A Quick Guide to Lifting Your Volkswagen SUV
Overlanding and off-roading are popular activities. These adventures let you go hiking and camping and do many other rugged outdoor activities with your vehicle, so you need a dependable SUV to navigate challenging terrains. Read this comprehensive guide on lifting your Volkswagen SUV, the performance benefits, and how to add a lift kit to your own vehicle.
Understanding Overlanding Activities
Overlanding has deep roots in exploration and adventure. The concept originated in Australia during the mid-19th century when drovers, or cattle herders, guided livestock over long distances across the outback. These journeys often spanned thousands of kilometers and were called “overlanding.”
In the present-day context, overlanding is a self-reliant adventure where you travel to remote destinations; the journey is the primary objective. Unlike traditional camping trips, which are typically destination-focused, overlanding emphasizes exploration and the joy of journeying through wild and lesser-traveled territories. It combines camping, sightseeing, and off-roading into one holistic experience!
We can’t stress the importance of having an off-road capable SUV for overlanding enough. Overlanding often involves traversing rugged terrains, crossing rivers, and navigating vast natural landscapes. A standard car or truck may not have the necessary ground clearance, traction, or power to handle such conditions. However, a lifted SUV has increased ground clearance and improved off-road capabilities, making it ideal for overlanding.
Overlanding offers an opportunity to connect with nature and experience the thrill of journeying through uncharted territories. With a modified SUV, you can venture far and wide, turning the world into your playground!
Why a VW SUV Is Ideal for Overlanding
Volkswagen SUVs are excellent for overlanding due to their unique features. Their sturdy build and the resilience they exhibit when tackling challenging terrains are proof. Volkswagen Group’s commitment to reliability is reflected in the longevity of the brand’s vehicles, providing peace of mind for adventurers who go off the beaten path.
The versatility of Volkswagen SUVs adds to their suitability for overlanding. With spacious interiors and flexible cargo solutions, these vehicles can comfortably accommodate passengers and their gear.
The MQB, or Modularer Querbaukasten, platform underpins many Volkswagen SUVs, and it contributes significantly to their overlanding prowess. Modularer Querbaukasten is German for “modular transversal toolkit.” Volkswagen uses it to share common vehicle components across its various models. This platform’s flexibility enables easy modification and customization, making it an ideal base for overlanding enhancements.
The MQB platform can enhance the performance and safety of vehicles. It allows for a lower center of gravity, which improves stability. This is particularly important when navigating off-road terrains. The platform’s design also ensures efficient utilization of space, providing ample room for passengers and cargo. With the MQB platform, Volkswagen SUVs blend performance, comfort, and adaptability. That is why these vehicles are ideal for overlanding.
What Are Lift Kits?
Lift kits increase a vehicle’s ground clearance, or the distance between the base of a car’s tires and the lowest point of its chassis. By elevating the height of your vehicle, you improve its off-road capabilities to navigate challenging terrains with ease.
A typical lift kit includes suspension springs, shock absorbers, spacers, control arms, and new drive shafts. These parts work in unison to raise the vehicle’s body or suspension. The installation process alters the configuration of your vehicle’s suspension system, making it better suited for off-road journeys.
Lifting your VW SUV has many benefits. For example, it looks more rugged and performs significantly better in off-road conditions. Additionally, a lifted SUV can overcome obstacles in your path that would otherwise be challenging, like stream crossings and steep inclines. You will have a safer and more enjoyable adventure with a lifted SUV.
How To Lift Your VW SUV
Now that you fully understand overlanding, lift kits, and the benefits of this modification, we will share a quick guide to lifting your Volkswagen SUV. The process requires careful attention to detail, so you’ll need to gather a few tools. They include a VW or Audi lift lit compatible with your VW model, along with car jacks, wrenches, and sockets.
Safety should be your priority during this process. Always work on a flat, stable surface and use jack stands to secure the vehicle while you work. Never rely solely on the hydraulic jack for support. Also, wear safety glasses and gloves to protect yourself from injuries.
Begin by loosening the lug nuts on the wheels before jacking up the car. Then, make sure the car is secure on the jack stands and remove the wheels. Next, replace the stock suspension components with the new parts from your lift kit. This generally involves unbolting the current parts and bolting in the new ones. Follow the specific instructions provided with your lift kit.
The entire lifting process can be quite complex, especially if you have limited mechanical experience. If you are not confident in your abilities to install a lift kit safely and correctly, we recommend seeking professional help. Many auto shops offer lift kit installation services. A professional mechanic will modify your SUV correctly, providing you with peace of mind as you embark on your overlanding adventures.
Other Helpful Overlanding Modifications
After lifting your VW SUV, you might consider some other overlanding modifications, like installing all-terrain tires. They are specially designed to endure various terrains, from rocky paths to muddy trails. They feature unique tread patterns that provide superior traction and durability in such conditions. Equipping your vehicle with all-terrain tires enhances its off-road performance and reduces the risk of tire damage or punctures during your adventures. Plus, a lift kit provides additional space for larger all-terrain tires! That’s a win-win!
Adding an aftermarket winch to your vehicle can be highly beneficial for overlanding. A winch can help you recover your vehicle or someone else’s vehicle if it gets stuck in mud, sand, or other terrains. It works by towing a vehicle using a strong cable or rope. Additional lighting for better visibility, roof racks for extra storage, and specialized navigation systems for safe travels can further equip your vehicle for the rigors of overlanding.