Category Archives: Preporation

Rock Crawling – Basic Tutorial / Guide How To

Rock Crawling is a form of off road driving that can range from driving over small bolder to extreme size bolder and walls of rocks.

Instructions

  1. Get the right equipment. Obviously you are going to need a capable offroad 4×4 vehicle.
  2. Locate a local offroad site that offers rock crawling. The terrain is important here. The trail should have good terrain along with obstacles to offer the rock crawlers variation.
  3. Take an experienced spotter with you. You will need someone to watch you over the rocks to help stop damage and find you an way over rocks safely.
  4. Drive slowly in the lowest gear possible in low range and in 4wd. A crawl over a rock is successful when done at low speeds such as 1 mph. If you drive an automatic, use one foot on the brake and one on the throttle to give your vehicle enough power to move without spinning wheels or stopping.
  5. Listen to your spotter. Your spotter tells you through hand motions and speaking what lines to take and how to approach them. If you are rock crawling alone, figure out your path before beginning.
  6. Try to place your tires on high ground or the high spots at all times. This helps avoid damaging the undercarriage. If you cannot locate a high spot, look for an alternative place that will keep your 4×4 on level ground.
  7. Maintain a low speed as you drive off a rock. As the suspension compresses, it is possible to hit the rock with the rock panels.

Above all keep safe and enjoy your offroading and rock crawling.

What vehicle for Rock Crawling

Most 4×4 can be used for rock crawling, but many standard vehicles will struggle.  Most offroading vehicles are modifled in some form and outfitted with custom parts. Power is usually not an issue, as rock crawlers typically lower their gear ratios in order to drive more slowly over obstacles without stalling the engine.

Modifications can include:

  1. locking differentials
  2. taller off-road tires
  3. upgraded suspension
  4. four wheel steering
  5. roll cage for driver protection
  6. engine modifications for increased performance, mostly torque
  7. lowered gearing in either or all of the transmission, transfer case (including often times employing a second transfer case to reduce gearing even more), or axle differentials
  8. winches
  9. body armour (rocker panels, tube fenders, etc.)
  10. beadlocks (locks tires to the rims for low tire pressures)

Over-sized, low-pressure, knobby, mud-terrain tires are used.

Most vehicles have a low-geared transfer case to make the most torque in the low speeds used for rock crawling.

Suspension-wise, rock crawling vehicles sometimes have after-market lift kits installed, raising the chassis and increasing suspension flex, though the rock crawlers running the tougher trails often have fabricated suspension systems, or home-assembled leaf packs to cheaply achieve the goals, making it easier to drive over larger obstacles with less risk of damage to the vehicle. Most suspensions are made to be highly flexible, allowing for the maximum amount of tire area to contact the ground, while keeping the vehicle as low as possible.

Due to the conflicting nature of the dynamics and needs of rock crawling and road driving vehicles, it is not unusual to modify a vehicle solely for off-road recreational usage as on road handling will be severely changed (often not for the better for road use). If you want to go all out and make an extreme Rock Crawler then extreme modifications may result in your vehicle being deemed “off-road only” i.e. not driven on the roads and trailered to trails or off road centres. The modification possibilities are endless if trailering your vehicle isn’t an issue.

Those with the technical, mechanical and engineering know how can build their own rock crawler. The biggest benefit of this approach is that the owner has complete control over what their vehicle is capable of, since each part of the vehicle can be custom designed. Building your own vehicle also saves expense as no labour charges are applicable.

What Is Rock Crawling

Rock Crawling is a form of off road driving that can range from driving over small bolder to extreme size bolder and walls of rocks.

Wikipedia defines Rock Crawling as:

Rock crawling is an extreme form of off road driving

Rock crawling is an extreme form of off road driving using vehicles anywhere from stock to highly modified to overcome obstacles. In rock crawling, drivers drive highly modified four-wheel-drive vehicles such as trucks, Jeeps, and “buggies” over very harsh terrain. Driving locations include boulders, mountain foothills, rock piles, mountain trails, etc.

Rock crawling is about slow-speed, careful and precise driving, and high torque generated through large gear reductions in the vehicles drivetrain. Rock crawlers often drive up, down and across obstacles that would appear impassable. Such vehicles to rock climb are primarily 4x4s.

Rock crawling competitions range from local events to national series. A rock crawling competition consists of obstacle courses that are about 100-200 yards long. Each obstacle is set up with gates, similar to a ski course.

How to and when to Lock your Auto Hubs.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7QAARZBOlU&feature=youtu.be

With Auto locking hubs remember that when you ® reverse in 2H, you unlock your hubs, when you go to change into 4H you will have to stop then select 4H.

