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Old 03-06-2013, 10:42 PM   #1
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Silver Lake "How - To's"

I have done plenty of off-roadin with ATV's , but the Jeep experience is kinda new. I want to reach out to some of the "experts and veterans" to insure Im not gonna cause any damage to my Jeep when I brave the dunes again.

The first time (and only time) that I have been to the Dunes with my Jeep, I took it pretty easy, and did not push any limits -- (Mainly due to lack of experience)

Because I was taking it easy, I kept 4 x 4 high -- But what is the norm for climbing the steep hills? Will my Rock Trac / Diff Lock / Sway dis-connect be of any use for this place? If so, when and where? Should I drop it in low with front and rear lockers on and give it hell?? lol

I guess I need to know the RPM or speed limits of the rubicon while in low.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions

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Old 03-07-2013, 05:57 AM   #2
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Tire pressure is the most important factor - if you get that dialed in right (and its a little different for every vehicle) lockers are not going to make much of a difference, and we typically leave the sway bars connected. 4hi should work fine for an auto, finding gear/Tcase combo for a manual takes some experimenting.

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Old 03-07-2013, 10:05 AM   #3
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Tire pressure is the most important factor - if you get that dialed in right (and its a little different for every vehicle) lockers are not going to make much of a difference, and we typically leave the sway bars connected. 4hi should work fine for an auto, finding gear/Tcase combo for a manual takes some experimenting.

Experimenting.. That is what Im trying to do, but it isn't working very well from my lazy boy.

I read a thread earlier that someone posted about guys running excessive high RPMs in Low gears at the sand dunes near him.. Made no sense to me. Thought maybe I was missing something??? I will try to stick to common sense.

Thanks for your reply.
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:17 PM   #4
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The easiest-running Jeep I have ever played with on the dunes with was my wife's bone-stock 2008 JKU (auto, 3.73, stock "X" package) - 17# in all four tires, hi range, disable the traction control, point it in the right direction, mash the gas. No way my wife would let me discover the rev limiter and live to tell about it, but not sure what rigs the other guys were running.
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:21 PM   #5
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Experimenting.. That is what Im trying to do, but it isn't working very well from my lazy boy.

I read a thread earlier that someone posted about guys running excessive high RPMs in Low gears at the sand dunes near him.. Made no sense to me. Thought maybe I was missing something??? I will try to stick to common sense.

Thanks for your reply.
2.5l in 4lo with 4.88's on 35's.....high RPMs is the only way I can climb some of the hills at silver lake. Trail riding..different story. I can crawl over most anything.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:23 PM   #6
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x2 on the tire pressure. i would disconnect your endlinks just to be safe because one time i hit a bump in the hills i couldnt see and i broke my end link. not a big deal but ild rather mod other stuff on my jeep.
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Old 05-02-2013, 06:32 AM   #7
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Not sure if you have an auto or manual, but if manual one thing that works well for me on the big ones (test and exit) is to stay in 4hi and first gear. As soon as I hit the base of the hill I hit the gas pretty hard and watch the tachometer on the way up to keep it off the redline. I will usually hit 4000 rpm or so.
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:34 PM   #8
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Just got back from a trip out there... it was my first time and it was awesome. Anyways, here's what I was running:

- 12 PSI in each tire
- 4 HI
- 1st, 2nd (most common), and 3rd gears (usually around 4500 RPM)
- Turned off ESP by holding the button for 5 seconds in 4HI (need to redo this each time if you stall out)

Other than that, don't turn on a hill and you won't roll over. Free air directly to the right in the parking lot as you exit the park.
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:47 PM   #9
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Mostly agree with what has been said.

Tire pressure 10 - 12 psi.
4HI
Keep momentum up. You can't crawl up the big hills. Let off the gas as you are cresting the hill, don't want to launch yourself.
If you are not going to make it, let off the gas and back down. Don't spin your tires and bury yourself.
Avoid using brakes when coming to a stop, althought I don't think the sand is soft enough there for that to make much of a difference.

Miss that place!

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Old 05-20-2013, 03:57 PM   #10
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x3 on tires, our group leader last weekend was telling me he could not make bull gap running 12.5 psi. Then, he dropped to 10 psi and that did it!
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:50 AM   #11
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Just got back from a trip out there... it was my first time and it was awesome. Anyways, here's what I was running:

- 12 PSI in each tire
- 4 HI
- 1st, 2nd (most common), and 3rd gears (usually around 4500 RPM)
- Turned off ESP by holding the button for 5 seconds in 4HI (need to redo this each time if you stall out)

Other than that, don't turn on a hill and you won't roll over. Free air directly to the right in the parking lot as you exit the park.
Did you buy the flag and bracket there locally or before you went? I'm heading back there next month and want to take my JK out on the dunes this time instead of doing the tourist thing and renting one to beat up on. I hear there are several places nearby selling a kit with bracket for the front tow hook and a two-piece flag (easier to take with me).
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:04 PM   #12
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I have a 94 yj 2.5 with a 5 speed 2 inch lift and 31' I ushually put 10psi in the rears and 12 in the front 4hi and 1st and 2nd gear on the hills and it does just fine takes me anywhere I need it too but I still havint conquered test hill yet but hopefully I will this weekend!!
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:47 PM   #13
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I know a guy who brought his new Ram 4X4 up there and got sand in his trans somehow. Had anyone had problems with sand getting into seals and wrecking stuff?
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:14 AM   #14
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^ the only way I know of sand getting into something like that is if they sucked water w/sand into the breather hoses. Sand usually does not penetrate seals bad enough to ruin a trans that I've seen anyways.

