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Old 23rd April 2009, 17:09   #1
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Lightbulb Soft Off Roading for SUVs - Any good stretches?

Hi Guys!

I want to know about any "Soft Off Roading" stretches are known in the community which will be suitable for a beginner with a 4x4 SUV.

I am getting my 4x4 Safari in a weeks time.
The thread is here - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/suvs-m...x4-booked.html

As such I am completely new to the idea of off roading in a car. (Has been to some places with my bike though).

By reading up the length and breadth of this section (4x4 and Off-Roading), I have understood that almost all of the trails discussed here are suitable only for very hardcore vehicles like Jeeps, Gypsys, Landrovers etc coupled with very hardcore drivers.

Please suggest some easy to do (apprentice) stretches which I can reasonably complete without depending on "winching out" as I don't have many friends who share this passion.
Also can't join in the OTRs untill I have developed some skills at it and have developed a comprehensive understanding of my Car's capacities.

Thanks in advance - as always.
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Old 23rd April 2009, 17:16   #2
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In a vehicle such as safari the following things are your worry points
1. Thorns as they can cause deep scratches, quite visible on dark colors
2. Sharp rocks, esp if you have H/T tires
3. Rocky tracks with ruts as the safari does not have as good articulation as jeeps

So as long as you avoid these, you are okay. So the best place for you will be sandy trails, where the safari 4x4 can do equally good as the jeeps due to high power and excellent 4L low.
Be careful in slush. Water can kill your transfer case, and she will sink in very easily.
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Old 23rd April 2009, 17:24   #3
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Arrey you can always join in OTRs. It is the best way to learn. Trust me I am still learning had been to two OTRS till now and the people around you would guide you the best. In fact in NIOC during the first time I was having an experience member sitting beside me and guiding me all the time. Which made most of the things as breeze.

Safari is a capable vehicle and as Tanveer said about scratches. In case you dont mind them then it will go through anything just like a jeep because of the power it has at it's disposal!
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Old 23rd April 2009, 17:51   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Be careful in slush. Water can kill your transfer case, and she will sink in very easily.
You can always snokel the vents. Although it would not solve the problem entirely, but still help. You don't have to put it high up, just the vents exiting inside the hood would be fine since you it cannot go deeper than that anyways( electronic motor)
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Old 23rd April 2009, 18:32   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhandle View Post
Arrey you can always join in OTRs. It is the best way to learn. Trust me I am still learning had been to two OTRS till now and the people around you would guide you the best. In fact in NIOC during the first time I was having an experience member sitting beside me and guiding me all the time. Which made most of the things as breeze.

Safari is a capable vehicle and as Tanveer said about scratches. In case you dont mind them then it will go through anything just like a jeep because of the power it has at it's disposal!
I surely want to join an OTR. But I have had my share of impatient Guru's while learning Footbaal, Painting, Flute etc. (I suck at all of these and more).
That's why I just want to practice around a little so that I can atleast quickly pick up the instructions.

Also, I want to be careful with the scratches. As such this car will do the city duty my sister/ Wife and will be driven in Heavy Mumbai traffic by our driver. Hence, avoiding off roading will not avoid scratched entirely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
In a vehicle such as safari the following things are your worry points
1. Thorns as they can cause deep scratches, quite visible on dark colors
2. Sharp rocks, esp if you have H/T tires
3. Rocky tracks with ruts as the safari does not have as good articulation as jeeps

So as long as you avoid these, you are okay. So the best place for you will be sandy trails, where the safari 4x4 can do equally good as the jeeps due to high power and excellent 4L low.
Be careful in slush. Water can kill your transfer case, and she will sink in very easily.
Points noted.
Now question is where to find such a trail around Mumbai. I am sure I won't find much sand around here. I DO NOT want to do beach driving with a 2 Ton Car.

I have seen people around here mention Geological Survey Maps etc. Can anyone guide me to any such resource from where I can chalk out some tracks which will satisfy these conditions and still be fun?

Maybe I will ask my driver (who is a resident of Thane) and knows the Yeoor and Ghodbunder Hills like the back of his hand for some suggestions.
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Old 23rd April 2009, 18:32   #6
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I like your spirit, Sen2009. TSK took his Safari to an OTR recently, and it performed better than he expected. Here is what I suggest:

1. Recce's are a whole lot of fun. Go around looking for offroad stretches close to where you live. On outstation trips, go out early morning for a location search.

2. If a terrain looks difficult, do NOT attempt to go through it alone. Actually, on any recce / OTR, best to have another 4x4 to pull you out. Let me also tell you that getting stuck is fun!

3. Spend some time understanding your & your vehicle's capability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Water can kill your transfer case, and she will sink in very easily.
To be honest, I hate taking my Jeep through deep water. It really messes up the alternator, starter etc. etc.

Quote:
Now question is where to find such a trail around Mumbai.
Lots of places! Lonavla, Gorai beach, Panchgani...the list is endless. Tell you what, Jaysmokesleaves is gonna come along with us sometime in the near future with his Safari. Why don't you join in as well (if you are already through with the running in period by then).

Last edited by GTO : 23rd April 2009 at 18:34.
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Old 23rd April 2009, 19:09   #7
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Practice is possible only along with a group. Else you will always wonder - if yes no then else!!!!

Sandy areas are best to start with beaches, desert areas. etc..

