If you plan to off-road, making modifications to your stock vehicle may be necessary. However, there are some mods that are wholly unnecessary — and can sometimes do more harm than good
If you have a stock pickup or SUV that can handle rough terrains, you can probably go off-roading without making any modifications. But if you plan to take your truck off-roading every weekend or drive through more vicious trails, modifying your vehicle is always a good idea.
LED lights like police car lights, off-roading tires, and mud flaps are just some of the modifications that are necessary to help your vehicle withstand the rigors of off-roading. However, there also some mods that you may think you need but are essentially a waste of money, such as:
1. Net tailgates
Some people think that removing their tailgate and replacing it with a chain or a net reduces drag and helps the truck move faster. Not only is this claim not true, but a tailgate made of a net cannot hold anything properly in your pickup’s bed. If you make this modification to your truck, then you might as well throw away your payload because they will fall off.
2. Big wheels (without suspension mods)
Larger wheels are better for off-roading, yes, but installing big wheels alone isn’t going to do your vehicle any favors. Apart from changing the wheels, you also have to change the rims and the suspension. Modifying the suspension ensures that your new off-roading wheels fit right into your car and won’t mess up its center of gravity, which helps you achieve a better (and safer) drive.
If your wheels are too big or you don’t make the necessary suspension changes, you can end up with a skewed center, which can have your vehicle turning upside down at sharp turns done at high speeds.
3. Vertical exhausts
Vertical exhausts belong on trains and tractors, not on off-roading trucks. Trains have vertical exhausts because there is no space at the bottom for exhaust pipes. Tractors, on the other hand, require vertical exhausts to avoid poisoning the soil and crop below the vehicle. Off-roading trucks, however, do not need vertical exhausts. In fact, having a vertical exhaust pipe on your off-roading truck can increase the risk of setting fire to surrounding greenery. So even if it looks cool, it’s a waste of money and a potential hazard.
4. Stinger bumpers
When rock crawling, a vehicle may lose balance due to the weight of the engine in front, which can lead to rollovers in extreme declines. A stinger bumper aims to prevent this by shifting the vehicle’s weight while descending a steep dip, and the shape of the bumper keeps the vehicle from actually rolling over.
Unless you plan to do some heavy rock-crawling with your off-road vehicle, you don’t need a stinger bumper. In fact, installing a stinger bumper when you don’t plan to rock-crawl can increase the risk of accidents if you crash.
5. Smaller exhausts
There’s just something cool and awesome about a car that sounds like a roaring beast. But does it improve your vehicle’s performance? No, it doesn’t do anything aside from scaring the wildlife away when you’re driving through the forest. Not only is a too-loud exhaust extremely annoying to others, but the volume can trigger landslides and avalanches, so it’s probably better if you stick with the right-sized exhaust for your truck.
A spoiler reduces drag and boosts a car’s performance, but that’s just for sports cars and sedans. For an off-roading vehicle, a spoiler is essentially a useless piece of metal that will just make your truck look dumb. Besides, the tailgate is already helping reduce drag, and installing a spoiler on top of it is a complete waste of money.
7. Universal spring upgrades
When modifying your truck for off-roading, stay away from the one-size-fits-all types of products at all costs, including spring upgrades. Installing universal suspension upgrades is one of the best ways to ruin your car beyond repair, and it’s definitely not worth whatever cheaper price tag it might have. Instead, opt for tailor-made suspension upgrades that are done by reputable professionals.
8. Gullwing doors
Gullwing doors can make a sports car look straight out of a Bond movie, but for off-roading vehicles, they are a bad idea. Gullwing doors can get blocked by trees and large boulders, which is something that can put you at risk while off-roading. Moreover, they are heavy, and can unnecessarily add to your vehicle’s weight.
Modifications make off-roading easier and safer, but don’t get sucked into making unnecessary modifications that don’t do anything for your vehicle’s performance (except maybe make it look cooler). Some of these modifications are not only useless, but they can also put your and your car’s safety at risk as well.