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Author: Subject:  Sand driving tips
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posted on January 17th, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Sand driving tips


Hi again all, hope this is the correct area for this thread.

As some of you may have seen in my other thread , i recently had my baja to stradbroke island. I did have trouble in the very soft deep sand, i think it was a combination of driver ability and an underequipped car.

Ive done alot of sand driving adn off roading in general in 4wd's over the years but 2wd off roading is much trickier and an area id like to know more.

A tip i got from an older baja bugger was to put the clutch in and let off the brake when coming to a stop on soft sand so the car rolls up on it rather than digging in too much, i did discover this myself after a few days of getting bogged when i stopped ....

So has anyone else got any other tips to share about beach driving in a vw or just off roading in general in a 2wd.

thanks
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posted on January 17th, 2012 at 06:50 PM



As you probably read already, its all about tyre pressures. Have seen many times over the years at Noosa northshore brand new trucks down to the diffs because of high pressures. A bit of ground clearence helps too on the deep rutts.
Im no expert but the more you get it on the beach the better the feel of your bug. Extra HP also without doubt gets you out of a lot of spots, but tyre pressure is where its at!
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posted on January 17th, 2012 at 06:54 PM



Tyre pressures are very important.

Normally on the beach I drop my fronts to 12psi, despite the fact that they are not a driving wheel letting them down a little helps them bag a bit and roll over the sand, instead of cutting into it.

On the rear I normally go straight to 10psi for any sand work. And then if I'm having trouble down to 7psi. If stuck bad or the sand is like powder then I go to 5psi.

Tyre pressures are also important on the road, most people with no experience will run 4WD tyre pressures in their big "4WD" tyres. And most tyre shops incorrectly inflate your tyres way too high too.
You must consider that you have a car that weighs somewhere between 800 and 1000kg. Which is a 3rd of what some 4WDs weigh.

On my Baja I run 23psi in the rear with a 31" tyre. And 18psi in the front with a 175/65/14. I'll be getting bigger tyres for the front soon so this may change when this happens.

It might be a case of trying different tyre pressures to see what works for you and your car. But anyone that tells you that you should have +35psi in your tyres because "They're 4WD tyres" doesn't know what they're talking about.


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posted on January 17th, 2012 at 07:08 PM



Good thread. Dubs on the beach.....it's all about tyre pressures, but I guess that's already been said.....:lol::lol::lol:
Oh, the more power you have, the better it goes in the soft stuff.




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posted on January 17th, 2012 at 07:40 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by matberry
Oh, the more power you have, the better it goes in the soft stuff.


Is that so???


http://i1080.photobucket.com/albums/j322/VWNuts1/Beach%20Trip%20Jan%202012/240.jpg

http://i1080.photobucket.com/albums/j322/VWNuts1/Beach%20Trip%20Jan%202012/241.jpg

http://i1080.photobucket.com/albums/j322/VWNuts1/Beach%20Trip%20Jan%202012/242.jpg


:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:



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posted on January 17th, 2012 at 07:41 PM



and at the end of the day the limit is still at the point the floorpan hits the ground:D

But seriously, we all get bogged at some point. I think picking your lines and keeping the wheels on the ground is important, if one of the drive wheels is off the ground you are loosing momentum, so stick to defined tracks (unless some fool in a 4wd has just made that track with fully inflated tyres, digging the whole, because then you might as well jump into quicksand) Around corners this can be tricky and a cutting brake is a useful bit of kit (not just for doing donuts as it turns out Matt)
Only other thing I can recommend is if you feel the car slowing - stop back up carefully over the sand you have already compacted and build up some momentum again




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posted on January 17th, 2012 at 07:41 PM



Thanks guys, i was halfway there with tyre pressures, Im used to driving the v8 rangie which weighs 2100kg with me in it. beach pressures for that are never lower than 20 as the tyres really bag up at that.

The bug i had at 16 because it was fully loaded when i first hit the beach, after unloading and seeing how bad the sand was i dropped them to 8 and was afraid to go lower incase of beading issues but now i know that 5 psi is fairly safe.

I think a bribie island run will be in order soon to experiment with tyre pressures.

More power is definately on the cards, the 1600tp was ok, it had decent torque but the long gearing was killing it i think, also it was really breathless over 4000rpm so thats where i was shifting , witha 1000rpm idle speed it leaves you with a small power band.

