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10 Ways to Properly Modify Your Vehicle for Off-Roading
Source: | Author:huxiaoling180426 | Publish time: 2018-06-20 | 80 Views | Share:

As capable as today's SUVs and trucks are off the assembly line, a few additional modifications can turn your stock
cruiser into an off-road crusher. It's hard to predict what you'll come across when you're driving off the beaten path,
but these add-ons—and a safety-focused mindset—will keep you rolling along. What may seem like overkill on the
paved road is preparedness in the wild. A good rule of thumb? Be sure to look for equipment made specifically for
your vehicle to ensure proper fitment—only consider universal-fit items when there's no other option. Here are the
best ways to modify your car when you go rogue.

This content is part of Take On: The Uncharted Path.
BY PAUL BIEDRZYCKI

1. Tires
If you're planning to venture off the tarmac, the first (and easiest) upgrade to make is a purpose-built set of tires with a deep tread to keep your grip on mud, snow, sand, or ice.
BY PAUL BIEDRZYCKI / PHOTOS BY GETTY IMAGES/4X-IMAGE


2. Hitch
Putting a hitch on your vehicle, whether you're planning on towing anything or not, is a good idea. It provides a mounting point for a wide array of accessories, such as a bike rack, spare tire carrier, or even a BBQ. It also offers a solid tow point, if for some reason you need to be pulled out of a ditch.
BY PAUL BIEDRZYCKI / PHOTOS BY FLICKR/CHAD DAVIS


3. Lift Kit
Ground clearance is crucial. You want the most room under the vehicle without sacrificing balance. Even a few inches of boost will decrease the chances that obstacles will stop you in your tracks. Kit contents will vary, depending on the configuration of your truck.
BY PAUL BIEDRZYCKI / PHOTOS BY FLICKR/NATHAN BITTINGER


4. Suspension and Bushings
Although the idea is sometimes grouped with lift kits, replacing your stock suspension setup with heavy-duty springs, hardware, and bushings should not only lift but also strengthen your vehicle. A snapped bolt or blown bushing will leave you stranded; swapping out rubber for polyurethane bushings and stock steel for high-tensile-strength, corrosion-proof bolts is money well spent.
BY PAUL BIEDRZYCKI / PHOTOS BY FLICKR/FASTEDDY760

5. Skid Plate
Even with a lifted truck, it's not if, but when the sometimes delicate underbelly of your vehicle will come in contact with terrain. A high-quality skid plate is essentially armor, protecting your radiator, engine pan, and drivetrain from potential disaster-causing boulders.
BY PAUL BIEDRZYCKI / PHOTOS BY GETTY IMAGES/JOE AMON

6. Bull Bar
When you can't go over it, you'll need to go through it. Like a cow catcher on a locomotive, a decent bull bar will help you clear a path and keep your front end damage-free.
BY PAUL BIEDRZYCKI / PHOTOS BY FLICKR/ALLISON CORNFORD

7. Winch
A strong winch can pull you out of sticky situations. It's also handy to help fellow off-roaders when they need a helping hand.
BY PAUL BIEDRZYCKI / PHOTOS BY GETTY IMAGES/PATRICK CHONDON

8. Roof Rack
Odds are you'll be bringing a ton of extra gear into the bush. A roof rack and some heavy-duty straps will give you the extra storage to take it all with you. If vehicle weight is a concern, opt for an aluminum model (it will also stand up to the elements better than a steel one).
BY PAUL BIEDRZYCKI / PHOTOS BY GETTY IMAGES/GABE ROGEL

9. Light Bar
Muhammad Ali once said you can't hit what you can't see, but when going off-road, the opposite is true: You'll most definitely hit what you can't see. Light bars—either a set of classic yellow smiley faces or modern, stadium-grade LED lamps—will prove invaluable as you venture out past the streetlights.
BY PAUL BIEDRZYCKI / PHOTOS BY GETTY IMAGES/JIM WEST

10. Snorkel
If you're planning on blasting through a sandstorm or wading through more than a foot or two of water, an intake snorkel is a useful modification that will prevent your engine from sucking in thick dust or water.
BY PAUL BIEDRZYCKI / PHOTOS BY FLICKR/CHRISTINE LU