Building up an off-road truck is an exciting labor of love that is great to show off and have fun with when finished.
As expensive and time-consuming as modifying a truck can be, make sure it is done right and avoid expensive pitfalls that don’t actually improve the vehicle.
Before buying anything, do good research on everything to be changed on your truck and create a well-thought modification game plan.
In doing so, let these tips help avoid mistakes that will cost money without the desired payout by making all these modifications in the first place.
1. Do Not Forget The Original Purpose
The biggest time and money waster is getting off track with modifications.
Decide at the start of planning what you want to do with that truck or Jeep and stick to that purpose.
Choose the mods that will increase capability for that purpose and bypass everything else that will not help.
2. Skip The Fancy Lights For Now
Off-road lighting looks pretty cool but it doesn’t really do that much unless out at night the majority of the time.
If not, skip the lights until the rest of the mods are done and use the money for something more important.
There are plenty of other mechanical upgrades to make on any truck or Jeep build before starting to think about cosmetics and the limited benefits light bars and floodlights will provide.
3. Do Not Buy the Wrong Tires
A lot can be accomplished with the right set of tires; however, before buying, do good research on type, tread, and size to get the best ones for your truck or Jeep.
Don’t forget to consider how bigger tires might affect the rest of the truck or Jeep as well as any additional yet necessary modifications.
The bigger the tire, the more likely it is to need open fenders, different gearing, stronger axles, and more.
4. Know The Difference Between Lift Types
If planning on lifting, be sure to know the difference between body and suspension lifts for a truck or Jeep, what benefits each can offer, and what each modification entails.
Body lifts are easier and less expensive; however, there is more useful functionality like better articulation and increased ground clearance from a suspension lift.
A suspension lift is another one of those mods that frequently requires a long list of other associated suspension and steering mods to do it right on a truck or Jeep, so don’t forget that.
5. Do Not Skimp On Really Important Stuff
A lot of modifications that can be done on a 4WD truck can be handled either the cheap way or the real way.
The real way usually involves using more expensive parts and doing some additional mods that some may consider unnecessary depending on what is being changed on the truck.
Considering the kind of abuse any truck will have to withstand if putting all this time and expense into building it up, don’t skimp with cheap parts.
Use the best quality shocks you can afford.
- Add bigger rotors and brakes when putting huge tires on a truck or Jeep.
- Put bump stops on a lifted suspension to prevent the shocks from completely compressing.
- Add sway bar disconnects as well as some skid plates and other body armor.
These might all seem like things that can be done without, which is probably true; however, the more that is done with your truck. the more important these seemingly extra mods might be.
6. Do Not Skip The Gearing
A mod that a lot of people try to get out of when putting on bigger wheels and tires is gearing down.
When going up more than 2” over stock tires, don’t skip putting a lower gear set into the differential or risk causing a lot of damage to the drivetrain from running with too high revs - and the speedometer will be off.
A lower gear set will correct all of that, making the drivetrain more efficient for powering those bigger wheels and tires on your truck.
In fact, add differential lockers as well.
7. Do Not Get Sidetracked By Flashiness
A fully customized off-road truck that has the paint, graphics, and accessories to make it look like a show truck might be a dream to own, but all that flash could sidetrack you from what is important - performance.
When doing an off-road build with the purpose of conquering the trails and obstacles, focus only on that.
Spend money on the important upgrades that will produce better performance and traction, then worry about the aesthetics and unnecessary bells and whistles later.
Ready to Start That Build?
With a workable plan spelled out, you are probably pretty excited to get going on an off-road build that will turn an average truck into an off-road beast.
Once started, just be sure to avoid these common mistakes and put time and money where it is needed, skipping the extras that don’t really matter.
If this is done, you will be tearing up the trail in a great truck build that is just what the doctor ordered!