If your Auto Locking Hubs are Locked, then you can change between 2H and 4H with out having to stop, but remember when you reverse in 2H they unlock

How to Lock your Auto Hubs.

1. Stop your 4×4
2. move the small gear lever in to 4H position.
3. select 1st or ® reverse, depending on the direction you want to go, them move off.

Do not select 4L while moving As you run the risk of saying good bye to you engine. the gear ratios are different in 4L as to 4H

How to Unlock you Auto Hubs

1. stop your 4×4
2. select 2H
3. Select ® reverse, and move back 1-2 feet.

Use 4H on gravel, Snow, muddy tracks or wet/Ice Roads

After You Have Been Offroading

After you have been off roading in your 4×4  there are some general maintenance checks you should perform to keep you vehicle in top running order.

Cleaning

First step after offroading is to wash off dirt and mud from your vehicle. Make sure you clean your windscreen, windows, mirrors, number plates and lights after leaving a offroad centre of leaving a greenlane and joining a main road. This if for your safety and other road users.

If you have a large amount of mud on and under your vehicle you should give your vehicle a good clean ASAP as loose dirt and mud can be dangerous to other road users, even more so for motorcycle riders, as mud on roads can be very slippy. Using a jet wash at the first service/petrol station you pass after your offroad session is good practice.

Clean your Radiator! When driving through mud and water a build put of dirt on your vehicles radiator can lead to over heating and damage to your engine. Clean your Radiator ASAP to save your engine.

If your vehicle is a diesel you are fairly safe to pressure wash under your engine bay and wash any dirt that has gathered in the engine bay. If you drive a petrol, be careful when cleaning your engine as electrical system on petrol engines and water don’t mix. if you plan to pressure wash it then do so carefully and from a distance. It is also a good idea to leave the engine running while you do this. Be careful of any air boxes or intakes you have inside the engine bay. Once you have cleaned in your engine bay give all moving parts, throttle cables,  clutch cylinders  steering columns and any wiring connections and spray with WD40 (or similar  to keep them clean, lubricated and to help them dry.

Clean Your Brakes! Dirty on your breaks is not only dangerous it also adds to brake pad ware. Dirt on your breaks is like rubbing your brake pads with sandpaper. Clean off your brakes ASAP.

Check Your Fluids

It is good practice to check all your fluids in your vehicle. It is even more important to do so if you have been through deep water or wading as water may have found its way into your fluids.

Check…

  • both diff oils
  • transfer box oil
  • gear box oil
  • power steering
  • break
  • clutch
  • engine oil
  • CV joints

…and change if required.

Grease nipples

There are several grease nipples on your vehicle that you should grease up with a grease gun. The main areas are on your prop shafts. With a grease gun grease up any grease nipples.

Inspect for damage

While you are cleaning your vehicle, have a good look round and inspect for any damage that may have occurred while offroad.

Keep your vehicle safe and in good running order and it will be ready for your next outing and you will have years of fun!

Prepare your vehicle for winter driving

Here is some advice on how to prepare your vehicle for winter driving if you have to make a journey and what to do should you be caught out in bad weather.

BEFORE YOU LEAVE

Tyres: Ensure your tyres are inflated correctly and that you have a minimum of 3mm of tread on your tyres to cope with wet and slippery conditions.

Battery: In winter, the battery will run down quicker than in warmer weather. Make sure if you do a regular long journey to top it up or trickle-charge the battery.

Engine: Modern engines are more robust than older ones. All the same, depress the clutch when starting as this will reduce drag on the engine when starting, and preserve the battery.

Screenwash: Keep this topped up and use a proper additive at the right concentration to prevent it freezing.

Fuel: Keep your tank topped up – that way if you are caught out, you’ll have enough fuel to make it home or run the engine to keep warm. However, it’s essential to keep snow from blocking the exhaust as noxious fumes can leak into the vehicle.

Windows: Clear all snow and ice from the windscreen before driving. Do not use water to de-ice windscreens. Hot water can crack the glass, and the water will only freeze again on the screen or on the ground where you are standing.

Locks: A squirt of WD-40 will prevent your door locks freezing up.

Warm clothing: Your car may be as warm as toast on the inside but if you have to step outside, you could be in trouble if you have not got any warm clothing with you.

Always pack the following: warm coat, hat, gloves, sturdy boots, a blanket to keep you warm if you get stuck. Take some food, chocolate, biscuits, water and a hot drink if you can. Always carry a fully charged mobile, and some old bits of carpet, or cat litter, to put under the tyres when stuck and a shovel to clear snow.