Author Topic: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?  (Read 3352 times)

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Gnarly4X

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TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« on: Jan 20, 2018, 03:25:11 AM »
Too Little or Too Much?

How much do you need to, want to, or should, modify or spend time and money to make a vehicle “4-wheel” driveable?

I’m curious about the opinions and experiences of those who go 4-wheeling as a regular activity.

I’ll define “4-wheeling” as all terrain where 4-wheel drive is engaged.

Can you successfully 4-wheel on popular trails with a low-buck, relatively stock 4WD, or do you need a mildly modified, extremely modified, a hybrid, or all out buggy?

Gnarls. :inthedark: 


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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #1 on: Jan 20, 2018, 07:52:04 AM »
Stock trucks drive alot of difficult trails.  When i went to Rubithon the vehicle spectrum was vast.
hold this. . .

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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #2 on: Jan 22, 2018, 10:29:23 AM »
After living life a while and driving a few different builds and being around many more on the trail, I think all the drivetrain, lockers, gearing, crawler gears are justifiable but with about half the size that's in style these days.  My 4runner even with just 35s could be driven over refrigerator sized rocks by a 6 year old girl.  Right now I am trying to get set up with a truck that I still have to pick a line with but will get it done.  That being said, build size, shape and style has so much to do with the region you live in and what tails you have access too. 

The trail builds the truck in my opinion.  There is no wrong answer as long as it works for what you need it to, is safe and doesn't fall apart on every trail ride.
« Last Edit: Jan 22, 2018, 11:46:21 AM by H8PVMNT »
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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #3 on: Jan 22, 2018, 12:59:58 PM »
Build a rig for what you want to do and set a budget. Too many people get stressed out building a rig. People need to remember there will always be someone out there with a better, faster, bigger or more capable rig.
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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #4 on: Jan 22, 2018, 06:05:19 PM »
I've watched many folks build to the max and others on close to stock do the same obstacles and have seen the stocker drive right over while the max-built struggled. I keep mine moderate and on 33's because I got tired of things being too easy and it's fun driving around the big builds while they're spinning because someone told them they "needed" all that Stuff to have a good time. :twocents:
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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #5 on: Jan 22, 2018, 06:27:45 PM »
I feel like there's a common misconception. A lot of people go all out thinking it'll be easier for them when they're new over starting with a stockish truck and learning it's capabilities before going for the hardcore build. Of course everyone wants 44" tires, links, roll cages and the list goes on. But how often do you need it depends on the type of wheeling. Personally I want to build one on 44's. But I also want another with 33's because it's more practical for what I do, mainly deal with mud and snow during hunting season or just driving around.

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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #6 on: Jan 22, 2018, 06:43:55 PM »
Build till you loose all sanity :shocking: , than go wheel it. This my friend will tell you "how much"
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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #7 on: Jan 22, 2018, 09:37:55 PM »
You give me a capable stock 4x4 and I can probably drive it on at least 80% of the off road trails across the country. There’s so many miles of moderate wheeling where the scenery is the goal. Two lockers and either crawl gear or an automatic transmission and 33 to 35 inch tires would cover 95% of wheeling. The last 5% requires a mostly non-street rig and a willingness to do damage. If you only have a rig built for the 5% you better love it because it often takes away the joy for the 95%.
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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #8 on: Jan 23, 2018, 08:43:46 AM »
You give me a capable stock 4x4 and I can probably drive it on at least 80% of the off road trails across the country. There’s so many miles of moderate wheeling where the scenery is the goal. Two lockers and either crawl gear or an automatic transmission and 33 to 35 inch tires would cover 95% of wheeling. The last 5% requires a mostly non-street rig and a willingness to do damage. If you only have a rig built for the 5% you better love it because it often takes away the joy for the 95%.

Well said

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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #9 on: Jan 23, 2018, 08:47:09 AM »
You give me a capable stock 4x4 and I can probably drive it on at least 80% of the off road trails across the country. There’s so many miles of moderate wheeling where the scenery is the goal. Two lockers and either crawl gear or an automatic transmission and 33 to 35 inch tires would cover 95% of wheeling. The last 5% requires a mostly non-street rig and a willingness to do damage. If you only have a rig built for the 5% you better love it because it often takes away the joy for the 95%.

