AWD vs 4WD

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 11:45
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Can a AWD Kia Sportage diesel, drive on a dedicated 4WD road?

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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 12:41

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 12:41
Umm...Yes.

But maybe you need to elaborate a little more.
There is no such thing as a dedicated four wheel drive road. But some tracks, or at
least the condition of some, are more suitable to vehicles with higher clearance, or low range gearboxes, or locked diffs. or winch enabled vehicles.

Most off-road tracks can be traversed by a capable driver in a bog standard vehicle, but when the track conditions change, usually following rain, even a 4WD vehicle with one or all of the above mentioned options, will simply have to "wait it out" until conditions improve.

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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 14:47

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 14:47
"There is no such thing as a dedicated four wheel drive road."
But there are roads restricted to 4WDs, from time to time, and I suggest that those restrictions are legally binding.
https://www.dpti.sa.gov.au/OutbackRoads
"4WD
Open to 4WD vehicles under 3 tonne only (no towing) "
Currently the case north of Innamincka.

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Peter
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Follow Up By: OutBack Wanderers - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 15:08

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 15:08
OPEN
Open to all vehicle

OPEN with warnings
Open to all vehicles, with caution

4WD
Open to 4WD vehicles under 3 tonne only (no towing)

4WD / HV
Open to 4WD and Heavy Vehicles

CLOSED
Closed to all vehicles

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Follow Up By: OutBack Wanderers - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 17:15

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 17:15
I beg to differ for dedicated 4WD tracks only.

The Road Atlas of Australia & 4WD Atlas shows 4WD only roads

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Reply By: RMD - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 12:58

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 12:58
Does your Kia have a lockable centre differential.
If not (with open diffs) it is effectively a 1 wheel drive vehicle. Traction control then becomes very active indeed.

While it's design does/can supply power to ALL wheels does it do that all the time?
Toyota Rav4, Honda and others only drive the two front wheels and the 4 aspect becomes turned on when wheel slip rate of front wheels is detected by wheel sensors and ABS action.

Do you know exactly what your vehicle features do or the way it works, That info presented here will allow people to give a more accurate answer to the question.
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Follow Up By: HKB Electronics - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 15:03

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 15:03
Some models I believe have a viscous drive system, even with a front and rear wheel off the ground they still have drive to the other two that are on the ground.
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Follow Up By: OutBack Wanderers - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 17:21

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 17:21
Yes, it has a centre diff lock, you can use this at times when you need to go slow over mud or snow, but also AWD is working all the time on all 4 wheels but when the computers feel slippage transfers the power to the other wheels to keep in contact with the road

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Follow Up By: Batt's - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 17:40

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 17:40
You could maybe contact the shire for a more accurate answer.

Other than that in my opinion if the conditions are favourable and you are willing to accept responsibility for your actions for eg if you have the wrong type of tyres or have low clearance or are not carrying food and water if you break down or at least a uhf or other mode of coms if it's an isolated area. If your not willing to expect any possibility you may get some damage to suspension etc I would say don't go there but if your adequately prepared I don't see why not it may even be better off road within reason with the right tyres and all the electronic traction gismos than an old open diff 4WD as long as the dust doesn't interfere with the electronics.
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Follow Up By: OutBack Wanderers - Tuesday, Apr 17, 2018 at 10:33

Tuesday, Apr 17, 2018 at 10:33
I just did that Batt, rang up the WA Mains Rd Dept, basically in a nutshell, NO

They'll be sending me some info to my home in a few days

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Reply By: KevinE - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 14:47

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 14:47
If the sign says "open" to vehicles under 3t, then yes, you can drive it in your Sportage, as it's a vehicle under 3t.

If the sign says "open" to 4WD, but closed to other vehicles under/over 3t - then no, you can't drive the road in anything other than a 4WD.
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 16:18

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 16:18
I would contend that an "All Wheel Drive" vehicle that has 4 wheels is in fact a "Four Wheel Drive" vehicle.