Im thinking of a scat 1915cc kit, 40mm weber and a final drive change.
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posted on January 17th, 2012 at 07:46 PM



Do you know what gearbox you are currently running?

You might find that it's not the ratios that are the issue. But the tyres are too big for you engine size.


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posted on January 17th, 2012 at 07:52 PM



I am no driving expert,and dont know if this is a correct technique but,to limit wheelspin in soft sand or whilst climbing sandy inclines,I have used the handbrake.
Like doing a hill start.Has worked for me,cant see why it wouldnt work in a baja
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posted on January 17th, 2012 at 08:09 PM



Important point which you would already know, follow the tides (ecspecially bribie) No use trying to flog the guts out of your beast because the tide is high.



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posted on January 17th, 2012 at 08:30 PM



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ibSEOsj4GE 

important point; don't let your mate drive!

only got bogged once and was helped out by a nissan full of young ladies in bikinis

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posted on January 18th, 2012 at 09:22 PM



Might sound a bit silly but make sure you know which way your front wheels are pointing especially in soft sand. With a buggy it's very easy to lean over to see the front wheel not so sure in a baja but you may think you're pointing straight ahead when in fact you're doing an imitation of a bulldozer. I , of course have never done this:blush: Plus Shaun the saying is 'if there's no pics then it didn't happen':lol:
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posted on January 18th, 2012 at 10:06 PM



While we are on this topic...

I have trouble accelerating in the soft stuff.... once i get started, i hit second gear before hitting the soft stuff (with the low psi's) and go for 2nd gear to limit the torque to prevent wheel spin, then as soon as i hit the soft stuff it starts to bog down and slow down as the wheels start spinning, till a point i bring the accelerator and revs very far down where its slow but happy to continue through the soft stuff, but its slow and very low revs and if i put my foot down it will just spin.

is this a tyre tread issue? it doesn't like the faster momentum, it likes to chug. :td: what can i do to keep the faster momentum?

I was comparing myself to the many other 4wd's passing the soft enterance to the beach as i played with the tyres, they all did it sooooo easily, half didn't seem to stop for 4wd or low range (by the looks). I thought these buggies/baja's were meant to be the king pins of the sand lol. (alot more fun no doubt but a bit of ease in doing the offroading would make me feel more confident for that future 'remote' trip in the pipe line)




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posted on January 19th, 2012 at 06:55 AM



You sure its not clutch slipping Chris?



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posted on January 19th, 2012 at 09:11 AM



I've done a lot of 4*4 and buggy work on the beach the technique is chalk and cheese, 4*4 is all momentum and no wheel spin, buggy is momentum and thrust (dig and spit). When my buggy was 1600 NA I had to be extremely careful and still got bogged regularly, with the extra HP of a turbo I run now, when it starts to bog I give the clutch a quick pump spin her up and blast out. I have been turbo for about 18 months and haven't been bog yet were I haven't been able to drive it out (touchwood). I do drive on the beach 2-3 times a week (to lazy to walk the dog) and have had to stop and assist many bogged 4*4's in that time mainly because of poor technique 90% of them get bogged right in the middle of the access block it off. Buggies are in general are superior if set-up and driven properly.
PS Around my home beaches I don't even bother dropping tyre pressures at lower tides as I only have 100mtrs of soft sand and can blast through that easy, but I apply the 1PSI per 100kgs of body weight formula at high tide and on dunes ie Stockton I run 6-7PSI
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posted on January 19th, 2012 at 04:29 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by bajachris88
While we are on this topic...

I have trouble accelerating in the soft stuff.... once i get started, i hit second gear before hitting the soft stuff (with the low psi's) and go for 2nd gear to limit the torque to prevent wheel spin, then as soon as i hit the soft stuff it starts to bog down and slow down as the wheels start spinning, till a point i bring the accelerator and revs very far down where its slow but happy to continue through the soft stuff, but its slow and very low revs and if i put my foot down it will just spin.

is this a tyre tread issue? it doesn't like the faster momentum, it likes to chug. :td: what can i do to keep the faster momentum?

