2WD

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BoundEagleNC

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233
Davidson, North Carolina
First Name
Alex
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Haas
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So I got a 2wd truck.
I got it for free so I’m not complaining about it.
But the question is who much of a disadvantage am I at. Like I know y’all gonna say well not having 4x4 trust me I love a 4x4. But what can I do to help my rig and how should I go about overlanding?


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BoundEagleNC

Rank I
Member

Contributor I

233
Davidson, North Carolina
First Name
Alex
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Haas
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9913

ckkphoto

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10300

I drive a 2006 Dodge Caravan with a roof top tent.

Adventure is what you make it.
Amen! Even though my truck us pretty modified, one of the things that helped me to join this group was the phrase ww dont care what you drive! I'm quite sure you can put more adventure and fellowship on your 2wd truck than some folks ever do regardless of what they drive. Glad you are doing it! Cheers!

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w0lfpack91

Rank 0

Traveler I

So I got a 2wd truck.
I got it for free so I’m not complaining about it.
But the question is who much of a disadvantage am I at. Like I know y’all gonna say well not having 4x4 trust me I love a 4x4. But what can I do to help my rig and how should I go about overlanding?


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I felt like I had to respond to this because I have a lot of experience in getting a 2wd truck in places where it never should be. Realisticly so long as you are not doing heavy rockcrawling type offroad, a small lift, larger tires, a locker, and some throttle management skills should get you anywhere a 4wd can go. Just remember a locked 2wd has the same drive capability as an open diff 4wd. Add a winch to the front for security And you should be able to get in-and-out of anywhere you need to go

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Junktj

Rank III

Advocate II

511
Boone NC
I felt like I had to respond to this because I have a lot of experience in getting a 2wd truck in places where it never should be. Realisticly so long as you are not doing heavy rockcrawling type offroad, a small lift, larger tires, a locker, and some throttle management skills should get you anywhere a 4wd can go. Just remember a locked 2wd has the same drive capability as an open diff 4wd. Add a winch to the front for security And you should be able to get in-and-out of anywhere you need to go

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I am sorry, but such a broad statement such as a locked rear wheel drive vehicle has the same drive capabilities as a open 4wd vehicle is misleading.

Many different variables go into traction offroad, such as wheel travel, weight balance and the such.

I have driven many places in a locked vehicle in 2wd that stock 4wd vehicles could not go, but a locked rear wheel drive with little wheel travel will never go as many places as a longer travel 4wd vehicle with open diffs.

As an example, a 2wd Tacoma with a locked rear end, versus a straight axle xj with no sway bars, and proper length shocks.

This also is not including the gear reduction a true 4wd offers with low range.

Can you take a 2wd with a locked rear axle lots of places you wouldn't expect it to go?
Absolutely!!

Will it go the same places as a longer travel 4wd with low range?

No
 

w0lfpack91

Rank 0

Traveler I

I am sorry, but such a broad statement such as a locked rear wheel drive vehicle has the same drive capabilities as a open 4wd vehicle is misleading.
Not really to anyone who understands the basic fuction of a differential, a standard 4wd with open diffs at any given moment will only put power to a maximum of two wheels while 4wd is engaged, more specificly they will only supply power to 1 wheel per axle with the the least amount of traction. An open Diff 4wd is nothing more than an over glorified 2wd with front/rear torque split. A skilled driver in a locked 2wd is capable of following an open diff 4wd anywhere, it just takes diffrent skill sets. To really harness the benifit of a 4wd you some form of LSD or locker in atleast 1 axle or its nothing more than a standard 2wd.

Rule of thumb is generally
2wd open = 1 wheel with power
2wd locked = 2 wheels with power
4wd double open = 2 wheels with power
4wd locked/open = 3 wheels with power
4wd double locked =4 wheels with power

I wont argue the rest of your comment as it is mostly true however you are getting far more in depth than just drive line capabilities. So if you also wish to go in depth with low range and high travel might i sugest you reseach a marlin crawler box capable of mounting to the trans tailhousing giving a 2wd a selectable part time low range and the various 2wd long travel suspension kits avalible for almost any truck on the market.


