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Golden Triangle - Technical Thread

Discussion in 'Texas' started by fajitas21, May 8, 2017.

  1. May 8, 2017 at 7:29 PM
    #1
    fajitas21

    fajitas21 [OP] XMF - Extreme Mexican Food fo Life!

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    Ok, thanks to Jambo we have had an influx of new friends, and some are pretty new to offroading in general. This thread's purpose is to discuss technical related issues. The normal Golden Triangle thread is for what it always has been, BSing and setting dates for trips/installs, advice and the hopeful creation of a camp at a park.

    This would be a good place for our friends to ask questions, and for us to explain our setups to make things go smoothly.

    Do try to keep the BS to a minimum in this thread please.
     
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  2. May 8, 2017 at 7:32 PM
    #2
    fajitas21

    fajitas21 [OP] XMF - Extreme Mexican Food fo Life!

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  3. May 8, 2017 at 7:49 PM
    #3
    fajitas21

    fajitas21 [OP] XMF - Extreme Mexican Food fo Life!

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    When to use 4LO:
    Honestly, you want to keep stress on the drive train down when doing difficult obstacles, so 4LO is good for climbing, descending at a controlled pace, pulling out stuck people, and to be able to use advanced features like Rear Locker, Multi-Terrain Select (MTS) and Crawl Control (CC).

    When to avoid 4LO:
    When heading to a trail from an access road, you don't need it. With the gear reduction, especially in the automatic 3rd Gens, you'll find 1st gear is SUPER low, but your top speed in 4LO is about 25 MPH. At 25 MPH, however, those gears are really rapping out. It's easier on the powertrain to be in 4HI for 15+ mph driving.

    Why not just use 4HI all the time?
    1. Digging, climbing, pulling people out are all more stress on the gearing this way.
    2. You cannot use advanced features.

    ---

    What does the advanced features really do anyways?
    If you watched the Toyota demos on YouTube (and I know you have), they tout crawl control as some insane breakthrough, but personally, I don't really use it much. That said, Katie and I were stuck once in some sand by ourselves and no one was around. It got me out. I was stunned.

    Here's my order of UH OH:
    1. 4LO
    2. MTS set to your terrain. At Gilmer, it's normally the 2nd choice, loose rock and dirt.
    3. Rear Locker (just for the immediate obstacle and disabling immediately thereafter)
    4. Nothing else worked...CC?
    5. Winch

    95% of the time I never get past step 2.

    *Note* If you have the Limited, Sport, SR5 or Base 4x4 models, disregard the next section. This is for Off Road and Pro models only.
    ---

    What is MTS doing and why do I like it so much?
    It's essentially an advanced version of A-TRAC, which is present on 4Runners and FJ Cruisers. My new 4Runner has MTS as well, and I used it quite a bit this weekend to make simple work out of things open diffs struggled with.

    It's a computer controlled brake lock differential (BLD). It works by detecting wheel spin, and applying the brake to the spinning tire, without applying the brake to any other tire. It's a computer controlled limited slip. Why 5 settings? It's because you want more flexibility to how long you can spin. In mud, you want to be able to spin a minute to clear the tires, you don't want to clamp down the brake instantly. In loose rock, you want it to spin but then engage. The 5th setting pretty much instantly engages a spinning wheel to stop it. So it adjusts from 1 to 5, 1 being most lenient, and 5 being super aggressive with it. You know when it's working cause it makes strange tapping sounds.

    ---

    So what is Crawl Control?
    CC is basically MTS paired with throttle and brake control, also managed by the computer. You again have 5 settings, from 1 MPH to 5 MPH, and the truck maintains that speed by using throttle and brake to keep the wheel speed constant. Most of the time this is kinda useless, but if you're making a climb and it's bouncing around, having CC helps stabilize the lurching of the vechile since you aren't touching gas and brake. Same goes for descents. You don't want to lock up the brakes or the tires with slide. You want to control the descent while allowing tires to roll. If you watched crawlers go down stuff, you'll see they gear super low and just let off everything and just roll down it, allowing the gearing to do the braking. It's a computer driven version.

    ---

    Can you use MTS and CC together? What about RR (Rear Locker) with them?
    I often use MTS and my Rear Locker. I'm not sure you can use CC and RR because CC needs to manage the brake individually and a locker would prevent that.

