Better suspension for the long road

Barry de Klerk - ​Off-road driving is an adventure and it can be a lot smoother when you install a better suspension on your vehicle.

Upgraded suspensions can do wonders when you plan on leaving the tarred roads for a long- or short-term. Most all-wheel-drive vehicle owners do not upgrade the interior of their cars, but they also look at how the vehicles under-parts can improved.

Suspension upgrades have become a norm for most off-road drivers. An upgraded suspension can have its pros and cons. In this article we are going to look at why drivers upgrade the suspensions on the off-road vehicles.

According to Stefan Rheeder of 4x4 and More, upgraded suspensions provide a much better and comfortable ride on challenging terrains.

“It puts less strain on surrounding components and tyres. It also provides better road handling and load carrying capabilities as most 4x4s get loaded with various equipment when going into the bush,” he says.

This is also one of the main reason drivers upgrade their suspensions. An off-road experience is fun, but sometimes an increased the smoothness in the ride makes everyone happy, but is it worth spending all the money for a smoother ride?

Stefan says that most off-road vehicles are usually capable of travelling on rough terrains without any upgrades, especially when the vehicle only leaves the tar roads occasionally. He says that tyre fitment should definitely also be checked when a new suspension is installed, since most vehicles are sold with road tyres.

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“A quick upgrade to a decent all terrain tyre might be well worth the money,” Stefan says.

If you are going to on regular trips then it can be worth it. One of the main reasons why upgrading the suspension is a good thing, is the fact that it can increase load capacity. Off-road drivers occasionally overload their vehicles.

The extra weight of full, water, tools, camping gear, etc can easily wear out a vehicle’s suspension. The rear end begins to sag under the extra weight, which in-turn has an impact on the car’s handling and ground or obstacle angle. An upgraded suspension will make sure that this is a thing of the past.

A suspension-lift kit can vastly improve off-road driving. It improves the articulation of the car; this means the wheels will keep contact with ground on rougher terrains. It also allows the vehicle to take on steeper obstacles without snagging.

Drivers should remember that a raised suspension kit will not improve the undercarriage clearance, the best way to do this is to upgrade to higher-profile tyres. The lift kit will accommodated the bigger tyres, because the space between the wheel up and mudguard is increased.

The biggest con when it comes to installing a new suspension kit is the pricing. So if you can afford it then it will definitely be an investment that can go a long way.​