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Unread 06-03-2009, 07:45 AM   #1
Florida_Model
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Couple Questions about Off-Roading

Gonna go off-roading for the first time soon, and seeing all the pics of people trailing, brought some questions to mind. When you are on the trail, is the stock suspension fine? or do you have to disconnect anything to get flex? I'd like to know a couple of the basics so i dont destroy anything that could have been easily prevented.
Also, since i have a manual tranny, any pointers on keeping the transmission in good shape? shifting situations, anything special. Since it is my DD id like to come out of the excursion with a vehicle in one piece. lol thanks!!!

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Unread 06-03-2009, 07:55 AM   #2
robncar
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Many folks disconnect the front sway bar links. There are aftermarket "quick disconnect" kits available that make this easy.

As to your rigs survivability...

You are the captain. You choose where to drive and where not to drive. The more experience you gain, the better you'll be able to determine what line to take -or- to bypass an obstacle that you or your rig is not ready for.

One golden rule is:

Never wheel alone!
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Unread 06-03-2009, 07:58 AM   #3
Ben_321
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your jeep with stock suspenssion will work just fine for some offorading no adjustments needed!

as for the tranny use 4 low so you dont have to ride the clutch in mud or on hills (start in 2nd gear if you find 1st to torquey)

good luck for your first time offorading!
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Unread 06-03-2009, 08:03 AM   #4
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Do not shift the transmission if it is under mud or water. Pick a gear and stay with it through one of those obstacles. Try riding behind a similarly-equipped vehicle driven by somebody with more experience and watch what he/she does. Tell the trail leader that this is your first ride. A good trail leader will look out for you, and won't let you get in over your head.
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Unread 06-03-2009, 08:05 AM   #5
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Never wheel alone is right...find a club in florida and go with them. If you're going to wheel settle on just one frame of mind...at least one thing is going to get broken, scraped, scratched, etc. this way when it happens (it may not be the first trip) you won't be upset...it's the danger of wheeling. Now with that in mind you can decide how bad the damage will be by asking questions (like you are now) and by letting another wheeler go first so you can see if you want to drive that way, manuever that way or not. As you learn to wheel you will see the value in aftermarket upgrades, it'll make it easy to decide what you need first (tires, lift, disconnects, etc).

By default my ride is mostly stock (I have a low garage and I won't park outside b/c people there steal) and I follow the above advice. I was concerned the club would think I was a worry wort or my ride was a garage queen but when we got to the trail everyone was real helpful and nice and I wasn't the only stocker there. Most of the trails here are clear cut so you don't need much more than stock anyway. I've found the stock JP can go pretty much anywhere.
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Unread 06-03-2009, 08:29 AM   #6
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don't drive like an asshat and you'll be fine. don't jump your jeep, the aftermath won't be pretty.
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Unread 06-03-2009, 08:37 AM   #7
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Skid plates are your friends. I would make sure you've got something protecting your steering box and oil pan before you venture out.
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Unread 06-03-2009, 08:41 AM   #8
melicksf
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ditto the skid plates.....
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Unread 06-03-2009, 08:50 AM   #9
ItsaFinRubicon
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Always have another jeep with you, have a tow rope so if you do get stuck. never stop putting pressure on the gas (accelarator) because if you do you have a way greater chance on getting stuck. im not saying fly threw it just don't stop
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Unread 06-03-2009, 08:57 AM   #10
AlexGeorgakis
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1) Try wheeling with All Terrain or Mud tires.
2) If you get stuck in a mud pit don't kill your transmission and engine. Just stop, put the jeep in reverse and try again. No need to overexert your jeep.
3) Sometimes on slippery surfaces it helps if you rotate your steering wheel right-left-right-left while you drive to get better grip.
4) Try not to use your brakes much on steep down hills. Engine compression is safer.
5) Do not attempt to go to 4Lo when you are in gear and moving. Stop, shift to neutral and then go to 4Lo.
6) When you're climbing a hill always stop at the top if you can't see what's behind it.
7) Take note of your air intake height and avoid getting into deep water.
8) Avoid driving fast into water pits.
9) Try to keep constant RPM and don't change gears when you're in a difficult spot.
10) Wear your seatbelt... always!
11) If you find yourself driving horizontally on a steep hill or your jeep is sitting at an angle, do not turn your steering wheel uphill. Always turn downhill otherwise you might roll.
12) Be prepared to get out of your jeep often and watch/listen carefully to what the trail leader tells others.
13) On rough terrain chances are someone will be standing in front of your jeep giving your instructions on where to steer. Follow these instructions and don't panic. Things from inside the jeep always look more "dramatic" than outside the jeep.
14) Carry food and water with you, and preferably a second set of keys.
15) Ask the trail leader if they use VHF or CB radios to communicate on the trail and see if you can borrow/purchase one.
16) Always keep your distance from the vehicle ahead of you and always look at your rear view mirror for who's behind you. If you loose sight of the vehicle behind you, wait a moment until they catch up and if they don't, notify the trail leader.
17) Have a positive attitude and help out where needed (eg. fallen trees in your path, digging someone out of a hole, etc)
18) Never stand downhill of a jeep.
19) Don't bother trying to push a jeep out of a hard spot. You're not superman so don't waste your energy (on rare occasions it might help if someone stands on your bumper to put weight on a spinning wheel but this is something you might do later on with more experience)
20) Respect the environment, have fun and take lots of pictures!
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Unread 06-03-2009, 09:31 AM   #11
robncar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unlimited04 View Post
don't drive like an asshat and you'll be fine. don't jump your jeep, the aftermath won't be pretty.
You mean my front axle isn't supposed to be a U shape???
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Unread 06-03-2009, 09:32 AM   #12
otisdog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robncar View Post
You mean my front axle isn't supposed to be a U shape???
Just add more u-joints.
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Unread 06-03-2009, 10:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ageorgakis View Post
13) On rough terrain chances are someone will be standing in front of your jeep giving your instructions on where to steer. Follow these instructions and don't panic. Things from inside the jeep always look more "dramatic" than outside the jeep.
Ain't that the truth...
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Unread 06-03-2009, 10:09 AM   #14
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Ain't that the truth...
Ya, but...

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Unread 06-03-2009, 10:11 AM   #15
wagster11
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i never disconnected until i put my BB on... stock left alone is fine depending on what you do... however, i can do much more now, because of the disconnects, then i could connected... BB helped for Center of Gravity clearance but other than that it is to put bigger tires on in the future... homemade discos are one of my best upgrades so far... be smart and know your limits and have fun
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