they just for aesthetic purposes?
Well, that just depends on the wheel and the owner, but off-road wheels in general do have an actual purpose.
Many wheels, however, are rated to hold up to a certain load rating. This becomes especially important when you start adding weight to your Bronco. If your wheels can’t withstand the added weight of the gear and mods, that will be an issue. You can cause premature wear on your new suspension as well as any factory parts like wheel bearings, for example.
Suppose you’re looking for an upgrade over the base model stock 16in steel wheels. In that case, you have multiple factory options you can order, which include Big Bend 17in Aluminium, Black Diamond 17in Steel, Outer Banks 18in Aluminium, Badlands 17in Carbonized Steel, Wildtrak/Sasquatch 17in Beadlock Capable.
However, if you’re only looking for aftermarket options, some great brands include RRW, Method Race Wheels, SCS, Black Rhino, Fuel, and Fifteen52. For all of these brands, you have many different options that provide great functionality on top of aesthetics. Their prices vary based on aesthetics but also based on functionality. Beadlock wheels are usually higher priced but are only needed in more heavy-duty cases.
In my opinion, this choice with the right set of tires truly makes your Bronco build’s aesthetics. So I hope that this provided information has helped you choose the right set of wheels for your Bronco.
Armor is a crucial component when doing any overlanding in your Bronco. It’s a great adventure until you’re deep into the woods and puncture your radiator or gas tank or even destroy your rocker panels.
When it comes to upgrades, armor will always be one of the most expensive additions. This is because of how crucial it is, but it’s also a drop in a bucket compared to a new engine or being stranded. Now one more thing I would like to say is that when it comes to choosing what’s a priority, it depends on what type of overlanding you’ll be doing the same as choosing your tires.
Sliders and steel bumpers are usually all you need with stock skids if you’re going through a lot of mud. However, if you’re going over rocky terrain, you will 100% want to invest in quality skid plates.
A normal starting point for most Bronco owners is rock sliders. This is due to their ease of installation, and when you compare the price to other forms of armor, they’re not that expensive. These sliders easily attach to the frame of your Bronco either by being bolted on or welded on.
They act as reinforcement bars to protect your rocker panels, stumps, and rocks that you might come across on your adventures. Sliders also have a secondary purpose where they act as a pivot point to get around corners, and depending on the situation, they make great recovery points.
If you want to protect the underside of your Bronco fully, a full set of skid plates may be a great option. I do want to say price-wise, this and bumpers will be your most expensive armor upgrades. That being said, you can always get crucial skid plates like a gas tank skid plate.
Either way, they are a great investment, and while they cost a lot, you have to consider the money they are potentially saving you in repairs.
I wanted to save the best pieces of armor for last because, in my opinion, most people will save them for last. After all, it’s usually the most expensive option. These would be the front and rear bumpers you can get in steel or aluminum options.
Bumpers offer more than just protection; they add storage, winch mounts, roof ladder mounts, spare tire carriers, and even more recovery points which can save the day. They are a great choice if you are overlanding a lot or hitting some serious terrain. For a good post overview on front bumpers, TrailBronco.com wrote a great buyer’s guide post you can read here.
I hope that the information I have provided about each type of armor has helped you decide what armor you need for your bronco so you can stay safe and undamaged on your adventure.
4. LEVELING/LIFT SUSPENSION KITS
You will always gain better performance from an upgraded lift/level kit, but depending on the kit, you’ll even have better handling. So in my opinion it will always be worth every penny to upgrade your suspension.
Here comes the hard part though, which I personally still struggle with sometimes. That would be choosing the right lift/level kit that is right for you. Not to worry though if you’re just going for looks, or want something that’ll perform under harsh wheeling conditions, or even something that makes your Bronco feel like you’re driving on clouds there is something for you.
You still might be asking yourself though why a lift? Well, even though our Broncos are absolute beasts from the factory, even the lifted sasquatch editions still may not meet the requirements for what you want to do.
Even the cheapest leveling kit out there will give you more ground clearance and allow you to conquer more terrain. This is honestly useful for anyone who takes their Bronco off-road, whether it’s once a year or multiple times a week. Now if you choose to go all out with a full suspension kit, then you will most likely fall in love with the improved drivability, but you will also see an increase in articulation (flex) while off-roading compared to just using a leveling kit.
Something I do think you should know, though is damping plays a big role when it comes to the way your shocks perform. Whether progressive, digressive, or linear, each type of damping will be beneficial to different kinds of off-roading.
Almost all progressive shocks offer a tune-able bypass now I say almost because this is not always the case. Progressive damping however is especially great if you plan on being on a lot of rough terrains. These types of shocks handle bumps/dips well compared to digressive shocks.
This in my opinion makes them extremely beneficial if you plan on overlanding your Bronco for a decent amount of time. Now you’re probably thinking, well I’m sold already but there is a downside: the overall handling feels loose/sloppy, giving a less-than-ideal daily driver experience.
Two good examples of digressive shock are Icons and entry-level Bilsteins. digressive style of damping is a great choice if you will primarily be driving daily. This is because it creates the feeling of tighter suspension and more responsiveness.
However, there is a downside to digressive damping, which is a big one. You’re going to feel pretty much every bump, especially at slower speeds. I will say from personal experience with one of my past setups that as you increase your speed, the low-speed load begins to wear off, creating a much smoother ride in your Bronco.
When it comes to shocks Linear is the best choice they act like both. Many progressive shocks however can be tuned to perform like a linear shock so this is a bonus.
I find it safe to say though that every type of lift is different in its own way and your mod’s like armor and gear weight will also affect what you should expect on-road and off-road drivability.
