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Hello all,

I purchased a 2010 TDI a few months back, and I’m slowly looking to make it as off-road capable as possible.

I’ve done a good amount of research, but my mechanical know-how limits what I’ve been able to gather from all these threads that discuss unique solutions to the lack of off-road parts for the Touareg. My lack of experience in off roading and off road vehicles also makes it difficult to figure out just what would be smartest and worth putting on my touareg.

I feel it would be helpful for all of us mechanically-challenged Touareg owners out there to create a ELI5 thread and exhaustive list of Touareg off-road modifications, including the best solutions some of the brilliant owners in here have found to the trickier problems.

In order of importance and availability/quality of parts for the treg, what should I be looking for?

What is the present best solution for lifting the treg (I would assume this is the most important), minimizing effect on ride quality/stiffness?

Are there any options for skid plates/underbody protection for T2’s?

I have steel suspension, and I have no idea how a suspension system works. I know people have talked about upgrading shocks and struts. How important is this? What else can be done to improve the suspension? Has anyone completely swapped it out for something else?

Beyond that, what are some of the most important/helpful things people have done to their Touareg to make them more capable and safe off-road?

Thank you anyone who contributes to this thread. Hopefully others will find it useful as well.
 

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First in my book is go with others- especially experienced drivers. Always safer to have others around (unless they are idiots). Look to see if there are local offroad clubs to join. They are more than willing usually to teach people what to do/what not to do. A hand held 2 way radio is nice to have when driving with others. Keep others informed about hazards in the trail or if you need people to stop wait. When traveling with others make sure you never lose sight of the person behind you. If everyone is paying attention then no one gets left behind and possibly lost.

Next I'd say GOOD tires! Nothing ruins your day faster than ripping out a tire miles from nowhere. Then you are left with that collapsible spare. Maybe carry a full size spare if you are heading off the beaten path. Even a used full size tire of a decent brand would be better. OR: look into carrying a tire patch/plug kit. I've seen some nasty punctures get plugged up with one of these. It was good enough to get out and get to civilization.

Recovery strap in case you get stuck. This is different than just a tow rope/strap. They make some very nice ones that are designed to stretch and then contract like a rubber band. These eliminate the shock of "jerking the vehicle" out. Bubba rope/voodoo rope are just 2 examples. DON'T hook it over a trailer ball either! These can then snap off and then become a deadly projectile. If you have the rear receiver hitch then they make some nice options for recovery using it.

First aid kit. Always nice to have incase something happens. Take a basic first aid course also- or do some study online. A small fire extinguisher is also a good idea.

A tarp and a change of work clothes and shoes. Tarp is nice to lay on to look under vehicles, can be used for shelter and/or warmth. Get stuck in water or mud and then have to wade thru it- do you want to get back into your nice touareg and get mud all over?

Some sort of shovel- even if it is the collapsable army type. Bring tools- never know when you might need something. Keep your tools/spare/equipment strapped down also. If you hit an unseen bump a lot of stuff will go flying- it might hurt.

17" wheels or 18" are best for offroading. It is amazing at how much better traction you can get dropping your air pressure down to 15 psi or so. Then get a decent air compressor to air back up when your trail ride is done. The stock one next to the spare is pretty much only for emergency. But keep your speeds somewhat slow when aired down (like maybe below 25-30 mph). The tires will heat up at lower pressures. At lower pressures the ride will greatly improve. And it will lower the chance of a puncture if you do run over lets say a sharp rock or pointed stick. The lower the pressure you go the more traction you get as your contact patch gets longer. But at a certain point you run the risk of breaking the bead of the tire.

At least those are some relatively inexpensive starting points. I have offroaded for years- but in my fullsize truck. I'll let others talk about suspension spacers/skid plates and more vehicle specific equipment.

 

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@77 K20: That's an excellent post and your advice to a novice to learn the ropes alongside sensible and experienced off-roaders would be my top tip.

@noahpm: On a decent set of 17 or 18 inch rubber the Generation 1 T1 and T2 Touaregs are very capable vehicles even without any modification.

Unfortunately, though, unlike JEEP and Land Rover there are very few after market; off the shelf parts available to improve that off'roading capability and you will struggle to find bash plates and lift kits for example unless someone who had them fabricated for their Touareg offers them second hand.

I would suggest going step by step -and try the car out in its standard form with some decent tyres to get a feel first for how far you may want to go with mods before spending any serious money.
 

