So I went offroading with my buddy and his wife yesterday. He drives a Tundra but took his wifes wrangler. I obviously had my sport there. I was a bit worried about the lack of a locker, but it did pretty good.
We went to the badlands offroad park in indiana. Quite a haul for me, about 3 hours each way. They had a bit of everything there. Rock climbing, sand dunes, trails, etc. Temperature was 31 degrees and the entire place was frozen. Any time I got out of my truck I was sliding on ice. I don't know what kinda impact that had on wheeling- good because the sand and mud were frozen and not soft. Bad because everything was slippery then.
There were some different sand hills. Some of them I went up just idling, some of them were so soft that I had to get a running start or I couldn't make it up all the way. Any mud hills I just drove up no problems. Going up the rocks was the only thing the wrangler couldn't do too well that I just drove right up on. I only slightly highsided going up one hill that the wrangler didn't want to attempt.
I went into a trail and almost got stuck in the ruts. The wrangler turned back and I was commited at that point to go in and try to turn around since I was in a bit too far. Well, one spot I was in pretty deep and I went to just reverse back out, but the damn mud flaps were getting stuck... So instead of ripping the mud flaps off I tried to plow through it. Got stuck but managed to break free. after a running start I made it through though. No without tearing one of my front mud flaps off though I hit another spot where I hit the cross member before I was able to turn around and go through it again. Made it out, but man was I scared. I couldn't even open the door since the trail was cut in so far.
I had my buddy check my wheels when they were spinng on a hill- one front and one rear. When I applied the brakes per the suggestion of someone here it got both fronts to spin and one rear. Using that technique helped me out a bit during the day then. I think had I been on the stock sport tires I would have been stuck at a lot of places.
The jeep had factory tires on and did quite well. I thought the tires would have prevented it from doing a lot of things, but I guess not. It had a locker though. It appeared to go up the soft sand dunes way better than my tacoma though. Maybe the weight and locker helped.
All in all it was a fun day. Nothing really broke and I learned that my truck could do a heck of a lot more than I thought it could. The sport suspension is a bit soft and I bottomed out in a few places if I was going too fast. A mechanical LSD would have been nice and a locker would have been better, but I managed without it pretty good. If I was doing serious off-roading or did this a couple times a month I would def. get a locker so I could abuse my truck to the max.
The wrangler was 100% stock with the front sway-bar disconnected. I am 100% stock with General grabber at2 tires.
My buddy got some great shots of me in action, I can't wait to see them. Here's a link to all the ones I shot: http://crawlinvette.com/2008badlands