When used for off-road adventures, some 4X4 vehicles almost resemble Swiss Army Knives – ready and equipped for any situation! There is a myriad of nice-to-haves that excite 4X4 enthusiasts, but some critical fittings are necessary to get you out of trouble. Let us look at a few of the most popular vehicle modifications:
Although they add to the aesthetics, the primary function of bullbars, rock sliders, replacement rear bumpers, etc, would be to protect your vehicle’s bodywork against damage when traversing difficult terrain. Approach and departure angles will increase dramatically with purpose build replacement front and rear bumpers while eliminating possible damage to your vehicle. A well-designed front and rear bumper will include rated recovery points too. Short-wheelbase vehicles have a better break-over angle than long-wheelbase derivatives, so rock sliders would be more critical for long-wheelbase vehicles.
Tyre pressure helps to keep your passengers comfortable when traversing different terrains. Deflation is easy enough, with a specialised deflation tool or by simply removing the valve core, but the challenge lies in inflating the tyres again when the terrain changes later. If you can tie the compressor into the vehicle’s electrical system (they can draw up to 90A during operation) it would be best. Look for compressors that displace more than 150L of air per minute if you need them for larger off-road vehicles. A good quality compressor will either have a single or dual-piston design.
When attempting a solo off-road adventure, you should fit a suitable winch as part of your vehicle build. It is much like a parachute – it just sits there until you need it, but then you really need it!
Sometimes the quality of water is not always suitable for drinking where you’re going, so roof-mounted jerry cans or ‘built-in’ water tanks won’t be a bad idea. You could consider a gravity-fed system, or pressurised water source, go for an in-line water filtration system as well as UV purification options. If you fit upgraded suspension components such as shock absorbers, coil, or leaf springs, make sure that these are correctly matted to the new weight of your vehicle. It may be best to restore the vehicle’s factory ride height for a better ride. Aftermarket suspension components are designed to carry additional weight resulting in less bottoming out when traversing uneven terrain. The upgraded suspension will also improve stability under normal driving conditions. Contact the experts at N1 4X4’s workshop if you are not sure about the components you are considering in the upgrade you plan.
Today’s vehicles need 12 Volt systems to cope with our needs. A dual battery system can provide essential power to vehicle accessories such as fridges, camping lights, induction cookers, drone batteries, laptops as well as satellite or cellular phones. The extra battery will get its current from the vehicle’s primary battery (via either smart/intelligent solenoid or DC-DC battery charger) and can be facilitated by solar panels or blankets, mounted on the vehicle or trailer. Choose from lead-acid, AGM, or lithium batteries. N1 4X4 can advise you on the best brand for your vehicle.
There are many different storage solutions, ranging from cargo slides, modular drawer systems as well as ammo boxes to store and secure goods for your journey. Critical aspects would be the ease of access, as well as the weight and space required before you decide on the storage solution for your vehicle.
If you fit larger tyres and rims, your vehicle might catch the eye, but highway terrain (HT) tyres are not conducive for off-roading. Upgraded All Terrain (AT) or Mud Terrain (MT) offers a better load index than HT, and (3ply) stronger sidewalls are less prone to damage or punctures. Larger tyres will provide a more significant footprint when deflated as well as aid in obtaining more traction in sand, mud and rocky conditions. And yes, they will look good too!
The best way to improve your next off-road experience would be to also upgrade your skills. Invest in accredited off-road training, attend refresher courses and listen to those who have the T-shirt. Make sure you know how the 12V electrical system works and acquire the necessary mechanical skills in case of a bush repair somewhere in the sticks. Remember the perfect off-road vehicle is more than the sum of its parts, but when you fit parts, make sure you get the right fit! N1 4X4 keeps a wide range of genuine Toyota Parts replacement parts and used parts. We are the go-to place for your upgrade or for reconditioning engines, gearboxes, and differentials! Bring your vehicle to be checked out for repairs at our certified RMI Workshops, before you embark on your next adventure: https://n14x4.co.za/rmi-workshop/