Mud driving

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 14:47
ThreadID: 24106 Views:2205 Replies:10 FollowUps:11
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With all the rain we had recently I am planning to take the Challenger out in the hills next week-end and will most likely encounter some mud. Having dealt with proper mud only once a long time ago I am not very familiar with it and am after any usefull tip you guys can give me to make the experience easier.
Basically, I am after the following:
1/ should I let my tyres down (I have factory tyres not nice mud rubber).
2/ When to use low range / high range (I guess it will be up to me to learn from experience when to select one or the other like on the sand).
3/ Speed, acceleration, breakage, change of gear, turning the wheels: Basically what sort of driving attitude should I have, what should I definitely do/not do. I guess it should be similar to sand: smooth and not too fast and a bit of thinking ahead combined with common sense.
3/ Since I probably won't do any of the above properly, tips to avoid getting bogged when I feel the situation gets too serious.
4/ and of course since I will also f#@@ck up point 3 above, tips to get out of a bogged situation (I have a hand winch and an air jack, but obviously would prefer to use them as the last resort).
5/ Any other good advise other than stay at home or stick to the black top :-).

Thanks in advance,

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Reply By: Footloose - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 15:12

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 15:12
Mud is funny stuff, and the type of situation varies with the area and depth etc of the mud. I've seen big mud tyres sink and skinny tyres get across and vica versa. There's a certain degree of skill and luck involved. The blacksoil plains are difficult, you basically camp until it dries out.
Whatever you do or don't do remember that if bogged you will need to get out into the stuff. And the mud doesnt do your vehicle any good. So go around it if you can.
I attack it in 2nd and if it really looks bad I zap it into low before going in.
AnswerID: 117067

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 15:28

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 15:28
"Whatever you do or don't do remember that if bogged you will need to get out into the stuff"
Footloose you sound as though being knee and elbow deep (remeber your arms have to go in to attach the snatch) in black smelly swap mud is not all it's cracked up to be!

It's always in the after thought where the common sense lies. But it can be LOTSA FUN finding it! Especially for those not silly enough to go through it and just watch. (I've got to start doing that!) :-)
FollowupID: 372537

Follow Up By: BenSpoon - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 00:22

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 00:22
Jeff- what are you talking about? Wheres the fun in just watching??
FollowupID: 372626

Reply By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 16:17

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 16:17
Cant see the fascination mud can really stuff up your vehicle destroy brakes corrode everything. My last trip was done in way too much mud and it took me one bogging and more than some tense moments (no chance of getting help within a week) as well as spending half the day washing the underneath. I drive a work vehicle in mud every day and clean the vehicle so cant understand why people would seek this sort of stuff out
AnswerID: 117078

Follow Up By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 16:22

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 16:22
mud is good for the car it's like a facial for your
FollowupID: 372560

Follow Up By: Member - Duncs - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 16:43

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 16:43
Too much of a good thing maybe.

The last time I had the opportunity to drive in any muyd at all it took 3.5 hours to go one car length.

Now the Missus and the two girls aren't all that excited when I mention mud these days.
The young bloke and I ....... well we can still see the fun.

FollowupID: 372565

Follow Up By: slyonnet - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 17:08

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 17:08

Well I am not seeking the deepest and longest mud pit to drive the car straight into it. I haven't been off-road for a while now and am very eager to go so I decided to go next week-end. Now I realise that I will most likely see some kind of mud somewhere after the rain we had and want to get some advice on how to tackle it. So I am not desesperately trying to get to some mud. I just want to make sure I know what to expect and what to do if I don't have other option than going through some mud. I took the safe option by cutting a day trip short and turning around on one occasion because there was a section of mud a few km after the start of the track we were doing that could not be avoided. This was a bit frustrating and I guess that if I could know better what I can tackle without too much sweat would avoid future disappointments like that.
So I must admit that I would definitely like to see how the car handle it. And the only way to learn and set myself some limits there seems to be trying it and building my own experience. Afterall if I try it next week-end in a "safe environment", with people around to help and all the proper equipment, I won't take too much risk and I will learn a lot about my vehicle capabilities and my own capability as the driver in that sort of terrain. All this experience could become very handy one day especially if I have limited help or equipment available then.
I already know how long it takes to clean mud off the car afterwards but it's part of going off-road in winter I suppose. So I will eat the bullet and spend the time necessary to clean it afterwards.
To sum up, I'd rather be safe than sorry and if I can learn something useful along the way and accept the consequences, I don't see any harm.

