Off road driving tips?? - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 05-24-2004, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
KUK9
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Off road driving tips??

I am not going to beat around the bush...I am relatively new to going off roading, at least in my Jeep. I have gone with other vehicles a lot, but all have been automatics. Well, the TJ is a manual. I have driven them a lot on street, but not much off road when I need to go slower and control speed. So, my main question is, does anyone have any tips for off roading with a manual? I was doing ok until I started smelling the good 'ol smell of clutch and finally realized I was in 4H instead of 4L, so that helped a lot when I changed. Any tips on driving so that I don't need to ride the clutch a lot, or risk the 'ol jerky momentum when going over an obstacle and risk breaking something?


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post #2 of 13 Old 05-25-2004, 03:06 AM
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I think pretty much you've got the answer already - only touch the clutch when changing gears, and when you do that just push your clutch foot all the way down and then release completely in one smooth movement.

A lot of newbies to manuals worry the engine will stall, so try to get a feel for what's the slowest each gear will go with your foot off the gas completely. Your Jeep will in fact crawl forward on its own without stalling in many gears.

You might say, well, what about when I'm stopped?

If you're in the right gear for the obstacle you're facing (and that's the hard part) then you don't need to stop. You should avoid stopping if possible, especially on grades. In the correct gear you can muscle over the obstacle without touching the clutch and without going too fast.

If you do have to stop while going uphill or lowering yourself slowly off something, it's a bit awkward to start off again compared to an automatic as you have only two feet for three pedals. And to make things worse Jeeps have a foot-brake instead of a hand-brake, which you could release gradually . That's why people install hand throttles, but that's another story..

One of the worse things to do when you start off half-way up a hill is exagerate with the gas, which just makes the wheels spin, you start slipping backwards, and stomp on the clutch again, and start all over. So also practice in low range releasing the clutch with no gas at all or just enough to keep it from stalling.

Find yourself a friendly hill and practice without your buddies around. You'll soon develop the feel you need.

While any clutz can start an engine and press 'go'; driving stick is an art form which requires one to be in synch with the machine. [my quote of the day ]

Luck!

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post #3 of 13 Old 05-25-2004, 08:37 AM
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I agree with Prossett......you need to become "One" with your jeep....I know it sounds corny....But it's a whole new ballgame driving off road......you need to try to stay off the clutch as much as possible.....I use my clutch more as a brake........like in sand....I never use my brakes......I want to stop.....fully depress the clutch.....you stop........as far as jerking and bouncing......I try to keep my heel on the floor as solid as possible,,,,,and use my foot to pivot on the gas pedal.......your leg gets sore.....or atleast mine does......but the best thing to do is get offroad as much as possible......and learn what gear to be in......and you get to spend time with your best friend......your Jeep!
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-25-2004, 10:59 AM
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Some good info here for 4x4’in in general http://4wheeldrive.about.com/gi/dyna...%2F4x4-faq.htm
Best thing to do while wheeling (not driving in the snow on city streets) is just put it in 4low and work the gears through that. That way you won’t be shifting in and out of 4low each time you get to an obstacle that requires lot’s of torque and slow movement. Put it in 4low, start moving in second gear (only use first for things needing it, log crawls, rocks, etc) and shift up from there, yes you will be doing 20mph in 4th gear but that’s okay because unless you are on a dirt road you will most likely not want to be going much faster, then if needed you can easily downshift to another gear in the low range and have tons of power ready for you. 4hi is more used for highway\city driving in deep snow and such. Always use 4low offroad (unless you are on a fast moving dirt road on the way to the trail).

My jeep has only ever killed 3 things, a cat, a deer, and my wallet. What's the problem officer?

1992 Red YJ. Lifted, locked, and loaded with beer (Disclaimer: This doesn't mean said driver endorses drinking and driving, please enjoy alcohol responsibly and do not operate any vehicle of any kind, thank you....)