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Peter
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 16:22

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 16:22
I'd argue it's a One Wheel Drive
Tony
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 16:43

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 16:43
Could also be argued that most 4WDs are only really 2WD (when put into "4WD" high or low). I think PnM's arguement is that any one of the 4 wheels can have "drive"....better than a "normal" car (generally referred to as a 2WD) I suppose. Whether or not you would be pinged with a fine is the question. Would depend on each shire's interpretation of the rule and what they consider constitutes a "4WD".

Cheers
Greg
The 16th of November was a red-letter day, for on it we crossed the last sandridge - in lat 19°20’ – leaving the desert behind us. D Carnegie 1896

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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 17:00

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 17:00
If the sign says Open to 4WD and you have a part time 4WD vehicle, does it have to be in 4WD?

Do your front hubs have to be locked?

Front and rear lockers, now we're talking.

:-)
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Follow Up By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 17:26

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 17:26
To get even sillier, my motor home has dual rear wheels which all drive so although the front wheels do not drive can I take it on so called 4WD roads??
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 18:18

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 18:18
So what is a 200 series Cruiser?

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Peter
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 19:39

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 19:39
I take it you are asking that question of me Peter. yeah?


Given it has a torsen diff that always maintains 40:60 to 60:40 ratios unless the center diff is locked at 50:50. That alone woudl make it a 2wd. Then with traction control I figure it's about a 3.5 wheel drive.


Then with the diff locks on front and back, it is 4WD.
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 20:09

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 20:09
Rod N nothing silly about it you should be fine
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Follow Up By: OutBack Wanderers - Tuesday, Apr 17, 2018 at 10:39

Tuesday, Apr 17, 2018 at 10:39
I did that with my 5 tonne truck after unloading gravel, was funny calling for the grader to tow me off the hump, there I was, like a see-saw, up an down, swinging in the breeze, stuck

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Reply By: Zippo - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 18:45

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 18:45
There appears to be no such thing as a "dedicated 4WD road", but there are roads where closure or otherwise is determined by a vehicle classification. The problem with such systems is the bureaucrats who administer it, and their seemingly limited knowledge of vehicles.

In 2016 we were in Birdsville with plans to head south, and waiting for the track to be reopened in the week before the Big Bash. Being in an AWD at the time, I asked your question of SA's DPTI enquiry line.

It took about 3/4 of an hour explaining to the staffer that no, not ALL AWD's were 2WD's with drive to the other two wheels being dependent on (a) speed OR (b) operator selection. When it finally sank in with her that a Subaru AWD is permanent full-time drive to all four wheels, she said yes we could traverse the track when opened to 4WD/under-3T. (There was no discrimination on whether the central or other diffs were lockable, limited slip, viscous clutch or open. Go figure.)

Many AWD's are NOT full-time drive to 4 wheels, and that seemed to be the sticking point. Using that approach, a "4WD" with free-wheeling front hubs would NOT be allowed. Again, go figure.

It's really a nonsense the haphazard way it is administered, but it is THEIR game so we have to play by THEIR rules as the fines they can impose are eye-watering. When in doubt, ask the relevant body - in the case pictured the Shire of Yilgarn - and get the name of the person giving you the ruling.
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Follow Up By: HKB Electronics - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 19:05

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 19:05
Don't know about the "There appears to be no such thing as a dedicated 4WD road" I have seen a few roads marked with a 4WD only sign at the start, an others with "high clearance 4WD only".
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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 19:31

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 19:31
Last year I took my High clearance Hilux 4wd down a track in Central Australia that was marked "High clearance 4wd ONLY.
On my way out a Kia Sportage was trying to come in & from the load crunching noises as the underneath was hitting rocks I would say it would not have made it much further!

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Follow Up By: Zippo - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 20:21

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 20:21
Those signs are invariably of advisory status only.
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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 20:45

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 20:45
Yep they sure are.
I guess the driver coming in chose to ignore it & damage the vehicle.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 20:50

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 20:50
Hi Zippo, “advisory signs”, tell that to the guy who writes the ticket if they catch you disregarding these signs. Same as driving on a road sign posted as a closed road.

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Follow Up By: Zippo - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 21:21

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 21:21
Macca it is NOTHING like driving on a closed road.

