The great Aussie holiday wouldn’t be complete without a road trip. This is especially so for four-wheel drivers – we know there’s nothing better than rigging up and heading out some of the country’s top off-road locations.
However, as you prepare for your adventure out and about, there’s plenty to consider in terms of ensuring your vehicle is up to the task. For example, your 4WD’s suspension has to be top-notch and in perfect working order. If you plan on travelling with heavy loads or taking on more challenging paths, then a suspension upgrade may even be in order.
What is 4WD suspension?
The process of 4WD suspension is the system of tyres, tyre air, linkage parts, springs and shock absorbers that connects the wheels to a vehicle. Ultimately, it allows steady motion between the two. These systems have to support the handling as well as the ride’s quality, and requires a solid balance between both elements. When working to the best possible functionality, the system will:
- Keep the wheels in contact with the road’s surface as much as possible
- Protect the 4WD and its cargo from any damage
- Optimise rig performance in a variety of conditions.
Typical 4WDs are solid with new suspension systems that are installed for driver and passenger comfort on smooth roads. It may be awesome for carrying weight on standard roads, carrying only minimal cargo, but once extra weight is attached to the vehicle, you may need to upgrade your suspension system. This is because the added weight, as well as deteriorated road conditions, can cause the manufacturer system to fail.
What you can expect from upgrading
Top-quality aftermarket upgrades are designed to deliver enhanced performance. They lighten the load for added cargo and make driving on tricky terrain more efficient.
The benefits include:
- Enhanced vehicle clearance
- Enhanced on-road handling
- Increased off-road performance
- Longer wheel travel ability
- Improved balance when towing
- Improved comfort
These upgrades typically involve raising the current suspension to 50mm. During this time, standard springs are replaced with better, customised versions. These depend on factors such as constant rear weight, winch and raising of the bull bar. Shock absorbers are also installed for best results.
Using a lift kit
In some cases, a 4WD suspension lift kit is utilised to modify a vehicle to raise its ride height. This enhances the performance of the car when taken off-road. However, it can also be installed for aesthetic purposes. In the end, this modification can allow for a steeper approach and departure, allow for fittings of larger wheels and tyres to have higher ground clearance.
Thinking of getting your suspension revamped?
As Australia’s first choice for quality 4WD parts and accessories, PSI Wheels & Tyres stocks a fantastic range of suspension products and lift kits on offer. Check out our online store or get in contact with us to find out which option is best suited for you.