Thanks to the price of gas here ($4.25 a gal) I just bought a mountain bike, 0" of lift, 0" of travel, MT's, locked rear axle, oh yeah, it's the sh#$.
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post #5 of 13 Old 05-29-2004, 06:41 PM
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I know what you mean about "burnin' clutch". My first time out I was in 4hi for about the half the day. After I burned some clutch pulling out a fellow jeeper, it was advised that I should be in 4lo. After that, I had no more problems. Start out in 2nd and just shift up to 5th on the trail. You'll only be doing about 25mph, but that's fast enough for the trail. Each time out you'll get better and learn new tricks.
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-30-2004, 08:49 AM
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A cool trick i've learned: When your rear wheels are spinning, try pulling a few clicks on your e-brake. This will help keep them from spinning as bad. It has gotten me over several obsticals when I was open..
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post #7 of 13 Old 05-30-2004, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiderman
it was advised that I should be in 4lo. After that, I had no more problems. Start out in 2nd and just shift up to 5th on the trail. You'll only be doing about 25mph, but that's fast enough for the trail.
Running that fast in 4Lo is really bad for the planetary gears inside the transfer case. Remember that loud whining the gears are making when you're driving fast in 4Lo? That's the gears spinning WAY-fast, faster than they're designed for. If the trail conditions are good enough that you can drive 25 mph, you should be in either 2wd or 4Hi.

When you have a choice, buy American made.
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post #8 of 13 Old 05-30-2004, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford
Running that fast in 4Lo is really bad for the planetary gears inside the transfer case. Remember that loud whining the gears are making when you're driving fast in 4Lo? That's the gears spinning WAY-fast, faster than they're designed for. If the trail conditions are good enough that you can drive 25 mph, you should be in either 2wd or 4Hi.
Hmm not sure on that, yeah running real fast (25-30mph) in 4low isn't good but 4low is a not a 'first gear only' gear ratio. I almost always run 4low in 2nd 3rd and sometimes 4th gear on the trail. As long as you don't shift OUT of 4low at any higher speeds it should be fine, the whinning you are hearing is also the sound of the tranny winding up fast than it normally does and the lower gears in the tcase spinning, due to the low gear ratio there is gears spinning slow (driveshaft side) and gears spinning real fast (engine side) making the whining noise (just like your starter does) but I don't think it will blow anything out. We had a conversation about this in another thread, I of course am peaking about the np231 on a 92 YJ so I don't know if the setups or tranny combo's would change anything in any other models. If I find the other thread I'll post it...

EDIT: Here's the thread, like I said though most of this is YJ info but I think it will pretty much apply to all using an ax5\15 and np231 combo..
https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/showt...ary+gear+speed

My jeep has only ever killed 3 things, a cat, a deer, and my wallet. What's the problem officer?

1992 Red YJ. Lifted, locked, and loaded with beer (Disclaimer: This doesn't mean said driver endorses drinking and driving, please enjoy alcohol responsibly and do not operate any vehicle of any kind, thank you....)

Thanks to the price of gas here ($4.25 a gal) I just bought a mountain bike, 0" of lift, 0" of travel, MT's, locked rear axle, oh yeah, it's the sh#$.

Last edited by CanukYJ; 05-30-2004 at 06:56 PM.
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-04-2004, 08:36 PM
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hey guys,
I've had good success in 4hi,esp. when you need wheelspin.
I've used it in mud. I helped my ATs get through and get rid of the mud that packs those tires.. Not saying it the right way , it just works for me.. after rereading the thread I rembered I have an auto trans..
Later,
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-05-2004, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KUK9
I am not going to beat around the bush...I am relatively new to going off roading, at least in my Jeep. I have gone with other vehicles a lot, but all have been automatics. Well, the TJ is a manual. I have driven them a lot on street, but not much off road when I need to go slower and control speed. So, my main question is, does anyone have any tips for off roading with a manual? I was doing ok until I started smelling the good 'ol smell of clutch and finally realized I was in 4H instead of 4L, so that helped a lot when I changed. Any tips on driving so that I don't need to ride the clutch a lot, or risk the 'ol jerky momentum when going over an obstacle and risk breaking something?
Probably one of the best tips I ever learned when new to 4-wheeling with a clutch was to stay off of it! This is particularly true if you are trying to make it over an obstacle or up a steep grade and the Jeep stalls. The natural reaction is to push the clutch in. Just remember that clutch in means neutral which means freewheeling backward down the grade/obstacle, etc.

