How to Choose the Right Suspension for Your 4wd
You’re powering through rough terrain when you hit a bump. Suddenly your vehicle’s pitching and rolling all over the shop. Yup, your suspension is on the fritz. It’s a bad feeling when this happens. But situations like this are easily avoided if you have the right suspension for the job at hand and maintain/and check your suspension regularly. Not only that, but having appropriate suspension offers you comfort, safety and superior handling.
So how do you choose the right suspension kit for your car?
First, Decide How You Want to Use Your Vehicle
Whatever suspension system you ultimately settle on, make sure you’ve fully considered how you want to use your vehicle first. It can help to ask yourself the following four questions:
- Are you planning off-road travel? If so, on what types of terrain? The tougher the terrain, the more stamina you need from your suspension. If you’re set on putting your vehicle through its paces, you’ll want heavy-duty shocks and increased spring rates. You’ll also want to get to grips with how much flex is right for you. In a nutshell, the greater the flex, the better your tyre contact and the more control you have. This means your vehicle can more effectively navigate rough spots without rolling or pitching dangerously.
Longer shocks and more flexible springs give you greater flex. However, it’s always a tradeoff as the downside of softer (more flexible) coils is reduced load-bearing capacity. We can’t stress enough: the right suspension for you may be different to your mates, even if you both have the same vehicle.
- What conditions will you be travelling in? It’s good to have some idea of this before making your choice of shocks. Low quality shocks may let you down on long trips in the outback, where temperatures climb well into the 40’s. This is because heat build-up because of friction can cause cheap or inadequate shocks to fail. To cover you in all Aussie conditions, look for shocks with high-temperature seals and relatively large surface areas, as these features offer superior cooling.
- What weight capacity do you need? You might be aware of your vehicle’s weight but don’t forget to factor in any and every modification you’ve made, plus equipment. Consider that a bull bar alone can weigh up to 80kg, not to mention mods like fridges, rear bars and more.
- How big are your tyres? Large tyres can affect your suspension as they increase your unsprung weight. This has a knock-on effect on the amount of control you have over your vehicle.
Once you’ve got answers to these questions, you can start thinking about the TYPE of suspension you need (whether leaf spring/coil spring or torsion bar)
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How do you choose the right suspension kit for your car?
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