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Discussion Starter #1
Just thought i would share some of what ive learned in the past year:

The key to having fun wheeling is not needlessly breaking something.
The key to not needlessly breaking something is to become a better driver.
The key to becoming a better driver is to "learn" your rig and its limits.

How to "learn" your rig:
1) practice practice practice, besides knowing specs (hp,torque, wheelbase, width, gearing, etc.) its important that you eventually feel as though you are "wearing" your rig like a piece of clothing.
2) Start paying attention to what objects look like from the drivers seat through the windsheild when they are certain distances away from your bumper.
3) What is the order of gears for high and low (for me it goes something like 1st low, 2nd low, 1st high, 3rd low, 2nd high, 4th low, 5th low, 4th high/6th low, etc.)
4) What pressures do you run to make your tires behave the same (i.e. for me i run 30 front and 29/28 psi rear and usally one less psi in my right rear, that seems to keep the open diff from misbehaving on rainy days).
5) Learn when and how to use your mirrors (they can get knocked off but they also serve as convienant gauges for seeing if your vehicle can fit between two trees for example.)
6) Also, evaluate everything you can, once you know you made it between something, use your mirrors to see by how much you cleared either side. Are you closer on one side or the other? (usually i am on my drivers side b/c i figure if i suck up as close as i can on my side then im safe on the pass. side). 7) Evaluate turns on the street, did you bump a curb?
8) Whatever tires your running, exploit their strengths (i.e. I have swamper LTB's, so i make sure that unless im in mud, i keep the wheel speed low b/c they have big side lugs and are meant for mud whereas when i had MTR's i wasnt afraid to buildup some heat on a wet rock face to burn off the moisture b/c they are meant for dry rock (something about their silica content %)
9) Dont go nuts out on anything unless its a must......unless you've got dana 60's or above, you'll probably break something.
10) unless you trailered your rig in.....check your pride at the door. (i.e. this wknd, i tried to weasel my way down a small hill, as soon as i saw that the trail was going to do nothing but kick me to the side and potentially ruin my mirror, i went straight to the winch backwards.


Hope these tips help, i know they help me alot. feel free to add.


thats my :2cents:
 

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All that is great info.

But you left out the most important thing (or I just missed it).

get your ass in the seat and drive and drive and drive and when you think you are getting good drive some more cause you still have a long ways to go.

I have spent litterally hours on end driving around the farm in my 4runner.......i put almost 300 miles on it and never left our property.

There is no replacement for time in the seat practiceing
 

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Starting a long winded post contest or what? :D rivaling me on length now!

But in all seriousness, you had all very good thoughts!

One thing I might add, is there is never enough practice. I am in the process of still re-learning to off road in my rig. Because with each vehicle you have new items to figure out. I didnt change rigs, but I changed the suspension and C.O.D so basically it is like driving a new truck.

You know from this weekend, there was a tight off camber turn I had to make, I didn't think I could make it, but forced myself down it. The truck did fine, but I wasn't confident!

Also never, never over drive your abilities! never let your buddies pressure you into something you are not comfortable doing!

Also accept the fact that damage could and probably will occur at one time or another. If you can't or not willing to take the good with the bad, don't try the obsticle!

also remember as I was telling someone this weekend, be prepared to fight human nature, As you were able to do when you bicycled! when feeling your C.O.D shift going down an off camber turn or whatever, know that you are going to have to turn down hill regardless! that is normally the opposite of what you naturally want to do. The typical reaction is to turn away from danger, not into it!

(good thread idea Brian!) I really would like to see more members on the trails! We are starting a good base, I just hope we can continue to build upon it!
 

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Yeah.......the whole turning down hill thing is critical.......I watched a guy roll earlier this year cause he was going down a hill, got sideways and instead of turning down hill and driveing out of it he paniced and tried to stop.....about the dumbest thing he could have done considering his LR tire was 3 foot off the ground........he ended up going over 2x.
 

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TO ALL READERS and POSTERS please keep this thread on topic without chit chat! this is a valuable thread for all new comers to come and get info on, before hitting the trails!

If you have questions pertaining to off road driving feel free to ask. no question is too stupid or too basic. (flamers refrain from flame post as they will be immediately deleted.)

thank you: the management!
 

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somewhat related

Another common mistake a lot of new/inexperienced people make is to mod their vehicles first, then start wheeling them. It is perfectly fine (and recommended) to install armor before getting into this sport, but if you are new to offroading or unfamiliar with your vehicles handling habits, it is a bad idea to install mods such as lifts, bigger tires, lockers, swaybar discos, etc before learning to wheel your truck stock

A modded truck will get you in trouble way faster than a stock truck in that the handling will be different, the extra capabilities will allow you to get into difficult situations easier, and for some having those big tires may lead to overconfidence which usually leads to disaster

Also by learning to wheel your truck stock you will become a much better driver and be able to tell which mods are for you and add them appropriately
 

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Terry, thank you for contributing! that is very good advice for the novice wheeler! I couldn't agree more!

and lord knows, the more you lift and make your rig more capable the more trouble you get into! I am living proof!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
something else i just thought of while i was working on a take home exam between baking pumpkin pie................if your towards the end of the day and you drive by a suspicious looking little mud hole....resist the urge to say..."hhmmm i wonder how bad it is..maybe ill throw my truck at it and see"


Trust me, chances are good its really bad. You'll probably end up using a winch to get out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
another good genre just popped into my head. One can become a better driver by becoming a better spotter, and one can also become a better spotter by becoming a better driver.


