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Old 03-29-2012, 04:15 PM   #1
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4-LO on Pavement

I'm going to Hawaii in about 7 weeks and I'm looking into some cool drives there. I rented a Wrangler of course.

One road is supposedly the steepest road in the world, requires 4x4 and says you must use low range to get down, but it's paved. That has me wondering, is that really bad for the Jeep? I don't so much care about the rental as my own, there are plenty of steep roads in CO I could use this for.


"Warnings: As the signs below note, non-4x4 vehicles are prohibited on this road, even though it is paved. Vehicles must descend in first gear, low range, to avoid brake failure. Driving non-4x4 vehicles into the valley can be, and has been, fatal"

"The one tow company on the Big Island with a truck powerful enough to tow cars out of the valley will charge you a small fortune"



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Old 03-29-2012, 04:24 PM   #2
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No issue at all using 4H or 4L or simply 1st gear "if you can safely" in 2H. If the road has any turns that are tight, be careful or stop and disengage 4wd so that you do not get binding. Or you can leave it in 4wd but make the turns very wide if possible.

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Old 03-29-2012, 04:37 PM   #3
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I drive a semi and on a 25% grade there would be no stopping to change anything. If they say stay in 4 lo stay in 4 low. As far as in yours just swing wide on the turns so it's not to hard on the u-joints. Tight turns with grip will put huge stresses on your front drive. Just put yours on 4 hi and try to park it in a lot somewhere. You'll fell the stress in the steering wheel. It will more than likely stall on you but in 4 low it will have the power to hurt itself.
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:41 PM   #4
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I've driven a 16% grade road and that is STEEP, but can be done in pretty much any car. They say this is actually 40-45% grade in some places, I would assume the Jeep is the perfect vehicle for this though.

Hope it's a 2012
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:44 PM   #5
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It's a rental.
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:44 PM   #6
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Besides the technical component you might also want to check your rental agreement. As I understand it some roads on the Big Island are off limits based on the rental company disallowing it. I've read somewhere that the rentals have GPS devices for tracking? Other than that I never saw a road that was really that difficult. It seemed that many of the warnings are geared to visitors that are not familiar with 4-wheel drive vehicles and/or off-roading. Have fun!
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:47 PM   #7
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It's a rental.
I know, but like I said I would be doing it at some point in my Jeep too
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:48 PM   #8
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Besides the technical component you might also want to check your rental agreement. As I understand it some roads on the Big Island are off limits based on the rental company disallowing it. I've read somewhere that the rentals have GPS devices for tracking? Other than that I never saw a road that was really that difficult. It seemed that many of the warnings are geared to visitors that are not familiar with 4-wheel drive vehicles and/or off-roading. Have fun!
I've heard about this and that's kinda lame, even on not as "serious" roads as that one. Is this something you should really listen to, or like a speed limit that's a "suggestion"?
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:05 PM   #9
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We spend a lot of time in Hawaii (Maui mostly) and always rent Wranglers. The rental aggreements do have off limits roads and areas. Every trip we venture to the off limits areas and have no issues with Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty, or any others. However if you have a mechanical issue or accident in the off limits area you are screwed.
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:13 PM   #10
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It's a rental.
Unfortunately, my JK is a former Hawaiian Thrifty rental. I was informed that it was a rental when I was signing papers and then found the Hawaiian registry later.
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:14 PM   #11
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Unfortunately, my JK is a former Hawaiian Thrifty rental. I was informed that it was a rental when I was signing papers and then found the Hawaiian registry later.


Well at least you know it's been well broken in
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:16 PM   #12
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You said they recommend 4WD and low gear. That does not automatically translate to 4L. You can be in 4H and select a lower transmission gear. Maximum speed in 4L is 25 mph.
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:38 PM   #13
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intense. if you can, have your passenger take a video when you go down that steep grade. I am interested in pictures/video. sounds like fun, but a little nerve wrecking too lol.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:36 PM   #14
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intense. if you can, have your passenger take a video when you go down that steep grade. I am interested in pictures/video. sounds like fun, but a little nerve wrecking too lol.
I have a GoPro, so yeah that's no problem
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:37 PM   #15
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You said they recommend 4WD and low gear. That does not automatically translate to 4L. You can be in 4H and select a lower transmission gear. Maximum speed in 4L is 25 mph.
It says low gear, and 4-low range


I've been down a 16% grade and yeah you aren't going faster than 25, and this is way steeper
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:45 PM   #16
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There is one steeper..... Baldwin Street, Dunedin, New Zeland is around 35%
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:49 PM   #17
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If you get a 2012 rental you'll have Hill Descent control, which would be ideal for this situation I think.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:58 PM   #18
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My 11' came with descent control too
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:03 PM   #19
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There is one steeper..... Baldwin Street, Dunedin, New Zeland is around 35%
Some parts of this road are 45%

For some reason though it's not classified as a road so that's why it's not the steepest in the world
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:09 PM   #20
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Some parts of this road are 45%

For some reason though it's not classified as a road so that's why it's not the steepest in the world

Holy crap! Now I understand why you want to be in 4L.
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:14 PM   #21
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This is it, I know from experience though you don't really get the sense of how steep it is from pictures

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Old 03-29-2012, 08:35 PM   #22
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:40 PM   #23
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1987 Porsche 911 Owner's Manual

Out of my 1987 Carrera manual (well not my manual - found it online). I think its kinda cool that something like this is included. I'd think a Jeep should have something like this.

That said - 60%. Crazy. Would love to see the test done for this one.
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:50 PM   #24
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Looks pretty cool, I won't use a 20 year old camera though with no resolution
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:02 PM   #25
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Well at least you know it's been well broken in
LMAO!

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