SVO ....Small Vehicle Overlanding

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Dilldog

Rank IV

Pathfinder I

1,212
Spokane, WA.
First Name
Dillon
Last Name
W
The tow points on the 05 Escape are decent, but as they are 2 pieces of sheet metal welded together with rolled edges they have their limitations. That said when the Escape was my wife's rig she had to use it to pull out my Toyota, so they are serviceable. As to new rigs not having tow points, this trend annoys me. Our new GMC Terrain does not have any tow points that I can see. It wouldnt surprise me if this is done because of how the newer powertrains are made. The manufacturers probably want to discourage people from pulling others out thinking "this is a truck with 4wheel drive" when it is not. On newer XUVs you are dealing with light weight axle housings and drive lines, and the transmissions certainly are not heavy duty units either. While the powertrain in our GMC is great on its own, having been under it I will say it has FAR more in common with a car that a truck. While my Escape on the other hand still has a legit rear axle center section also the transmission "transfer case" and drive line seem to be far more robust than the GMC. And having browsed service manuals for both I dont think this is because the Escape is a V6, and the Terrain is a 4 cylinder. But I will say with lightness of build comes many benefits, when it comes to driver comfort and economy the Terrain has the Escape beat by miles.
 
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Plasmajab

Rank IV

Advocate II

907
Quinte West, Ontario, Canada
Ham Callsign
VA3IRA
I beg to differ. We have some of the new Terrains/Equinox here. And of course escapes. I think that they are on par with each other. And there hasn't been a V6 escape since 2013 when the Kuga was rebadged and dragged over from europe.. So its not really a fair comparison between the two from the word "go".

But you are right. There is a big emphasis on making things lighter. And just like you have noticed XUV's are mainly built on modified car platforms. Rollover stability, crash compatability, fuel economy and cost savings all play a factor into this.

I was fortunate enough to tour the ingersoll (CAMI) assembly line on the second gen Terrain/Equinox and they are nicely built. At least the theta platform vehicles are. Now i think they are built down in mexico.

Anyway. On the new escapes, the tow points are still there. However. There simply was no hole made in the bumper cover to put the tow eye in. Brilliant. I imagine they saved $0.02 per vehicle doing that.
 
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kojack

Rank IV

Enthusiast III

1,212
Grand Falls-Windsor, NL, Canada
First Name
Steve
Last Name
Adams
Hey Kojack, Not sure max size. I'm running 235/75R16 (nominally 29") and could easily go up another size.

The old "Escape Central" website was a treasure trove of info like this, but alas, its is now dysfunctionally defunct.
Yeah,

I remember that site when I was looking at an escape back in the day. I think I am going to put a level up front then go with the H&R springs for an extra inch of clearance with the blue Monroe shocks if they are decent. Proabably go to a 245/75/16. I am loving the crap out of this little rig. The v6, extra towing capacity compared to our patriot, and the fact that I only tossed 3900 bucks on the road for it , makes it a winner! I do have a flashing 4wd light on my dash at times. One mechanic said it's the tone rings on the abs needing to be replaced. That sound plausible?
 

fugitive

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

1,556
Macho Grande
Member #

4820

Yeah,

I do have a flashing 4wd light on my dash at times. One mechanic said it's the tone rings on the abs needing to be replaced. That sound plausible?
kojack, You got me with that one. My Escape has been utterly reliable, so I don't have much troubleshooting experience beyond preventive maintenance. There is a big enough pool of Escape/Mariner/Tribute info out there that a search of the interwebs may provide some insight. Good luck.
 

Dilldog

Rank IV

Pathfinder I

1,212
Spokane, WA.
First Name
Dillon
Last Name
W
I do have a flashing 4wd light on my dash at times. One mechanic said it's the tone rings on the abs needing to be replaced. That sound plausible?
What year, if its 05 or within a few years I the factory literature and might be able to help you troubleshoot it a bit. However I will say this, if the issue were the ABS tone rings or wheel speed sensors your should also have ABS and Traction Control lights on as all three systems use those sensors. More likely what JUST a 4x4 light is telling you is there is something going on with the rear differential clutch. On the nose of the rear differential there is a computer controlled clutch that engages and disengages the rear axle. To start I would just inspect the wiring, and if able pull the connector and see clean the electrical contacts. If you can run it by a parts store and borrow one of there scan tools, get a fault code number and post it up and I can look it up for you.
 
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Dilldog

Rank IV

Pathfinder I

1,212
Spokane, WA.
First Name
Dillon
Last Name
W
I beg to differ. We have some of the new Terrains/Equinox here. And of course escapes. I think that they are on par with each other. And there hasn't been a V6 escape since 2013 when the Kuga was rebadged and dragged over from europe.. So its not really a fair comparison between the two from the word "go".

But you are right. There is a big emphasis on making things lighter. And just like you have noticed XUV's are mainly built on modified car platforms. Rollover stability, crash compatability, fuel economy and cost savings all play a factor into this.

