If you want to take your tame, street-legal truck or SUV off-road for some exciting driving adventures, there are several vital modifications to make. To learn how to modify your vehicle for off-roading so you can navigate all kinds of terrain safely, read our brief guide.
Install Some Rugged Tires
Tires are the only part of the car that contact the ground, and when you go off-road onto tricky terrains, you need the right kind of tires. There isn’t one clear option for off-roading: all-terrain, mud, and rock tires vary in important ways for different types of off-roading.
All-terrain tires are best suited to bridge the gap between road and off-road tires. They have reinforced sidewalls that ensure all angles of the tire can withstand an impact and large tread blocks for gripping unpaved surfaces. That said, the distance between tread blocks isn’t so extreme that driving on pavement becomes inefficient.
Meanwhile, mud tires have even larger tread blocks and voids for gripping uneven, shifting ground underneath. These are best when a significant portion of driving is off-road.
A third option, rock tires, employ spaced-apart treads that specialize in gripping very uneven, rocky surfaces. These tires are the most highly reinforced tires you can buy for your vehicle.
If you are in the Oklahoma City area, consider visiting a local tire shop to decide on what tires are best for the driving you want to do.
Add a Skid Plate
Cars typically don’t encounter obstacles that threaten their underside. That isn’t the case for off-road vehicles, which run over rocks, trees, and other tough objects. To protect all the important parts under your car—your radiator and catalytic converter, for example—install a skid plate that creates a barrier between these parts and the ground.
Install a Front Grille
Another feature to include when modifying your vehicle for off-roading is a front grille. Similar to how a skid plate protects the underside, a front grille prevents damage to the headlights while keeping the front of your vehicle scratch-free.
Use a Lift Kit
To keep you going, you’ll also want to elevate your car to navigate through uneven terrain without getting caught. Get a lift kit to raise your suspension without compromising your balance while driving. Like a skid plate, this protects your car’s underside.