Suspension modifications for off-road goodness in the Philippines

Oct 17, 2018 | Same topic: Handy maintenance tips
Some tips how to set up any SUV or car for roughing it, or go full-bore with any SUV!

Spicing up any car or SUV by suspension modifications for rougher road handling characteristics. It significantly improves how well it handles everyday lumps and bumps too!

I. Lumps and bumps are bad for the suspension system.

Is the suspension system of the car okay? Is the equipment installed as stock, really satisfying at all and can it be better than it is now? Some questions to ponder on that is relevant especially for SUV owners who want to maximize theirs for off-roading. It may cost some, but it's preference more than anything.

an off-road SUV

 There are many ways to customize cars or sport utility vehicles cheaply or the more expensive parts

Normally, any SUV will have either AWD, 4X4, or 4x2 drivetrains equipped with better suspension parts. Another thing is that cars can have their suspension upgraded as well, especially these cross-overs and similar cars.

Changing parts of the suspension should be checked before doing it, or it may void warranties and insurance though. There are many ways to customize cars or sport utility vehicles cheaply or the more expensive parts. Usually, high-performance parts are the best, but there are options that do just as well too! Then, check if it can be done, just get in touch with experts or mechanics for better results though.

Do the mods necessary to accomplish setting up your SUV or car for improved handling!

II. Suspension modifications for better handing, in the city or other roads.

To be honest, modifying a car’s suspension is not really necessary, but it does help when considering some environmental factors. But, these modifications and setting up your SUV or car should be done on later model cars and less CPU dependent options in general. The goal is to achieve mechanical efficiency of the suspension system and make it survive the toughest conditions. Here Philkotse.com cites some reasons to think about why modding the suspension system is beneficial.

#1. One problem with constant road repair and bad roads is the car under chassis is stressed! Stuff covering the road like rocks cooled asphalt, and dried tar will make it dirty and cause corrosion. The common solution is to under wash it, but it will be the same story again.

#2. Low clearance on the suspension is not ideal, but raising the height a few inches or any height is better. Higher clearance will allow better flood crossing, to keep the car or SUV from bogging down.

car suspension system

Low clearance on the suspension is not ideal, but raising the height a few inches or any height is better

#3. Suspension modifications should improve stiff rides and make it a softer one! Absorption of the road shocks is much better, especially for a better and responsive ride.

#4. When modifying don’t opt for cosmetic changes, but do all improvements for functional changes and performance!

#5. Decide on a light modification or a heavy one which is best suited for sport utility vehicles to improve stock off-road performance. The light mods will be more on cosmetic but will still have substantial performance too.

#6. By modding the wheels, there will be significant changes like riding height; if the tires are a bit small.

Improvements on the suspension system will yield results, even the most cosmetic ones. But, ramping up to major modding will be something else.

>>> Suggested post: Suspension modifications for city driving & heavy duty in the Philippines

III. Specific upgrades from simple to monster specs.

It gets more satisfying when the actual work begins on upping the factory specs to road buster grade. Here are what’s needed to get it done properly, step by step and it comes in various degrees of suspension modifications too. Cars are subject to these mods but check if it can be done on it. Never do any of the recommended mods unless it won’t affect any warranty or insurance before anything else!

1. Mild modification

Many new SUVs have good suspension like the Nissan Terra 2018, Ford Everest, Isuzu MU-X, Mitsubishi Montero; they benefit from minor upgrades without major changes. Please check the full-scale reviews of these models on our Car review section for more info.

  • Keep the riding height the same to maintain factory grade which is good for mild modding. Get better shocks over the installed stock equipment for improved control and a better ride over any road.
  • Use a stock-size all-terrain tire for better rough road handing to maintain fuel consumption. Optional use of limited-slip differential is advised for off and on-road driving.
  • Add skip plates to protect the under-chassis and its components. Install a tow-hook or clevis shackle onto the frame for recovery and towing too.

all terrain tire

Use a stock-size all-terrain tire for better rough road handing to maintain fuel consumption

Light mods don’t impact and aren’t major upgrades and improve performance better. This is good and benefits a passenger car with improvements like firmer suspension and protects the components too.

2. Moderate modification

These changes will be obvious at a glance already and may cost more.

  • The added height of two to four inches for higher ground clearance to clear obstacles. Installing longer shocks to install larger tires easier, with better axle movement for better road handling as well.
  • Better obstacle avoidance and ground clearance with improved flotation, courtesy of bigger tires. Making it fun is upgrading to a selectable locking differential for the rear axle to have better rear traction for off-roading.
  • After adding a skid plate and tow hook; then add a winch for vehicle recovery is useful. Best to get a power winch that is a must have too.

Suspension modifications such as these will improve handing better that cosmetic changes but some stock parts and factory specs have been altered already.

car skid plate

After adding a skid plate and tow hook; then add a winch for vehicle recovery is useful

3. Hardcore modification

Do this, and an SUV or car will benefit with better ride comfort and shock absorption! It won’t be cheap but off-roading is a cinch and some adaptations to passenger cars, using some of these components can be done.

  • Consider coil link systems that are high-performance and with suspension flex, unlike other systems available. It will cost an arm and a leg but benefits for tough terrain handling, and chewing on a bumpy road is a breeze when compared to stock setups!
  • Getting the best traction on or off-road by adding suspension linkages that make it more articulated.

The mods by this time; can use really big tires for monster clearance and include a locking differential for all four wheels. All four tires are powered and can negotiate almost any terrain too!

It doesn’t get better than this when the suspension system is fully upgraded and some components can be used for passenger cars too!

car coil link system

Consider coil link systems that are high-performance and with suspension flex, unlike other systems available

All these three levels of modding are possible and setting up your SUV or car depends on professional advice too. Never carry out any mod without advice about options and if it can void something.

IV. Suspension modifications: A go or no?

Upgrading the suspension is a major decision; when setting up your SUV or car for minor or major improvements. Everything is about how much should be done or whether it must be done! A circumstance like bumpy or rough roads and flood season (getting better ground clearance) will be some considerations. Options like selective modding can be done too. Whatever the final decision think about it but check if some warranties and insurance will be affected!

For more suspension maintenance tips, check out our below posts:

Source: Norjan Ismail Abbas