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Old 06-16-2011, 10:18 AM   #1
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question about off roading techniques.

About 3 weeks ago we went out on a trail along with 5 other jeeps. One of them was a guy who seemed to have more knowledge than any of us. At one point we found a really steep hill which we needed to go down. The guy told us to do the following:

1) Tranny on 1st
2) 4W low
3) Go as slow as possible don't brake suddenly or stop and go continuously.
4) Use the emergency brake to make control the speed and braking.

1, 2 and 3 are well known. However, #4 is the first time I hear it. One of the other guys made a comment and said that using the emergency brake could "damage a line". What do you guys think or know about this?

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Old 06-16-2011, 11:04 AM   #2
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Using the emergency brake would stop the jeep from becoming light in the ass from using the front brakes/pedal. Your not gonna break a line or damage anything. I wouldn't drive down the hill with it on the entire time, I would apply it as needed.

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Old 06-16-2011, 05:35 PM   #3
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Back in olden times of the early 1960s, going down very steep long grades that required more than deep gearing and engine braking, the antique CJ2 we drove could overheat the front drums of the days, causing other problems along with steering issues. By laying off front brakes "giving time to cool" and using the E brake as a drag of sort, we did achieve controlled descent without crapping our drawers on a couple of long and just tooo-damn-ssssteep!!! grades we never would have attempted if we had a lick of sense. And fortunately there was another route out or we'd still be there.

It was not a commonly used technique even in those days. I wouldn't believe with today's advanced disc brakes and various safety factors, that such is widely recognized now.

On the other hand, just "how steep" was this grade, and "how long"???

Did it work for everyone or was this guy just 'putting on the newbies' as part of their King Neptune "Ritual of Crossing the Equator" only on land???
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:16 PM   #4
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On a standard I wouldn't do it. I would hope that there would be enough torque by gearing and idling engine that speed would be controlled unless it was practically vertical. Then I would apply the brake intermittently. If it smelled like it was overheating, I'd just give it a rest.

Automatic, I'll let others speak on that one. I don't know what kind of hold on a hill that you might get at idle in 4 low in that situation.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:45 PM   #5
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I would use the e-brake on a very steep decent just because I wouldn't want the front brake to grab at all causing a front end flip. Not sure he said this because of heating issues.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:49 PM   #6
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I've never used my ebrake other than to hold me a bit whilst doing a gas/brake/clutch deal to try to get out of something hairy.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:50 PM   #7
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Must have been automatics. You CANNOT rush a manual in 1st 4L with any grade. The tires will lose grip before the engine breaks a sweat.
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Old 06-17-2011, 07:17 AM   #8
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I've only used the e-brake on downhills in snow with the JK.
If you've got enough spring up front (those of us with bumpers and winches are wise to install better springs rather than just a spacer), you shouldn't have to worry about loading the front and flipping end-over-end.
But it has happened to people in JKs that didn't have enough spring; I've seen pictures and heard the tales.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeeperJake View Post
Did it work for everyone or was this guy just 'putting on the newbies' as part of their King Neptune "Ritual of Crossing the Equator" only on land???
LOL

Yes it worked for everyone, it was between 75 and 80 degrees and it had some places with deep holes. I almost tilt my jeep sideways 'cause my spotter didn't realize on time that my left tire was heading straight to a deep hole. We had 3 guys climb on the rear opposite side to balance it so that I could get the tire out of the hole into a safe place. Couldn't backup either 'cause the dumb a$$ that was behind me decided to follow me at the same time like 5 feet away

I'm glad we got out ok.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.L. View Post
Must have been automatics. You CANNOT rush a manual in 1st 4L with any grade. The tires will lose grip before the engine breaks a sweat.
Yes sir! automatic it is!
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilldweller View Post
I've only used the e-brake on downhills in snow with the JK.
If you've got enough spring up front (those of us with bumpers and winches are wise to install better springs rather than just a spacer), you shouldn't have to worry about loading the front and flipping end-over-end.
But it has happened to people in JKs that didn't have enough spring; I've seen pictures and heard the tales.
I got bumper, winch and lift with springs, spacers are not strong enough or perform well under stress and weight.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:29 AM   #12
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Pic when I was almost out of the hole. Doesn't look deep but it was, the opposite tire on the back was almost 2 feet in the air
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Old 06-17-2011, 11:19 AM   #13
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Did you not see the valley running down the hill? Lol straddle that sucker.
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:28 PM   #14
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Did you not see the valley running down the hill? Lol straddle that sucker.
Yeah; smack the spotter on that one.
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:17 PM   #15
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looks like a fun trip
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:35 AM   #16
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Hand brake also works well when going in reverse down a hill, as the guys say if you hit the brakes the front end will slide around. This tech is good for very slippery surfaces.
I have a very steep slippery drive way and no matter how I apply the pedal it slips, if I use the hand brake i have total control.
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Old 06-19-2011, 11:26 AM   #17
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So im guessing you spotter was busy picking his noise or something instead of watching you?

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