X-Trail on sand dunes

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 12, 2005 at 09:51
ThreadID: 23794 Views:14069 Replies:6 FollowUps:9
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Has anyone any experience driving an X Trail in sand dune country?
I live in the lower Blue Mountains. I'm trying to find people who are familiar with the Nissan X Trail's off road capabilities particularly in sand dunes.
Is a transmission oil cooler advisable, how well does it cope with dunes, what tyres and tyre pressure have they tried. I've been invited to go to the Simpson Desert and I only have my X Trail. It may be a challenge but I need to make whatever changes will help. Talking to someone who has pushed theirs a bit would be good. I used to drive my old Landrover Series 2 in all terrain, so I am a reasonably competent driver. My mate has a Patrol Diesel Turbo, so I'll have help if I get into trouble. I wouldn't mind trying it out on dunes but I don't know where the nearest accessible big sand dunes are. Any thoughts?

Thanks
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Reply By: kev.h - Sunday, Jun 12, 2005 at 10:33

Sunday, Jun 12, 2005 at 10:33
Try this site as there a few Xtrail owners posting on this site
Pathfinders' Club of Australia Inc.
www.pcoa.org.au
also on our club trip to the simpson we had a Kia Sportage and he did not have many problems, had a couple of goes at some of the dunes due to clearance.
On Frazer Island we did see several Xtrails -soft sand proved difficult with standard type tyres ,again i think it was clearance,
Tips fit the biggest set of at tyres you can and have your front suspension adjusted as high as possible this will give you the max clearence then go for it as you say you've got big brother nissan to help if needed
enjoy Kev
AnswerID: 115421

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Sunday, Jun 12, 2005 at 13:52

Sunday, Jun 12, 2005 at 13:52
The Sportage has low range and is not a "soft" roader such as the X-trail. In fact the Kia has front and rear live axels making it more of a 4wd than most on the market today.

My concern mainly would be the lack of low range for when the going get's tough. But I spose if it's kitted out correctly and you've got a Patrol there to help out it probally won't be too bad.
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Follow Up By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Sunday, Jun 12, 2005 at 16:40

Sunday, Jun 12, 2005 at 16:40
Sorry..Sportage only has live rear (LSD) and IFS.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Sunday, Jun 12, 2005 at 17:23

Sunday, Jun 12, 2005 at 17:23
I was sure the older model had 4 coils... Oh well.
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Follow Up By: kev.h - Sunday, Jun 12, 2005 at 21:11

Sunday, Jun 12, 2005 at 21:11
Kia was definatly ifs. I only mentioned it for size comparison on the sand it probably had less clearance than the Xtrail
Kev
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Follow Up By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Monday, Jun 13, 2005 at 08:15

Monday, Jun 13, 2005 at 08:15
Sportage is a coil sprung IFS. Ground clearance standard is 205 mm (lowest point - rear diff), the front clearance under the suspension as well as the chassis (standard) is 250 mm ( both actual measurements). Doubt whether the X-Trail comes close, even by the manufacturers exagerated claims. It isnt just about clearance but approach/departure/rampover angles too.

I have done a lift and larger tyres on mine, 255 mm to rear diff, and 340 mm to the chassis and front suspension. I now have ~60* approach, 45* departure and 28* rampover.
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Follow Up By: Kylie in the exy - Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 12:17

Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 12:17
The All Wheel Drive Club of Victoria, the only club currently in Vic caters for the "soft Roaders". The club is 80% xtrails, they have done some pretty ruggered stuff with the cars. Having the highest torque and power rating in there class they are a more than capable vehicle. No the exy dosent have low range, so as long as you maintain control and know the limits of the vehicle you can still go to some great places. With a set of Simex Centipedes on, your ground clearance is a good 220mm. Anyway, have a look at the club site at www.awd.4wdvic.org/
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Reply By: Alan S (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 12, 2005 at 11:10

Sunday, Jun 12, 2005 at 11:10
Hi,
We went to Stockton Brach just north of Newcastle two weeks ago and one fo our friends brought an X-Trail. After a few tyre pressure adjustmets the X-Trail had an easy time in the dunes. Its a light car and when running 12 psi it just floated on top of the sand.
You will need to get recovery points put on to the front and a tow bar put on the back to help recovery. We had enough bodies available to help push the car when it got stuck so recovery points were not an issue that day.
It'll only be two or three hours from the Blue Mountains for an enjoyable day out. Maybe head there for a day or weekend and see how you feel after that.
Hope this helps,
AnswerID: 115427