FollowupID: 372569

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 18:13

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 18:13
slyonnet, That makes sense. i did plenty of mud driving last trip not because iwanted to but i had put off doing Yowie rocks track for long enough. Ended up being alot more mud than i thought and a down pour sat night didnt help. Usually round here it is just a matter of waiting a day or 2 for things to dry but we have had plenty of rain so far (it is raining now) so any trip usually involves mud unless you stay at home. As has been said standard rubber doesnt cut it in mud and if it wasnt for the mrf super grippers i had on I would have been in strife
FollowupID: 372578

Follow Up By: Exploder - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 19:43

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 19:43
Know what you mean Davoe It is fun until you need to wash it off, That mud up Kalgoorlie way (Real mud) Nice and clayey and gets into every little space and you are still washing it out a month later, and the track’s turn to shi* real fast when it Rains
FollowupID: 372594

Follow Up By: BenSpoon - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 00:29

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 00:29
I thought I'd take the advice of the forum and get one of the GMC water pressure cleaners to clean my bus after mud runs. Well, I've got one GMC water pressure cleaner to give away. That thing has wasted 2 hours of my weekend after each run, and still didnt clean it as well as $10 at the local car wash would.
FollowupID: 372627

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 21:53

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 21:53
I believe I contributed to that post Ben and I shared my experience of it not working as well as a hose so mi packed it away then I tried it again a while later to make sure it was crap and it was dead, funny thing was it worked better when dead than alive
FollowupID: 372875

Reply By: Member - Browny (VIC) - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 17:41

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 17:41

On factory rubber I would make every endevour to avoid any mud you come accross, be extremely wary of any downhill sections as often the make up of a track can change half way down a hill, from shaley/ rocky type surface to dead set clay and trying to maintan control of your vehicle on clay filled tyres is not something you wil enjoy, when heading down hill I would make sure your tyres travel in the ruts otherwise, sliding off the side of a track is a real possibilaty.

If travelling up hill in ruts you can gain a little added traction by moving your wheels from side to side in a rappid motion so as to bring your side walls into brief contact with the sides of the rut adding a little bit of traction to help out your mud filled tread.

Don't go alone and don't underestimate how easy it is to loose all traction on any tyre let alone factory jobs

AnswerID: 117095

Reply By: Member - Troll 81 (QLD) - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 17:55

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 17:55
I go in the mud a fair bit and I don't like the cleaning job after it takes hours to get all the crap out underneath but it's all worth it for me and I love it..

When you go down hill and it's steep and slippery make sure you are in low range and just crawl down dont tuch the brake unless you really have to, there is nothing worse than locking your brakes up when you go down it's all about controll leave it in first and you will do about 2km/h without tuching the pedal

If you feel you are going to be stuck don't try and spin your way out of it...the tyres will become like racing slicks and you won't move...get out have a look and find stuff to put under the wheels to help

One last thing...have a blast
AnswerID: 117099

Follow Up By: BenSpoon - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 00:33

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 00:33
I agree with the low range and dont touch the brakes, but one thing I found valuable was spinning the wheels enough to fick the mud out from between the treads. Generally 3rd low will be about the same as high revs in 1st, and will often get your wheels spinning fast enough, and still have enough compression on engine braking that you will only have to pump the accellerator, not the brake as well to slow the wheels enough to get traction back when needed.
FollowupID: 372628

Reply By: Willem - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 18:19

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 18:19
Me? I'd give the mud a miss.

Once I encountered a four hour bog in the NT. We were driving solo. It was very soft driving offroad and the LC sank to its belly. I managed to pull four large size trees over with the PTO trying to extricate the truck. Not by design but this in itself helped me get out using the trees as mud fodder.