    However, using MTS and a rear locker gives you 3 positively locked wheels, with a BLD on the 4th one. It's VERY effective and has always gotten me through tough obstacles that people with just rear lockers have not been successful with. As I get into hard obstacles, it will not hold up to a real front locker, but it's very good for a factor installed option that we already have.
     
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  4. May 8, 2017 at 8:08 PM
    #4
    fajitas21

    fajitas21 [OP] XMF - Extreme Mexican Food fo Life!

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    Radio Communications:

    You want to get better range? I have hit 75 miles with a Mickey Mouse walkie talkie my son owns. It's all about Antennas, quality radios, and a little creativity.

    People from the beginning of off roading have been using CB radios (Citizen Band) because they are relatively cheap and do not require a license to use. However, GMRS (while it technically does require a license that no one enforces) radios offer considerably better sound quality, equal to better range out of the box, and simple portability.

    Most CBs are installed in a vehicle, which is great for road tripping, but trail riding requires getting out, spotting, helping recover. If your radio is in the vehicle how can you call for a winch from the guy on top of the hill? GMRS (walkie talkies) are small and portable, and work great.

    If you noticed, my radio didn't look like a regular GMRS radio from Wal-Mart, but it still can communicate with you. That's because it's a HAM operator radio, unlocked to allow transmission in the GMRS band, so my radio can do many advanced things, including listen to two channels at the same time. So when Jake and the advanced team were on Channel 16, and the new guys with me were on 17, I could actually listen to both groups simultaneously.

    I won't get too involved here, if you want to know more we'll dig deeper later. Here's the radio information I want you to know so you'll be able to communicate with us GTers easily.

    GMRS Radio - Channel 16 is our primary channel. If someone is on it, we'll be on Channel 17. If someone is on that too, Channel 18.
    CB Radios - Ill end up getting a portable one just for the trail rides where we have non GTers with us. We will eventually convert the whole world, but CBs are considered the defacto in Off roading, even if that is a terrible option vs a GMRS radio. If you have one, keep it installed. We should all have both methods.

    Here's what I'd buy if I didn't have either:
    Personally, I'd start with a portable. The battery life on this unit is great. I used mine 3 days straight and still had plenty of battery to spare. This unit can do many more things if you know how to use it, such as access weather radio stations, repeaters, and if you get your HAM license, 2M radio bands for hitting 50+ miles of range. It has a detachable antenna.
    BaoFeng BF-F8HP - (BTW This is pretty much the same radio Rugged Radios sells for about $200, it's just a different color)
    https://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-BF-F...id=1494298882&sr=1-2&keywords=baofeng+bf-f8hp

    In vehicle Dual Band units will transmit further, receive better, and managed bad signals better. These push around 50 watts of power, and I've hit Car to Car with no repeaters about 7 miles through woods. Upgrading both vehicles to these radios will improve range around 30% further I'd guess, to around 10 miles car to car.
    TYT TH-7800 Dual Band Radio with Dual Watch
    https://www.amazon.com/TYT-TH-7800-...F8&qid=1494299231&sr=1-1&keywords=tyt+th-7800

    Pair with one of these antennas:
    1/2 Wave long antenna - Best range, but taller (This is on my truck)
    https://www.amazon.com/JETSTREAM-JT...0&sr=1-2&keywords=jetstream+dual+band+antenna

    5/8 wave whip - SUPER Flexible, can't hurt this (Mounted on the 4Runner)
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0165BIIZG/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Magnet Mount for antenna, including RG58 coax and a PL-259 connector to the radio:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BLCLUW8/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    ---If you must have a CB, buy this---
    This is the most flexible option, even has provision for vehicle mount and portable, all in one. Quality unit, 4watt max.
    CB Radio:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00000K2YR/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=I20BXPCMZI25BZ&colid=2BQYG6VAN5X92

    With this antenna:
    https://www.amazon.com/WILSON-305-3...rd_wg=ky3Z3&psc=1&refRID=3YC7QPTWPCG0J6336WZ4
     
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  5. May 8, 2017 at 8:15 PM
    #5
    fajitas21

    fajitas21 [OP] XMF - Extreme Mexican Food fo Life!

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    What armor do I really need to get?

    Keeping weight down is important, but there's 3 pieces of armor you really need to consider quickly to minimize grief.

