High or Low across the simpson?

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 11:59
ThreadID: 65482 Views:2507 Replies:9 FollowUps:2
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first time on here, geat info on a variety of subjects;
We are planing a desert trip in july/aug have most things ready, question came to mind'high or low' which is better, low range will give more torque. will it = less fuel used. is there any problems with running in low range for hundreds of kms at a time, or do you switch between high and low what has been your experiences. thanks

ps. 4bs are 80 landcruiser petrol, gu petrol, surf 3ltr diesel.
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Reply By: Member - Footloose - Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 12:30

Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 12:30
Simpson is no different to anywhere else. You choose the gear to suit the conditions. I found that I used 1st low on two occasions...to get out of strife, and 2nd/3rd low most of the time.
AnswerID: 346314

Reply By: Member - Craig D (SA) - Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 12:41

Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 12:41
Hi, I went through via the French Line last August and only used high range - first, second, and third - however all vehicles respond to sand in different ways, as does your tyre pressures and gearing. I also had with me an 80 series petrol Cruiser and he only used high range also. As for switching between high and low, the Cruiser will be similar between first high and third low, with third low having the torque advantage (personally I switch between the two as required for the encountered conditions).

AnswerID: 346316

Reply By: Blaze (Berri) - Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 12:54

Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 12:54
Totally depends on vehicle and conditions, if ts rained ( I think I remember that stuff) a bit in the month leading up to your trip then you may even do Big Red in high, if its been dry for 12mths as is possible, you will be in low most of the time. Also depends on which track your tacking, You would certainly have long stretches of high range if you do the Rig Road. Only way you will know is get out there and try it, and enjoy.....
AnswerID: 346320

Reply By: Crackles - Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 13:39

Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 13:39
Jeff to start with no it doesn't hurt the car to drive in low range for extended periods as long as the track is loose & there is only minimal transmission wind up.
For the 2 petrol cars I'd suggest using high range 1st to climb the dunes & high 2nd & 3rd accross the flats. Low range should only be required if caught out & need to restart.
For the Surf I'd recommend low range 2nd to climb the dunes & 3rd to 5th accross the flats. You may choose to go high range on the QAA line as the dunes start to spread out as well as the bigger salt lakes if they aren't too soft.
Cheers Craig..............
AnswerID: 346331

Reply By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 15:54

Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 15:54
Hi jeff360, East to West, French & WAA lines with a heavy Troopy camper. I used mainly used high 2nd & 3rd between dunes, 2nd high in the climb with an occasional slide into 1st high over the crest on the dunes that had a twist on the top. As some have already noted it will all depend on the conditions at the time. You will not always get best torque in a lower gear. Stick to the track on clay pans. You will soon see why when you note the deep ruts where people have ventured when the ground was soft.

AnswerID: 346366

Reply By: Tenpounder - Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 16:00

Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 16:00
Hi there. Like other have said, no standard answer, it all depends on you, your vehicle and conditions.
For my money, I drive a Prado (manual, petrol) and I like to cross the dunes by approaching at around 2,000 rpm or better, and then letting the revs drop off once the magic point of the crest is reached. This seems to mean Low 2nd or 3rd for soft dunes.
I had a wonderful experience with the Prado first time, because I was advised to use High 1st. Trouble was, I also help the revs up (bloody short stroke V6, I thought) and hit the top at about 3,000 rpm (about 35 kph). Once I landed (literally) all was well!. Since then, I realised even the Prado can be idled back to 1,000 or less as the crest is approached.
Of course, with auto trans, all is different: I have heard of people using High range auto, where the transmission shifts up when you lift off your right foot at the crest!
One of the real beauties of the Simpson is the huge range of scenery and conditions, with lots of stretches of relatively easy going, when the speed limit of 40 kph may seem silly (but we all stick to it, naturally).
The other point is that it's not easy to grab a lower gear if you're in High 1st. But if your are in, say, Low 3rd, you can change up or down pretty quickly if you have mis-read a dune.
But there really are no absolutes, beyond common sense and experience.
Chris (SA)
AnswerID: 346368

Reply By: jeff360 - Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 16:51

Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 at 16:51
thanks guys. cant wait to get out there and see what works for me.
AnswerID: 346382

Follow Up By: Blaze (Berri) - Friday, Jan 30, 2009 at 16:36

Friday, Jan 30, 2009 at 16:36
One other point and hopefully its mute mate, and you have one packed already, but have a look at ThreadID: 65461 at it applies twice as much to the Simpson, but not users are out there in force.
FollowupID: 614783

Follow Up By: jeff360 - Friday, Jan 30, 2009 at 17:04

Friday, Jan 30, 2009 at 17:04
yep have seen that thread, we are already organized, thanks for the reminder.jeff
FollowupID: 614787

Reply By: Outnabout David (SA) - Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 21:58

Thursday, Jan 29, 2009 at 21:58
As with the others select the one suitable. The only comment I would add is that if the vehicles are auto then it may pay to select a lower gear or ration to make sure the torque converter actually locks up otherwise you may overheat the auto and also chew up fuel. I have a torque converter lockup switch in my 80 series and find that to be excellant in sand enabling me to be in a higher gear and just idling along.
AnswerID: 346652

Reply By: pprass - Friday, Jan 30, 2009 at 12:31

Friday, Jan 30, 2009 at 12:31
Again - to echo previous comments - it just depends on the conditions.
We went through the Simpson in June 2000 (along the French Line) and because it had been a wet year, we didn't even need to be in 4WD for a lot of the time.
Next time we went through in June 2004 and we dared not get out of 4wd high.
AnswerID: 346724

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