Floodlights Vs. Spotlights: Which Is Best for an Off-Road Vehicle?

Floodlights Vs. SpotlightsWe often install vehicle work lights as part of a bigger upgrade for off-road SUVs and pickup trucks. Modifications of this kind usually include floodlights or spotlights, or both. Learn what the difference is and which is best for your type of off-roading adventure.

Floodlights vs. Spotlights Explained

The difference lies in how effectively the light travels. Typically, the narrower the beam the farther the light travels effectively.

Spotlights

A spotlight is a narrow beam that illuminates objects at a farther distance. The beam from a lighthouse is a perfect example of a spotlight. This is also the perfect form of lighting for most driving situations. The light pattern helps you identify road hazards farther out. This gives you more time to react. Most spotlights produce an angle of light of around 30 degrees. Continue Reading →

What Jeep Owners Need to Know About the Death Wobble

Jeep death wobbleWe often repair and modify Jeep SUVs. The Jeep brand, after all, is a staple among off-road performance vehicles. Some Jeep owners, however, have cautioned other owners to be on the lookout for what they term the Jeep Death Wobble. This is an issue our auto repair crew has addressed on many occasions. We’ll discuss the Death Wobble and what to watch out for.

What Is the Jeep Death Wobble?

The Death Wobble occurs when the front part of the vehicle begins to shake due to a violent oscillation in the front axle. This makes the vehicle hard to control. The wobble occurs when the suspension system looses equilibrium and may be due to a number of reasons, such as:

  • Unbalanced tires—out of balance tires can throw the axle around
  • A loose steering stabilizing bar
  • Worn ball joints—damaged ball joints cause the tires to move independently and laterally of the opposite wheel

The Jeep Death Wobble has especially been noted in the Wrangler, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee. The wobble has also been observed in non-Jeep models, such as older Dodge and Ford trucks. Continue Reading →

Lift Kits Or Leveling Kits: Which Is Best for Your Pickup Truck?

Lift KitsA raised suspension is to off-road trucks what a lowered suspension is to street performance cars. You have several options, though, if you want to raise your truck. You can raise your car via lift kit or leveling kit. Each has its own purpose, and it depends on your specific needs to determine which style is right for you.

Lift Kit

A lift kit raises the entire truck from front to rear. Lift kits are available in two varieties: body lift and suspension lift.

The Body Lift raises the body of the truck using spacers and blockers; it does not alter the suspension itself. The ground clearance also remains the same, but the increased height allows you to switch to larger tires.

With the Suspension Lift every component of the suspension changes, including the shocks, struts, control arms, and leaf springs. This increases suspension articulation and ground clearance. The additional ground clearance creates a more capable off-road vehicle. Because the truck body is higher off the ground the stability might not remain the same. Driving dynamics may change as well. Continue Reading →

Upgrade Your Manual Car with a Short Throw Shifter

short throw shifterManual cars are becoming a dying breed. Some car purists, though, consider the driving experience incomplete if they’re not driving a stick shift. If you’re among the minority which owns a manual car, you may want to modify it by installing a short throw shifter.

What Is a Short Throw Shifter?

In a manual car, the throw refers to the distance the shifter travels between gears. A short throw shifter reduces that length of travel. This provides smoother and quicker shifting, leading to improved acceleration and deceleration times.

A short throw shifter is a common add-on for street-performance cars driven on racetracks. Reduced shift times mean better lap times, even if only by fractions of a second. Many drivers have also reported tighter and more controlled shifting after making the modifications.

While short throw shifters are most common for sports and race cars, several of our clients have also requested a short throw shifter for their off-road vehicle. After the switch, they have reported a less jerky sensation when shifting gears on rough off-road terrain. Continue Reading →

The Advantages of a Customized Car Exhaust System

Customized Car Exhaust SystemModding a high-performance car has just as much to do with horsepower and torque as it does with aesthetics. Even street performance vehicles don’t usually come with an exhaust system optimized to their limits. This is why many muscle car owners come to our auto service and maintenance crew for a customized car exhaust system. How does having this component upgrade benefit your vehicle?

Why Install a Customized Car Exhaust System?

Simply put, an aftermarket exhaust system optimizes engine performance. It provides a quicker exit pathway for the exhaust gases. This gives the engine more “breathing space.” This allows for more fuel and air to be burned in the engine, creating more power.

