Those 4×4 drivers who stick to the streets of suburbia are probably perfectly content with the standard version of their vehicle. However, real off-roaders often find that even a proper, grown-up 4×4 may need help in the wilder, woollier parts of the world.
There’s a host of ways to modify your 4×4 so that it can (for example) cross fords, pull itself up steep gullies and help you see what’s hiding in the undergrowth at night. As a specialist modified 4×4 insurance broker, we’ve put together this short guide to six of the most popular, and useful, off-road modifications and accessories.
When you’re done, why not head over to Influx mag, where we look at the astonishing Bowler off-roader and delve in the underworld of off-roading.
Snorkels: they protect the engine from water or sand by drawing air from a higher level. 4×4 Snorkels UK has a wide range, fitting loads of different models and manufactured in Australia. Some DIY enthusiasts make their own 4×4 snorkels, for example using drain pipes, but it’s not something to do unless you’re a very competent mechanic.
Air filters: air filters keep dust and dirt out of the engine. Serious off-roaders have to cope with a lot more muck than an ordinary car, and many drivers fit an air filter to match. For example, an oil-wetted foam filter does little to restrict the airflow but has a very high dirt capacity. Devon 4×4 has a wide range of performance air filters.
LPG: converting a 4×4 to LPG makes a big dent in running costs and it’s increasingly feasible as LPG becomes more available. However, it’s not a cheap modification and owners need to check that their vehicle is suitable for a LPG conversion. Check out drivelpg.co.uk for information and advice.
Winches: bolting a winch on is a very popular modification. As well as using it to pull, haul or drag other 4x4s or objects, it can be used to winch the vehicle itself – for example, up a steep incline. Electric Winch Shop offers a wide range for off-road applications.
Air compressors: many 4×4 drivers let down their tyres for extra grip off-road – but they need to be refilled when the vehicle goes back on road. The small, commonly available compressors powered from the cigarette lighter will take forever on four 4×4 tyres, so consider a heavy duty version like the T-MAX portable tyre inflator available at JGS 4×4.
Spot lights: off-roading at night is exhilarating, so long as the vehicle can muster plenty of light. Fitting spots can widen the field of view as well as intensifying the available light out front. Formula 4×4 offer a range of spot lights with fitting kits.