Riding along with someone can give you a good idea of what kinds of input a driver needs from a spotter. And spotting someone can show you the details and "inner workings" of trail navigation that cant be seen from the drivers seat (how tire placement can influence the behavior of the vehicle overall). This new experience gained can help one better understand what he/she needs to do with their vehicle to overcome an obstacle or gain confidence in their driving ability.
 

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compression brake, put the vehicle in low gear and let the truck slow itself down, only using the brake "lightly" when absolutely necessary. this is much easier in an automatic than in a 5 speed, due to lower gear ratios in automatics than 5 speeds (correct me if I am wrong Brinner)

you will be much more under "control"

If it is extremely muddy, give yourself as much wide birth as you can and attempt to anticipate your slide rate in order to make the turn. (usually a lot easier said than done)

Off topic, where are you located at? Indiana, or are you just visiting our board from another state? either way welcome!
 

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im in ms, i came from tnation and tworld. honestly? im sick of rich kids bragging and self consumed psychos acting like they are Gods gift to everyone so u have to suck their d*ck to get some straight answers ,they all act like they know everything but really they are just tryin to show off cause when it comes down to it, they dodge questions and act like u are crazy cause they really have no clue. thats why i came here.
 

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im in ms, i came from tnation and tworld. honestly? im sick of rich kids bragging and self consumed psychos acting like they are Gods gift to everyone so u have to suck their d*ck to get some straight answers ,they all act like they know everything but really they are just tryin to show off cause when it comes down to it, they dodge questions and act like u are crazy. thats why i came here.
You won't find a more helpful group of people then you will at TTORA. :kewl:

Welcome to the forums!
 

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thanks, im just tryin to be as safe as i can and not break as much as i dont have to in order to learn and not waste any more money on trial and error then i already have. so im just lookin for people that know what they are doing.
 

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thanks, im just tryin to be as safe as i can and not break as much as i dont have to in order to learn and not waste any more money on trial and error then i already have. so im just lookin for people that know what they are doing.
Nothing wrong with that thought process.

Just keep in mind that in offroading though, repairs are to be expected, part of the game. And I think that is where many new comers are disillusioned.

My goal in offroading is to minimize those repairs. :D

but to answer your original question again, compression braking is where it is at!

I have come down 30º grades in the past only in 4 lo and no feet on any of the peddles (I drive a 5 speed) and never felt out of control or had any excessive speed.
 

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i assume u mean 4low and in 1st gear rt? yea i know i cant know everything all at once and there will be mishaps, its just i kept on getting stuck over and over cause my front end kept on sinkin straight down everytime in mud in my acc cab 05 taco, then i saw brinner on a video at tworld i think, and he had same setup except he has a double cab and he didnt get stuck at all and his front end didnt sink one time in the mud in the video. i got a double cab short bed now, but hadnt been faced with any mud yet, i dont do hardcore stuff but i just couldnt understand why my acc cab just kept sinkin straight down and i kept getting stuck. plus my health is just not good enough for a 6spd like i thought i could handle in the 05 acc cab so i needed an automatic too. plus when i got stuck in the 6spd, the clutch would get so hot it would just stop workin and i couldnt find a ceramic clutch for 05+ tacos anywhere but i needed an automatic anyways. my stick shift days are over.i dont do really hardcore stuff anyways.
 

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i assume u mean 4low and in 1st gear rt? yea i know i cant know everything all at once and there will be mishaps, its just i kept on getting stuck over and over cause my front end kept on sinkin straight down everytime in mud in my acc cab 05 taco, then i saw brinner on a video at tworld i think, and he had same setup except he has a double cab and he didnt get stuck at all and his front end didnt sink one time in the mud in the video.
Brinner is a freak of nature and should not be used as a role model! :p

Seriously though, I am sure he will see this and comment, but in the meantime I can't for the life of me think of what video you are talking about, post up a link please. I might be able to explain.

Oh and yes, I did mean 4lo in first gear (and this is with stock transfer case.) Your gear ratio will have a factor in your decent rate as well. I am geared about perfect for my size tires so that is basically a wash when talking about this subject.

one thing about going through mud is "mojo" In other words you want to maintain a constant speed letting the truck carry itself off the bottom of the mud, but you have to be careful in preventing that same momentum from beginning to spin your tires/wheels. Too fast and you spin your wheels, too slow and you sink and become a mud plow.

It does become increasingly harder going down hills as your weight will want to carry you one direction and you are faced with a bend or turn in the trail. that is when you have to anticipate the slide and position your truck accordingly. (that is where a lot of stucks occur, your projected line puts you in another factor you did not account for)

Brinner and I were on the Harlan trails together where no one was getting tracking in any direction. He was busy winching himself out of the side of the trail (where he had slid off going up) at the same time I was sliding off the lower part of the same trail trying to turn around. No matter how careful either of us were being. the trail's camber just had it's way with everyone.

(Remember that slide fest in Harlan Brinner? :D I wish we could have gotten pictures of my truck tied to the tree as I had to turn around that one down hill turn/curve after the winch fest hill)
 

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Here is a link to my Badlands album that probably has the video he is talking about.

http://s114.photobucket.com/albums/n258/amp2oo1/Badlands Sep 8th 2007/
I enjoyed all those pics until I came across this one. You really should remove it, it makes the whole thing look un-professional... :D


(wonders how long until Bear bans me. BTW, your rig looks really good in that pic!)



Uhm... To stay on topic I'll just mention my biggest problem. When backing up on a trail to get around a object always watch the drivers side rear for trees... :D That has got me twice now...
 
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