one scary hill climb!

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 09:36
ThreadID: 13775 Views:2060 Replies:8 FollowUps:9
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Here's my weekend experience, which I want to tell forumites , and I want your tips , advice . The spot is called Blue Range, Brindabellas ACT. Nice big ascent which is pretty much aligned straight up the hill. Been up it twice before without getting stuck - mind you that was pre the bush fires and now there are some deep ruts ( BLOODY RUTS ! ). 80 series went up first - turbo diesel , all terains on front mud terains on the back - no stopping didn't get stuck. I went next. 99 Petrol Jackaroo, all terains all around, suspension lifted, and this was my first trip with my new rear diff lockers ( ARB air lockers ). Going along steady in low range first, started to get into trouble because the rear left went down into a deep rut, both front wheels up off the ground ( I didn't know this but the 80 series spectators at the top told me later ) touched the accelerator and the car lurched suddenly around to the right and whoosh off we went onto the shoulder of the track - scary stuff , SWMBO went ballistic . We reversed down and had another go , went much better with keeping the tyres on the crest of the ruts obviously. Surface was rocky clay just damp not wet. Advice please on the diff lockers, with the petrol I am always a bit hesitant to let revs go down as low as my mate in the diesel, but maybe I should be heaps more gentle on the accelerator ? just stay off the revs and let the vehicle do the job. Anybody who has diff lockers can you tell me your experience with handling ? I thought this hill would be a piece of cake , but we got into all sorts of trouble .

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Reply By: fozzy - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 09:59

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 09:59
dont know area but had petrol 80 with f/r lockers and made big difference generally.
you said surface was rocky clay-sometimes all it takes is first vehicle up to make it near impassable for following vehicles so possibly this was situation. sometimes slightly different line is all it takes to get up and sometimes doesnt matter what u do your vehicle will not make it
doesnt hurt to have lockers engaged as less strain on vehicle .
as for revs-my 80 had a fair bit of weight carried so i had to choose low range earlier than some eigty series petrols as i was running out of revs early.
normally attacked hills in 2nd low range and kept the revs up a little as probably u have experienced there is fine line between slowing to much and not being able to recover momentum as diesels can do.
also the ruts-can be best to stay in ruts if not to deep and if ruts are very deep can be bad to staddle as u run risk of slipping into them-which can give almighty thump nd scare the sh.. out of u if youre not expecting it
sounds like bit of fun was had anyway-good on ya for having another crack at it
AnswerID: 63202

Follow Up By: PAULL - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 11:46

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 11:46
Thanks Fozzy, I might try 2nd gear low range, is first low just too much power - giving loss of traction , wheel spins ?
FollowupID: 324509

Follow Up By: fozzy - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 11:56

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 11:56
first low i felt i didnt have enough control ie if needed bit more speed i had to over rev and generally spin wheels etc
sometimes used first low if had to start midway up hill but 95% of time tried in 2nd low
also i responded thinking you had petrol 80 -sorry didnt read properly -bit early after weekend away but would assume your petrol has fair bit of grunt in low range anyway
FollowupID: 324512

Follow Up By: PAULL - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 15:38

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 15:38
yeah the Jack has heaps of grunt , I think the low range is a resonably good low range , but I would be interested to know how much torque I actaully have at low RPM. Holden quote the V6 petrol at 158 Kw and 310nm of torque mind you this is at something like 3400 RPM. What would it be at 1500- 2000 for instance ?
FollowupID: 324526

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 11:09

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 11:09
Ever driven a powerful street car with an LSD in the wet? That's pretty much what you were doing with the Jack except more so. If only one rear wheel is spinning the other wheel is still holding your line for you, when both spin - whoopie! ground comes out from under you and you go all sorts of directions. The case would have been even worse for you as your front wheels had no traction either. That's some of the reasons some people choose to have a front locker instead of a rear locker. That whay you get pulled up the hill instead of your bum pushing around from behind you. Hope that all makes sense. Basically the locker will make a huge difference, just make sure that you have a nice straight line, no angles for your bum to slide out on and make sure your front drive wheel has some traction to keep you pointing in the correct direction. A Front locker will also help a bit as if one of you IFS controlled wheels comes off the ground or looses traction you will still have at least one other front wheel to help control where you are going.
AnswerID: 63208

Follow Up By: PAULL - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 11:50

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 11:50
Thanks Jeff, I know what you mean. In the past without the diff lockers I have been in that situation stuck with one back wheel spinning and one stationary, and the diagnally opposite front spinning. Yeah I frightened the be-jeezus out of us all when the diff locker effectively brought the back around. Whats IFS ?
FollowupID: 324511

Follow Up By: Time - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 12:21

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 12:21
I run a front lock rite on my IFS (independant front suspension)Hilux, makes a big difference, much prefer the front to be doing some pulling as well as the back pushing. The problem with the Hilux pre diff lock was the front would always cock a wheel, thus no drive at he front, the rear LSD (like all Toyota LSDs) ceased to function at around 40,000ks, so now you have drive only at the back and if it is loose you now have no wheel drive, i.e. one front and one rear wheel spinning in the air and all forward movement stopped!! Can be very exciting on steep loose stuff. Post locker I have had no real problems.


