There is a lot of craziness in the world, and in order to mitigate the negative effects that come along with living stressful lives, each of us engages in our own individual forms of self-care.
After a long day at work, some people unwind by going for a run, while others treat themselves to a nutritious meal or an exciting weekend getaway.
To some, this may sound like a wonderful idea, but for others, the promised land may mean taking to the trails in a four-by-four vehicle to test their resolve, challenging the will of nature and making it to the peak of their favourite mountainous retreat. While this may sound like a wonderful idea to those who have a tame heart, it may not sound so wonderful to those who have an adventurous spirit.
You will definitely see rewards for your efforts, but in order to get there, you will need to make some substantial investments in off-road upgrades in order to make sure that your journey goes as smoothly as it possibly can. However, where do you even begin? This is where we come into the picture.
Aside from the purely aesthetic reasons, the majority of drivers tend to realise that outdoor-oriented additions to their vehicles are an absolute necessity. This could include a better lighting setup for late-night returns, the capability to use a winch in challenging situations where you need a little help getting out of a rut, or an upgraded suspension that will give you the travel you need to push you over the next significant obstacle.
The reality is that an increasing number of brands are entering the industry in the hope of gaining exposure that can be sold.
It takes time, effort, and research to build your first off-road vehicle exactly how you want it. While it may seem like the best option to have an extremely high number of parts and modifications, this requires you to put in a lot of time and effort.
We have compiled a list of some of the best options available in the industry regarding the initial upgrades that you should make to your off-road truck. These include improved suspensions and knobby tyres, intense lift kits and modular roof racks, and even outdoor necessities such as winches and lighting solutions. We hope this list will be helpful to you as you tackle this challenging process.
Following the completion of this guide to the best off-road truck upgrades for beginners, you won't ever be intimidated by a difficult climb again. So break free from the confines of everyday life and head out onto the back roads.
There has never been a time in the history of the 4WD accessory and modification industry when it was as large as it is today. You can get anything from lithium batteries and microwaves to hot water on demand systems, portal axles, 6WD conversions, chassis extensions, and everything in between. You can even get everything in between.
When it comes to customising their four-wheel drive vehicles, this opens up a huge window of opportunity for people to make mistakes that could end up costing them a lot of money, and a lot of people lose track of which modifications are truly necessary for their four-wheel drive vehicles.
It is not difficult to spend thousands of dollars on accessories and modifications for a four-wheel drive vehicle. The question that needs to be asked, however, is whether or not you are getting a good return on your investment or whether or not you are just throwing away your money.
In this post, we take a look at some of the most common errors that are committed when customising four-wheel drive vehicles in Australia by adding accessories or making other modifications.
Custom Truck 4x4 Modifications
You've recently become the proud owner of a truck, and now that the initial excitement has worn off, you're thinking about ways to improve its off-road performance.
But where in the world do you even begin? It is simple to become perplexed because there are so many products, modifications, and upgrades currently available on the market.
Because of this, you will need the assistance of a specialised off-road shop such as Dixie 4 Wheel Drive to make modifications to your 4X4 vehicle. We have compiled a list of some of the best custom truck modifications and upgrades that we believe truck owners should think about investing in first as a way to spark some ideas for you.
Upgraded Truck Shocks
The standard shocks that come on cars from the factory are intended for use on paved roads and, at most, moderately rough dirt tracks.
When these shocks are driven over rough terrain at high speeds, the oil inside the shocks heats up and foams, which ultimately causes the shocks to lose their ability to dampen vibrations.
Replace them with stronger aftermarket shocks that have larger pistons and piston rods for improved heat dissipation. This will save you from the unfortunate outcome described above. If you decide to upgrade to larger wheels, you will also need to replace your shocks because the vast majority of stock shocks are designed to work only with the tyres that come with the vehicle.
An Improved Truck Air Intake System
An upgraded intake system is what you need if you want to give your truck a sound that is more resonant, more speed, and improved performance on the trail.
Your engine will have increased power and torque thanks to the modification of the intake and the filter, which will supply the combustion chambers with more clean air. This will allow your engine to overcome more difficult challenges. In addition to that, did we mention that it will make your truck sound badass?