I was comparing myself to the many other 4wd's passing the soft enterance to the beach as i played with the tyres, they all did it sooooo easily, half didn't seem to stop for 4wd or low range (by the looks). I thought these buggies/baja's were meant to be the king pins of the sand lol. (alot more fun no doubt but a bit of ease in doing the offroading would make me feel more confident for that future 'remote' trip in the pipe line)



I have heard alot of people say the same things that these cars are unstoppable on the beach, it is an exaggeration ive found. I think they are much more fun to drive than a 4wd and far cheaper too. Maybe they are better that 4wd's in that they have a lower center of gravity and are better for high speed off roading but for most other situations i think a 4wd would be better.

It doestn bother me though because i have alot of fun with my baja, it is very cheap and i enjoy the challenge. I think 2wd off roading is more rewarding because you are putting yourself at a disadvantage and if we can drive in the same places as 4wds then its a little victory each time.
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posted on January 19th, 2012 at 05:12 PM



I think it all comes down to weight, tyre pressures and driver skill. My Manx weighs 620kgs and will happily drive everywhere in the softest high tide sand with a 1600 and mud tyres, but the Baja with more power but heavier you need to be more careful.



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posted on January 19th, 2012 at 06:19 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by niall
I have heard alot of people say the same things that these cars are unstoppable on the beach, it is an exaggeration ive found.


These people are talking more about beach buggies. Baja's are a little bit heavier so they are a little bit worse in the soft stuff. But they are still all better than 4WD's! :D



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posted on March 25th, 2012 at 02:33 PM



if you`re really keen to do "Lots" of sand driving, then try to find yourself a set of "Olympic Sand Grippers" ,,,
they`re a 13" tyre "specifically designed for sand use, & are still road DOT approved
I ran 8psi in mine for literally years & years & years (15-ish years actually)

now when i said they were 13",,, you may think i`m nuts/crazy/mad,,, well maybe i am, however :-)
these 13" tyres are about the same overall height & width of your average 10/11R-15,,,
so this means there is WAY WAY WAY more rubber to help you balloon them out

When i was running my V8 powered single-cab split-window kombi ute at Moreton Island with these tyres @ 8psi, i NEVER got bogged

& yep, a decent chunk of power & some "sand-wise" experience keeping the pace up in certain places & learning how to turn in sharp boggy sand is pretty critical

also, some 'steering brakes" & some experience using them would also help

have fun & yes, remember "very Low" pressures is good to keep you moving,,, but at these very low pressures you are best not to stuff around playing slidy slidy donuts & such like Matty is in those pics above :-) , cause you could easy peel the tyres from the rims,,, Well--> that is unless you have "bead-locks" on your tyres like i did :-) :-) :-)

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posted on March 26th, 2012 at 08:17 AM



Procomp make a 12.5 x 31 AT tyre that is on my wish list, at around $400 each you can understand why its on "the list"



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posted on March 26th, 2012 at 08:38 AM



I have found out what gets me stuck, panic... (and laziness)

And it only happens on entries/exits to the beach where its really chewed up and soft. When it bogs down, i hit reverse, then try to go for another run when i should deflate the tyres (because i had heaps more psi to play with).




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posted on February 14th, 2014 at 05:26 PM



600kg buggy with 31x10.5r 15 old style desert duellers usually run 7pound on the tracks and 5 on sand, happy to go to 3 or less in deep soft sand when its on its pan. no problems with beads rolling yet & they have been tested at times.

here is 5pound ski-ing on its nose, deep winter sand not hot and fluffy.
no brakes though. ha.

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posted on February 24th, 2014 at 09:06 PM



Sorry to burst any bubbles here
But bribe island is 4x4 only
Not for us capable 2 wheel drivers coz we will destroy the beach and they will have to waste there time dragging us back to the safty of the bitumen




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hasnt got a clue about smoooooooooth

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posted on February 25th, 2014 at 09:15 AM



Subi Baja. - Not sure if you are serious or not.
I just have to say my brother goes to Bribie a lot in his Pajero.
He bought himself some snatch straps and so far he has only needed them to pull others out.
I think a lot of people don't have too much idea.:smilegrin:




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posted on February 25th, 2014 at 01:11 PM



Terry is having a go. They won't let Beach Buggies on Bribie Island anymore cos the rangers don't like them and will tell you we destroy the beach and get stuck everywhere



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posted on February 25th, 2014 at 07:52 PM



Just tell them its 4wd, I diid that for years



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