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2WD offroading


ThatCatPuma

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I realize that this is ill advised and that if one wants to go offroad they should get a proper 4WD truck, but does anyone have any experience or tips with going offroad in a 2WD ranger? Thanks.

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85_Ranger4x4

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What kind of offroading?

I would make sure to have a way to unstick it, either don't travel alone (which is a good idea anyway) or have something along the lines of a winch.

If something goes sideways on a trail a buddy with a truck is a good thing to have no matter how many drive tires you have. :icon_thumby:
 

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2WD vehicles are usually 1 wheel drive, they often have an OPEN differential this means the EASIEST wheel to turn gets ALL the power from the engine.

This is why if 1 wheel starts to spin on ice or mud you get stuck, because that wheel is now getting ALL the power, other wheel gets 0 power.

There are Limited Slip differentials, Ford calls theirs Trac Lok, Chevy calls it Positraction

Limited slip means if one wheel starts to slip(spin faster than the other wheel) then more power is transferred to the OTHER wheel, the one that has traction.

Most 4x4 Rangers came with Limited Slip, not all, and some 2WD did as well as a pay extra Option.

Look here to see what you have now: https://therangerstation.com/tech_library/axle_codes.shtml

2WD pickup trucks have no weight on the Drive wheels, so lose traction easily
This is why Front wheel drive cars do well in snow or slippery conditions because weight of the engine is over the drive wheels, its also easier to PULL a weight than to PUSH a weight, so another advantage and a main benefit of 4WD because you now have drive wheels PULLING you


Off-roading is not always about 4WD, most of it is ground clearance, so you do need as much as practical.
Good tires with wider gaps in treads for better grip of loose material
Put all your gear as far back in the bed as possible, so most of that weight is on the rear axle
Tire chains are easy to carry
A portable winch is practical to have with 2WD or 4WD, or a good come-along, with extra straps/cables
Sand ladders don't take up much room, if you think you will need them
A jack you can use to lift a wheel to put something under it for better traction when stuck

Portable air compressor is good to have, you get better traction with lower tire pressure, any tire has a larger footprint with lower air pressure so more friction which is traction
Not a good idea on the highway but if off-road then lower pressure down to 15-20psi, if on the sand down to 10psi, then pump them back up when you are going on-road
Watch sharp turns with lower tire pressure, because you can break the bead seal on the rim so end up with a flat tire
 
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JOLENE_THE_RANGER

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as stated above it really depends on what type of offroading youre looking at doing. the best money spent will be on a good locker for the rear diff, after that good suspension so you can carry more momentum over things. if youre looking at crazy rock trails and mud, 2wd just wont cut it most of the time
 

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Locker, suspension, winch, buddy.

Most of the 4x4 off-road guys I know wont' go anywhere without a winch and a friend.
 

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Thanks for the input y'all. Mainly just looking into driving on non-gravel roads and back roads in national forests around where I'm at, sometime they get pretty slick and/or just have terrible road conditions. Not true offroading I guess. Got it: a locking differential, agood winch, a buddy, and weight in the rear.

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Thanks for the input y'all. Mainly just looking into driving on non-gravel roads and back roads in national forests around where I'm at, sometime they get pretty slick and/or just have terrible road conditions. Not true offroading I guess. Got it: a locking differential, agood winch, a buddy with a truck, and weight in the rear.

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Fixed it for you.

A second person probably wouldn't hurt anything but if you get your truck stuck you just have someone to talk to as you walk back to civilization/cell signal if they don't have a truck too.
 

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I might have missed it but good tires will make a big difference. If the roads/trails you expect to go on have a lot of mud, mud tires are a must. Otherwise, I wouldn't go with anything less than a highly customer rated all terrain tire. All terrains can essentially become racing slicks if there is too much mud, so something to keep in mind.
 

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If you do have a buddy with you, a passenger, make sure he sits in the back of the bed over the real slippery parts :)
 

ThatCatPuma

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I might have missed it but good tires will make a big difference. If the roads/trails you expect to go on have a lot of mud, mud tires are a must. Otherwise, I wouldn't go with anything less than a highly customer rated all terrain tire. All terrains can essentially become racing slicks if there is too much mud, so something to keep in mind.
Good to know. I have Toyo A/T tires on it right now. Don't know much about them because the truck was my dad's... and a buddy with a truck is a necessity lol. I think a SPOT would also be a good add on, now that I think about it...

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I've drove hundreds of miles on forest trails and logging roads all over Michigan in 2WD and a limited slip. It's all about knowing limits and when to keep you momentum up. I certainly wouldn't let a 2WD prevent me from exploring a bit and enjoying a good trail ride.
 

ThatCatPuma

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I've drove hundreds of miles on forest trails and logging roads all over Michigan in 2WD and a limited slip. It's all about knowing limits and when to keep you momentum up. I certainly wouldn't let a 2WD prevent me from exploring a bit and enjoying a good trail ride.
God to know. I'm over in eastern Washington. Probably will drive into North Idaho lots, as well. Sounds like alot of just being careful, knowing the limits of my vehicle, and being prepared. Weird, right? Thanks y'all.

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I use to take my 2wd s-10 offroading on sand trails all the time. I never took it "mudding" but it was an amazing trail truck. Really the only modifications it had was a locker, 3" lift, good trail tires (cant remeber what I used) and the spare tire mounted on the tailgate for better weight distribution. It held its own against 4x4's especially the big ridiculous f-350's on 38's (were talking trail riding so small, light, and agile beats big lumbering dinosaur). I've always wanted to build my current ranger like my old s-10 but its my daily driver so it gets left alone for now.

Now if your talking about rock crawler or mudding... you're nuts.
 

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Don't forget you can somewhat cheat-lock your open diff if you get stuck but I wouldn't recommend doing it too hard or too much. Apply brake softly to lightly-moderate and then press the gas to possibly get power to the grounded tire.

Also, use your 2 and 1 gears to save your brakes when going down steep hills or when you are going over stuff to keep your wheels from spinning wildly.
 


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