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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-14-2013 11:27 PM
beemerfan So I just got back from Michigan. I was out on the dunes all day Sunday. Weather was a little cool but man, what a good time! I figured it was going to be uncrowded, but I didn't think I'd have the whole place to myself... well almost.

I tried Test Hill for the first, second and third times all in one afternoon. Made it up every try no problems. Pulled up to the base of the hill in third gear with the transfer case in 4L. Applied throttle smoothly to between 4000 and 4500 RPM and just kept it there right to the top. Did not take a running start. Seemed way too easy, but I guess I've been contemplating it for so long with "mental practice" that it was well rehearsed. Kept my eye on the tach as much as the point I was aiming for. That 4 liter was really grunting near the top. Third time up I think I started to smell my clutch so I figured that was enough.

I went with 14 lbs of air pressure. Accidentally deflated one of my tires to 11 lbs in the parking lot and it just looked too flat. I think there must be differences for the ideal air pressure depending on the tire type. Seems 8 might be okay for light truck tires with stiffer sidewalls. I'm running P235/75R15 passenger car tires and I think 14 was just about right. Didn't have any problems anywhere. My Wrangler is a completely stock '97 Sport except for the slightly larger tires.

Stupid me forgot to take a picture from the top that included the Wrangler. I do have some video "proof" though for my skeptical friends. The pictures do show how uncrowded it was. Great time of year to be out there!
10-09-2013 02:37 PM
1rbotma I usually go down to 6lbs. Never had any problems. I don't do donuts all day either.
09-26-2013 09:38 PM
Jayd_5150
Quote:
Originally Posted by beemerfan View Post
I was there this summer as a complete rookie. I bought my first Jeep, a stock 97 Wrangler Sport 4.0 in the spring and decided to make this my first off-road trip. Never tried Test Hill but sat at the bottom and thought really long about it. Reason was that I still had not built up confidence in the Jeep which I had only owned for a couple months and I kept thinking, "I still have to drive this thing 250 miles to get home." I did go up just about everything else there with no problems including the large hills north of the entrance. 3 low seemed to work best on the more difficult hills and I just cruised around in 1 and 2 high the rest of the time. Interesting that I recently figured the final gear ratios and discovered that 3 low is just a slightly shorter gear ratio than 1 high and slightly taller than reverse. So I think the little extra "oomph" from 3 low made the difference. I was running 18 lbs in all tires going with the most conservative pressure listed on the placards and I was weighed down with 3 passengers and beach gear. An experienced guy in town told me I needed to go with 8 lbs or I would just "spin and spin everywhere." I just thought that was too risky for losing the bead on the tires. He was exaggerating a bit but there were a couple times I had to make a second run at a hill when I dug in. I'm thinking of going back over Columbus Day weekend to give it another go. This time I'll go about 14 lbs and give test hill a try in 3 low. Love this place!
I know it, I've been there three times this year and I'm going up again this weekend. 8 lbs seemed to work pretty good for me. Getting rid of the doors and spare tire really helped too.
09-26-2013 12:54 AM
beemerfan I was there this summer as a complete rookie. I bought my first Jeep, a stock 97 Wrangler Sport 4.0 in the spring and decided to make this my first off-road trip. Never tried Test Hill but sat at the bottom and thought really long about it. Reason was that I still had not built up confidence in the Jeep which I had only owned for a couple months and I kept thinking, "I still have to drive this thing 250 miles to get home." I did go up just about everything else there with no problems including the large hills north of the entrance.

3 low seemed to work best on the more difficult hills and I just cruised around in 1 and 2 high the rest of the time. Interesting that I recently figured the final gear ratios and discovered that 3 low is just a slightly shorter gear ratio than 1 high and slightly taller than reverse. So I think the little extra "oomph" from 3 low made the difference.

I was running 18 lbs in all tires going with the most conservative pressure listed on the placards and I was weighed down with 3 passengers and beach gear. An experienced guy in town told me I needed to go with 8 lbs or I would just "spin and spin everywhere." I just thought that was too risky for losing the bead on the tires. He was exaggerating a bit but there were a couple times I had to make a second run at a hill when I dug in.

