Off-road 4×4 drivers will always look for the best way to modify their vehicle to tackle the wilder parts of the world. But what is the best way to modify your vehicle?
There’s a host of ways to modify your 4×4 so that it can 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.
1. Fitting a 4×4 snorkel
Snorkels protect the engine from water or sand by drawing air from a higher level. Most factory air intakes are relatively low to the ground, which ultimately can lead to excessive dirt, dust, or even water being sucked into the engine. This can lead to issues with the air filter or even engine damage in the case of water getting in.
Some DIY enthusiasts make their own 4×4 snorkels by using drain pipes, but you shouldn’t attempt this unless you’re a very competent mechanic. Alternatively, you can order a snorkel kit online, which can then be fitted relatively quickly, either by yourself or a mechanic. These come in different versions depending on your 4×4’s model.
2. Upgrading the 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.
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 their vehicle is suitable for a LPG conversion. Drive LPG has a great deal of information and advice on this subject.
4. Attaching a winch
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.
Because sometimes you need a winch
5. Fitting the correct tyres and wheels
As many 4×4 drivers will know, it doesn’t matter how capable and adaptable your vehicle is, if you have bad tyres or wheels, the performance capabilities of your 4×4 will be lost. If you plan on going off-road, you will need to buy a separate pair of tyres. Unfortunately the ones that come with your vehicle are not always designed for serious off-roading and can puncture easily and may offer very little grip over certain types of terrain.
Off-road tyres often have thicker side walls that are puncture resistant and can dig into the ground to avoid getting stuck in mud.
Your wheels will be no different. Opting for the right wheels, does not mean choosing the right ones aesthetically, but instead choosing those that increase your 4×4’s capabilities. Investing in steel rims is perfect for travelling over rocky terrain as they can withstand the bumps and damage you will encounter.
Wheels can also change the width of your 4×4. Choosing wheels with a negative off-set will push your tyres outwards which increases width and therefore stability off-road. However, it’s important to note this increase in width increases stress on suspension components.
6. Equipping 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 and intensify the available light out front. Formula 4×4 offers a range of spotlights with fitting kits.
If you’re interested in getting into green laning, we’ve put together a guide to help.
Modified 4×4 insurance you can trust
As modified 4×4 specialists, Adrian Flux, have been providing tailored insurance for over 50 years. If you’ve got a highly modified car, or are perhaps looking to modify your current motor, give us a call on 0800 369 8590 or use our callback service to get a detailed quote.