On our way back to Alice Springs 2 weeks ago we encountered 100km of mud, slush and bogs on the way to Israelite Bay. The two Nissans were covered in mud. The following day we drove a very overgrown track and scratched all the mud off. Further along the middle of the track was also very overgrown and so cleaned the underneath of the trucks. How lucky can one be.

First thing with mud is to make an assessment.
Turn back or find another way around is the first option.
Make sure you have recovery gear with you
Drop your tyre pressures to 30psi
Next I would attack it in 2nd High Range to gain momentum and drop down to 1st if needed. Keep the revs up and the wheels spinning.
If you get bogged you are on your own and you will no doubt get muddy feet.
You may have to drop your tyre pressures further and now tackle the rest in Low Range...slowly
Failing that winch yourself out or be snatched out by your friends.
If you have neither it will be time to contemplate things

My opinion.

Good luck!
AnswerID: 117104

Reply By: Bitsumishin - Mike (WA) - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 19:15

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 19:15
Challengers love mud. Well this one does anyway. Depending on how deep the water/mud is, don't change gear mid stream plus what others have said about don't go alone and move the steering wheel from side to side for a bit more traction. And prepare ahead. Wear shoes you are prepared to get dirty , shove a good rubber mat or something similar under your feet & shove the Snatch strap in the back seat instead of the boot so its easy to get at (to pull your mate out of course, not the other way around).
AnswerID: 117114

Follow Up By: Bitsumishin - Mike (WA) - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 19:16

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 19:16
Sorry, forgot to add, check my photogallery for mud fun
FollowupID: 372592

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 21:17

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 21:17

I'm with Davoe and Willem, on this one. Stay away from mud. Just had 73mm of rain here last week, and had to drive out about 45 km to let some cattle out of a yard. Took 2 79 series tojos, and a 4 wheeler. Took 3 hours to do return trip, and half an hour to let cattle out. Then took a day to wash both utes, using a gernie.

Did let all tyres down to 25 psi, which makes a huge difference, but still did some skating at times.

Pulling through heavy mud really knocks vehicles about. 18 months ago, drove about 90km up the river, to pick up Wife and Daughter. Round trip took nearly eight hours, even with chains, and used about 90 L of diesel. Have recently had both diffs replaced, no doubt from this abuse.

The other advice is to walk the boggy spots, a few minutes exercise can save you hours of angst later on. That's one thing I've learnt since being an impulsive 20 year old!

If it's heavy mud, feed it plenty of fat.

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

Lifetime Member
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AnswerID: 117130

Reply By: F4Phantom - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 21:50

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 21:50
Hey i am sure many of you know this trick, but if you are a bit stuck rip on the hand brake which affects the rear wheels only, this will act a little like a diff lock so more traction. I am sur you all know how open diffs work and the effect the hand brake has so i wont explain any further suffice to say, if you really need more tracktion for a section of track use the had brake. It really does work.
AnswerID: 117140

Reply By: Tonester - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 08:59

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 08:59
Sly, I like mud, but am very wary now when alone (which is rare). I was passenger in a two truck trip and we got stuck (both, same time, call it bad communication) with only a handwinch to get us out. 4 hours later, coming on dark, away from camp site, but we did get them out. Mud can be like glue, very sticky. How much and how long can you pull alone on a handwinch? We had three people, and it near killed us by the end. Careful going it alone (esp with family, kids?), take a backup truck if you can. Tonester
AnswerID: 117203

Reply By: Member - Camper (SA) - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 23:56

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 23:56
Hi Sly,
Remember that trees grow near mud and it's very possible to go sideways without much warning. Challas are good in mud but hate collisions with trees and tripping over the bank on the roadside to end up on their roofs.
Appropriate speed is all - too slow and you have to rely on your tyres to pull you through (HT's are not the best for this) too fast and you risk chaos. Slow may mean you dig yourself out, too fast may mean lots worse!!
Have fun
AnswerID: 117354

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