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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey all!

I finally took my Forester (2k6 2.5X/AT)on it's first real off-road experience!

Drove out of Dubai and into Oman and a place called "Hatta Pools" up in the hills.

It is very hard, very dry graded track, lots of stone and bits of stony rubble and a bit of sand on occasion....not too many big rocks on the actual trail though.

Some really quite steep and uneven inclines that pass through dried up Wadi beds.....

I have to say I was very impressed with the cars ability - I stuck it in hold in second to try and avoid any wheel spin, and it just ate up the track - never once slipped or struggled even on the big dips - just kept on trucking!

:icon_cool:

Have to watch out for wild camels though - don't want to hit one of those boys......


Couple of questions:

1) The ground was very hard and stony - and pretty bumpy. Is it wise to lower the tyre pressure a little to get better traction and a smoother ride? If so, how low should it go? (Stock OEM Geolanders) Bear in mind the average temp is still around 30 degrees at the moment.....

2) I am very aware that my Forester doesn't have quite the ground clearance of the other 4x4's that I am seeing on this trail.
I understand that there is no protection on the underside of the car at all?
If I scrape or bottom out the thing on rock/stone, does this put me at instant risk of severe damage, or is the underside generally fairly tough?

Any other suggestions/general advice for this kind of off-road driving?

I will get some pictures up next time

Cheers gang
 

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You should probably drop to about 25 psi for this sort of run. The reason is so the tyre shapes itself over any obstacle rather than trying to push through or over it. This helps avoid blowouts due to sharp rocks

You shoud also have a sump guard as, yes, you can do lots of damage if there is no protection. So far, fingers crossed, my tranny and rear diff have not been damaged.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You should probably drop to about 25 psi for this sort of run. The reason is so the tyre shapes itself over any obstacle rather than trying to push through or over it. This helps avoid blowouts due to sharp rocks
Ah cool - will look at this next time....

You shoud also have a sump guard as, yes, you can do lots of damage if there is no protection. So far, fingers crossed, my tranny and rear diff have not been damaged.
Would an aftermarket sump guard significantly reduce ground-clearance though?
 

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Sydney Dinner Organiser
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Would an aftermarket sump guard significantly reduce ground-clearance though?
Signficantly - no.
But even if you do lose say 5mm its still better that it hits metal rather than plastic.

The Forester is great on dirt roads with a few lose rocks.

Enjoy and post up some pics.

me on a dirt road thats part of a rally course in Canberra


Yes that was damn steep - I didnt want to walk down it to take a photo!
 

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Sump guard for sure, and pressure at 25psi is good. Go slow over sharp rocks and most especially, don't spin the tires! When a spinning tire hits a sharp rock it is bad news. Your automatic transmission "pan" is also vulnerable, and there is no easy way to make a guard for it. Another vulnerable spot is the gas tank.

I suggest crawling under the car and getting familiar with where the important parts are located. Keep that in mind as you bounce around offroad. It also helps to stop occassionally and get out to look underneath to see how much clearance you have above the rocks. Consider that everything gets closer to the ground with any bouncing!
 

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It also helps to stop occassionally and get out to look underneath to see how much clearance you have above the rocks.
Also important if you come over a rise (or a bump) and cant see whats ahead. There could be a large rock right in the middle of the road!

It seems like a pain to stop and get out and check but its better than hitting something huge.

Im thinking of putting either a mirror (like a reversing mirror) on my bullbar or ideally a reversing camera (a forwarding camera!) - just so I can see whats in front of me as I go over crests and drainage humps. Usually the spot you need to stop and check is also about the worst place to have to stop (steep uphill)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sump guard for sure, and pressure at 25psi is good. Go slow over sharp rocks and most especially, don't spin the tires! When a spinning tire hits a sharp rock it is bad news. Your automatic transmission "pan" is also vulnerable, and there is no easy way to make a guard for it. Another vulnerable spot is the gas tank.

I suggest crawling under the car and getting familiar with where the important parts are located. Keep that in mind as you bounce around offroad. It also helps to stop occassionally and get out to look underneath to see how much clearance you have above the rocks. Consider that everything gets closer to the ground with any bouncing!

All sound advice cheers!

Funnily enough, although I don't know much about driving offroad (or even about the mechanics of cars in general :icon_redface: ) It was instinctive to me to try and make sure there was traction at all times and to avoid spinning - hence locking the Auto into "hold" mode.
 

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Im thinking of putting either a mirror (like a reversing mirror) on my bullbar or ideally a reversing camera (a forwarding camera!) - just so I can see whats in front of me as I go over crests and drainage humps. Usually the spot you need to stop and check is also about the worst place to have to stop (steep uphill)
That is a great idea! Something like this mounted on the bullbar should work well.
 

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Hmm, at the NYC autoshow a few years ago I remember seeing a Jeep concept that had underbody cameras that were hooked into the nav screen. It looked like a pretty good idea (one pointing forward and one back looking at the axles)
They gave a pretty good idea of clearance and what was ahead.
 

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More worried about seeing ahead than underneath!!

The mirror looks good, but I probably want a bit wider field of view, maybe a bit of a curve on the mirror.
 

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My best advice is to start tame and work your way up.

Learn how to cut a hill to avoid dragging bumpers.

Learn what line to take.

AT tires, skid plates, and maybe a small lift will get you a long way.

Also this thread is 13 years old I doubt the OP still has that Forester.
 
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