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Saturday, May 25, 2024

6 Mods You Should Never Do to Your 4WD

 photo by egon69 via iStock

The 4WD modification industry is growing by the minute and whether you like it or not installing mods on your 4WD has become somewhat of a norm. That is a great thing – it means us adventure lovers can kit out our vehicle to make it more capable, comfortable, and dependable. But there are some mods you should never do as well…

We need to be careful on what accessories we opt to go for when modifying our vehicle. Some can make your 4WD worse and may even ruin a great day out. 

In this article, we’re having a look at six modifications you should avoid if any remote touring is on your wishlist.

A 4WD Modification to Avoid: Big Wheels and Small Tires

Big Wheels and Small Tires

photo by NeonJellyfish via iStock

The most hardcore off-roaders always come with smaller wheels than other trucks. There is a reason behind that. If you’ve ever seen off-roading videos on YouTube or been off-roading yourself, you might have noticed one thing – everyone seems to be lowering their tire pressures. 

Running lower tire pressures can provide several benefits, mainly: increased amounts of grip due to a larger tire footprint, better ride quality, less stress on suspension components, and even increased tire life (when lower tire pressures are used in the right circumstances). 

Now, on a vehicle with 20-inch wheels, there isn’t much sidewall to play with; therefore, tire pressures can’t be lowered enough. 

This will not be a problem if mall crawling is the closest you will get to off-roading. However, for any remote touring or hardcore off-roading 15-17-inch wheels are the best. 

4WD Mods You Should Never Do: Wheel Spacers

Wheel Spacers

“Spidertrax Jeep 5 on 4-1/2′ x 1-1/2′ Thick Wheel Spacer Kit (Pair)” by Spidertrax is licensed under CC BY 2.0

There’s no doubt that wheel spacers can make your truck look better. Or they might even be a solution to a 4WD with a short axle width. Do you really want to run these on your vehicle though?

In many parts of the world, they are illegal, and many people have had their wheel fall off because of them. Furthermore, some drivetrain components such as wheel bearings get stressed more because of spacers. Try avoiding them unless they are legal where you live and the type of driving you are planning on doing isn’t that demanding. 

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Too Aggressive Tires

Too Aggressive Tires

 photo by Soccer4460 via iStock

There’s no getting around the fact that mud tires look sick on any 4WD. Be aware though, going too aggressive (something like a Maxxis Trepador for example) will result in a headache even during the shortest of commutes. This is a 4WD modification you should think twice about.

These tires are noisy! Really noisy. The only thing you will hear while driving is the constant buzzing from them. Balancing such tires is also a pain, and the wheel alignment guy will probably hate you for that. 

These can make a great set of weekend play tires, but on a daily driver or a tourer, they are definitely mods you should never do.

4WD Modifications to Avoid: Low-Quality Accessories

Low-Quality Accessories

 photo by pixdeluxe via iStock

There is nothing wrong with opting for cheaper accessories when on a tight budget. That being said, you must be cautious about what types of accessories you plan on going cheap with.

Things like awnings, ground tents, swags, or even rooftop tents (which will be a pain if cheap) aren’t going to leave you stranded or put your life at risk when off-grid. So, there is no issue with going with a cheaper option if you have to. 

Where the problem lies is in accessories like wheels, tires, axles, bull bars, radiator hoses, and suspension – parts that if they fail can leave you stranded or even put your life at risk. 

From my personal experience, going cheap might not save you money in the long run. Cheap stuff generally breaks sooner, and you will have to buy it again. So, think twice before going cheap! 

Mods You Should Never Do: Too Much Lift 

Too Much Lift

 photo by wolv via iStock

I’ll be honest here; I love a truck with a huge lift and some big tires. From a certain point onwards though, too big of a lift will do more harm than good.

Handling will go down the drain and the truck’s center of gravity will be too high – making it much easier to roll when off-road. Your truck won’t fit in most underground car parks and it will probably be illegal, too.

Plus, the cost of the peripheral components that will need changing to accommodate the lift will most probably be more expensive than the lift itself. 

An Overly Aggressive Engine Tunes are Mods You Should Never Do 

In many cases, getting some more power out of your 4WD is a good thing – especially if it is loaded with gear. Going too aggressive with it can cause problems though, and that’s down to stress. 

More power equals more heat and pressure on your engine components and drivetrain. This will reduce reliability. Components like the clutch, transmission, and even the diffs will need to be upgraded if you take it too far. 

For a truck that spends most of its time near civilization and is in desperate need of more power, it might be a good option. However, for overlanding, a tune must stay as mild as possible and the truck reliable and dependable. 

These were six mods you should never do to a 4WD if you are planning on doing any proper overlanding or off-roading trips. What do you think? Are there any other mods that will ruin your ride rather than improve it? 

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