Why You Need To Upgrade To An Aftermarket Frame For Your Jeep Rebuild

Replacing the frame is a big part of a Jeep rebuild. Frames rust out over time, and a bad frame basically makes a Jeep useless.

So when it's time to replace your Jeep frame, it's a good idea to explore your options.

Jeep frame 2

Essentially, you have two different types of frames to choose from:

  1. OEM
  2. Aftermarket

If you have an older Jeep, you might be wondering if you would get more value out of an aftermarket frame.

The answer is absolutely! That is, if you order one from a reputable aftermarket brand. Here are 5 reasons why:

1. OEM Frames Have Extra Holes in Them

We're not sure why OEM frames come with extra holes, but our best guess is that Jeep used the same frame for various models. As a result, you end up with extra mounting holes meant for other Jeep models.

The more holes a frame has, the more dirt, debris, and moisture it collects. This causes corrosion.

Some aftermarket Jeep frames are built specifically for a Jeep model. That means these frames don't come with any extra holes. For example, this TDK frame is built specifically for 1976-1983 Jeep CJ5 models. The less holes a Jeep frame has, the less collection of corrosion-causing material there will be. That means the frame will last longer.

2. Aftermarket Frames Can be Sturdier

Factory Jeep frames are pretty flimsy. They're only about 1/8" thick. If you bomb around off road in your Jeep often, you would want a thicker frame. Larger wheels and axles create much greater twisting forces. Even if you use your Jeep as a daily driver, you still want a thicker frame because it wouldn't corrode as fast.

At Throttle Down Kustoms, we manufacture our Jeep frames with 2" x 4" rectangular A500 tubing that's 3/16" thick. The frame isn't the only thing that's sturdy. The mounting brackets that come with the frame are made with 3/16" and 1/4" P&O steel.

3. Aftermarket Frames Can be Customized to Meet Your Needs

Custom frame

Image Credit Kenny C.

When you get an OEM frame, you're getting a mass-produced frame. It doesn't have to be like that. Aftermarket Jeep frame manufacturers, like us, offer customization options. We offer a number of customization options for our Jeep frames, including:

  • Shackle reversal setup for springs
  • Receiver hitch
  • Tire carrier
  • Rock bumper
  • Weld-on or bolt-on shock towers
  • Heavy duty steering box bracket

You can also request further changes to accommodate your Jeep if it's heavily customized.

4. Aftermarket Frames Can be Built More Precisely Than OEM

Precise frame

Image Credit: Shaun R.

While OEM frames can be pretty precise in terms of fitment, the technology we have today is much better than the technology Jeep had decades ago. TDK frames are CNC mandrel bent, which means the dimensions are very precise. Also, the brackets that come with our frames are CNC laser cut.

Keep in mind that not all aftermarket frames are created equal. Some are built with inaccurate dimensions due to the use of technology that's prone to lots of human error. When looking for an aftermarket Jeep frame, it's wise to find one that's CNC mandrel bent and laser cut.

5. OEM Jeep Frames are Pretty Hard to Find

Jeep doesn't really offer frames for the models made before 1987. A lot of authorized sellers of OEM Jeep parts don't carry frames for older models. You'd have to search high and low for a genuine OEM Jeep frame. You might even have to visit a junkyard to find one, and chances are very high that it's not in good shape.

Summing Up

The point of rebuilding your Jeep is to make it stronger and more reliable than ever. Aftermarket frames will do the trick.