Seven Overlooked Budget 4×4 Mods to Boost Performance

Mods help to enhance our 4WDs and take their performance to the next level. They also allow you to customise your beloved 4×4 to your exact liking, and match it to your personality.

Common modifications such as bar work increases and improves the approach angle (while adding strength by swapping out plastic for steel). Adding housing winches also offer further protection from any unexpected animal strikes.

Another popular mod is adding storage drawers which makes organisation a lot easier. Installing roof racks allow you to store that cumbersome camping gear which won’t fit inside no matter how hard you try.

It’s pretty obvious that adding storage, winches, and bar work will hurt the braking performance of your decked out 4WD. Another popular mod is increasing your 4×4’s tyre diameter, but doing so adds considerable strain to the braking system anytime you go off-road.

With that said, there are many ways you can improve your 4×4 while boosting performance and safety at the same time.

Here are 7 overlooked budget 4×4 mods to boost performance:

1. Pads

Perhaps the easiest component to upgrade and replace while offering an improved performance upgrade, is the pads. Cheap or old brake pads will always underperform when compared to high-end options.

It’s recommended to upgrade to a unit which has been specially designed for 4WD applications or improved performance.

2. Rotors

Over time rotors wear down, and this process is only sped up by 4x4s which have a braking setup sacrificing rotor wear to increase performance. To check how worn your rotors are, you can check the outer edge of the rotors, to see if there is a lip.

Instead of sticking with factory stock rotors, quality aftermarket rotors can help to improve performance and they also last longer. Slotted rotors help to enhance braking performance while getting rid of gasses, while ventilated rotors can expel heat better.

3. Fluid

Brake fluid is specially designed to not compress under pressure and heat, which means all of your braking force is heading to the capillaries. If air or moisture is to get into the fluid, then the resistance to compression is significantly reduced.

Brake fluid is rated by its boiling point. For most 4WDs, DOT 4 fluid is usually good enough.

The most important thing is to make sure that fluid is fresh and has been uncontaminated. Otherwise, it’s strongly suggested to bring in your 4×4 for a fluid replacement and bleed

4. Brake Lines

If your 4WD has done it’s fair share of off-roading and been on multiple  summer trips, there is a high chance that your rubber brake lines could be worn out. The rubber degrades as it ages, causing it to expand. This prevents all the pressure from actually reaching the brakes, leading to reduced performance.

Replacing the lines with OEM or high-quality aftermarket gear will fix the problem. It is crucial not to skimp out when it comes to brakes, one day they may save your life! If you wish to upgrade, custom braided lines can also help to improve pedal feel.

5. Tyres

The rubber of your 4WD’s tyres is the only thing connecting it to the ground. If they aren’t at 100%, then it’s impossible for your brakes to be also. The most common reasons for brakes not performing as expected may be because hey are old, worn, or poor quality.

Check the tread on your tyres, and also see how old they are by working out the manufacture date. If they are old or worn, it’s time to replace them with new high-quality tyres. It may be tempting to buy the cheapest tyres possible, but you will be back in the same situation before you know it! You’ll be amazed at the increase in performance when upgrading your tyres.

6. Exhaust

Engines need to be able to breathe to improve performance. Eliminating exhaust system restrictions allows spent gases to leave the combustion process faster. Sounds confusing, right?

It simply means more air and fuel can enter, and this then creates a bigger bang.

In addition to upgrading to an aftermarket exhaust system from the factory exhaust, it’s easy to see the difference in the quality of the materials used as well as the manufacturing, which will lead to a better sounding exhaust. It’s also claimed by most manufacturers to provide better power gains and fuel economy of up to 10% – more than paying for itself over time.

7. Shocks

While shock absorbers are usually hidden out of sight on most 4WDs, they shouldn’t be out of mine. They work overtime to help control the ride and suspension on your 4×4. If you love to go off-road, it usually results in the factory shocks wearing out quickly.

To stop your rig jumping around all over the place, and to ensure a smooth ride, adding a set of quality shocks will make sure that your vehicle not only performs better off-road but that it is kept firmly planted on the road at all times.

Which 4×4 Mods To Do First

While your factory standard 4×4 may be good enough to handle what you throw at it, it only barely gets the job done. Then when you are upgrading your 4×4 with extra off-road equipment and accessories, all of a sudden the performance suffers. Over time, general wear and tear will make it perform even worse.

These budget 4×4 mods will help to boost performance and can be upgraded one at a time, without breaking the bank or requiring a full replacement.

The most challenging thing can be deciding which mod to do first! Sandgate Auto Electrics are a team of experienced and reliable auto electricians and skilled technicians, who can give you expert advice on which mods you should consider based on your 4×4 and your needs, instead of just recommending a product with the largest markup.

Contact Sandgate Auto Electrics today or visit us and speak to one of our friendly and helpful staff members, via phone (07) 3269 3158, email