Follow Up By: Member - RockyOne - Sunday, Jun 12, 2005 at 12:38

Sunday, Jun 12, 2005 at 12:38
Example! My wife had a Holden Frontera (Izuzu?) 2-door little 2-Litre motor..Our son drove it over at Five Rocks nth of Yeppoon in the heavy sand..Coming out I had my Rocsta tyres at 4psi towing camper,son drove her Frontera out,up the big sand dunes with aired down tyres (app 15psi).It flew up the sandy track..A Hilux with wide rubber, and V-8 had 3 attempts,just dug in,gave up.Your rig should be great fun,but,should keep a snatch strap in the rig though and a hessian bag to put over it for safety,always.Always read the sand well ahead so you don't have to stop going up hill.Best with another rig for more fun,pix and a snig if needed.
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Follow Up By: Brian B (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 12, 2005 at 15:56

Sunday, Jun 12, 2005 at 15:56
RockyOne,

Just a quick question. Is the baby Frontera fitted with a dual range gearbox? The larger V6 Fronteras have low range so this is a great help. This is for my own info as I wasn't sure. I suppose if it does then that would be a definite advantage over the XTrail which is not dual range.

Have a good one.
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Reply By: cj - Sunday, Jun 12, 2005 at 12:45

Sunday, Jun 12, 2005 at 12:45
A couple of things to be aware of are that the 4wd lock mode unlocks when you exceed 30 km/h and that the electromagnetic clutch can overheat with prolonged 4wd use and shuts down. It will work again when it's cooled down enough. Ground clearance may be an issue so a mild lift and bigger tyres would be good. I've heard of people running 12 - 15 psi in their X-trail tyres for the sand with success. There are a couple of forums around for them. Here's one in OZ

http://xtrail.australia4wd.com/
AnswerID: 115437

Follow Up By: Kylie in the exy - Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 16:04

Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 16:04
The XTrails dont have a chasis (only chasis rails) so a body lift is out of the question. Old man emu has just introduced a spring lift. Be interested to hear if anyone has one for there exy.
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Reply By: Member - Banjo (SA) - Sunday, Jun 12, 2005 at 18:30

Sunday, Jun 12, 2005 at 18:30
I reckon the experts in general off road driving would say that IF clearance is ok, simply letting your tyres down to 18 psi (+ or - a bit) will produce effective driving for you in the sand. Sand driving is all about "starting of steadily, and keeping on the move" - in my experience, the lower range is not essential - just useful, at times. One thing that will compromise the issue is loading the car - sand driving with two people and an esky is far removed from doing the same with two weeks worth of bush travelling gear, water and extra fuel. If the ruts are deep , the sand is soft and dry and the your loading is "up there", you will probably need a hand.
AnswerID: 115463

Reply By: Member - RockyOne - Monday, Jun 13, 2005 at 09:04

Monday, Jun 13, 2005 at 09:04
Hi Brian,Re Frontera 2-door..Yes it has a transfer box giving it the advantage of "dual range" Was a magic rig..Cruze all day the 1000clix from here to Bris at 120 back then.No "flash for cash" then on country roads.As long as you don't put on big wheels to change ratios too much,should be ok..Airing down has a slight effect of giving you a lower gear ratio anyway.Smaller effective tyre dia.Everyone gets stuck sooner or later.Part of the fun.Like motorcycling,we are expert riders 'till we slide down the road the first time..Then we re-evaluate our skill levels.Part of the "learning experience"
AnswerID: 115514

Reply By: flappa - Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 16:36

Tuesday, Jun 14, 2005 at 16:36
Load the X Trail up to somewhere like you would for an extended trip.

Go for a weekend driving Stockton will ALL that gear aboard.

Make sure you have PROPER RATED RECOVERY points attached , and see what happens ?

Plenty of other vehicles around to pull you out when you get stuck.

This question was asked a little while ago.

Is the Xtrail suitable for doing the Simpson. Quick answer is . . NO , its NOT SUITABLE , but , given the right conditions , driver , and support vehicles (you mention other 4wd vehicles), then I have no doubt the Xtrail CAN do the Simpson.
AnswerID: 115730

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