Custom Truck Exhaust Systems
Your engine will have resonance after you upgrade its intake system, but a custom exhaust and muffler will transform that resonance into a low, throaty roar that will turn heads in the parking lot.
Nevertheless, there is more to it than meets the eye. Although factory exhaust systems are designed to be more quiet, the performance of your truck is not affected in any way by their installation.
Your engine's torque and power will increase thanks to the increased airflow provided by a custom exhaust system, which will also reduce turbulence and backpressure.
4x4 Truck Suspension Upgrades And Modifications
Off-roading with a vehicle that has a low ground clearance is asking for trouble. If you drive through the water, you will either destroy your undercarriage or flood the engine. Neither outcome is desirable.
Altering your truck's suspension will not only make it possible for your vehicle to navigate rough terrain with ease, but it will also make it possible for you to instal larger tyres if you find that you need them. As your truck towers over the other vehicles on the road, its appearance will become more menacing.
Enhanced Digital Truck Performance
Unless you're driving an older rig, the chances are good that your truck came with an engine control unit already installed (ECU).
This is the computer that controls the engine of your rig, and it comes pre-programmed with factory settings that are suitable for driving on a regular basis.
You are able to access the full potential of your vehicle by making modifications to the ECU. You are able to tailor the overall performance of your truck to suit your preferences, taking it to true beast mode, by adjusting the rev limits and top speed settings.
Unique Truck Wheels
Why bother to own a truck if you can't make use of it in a fun way? Installing a set of hot wheels on your rig is a surefire way to win over the admiration of onlookers.
Acquire a set of chrome, black, or coloured rims with a design and finish that complements your character and gives your vehicle that extra bit of panache it needs to stand out from the crowd.
Bigger, Beefier Truck Tires
As you work on sorting out your wheels, don't forget to upgrade your rubbers as well. There are other factors to consider in addition to the size of the tyres, despite the fact that we believe that larger tyres will make your truck look awesome.
They also provide more traction, which improves your truck's ability to drive off-road, and they last significantly longer than the stock tyres your truck came with.
Keep in mind that different tyres are designed to handle different off-road scenarios, so it is important to first understand the off-road environment in which you typically drive your truck before purchasing the tyres that will perform the best in that environment.
Better Heavy Truck Braking Systems
Upgraded brakes with high performance are an absolute necessity for any off-road vehicle, but they are especially important for those who plan to do a lot of rock crawling or race through rough terrain at high speeds.
The brakes that come standard on your truck are reliable and effective, but they were not designed to accommodate aftermarket additions to your vehicle.
Because any modification you make to your 4x4 is likely to result in an increase in the vehicle's overall weight, which will necessitate the installation of larger tyres, you will need to upgrade your braking system to counteract these effects.
Brake discs, brake callipers, and brake rotors can all be modified to increase the amount of force produced by your system, ensuring that your brakes won't fail you just when you need them the most.
Superior Truck Lights
Nighttime off-roading can be difficult for even the most experienced drivers. Invest in high-powered LEDs for both your front and rear lights to illuminate the path ahead of you and increase your visibility when riding at night.
We are able to assist you in selecting from a wide variety of LEDs that produce light that is both sharp and bright and can be directed in any direction while simultaneously drawing fewer amps than conventional lights.
More Traction Action
Getting stuck and then watching your wheels spin in circles without making any progress is one of the most frustrating things that can happen.
You can prevent this from happening by installing a differential that either locks the wheels together or limits their slippage so that they are forced to spin at the same speed. This significantly improves the manoeuvrability of your truck by providing you with the increased grip and traction that are necessary for tackling difficult trails.
Best 4x4 Modifications For Outback Travel
If there was one thing about a typical four-wheel drive vehicle you could modify before taking it out into the outback, it would be the tyres.
Stock tyres on most new 4x4s aren't built to withstand the rigours of long-distance travel in the outback and will likely be the first component to fail on a challenging trip through the desert.
Most people focus on the tread pattern when purchasing new tyres, but there are other more important factors to consider.
If you can, try to find tyres that are more sturdy and less likely to get damaged. Selecting a tyre built for "Light Trucks" rather than the more common "Passenger" construction will help you reach your destination safely.