FollowupID: 324513

Reply By: pathfinder - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 13:20

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 13:20
I know the hill in question - low tyre pressure (18 psi) would make a big difference to performance...
AnswerID: 63229

Follow Up By: PAULL - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 13:51

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 13:51
Thanks, yes we did have the tyres down . Have you been up there ? How'd you go , what vehicle , which gear ??
FollowupID: 324519

Follow Up By: pathfinder - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 14:12

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 14:12
93 TD Disco in first gear low range which is the only choice for steep rutted hills where you want to be going as slow as possible to maintain control. Disco has live axles front and rear and walked up quite easily without any wheel lift/slip. Previous vehicle was a 2.4l petrol Pathfinder with big lift and rubber but independent front suspension...suffice to say front end was clawing at the air on the way up, plenty of revs and speed were required (not a particularly low low-range on the Pathy) and it was a sphincter-puckering experience. Vehicle before that was a late 70s Rangie which could get up in first gear high range (low range couldn't be engaged) - albeit with more speed than is desirable!
FollowupID: 324521

Follow Up By: PAULL - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 15:41

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 15:41
yeah the live axle on the front is a definite advantage, Jack has rear live axle with good wheel travel , but not live axle in front - torsion bars and shockers which limit front wheel travel. That was part of my problem.
FollowupID: 324527

Reply By: Wazza (Vic) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 14:42

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 14:42
Hi Paul,

Sounds like all that happened was the left hand rear had grip and the right hand side didn't (maybe wetter, or it spun on a rock?). With the front off the ground, it would have easily speared off to the right as you say. Definately try again with the rear locker in, just try to keep the front on the ground. Hard to keep the throttle in a constant position when you are bouncing up a hill as well, but maybe rest the right hand side of your right boot against the kick panel a bit harder than you normally would. Might stop the boot going down when you bounce around?

Does not generally take much I find to get SWMBO a little over excited. But in this situation, she had every right. Sounds like scary stuff. Wish I was there to see it !!
AnswerID: 63239

Follow Up By: PAULL - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 15:43

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 15:43
To be honest I had to send my pants to the dry cleaners today too, plus the kids quickly deserted me too, so the four letter words from SWMBO were warranted I reckon. My 80 series friends up top looking , thought it was the best thing they'd seen !!
FollowupID: 324528

Reply By: Martyn (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 14:55

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 14:55
I had twin diff locks in my 92 4.2 diesel GQ before I sold it, all the steep rutted stuff I did in low range first gear and near enough tickover or as close as I coould from a practical point of view. I did quite a bit of practise with the diff locks they change the general handling characteristics of the vehicle when engaged considerably and as you found out quite scary. The thing is if you just take you foot off etc and hope the engine stalls until you get yourself together for another attempt you may be surprised. I did this, beause of the traction and the low down torque you have available in 1st low range you could well find yourself crabbing to an abyss somewhere, it nearly happened to me, yes it is frightening. Sometimes we fit these accessories and can't predict exactly what's going to happen. I also find myself attempting things I would of only looked at and said "yea right" in the past. Good fun though.................
Keep the shiny side up

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AnswerID: 63241

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 16:48

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 16:48
You dont need to drive Point and shoot with lockers.

Find yourself a smaller hill that you can drive without lockers.. Do it as normal.

Then try with lockers, starting with as slow as you can, increase speed until you see the difference.

Every car is different, conditions are the same, and drivers attitudes too.
AnswerID: 63256

Reply By: Member - Andrew(WA) - Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 18:55

Tuesday, Jun 15, 2004 at 18:55

Somewhere amongst all the replies you asked about 1st gear low range up hill V's 2nd??

Rule of thumb almost in all situations is 2nd gear low range up hill on rocky / rough ascents. 1st is generally too low and will cause the wheels to spin due to the power and torque with even slight acceleration.

1st gear low range is for your steep decents. you'll be amazed at the angles you can go straight down in 1st low.

Try it
AnswerID: 63294

Reply By: Disco200Tdi - Wednesday, Jun 16, 2004 at 13:43

Wednesday, Jun 16, 2004 at 13:43

I noticed you said you only have AT's and the track was damp clay. Traction would have been average and thus very easy to get side slip in 1st low due to wheel spin.

As truckster has said, practice on a slippery safe hill. You should use 2nd low and get used to going just a bit faster. The rear diff lock will push from the back more so you will need to have more steering input than before.

Sometimes I find a technique of spinning up the tyres to clean them out and then backing off to allow them to grip works well on hard packed slick clay.
I have a double diff locked tdi disco without much go, but with good tyres the car just keeps climbing.


John D
AnswerID: 63424

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