Important Mods for Off-Road Vehicles
Many people want to outfit their 4x4s for outback use, but some don’t know where to start. There are numerous products available from a variety of vendors, and it can be difficult to decide just what you need to get started. While many modifications can make a 4WD more road-ready, they can come at the expense of weight distribution, aerodynamics and handling characteristics. Below are some of the most important mods you can make to get your 4×4 ready for off-road use.
If you can only change one thing on your 4×4 before going off-road, start with the wheel and tyre combo. On most 4x4s, standard tyres aren’t intended for rugged terrain, and they’re likely to fail on a prolonged trip. Most people focus on tread patterns when choosing tyre and wheel packages, but there are other important attributes to think of. Ideally, you should choose a tyre that’s robust enough to stand up to minor damage.
Bull bars are often seen as a necessary accessory for those who want to travel through the outback. While they can adversely affect a vehicle’s aerodynamics, they’re one of the most important mods next to tyres and 4wd wheels. Not only will these bars protect the front of the vehicle, particularly its cooling system, they serve as a great place to mount aerials, winches and lights. Good bull bars are sophisticated pieces of engineering, and you should be willing to pay a bit more for quality.
A High-Capacity Fuel Tank
Fuel is an essential part of outback travel, but it can be hard to carry extra petrol effectively and safely. A high-capacity or long-range fuel tank can provide the volume of multiple jerry cans. When in the outback, a fully loaded 4WD can use more fuel than normal, and when estimating your fuel requirements, you should add another 20%.
Spare Tyres and Wheels
It’s wise to have spare 4wd wheels and tyres Brisbane, especially when in the outback. While a tread penetration can be easy to fix, a damaged sidewall is a terminal condition. A rear-mounted spare wheel carrier can easily hold multiple spare tyres and KMC wheels.
Satellite phones make remote-area communications simpler. If you can’t afford your own sat phone, they’re widely available for hire. It’s important to keep the phone charged and secure within the vehicle so it won’t be damaged in an accident. For local communications, a narrow-band UHF radio is crucial.
A Cargo Barrier
Cargo barriers may not seem as important as 4×4 alloy wheels, but they can make a 4×4 safer and easier to use. If an accident occurs, the barrier can prevent tools and recovery gear from flying around inside the vehicle. Not only that, a cargo barrier can allow you to load the luggage compartment higher than you’d normally be able to.
As much as some people don’t like it, driving through the outback after dark is sometimes unavoidable. For after-dark driving, buy a combination of wide and narrow-beam lights that are dust-, water- and vibration-resistant. The mounting system is an equally important consideration; after all, even the best lights aren’t useful if they’re not properly aimed.
If you’re planning to run camping lights, a refrigerator and other accessories, a dual-battery charging system is important. These systems can be wired in multiple ways, and it’s best to ask a specialist about your options.
This upgrade is last on our list, but it’s one of the most vital. You should do your suspension upgrades once you’ve chosen your 4wd wheels for sale, as well as your other accessories. Most drivers upgrade their suspensions to compensate for the added weight from modifications, or to provide additional ground clearance. It’s important to buy the best-quality suspension you can afford, as a poor-quality suspension can literally make travel a pain. With a supple suspension, you’ll put less strain on your 4WD and your passengers. The more lift you have, the more your aerodynamics, road handling and fuel consumption will be affected. Talk to a lift kit specialist to see how much lift you’ll need.
Going off-road can be exciting, but it can be risky if you don’t have the proper mods on your 4×4. By following the tips we’ve provided here, and by consulting a reputable vendor, you can find out just what you need to go into the outback safely.