Low tire pressure can be your friend in the mud, but it can also be the catalyst for a lot
Lowering tire pressure is a good way to increase your tires flotation. And flotation, as we discussed earlier, will help you navigate the mud. Problem is, tires at low pressure don't really want to stay on the wheels-especially when you're pouring on the coals and sawing the steering wheel back and forth. Dragging a rig out of the mud with a tire dangling off the wheel isn't fun, and getting the mud-filled tire cleaned out and back on the wheel is even less fun. Some OEM wheels, like those found on the Dodge Power Wagon, are specially constructed to keep the tire bead set on the wheel at low pressure, but these wheels are rare. The solution is to outfit your rig with beadlock wheels. With these wheels, you can get crazy in the mud with minimal tire pressure without worrying about peeling a tire.
Serious mudders, like those found in Florida, overbuild as a rule. This wicked '96 Dodge R
We all know that oftentimes one modification to a rig necessitates another. This is often referred in a highly technical term known as the "domino effect." If you want to fit larger tires, as covered earlier, you will need to install a suspension lift kit to make room. This is a good thing, actually, and when it comes to deep mud, it's almost mandatory. There's a reason why trucks used for mudding are often mega-tall. A lift kit will move your vehicle's body and frame further from the mud, thus making it more capable of traversing deep mud while decreasing the likelihood of forward momentum-impeding contact. The idea is to only have your tires in the mud, nothing else. Mud isn't like rockcrawling, where off-camber travel is the order of the day, so the higher center of gravity isn't as much of a concern.
Extreme mudders know what works, and massive amounts of lift and ag tires are tops on the
Thin, grease-like mud isn't going to require gobs of horsepower, but deep mud is a different story. When you add a set of large, heavy, grippy tires, and you try to push them, and your vehicle, through the resistance of deep mud, you're going to need power. Easy-to-install items that improve horsepower include free-flow intakes, performance chips and cat-back exhausts. If you really want to get serious, consider a supercharger or nitrous injection.
This fullsize Chevy proves that a truck doesn't have to be mega built to be capable in the
Beef the Drivetrain
Momentum and wheelspeed are the order of the day in deep mud. "Crawling" deep mud doesn't work. With that said, you need to address every aspect of your drivetrain to make sure it's up to snuff and capable of prolonged hard use. For instance, your engine will be working much harder, thus generating more heat. Hence, you need to ensure your cooling system is in top condition. Also check it often while wheeling in mud to ensure it isn't clogged. Serious mudders often mount the radiator in the bed of the truck to protect it from clogging. Also consider beefing items like axles and U-joints, as these too will be subject to significant stress. Hardcore mudders say that it's always a good idea to overbuild, which is why it's not unusual to see 21/2-ton Rockwells under large-tired rigs that spend a lot of time in the mud. And don't overlook your steering! Among other things, the torque going to the frontend puts a lot of pressure on items like the tie rod as the tires try to "toe in" under load.
Mud is dirt mixed with water. Oftentimes, deep water blankets the mud, so waterproofing should also be high on your priority list. The last thing you need in the middle of a deep mud crossing is a dead engine due to wet electronics or from ingesting water. The best course of action is to apply basic waterproofing techniques. Make sure electronics are sealed, vent lines are high-mounted, and air intakes are well above the water line (yep, a snorkel would be a wise addition). Some hardcore mudders even route the exhaust high on unlifted rigs so that the goop can't get into the exhaust system.
There's never a good place to be stuck in the mud, but if you're prepared, the recovery ca
Don't Forget About Recovery
Finally, even with the best preparation, mud has a way of winning. When this happens, and you churn to a stop in the muck, you'll need easy access to your recovery supplies. Whether in deep mud or the thin, greasy stuff, you'll appreciate things like easy-to-access tow points. If you have a winch, consider synthetic rope because it floats.
Where To Get Parts
The aftermarket is saturated with mud-friendly parts. If you're looking for one-stop shopping peruse the advertisers here in Four Wheeler. Some specialize in selling a wide range of products while others concentrate on a specific area like drivetrain, tires, or recovery. In almost every case, each advertiser lists its website address, so you can simply go to their website and read up on their products. Heck, many of them even let you order parts directly or, at the very minimum, guide you to the nearest distributor.