The type of sign in the OP's pic, and as seen at various points on gazetted roads, have regulatory or legislated enforcement. The others are a different kettle of fish.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 21:30

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 21:30
Zippo, regardless of the sign in the picture, the OP’s question was wether his vehicle was permitted on a dedicated 4WD road.
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Follow Up By: Zippo - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 21:44

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 21:44
Macca, you missed the point. The jury seems to still be out regarding the existence of a "4WD only" road. The road in the OP's pic is an example of a "not 4WD only road".
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Monday, Apr 09, 2018 at 08:29

Monday, Apr 09, 2018 at 08:29
Rather surprised at that comment Zippo. This is one of a few that are about the place.
4WD Only Road Sign.
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Reply By: Member - Barry P (VIC) - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 19:54

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 19:54
my understanding is a proper 4wd has a drive motor on each wheel?

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Follow Up By: Batt's - Monday, Apr 09, 2018 at 13:34

Monday, Apr 09, 2018 at 13:34
That would probably be an electric power vehicle with a drive motor on each wheel
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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 20:12

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 20:12
Hi Outback Wanderers, a lot of pedantic answers here. By definition, a 4WD is a vehicle that has two axles, and the ability to provide engine torque to all 4 wheels, either full time or on demand. An AWD is slightly different depending on how the engine torque is applied to the wheels, and can be classified as either a 4WD, or a 2WD. In your case, the Kia Sportage would fall into the category of a 4WD.

So the answer to your question is that you are permitted to “legally” travel on a 4WD only road. However, IMHO, I wouldn’t as you are likely to suffer some significant damage to either suspension components, or underbody panels. The Kia Sportage was not designed for “off road” use.

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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 21:00

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 21:00
Think you have missed the point..The OP didn’t really provide many details but the picture they also posted clearly indicates (to me at least) that they are talking about your average shire maintained "outback" unsealed gravel/sand/dirt road which has been closed to normal traffic (i.e. any vehicle). This action is typically employed after a significant rain event where un-sealed roads will get damaged by vehicles using them until such time as they have dried out.

They are not really “4WD” tracks – many are good roads that you can do 100km/hr plus on in a Fiat 500...different story when wet as they will obvioulsy get cut up a bit if you head down in your V8 Commodore or B double. They let 4WD’s use the tracks earlier than trucks and 2WDs as you are less likely to cut up the road or get stuck.

Nothing to do with any concern that some people may get “some significant damage to either suspension components, or underbody panels”. This isn’t the Shires problem. If you cut up the track they have to spend money re-grading it – this is their main issue. Question really related to what any one shire would classify as a 4WD vehicle - they won't be measuring your ground clearance to determine this fact..

Cheers
Greg
The 16th of November was a red-letter day, for on it we crossed the last sandridge - in lat 19°20’ – leaving the desert behind us. D Carnegie 1896

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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 21:34

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 21:34
Hi Explorer, I don’t think I missed the point, regardless of the sign in the picture, the OP’s question was wether his vehicle was permitted to use a “dedicated” 4WD Road.

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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 23:20

Sunday, Apr 08, 2018 at 23:20
Yes you did...The picture was part of the story - the "dedicated" "4WD" road was just your average unsealed road closed by a Shire due to weather conditions.

Cheers
Greg
The 16th of November was a red-letter day, for on it we crossed the last sandridge - in lat 19°20’ – leaving the desert behind us. D Carnegie 1896

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Reply By: Athol W1 - Monday, Apr 09, 2018 at 08:29

Monday, Apr 09, 2018 at 08:29
It is my understanding that the reason for roads being closed to all vehicles other than 4wd is to eliminate or at least reduce the damage that can be done to such roads by vehicles breaking the surface of such roads due to wheel slip or spin. A wheel that is just rolling along on the surface is far less likely to cause damage than one that is slipping and breaking the surface.

As this is the aim then any vehicle that provides for equal, or near equal, driving forces to each and every wheel would be acceptable.

Any attempt to argue that such vehicles as Land Rover Discovery/Defender, Range Rover, Toyota 80/100/200, Prado, all being AWD vehicles do not meet the criteria of providing a near equal driving force to each wheel would surely be strongly argued against by the respective manufacturers.