Unless water brings it in.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:21 PM   #15
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Unless water brings it in.
And here perhaps we have reached the crux of the matter...
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:05 PM   #16
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And here perhaps we have reached the crux of the matter...
Explain please
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:07 PM   #17
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Explain please
Did he drive through any of the water holes?
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:12 PM   #18
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Did he drive through any of the water holes?
I'll have to ask him. I guess your telling me that it would be an issue to drive thru sandy water?
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:33 AM   #19
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Explain please
Flying sand is not going to get anywhere it can cause damage. Suspended sand in water can get around seals, get sucked through vents, etc.
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:35 AM   #20
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I'll have to ask him. I guess your telling me that it would be an issue to drive thru sandy water?
People seem to be attracted to the water holes there. Some of them are deep! Came across this my last trip there.

Hopefully he isn't hitting these holes, even the ones not as deep.

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Old 05-31-2013, 03:49 PM   #21
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Did you buy the flag and bracket there locally or before you went? I'm heading back there next month and want to take my JK out on the dunes this time instead of doing the tourist thing and renting one to beat up on. I hear there are several places nearby selling a kit with bracket for the front tow hook and a two-piece flag (easier to take with me).
Yeah just bring a couple wrenches and you're all set. The brackets are about $10 and the flags are $20. They should have one to work with the two hook (I bolted mine to my stinger).

Also, def watch out for the water holes! I almost got sunk in one... luckily it was just shallow enough for me to get through.
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:11 PM   #22
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In my 2013 jkur, I prefer to run 4LO on the dunes. Especially when the sand gets loose. I can get around fine in 4HI but when the sand gets really deep or when sidewalking the hills, I find keeping the RPMs up keeps me moving.

That said, in my 2004 WJ, low range was useless on the dunes and high range worked out a lot better.

If you arent doing anything silly or climbing the steepest and loosest hills you can find, it really wont matter that much. JK's will do just fine in almost anything out there.

The lower the tire pressure the better. I usually run 9ish in the JK, 14ish in the WJ.
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:19 PM   #23
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I can't wait to go with my new jeep. That place is the whole reason I bought one. I went on a sunset tour in 2010 and I was sold on how bad a$$ they are. I am going up 6/19/2013. I cannot wait to go topless out there with my wrangler.
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:26 AM   #24
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I run 4low, but I have 3.07 gears. I can cruise around in 4hi but it bogs bad climbing bigger hills like test. Running 10lbs in the rear I can cruise around in 2wd.
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:03 AM   #25
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Anybody ever get a ticket up there for not having mirrors on there wrangler? I plan on taking my doors off when I go to the dunes. I know my like and I will get a ticket on the way there for no mirrors. I am going from the camp ground to the dunes so I hope I will be okay.
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:29 AM   #26
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Anybody ever get a ticket up there for not having mirrors on there wrangler? I plan on taking my doors off when I go to the dunes. I know my like and I will get a ticket on the way there for no mirrors. I am going from the camp ground to the dunes so I hope I will be okay.
Never heard of "no mirrors" being an issue for anyone there. Or for anywhere in Michigan for tha matter.

The thing I have heard tickets for the most is towing on the road with a strap/rope/chain, they are sticklers on that.
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Old 06-16-2013, 04:02 PM   #27
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That's good to know. I still think I wil make wife drip to the park. Noting my Luke I will be the first person to get one.
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Old 06-17-2013, 08:34 AM   #28
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We were just there last week. I picked up a flag locally and had to drive back to the Detroit area with it still mounted to the front tow hook. If you have to do the same, do yourself a favor and wrap a rubber band around the flag (roll it up) to limit the flapping around.
We had some rain so the sand wasn't bad at all and we were able to go everywhere.
My '13 2-door has 3.21 gear and a 6-speed. I thought second gear would be perfect because it would let me run from 10mph to around 60. It didn't have enough grunt to get up the hills so I ran in 1st gear (4-hi). That got me up anything there, including Test Hill.
I found that the stock BFG Mud Terrains were fine, but sand got between the bead and rim which caused me some leaks. After airing back up it seemed ok for a couple days until we parked in Pentwater for dinner and came out to a flat tire. Once I got home I pulled the valve core and was able to blow out a bunch of sand inside the wheel lip. Appears to be good again now.
We had a great time and will hopefully be going back again this summer.
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:28 AM   #29
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I have never been there.. Any suggestions on accommodations?
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Old 06-17-2013, 09:46 AM   #30
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I have never been there.. Any suggestions on accommodations?
If you are talking Hotel - Sierra Sands. Stayed there twice. It's clean and the operators are nice. There are others as well. You can probably find a cottage to rent too depending on when you want to go. Try and avoid Holiday weekends.

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