Most car owners also appreciate the increased volume of the exhaust note. This is essentially the deepening of the “growl” that acceleration makes. The more aggressive growl is a perfect match for the increased performance. Plus, it draws heads and adds to the coolness factor of your car. Continue Reading →

The Benefits of Upsizing Your Wheels

Upsizing Your WheelsMany of our clients have enquired about upsizing their wheels for their street performance cars. Should you do it? What are the benefits? As with any type of vehicle mod, there are pros and cons, though the latter can be minimized by having the changes made by a reputable auto servicing and maintenance crew.

Wheel Upsizing Explained

Upsizing your wheels essentially means increasing the diameter of the wheel while reducing the thickness of the tire. A normal wheel is about 14 to 15 inches in diameter. Upsizing increases the diameter by one to two inches.

Click here for a visual representation of a regular tire versus two other wheels upsized at different levels. Notice that the overall diameter remains the same. Continue Reading →

The Benefits of a Lowered Car Suspension

Lowered Suspension │ Everett │ NW Performance and Off RoadA lowered car suspension is iconic for high-performance vehicles. Aside from looking cool, having a suspension just a few inches off the floor also enhances performance. Unfortunately, if lowered incorrectly, it can have a few drawbacks as well. This is why the modification should always be done by an auto service & maintenance company.

How a Lowered Car Suspension Benefits Performance

Many of our clients have requested to have the suspension lowered simply because they believe all performance cars are supposed to be that way. They may know that it enhances performance in some way but don’t know the science behind it.

A lowered suspension increases aerodynamics. It improves wind drag since there is less air passing underneath the car. This increases air pressure above the car which causes the tires to grip the road more firmly, thus improving handling.

From a safety standpoint, a lowered suspension also means a lower center of gravity. This reduces the risk of a rollover. Continue Reading →

The History of the Roll Cage

Roll CageHere’s a fun fact: the first roll cages were improvised from bed frames. Indeed, roll cages have come a long way since then; their inclusion in race cars and other performance vehicles have saved lives and mitigated injuries. The history of the roll cage began in the 1950s and continues to this day.

Roll Cage History and Timeline

The first roll bars were used in NASCAR race cars in 1952, though they weren’t a requirement. Many racers, in fact, elected not to install them. Roll cages became a sensation that same year when racer Tim Flock won the Modified-Sportsman race. His victory, unfortunately, was short lived because he was disqualified when officials discovered that his roll cage was constructed from wood. After that race teams began looking for sturdier material; and that’s when they turned to bed frames.

By the 60s, roll cages were vastly improved. Not only did it become a critical component of the car, it also helped strengthen the chassis, thus improving safety and handling. The structure of the cage also improved when engineers utilized triangular bars that extended from front to back. The frame was also connected to the doors to offer additional protection to the driver. Continue Reading →

Spoiler Vs. Wing: Is There a Difference?

Spoiler Vs WingThe terms “spoiler” and “wing” are often used interchangeably even though there’s a difference. High-performance car owners may want to add one of these to their vehicle at some point. Aside from aesthetics, both can also improve performance. Learn how a spoiler and wing differ before getting your performance car modded.

Spoiler and Wing Difference Explained

First, it helps to know how the two differ in appearance. Click here to see what a spoiler looks Like. By contrast, click here to see what a wing is.

Benefits of Spoilers

Spoilers are intended to inhibit air movement that can disrupt the movement of the vehicle in motion. The main purpose is to reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency. The presence of a spoiler in the rear changes the outline of the car where the roof and trunk meet. This reduces turbulence in the rear of the car.

Many car owners, though, install them purely for aesthetic reasons. Many spoilers, in fact, are improperly designed and offer very little aerodynamic benefit. Continue Reading →

Does Your Car Need a Racing Harness?

NW-All-Auto-Repair-6Do you occasionally take your performance car on the track? Are you an off-roader? If so, then you know that safety is paramount. Your vehicle’s stock safety features may not be enough. For added protection in the event of an impact, you may want to consider a racing harness.

What Does a Racing Harness Do?

Racing harnesses perform the same function as seat belts. In an impact, they secure your body in place and transfer the momentum of your body to the car’s chassis. The harness, though, is much thicker and has straps that go over both shoulders. This helps spread some of the pressure across the driver’s chest, shoulders, and other stronger parts of the body.

Do You Need a Racing Harness?

If your car is heavily modified and frequently tested on the race track, then the answer is a resounding “yes.” On top of that, you will also need a roll cage installed and the seats replaced with a non-adjustable, fixed-back racing seat. A combination of these modifications will ensure the greatest amount of protection in the event of a collision and/or rollover. Continue Reading →