When we get a new Jeep—at least “new” to us—or an actual brand-new off-the-showroom-floor Wrangler, we want to keep it as pristine for as long as we can. But how can we keep our Wranglers scratch- and dent-free when we wheel in the desert, rock crawl in the mountains, or park at the mall?

Inconsiderate shoppers seem to be drawn to new cars like bees to water and they usually don’t care if their doors dent your doors or not. Rock crawling in the mountains magically seems to cause branches and pine cones to scratch the flat panels on your rig, and desert wheeling can see cactus pinstriping messing up your polish.

Rugged Ridge, a large company that listens to its smallest client, has developed a cure for the desert pinstriping blues—thick magnetic panels cut to fit all the flat side panels on your Jeep. The Magnetic Protection Panel kit is designed to protect your Jeep’s paint while on the trails. It is an easily removable nine-piece kit that provides full coverage for the body of your Jeep—except the fenders—to keep your mind at ease and your paint job flawless. Featuring a durable matte black vinyl finish, each panel is constructed of 17-gauge (.060-inch) thick magnetic sheet material for a tough finish and long lasting use.

The magnetic panels are designed to take a beating on the trail and still adhere to your Jeep’s metal skin. For transportation, they roll up and can be kept stored in their original box. While driving to and from the trails or malls, do not leave them on at speeds exceeding 55 mph. Above that speed, occasional side winds or wind shear due to large trucks or buses, could dislodge a panel sufficiently to allow the wind to peel it off your Jeep.

Always remember to clean your Jeep before applying the Magnetic Protection Panel kit. Dust, dirt or debris underneath the panels could inadvertently damage your paint.

jeep wrangler rubicon with paint protection panels at a gas station
man preparing to wash a jeep wrangler jk rubicon
man washing jeep wrangler rubicon
man reading instructions near jeep
paint protection panel on the rear fender of a jeep wrangler
adding paint protection panels to a jeep wrangler fender
adding rocker armor panel to a jeep wrangler
man adding side armor panels to jeep wrangler
jeep wrangler rubicon with side armor panels

We used a 2012 white Rubicon Unlimited four-door to easily show how the panels are applied to your Jeep.

Initially when the JK model Wrangler was introduced in 2007, the hardtop and fenders were not painted to match the body—they were matte black—however, owners began requesting matching fenders and top.

Always make sure the Jeep is clean before applying the magnetic panels. George Bernard is cleaning the last of dust from his Jeep.

George decided to read the instructions one more time before applying the panels.

First time out of the box, it’ll take a while to determine which panel goes where.

George laid out all the panels on the Jeep’s hood until he could figure out where each panel went.

It’s easier to do one side of the Jeep at a time, and applying the smaller pieces before the door panels allowed to George decide which side they went on (the big pieces are easier to fit into place).

The two door panels went on last.

Looking like an entirely different Jeep, the matte black panels enhance the Jeep’s appearance.

Author’s note: A Magnetic Protection Panel kit is also available for the two-door JK model

Source List

Rugged Ridge
Summit Racing

Author: Jim Brightly

A former editor of Truckin’ and Trailer Life magazines, and tech editor of Four Wheeler, Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road, and Family Motor Coaching magazines, Jim Brightly is now a semi-retired photojournalist living, writing, and wheeling in northern Arizona. He’s been building and wheeling Jeeps for more than fifty years.