Among the many "this vs that" arguments that those who own off-roading trucks or jeeps may encounter, one of the more famous ones is gas vs. diesel. There are pros and cons to each; however, the good news is that both of these kind of off-roading trucks can be at home on the trails.
If you have a diesel truck you want to take off-road, there are many upgrades you can do to make it more agile. Chances are you have already started making some changes such as adding bigger wheels and tires, along with new heavy-duty bumpers. Yet there are a few more things you can add to your list that your diesel will appreciate.
Easy Engine Mods
Getting the most from your diesel off-roading truck on the trails means taking advantage of all of this power in the best ways possible. Start by upgrading the stock air intake and filter with a high-performance cold air intake system to really get your off-roader breathing deep. You will see an improvement in torque and horsepower to help you easily negotiate tough obstacles.
You may consider adjusting your truck’s factory tuning by reprogramming it or by adding an aftermarket Electronic Control Unit that is tuned for higher performance. This is another great way to get more torque from your diesel off-road truck. You can find pre-programmed aftermarket modules for most diesels today, as well as ECUs that allow you to turn your performance tuning on and off as necessary.
To improve your diesel's ground clearance, there are many lift kits to consider. Choose a kit that is designed to provide lift according to the type of off-roading you are doing since they vary considerably. Depending on the stock setup of your truck that is designed for off-roading and how high you want to lift, you can use leaf spring kits or replacements, aftermarket spring kits for linked suspensions, and longer shock absorbers.
Before you make any kind of modifications to your suspension system, be sure to research the options available and determine which are best suited for your current setup and existing mods. Look into how any alterations will affect the comfort of your ride.
Diesel off-road trucks are heavy enough even without any upgrades. So when you begin to add more equipment, you risk damaging the stock drivetrain. Handle this issue by upgrading to bigger axles with 1-ton housings and swap out the driveshaft for a stronger and thicker one.
Consider changing the differential on your unit to one that can handle additional weight with more low-end power, preferably a locking or limited slip type. While you are working on this, you will probably want to upgrade your transfer case to a more durable one as well.
No serious off-road truck is complete without a powerful winch installed on any one of the winch bumpers available today. Be sure to choose a good truck bumper with a winch strong enough to handle a heavy-duty diesel truck along with all of its modifications. There is nothing worse than being in a situation where you need to pull yourself out of a trouble spot and lack the power to do it.
While the list of upgrades discussed above, including engine mods, suspension lifts, heavy bumpers, and powerful winches may seem standard for any off-roader, consider them carefully to spend your budget wisely. Diesel trucks are heavier and designed to perform differently than gas trucks. When taken off-roading, the strain encountered is different than a unit with a gasoline-operated engine. Protect your diesel and keep up with everyone else by adding these helpful mods earlier, rather than later. Your truck will be stronger and more durable in the long run and you can expect to even greater enjoyment on the trails!