    1. Skidplates - I'm in the process of upgrading the 4Runner's and building the Tacoma's. I'd rather bend that skid than a bracket, drive shaft, oil filter, or oil pan.
    2. Sliders - I'm gentle and take easy trails, and mine are scuffed on both my vehicles. Buy them before you remodel your doors. I do NOT recommend paying for powder coat. You're going to scratch them up anyways. Just get bare metal, and when they arrive, remove the stickers, wipe them down with Denatured Alochol or a degreaser, put a self etching primer on them, and a few coats of heavy duty farm equipment paint and call it a day. I'd pick something that has a rust preventative in it, not all paints do...
    3. Tires - Why include tires in armor? P - Metric tires have 1 ply sidewalls, where C, D and E have 2 - 3 plys. Sure, E will weigh the most, but E gives the most protection from rough rocks, hard climbs, and provides a stiffer sidewall to crawl up the side of things. I've found my Falken Wildpeak AT3W E-Load tires aren't loud, ride well, but did take about 1.5 MPG from me. They climb like stink though.
     
  6. May 8, 2017 at 9:16 PM
    #6
    Sleipnir

    Sleipnir Still havent found that stupid snipe

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    Any tips for the 2WD guys?
     
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  7. May 8, 2017 at 9:33 PM
    #7
    fajitas21

    fajitas21 [OP] XMF - Extreme Mexican Food fo Life!

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    I had two Prerunners, I suppose it really depends on if your rear locks or not. A LSD or a rear locker could really help. I never got stuck, but then again, I never took them to a park either.

    Personally, I'd avoid mud in 2WD, but then again, I avoid it anyways. I don't like it, but in 2WD if you can't keep clawing, you're likely in trouble.

    My best advice for a 2WD is to take a line that keeps both your rear tires in contact with the ground. If you see there's a mogul or something that's going to cause a loss of traction to a rear tire, work a line which will keep it planted. Lifting a front tire isn't that big a deal, but without a locker or at least a LSD, lifting a rear tire will likely stop you.

    Also, I'd say get yourself a winch. Don't need a huge bumper, they make hybrid ones, and even hidden winch setups.

    Tires are going to be the biggest traction upgrade you can possibly get. I'd go for decent ones, and air down to get better traction.

    Finally, unless you have a winch, don't go alone. But then again, that's a pretty good idea for anyone. There's a few 2WD guys with rear lockers and they can make it up some gnarly stuff. You're likely going to need the skinny pedal to do what the 4WDs can crawl up, so don't skimp on the armor underneath :)

    On the plus side, a 2WD rig with long travel is a desert blasting beast. Hence the name PreRunners.
     
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  8. May 8, 2017 at 10:11 PM
    #8
    fajitas21

    fajitas21 [OP] XMF - Extreme Mexican Food fo Life!

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  9. May 8, 2017 at 10:21 PM
    #9
    Silverspool

    Silverspool Come at me Bro!

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    The truetrac did great in mud, just need a lil skinny pedal influence. Ive yet to need my winch but ive been sticking to 2s. May try a 3 eventually.

    The last climb in the video i couldnt make it up in Jan. This time around with the Truetrac, it drove right up

    As far as advice, im no pro but ive learned a few things. If you have an open diff, it's definitely better when its flat and dry.

    Also, this is important no matter what, but moreso in a less capable vehicle, dont go alone.

    I invested in recovery gear, id like to think Id be able to get myself unstuck instead of always relying on someone else, so a winch is def a great idea. I also keep a bag with a host of straps and a snatch block, i might even add another snatch block.

    Comms. You cant too many comms. I run a midland 75 linked above, its great since its convertible to a handheld. I also have a pair of midland gxt 2 ways.

    Start on 1s and 2s, get some seat time, take different lines to see how the truck behaves and youll eventually learn ideal lines. Spend some time with an experienced spotter too, they see things you might not.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
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  10. May 9, 2017 at 8:53 AM
    #10
    TACORIDER

    TACORIDER Just another statistic

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    No joke biggest advice is go get 4WD. You can do some stuff in 2wd with a locker but going up steeper hills and bigger rock ledges you have to use more throttle which is less controlled and harder on different components. The biggest being the transmission. Without having a transfer case to give you a low range the tranny is slipping a lot more. This translates to higher tranny temps and heat is the number one tranny killer
     
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  11. May 9, 2017 at 9:45 AM
    #11
    Silverspool

    Silverspool Come at me Bro!

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    The reason i wont do 3s. Ive been down 3s and 4s, dont really feel like putting my truck through that. 2wd, youre really limited to 2s if youre playing it safe.
     
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