Offroad Vehicle
Automotive Technology

7 Affordable Offroad Upgrades Every 4×4 Vehicle Should Have

Did you know that over 11 million trucks and SUVs were sold in the USA in 2018? Getting out onto the trail is a great way to unwind, spend time with nature, and hang out with your buddies.

However, if you want your offroading experience to be truly rewarding and also come back safe, you may want to make some modifications to your truck. An SUV may look like a sports vehicle, however, when you look closely at its hardware you may see that it will not be able to live up to your off-roading dreams. 

Fortunately, there are many affordable offroad upgrades that make your trip safer and more fun. In this article, we’ll check out 7 upgrades that all offroaders should make. 

1. Better Tires

Many SUVs are sold with good quality tires. However, these tires were only ever designed to drive on smooth roads. Street tires have soft walls and a low tread profile. They are fine for driving in suburban neighborhoods, but they’re nowhere near what you need for real offroading. 

Upgrading your tires is a matter of safety. Tires with a more rigorous build and higher tread will increase your truck’s grip on the road. This will reduce the chance of pinching and tire failure. You’ll be able to more confidently navigate steep rises, knowing that your tires are digging in deep.

2. Shock Absorbers

When you take a truck offroad, all parts of the truck are subject to stresses that are far greater than road driving. Using standard shock absorbers in offroad conditions can lead to extreme heating. This heat can even lead to a lack of dampening in your suspension system. 

Additionally, factory shocks are designed for use with factory tires. When you start making changes to tires sizes, weights, and other parts of your truck, it affects the performance of your shock absorbers.

It’s a good idea to fit your truck with a suspension system that can handle both changes in the environment and also in truck build. We like RidePro 4×4 Suspensions which are offered by professionals and have a great track record. 

3. Intake

When you put your truck through its paces in an offroad environment, it will literally be gasping for air. Fitting an aftermarket air intake is a great way to ensure that your truck gets a greater amount of good clean air. 

There are many types of intake available. Amongst these are kits that allow you to remove and clean the filter yourself. This not only saves you money, but also time. You should also wash the filter before each use. 

4. Exhaust

If getting clean air into your engine is a priority, so is getting spent gasses out. The purpose of most standard exhaust systems is to reduce noise levels. However, this is not going to help you when you are climbing hills in the great outdoors. 

You can install a new more efficient exhaust system without ever removing your catalytic converter. These typically have fewer bends to increase the efficiency of the exhaust. You can also play around with the resonator and muffler until you get that great sound you’re looking for.

5. Suspension Lift

To negotiate rock terrains, vegetation, and generally uneven surfaces, you’ll need greater clearance than most road cars. Installing a suspension lift not only makes your truck look like a true offroad vehicle, but it can also save the underside of your vehicle from damage. It can also allow you to fit larger tires than a vehicle with standard clearance. 

6. Engine Control Module

If you purchased your SUV in the last 10 years, it likely has an Engine Control Module or ECM (or ECU). This is essentially the brain of the engine that makes all kinds of decisions. Generally, these decisions are related to fuel efficiency. In newer models, their abilities have been expanded. 

Tweaking or replacing your ECM is a great way to squeeze a bit more horsepower out of your existing engine. This work is not evasive and is done by adjusting the response of the module to commands and feedback provided by the vehicle.

Because this upgrade involves small adjustments to the programming of the ACM, it can be carried out relatively quickly. It can also be reversed very quickly if needed. 

If your truck is a little older and uses a chip rather than a module, you can easily find replacements that can provide upgraded performance.

7. Braking System

Last on the list, but still crucially important, is your truck’s braking system. It’ a good idea to consider your overall modification goals before you decide on your braking system. Why?

Every modification that you make to your truck affects its power output. Tires will affect the vehicle’s weight. MCU affects acceleration. Intake affects overall speed. You will need to consider this increased power when deciding what braking system you will apply.  

There are many options to consider when changing braking systems. Drum brakes, disc brakes, and brake cooling systems will all offer different levels of performance. However, it’s important to take into account your trucks entire power output when deciding.

Affordable Offroad Upgrades and Much More

Getting out in the mud and testing the limits of your 4×4 is a great adventure. But if you want to come back in one piece, you’ll need to make sure your truck has all the equipment it needs. Fortunately, a few affordable offroad upgrades can ensure that it makes the grade. 

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