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Junktj

Rank III

Advocate II

511
Boone NC
Not really to anyone who understands the basic fuction of a differential, a standard 4wd with open diffs at any given moment will only put power to a maximum of two wheels while 4wd is engaged, more specificly they will only supply power to 1 wheel per axle with the the least amount of traction. An open Diff 4wd is nothing more than an over glorified 2wd with front/rear torque split. A skilled driver in a locked 2wd is capable of following an open diff 4wd anywhere, it just takes diffrent skill sets. To really harness the benifit of a 4wd you some form of LSD or locker in atleast 1 axle or its nothing more than a standard 2wd.

Rule of thumb is generally
2wd open = 1 wheel with power
2wd locked = 2 wheels with power
4wd double open = 2 wheels with power
4wd locked/open = 3 wheels with power
4wd double locked =4 wheels with power

I wont argue the rest of your comment as it is mostly true however you are getting far more in depth than just drive line capabilities. So if you also wish to go in depth with low range and high travel might i sugest you reseach a marlin crawler box capable of mounting to the trans tailhousing giving a 2wd a selectable part time low range and the various 2wd long travel suspension kits avalible for almost any truck on the market.


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I thank you for the information on how differentials and 4wd work. It was an informative read, for sure.

I do understand where you are coming from, and can't blame you for pointing out the shortcomings in my response .

The only reason for my post was to add my opinion on the merits of a 4wd when traveling off road.

I guess to further my education, would it be too much to ask for you to post a video of a 2wd vehicle traveling an easier trail ( such as Daniel, in uwharrie national forest) and also a similar 4wd vehicle failing to make it up the trail?

And I have driven Daniel several times, fun in a stockish 4wd...
 
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Daryl 32

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We have a 2wd 99 F250 7.3 diesel Crew Cab short bed which is right at 7,800 without our camping stuff - water, food and other supplies.
For awhile I felt like we could get stuck on the asphalt next to the sand - kidding - but close.
We got some Treds which really helped getting unstuck! Then at 230,000 miles I got the diff rebuilt changed gearing from 3:73 to 4:10s and replaced the warn out posi with a Detroit Locker. What a Difference!!!!!!!

We still can get stuck in sand if I am not forceful on the throttle - but not like before. We have powered through some long stretches of sand and loss rock with no issues. I have to add that our SD has a 6" lift on it which helps a lot on mountain trails with holes and bigger rocks.

I would suggest always going with another rig and tow straps, winch and test your rigs capabilities now and then as in try something that looks like you will not make it (with in reason). Also what you are doing is learning how to get your rig to do what it needs to do to get through a spot (driver training).

Truck is/was stuck, it is sitting on treds waiting to see if we can back out with the trailer. Jacked it up filled the holes and let the rears down on the treds.

Glamping 4.jpg
 
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w0lfpack91

Rank 0

Traveler I

I thank you for the information on how differentials and 4wd work. It was an informative read, for sure.

I do understand where you are coming from, and can't blame you for pointing out the shortcomings in my response .

The only reason for my post was to add my opinion on the merits of a 4wd when traveling off road.

I guess to further my education, would it be too much to ask for you to post a video of a 2wd vehicle traveling an easier trail ( such as Daniel, in uwharrie national forest) and also a similar 4wd vehicle failing to make it up the trail?

And I have driven Daniel several times, fun in a stockish 4wd...
I agree if off roading is a known factor always spring for the 4wd even just having a single front tire pulling can change the dynamic of a trail difficulty and line setup. As far as videos go i am at the mercy of youtubers lol but i did see an intresting video of a lightly modified Subaru sedan running hells revenge in moab recently.


Its quite neat what can be acomplished with a small amount of tinkering and some practice behind the wheel.

But making lemons into lemonade in a situation like OP where a 2wd rig is given for free, a locker and a winch with appropriate tires and a slight lift can perform as well in most situations if caution is practiced.

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Junktj

Rank III

Advocate II

511
Boone NC
Really cool video.
And I agree that there is no reason to not stick a locker in a 2wd if that's what you have, and go have fun in it!
 