Do you want to have a smooth ride and a ton of lift? If so, a full suspension kit is probably for you. Does the ride not matter to you and all you want is to lift your bronco if so a leveling kit is probably the better choice for you
If you previously opted for steel bumpers in the previous armor section I think you are more than likely wanting to be as prepared as possible. To be that prepared in my opinion for any type of recovery operation, a good winch is a needed tool, especially for solo overland adventures.
Winches become your best friend when you get stuck in water crossings, mud, or sand. These different environments can cause your friction levels to dwindle, especially with the added weight of your overland gear.
Regarding your winch rating, I would like to recommend using a 10,000lb winch at the minimum to be safe for most overland builds. However, if you plan on using your Bronco as a recovery vehicle to help others, you will want to opt for a much higher line-pull rating.
When it comes to choosing a brand of winch to use on your Bronco you will have a huge variety to choose from. Warn, Smittybilt, Badlands, and Rough Country are a few of the more commonly used brands that are worth checking out though.
6. Recovery Gear
With most people wanting to focus on only covering recovering gear, that’s not all you need for overlanding. Overlanding is more than just going out and hitting the trails, though. It is an adventure that you take where you explore, cook, drink, lounge about, and just enjoy nature and the overall experience.
This is why I have chosen to include a generalized list of must-haves for your Bronco. These are the items that will help you stay organized, have a good time, and be ready for whatever the great outdoors throws at you.
Nothing beats a good set of traction boards when it comes to recoveries. But there are so many options online, where do you start? Well in my personal opinion based on my off-road experience I would recommend a set of ARB TREDs.
You can always choose a cheaper alternative but this is one of those pieces that could determine if you’re gonna make it through an obstacle. So you might as well get a nice set.
When you’re overlanding or just off-roading, in general, more than likely at some point you’re going to say man I wish I had a shovel. I have been there and it sucks not having one. Below are a few of my personal favorites that would make great additions to your Broncos gear.
If you’re looking for a killer shovel that can dig through anything; The Super Shovel by Krazy Beaver is a great choice. However, if you want a shovel that comes with extra features a great choice is the; Handle-All Off-Road Shovel by HI-Lift it comes with a carrying case and its head is interchangeable so it doubles as an ax, and sledgehammer, as well as a pickaxe it’s a pretty badass unit. My last recommendation is the Gerber E-Tool folding shovel. It is a great design. It is compact and foldable while still being strong so it’ll get the job done and not take up too much space.
At the end of the day though they’re all just shovels so choose what fits your needs and you will never have to worry.
7. MY MEDIC MYFAK FIRST AID KIT
First of all, we are going to include one of the best things to have in any vehicle let alone your overland Bronco. First-aid kits are just a must-have essential that could save someone’s life. I carry this MyMedic MyFak Kit in all of my vehicles, But if you’re wanting something smaller I will say their smaller version; The Solo is also a great choice.
The MyMedic MyFak also contains extra room so you can bring along your inhalers and allergy medicine and anything else you might need.
Both of these might seem rather pricey for a first aid kit but between the well-designed cases and the fact they pack pretty much all of the medical essentials one could need they are 100% worth it.
8. GARMIN GPSMAP 66I GPS or InReach
No matter what carrier you have you will eventually come across a no-cell service area and you might not have maps downloaded. That’s when this becomes your best friend. When overlanding you might bring the stuff for a few extra days but getting lost in the wilderness can sometimes be challenging to find a way back out.
That is why the Garmin GPSMAP 66I Satellite GPS is a great device to carry in your Broncos gear. They are an inexpensive choice to avoid a possible nightmarish situation. The GPSMAP 66I is Garmin’s top-of-the-line handheld GPS unit so you know it will never leave you or your Bronco stranded.
9. GAIA GPS PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP
If the Garmin wasn’t for you or you just don’t want to spend that much for mapping yet a good alternative is GAIA GPS. For only $30 a year, you get a great map service that you can use on your phone. Which you more than likely will have with you at all times which is a bit of an advantage sometimes compared to the Garmin that you more than likely will just leave in your Bronco.
10. GERBER COMPLEAT, CAMP COOKING TOOL
The Gerber ComplEAT camp cooking tool is just a great tool to keep in your Bronco. Whether you are just getting lunch at work or need to eat on a trail you’ll always have utensils with you.
It is everything you’ll need: a spoon, fork, spork, knife, scrapper, and bottle opener and it even works like tongs. Plus it has a few more features I will let you discover.
One cool design feature is that it does not attach like most multi-utensil tools. Instead of being connected by a mini carabiner, it attaches with small slotted grooves on the inside/outside of each utensil. It is offered in Burnt Bronze or Onyx.
11. BARTACT BRONCO FRONT DOOR STORAGE
Bartact has designed and released an amazing storage back that replaces the factory door net in your Bronco with a sleek molle pouch. It mounts using stock hardware to either front door as well so no modifications are required.
This in my opinion is just a great product for an overland build because storage is crucial. The price also makes it worth it compared to a lot of other storage options. The molle design also makes it great because you can mount your flashlights or even your MYFAK first aid kit to them. If you are a patch collector as well like myself it includes a 2″ strip at the top for patches which is pretty cool.
12. FIRE EXTINGUISHER & MOUNT
Another great item from Barcat is their universal fire extinguisher mount. Designed for a 2.5lb extinguisher, it gives you a great way to mount one in your Bronco without it taking up much space if you mount it on the rear roll bar.
A fire extinguisher is something you should always have in any off-roading/overlanding vehicle just because you never know what can happen. The way Barcat designed this holder makes it so you can’t hear any rattling due to a padded design. I also love the easy-release design featuring two red straps. All you have to do is pull them to un-release your extinguisher then you’re set to put out anything.