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Old 17th February 2006, 20:46   #1
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Question To what extent a novice can take a 4x4 off-road?

I am bit curious on this. I have never driven any 4x4 car.

I have seen several off-road drivings in TV and magazines (& also some pics in team-bhp).

But I wonder how far a novice driver (who has not undergone any off-road driving training) can take a 4x4/4WD/AWD to actual off-road? Can anyone drive a 4x4 into marsh lands or through muddy terrains?

Also, I wonder how many of 4x4 owners actually take their cars to off-road? Do anyone have any statistics? If they don't take their cars to off-road, why do they buy such cars (just for glamour)?
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Old 17th February 2006, 21:43   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbasak
Also, I wonder how many of 4x4 owners actually take their cars to off-road? Do anyone have any statistics? If they don't take their cars to off-road, why do they buy such cars (just for glamour)?
I do take my vehicle off-road but the usage is probably 5% or so....however, I did not buy it for glamour - I recently took the Safari into a paddy field and had a "race" with my uncle's tractor. Damaged my LHS footboard (steel frame with plastic cladding - the cladding was ripped) when I scraped an unseen rock on the side, but otherwise okay. Replaced both footboards with the aluminium ones from the old Safari.

I dont have the answer to your primary question, though. I just take the vehicle off-road and "drive" within my limits.
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Old 18th February 2006, 02:17   #3
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Everyone's a novice when they start.
The MAhindra Classic is the best 4x4 to learn off-roading since u don't wanna mess with an expensive 4x4 vehicle.

Search & Check GTO's early posts about his adventures with his jeep.
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Old 18th February 2006, 09:15   #4
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Just make sure that there is enough horsepower/ bullpower or just good old muscle power around if you happen to get stuck.
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Old 18th February 2006, 11:23   #5
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Off-roading requires a capable machine and common sense. I have done some hard core off-roading, and have learnt how to do so only with experience and the good ol' trial / error methods. Its best to start with easy off-roading terrain and gradually progressing to more difficult stages.

There are plentiful reliable resources online for tips and tricks. But remember never to venture out alone as an off-roading novice. ALWAYS take another 4x4 with you to pull you out in case you get stuck.

GTO
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Old 20th February 2006, 05:36   #6
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Hey Sbasak,

As GTO said, common sense & experience.

My first time offroading was in a 2x4 Mahindra. The more mistakes i made the more i learnt.

Here are a few things that you will realise quickly -

1. Momentum - is important, especially when climbing, use it to your advantage and dont kill the momentum unneccessarily because starting up again will be difficult on an upward incline.

2. Traction - You'll be suprised how easily you can lose it (especially in 2WD) (heres where momentum comes in again). If you get stuck, and bouncing or FWD/REV/FWD/REV doesnt get you out, try putting the rubber floormats (or even a jute sack or the likes) under the driven wheels to get yourself out.
Easy on the throttle coz spinning your tires faster doesn't help, it only digs you in deeper.

3. Choose the right path - Choose firm ground, stuff you know you will get best traction on, no hidden ditches, easiest path for the car, watch out for low branches. Use common sense.

4. Choose the right angle - When crossing trench like ditches, go at it at an angle (like how spiderman does speedbreakers), so that way only one wheel will be in the trench at a time (if you went straight two wheels would be in the trench at the same time and chances are you will get stuck).
When on an incline, remember your CG. Cars are much more likely to roll over sideways than fwds/backwards. Therefore try and keep it straight on the inclines. Take it slow on the downhills, stopping on muck isn't easy and chances are if the muck doesnt stop you a tree will.

Also, if you are planning on getting stuck it always helps to do it near the main road where a bus full of enthusiastic tourists are willing to help pick your jeep out of a 4foot deep ditch. Trust me i know

cya
R

Last edited by Rehaan : 20th February 2006 at 05:39.
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Old 20th February 2006, 15:51   #7
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I think this is a good introduction to 4WD--

http://www.film.queensu.ca/CJ3B/Phot...rivingTips.gif
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Old 20th February 2006, 16:08   #8
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How is the low range useful while offroading? The only thing that comes to my mind is, low range provides you more torque at lower revs. While it is easy to understand how good this is when climbing up hill, how would that be useful while climbing down? (If this is too dumb a question, please excuse me. I do not know the ABC of off-roading).
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Old 20th February 2006, 16:26   #9
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off-roading is fairly simple. u just need to have an understanding of how a diff works.

a proper analysis of the terrain that you are tackling is a must. if required, get out of ur car and have a look at the ditch/slope BEFORE u proceed.

I though off-roading was difficult, but was proved wrong when I went to off-roading school in Scotland. it is just too simple, once u understand the workings of the diff and how to use it.
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Old 20th February 2006, 16:27   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepakhon
How is the low range useful while offroading? The only thing that comes to my mind is, low range provides you more torque at lower revs. While it is easy to understand how good this is when climbing up hill, how would that be useful while climbing down? (If this is too dumb a question, please excuse me. I do not know the ABC of off-roading).
While going downhill if you engage a higher gear you may soon start feeling that the vehicle has a mind of its own. You may start loosing control on rapidly accelerating wheelspin (particularly if there is lot of loose gravel). In all such scenarios a lower gear automatically ensures that the wheels are in control. The engine acts as your natural ally (and brakes).
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Old 20th February 2006, 16:49   #11
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Found some more info here
http://www.pps.net.au/4wdencounter/4wdtech/4wdtech.html
This is even better
http://www.the-ecentre.net/resources...ide_to_4WD.pdf

Last edited by sbasak : 20th February 2006 at 17:05.
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Old 20th February 2006, 17:11   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepakhon
How is the low range useful while offroading? The only thing that comes to my mind is, low range provides you more torque at lower revs. While it is easy to understand how good this is when climbing up hill, how would that be useful while climbing down? (If this is too dumb a question, please excuse me. I do not know the ABC of off-roading).
You have raised a very useful question.
The gearing has 2 Functions
1) Increase /Multiply the torque
2) Reduce the crawling speed (Engine RPM X Total Gearing X Circumference of Tyre)

When you are climbing uphill gearing will be 4Low X (2nd/3rd) X Diff. Ratio
While climbing down the intention is to use the Engine Compression (Engine Braking) and the gearing to slow the vehicle down.

ALWAYS descend on 4LOW - 1st @ Engine idling speed or 5-10% above it.


PS - Total Gearing = G-box ratio X (Reduction Ratio/ T-case Ratio) X Diff. Ratio
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Old 20th February 2006, 20:08   #13
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hi sbaska
my advice would be take it one step at a time... start off with small hills & marsh land & gradually start taking tougher trails... this way you can undestand the limitations of your 4x4 & also of your driving skills..
sanket
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