When equipping your off-road truck for the trail, some of the upgrades you’ll need are more obvious than others. Still, those not-so-obvious upgrades - like your truck’s ‘plumbing’ - can make the difference between having a great day climbing hills and having to limp back home or even get towed.
Bigger tires and a stronger, longer suspension are a given, as are steel bumpers and enhanced off-road lighting in some situations. What many people forget about is less obvious parts like essential hoses. Without durable truck plumbing, you won’t get too far despite all those other upgrades.
Upgrading Your Truck’s Plumbing
Hoses are one of the most overlooked upgrades on off-road trucks, the parts that can easily lead to vehicle problems when not properly maintained or chosen. Racing, hill climbing, and other off-road activities put increased strain on your truck’s many hoses. It can cause stock hoses to wear out faster and increase the chance of hose or fitting failure.
Upgrading to more durable options is the best protection for any vehicle that operates under increased stress levels. To upgrade correctly, it’s essential to consider everything, including the type and size of the hose, the type of hose fitting, and what material is used to make the hose.
Hose Types and Materials
There are hoses running all over your special off-road truck, including the engine compartment and the brake system. Different hoses are made for different purposes and shouldn’t be replaced with any other type. Specific hose types are designed to handle certain fluids; they are made from materials that will not react with those fluids. Hoses also come in various universal diameter sizes to provide the specific pressure required to properly feed the part to which they are connected.
If any of the above specifications are changed, you could end up with brakes that don’t stop your off-road truck or fuel lines that disintegrate over a short time because they can’t stand up to the corrosive nature of gasoline. Most hoses are surrounded with protective braiding; some have metal braid while others have nylon. This is equally important considering the amount of pressure the hose needs to withstand and the flexibility it needs to be correctly positioned in the vehicle.
Fittings Are Also Essential
Just like choosing the right steel truck bumper, you also need to be careful with hose fittings as that can make or break the whole set-up. Available in many shapes, sizes, and materials, your hose connector fittings must match the hose in various ways to be serviceable. They need to fit both the hose and the vehicle part tightly and securely to prevent leakage. Pay particular attention to crimping or any other way that the fitting is connected to the hose, such as a quick-connect compression fitting.
Clocking is the angle at which the end of the connector points when correctly positioned. It is another critical factor to consider when selecting the right connectors. As for material, stainless steel is commonly used for upgrading hoses on off-road vehicles. It can corrode faster than the preferable one-piece billet aluminum connectors. In any case, there are just as many details to finding the right connectors as choosing the right hoses.
The moral in all of this? Be sure to take care of your plumbing before you hit the trails. If you’re out doing anything other than the basics and putting your truck through some stressful situations, you should upgrade your hoses. Replace stock hoses with more durable replacements that can put up with the abuse the same way as your upgraded suspension, bumpers, and tires.
When you upgrade your outfitted off-road truck, be certain you choose the specific hoses made for each system. Equip them with the strongest, most well-fitted connectors possible. In doing so, you’ll greatly reduce the chance of a hose failing or disconnecting while you’re out having a good time!