If you're on this page, chances are you're interested in upgrading your VW Atlas. We fully understand that there is a genuine need to equip and modify an Atlas to upgrade its capabilities beyond what it comes with from the factory. This guide is designed to help you do just that.
Our own Atlas Riptide project vehicle was upgraded out of a similar need. If you haven't checked it out already, here's a link to our Atlas Riptide project page.
Lifting/Raising Vehicle Height
Lifting the Atlas is a simple process when done with the proper parts. There are a few ways that you can achieve different heights with an Atlas:
Raising Springs - These replace the OEM springs and are designed to work with your factory shocks. They feature a stiffer spring rate and will provide a lift of around 1" in height.
Raising Coilovers - These replace both your OEM springs and shock assemblies for a complete suspension overhaul. They feature a set of linear rate springs matched to a set of height adjustable shock bodies.
B2BFAB Camber Correcting Lift Kit - These are machined metal "spacers" that install between the factory strut mounts and the body of the vehicle. This kit provides a 1.50" total lift while also leveling the front of the vehicle with the rear. Other lift kits for the MQB platform cause the camber of the front wheels to be out of specification. By offsetting the upper mounting point of the front struts the B2BFAB lift kit removes the excessive positive camber, allowing the suspension geometry of the lifted vehicle to be within the manufacturer's specified range. This ensures the optimal contact patch between the tire and the road through all handling maneuvers.
We have installed the B2BFAB Camber Correcting Lift Kit to our own VW Atlas "Project Riptide." Please check out our YouTube video for more information on the installation process and our thoughts as well.
Which way should I choose to lift my Atlas?
Choosing lift hardware is going to boil down to personal preference. The lift blocks provide the most lift to the vehicle for a relatively inexpensive price and the installation is easily reversable. Installing coilovers gives you the added ability to easily bring your Atlas back down close to the original ride height. Coilovers also tend to offer sharper handling since they have shocks and springs that are optimized for the Atlas's weight. Finally, springs offer an inexpensive way to increase your vehicle height a little bit while also giving slightly better handling.
It's important to note that while it is tempting to combine some of these methods for even more lift, it can cause damage to other components of the car such as the shocks.
All Terrain Tires and BFT Blocks
Installing off-road capable tires is the next step beyond simply adding extra ground clearance. By their nature, off-road tires give you the ability to more easily traverse low traction surfaces such as dirt, gravel and mud. However, when increasing the overall size of the tires, you also quickly run into the need for more room in the wheel well. This is where the B2B BFT Blocks come into play:
From the factory the Atlas has two large "spacer blocks" that sit inside of the inner wheel liners. These blocks simply serve to hold the inner wheel liner to the body of the vehicle. Unfortunately these blocks are designed with factory tire sizes in mind and will cause the wheel liners to rub against larger tires. In the image below you can see just how much smaller the BFT Blocks are than the factory part that they replace.
By installing the BFT blocks, you will be able to properly run larger tires without the risk of rubbing on the wheel liners.
Start Stop Solution
When driving off-road, maintaining visibility is of the utmost importance. After all, you don't want to slip into a ravine simply because you couldn't see in front of you at night.
If you happen to have a 3.6L Atlas, then you might have noticed that the VR6 engine sounds pretty good. Those of you familiar with the VW world know that uncorking a VR6 makes it sound even better. For that reason, we're proud to offer the B2B Wookie Pipe. The Wookie Pipe allows the removal of the oversized, restrictive suitcase resonator so your Atlas can properly growl when you put the throttle down. Check out the video above to listen to the difference that installing the Wookie Pipe makes.
Cargo Hauling Accessories
Venturing on a cross country trip and still need more space than what your Atlas is giving you? Then it may be time to step up to a Thule cargo rack system and box.
Thule makes many different cargo boxes and roof bars to suit every need and preference. If style and capacity is your preference, choose from the Thule Force XT boxes. If you need a more open hauling solution, consider the Thule Canyon or Trail XT basket.
Can't make up your mind or still have questions? Feel free to contact us for any Thule advice you need.