As the authorities are willing to accept that the common 'run of the mill' 4WD vehicles are acceptable then they are accepting that the likes of the Toyota 45/60/70 series of vehicles, also most, if not all, the current crop of 4WD utes and SUV's would all be suitable for use of these roads. Any and all of these vehicles with constant RWD and selectable 4WD are not fitted with any provision for allowing the front and rear axles to rotate at differing speeds when negotiating corners and therefore causing some slippage of one or more wheels on the road surface, therefore breaking the hard surface and introducing a point of potential erosion of the road surface with future rain.

Without some form of direct mechanical interference to prevent normal differential action taking place then any AWD vehicle can very quickly become a 1WD, as the maximum power that can be transmitted to the ground IS DIRECTLY CONTROLLED BY THE TYRE WITH THE LEAST RESISTANCE, that is the tyre that breaks traction first as all the available torque will be lost through that wheel.

Likewise without some form of direct mechanical interference to prevent normal differential action taking place then any 4WD vehicle can very quickly become a 2WD, as the maximum power that can be transmitted to the ground is directly controlled by the wheel that has the least resistance on the END of the vehicle that has the best grip on the road (ie if a front wheel has lost all traction then the drive is governed by the wheel with the least grip on the rear)

By DIRECT MECHANICAL INTERFERENCE I am referring to such things as manual or automatic differential locks, the ARB Air Locker, Detriot Locker, Loka, and Ford's Hydra Trak (fitted to some models of Falcon vehicles) or similar. Limited Slip Diffs are NOT included as they all require resistance from both wheels to operate, these include Torsen and most original fitment LSD's.

Regards
Athol
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Apr 09, 2018 at 09:12

Monday, Apr 09, 2018 at 09:12
Athol,

While a Torsen diff is a type of "Limited Slip diff" it works quite differently to traditional limited slip diffs and is designed with a particular bias ratio. Say 2:1 or 3:1.

A 3:1 will never allow more then a 75:25 split in torque delivery and doesn't need any resistance on the low traction wheel. It locks up based on rotational speed difference, regardless of any resistance ( or none) That's the beauty if it..

This video explains it well.

Tony
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Follow Up By: Athol W1 - Monday, Apr 09, 2018 at 10:02

Monday, Apr 09, 2018 at 10:02
Tony
The original Torsen diff was named the Gleeson Torsen Diff, and was purely a replacement for the diff typically fitted to the rear axle of most vehicle. There was NO torque variation across the diff and it is still available for fitment into most vehicle axles. It is a method of using Gear Binding to get the limited diff effect, working on the principle that the worm will turn the wheel but the wheel can not turn the worm.

The unit that is fitted to the 200 Toyota does have a bias toward the rear drive, giving a 40% of the available torque to the front axle and 60% to the rear when in open type operation, and it is done with an epicyclic gear set in the transfer case. It is my experience, having owned a 200 TTD LC, that there is very little 'limited slip' function available from this unit and certainly if one front wheel had no traction (in the air) then there was no driving force delivered to any other wheel.

Should you place a vehicle with a Torsen across axle diff with one wheel on solid ground and the other wheel on a set of rollers you will find that there is NO drive force delivered to the ground, with only the wheel on the rollers having any rotation and NO forward movement of the vehicle. If you then slowly apply the hand brake the resistance to rotation of the 'free' wheel will then instigate the 'gear binding' of the Torsen diff and the vehicle will drive off the rollers.

Torsen diffs (or Gleeson Torsen ) have been around since the early 1980's that I am aware of, and they are now the limited slip diff of choice for a number of high performance 2wd prestige motor vehicles such as Maserati, Ferrari and Lamborgini, none of which use torque bias splitting.

Regards
Athol
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Follow Up By: Athol W1 - Monday, Apr 09, 2018 at 11:07

Monday, Apr 09, 2018 at 11:07
Tony
I have watched the video, and I have seen the actual diffs of various offerings, I have repaired many of the various types of diffs and I can tell you that there is no form of Limited Slip Diff that will give good drive without some form of resistance from the wheel with low/no traction.

In the case of clutch type LSD's there is some limited drive to the wheel with traction when the opposite wheel has no traction, but the application of the handbrake will greatly increase that drive due to the clutch plates being 'pressed together' by the now lightly loaded wheel.

