Offroad Modifications to Unlock Your Truck’s Potential
When it comes to offroading, the right modifications will unlock your truck or SUV’s potential. From lift kits to all-terrain tires, these upgrades will give you the ability to conquer even the toughest trails.
While snorkel kits may seem like an unnecessary offroad modification, they’re essential for providing your engine with clean air. During rock crawling, your vehicle is constantly at risk of being scraped or gouged by rocks that can damage the oil pan and driveshafts.
Lift kits raise your vehicle’s body from the road to increase ground clearance and allow for larger performance tires. They may also provide a more aggressive look. Many of these kits include new springs, which offer a better ride height and outperform spacers. Depending on the kit you choose, some will come with upgraded monotube shock absorbers, which can improve handling off-road.
These are a great choice for those who like to cruise fire roads or take the path less traveled to find that perfect camp spot. They offer a middle ground between spacer lifts and performance lifts, and are easier to install than more extreme kits that require drive shaft alterations, thicker coils, high-performance shocks, and custom cut fabrication & welding. However, if you plan to do some serious off-roading, it’s important to understand that a body lift can cause problems, including rubbing against the bottom of the car and bending brake lines. This can cause damage over time and void your warranty.
Whether you’re doing trail driving or rock crawling, skid plates are essential to protect your vehicle from damage. These pieces of metal are installed under your 4×4 to shield critical under-chassis elements like the transfer box, differentials, and fuel tank from rocks and other debris on the trails. Damage to these parts can wreak havoc on your off-roading adventure and put a huge dent in your wallet.
While the factory skid plates are sufficient for sandy/beach terrain, the unexpected rocky and muddy conditions of offroading can introduce hard obstacles that will bend or even break the factory plates. A high-quality skid plate made from aluminum or steel will be able to withstand the impact and keep you on the trail instead of at the repair shop. This kit from RCI includes a front and rear differential skid plate as well as a transfer case skid plate for ultimate protection. It features a weld-together design that utilizes factory mounting points and drains holes to let air, water, and mud pass safely through.
A Locking Differential (diff lockers or diff locks) enables your vehicle to overcome more serious offroad terrain with ease. It uses a hydraulic, pneumatic or electric mechanism to lock your center, front or rear differential and force both axles to turn at the same speed regardless of which wheel has traction.
The diff locker prevents the wheels from receiving unequal amounts of power and is only engaged when traction is limited or near lost. It can help prevent wheel spin when you are traversing rough terrain, which helps your tires last longer.
It is important to note that a diff lock can cause massive stress on driveline components if left in an unneeded condition, so it should only be used when required. You can find a wide range of diff lockers on the market from various aftermarket companies or your local mechanic might even offer them as an upgrade for your vehicle. The cost of a diff lock depends on the type and quality.
A set of off-road tires provides improved traction and performance. Off-road tires are designed with a deeper tread and higher height to overcome challenging terrains like mud or deep ruts. Additionally, off-road tires offer a better grip on loose surfaces while maintaining stability when driving over bumps.
In addition to oversized tires, off-road enthusiasts also use lift kits and other suspension modifications for their vehicles. It’s important to note that not all vehicle owners can modify their vehicles to the extent of adding oversized tires or lifts. Many states have laws that restrict bumper and headlight heights to a certain amount, and some require a specific load rating for tire size.
Braking power is also a crucial upgrade to make when modifying an off-road vehicle. The stock brakes will not be able to handle the increased weight and speed that comes with off-roading, and you should opt for upgraded brakes for maximum safety.