4WD Hills descent

Submitted: Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 15:20
ThreadID: 91836 Views:3012 Replies:5 FollowUps:12
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Hi - Until recently I had always had 4WDs with diesel engine and manual.
Getting old and lazy I changed to a used Prado with petrol engine and automatic, works fine but I hate having to ride the brakes when going downhill with the caravan - going down a notch or 2 on the auto makes little difference.
Does "Hill descent" on recent models help in this respect ?
Thanks for any advice. Ian
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Reply By: disco driver - Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 15:36

Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 15:36
Hi Ian,
I can't speak for Prado's but with my Disco the "Hill Descent" button was only for STEEP OFFroad use only, definitely NOT for long descents with a caravan on the back. It would only have any effect at very low speed (<5kph).

Auto's are notorious for poor engine braking, it's a matter of driving with that in mind, but you could try using low range to increase the braking effect of the motor.
I would only consider this (using Low range) if I had a large external auto trans oil cooler fitted as the transmission fluid will get quite hot.

Hope this helps

Disco.
AnswerID: 477651

Follow Up By: Member - Graham Watson (SA) - Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 16:42

Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 16:42
I would not use low range on a Prado on a bitumen road because of the risk of getting wind up on the shafts. I have a 90 series auto diesel prado and find that as long as I am going slow enough when I drop the transmission to L or 2 I can maintain a reasonable downhill speed with only occasional feathering of the brakes. Admittedly though I am not towing.
Graham Watson

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Follow Up By: disco driver - Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 19:40

Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 19:40
Graham,
My Disco has a separate control for locking the central diff so that I can drive in AWD in high or low range and then, if conditions require it I can lock the centre diff and then have 4WD in either High or Low range.
The Prado, being allegedly a superior vehicle to my Disco, I thought would have had something similar, hence my suggestion re low range.

Cheers
Disco.
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Follow Up By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 20:31

Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 20:31
well Disco, that's because it's a proper 4x4 - whoops!! Forgot myself - I defected to the Evil Empire.

Once a LR man..........yep, have a Prado/auto now. It has it's compensations.....but really, it's like different caravans or campers. One not necessarily better than the other, they just have different strengths/weaknesses.




Phew, might've just scraped out of that one

;-))
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Reply By: vk1dx - Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 16:11

Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 16:11
Next time Ian, look closer at getting a diesel. The extra compression in the diesel engine is excellent for downhill and stopping.

There is also a mob who can hook up some electronics to an automatic box to improve the breaking through a torque exchanger. Hopefully some one will come up with details. I do not know if its petrol only but I suspect that may be the case.

For offroad stuff you could also pull the handbrake on a smidgen.

Phil
AnswerID: 477655

Follow Up By: 4X4 Equip - Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 19:19

Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 19:19
Wholesale Automatic Transmissions in Melbourne have perfected the Torque Convertor Lock-Up switch which improves this. do a Google to find them. No affiliation, I've just purchased one for my vehicle and will fit it soon.
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FollowupID: 752925

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 19:25

Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 19:25
Thats them. I may ask them about one for the 100.

Thanks

Phil
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Follow Up By: Kimba10 - Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 21:58

Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 21:58
I wouldnt advise of using the handbrake or you will rip the brake shoes and accociated parts off with it. The hand brake is for holding it only not for slowing the vehicle. They only have small handbrake shoes, they are not like say the older falcons where the disc pads which operate for normal braking also are used for the handbrake. You may get away with it if 4wdriving and for slippery muddy conditions but then i wouldnt be using it for that purpose either.............
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Follow Up By: Ray - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012 at 08:19

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012 at 08:19
And HOONING
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012 at 09:34

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012 at 09:34
HOONS not wanted. They're the mongrels that get tracks closed.

Kimba

That's what I thought this was about. Down steep hills and off road. And I also said "just a smidgeon". Pull it on any harder and you will damage the shoes.

I did not think that it needed spelling out. I knew that they would get damaged with continued and/or hard use before I even got my licence.

I hope Ian reads this bit then.

Phil
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FollowupID: 752989

Follow Up By: Kimba10 - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012 at 11:18

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012 at 11:18
vk1dx, I wasnt saying it to you . I was refering it to Ianwa, buy the sounds of it to me it come across in his post as when he is towing in general on sealed roads and comes to a down hill run he needs to keep on the brakes all the time to slow it down and if YOU NOTICE / READ he says even dropping it back a gear or two doesnt seem to make any difference, now if he was off road on steep tracks wouldnt he already be in 1st high range to keep it slow or 1st low range so he wouldnt be able to drop it back manually anyway ?????????????? ""I did not think that it needed spelling out"" and in no way am I refering to Ian is stupid or the like BUT maybe he doesnt know by pulling the handbrake on a bit more then a smidgeon it will screw the handbrake system right up ?????????????? Did I make myself clearer this time round..........??? Maybe Ian can clarify as to wether he is refering to off road down hill or sealed roads down hill ?? ..........
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012 at 12:18

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012 at 12:18
Hey Slow down mate! No worries.

Okay

Phil
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Follow Up By: Kimba10 - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012 at 18:25

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012 at 18:25
Sorry Phil, bit abrupt towards you, had a prick of a morning when I checked my emails, should have replied after my lunch !!! Apology to you........Cheers
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FollowupID: 753066

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012 at 18:59

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012 at 18:59
No offence taken.

As a matter of fact we are off to the 4WD club meeting so I will have a beer for you.

Cheers

Phil
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FollowupID: 753076

Reply By: Axle - Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 16:15

Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 16:15
G/Day Ianwa, As stated Hill decent is more a off road help,.. On the Black top on long hill decents with a van behind, have found the five speed auto on the V8 Petrol Cruiser to be very good, changes down automatically when you touch the brakes on a hill and holds quiet well, you only have to ride the brakes lightley now and then, thats with about 2.5T behind and the electric brakes adjusted properly.

Cheers Axle.
AnswerID: 477656

Reply By: Kimba10 - Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 22:03

Monday, Feb 13, 2012 at 22:03
Do you have electric brakes on the van ?? you should be able to set them up so when you dab the brakes on the car the vans brakes are activated if not pulling up enough then put the setting up a tad so they work a bit quicker (without locking obviously) Hill decent in the prado will only work when you have stopped totally, engaged 4wd low range and have locked in either first or reverse, and engaged centre dill lock,wont work any other way. Presume you either have a 120 VX or Grande or a new 150 GXL to have down hill assist.......
AnswerID: 477697

Reply By: Ray - Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012 at 08:24

Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012 at 08:24
I have done many thousands of miles (kilometres) with my 80 ser GLX auto towing an eighteen foot Caravan and never had a problem. I just drop down a gear to 2 and let the gearbox do the rest but this has only been on the black stuff with it.
AnswerID: 477715

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