Totally Agree. That was the goal of my jeep I could have easily went with 35s and been happy and was really close to doing so but the longer wheelbase helped convince me to go 37s.
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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #10 on: Jan 23, 2018, 09:56:28 AM »
Your jeep doesn't suffer from hugeness in my opinion. You just happened make 37s fit on a nice low rig.  Plus you aren't skimping on drivetrain.
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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #11 on: Jan 23, 2018, 10:40:46 AM »
My opinion may be irrelevant since I wheel on this side of the country. Our main riding is dirt, sand, and mud. We need a minimum of 35. Closer to 40s the better. If we travel north and can make it to Tennessee area we get to the rocks. Up there if your not locked front and rear, do not have 40s, do not have hp to heat up tires your not going to enjoy yourself.
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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #12 on: Jan 23, 2018, 11:26:35 AM »
My opinion may be irrelevant since I wheel on this side of the country. Our main riding is dirt, sand, and mud. We need a minimum of 35. Closer to 40s the better. If we travel north and can make it to Tennessee area we get to the rocks. Up there if your not locked front and rear, do not have 40s, do not have hp to heat up tires your not going to enjoy yourself.

There's certainly difference across the country for what is required for the local terrain.  Is it safe to assume that the majority of true wheeling requires what you describe, but there's some off road adventures that could be had with a more stock rig if the conditions were right (i.e. not muddy season)?
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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #13 on: Jan 23, 2018, 11:31:03 AM »
Totally Agree. That was the goal of my jeep I could have easily went with 35s and been happy and was really close to doing so but the longer wheelbase helped convince me to go 37s.

I think I'd choose 37s on the JK given the wheelbase and break over angle.  From a visual perspective I think 35s can look really good on a JK, but 37s seem to be the sweet spot between still being acceptable on the street and having that big dog look.  The proportions are just right.  As I've mentioned, I'd probably want a couple more inches of lift compared to what you have, but that comes with even more expense in the drivelines and such.  Your Jeep looks great and has caused me to look more closely at the tire and ride height combinations that I see to identify what I would consider to be my ideal setup.  The various flare options can really change the way they look as well.
1989 4Runner: Dual Ultimate (Inchworm front & Marlin 4.70 rear), Marlin Twin Stick, 1200-lb clutch, 4.88 R&P, Aussie Front, Detroit rear, 30-spline Longs, Long hub gears, ARP hub and knuckle studs & 35x12.50 Cooper STT PRO tires.  Marlin rear bumper & sliders.  FROR front bumper.  SAS with Alcan springs & Rancho 9000XL shocks.  Budbuilt Bolt-on traction bar.  Custom Interior Cage by Those Guys Rod and Customs.

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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #14 on: Jan 23, 2018, 11:38:18 AM »
under power over axle. (secret sauce)
I am 1/5th of Perfect Fit
SqWADoosh [04:19 PM]: *sigh* I guess Chris is right and I just need to wait until I'm in a place where I have a tow rig and trailer before I get this caliber of truck
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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #15 on: Jan 23, 2018, 11:44:53 AM »
There's certainly difference across the country for what is required for the local terrain.  Is it safe to assume that the majority of true wheeling requires what you describe, but there's some off road adventures that could be had with a more stock rig if the conditions were right (i.e. not muddy season)?

We have mud all year round. It rains almost every week. Some people wheel on 33s here. They do a different style wheeling than what my friends and I do.
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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #16 on: Jan 23, 2018, 01:11:49 PM »
I think I'd choose 37s on the JK given the wheelbase and break over angle.  From a visual perspective I think 35s can look really good on a JK, but 37s seem to be the sweet spot between still being acceptable on the street and having that big dog look.  The proportions are just right.  As I've mentioned, I'd probably want a couple more inches of lift compared to what you have, but that comes with even more expense in the drivelines and such.  Your Jeep looks great and has caused me to look more closely at the tire and ride height combinations that I see to identify what I would consider to be my ideal setup.  The various flare options can really change the way they look as well.

I would like another inch of lift honestly, I will do that at a later point when I get my steering and drive-line upgrades. It is amazing how fenders can change the look of a rig.
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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #17 on: Jan 23, 2018, 02:25:39 PM »
I was looking at a flash drive for a photo of another truck but I found this one.  I picked up this hacked up '81 Trailblazer for $100.  We did some trading and ended up with some 4.30 axles out of an '85 4runner and welded the diffs.  Slapped my 34" TSLs on beadlocks on it, home brew leaf packs, bobbed it and wheeled the heck out of it for several years.

 This truck was about the most fun I've had.  Not saying less is better, but sometimes cheap and small is pretty fun.

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Gnarly4X [OP]

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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #18 on: Jan 24, 2018, 06:39:25 AM »
Well said

Yes... very well said.

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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #19 on: Jan 24, 2018, 07:57:45 AM »
The photo I was looking for I never found.  The truck was called "Tinkerbell"  It was a yellow 1980 4x4 short wheel base, all tubed out and a really flexy coil front suspension using early bronco stuff, leafs in the rear, lockers, duals etc.  Only the ride height was nearly stock and it had only 31" swampers on it.

