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Techniques Winching - Recoveries - Chainsaw Safety - Proper aproach to 4wding etc

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  #1  
Old 15-11-16
insect_eater insect_eater is offline
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Default Steep, rocky climbs - throttle control and gear selection

I did the first two days of a three-day 4wd course on the weekend, and need some advice on tackling steep, rocky climbs.

Firstly, I have a NX manual with 14Kkm, with fresh 50mm lift HD springs. The tyres are Dueler 697s (265/65, 70% tread) at 20 psi. Although I have a TJM steel bar, winch and LR tank, it is oversprung when unladen.

Many of the climbs were tight through trees and rocky - shaley, but grippy (when the wheels were on the ground....).

I found that I struggled to hold the recommended 2nd gear (LR). If I went as slow as asked, or necessary to wind between trees, the revs dropped to below 1500, when the throttle became unresponsive. When this happened, it either:
  1. stalled
  2. the revs flared (5-700rpm) when it lifted a wheel, and if I caught it cleanly, it would proceed up,
  3. it chugged up without my ability to increase revs (EDIT heart in throat, waiting for stall)

In all of these circumstances I didn't feel in control of the vehicle - I couldn't feel how much throttle had been dialled in (the throttle was unresponsive), and whether it dies or proceeded was a function of the terrain and my ability to moderate flaring revs in a way that avoided losing turbo spool but minimising wheelspin (TC seemed a little slow....).

I could easily drive up these slopes in first, but was advised that this was too dangerous as 1st had too much torque, and there was too much risk of breaking traction.

I am obviously inexperienced, and do need to learn better throttle control, but I am reasonable mechanically attuned and sensitive to engine load/control.

Any thoughts appreciated
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Last edited by insect_eater; 15-11-16 at 08:35 PM. Reason: clarity
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  #2  
Old 15-11-16
andy_q andy_q is offline
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Pajero's do not have a very low range so depending on the instructor this may not have been taken into account. It sounds to me like first is probably the correct gear.


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  #3  
Old 15-11-16
Aussie_Dan Aussie_Dan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insect_eater View Post
I could easily drive up these slopes in first, but was advised that this was too dangerous as 1st had too much torque, and there was too much risk of breaking traction.
The torque that the engine produces, and hence the torque sent to the wheels, is directly proportional to how heavy your right boot is.
If it were me in the situation you have described, I would be using first gear. Just go easy on the throttle....
Cheers, Dan.
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Old 15-11-16
NJV6 NJV6 is offline
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I have a NT manual and what you experienced is my biggest dislike of this vehicle. You would be better off in 1st, remember most other vehicles have a much lower 1st gear so therefore a lower 2nd gear as well. 1500rpm is often far to fast in 2nd so you do need to use low.

I just use low in those circumstances, its far easier on you and the vehicle, the dead spot down low is pretty poor on these, my other shorty (V6) is far easier and more forgiving to drive slowly than the 3.2 as low down performance is far superior.

I also discovered the engine got warmer on the ultragauge (up to about 104) when climbing in 2nd (struggling) and intake temperatures were over 100 as well. Once I started using 1st and had a bit of boost on board everything dropped including my temperature as it was pretty high to do disappointment in the engine. My 2.8 hilux will eat the pajero until 1500-1700 rpm.
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Old 15-11-16
Aussie_Dan Aussie_Dan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJV6 View Post
I have a NT manual and what you experienced is my biggest dislike of this vehicle. You would be better off in 1st, remember most other vehicles have a much lower 1st gear so therefore a lower 2nd gear as well. 1500rpm is often far to fast in 2nd so you do need to use low.
This is one downside to the NT onwards (with manual trans). They use a 3.9:1 diff ratio from memory.
I am not sure what the NS manual uses.
The NM / NP 3.2 manuals use a shorter 4.1:1 diff ratio. Whilst they might rev a little higher on the highway, they pull better from low RPM like in the situations we are discussing....
Dan.
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  #6  
Old 15-11-16
BruceandBobbi BruceandBobbi is offline
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Was the course at Braidwood?

You know the talk. If it isn't a Toyota or Nissan it isn't a real 4X4.

We use 1st if the terrain warrants it.
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Old 15-11-16
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nj swb nj swb is offline
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As long as there's somebody else around when you're driving your 4by, you'll have somebody giving you advice. Not all of it will be good, which is something you learned on your course that wasn't necessarily on the curriculum.

As noted by others, Pajeros have a relatively poor low range, so our low range 2nd is rarely as low as low range 2nd in most other 4wds. Most of the time, low range 1st will be a more appropriate choice.

Generally, if in doubt, select a lower gear.

About the only time I question this is on steep & loose climbs, for two reasons:
1. If the terrain is too loose, a lower gear is more likely to spin.
2. If the terrain is steep & the loose is patchy, you may need momentum to carry you over the loose spots - low range 1st may be too slow to develop the momentum you need.

At the end of the day, I'd rather not make a climb because I was going too slow. Going too fast is more likely to lead to trouble, so if you're not sure, try slow first.
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Old 15-11-16
insect_eater insect_eater is offline
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Thanks andy_q, Aussie_Dan, NJV6, and BruceandBobbi

First did just make sense to me, but not to them...

When below boost and gravity was exceeding torque, right foot did nothing (except lose my sense of throttle position, and risk of flare when traction lost). When in first, I had that direct relationship between throttle and torque - so that felt like the right gear, as you suggest

I didn't look at the ultragauge -but my feeling was that I was operating the engine outside it's comfort zone, so I' wouldn't be surprised if it was starting to raise temps.

I did wonder about diff ratios - sounds like the earlier gens had better crawl capacity.

The course wasn't at Braidwood, but 'real 4WD's' and '80 or 70 series/patrols' seemed a constant focus.
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Old 15-11-16
insect_eater insect_eater is offline
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NJ swb - thank you for your counsel (especially the thought about the extra-curricular topic)

The hard part for me is discerning between good and bad advice - I'm trying to balance the feedback from the vehicle (again trying to work out whether it it my inexperience or unfamiliarity of the vehicle, or inherent vehicle limitations) against the advice who have much more experience than I about what a 4WD should be able to do.
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Last edited by insect_eater; 15-11-16 at 09:29 PM. Reason: small addition
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Old 15-11-16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insect_eater View Post
NJ swb - thank you for your counsel.

The hard part for me is discerning between good and bad advice - I'm trying to balance the feedback from the vehicle (again trying to work out whether it it my inexperience or unfamiliarity of the vehicle, or inherent vehicle limitations) against the advice who have much more experience than I about what a 4WD should be able to do.
That is always the trick - knowing when to trust others, and when to trust your instincts. It all comes down to experience - obtaining your own, so that you can better evaluate the experience of others.

You're obtaining experience.
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Project: NJ SWB. 285/75R16 ST Maxx, 2" OME suspension, 2" body lift, ARB 110, 120l tank, bullbar, scratches, no major dents. Fully engineered in SA. NW DiD & auto in place - a long way to go....
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