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Old 30 August 2014, 04:47   #1
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Towing up steep hill / diff wind question

Need some advice from any 4wd experts. I use an L200 to tow.

At my annual holiday destination I have an easy beach retrieve followed by a 20% Tarmac hill with no run up for momentum.

For the beach retrieve I select standard 4wd which I can use at any speed on any type of road. It's a shingle beach and not very steep so this works fine.

Problem comes on the hill that takes me from the beach to the main road. It's Tarmac, single track, and seriously steep. No cars seem to come down it until I'm halfway up it, and It's nearly always Ethel and Cyril who take 20 min to reverse back up!

Getting going again is a clutch burner.

My question is: being as it's fairly straight, can I safely select low ratio - diff lock? Will this help with my clutch slip? Could I end up trashing my diff as all of the wheels have good traction.

It's about 200yds long and i would stop at crest and go back to 2wd or standard 4wd.

I usually only use low ratio - diff lock in muddy fields or very soft sand.
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Old 30 August 2014, 04:59   #2
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I assume going to low ratio also puts in the diff lock?

(No doubt I will be flamed for saying so but) if it's fairly straight I wouldn't worry about damaging the diff lock - the tyres might scrub a bit if you do have to turn but they should be where things 'give'.

Low ratio will in any case give you more control (and the potential to push Cyril and Ethel back up the hill at the same time).
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Old 30 August 2014, 05:05   #3
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That's what the cars designed for, you're not running at speed or for a long way so it shouldn't do any harm whatsoever
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Old 30 August 2014, 05:05   #4
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My Landrover Defender has low range no diff lock so that'd be my choice obviously and my Merc ML just has low range with some fancy electronics. I wouldn't be too worried about trashing your tyres or diff with that distance.
DO be aware of winding your diffs up where they won't disengage !!! All you need to do is reverse for a short distance usually and knock it into neutral which usually works for me. If you do go a longer distance in 4wd it will get expensive!! Occasionally putting a tyre onto the grass verge will allow a bit of slip if you're worried!
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Old 30 August 2014, 05:24   #5
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Originally Posted by cjj216 View Post
Need some advice from any 4wd experts. I use an L200 to tow.

At my annual holiday destination I have an easy beach retrieve followed by a 20% Tarmac hill with no run up for momentum.

For the beach retrieve I select standard 4wd which I can use at any speed on any type of road. It's a shingle beach and not very steep so this works fine.

Problem comes on the hill that takes me from the beach to the main road. It's Tarmac, single track, and seriously steep. No cars seem to come down it until I'm halfway up it, and It's nearly always Ethel and Cyril who take 20 min to reverse back up!

Getting going again is a clutch burner.

My question is: being as it's fairly straight, can I safely select low ratio - diff lock? Will this help with my clutch slip? Could I end up trashing my diff as all of the wheels have good traction.

It's about 200yds long and i would stop at crest and go back to 2wd or standard 4wd.

I usually only use low ratio - diff lock in muddy fields or very soft sand.
If you have the option, just go low ratio, no diff lock. Diff lock won't give you any advantage on tarmac roads as long as it's not slippy. Diff lock will make it a bugger to steer around any corners unless there's some "slip" to be had.
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Old 30 August 2014, 05:33   #6
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engaging low ratio will do far less harm than the clutch slip you're currently enjoying, if low ratio does automatically engage diff lock you have no choice, but it's still less likely to cause as much harm, so go for it
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Old 30 August 2014, 05:44   #7
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Thanks for advice guys. Should have said - my low ratio automatically selects diff lock. Stand by Cyril and Ethel !!
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Old 30 August 2014, 05:52   #8
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Diff lock will make it a bugger to steer around any corners unless there's some "slip" to be had.
It's only a centre diff lock though so won't make any difference to the steering.
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Old 30 August 2014, 05:58   #9
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it'll be fine, just take it out as soon as it's safe to, if it's locked up a bit of reversing will free it off, damn site easier n cheaper than a new clutch
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Old 30 August 2014, 06:04   #10
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Thanks for advice guys. Should have said - my low ratio automatically selects diff lock. Stand by Cyril and Ethel !!
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It's only a centre diff lock though so won't make any difference to the steering.

Ah! it's a no brainer then.
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