Underbody performance includes any type of performance item that works down and dirty underneath the bodywork of your favorite truck or SUV, like high performance suspension and braking systems. Making modifications to your truck will add superior handling and added safety. You will ride smoother and turn tighter while giving yourself a head-turning look. Remember, performance is more than just power…
With the boost in popularity of large wheel and tire combinations you'd think that people would pay more attention to their braking systems. Larger tires and wheel kits (whether they be 44" mud boggers on a cast aluminum wheel or 24" rubber bands stretched over chrome spokes) are heavy, way heavy. And the larger diameter significantly boosts their leverage. All of that rolling mass and extra leverage wreaks havoc on your braking system.
Also, towing and payload play a key roll in braking performance. If your truck or SUV is carrying, hauling, towing, or pulling heavy loads it is often recommended to upgrade your braking system. The extra mass of towing or hauling is fine for your factory brakes, but extended-use or over-use may hinder factory braking performance over time.
You'll know it's time for a brake system upgrade when you can't-quite-stop at the stop sign, you've got to practically stand on the brake pedal to stop, or you are eating through pads and rotors like it's nobody's business.
Upgrading your braking system with a plus-sized rotor kit from SSBC or Baer Brakes will significantly improve your braking performance. The larger diamter rotors and high-performance, multi-piston calipers work together to boost the leverage and clamping force of your braking system. You'll stop shorter, and with less pedal force and less chance of locking up the wheels.
Larger tires and wheels? No problem. Towing or hauling huge loads? No problem. You'll stop in time, every time.
Do you have a powerful street cruiser that is fast and mean? Then you might want to keep it planted to the road with a lowering kit from Belltech or DJM. The lower center of gravity keeps body lean in check and the upgraded components can stiffen up your ride, allowing better off-the-line launches and more responsive handling.
If you spend your time driving over logs and boulders with Sasquatch, then you'll likely want a taller, softer suspension setup. One that lifts your undercarriage up and over most obstacles.
The typical off-road system includes taller, softer springs that flex easier than the factory units. This lets your wheels move up and down more in the wheel well (longer wheel travel), allowing your truck or SUV to "soak up" all of the irregularities on the trail. You'll enjoy a smoother, more rewarding off-road driving experience when your truck is equipped with the right suspension setup. Oh, and you won't get stuck either.
For a quick overview of differen suspension components, check out the Stylin' Trucks Suspension Glossary.
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