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Old 28th March 2012, 16:11   #1
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Default Hill Climb Technique - For Cars (Front Wheel Drive)

Hi All,

Not sure this query requires a new thread altogether, I believe most of the expert drivers follow this section of Team BHP however, I will leave it to the descrition of the moderators to move wherever ever suitable -

Can some of the off-road experts share some knowledge on how to tackle steep hill climbs from a stand-still position using a 2WD car (front wheel drive).

Scenario: a position when you have lost your momemtum when a vehicle in front of you has fully stopped during a hill-climb; and you need to take-off and you also have minimal climb-down area as you are followed by a trail of vehicles behind you.
Vehicle: A turbo-charged car where the turbo kick-in only after 1800 RPM.

I believe there are various techniques like the handbrake technique, brief engagement of reverse gear to gain compression, etc..

Can somebody list-out in simple steps what is the most effective and optimal method to take-off smoothly from an inclined position without damaging any parts of the car like the clutch, brake, over-revving in 1st gear etc; Thanks
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Old 28th March 2012, 16:32   #2
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Default Re: Hill Climb Technique - For Cars (Front Wheel Drive)

The technique I have used in a situation like this, in the past:
- Apply a mild handbrake
- Slot in first gear
- Rev somewhat higher than usual, but not high enough to cause wheelspin
- Slowly and Smoothly release clutch. Avoid wheelspin at all costs
- Release handbrake, slowly reducing the brake force, over 2-3 seconds

As you rightly mentioned, it is about getting that fine balance between Compression, and avoiding Wheelspin.
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Old 28th March 2012, 16:34   #3
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Default Re: Hill Climb Technique - For Cars (Front Wheel Drive)

The incline and surface grip will determine the things to do.

Dirt or Tarmac? This will determine how to take off. If there is sufficient grip then conjunction of clutch control and handbrake will be the best. Like on tarmac.

AFAIK There is no gain by reverse gear to increase compression and thus increase power.

You can also play with heel toe on accelerator and brake pedal. Though hand brake would be more appropriate as it works on rear wheels while the power delivery is on front wheels.
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Old 28th March 2012, 16:38   #4
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Default Re: Hill Climb Technique - For Cars (Front Wheel Drive)

I use three techniques, one as described by @roy_libran.

On a higher incline
Another alternative, although slightly difficult is put your feet horizontally pressing brake and accelerator with the heel touching the brakes and the toe touching the accelerator.

Now gently twist the tow, i.e. lift the heel and press the toe, and at the same time release the clutch to move forward.

On Slight incline, like mall parking lots
Ride the half clutch, i.e. the amount of accelerator and the amount of clutch released is so balanced that the car stays at its place and does not roll backwards, nor does it go forward. When its time to move forward, release the clutch gently and the car moves (No need to press the accelerator more)

Declaimer : Both of the techniques work flawlessly by me on my Baleno (Don't have sufficient experience on Civic to do this)

Last edited by mayankjha1806 : 28th March 2012 at 16:41.
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Old 28th March 2012, 16:43   #5
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Default Re: Hill Climb Technique - For Cars (Front Wheel Drive)

Why not simply get off the vehicle (or ask someone else in the vehicle to), put a stone or piece a of wood (what ever you find) behind the rear wheels and then try moving the vehicle? I guess this works fine always unless the surface is very slippery or is raining outside or if there isn't enough space to get off your vehicle..
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Old 28th March 2012, 16:48   #6
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Default Re: Hill Climb Technique - For Cars (Front Wheel Drive)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
On Slight incline, like mall parking lots
Ride the half clutch, i.e. the amount of accelerator and the amount of clutch released is so balanced that the car stays at its place and does not roll backwards, nor does it go forward. When its time to move forward, release the clutch gently and the car moves (No need to press the accelerator more)

Declaimer : Both of the techniques work flawlessly by me on my Baleno (Don't have sufficient experience on Civic to do this)
I use this technique a lot when on inclines and have got quite adept at using it as well. Recently, when with a friend, he said that doing this could cause damage to the clutch plate. Any idea about his claim?
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Old 28th March 2012, 17:00   #7
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Default Re: Hill Climb Technique - For Cars (Front Wheel Drive)

Thanks Guys for your responses.

I had a scary experience during my trip to Ooty last weekend; I was driving my Punto 90HP on the masinagudi ghat (mudumalai). I was pacing at a respectable pace. I was chased by a crazy Swift driver who was constantly hoking behind me. I usually give way to such lunatics; by this time I was a lunatic to give him way in the middle of the ghat. He overtook me and while climbing the next pin-curve he lost power (no clue what happened in there), he stalled and he started to trail backward as if he lost control; braked several times before he finally stalled completly.

This has stalled all the train of cars on that ghat for a good 10-15mins; I have seen people struggle to pull-off from that stand-still point including myself.

I wish to practise the stated techniques and I wish to perfect it.