In the case of the Torsen diff if there is NO force coming back from the wheel that has 'lost traction' then the diff operates the same as any normal open diff. It takes some resistance to rotation to come back from the 'loose' wheel to make the gear binding operational, therefore giving drive to the heavily loaded wheel.

Detroit Lockers, or Loka, diffs are the opposite in that they require the driving forces to come from the wheels to cause them to unlock. If there is no driving force coming from either wheel then the diff IS LOCKED. Basically these diffs only respond to a wheel that wishes to turn at a greater speed than what the motive power source is asking, ie the wheel that is on the outside of the turn needs to rotate faster than the inside wheel so the outside wheel will disengage from the drive and it will just free wheel until the speeds align again.

Regards
Athol
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Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Monday, Apr 09, 2018 at 17:33

Monday, Apr 09, 2018 at 17:33
Or a garden variety Subaru with up to 50:50 front rear split and variable torque diffs which can send 100% torque to any single wheel with traction or all 4 - all automatically. But they are ‘just’ AWD. I wish my 4wd had that system.
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Follow Up By: mountainman - Thursday, Apr 12, 2018 at 08:05

Thursday, Apr 12, 2018 at 08:05
Epic getting off topic thread...
Really getting into the nitty gritty tech specs.
Common
Unless you have a fully diff locked 4wd.
You could argue it is right
But then the typical nit pick...
Im right.... your wrong 15 replies between 2-3 guys just sends the thread into a meltdown.

Some more info from the original poster couldnt have hurt.
And maybe a well placed bash plate, said vehicle would do just fine.

Or simply just driving with a little more caution.
Or do you want to hear about a falcon or commodore doing said track.
Just took it easy
But then people are going to want to know
Was it a auto or manual..
Tyre size...
Tread pattern...
Then 50 nit pick replies that just are a waste because its like looking at 2 cats going for it to just make a fool of the other.

Because i know more

peace out
And relax people
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Reply By: Alloy c/t - Monday, Apr 09, 2018 at 09:31

Monday, Apr 09, 2018 at 09:31
The problem is one of 'definition' , over the years our vehicles have changed and it has become a mine field of what constitutes a 4 wheel drive , once we only had 2 wheel drive [rear wheels] and 2 wheel drive [ front wheel ] and of course 4 wheel drive with that 2nd gear lever and free wheeling hubs .......then things started to change because we got lazy , no more free wheeling hubs for the masses [ who wants to get out to lock the hubs in ? ] , we lose the 2nd stick for a dial on the dash because why stop to engage when a little electric motor can do it for us ? Then we get even lazier , we want AWD so we have to do nothing but steer......just remember that a lot of places , long before graded roads and tracks , were done in a model T ford ...... says it all really ......
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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Apr 09, 2018 at 13:51

Monday, Apr 09, 2018 at 13:51
.
Maybe it would help to refer to the ExplorOz Related Pages Article titled 4WD vs AWD at the very bottom of this page.

If nothing else, it will give you lot some more to argue about. lol

Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Monday, Apr 09, 2018 at 14:42

Monday, Apr 09, 2018 at 14:42
BTW what is a high clearance vehicle? What are the dimensions and where are they measured?
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Follow Up By: Athol W1 - Monday, Apr 09, 2018 at 17:31

Monday, Apr 09, 2018 at 17:31
Rod

In the definition of 'Off Road Vehicles' under the ADR's there are 5 criteria that are used to define such a vehicle and to be classified as an OFF ROAD VEHICLE the vehicle must meet at least 4 of these criteria. One of these is a minimum ground clearance of 225mm, so a vehicle can still be classified as an Off Road Vehicle with only 100mm ground clearance as long as it meets all of the other 4 criteria. Ground clearance is normally measured at least 1 metre from an axle.

I would suggest that any light vehicle with at least 225mm ground clearance would meet that requirement.

Regards
Athol
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Reply By: PajeroTD - Friday, Apr 13, 2018 at 07:39

Friday, Apr 13, 2018 at 07:39
Kia uses a DynaMax AWD system, you’re not going to have an issue with sending torque to all four wheels. Especially with the lockable centre diff. Just get some aggressive all terrains and be prepared for the unexpected, as you would with any vehicle.
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