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The two postings above have very good advice. I'll just add that the VW factory recovery eye bolts are extremely strong (breaking strength has been tested and found to be around 40,000 lb straight line pull) and it's very worthwhile to have a full set of four (VW usually only supply one) and suitable shackles, for recovery points.
 

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honestly i wish i could get a t3 here with 4xmotion and lockers thats my dream

however i LOVE my t3 with standard 4motion, ive been out plenty with Cherokees and they all admit i out do them and the awd is better
 

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The most capable Touareg's have air suspension for extra ground clearance and is IMO the number next item after tires. Not easily retrofitted so it might be easier to buy a 2010 with air suspension and trade yours in. Cost wise air suspension cars are easily found in lots of junkyards now so parts would be cheap but you would have weeks to months of labor installing it all and then coding. Rear and front lockers are nice but there is a debate as to the added value off-road. I don't understand the hype of extra underbody protection for the engine and transmission as IMO the fuel tank is the most vulnerable item underside as everything else is tucked way far up above sub-frames and body structure. The fuel tank will bend and collapse before in punctures per my own experience of landing the tank directly onto a rock. I was sure there was going to be a hole but the tanks are very well made to handle impact I believe there is a soft inner liner just in case the harder outer shell gets punctured based off what I saw when undoing what I had done.

Without air suspension you would still want bigger and better tires, Lifting the car will make it less stable on the highway much more so than a vehicle with solid axles being lifted which is why independent suspension off-road vehicles typically have air suspension set-ups as optional so you can achieve the best of both worlds of on-road stability and off-road capability. If you do lift your steel spring car be aware of your new limits on the highway.
 

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The most capable Touareg's have air suspension for extra ground clearance and is IMO the number next item after tires. Not easily retrofitted so it might be easier to buy a 2010 with air suspension and trade yours in. Cost wise air suspension cars are easily found in lots of junkyards now so parts would be cheap but you would have weeks to months of labor installing it all and then coding. Rear and front lockers are nice but there is a debate as to the added value off-road. I don't understand the hype of extra underbody protection for the engine and transmission as IMO the fuel tank is the most vulnerable item underside as everything else is tucked way far up above sub-frames and body structure. The fuel tank will bend and collapse before in punctures per my own experience of landing the tank directly onto a rock. I was sure there was going to be a hole but the tanks are very well made to handle impact I believe there is a soft inner liner just in case the harder outer shell gets punctured based off what I saw when undoing what I had done.

Without air suspension you would still want bigger and better tires, Lifting the car will make it less stable on the highway much more so than a vehicle with solid axles being lifted which is why independent suspension off-road vehicles typically have air suspension set-ups as optional so you can achieve the best of both worlds of on-road stability and off-road capability. If you do lift your steel spring car be aware of your new limits on the highway.
i dont think air is vital at all...way to stiff fully aired up...im lifted and have 4 inch taller tires and honest dont even notice any handling loss..still hugs the road amazing
 

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honestly i wish i could get a t3 here with 4xmotion and lockers thats my dream

however i LOVE my t3 with standard 4motion, ive been out plenty with Cherokees and they all admit i out do them and the awd is better
looks good. Did you do a lift? If not, do they rub at all? what size are the rims and tires?
 

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i dont think air is vital at all...way to stiff fully aired up...im lifted and have 4 inch taller tires and honest dont even notice any handling loss..still hugs the road amazing
The air is only stiff if it is in Xtra mode, Offroad it is not that bad. I like air since it gives you a little adjust ability for dampening also.
 

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The air is only stiff if it is in Xtra mode, Offroad it is not that bad. I like air since it gives you a little adjust ability for dampening also.
ive never felt the need...steel is more reliable..no point for me with real tires would be able to use anything but offroad or xtra
looks good. Did you do a lift? If not, do they rub at all? what size are the rims and tires?
lol your not gett 33s on without a lift and not without a ton of work with a lift
 

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Noticed this in our shopping centre the other day in Berwick Victoria Aus
9B318F4C-4703-4512-9F19-AB1CEA22E32F.jpeg
6EE5A553-A8D5-49CA-92AB-38BEE5F816C3.jpeg

Full snorkel, winch and ugly bar with recovery points

is it any one on this forum
 

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ive never felt the need...steel is more reliable..no point for me with real tires would be able to use anything but offroad or xtra

lol your not gett 33s on without a lift and not without a ton of work with a lift
My TDI is 10 yrs old and the suspension works as well now as the day it was new. They made a change in the system from the first gen. Been pretty much bullet proof.
 
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