As part of the lesson I was given, I was taught the 4-lo/1st gear crawl. Try this away from obstacles at first just to get the hang of it. Put the Jeep in 4LO. Then, with the engine off, put the transmission in first gear and turn the key WITHOUT touching the clutch. The Jeep will start crawling forward. You will need to disengage the clutch/ignition interlock first. (Just pulling a fuse is all that's required, and it's noted in the owner's manual.) This isa really cool thing to know how to do when the time is right off road.

With some practice (which is really what will teach you the most), you will also find that the Jeep will not stall in 4LO even when at pretty low RPMs for second gear (for example).

I've been out on the trails a lot with my Jeep and still find myself learning something new almost every time. As the one post said -- and I agree it probably sounds corny -- become one with your Jeep. This is an advantage you have by being the owner of a manual transmission that the auto-owners can never experience/appreciate.
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post #11 of 13 Old 06-07-2004, 12:26 AM
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QUOTE
Put the Jeep in 4LO. Then, with the engine off, put the transmission in first gear and turn the key WITHOUT touching the clutch. The Jeep will start crawling forward.
UNQUOTE

Interesting, I've never thought of doing this offroad (other than if your engine dies on railway tracks and there's an express bearing down on you but I did use it once to move my Maxima out of a deep puddle it had stalled in) so in which situations would it be useful offroad?

Does the engine start up or do you just get the jolt forwards? I guess I should just try it instead of asking

It's probably not very good for the ignition, though...

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post #12 of 13 Old 06-07-2004, 05:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prossett

Does the engine start up or do you just get the jolt forwards? I guess I should just try it instead of asking

It's probably not very good for the ignition, though...
Sorry, should have explained that a little more. Yes, you are starting the engine. The Jeep will start crawling forward. It's handy off road if, say, you are headed up a an incline over an obstacle and you end up stalling it. You're probably in 4LO already anyway, so at the point, just make sure you are in first gear (probably are already anyway)...leave both feet on the floor, turn over the engine and hang on. The Jeep will start climbing again. It's pretty cool...makes you feel like you're driving a tank initially.

The trick is to try it on a flat empty stretch of land first, to get used to it and to teach your feet to stay still!

I've not heard of it being hard on the ignition, but then it's probably not something you'll use a lot either. Still, it's a neat trick to have in your bag o' tricks.
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post #13 of 13 Old 06-07-2004, 11:55 AM
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Yep it’s a neat trick but it’s also very hard on the starter, yes the low gearing will help it along but a starter is made for and only for turning over the engine. The method is called ‘key starting’ and it used also when you are stuck in very slick mud as the starter will help the jeep climb up and out in some situations without spinning the tires as the starter has very little ‘horsepower’ to it (less wheelspin=less digging in certain types of mud). I would only use this as a last chance emergency, a starter is easy to replace IF you cook it, but if when it goes you might not be able to start it again and REALLY be stuck, or you may break some teeth\damage the flywheel which is not cheap or easy to replace.

My jeep has only ever killed 3 things, a cat, a deer, and my wallet. What's the problem officer?

1992 Red YJ. Lifted, locked, and loaded with beer (Disclaimer: This doesn't mean said driver endorses drinking and driving, please enjoy alcohol responsibly and do not operate any vehicle of any kind, thank you....)

Thanks to the price of gas here ($4.25 a gal) I just bought a mountain bike, 0" of lift, 0" of travel, MT's, locked rear axle, oh yeah, it's the sh#$.
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