Your four-wheel drive’s suspension system has a strong and direct effect on how your rig performs when you’re behind the wheel, as well as what the limits of its off-road and load-carrying capabilities are. An inadequate suspension system will compromise how much additional weight your vehicle can carry, how safe and comfortable your vehicle is while it’s in motion, as well as the lifespan of your vehicle’s mechanical components.
So, if you’re looking to load up your rig or do some exploring off-road, then you will more than likely need aftermarket suspension to ensure your vehicle is ready for whatever track you throw at it or whatever gear you throw onto it and into it. So, here’s how to assess whether your 4WD needs a suspension upgrade:
1. SUB-PAR PERFORMANCE
The most obvious thing to reflect on is how your vehicle feels when you’re on the road or out on the tracks: if you’re getting excessive body roll when cornering, your rig’s nosediving when breaking or it’s getting bumpy when loaded up, then there’s a strong chance your current suspension isn’t performing as well as it should. Meanwhile, if you’re bottoming out from small ruts, it could mean your vehicle is hitting bump stops over changing surfaces, which doesn’t bode well for your rig in challenging terrain.
2. SAGGING IN THE REAR
Perhaps the clearest sign of overworked suspension is sagging in the rear of your vehicle either when it’s heavily loaded or when you’re towing. The result of this sagging is increased wear on your vehicle’s mechanical components, less stability on the road and, ultimately, compromised safety during your travels.
3. SUSPENSION OVERLOAD
If your current suspension has been around longer than the other 4×4 accessories on your rig, then odds-on your suspension system will require a rethink. To ensure it performs as well as possible, it’s important that your suspension gets fitted with the weight of your other accessories and typical loads taken into account. This means it’s highly recommended that you get a suspension upgrade after or at the same time as you get accessories like bull bars, canopies, winches, drawers or long-range fuel tanks fitted.
4. UNUSUAL TYRE WEAR
A good suspension system maximises your tyres’ contact with whatever surface you’re driving on, ensuring a smoother ride and more intuitive handling. On the flip side, a poor suspension system will create excessive bounce and unpredictable handling, which in turn results in excessive tyre wear. If your tyres are in need of replacement before their time, it could be a sign that your suspension isn’t doing its job.
5. KS ON THE CLOCK
The older your vehicle is, the more likely repairs and part replacements become. However, suspension has such wide-ranging effects on your vehicle’s performance that, if you have an older 4WD with kilometres on the clock, a suspension upgrade could have a transformative effect on your rig.
TJM suspension is designed and engineered in Australia for local conditions, which means they’re made to handle smooth roads and corrugated Outback tracks alike. To find out which kind of suspension setup is right for your vehicle, head into your local TJM store today.