Tires designed for light trucks are built to withstand heavier loads and can operate effectively at higher pressures. Their carcas is more durable and their sidewalls are thicker and straighter than those of passenger tyres, making them less susceptible to punctures.
Passenger tyres, on the other hand, are more vulnerable to damage when driven off-road due to their thinner, more rounded sidewalls.
Light truck tyres have a number of drawbacks compared to passenger car tyres, such as a rougher ride quality, a lower level of steering precision, a louder noise level, and a greater susceptibility to disruption from uneven road surfaces. Negatives are minor if they lead to a significant improvement, like fewer flat tyres and punctures.
The construction of tyres with a higher speed rating is lighter than that of tyres with a lower rating, which at first glance may seem counterintuitive.
Doing so will prevent heat buildup at higher speeds. When shopping for new tyres, consider those with a lower speed rating because they tend to be more long lasting and reliable. It is legal to drive a 4x4 at speeds of up to 87 miles per hour (or a 'N' rating) in the vast majority of states.
Having enough sidewall is also crucial, and having more sidewall is preferable. When driving in sand or mud, a vehicle with higher sidewalls is less likely to suffer damage from "pinching," and it also responds better when "aired" down. This is due to the increased tyre stability afforded by the tire's taller sidewalls.
Oftentimes, this is attainable by purchasing an original equipment wheel, as many manufacturers equip their entry-level models with smaller wheels.
There is no need to use an identical diameter to the original set of wheels and tyres, but it is important to stay within a reasonable range if possible.
Even though the 265/60R17 is slightly wider, it and the 245/65R17 are both 17 inches in diameter, making them suitable for similar purposes. The same holds true for a wide variety of permutations, such as when a slight increase in tyre width is counteracted by a decrease in aspect ratio, preserving the same overall diameter.
However, keep in mind that if you go with a non-standard tyre size, the spare may no longer fit in its designated spot.
Most brand-new 4x4s come with "Highway Terrain" (HT) tyres, which should be swapped out for "All-Terrain" (AT) tyres before heading out into the outback. Installation of more aggressive "Mud Terrain" (MT) tyres may be tempting, but be aware that they may not be optimal for extended highway travel.
A bull bar is a necessary inconvenience when driving in the outback, but it is a necessity nonetheless. They shift the bulk of the vehicle's weight (especially when using a steel bar) forwards, where it is directly over the front wheels. The aerodynamics of your vehicle will also suffer as a direct outcome of their presence.
After updating to more robust tyres, however, they are the single most important modification you will have to make to your vehicle. You can use them to mount lights, aerials, and a winch, and they'll shield the front of your vehicle from damage (especially to the cooling system) caused by animals and other obstacles.
Aluminum-alloy bars are more lightweight, but steel bars will hold up better in a crisis.
Long-range Fuel Tanks
Fuel is crucial when venturing through the outback. Getting extra fuel where it needs to go in a safe and efficient way is a challenge, unfortunately. The last thing you wish to do is lug around heavy fuel inside your car or on your roof.
Long-range tanks keep the fuel where it's needed (under the vehicle) and can hold as much fluid as many jerry cans combined.
Fuel consumption increases dramatically for a heavy load four-wheel drive vehicle travelling over soft sand or mud in a remote area. This means that you must always add 20% to your estimate of fuel consumption when planning for a long trip.
It's smart to pack multiple spare tyres whenever you plan on travelling far from civilisation. While small holes in the tread can sometimes be patched, sidewall damage almost always means the tyre can't be used again. A spare-wheel carrier, typically integrated into the rear bar, provides secure storage for one or two additional wheels.
Cargo barriers are an optional accessory that can make your 4x4 waggon more secure and useful, but they should be considered if you plan on doing any serious off-roading. In the case of an accident, the very last thing you want is for the cabin to become a battleground between stray pieces of recovery equipment and tools.
A cargo barrier will prevent this from occurring and it will also allow you to pack much more into your waggon's luggage compartment than is possible without one.
It's best to refrain from driving late at night in unfamiliar areas if at all possible, but we recognise that this isn't always feasible.
