Planning Your Ford Bronco Upgrades 101
A New Ford Bronco is a big investment and modifications shouldn’t be taken lightly. This is why Expedition Vehicle Outfitters in Michigan prides ourself in pushing our shop Bronco to the limits and working with industry leading manufacturers to test and help develop Bronco upgrades for enthusiasts.
So you received your new Ford Bronco, it might have been after months of waiting but you finally have that key…fob in your hand. You hit the start button and see that stallion run across the screen and can’t wait to get out and explore. We get it, the Team at Expedition Vehicle Outfitters an off road and specialty shop in Michigan has been in this exact spot hundreds times over the years building up all kinds of off road vehicles. We were fortunate to work side by side with many of the OE suppliers and designers of components for the 6gen Ford Bronco. This has given us a leg up on expected potential failures and pre-released upgrades for the Ford Bronco platform. That inside knowledge definitely helps when planning a Bronco Build.
Call us nerds…. But nothing is more fun and exciting than planning our a full build up. From deciding on which upgrades are the most critical to planning the logistics of upgrade services, parts availability and critical adjustments. No portion should be overlooked and all should be carefully considered. Now lets dive into some options to consider.
Expedition Vehicle Outfitters in Michigan likes to take a holistic approach to building off road vehicles especially Ford Broncos. What does that mean? Our focus is making certain that each modification service that we perform will coincide with future upgrades and scale throughout the vehicle. A great example is electrical upgrades, we make certain that the Bronco switch options will carry the loads needed and neatly route all wiring to avoid future problems. Nothing is worse than paying to do something twice. One of the easiest ways to avoid a bad experience is planning with an experienced professional, this isn’t time for rookie stuff.
SUSPENSION MODIFICATION SERVICE
Ford Bronco Suspension Lift Kits, Bronco Leveling Kits and full coilover suspension kits. Which is right for you? Why is one “lift kit” $50 on amazon and another is $5,000? What’s the difference… Well that is a large one to digest but lets take a quick look at it. Off Road Industry standard is considered that a leveling kit will lift the front of the Bronco to level with the rear height, a spacer lift kit will raise the vehicle by adding a steel or plastic spacer above the coilover shock and a upgraded coilover shock will raise the Bronco and provide added suspension travel. Why do I need more suspension travel? Off roading is all based on traction, an easy way to add more traction on the trail is always staying in contact with the trail. How do we stay in contact with rough and rutted trails? More suspension travel. Now during a build consultation each and every one of these sectors can be critically dissected further to ensure proper suspension geometry and which modification will fit your individual needs best. Reach out to Expedition Vehicle Outfitters for a free phone consultation today.
UNDERBODY ARMOR AND BUMPERS
The Team at Expedition Vehicle Outfitters has off roaded Ford Broncos across the country and we can attest to one thing, the Ford Bronco needs protection. If you plan on pushing your Bronco off road you need critical underbody protection to keep the engine, transmission, transfer case and fuel tank safe. These are critical components to the Bronco, trail damage may render you stranded. It is important that we upgrade factory protection options.
Upgraded Bumpers will protect the front and rear of the body adding for great recovery points. The factory bumper options will handle one or two strikes but we have seen failures over time. We recommend USA made bumpers for strength and reliability.
WHEELS AND TIRES
All Terrains, Mud Terrains, Beadlock, Non-Beadlock, 35” tall, 37” tall, what is best for your build? That can be a loaded question, but we are happy to help answer it. These will be broad answers that should be further directed in each case.. When thinking about tires in Michigan we really need to consider winter use. Tires with extra siping (the little lines and Zs cut into the tread) will grip ice and snow better than large flat lugs. In many cases all terrain tires may perform better in ice and snow than a mud terrain. BUT… each tire needs to be looked at case by case. Mud terrains will work better in mud and very low traction conditions. Both all terrain tire and mud terrain tire technology has made huge leaps in the last 10 years creating all kinds of great hybrid tires that truly work well in all conditions. The Team at Expedition Vehicle Outfitters would love to discuss what new tire option may help increase your Bronco’s capability.
Beadlock verse non-beadlock wheel. A beadlock wheel will clamp one side of the tires bead onto the wheel allowing you to confidently run your tires air pressure very low off road. Lower tire pressure off road equals greater tire footprint which equates to much more traction off road. How often are you off roading, how aggressive are you using your Bronco? These all become great questions during a build consultation.
STEERING SYSTEM UPGRADES
It won’t take much research to find that the Bronco’s steering system becomes a weak point when adding oversized tires and off roading. Expedition Vehicle Outfitters works with industry leading brands like Bronc Buster Off Road to provide both Bronco Tie Rod End Upgrades and steering rack upgrades. Don’t get stranded on the trail with a broken steering system.
TIRE CARRIER UPGRADES
When adding a larger tire to the Ford Bronco tire carrier we have seen tail gate failures, from bends to weld breaks and hinge issues. This usually comes from high speed bumps and jolts. From fast trail riding to driving through Michigan pot holes can cause large amounts of vibration and force into the Broncos stamped tail gate causing the gate to bend. Expedition Vehicle Outfitters has multiple options for high quality tire carrier reinforcements.
When upgrading to oversized tires or off roading your Bronco it is always necessary to upgrade your axle components in order to keep up with the high demands. Expedition Vehicle Outfittters has worked closely with DANA/Spicer Parts installing and testing their upgraded Bronco axle components. This strong relationship has provided us in-depth expert knowledge and experience of the Bronco drivetrain that is very hard to find in the Bronco industry. From adding selectable lockers and lower gear ratio axle ring and pinion setup to chromoly high strength front axle shafts, Expedition Vehicle Outfitters has you covered. From mobbing down the trail to driving on the highway you will feel a huge difference in your Bronco after an Expedition Vehicle Outfitters upgrade service.
Most Broncos come with factory auxiliary switches which is a very nice feature, they do require special know how to determine which switches should run which components. Electrical draws matched to corresponding fused circuits is 100% necessary when creating a safe and reliable electrical upgrade. Always be sure to test added components like lights and air compressors in order to make positive your electrical upgrades air properly routed. In some cases when an excess of electrical demands are added to the Bronco it is necessary to add a secondary switch system and relay bank stacked along with the factory system. These can be complex but the Team at Expedition Vehicle Outfitters is very experienced in these upgrades and can always help.
FENDER AND HOOD UPGRADESThe factory Bronco looks great but maybe you want a more aggressive look, something that will really stand out from the herd. Expedition Vehicle Outfitters offers upgraded ram air hoods and fiberglass bulge fenders for the Ford Bronco. Ram air hood upgrades create more air flow and aid in engine cooling. Fiberglass fenders create an aggressive look with increased tire fitment. If you want to build a really unique and custom Ford Bronco these upgrades are a must.
When traveling off road upgraded lighting becomes critical. Upgraded LED off road lights allow the driver to travel faster speeds in dark and dusty conditions while allowing others on the trail to easily see your Bronco increasing safety. From upgraded fog lights and light bars to reverse lights and flashing chase lights for dust, Expedition Vehicle Outfitters has you covered. Expedition Vehicle Outfitters works closely with industry leading light manufacturers like KC Hilites. These long term relationships and testing have given us a leg up on future technology that will be coming to market and understanding current offerings from manufacturers. LED Light technology can be overwhelming, we are happy to help you choose a quality light upgrade for your Bronco.