Martin Brigden

5 Things You Need to Know About Turning a 4×4 into an Off-Road 4×4

You remember the feeling: picking out that gleaming pickup truck or SUV in the lot and imagining what it would look like caked in mud. Your dream of owning a 4-wheel drive vehicle has been realized, but now there are just a few things you need to know about taking your vehicle to the next level. Chances are, your 4×4 is designed to navigate the asphalt jungle, not the dirt trails and rocky paths of Colorado’s great outdoors. In order turn that truck, Jeep, or sport utility vehicle into a real off-roader, you may need to add 4 wheel parts and off-road parts that can help you conquer the roughest road you can find. Then, you’ll need 4×4 service that can keep your off-roader in top-notch condition as you find that next road less traveled.

Martin Brigden

Mud Plugging CC Photo Courtesy of Martin Brigden

1. Upgraded Engine

Your 4×4 may have an engine large enough to handle rough terrain and get out of sticky situations. Many trucks and SUVs are equipped with V6 engines that have a good deal of power to handle driving through snow and towing a large volume of supplies. Replacing your engine may only be appropriate if you choose larger tires. To increase the torque, you can install a V8 or diesel engine to get more power to engine and help you drive through unimaginable ruts and pits with your vehicle.

2. Handling a Bumpy Ride

Stock suspension systems and shocks are designed to give you a smooth ride on the highways and byways. For a real off-road transformation, you can install aftermarket 4 wheel parts that can help you handle a really bumpy ride over rocks and hills. When choosing your aftermarket upgrade, however, it is important to remember that aftermarket off-roading suspension systems will impact the way your vehicle feels on the road, and you may have to sacrifice a certain amount of comfort on the trek to the wilderness and back.

3. Size can Make a Difference

In addition to a larger engine, you may consider larger tires that can provide the clearance you’re looking for in off-road situations. The right tire can make a difference, but your main wheel concern should be your differential. For stock tires, consider replacing the differential with a limited slip differential. This will begin to help your tires articulate properly in off-road conditions without severely affecting your fuel mileage. Larger tires aren’t just for show; however, they can increase your profile and stability in certain types of terrain. Selectable locking differentials or locking differentials in both axles can help your individual tires move properly and get the power they need to get through any off-road condition.

4. Always Be Prepared

…A motto every off-roader should live by. Your off-road parts should come from a reputable source and your off-roading kit should include recovery tools to get you out of trouble. They don’t call it the “off” road for nothing. Many trails are impacted by unexpected weather events, or may have routes that only the experts are used to driving. To begin with, aluminum skid plates can help protect your undercarriage from inevitable rocks and branches that come into your path. There is virtually no end to the aftermarket parts you can add to your vehicle to make it safer. Unexpected conditions are a part of off-roading, and as you experience grows, you will want to match the difficulty of the trail with added protection on your vehicle. An electric wench can be a great addition to help you get out of sticky situations, and to protect your life and limbs, a roll cage can be added to make an open-topped jeep or 4×4 truck capable of handling riskier tracks.

5. Get the Best Service Available

Perhaps the most important part of turning your truck, jeep, or SUV into a real all-terrain beast is having your vehicle serviced by the best. The 4×4 Off Road Network can offer expert service and aftermarket 4 wheel parts for novice off-roaders to more hardcore off-road fanatics. They can provide service for all of your vehicles, but they specialize in 4 wheel drive trucks, jeeps, and SUVs. Regular maintenance can make the difference between in your off-roading experience. You should always check the tires, engine, and brakes to make sure you are prepared to head into the wild and make it back safely.

When you choose to customize your off-road vehicle, you should choose a professional technician that can install and offer maintenance for all of your aftermarket parts. At the 4×4 Off Road Network, most parts and service comes with a warranty to give you additional peace of mind for journey.

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