Auto Parts: Buying Guides, Explanations and Money-Saving Tips

Essential Suspension Upgrades to Ready Your New SUV for Off-Road Driving

by Aapo Perala

You just have purchased a 4WD truck, but you want to improve the car's off-road capabilities.  Where do you start? One way you can achieve your objective is by upgrading the suspension system of your 4WD truck. However, before you embark on an upgrading mission, you should understand the difference between various Isuzu truck parts on the market. You can easily make costly mistakes if you don't have the right information. This article provides the much-needed information regarding the upgrade of a 4WD truck's suspension system.


You might not know this, but the shocks on most new SUVs are designed to handle street driving because most SUV owners don't go off-road driving. Therefore, off-road driving will be akin to asking manufacturer suspension shocks to do what they are not designed to do in the wrong environment. For instance, sustaining high speeds on rough terrain will heat the oil in manufacturer shocks to unprecedented levels. It causes the oil to foam, and the shocks lose their dampening ability consequently. 

Therefore, you should first swap stock shocks with sturdy aftermarket units. While you have many brands to choose from, the best brands have standard features. First, quality shocks have a larger piston and piston rod that manufacturer shocks. Second, the shocks dissipate heat a lot better and have velocity-sensitive valving.

Suspension Lifts

One thing you don't want on your new SUV is limited ground clearance. Unfortunately, this is what you get on a new SUV straight from the manufacturer. The reason is that manufacturers have to consider handling and fuel economy on the consumers' part; that is why manufacturers keep the suspensions as low as possible. The drawback with low ground clearance on 4WD trucks is that the spacing affects approach and departure angles, which are essential in off-road driving.

Moreover, replacing tires for larger options can be a problem. Nonetheless, suspension lifts provide relief by increasing the approach and departure angles, as well as the ground clearance. Most importantly, increasing the ground clearance with a suspension lift kit from a local auto shop will ensure that your truck is ready for off-road driving.

Under Chassis Suspension Protection

SUV suspension upgrades don't account for much if you do not protect the components from the elements. You can get away without such protection if your truck is going to spend its service life on paved roads, but that is a waste of the truck's capabilities. Therefore, it is essential to protect the suspension from rocks, stumps and other protruding obstacles that can damage the suspension system when off-road. An underbody car protection covers the underneath of the truck thereby protecting vulnerable components like the suspension system.