If you are planning to go for an excursion, you will want to ensure that your vehicle is in good mechanical condition. First, you must ensure that it has been serviced by a good mechanic. If you plan to use a 4wd, it is advisable to have it checked by a mechanic who has the experience of dealing with 4wds. A mechanic who is a specialist in 4wds will be in a better position to check for problems that a general mechanic may not know. There are several reasons why a 4wd’s suspension is best left to an expert.
Improve Your Safety in Case of An Accident
The role of your vehicle’s suspension is to smooth out your ride and ensure that the vehicle is kept under control. To be specific, your car’s suspension system helps to maximize the friction between the road and the tires. The suspensions also play an important role in enhancing the comfort of the passenger. This is because they limit the impact of certain road conditions to the car and the passengers too. The suspension is made up of several components such as:
- The spring. These support the weight of the vehicle, absorb and reduce the excess energy on the road shocks.
- Shock absorbers. These provide the friction that is necessary for controlling and dampening the springs of the vehicle. They are also referred to as dampers as they literally absorb the road shocks. The shock absorbers, on the other hand, dampen the action of the springs.
- There are 3 types of springs. These are the leaf, coil and torsion springs. The role of these springs is to absorb shock while driving off-road or even on road. You will need to ensure that your springs are checked by a 4wd professional during the regular suspension check. There is also a need for the right springs to be fitted when it is time for their replacement.
- The other important parts of your vehicle’s suspension are the ball joints, suspension, bushes and rod ends. You will need to have all these components checked regularly by a 4wd expert.
- Anti-swift bar. These shift the wheel’s movement while at the same time stabilizing the vehicle
Experts in vehicle suspension suggests that a single worn-out shock absorber can increase the stopping distance of your vehicle by about 2.6metres. This can mean the difference between life and death when an accident occurs. Some of the signs of worn out suspension components can include:
- The vehicle nose dipping forward when you are braking
- Leakage of oil in the shock absorbers
- Uneven tire tread wear
- The vehicle handling badly when coming around corners
You must ensure that your vehicle’s suspension is in good condition. When your vehicle’s suspension is worn-out, this will minimize your ability to control the vehicle. This is on top of accelerating wear on the system components of the other suspensions. When inadequate or worn out shocks and struts are replaced by a 4 x 4 suspension specialist, it can help to maintain ride control. This improves your safety during an accident.
Proper Steering and Suspension of Your 4wd Vehicle
When going off-road, the suspension will get a thorough workout. You can choose aftermarket suspensions, but you must ensure that you choose reputable and reliable brands. You will also need to have the suspensions fitted by an expert in 4wd suspension. When your springs and shocks are in good working conditions, this will have a huge effect on how the vehicle will handle on-road and off road.
You will want to ensure that your vehicle has the right suspension for carrying the extra load of your gear when traveling. The airbag-style suspension can be a good addition for carrying the heavy load. However, even with the suspension enhancement, make sure that you do not exceed the carrying limit of your vehicle. When you hire an expert to do the suspension, you can be assured that they will properly install your new suspension system. This will:
- Transfer road-shock well during towing
- Provide a smoother ride that will come with maximum comfort
- Provide a longer life for your tires
- Enhance driver stability, handling, and traction in different conditions
- Minimize the fatigue suffered by driver and passenger
Ensure Optimum Performance of Your 4wd Steering and Suspension
There are several things that an expert will do to ensure that you get the optimum performance from the steering and suspension of your 4WD. These include:
- Fine-tuning the suspensions to meet your individual needs. This helps to ensure that your vehicle is able to steer in a straight line, achieving the best driver control and pleasurable driving.
- Positive rake. This refers to a situation where the vehicle’s back is raised as compared to the front, whether the vehicle is loaded or unloaded. This is one of the simple adjustments that can help to prevent tire wear and is important if you go off-roading.
- Ride comfort and advice. The expert will advise you on choosing the right shock absorbers for your need. This will ensure that the tires are able to grip well on the ground
- Cornering stability. The rolling and swaying of the body of the vehicle will directly affect the stability of the vehicle and the ease of control. This can help to prevent motion sickness.
Choose the Right Tires and Difflock For the Terrain
You will need to ensure that you have the right kind of tires. While going off road, ensure that you have a good set of mud or all-terrain tires. Make sure that you are only using reliable and reputable brands and that there is enough tread remaining. If you will be travelling to a remote area, make sure that you have at least two spare tires and a puncture repair kit. There are certain trips that may require you to have an extra tire lever, tire carcass, tire gaiter, spare inner tube and/or bead breaker.
A 4wd GMV expert will help you choose the right kind of tires that are good for the kind of driving that you will be doing. The types of tires you choose will directly impact your driving experience. For instance, the mud tires or other tires that have an aggressive off-road tread will offer more traction in many off-road situations. The bigger tires will also make a big difference as these will be in a better position to roll over the rocks and ruts easily as compared to the smaller ones.
Before you put that set of 35’s on your 4wd vehicle, you will need to confirm with a 4wd expert what size of tires your vehicle will be able to handle. There are also instances when you may need to lower the differential ratio, as large tires have a tendency to decrease power and torque, and can sometime require you to recalibrate your speedometer for road driving. A professional 4wd expert will also advise you on road laws and insurance compatibility before they can make any changes.
Difflocks are definitely the single biggest modification that will enhance the performance of your vehicle while off-road. You will need an expert 4wd mechanic who will be able to lock tock the back and front diff to provide you with a real 4WD (allowing all the 4 wheels to turn in an even manner). What this means is that even where you only have one wheel with enough traction, it will be in a position to grip and also move your vehicle forward. With the wide range of air lockers, electrical lockers, and auto lockers, you will need to speak to a 4wd mechanic who will help you find a good option for your vehicle.
Choose the Right Suspension Travel
A 4WD specialist will replace components such as leaf springs and coils with some longer coils or leaves that are more cambered. This ensures that you get better wheel travel. This will make it possible for the 4wd to maintain its 4 driven wheels on different tractions to gain more traction, while at the same time preventing the chassis or body area from getting stuck on the ledges, rocks, creek crossings and much more.
The longer coils and higher leaves can improve the ground clearance. When these are made in accordance to the weight and accessories of the vehicle, they can help to increase the vehicle’s road capacity. This can go a long way in enhancing cornering as there will be less sway and body rolls. This ensures that the comfort of the passenger is not affected.
These are some good reasons why you should leave your 4wd suspensions to the experts. At West Coast Suspension, we provide repair, installation and advice and on the best 4wd suspension kits Perth. We have a wide range of suspension packages that will ensure that you get the best out of your 4wd. Contact us today for the best suspension deals.