Ofcourse as always I keep pushing all SUV guys to come and participate in Desert Storm
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Old 23rd April 2009, 19:09   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
You can always snokel the vents. Although it would not solve the problem entirely, but still help. You don't have to put it high up, just the vents exiting inside the hood would be fine since you it cannot go deeper than that anyways( electronic motor)
The transfer case is below the gear lever(approx location), and thought its high, splashes can spoil the party since its electronic


Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I like your spirit, Sen2009. TSK took his Safari to an OTR recently, and it performed better than he expected. Here is what I suggest:

1. Recce's are a whole lot of fun. Go around looking for offroad stretches close to where you live. On outstation trips, go out early morning for a location search.

2. If a terrain looks difficult, do NOT attempt to go through it alone. Actually, on any recce / OTR, best to have another 4x4 to pull you out. Let me also tell you that getting stuck is fun!

3. Spend some time understanding your & your vehicle's capability.



To be honest, I hate taking my Jeep through deep water. It really messes up the alternator, starter etc. etc.



Lots of places! Lonavla, Gorai beach, Panchgani...the list is endless. Tell you what, Jaysmokesleaves is gonna come along with us sometime in the near future with his Safari. Why don't you join in as well (if you are already through with the running in period by then).
Actually at the OTRs I did not do many trails due to toughness. Don't have the courage. There was BMW X5 which did everything the jeeps did, and much more too, but it pays the price with bodywork covered in deep scratches!
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Old 23rd April 2009, 20:23   #9
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What saar, thinking so much? As long as you're not worried about scratches, you can have a lot of fun.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-of...r-camping.html

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-of...lay-hills.html

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-of...1-2nd-nov.html

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-of...-30th-nov.html

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-of...wana-join.html

Note: make sure somebody can pull you out when stuck.

Last edited by hrag : 23rd April 2009 at 20:24.
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Old 23rd April 2009, 20:24   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrag View Post
Note: make sure somebody can pull you out when stuck.
Somebody weighing in at or slightly around 2 tonnes, that is.
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Old 23rd April 2009, 20:41   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
The transfer case is below the gear lever(approx location), and thought its high, splashes can spoil the party since its electronic
The xfercase is a Borg&warner, which i heard used both the electronic and the vacuum shift. If its the vacuum shift on your vehicle then it can be done, or even otherwise you can use rubber boots along with silicone glue( the kind used to mounting windscreen glasses) to cover the electronic solenoid, but then again, you may have to dismount the xfercase to get there.
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Old 23rd April 2009, 22:44   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrag View Post
What saar, thinking so much? As long as you're not worried about scratches, you can have a lot of fun.

Note: make sure somebody can pull you out when stuck.
Hey thanks dude. I checked out your exploits from the Sakleshpura Thread. Gives me some confidence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brutus View Post
The xfercase is a Borg&warner, which i heard used both the electronic and the vacuum shift. If its the vacuum shift on your vehicle then it can be done, or even otherwise you can use rubber boots along with silicone glue( the kind used to mounting windscreen glasses) to cover the electronic solenoid, but then again, you may have to dismount the xfercase to get there.
This is too technical to understand for me now. I guess I'll read up about this a little.

Now, I need to research a little on the areas mentioned by GTO. I will post reports on them as and when I check them out.
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Old 23rd April 2009, 23:22   #13
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Sen2009,
Welcome aboard 4x4 community!! Saw the pics of your shining safari on some other thread. Truely very nice colour and it s a handsome hunk!!

Now it would be difficuilt for you to put it through all that we do to our jeeps. The only reason being that Safari is an expensive vehicle. I appriciate Harg for his courage in this case. Capability wise Safari is second to none in SUV category. But you should have guts to explore what all it can do.

Since you are a beginer it is always better to venture out with people like GTO, Behram sir etc. Under their guidance you will learn the tricks better. This is not a rocket science, you much know your vehicle and assess the terrain. All this you will gain by practise. I suggest you to go with them as a passenger first to understand if you are ready to put your safari through all this. If yes, then enjoy...if not, even then enjoy soft roading with safari on jungle trails, snow roads and sandy beaches where the damage is minimum.
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Old 24th April 2009, 13:39   #14
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Hi Sen & GTO,
Will be away over the weekend so I will be unable to join in if some OTR is happening this weekend by GTO & gang. Do join in with them if you can if they are going this weekend. Am fixing to go to Rajmachi & a few other places around Lonavala sometime early next week for a small OTR cum recce of my own, maybe mostly alone since its a weekday and not everyone can make it. Anyone free and wishing to join me is most welcome. Just drop me a PM.

Your Safari is quite capable of much more than you think. As you explore its potential and merge your driving abilities to its potential you will be able to enjoy it a lot more. Take your time in this exploration. Hope you are through with your running in soon.
Cheers,
J
Cheers,
J

Last edited by jaysmokesleaves : 24th April 2009 at 13:40.
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Old 25th April 2009, 22:24   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaysmokesleaves View Post
Your Safari is quite capable of much more than you think. As you explore its potential and merge your driving abilities to its potential you will be able to enjoy it a lot more. Take your time in this exploration. Hope you are through with your running in soon.
Cheers,

J
Should I not try the car off road while running in? I mean the 4x4 system should also be run in a little.
But I guess I must not try anything requiring 4L as that may need the engine to be revved above 2500 RPM.

I'll get into the action as soon as I do my first service.

Meanwhile, thanks a lot for all the support and encouragement.
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