Family Upgrade Project Part 2April 7th, 2010 by admin
This is the continuation of my previous post on the upgrading project you’re planning to do with your son or daughter. We’ve already talked about budget, so let’s dive right into some key factors of the actual upgrades.
No matter how you are going to upgrade the vehicle, the wheel selection is probably the most important part of the project. Why? It’s simple. The wheel sets the vehicle apart from all the rest. Although wheels are not one-of-a-kind, you want to lessen the likelihood of pulling up next to the same make and model with the same wheels. For you moms out there, it would be like buying a new purse for that big party and seeing someone else with the same one you have. What a bummer!
Be patient and select at least two styles. That will increase the chance of the wheels you want being available. Go to your local 4 Wheel Parts store and get the sales associate to check and make sure the wheel you want is available. Wheel styles change as quickly as shoe styles. If you pick a newer style, you will most likely be able to get what you want. You might have to wait for the wheels to come in but again, be patient. Good things come to those who wait.
Now for the suspension, you are going to find a lot of information on the internet. Be aware that for every person that likes a particular suspension kit or company you will find an opinion right below it that thinks that suspension kit is the worst possible choice. Here is what you should do. Go to or call a 4 Wheel Parts store and talk to the staff about the vehicle you want to lift and get their opinion on what will work best for the vehicle (they can also help you stay within your budget). Sure the salesman at the store wants to sell you a suspension kit but keep in mind his first obligation is to make sure that you are happy with your purchase after you buy. They want you to tell all your friends and neighbors about the one-on-one help you received and how happy you are with the vehicle. Some suspension kits simply work better than others with different vehicles and consideration needs to be made as to how the project vehicle will be used. Whether you are putting together a mall crawler, trail rider, or mountain climber, the decision on how the vehicle will be used will play a big factor in suspension choice.
Now to get some rubber around those wheels you and your son or daughter picked out. Certain lift kits require very specific tire sizes. We are back to the same factors you decided on when buying the suspension kit. How is this vehicle going to be used? Remember that the more aggressive the tire tread is, the less mileage you are likely to get. Tires are made from different rubber mixes and compounds that make the rubber harder or softer. Softer big lug tires are great for a project vehicle that will be primarily used off-road. The soft lugs have more gripping power over logs, rocks, grooved trails, and other such obstacles. Slightly harder compound all terrain tires with smaller lug treads don’t have the off-road gripping and climbing features of the mud tires but will last much longer riding up and down the hot asphalt.
I highly suggest that the suspension kit, wheels, and tires be installed at a 4 Wheel Parts location and you take full advantage of having the install performed by our expert installation technicians. If you are not near a 4 Wheel Parts location, have a reputable company install the products, align the vehicle, and insist they recheck every nut, bolt and washer after 10 days of use or 500 miles. Don’t forget to re-torque the lug nuts after the first 25 miles!
Next time I will address the issue of performance and fuel economy ad on products.