Cheers!!
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Old 28th March 2012, 17:02   #8
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Default Re: Hill Climb Technique - For Cars (Front Wheel Drive)

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinod332002 View Post
I use this technique a lot when on inclines and have got quite adept at using it as well. Recently, when with a friend, he said that doing this could cause damage to the clutch plate. Any idea about his claim?

doing so to hold the vehicle on an incline for a longish time (a few mins?) can burn your clutch; IMHO handbrake method is easiest for the given situation.
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Old 28th March 2012, 17:06   #9
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Default Re: Hill Climb Technique - For Cars (Front Wheel Drive)

I used to break into sweet into such situation and always managed to get myself out of such situation with an overwhelming smell of burning clutch. Though now I feel that I have mastered the art and conduct such maneuver with minimal fuss.

This is how I do it.

Engage the hand brake.
Put the vehicle in the first gear.
Try to gain the momentum as you will do on a plain surface.
Release the hand brake slowly as vehicle get in the movement.

My wife was aware of my lack of required skills to carry this out but I recently impressed her by getting the car out of a malls slanted parking lot while someone parked his/her car just behind my car.
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Old 28th March 2012, 17:25   #10
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Default Re: Hill Climb Technique - For Cars (Front Wheel Drive)

Can I do the following; does this damage the car's gear box in any manner?

Step 1.
1. Pre-rev the car until the turbo kicks-in say 1800 RPM AND de-press clutch completely AND engage 1st gear.

Step 2.
1. Release the clutch gently and completly AND release handbrake.

Expected outcome: Forward movement and smooth and strong take-off.

Sorry if this sounds like a dummy's guide!
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Old 28th March 2012, 17:48   #11
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Default Re: Hill Climb Technique - For Cars (Front Wheel Drive)

Car: Optra 1.8 Litre Petrol
Terrain: Steep incline (not visible in photos) with gravel and loose sand
Altitude: Around 10,000 ft
Location: Himachal Pradesh
Load: 2 + 1 passengers & luggage in the boot.

Problem: While the car had momentum, it was slipping and sliding a bit but was managing to go up. But when a vehicle infront of us stopped, we had to stop too - after which, our car refused to budge.

Solution: Two of us got down (weight lowered by 120 kgs perhaps) and gave the car a slight push - not even a push, just a nudge perhaps. Once the car got going from standstill, it clambered up the incline.

Hill Climb Technique - For Cars (Front Wheel Drive)-img_0154.jpg

Hill Climb Technique - For Cars (Front Wheel Drive)-img_0155.jpg
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Old 28th March 2012, 18:00   #12
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Default Re: Hill Climb Technique - For Cars (Front Wheel Drive)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Invader View Post
Can I do the following; does this damage the car's gear box in any manner?

Step 1.
1. Pre-rev the car until the turbo kicks-in say 1800 RPM AND de-press clutch completely AND engage 1st gear.

Step 2.
1. Release the clutch gently and completly AND release handbrake.

Expected outcome: Forward movement and smooth and strong take-off.

Sorry if this sounds like a dummy's guide!
if you rev the car up to that level, you are likely to end up with a wheelspin.

try to follow this:
1 - put the handbrake ON, gear in neutral. car in stopped position.
2 - depress the clutch and engage first gear, do not release the clutch yet.
3 - rev a bit (1200-1300 RPM, also depending upon the incline) and slowly release the clutch to a point where you feel the bite.
4 - release the handbrake, release the clutch fully while giving a bit more gas.
5 - practice above, you shall be able to move forward without any issues such as wheelspin, or moving backwards.
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Old 28th March 2012, 18:01   #13
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Default Re: Hill Climb Technique - For Cars (Front Wheel Drive)

OT: It is easier to climb an incline using an NA engine than the Turbocharged ones.
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Old 28th March 2012, 18:45   #14
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Default Re: Hill Climb Technique - For Cars (Front Wheel Drive)

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinair View Post
Why not simply get off the vehicle (or ask someone else in the vehicle to), put a stone or piece a of wood
Impractical solution, imagine you are on a bumper to bumper traffic going uphill, which crawls for few meters and then stops again, throw in more problems like rains or muddy road and you see this solution does not scale. Best is to learn how to deal with the situation and use this as a stop gap arrangement till then.

BTW the handbrake solution is simplest to master and easiest to execute, so you really do not need this gymnastics .

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinod332002 View Post
doing this could cause damage to the clutch plate. Any idea about his claim?
Shouldn't do this for minutes, max a few seconds (maybe 5 seconds tops), only when starting from standstill. Have been doing this for last 7 years in my Baleno and the clutch plate lasted 6 years and 62K Kms. BTW he is right if you overdo this .

Last edited by mayankjha1806 : 28th March 2012 at 18:50.
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Old 28th March 2012, 19:31   #15
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Default Re: Hill Climb Technique - For Cars (Front Wheel Drive)

The techniques mentioned above are good and useful till one day you encounter an incline which a FWD cannot scale no matter what you do . Sorry for being pessimistic, but I could not help saying this. All my life I have driven FWD cars and went to the hills of Sikkim and North Bengal. But I had taken an oath to buy an RWD just for the reason mentioned in this thread. I was bored of torturing the FWD cars on those steep inclines.
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