Having a combination of wide as well as pencil beams on hand is essential in the event that you find yourself outside after dark. If you need a light that can withstand dust, vibration, and water, it's not a good idea to go with the cheapest option.
The fixture's mounting system may be as, or more, crucial than light itself. Make sure the lights you purchase have a rack system that is durable, versatile, and resistant to vibration; otherwise, even the best lights will be useless if they aren't pointed in the right direction.
Even if you have no plans to cross any particularly deep bodies of water, weather conditions on the ground can make even the shallowest of rivers and streams treacherous. An internal-combustion engine will explode if water gets inside of it, so don't take the chance.
The engine will benefit from the snorkel even if you do not use it to drive across water, because it will get air that is less likely to be contaminated by dust. Snorkels can cause wind noise and can detract from aerodynamic performance, so keep that in mind.
Roof Racks And Trailers
Although it's not the best option, pulling a trailer behind a vehicle isn't the only thing that can go wrong with carrying your belongings on a roof rack. Regrettably, it is not always possible to avoid employing either of these measures; in some cases, you may even require both.
Because of the way aerodynamics work, travelling at a constant speed while hauling gear on a roof rack uses more gas than pulling that gear behind you on a trailer. This is an important point to keep in mind. On the other hand, the extra weight of the trailer will make it less fuel-efficient when you are driving on a typical 4x4 track because you will be constantly having to slow down and then accelerate again.
We decided to instal a 2 inch lift kit from Raw 4x4 in Jock's little Luxxy to see how much of a difference it would make because suspension is regarded by most 4WDers as one of the most important mods. The extra room for flex and larger tyres that comes with a 2-inch lift on a larger live axle truck is the first thing that comes to mind. A two-inch lift may have the opposite effect on an older four-wheel-drive vehicle with an independent front end, reducing down-travel as the torsion bars are wound higher to accommodate the new rear springs.
We found that the Luxxy's new rear springs provided much more flex than the old ones had, but that the front springs were so stiff that they did not enjoy flexing up and had almost no drop.
The upside is that you can get more ground clearance without even installing larger tyres by raising the differential in some vehicles by nearly two inches.
When you upgrade your 4x4 with subpar aftermarket components, you speed up the vehicle's degeneration. A cheap steel roof rack basket may seem like a good idea to make the trip more pleasant, but it will cause problems if it rusts all over your new roof.
There has been a lot of talk recently about increasing airflow through four-wheel-drive vehicles by modifying their air filtration systems.
That's fine as long as it doesn't lower the efficiency of the filters! Removing the air filter would increase airflow, but it would also cause the engine to fail rapidly. If you want to keep the same or better air flow rate and micron rating, you shouldn't change the air filters.
Although a lot of time, money, and energy is spent on research prior to vehicle production, aftermarket parts aren't always given the same level of care and attention to detail during the design phase.
Long-range fuel tanks that are only held in place by a handful of M8 bolts, bull bars that scrape against OEM parts, and suspension systems that distort the vehicle's geometry are just a few examples.
Many people who drive vehicles with leaf springs fail to adjust the spring rate after installing airbags. Adding airbags to a vehicle, especially one with leaf springs, increases the risk of rollover and other accidents.
For the first round of modifications to your off-road truck, we have compiled a list of some of the best products currently on the market. Upgraded suspensions and knobby tyres, heavy-duty lift kits and modular roof racks, and winches and lighting systems are all examples of these. We examine the most frequent blunders made by truck owners when making modifications to their 4x4 vehicle. There is a wide variety of products, customizations, and enhancements available today. Don't just throw money away; make sure you're getting a good return on your investment.
If you upgrade your truck's intake system, you'll notice a more resonant sound, a boost in speed, and enhanced performance. That ringing can be transformed into a deep, rumbling roar with the help of a custom exhaust and muffler. If you adjust your vehicle's suspension, you'll have no trouble driving on unpaved roads or through muddy fields. By tweaking the electronic control unit (ECU), you can release your car's full performance potential. Your truck's overall performance can be fine-tuned to suit your individual needs.
