Boosting Low-End Torque in Your Off-Road Rig

When it comes to off roading, speed becomes less necessary than acceleration when you are crawling over rocks, splashing through mud, or dredging through heavy sand. Torque is key because it provides the force the vehicle needs to push through these rough terrains at low, controlled speeds. A high low-end torque is optimal when navigating these difficult landscapes because it gives the driver more control over unsteady surfaces. As a result, the driver doesn’t need to press as hard on the throttle to keep the vehicle moving forward.

How can you improve the low-end torque in your off-road rig?

Change Cylinder Heads

Choosing the right cylinder heads for an engine build can make all the difference in creating an engine that delivers peak performances.“Porting” cylinder heads is typically the process of enlarging the intake and exhaust ports of an engine’s cylinder heads. As a result, airflow and horsepower increase a higher RPMs. But cylinder heads with smaller ports usually provide better low-end torque than larger ported heads. Cylinder head selection can definitely make or break an engine—make sure to consult a trusted professional!

Early Intake Valve Closing Point

Changing the intake valve closing time can dramatically affect engine performance. The earlier the camshaft’s intake closing point, the greater the low RPM cranking pressure is. For maximum low-end torque, the intake valve should close at the point where there is the most fresh air and fuel trapped in the cylinder. Early intake closing also reduces exhaust emissions and raises fuel economy—a win-win!

Adjust Exhaust Header Length

Exhaust headers work by making it easier for exhaust to flow out of an engine’s cylinders. How much horsepower or torque you want to add will influence your choice on the length of the header you will want to install. Both long headers and short headers have the ability to boost a vehicle’s performance by moving air faster. However, longer header lengths are the best at building torque and horsepower for higher RPM. On the other hand, shorter length headers deliver more torque in lower RPM range.


Do any of these modifications sound like they could help your vehicle’s performance? At Crossley, we know there is more to building an engine than simply picking out parts. Give us a call to discuss your project—we’ll create a custom engine design that is sure to exceed your expectations.

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