How to Build the Best Off Road Rig | Drive A Real Truck!

Tips to Help You Build an Off Road Rig that can Handle Anything!

Let me guess you are working on building your first off road rig.  You probably want something big and beefy that can handle any type of terrain. 

Here at EZ Wheeler we specialize in building gnarly off road rigs, and have 35 years of experience to help you build exactly what you want.  

This article will tell you everything that you need to know to build the best off road rig.  Continue reading and make sure you keep these things in mind when you are building your rig. 

Ground Clearance

Ground clearance is the space between the underside of your vehicle and the ground.  It is our opinion that ground clearance is one of the most important thing to think about when you are building an off road rig.  If you don't have enough ground clearance you are going to do a lot of damage to the underbody of your vehicle when you drive over stumps, rocks and boulders.  So make sure you have ample ground clearance on your new rig.

Skid Plates

Even with all the ground clearance in the world you are still going to run into obstacles that can damage your vehicles underbody.  

Which is why you need to make sure you equip your rig with high quality steel skid plates.  Make sure you cover all of your crucial components as well to avoid walking home or getting stranded.

Approach, Departure, and Breakover Angles

  • A vehicle's approach angle represents the steepest hill it can climb without brushing or slamming its front bumper against the slope.
  • The breakover angle is an indication of the steepest crest a vehicle can traverse without high centering.
  • The departure angle represents the steepest grade a vehicle can descend without brushing or slamming its rear bumper against the slope.

The approach and departure angles are a function of ground clearance as well as front and rear overhangs, respectively. If you have short overhangs and lots of ground clearance, you'll have very good approach and departure angles, allowing you to ascend and descend very steep slopes. The breakover angle is a function of ground clearance and wheelbase. A short wheelbase and good ground clearance will allow a vehicle to travel over very sharp crests. 

Tires

Street tires suck off-road. If you want to hang with the big boys, get yourself some all terrain tires, or, better yet, mud terrain tires. The key is to have deep treads, tough sidewalls, and the right rubber compound for the terrain. The bigger the tires, the better. 33 inch and 35 inch tires are the most common among experienced off-road enthusiasts. Air your tires down when you get to the trail to grow your contact patch for maximum traction. 

High Mounted Air Intake

Sucking water into your engine is bad. Very bad. As water is not compressible, getting it in your cylinder will probably damage your connecting rods (this is known as hydrolocking your engine), as the rods try to push the piston up to compress the liquid. We've seen before that hydrolocking can occur even if the vehicle travels through a shallow puddle. Therefore, you want to make sure that your air intake is elevated. Many off-road enthusiasts use snorkels, some of which can allow a vehicle to drive while completely submerged in water. While a high mounted air intake is important, driver technique is equally important when it comes to preventing hydrolock.

Tow Points

When it comes to off-roading, getting stuck is almost inevitable. When you do get stuck, it's important that there is a safe and easy place from which to tow your vehicle. Tow hooks or trailer hitches are great tow points, as they connect to sturdy parts of the vehicle via high strength bolts. Even if you do have good tow points, for goodness sake, be careful when you tow your vehicle and use a nylon tow rope, not a chain.

Follow these tips while building your off road rig and you will be ready to hit the the toughest terrain out there.  If you don't feel comfortable building your own rig stop by one of our locations and we will have you off roading in no time.  

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