So this guy shows up to our "Fall Crawl 4x4 Trials" in Ft Benton, where the man made course is built around 35s or better.  The thing was incredible!  He could take lines nobody else could and hit stuff really aggressively because of the low center of gravity paired with the great articulation.  When clearance was an issue he just kind of took lines that used the truck as earth moving equipment and worked it out.  He never had to be recovered except when he couldn't make it out of an 10' deep hole with vertical walls but that was because he hadn't done the hill climb mod on his weber and it wouldn't run.  Other than that he basically handed everybody their butt.

That guy really made us rethink our build strategy that year Whenever I think about size I always remember Tinkerbell.
« Last Edit: Jan 24, 2018, 08:06:40 AM by H8PVMNT »
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Rockcrawlintoy

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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #20 on: Jan 24, 2018, 08:25:50 AM »
Sounds kinda like this rig except it has bigger tires


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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #21 on: Jan 24, 2018, 10:03:54 AM »
That 70s hilux is sweet!!!!!
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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #22 on: Jan 24, 2018, 10:21:14 AM »
I believe that's Dave from DED.
Time to go wheelin!

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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #23 on: Jan 24, 2018, 11:37:31 AM »
I believe that's Dave from DED.

yessir, Dave Chappelle is the man.

that truck is really so cool. 1973 Toyota on 37s. 22RE swapped, W56, duals with a 4.70, Then it's 3 linked front and rear on air bags. Sadly he really didn't have any sponsors so out of an hour of footage he's shown about twice.
Keep it TOYOTA!

In the past years, I used to get a lot of calls from Jeep owners wanting to go slow like the Toy trucks.

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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #24 on: Jan 24, 2018, 01:11:09 PM »
It was for sale the last time I saw it at the Off-Road Expo.  He needs to start his next awesome build, I guess.  That was the best of the low and slow and get you anywhere rigs I've come across. Worth every penny he's asking.
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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #25 on: Jan 24, 2018, 01:28:09 PM »
It was for sale the last time I saw it at the Off-Road Expo.  He needs to start his next awesome build, I guess.  That was the best of the low and slow and get you anywhere rigs I've come across. Worth every penny he's asking.

I didn't know he was selling it (or sold it). that's kinda lame cause I'm pretty sure he got a YJ or something. he had the baja bug and sold that to make room for an FZJ80, he's got the Amigo which was on UA2017, and he has the DED Rad4

Keep it TOYOTA!

In the past years, I used to get a lot of calls from Jeep owners wanting to go slow like the Toy trucks.

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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #26 on: Jan 24, 2018, 06:06:02 PM »
He always builds the coolest stuff and in ways that make you think, why hasn't someone thought of that before and they always work so well. When I saw it I almost bought it for my wife, she had a yellow 2wd 77' that got stolen. She digs her 4Runner too much to go back to a 2-seater and said no, dang it, sorry Dave.
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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #27 on: Jan 25, 2018, 03:29:20 AM »
... Whenever I think about size I always remember Tinkerbell.

Size DOES matter... Tinkerbell knows that!!  :laugh:

Gnarls.  :yesnod:
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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #28 on: Jan 31, 2018, 10:55:10 AM »
Back when my truck was stock, I used to piss guys off with built rigs when I would follow them up the same spot.  A lot of it is driver ability.  But a mild build will get you anywhere you need to go a lot easier.  35" tires, decent suspension and some gearing.  I will say dual cases do make a world of difference, not having to sit there and smoke your clutch, or being able to ease over a ledge.  But mild build, on a reliable vehicle is the way to go for sure.
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Gnarly4X [OP]

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Re: TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH?
« Reply #29 on: Mar 20, 2018, 07:30:18 PM »
Back when my truck was stock, I used to piss guys off with built rigs when I would follow them up the same spot.  A lot of it is driver ability.  But a mild build will get you anywhere you need to go a lot easier.  35" tires, decent suspension and some gearing.  I will say dual cases do make a world of difference, not having to sit there and smoke your clutch, or being able to ease over a ledge.  But mild build, on a reliable vehicle is the way to go for sure.

How much – what percentage, of successfully negotiating a 4-wheel rock crawling trail, is the vehicle, the driver’s skill, or the spotter?

Gnarls.
1986 XtraCab SR5 22RE 5speed W56B, ~10,000 MI after break-in, DIM (Did It Myself) rebuilt engine - .020" over, engnbldr RV head, OS valves, 261C cam, DT Header. https://imgur.com/oACTHTR