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Finally got to use her

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Old 04-14-2010, 04:43 PM   #1
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Finally got to use her

I've gone off roading and hauled some stuff here and there; even towed a trailer or two. But I feel like I finally got to see what the ole tacoma was made of this past weekend. Sorry, no pics, but a good story for me nonetheless.

So me and a couple of friends are taking the tacoma down to the river to chill out on the rocks and drink a few beers. Well, I've been to this river plenty of times, but my friends wanted to go to a different spot. It caught my interest, so I was game. I'm told that there is a really really steep hill you have to go down to get to this spot. I'm like "eh whatever, I have 4WD." We get to this hill and this thing is STEEP. I'm talking at least a 45 degree angle and 1/8 mile long. I start down it in 2WD just leaving the trans in neutral (manual) and crawl. I get around a bend and there is a mazda B2300 style truck stuck as all get out. Apparently he made it down (like any truck could) but didn't think about the ride back up. This hill has a very large rut on the right hand side and apparently he fish tailed coming up and jacked the rear end in the rut and was bottomed out in it. Keep in mind this is hard packed dirt with loose gravel on top. So he is all the way at the bottom almost and see's me coming down. There is only room for one truck so he starts waving his arms telling me to reverse and go back before i get stuck too. Me being me, I creep all the way down to him and set the brake and hop out the truck. I talk to him for a bit, get the story (it's a 2WD) and ask him if he wants me to try and pull him out. I always keep a tow strap in the bed. He replies with, "if you think you can." I gave him a look like oh yeah , no problem. So I have to reverse the tacoma ALL the way back up the hill in 4LO and turn around to back it down to him. While backing down one of my friends is complaining saying this was stupid and that we should just park at the top of the hill and walk down to the river. He kept on and on about how we were going to get stuck as well. I ignore him for the most part and replied, "if I were stuck I would want someone to help me too." I also explain that he is in a tacoma Well, while backing down I made the mistake of trying to use my rear view to back up. I ended up putting the left side of the truck in the rut. This is my friends revelation. "Well here we go...now we are stuck" he says. I calmly put it in 4LO and driver her out of the rut. I then continue down with my door open; hanging my head out the window this time. I finally get to the mazda and hook up. I'm still in 4LO, so I just put a nice tension on the tow strap and pull him right out. I pull him for a good while making sure he is back straight and stop my truck. He then honked and signaled for me to keep going. I guess he was afraid of getting stuck again. So we get all the way to the top, unhook, talk for a bit, and say our goodbyes. When I hopped back in the truck to go back down the hill, my buddy looked at me and says, "I guess this truck is more bad ass then I thought." That made the day for me.

Just thought that I'd share my fun little adventure with you guys. I'm sure some of you can enjoy it as much as I did!
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Old 04-14-2010, 06:27 PM   #3
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Tacos can do anything
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:02 PM   #4
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Oh, I did find something I didn't like in this whole endeavor. The stupid switch for 4WD. That thing does not want to lock in when on a hill. I had to rock back and forth back and forth to get it to engage. I wish they would have stuck with the tested and true manual lever.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:19 AM   #5
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two things i do differently. i go into 4wd way before i ever need it (all my 4x4's, even manual transfer boxes, need the occasional rocking to engage. i do it where it is possible, not on a hill or a dune). and i never ever go down a hill with the tranny (auto or stick) in neutral.

great save...kudos to you! (oh, three things. i let the stuck truck owner do the hooking up on his rig)
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:31 AM   #6
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Good story! These trucks are awesome!
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aficianado View Post
two things i do differently. i go into 4wd way before i ever need it (all my 4x4's, even manual transfer boxes, need the occasional rocking to engage. i do it where it is possible, not on a hill or a dune). and i never ever go down a hill with the tranny (auto or stick) in neutral.

great save...kudos to you! (oh, three things. i let the stuck truck owner do the hooking up on his rig)
I'm definitely engaging it way before I need it from now on. And I was SURE to let him hook his own truck up and I told him I didn't want to touch it.

As far as leaving it in gear on the way down...With this hill it would have been impossible to crawl in first down the hill. It was so steep that I had to take it at a pace that would have been causing the truck to lunge back and forth trying to cut off if I were in gear. Mine is obviously a manual.
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:34 PM   #8
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Do you have a newer one with the down hill assist?
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmerchant3 View Post
I'm definitely engaging it way before I need it from now on. And I was SURE to let him hook his own truck up and I told him I didn't want to touch it.

As far as leaving it in gear on the way down...With this hill it would have been impossible to crawl in first down the hill. It was so steep that I had to take it at a pace that would have been causing the truck to lunge back and forth trying to cut off if I were in gear. Mine is obviously a manual.
1st gear low-range should put you slow enuf that the speedo won't even move at idle........ If I'm offroad in my trail rig and the average speed is less than 15mph I'm always in low-range. Gives me a choice of gears and if I take my foot off the gas it slows/stops right now w/o using the brakes....
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:55 PM   #10
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OP said it is a manual. Our manual TRD OR models do not have Downhill assit or hill start.
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:59 PM   #11
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rep for you man, way to help a stranded motorist out!
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:21 PM   #12
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[quote=aficianado;1659723] and i never ever go down a hill with the tranny (auto or stick) in neutral.
[quote]

What is the proper way to descend this kind of grade with a manual transmission? On a solid surface as he was and also on a slippery (gravel, mud, snow) steep grade? Since manuals do not have DAC, any pointers or experience from manual tranny drivers who have been in this situation?
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:30 PM   #13
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Word of advice, ALWAYS make your decent down a steep grade IN gear. If the hill is steep enough, it would be a good idea to throw it in low/low.

Glad to hear the truck performed up to your expectations!
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:35 PM   #14
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[quote=Shack;1660813][quote=aficianado;1659723] and i never ever go down a hill with the tranny (auto or stick) in neutral.
Quote:

What is the proper way to descend this kind of grade with a manual transmission? On a solid surface as he was and also on a slippery (gravel, mud, snow) steep grade? Since manuals do not have DAC, any pointers or experience from manual tranny drivers who have been in this situation?
1st gear low-range. Don't touch the brakes unless required. W/O the brakes your tires can't lock up. A rotating tire is able to steer and control the vehicle.... Besides ABS sucks in the dirt.

DAC like VSC is a crutch that enables the clueless to wheel. We'd all be better off if people learned to drive instead of electronic countermeasures holding thier hand while they screw up.
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shack View Post
OP said it is a manual. Our manual TRD OR models do not have Downhill assit or hill start.
10-4. Didnt know they didnt come with that. Kinda figured but learn something everyday i suppose
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:16 PM   #16
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Auto or stick, you can still do the same thing going downhill.

Start out as slow as possible, or as slow as reasonable to maintain control to the bottom. Remember, you can always pick up speed (through gravity or gas), but it's very hard to slow down.
If the hill is steep enough that 1st gear would cause the truck to redline, you might have to upshift as you go, but try avoiding your time spent with the clutch in since there will be no engine braking.
On hard ground, such as pavement, it's advisable to brake in pulses so the brake pads have time to cool off. If you sit on the brakes or brake too much, the pads can overheat and you lose all braking.
On loose ground, don't use the brake. Braking will cause you to loose traction. In some cases, you may have to tap the gas to regain traction, such as descending muddy hills.

Oh, and believe in the power of 4-LO. It changes the gearing and really helps you creep along. Try out 1st gear 4-LO sometime over an obstacle, it's really awesome on big rocks.
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