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ajemayer

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Before I got my land cruiser I mobbed around the desert and mountains almost every weekend for a year going places I shouldn’t have in a 2WD Nissan Titan. My biggest advise is get yourself an air source and air down. Granted I had the safety of having someone with me with 4WD but I never needed it.


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Lindenwood

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First, don't confuse "overlanding" with "4wheeling!!!" Overlanding has been succinctly described as "vehicle-dependent travel," which specifies nothing about terrain. My wife and I once rented a cabin in the Appalachian Mts off a paved road where I think we still only saw 2 other vehicles in 8 days. All we did is hike and drink and...stuff. There are probably a million miles of paved, gravel, and dirt roads traversable in a commuter vehicles that will take you to places you could walk around naked for a week and not be bothered.

Still, while I am a constant advocate of using what you have, I would second the caution of blanket statements like the above. My wife's 4Runner TRDP can operate in any of the above-described "1" through "3" wheel-drive modes. While it is surprisingly capable in 2WD with the rear locked, it is absolutely more controllable, smoother, and still moderately more capable in "regular" 4WD. Where even regular 4wd shines is on smoother low-traction surfaces. My wife knew nothing about 4WD or anything offroad until getting her 4Runner, and after a few short discussions she had was taking it out all the time by herself through mild trails to let the dogs go play in the woods. In experimenting, she once commented how it is much easier to drive through patches of deep sand with it in 4WD than in just 2WD with the diff locked. Having tested this myself, I can confirm that while I never got stuck in locked 2WD in those sand traps, the truck does have to work a lot harder (higher throttle positions, etc).

I used to teach physics before I started flying, and am a Mensan. While the explanation of differentials is not incorrect, it is, however, incomplete. Yes, in the rocks, or other cases where significant "crossing-up" occurs AND you are traveling at very slow speeds, an all-open 4WD is going to quickly become a "2WD," as described. However, at slow-ish speeds (say, 7 to 15mph), on undulating or waahboard trails, and especially on deeper sand or modest mud , a regular 4WD is still applying some power to any wheel touching the ground at all as long as only the tires are on the ground.

In short, especially in deep sand or modest mud or snow, any 4WD is going to be much smoother and "gentlemenly" than a souped-up 2WD. This is especially true when, on a rainy night or snowy road, the person with 4WD doesnt have to stop and air-down at the entrace to that 3 miles of forest road to the campsite.

ALL THAT SAID

Again, there are plenty folks on here with basic commuter vehicles enjoying all sorts of remote places every weekend, while guys like me with MTs and hi-lift jacks across the hood go months at a time miserably mall-crawling through what seems like an endless grind. So, don't let 2WD disuade you in any way. However, it is a bit optimistic to try to put them on completely equual footing, especially when you consider a 4WD can typically go much farther without airing down.

*edit*

To be honest, though, I have been on plenty of woods trails here in the SE where the limitation was not in the driveline, but in ghe driver's willingness to accept scratches in the paint! So again, your free 2WD will take you plenty of places :D . And, yes, locking the rear would be a major step up in capability, as would the ability to air down and, finally, aggressive tires.
 
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Yngstr

Rank 0

Traveler I

I run a full size 2wd and go everywhere my heart desires. (My heart does not desire rockcrawling).
Work on your driving skills. Tire placement, how to assess available traction, fine throttle control, and knowing exactly where your tires are while you’re in the drivers seat. Those skills will take you far off the beaten path.

Go and explore. Enoy the trip. You may find you end up pulling out a few 4wd’s on your way!
 
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Horse Soldier

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If you are just looking for more capable then a winch and a Detroit locker. If snow and ice then a selectable locker.
 

amateurhour

Rank III

Advocate II

I had a lot of fun in my 2003 Sierra 2WD and was able to get in and out of some pretty ridiculous places. The biggest thing was just having access to jacks, sleds, and winches when needed.
 

MidOH

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15 feet.

That's the greatest distance a 2wd can get from my garage before getting stuck. December-March. Can't even make it down the driveway. If you stay warm and dry, you might be OK. Mud and snow, forget it.