Putting on a set of show-stopping wheels is a surefire way to earn the admiration of onlookers. Improve your nighttime visibility by equipping your front and rear lights with high-powered LEDs. Locking or limiting wheel slippage differential that keeps all the wheels turning at the same rate. Light truck tyres are constructed to withstand greater loads and can function efficiently at higher pressures. A 4x4 with a 'N' speed rating can be driven at speeds of up to 87 miles per hour legally.
Because taller sidewalls increase tyre stability, a vehicle with them is less likely to sustain damage from "pinching." In a safe and efficient manner, long-range tanks store additional fuel in the right places. The most crucial adjustment you'll need to make to your car is installing spare tyres. Don't take the risk; water inside an internal combustion engine will cause it to explode. Please keep in mind that snorkels can add unnecessary wind noise and reduce aerodynamic performance.
It's not always the case, but aftermarket components aren't always made with the same care and precision as their OEM counterparts. We discovered that the front springs were very rigid, while the rear ones were much more flexible than their predecessors.
- It takes time, effort, and research to build your first off-road vehicle exactly how you want it.
- We have compiled a list of some of the best options available in the industry regarding the initial upgrades that you should make to your off-road truck.
- It is not difficult to spend thousands of dollars on accessories and modifications for a four-wheel drive vehicle.
- In this post, we take a look at some of the most common errors that are committed when customising four-wheel drive vehicles in Australia by adding accessories or making other modifications.
- We have compiled a list of some of the best custom truck modifications and upgrades that we believe truck owners should think about investing in first as a way to spark some ideas for you.
- Replace them with stronger aftermarket shocks that have larger pistons and piston rods for improved heat dissipation.
- You are able to access the full potential of your vehicle by making modifications to the ECU.
- Installing a set of hot wheels on your rig is a surefire way to win over the admiration of onlookers.
- Because any modification you make to your 4x4 is likely to result in an increase in the vehicle's overall weight, which will necessitate the installation of larger tyres, you will need to upgrade your braking system to counteract these effects.
- Invest in high-powered LEDs for both your front and rear lights to illuminate the path ahead of you and increase your visibility when riding at night.
- The construction of tyres with a higher speed rating is lighter than that of tyres with a lower rating, which at first glance may seem counterintuitive.
- When shopping for new tyres, consider those with a lower speed rating because they tend to be more long lasting and reliable.
- Make sure the lights you purchase have a rack system that is durable, versatile, and resistant to vibration; otherwise, even the best lights will be useless if they aren't pointed in the right direction.
- Although it's not the best option, pulling a trailer behind a vehicle isn't the only thing that can go wrong with carrying your belongings on a roof rack.
- Because of the way aerodynamics work, travelling at a constant speed while hauling gear on a roof rack uses more gas than pulling that gear behind you on a trailer.
- When you upgrade your 4x4 with subpar aftermarket components, you speed up the vehicle's degeneration.
- If you want to keep the same or better air flow rate and micron rating, you shouldn't change the air filters.
FAQs About 4X4 Vehicles
Most AWD vehicles offer better resale value than their two-wheel-drive counterparts. There's a reason: AWD costs more up-front, making a vehicle more capable. No, you won't see every penny back if you decide to tick the AWD option box. But your car will be easier to sell when that time comes.
But whether your vehicle is AWD, FWD, RWD or even four-wheel drive (4WD or 4X4), you may need winter tires if you live in an area with snow or freezing temperatures. That's because, while some drive systems do a better job of using the available traction than others, the tires provide all of the traction.
Drivers that live in regions with heavy seasonal weather like rain and snow will find that all-wheel drive provides better traction on roads affected by inclement weather. All-wheel drive can send power to both the front and rear axle, unlike vehicles with front- or rear-wheel-drive drivetrains.
- Land Rover Defender. .
- Dacia Duster.
- Toyota Land Cruiser.
- Ford Ranger.
- Fiat Panda 4x4.
- Land Rover Discovery.
- Mercedes G-Class.
- SsangYong Rexton.
4x4s have grown in popularity over the years, with more people looking at trading in their standard family car to purchase an SUV. Because of their reliability and versatility, 4x4s are some of the best cars you can buy no matter the time of year.