I was fortunate enough to tour the ingersoll (CAMI) assembly line on the second gen Terrain/Equinox and they are nicely built. At least the theta platform vehicles are. Now i think they are built down in mexico.

Anyway. On the new escapes, the tow points are still there. However. There simply was no hole made in the bumper cover to put the tow eye in. Brilliant. I imagine they saved $0.02 per vehicle doing that.
My intention was not to say that the GMs are not built well. What I am getting at is the Terrain has aluminum differential housings, where as my Escape has a cast iron differential housing. Also the Escape has a transfer case that pulls power from the transmission, where as the Terrain has a transfer case that pulls power only from the right front axle output. It just seems like the Escape might be able to take a bit more abuse is all. But also note my Escape is an 05, so the new body style ones may well be set up just like the Terrain is, and this would not surprise me at all.
Also my Terrain being an 11 was built at the plant in Canada that you mention. I gotta say, they do a good job up north. This is my second Canadian built car.
 

Lunch Box

Rank I

Enthusiast I

I just noticed on ebay there was a dash panel for my escape with 4x4 auto / on switch. Is this something that can be added and be functional on my rig?
I think when they took the switch away on the 4x4/Auto Escape, they took out the wire harness behind the dash. Also probably need to have the ECU reflashed to an earlier setting to enable manual 4x4 shifting.
 

CSG

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

1,798
Idaho
Member #

16713

I love the idea of small 4x4 with decent mileage and clearance but they're all way too small for me at this stage of life. Heck, even my LX is too small!
 

Thelgord

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

1,661
Harlem, GA
Member #

7058

The greatest thing I have learned by switching to a small vehicle (From a TRD OffRoad Tacoma Crew Cab to an Isuzu Vehicross) is just how much “stuff” I don’t need. Don’t get me wrong, having both a fridge and freezer, a mobile kitchen that was actually on par with the one in my house (to include stainless steel cookware), and a heated sleeping mat (made from heated car seat kits from Amazon), was all very very nice. It really was glamping, and at 45 years old the added creature comforts were welcome. Now I have been working to see how far I can go with as little as possible. Sort of like the ultra-light backpackers, but vehicle based edition. One thing I have learned is that the amount of money saved is staggering, and I am still having fun with it all.
 

CSG

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

1,798
Idaho
Member #

16713

I think that's a noble cause. When I was in my 20's, I traveled like John Muir. Now, in my 60's, I wonder what the hell happened. Why do we need so much stuff? But you know, once you've lived a little nicer, it's harder to go back. I am determined to use my LX more for longer trips as luxurious as the van is by comparison. The thing is, there are many places I won't risk driving the van where the LX wouldn't even blink. I like to go deeper than I can in the van.
 

Dilldog

Rank IV

Pathfinder I

1,212
Spokane, WA.
First Name
Dillon
Last Name
W
The greatest thing I have learned by switching to a small vehicle (From a TRD OffRoad Tacoma Crew Cab to an Isuzu Vehicross) is just how much “stuff” I don’t need. Don’t get me wrong, having both a fridge and freezer, a mobile kitchen that was actually on par with the one in my house (to include stainless steel cookware), and a heated sleeping mat (made from heated car seat kits from Amazon), was all very very nice. It really was glamping, and at 45 years old the added creature comforts were welcome. Now I have been working to see how far I can go with as little as possible. Sort of like the ultra-light backpackers, but vehicle based edition. One thing I have learned is that the amount of money saved is staggering, and I am still having fun with it all.
I always wanted a VX. Just a question, how is parts availability for the newer Isuzus? The biggest reason I sold off my old school Isuzus was parts. Im not kidding when I say the last distributor cap I bought for my KB45 had to be shipped from Japan.
 
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kojack

Rank IV

Enthusiast III

1,212
Grand Falls-Windsor, NL, Canada
First Name
Steve
Last Name
Adams
I think when they took the switch away on the 4x4/Auto Escape, they took out the wire harness behind the dash. Also probably need to have the ECU reflashed to an earlier setting to enable manual 4x4 shifting.
CRAP. I was hoping it was like some vehicles where everything is back there, they just don't activate it.
 

Thelgord

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

1,661
Harlem, GA
Member #

7058

I always wanted a VX. Just a question, how is parts availability for the newer Isuzus? The biggest reason I sold off my old school Isuzus was parts. Im not kidding when I say the last distributor cap I bought for my KB45 had to be shipped from Japan.
Mechanical parts aren’t really an issue. I have had to ship a window track and a trim piece from Japan though. Drive train and axles all share GM or Honda parts.
 

kojack

Rank IV

Enthusiast III

1,212
Grand Falls-Windsor, NL, Canada
First Name
Steve
Last Name
Adams
Fugitive and other escapees, what do you think of adding the 1.5 inch spacer to the front suspension? My rig has the downward dog pose to it. I would be happy to either put a spacer in with new underpinnings or run ome or h &r springs. Whatever gets me there. I am seriously close to saying eff it and get the rocky road setup. They still have them available, Contacted them last month,