I'm thinking of going back over Columbus Day weekend to give it another go. This time I'll go about 14 lbs and give test hill a try in 3 low. Love this place!
09-04-2013 06:09 PM
jeeptjduner With my TJ I have gone up Test in reverse, and have discovered that I had to have much speed at the bottom of the hill in order to get to the top.
09-03-2013 09:07 PM
Jayd_5150
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacobShadow View Post
So I'm driving my Rubicon Unlimited up Test Hill in 4 hi and half way up I look to my left and what do I see? A Wrangler right next to me driving up Test in reverse!
It's surprising how well they go in reverse. I tried it once but didn't make it.
09-03-2013 08:55 PM
Michigan jeeper
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacobShadow View Post
So I'm driving my Rubicon Unlimited up Test Hill in 4 hi and half way up I look to my left and what do I see? A Wrangler right next to me driving up Test in reverse!
I did the same thing haha but I was in my dads lifted Xj this time my buddy was stuck at the top in his zj so of corse I had to embarrass him and do it in reverse!
09-03-2013 08:38 PM
JacobShadow So I'm driving my Rubicon Unlimited up Test Hill in 4 hi and half way up I look to my left and what do I see? A Wrangler right next to me driving up Test in reverse!
09-03-2013 08:10 PM
Jayd_5150
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacobShadow View Post

Went out again Monday. 8lbs, 2wheel drive 2nd auto. All dunes except test. Made it up test in 2 wheel just couldn't get over top!
That's pretty good...it's tough to get around in two wheel. I had 4 passengers, so I needed it all. My daughter really surprised me, she made it up to the top of test hill and got stuck. She then backed up a bit and then muscled through it to get over the top.
09-03-2013 07:46 PM
JacobShadow
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayd_5150 View Post
3rd time this year, I can't get enough!! 8 lbs, 4 lo the whole time. Made a big difference taking the spare tire off.
Went out again Monday. 8lbs, 2wheel drive 2nd auto. All dunes except test. Made it up test in 2 wheel just couldn't get over top!
09-02-2013 10:04 PM
bigwaynester
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayd_5150 View Post
3rd time this year, I can't get enough!! 8 lbs, 4 lo the whole time. Made a big difference taking the spare tire off.
I have only made it once this year. 1st time on the dunes with a jeep. I am usualy on yfz. And it rains.Lots of fun with the jeep. When it rained, I just laughed. My son had a blast too. Nice break from Atv. I was in 2wd except in hills

Attachment 306921
09-02-2013 09:48 PM
Jayd_5150 3rd time this year, I can't get enough!! 8 lbs, 4 lo the whole time. Made a big difference taking the spare tire off.
09-02-2013 04:43 PM
Michigunman Jealous, one of the few things (other than friends) I miss about Michigan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramu3527 View Post
Looks like great fun. I'll have to plan a trip soon. When does the season end there, if at all?
It's open April 1st through October 31st.
09-02-2013 04:33 PM
ramu3527 Looks like great fun. I'll have to plan a trip soon. When does the season end there, if at all?
09-02-2013 10:14 AM
JacobShadow First time at Silver Lake. 10psi, 4Hi in 2 OD off, Esp off. Great day!
09-01-2013 11:15 PM
jeeptjduner
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigwaynester View Post
I'm going apple fest weekend, anybody else going?
I'll be there.
09-01-2013 08:50 PM
bigwaynester I'm going apple fest weekend, anybody else going?
09-01-2013 08:34 PM
Momamac ^^^^ Stupid phone, oh well!
09-01-2013 08:31 PM
Momamac 2nd day as great as the first!
08-31-2013 05:01 PM
Ifindmud Going fishing on the 6th in manistee and gonna hit the dunes on the 7th. Can't wait!
08-30-2013 08:26 PM
Momamac Just back from the dunes, Jeep was awesome! 12 psi, 4 Hi, OD off, sometimes in Low 1 sometimes in D.

Attachment 295025
08-26-2013 10:10 PM
Kodywitha__K Oh and I kept the tire pressure at 12 psi the whole time also
08-26-2013 10:08 PM
Kodywitha__K Hey all, just letting the future and current readers know that my Jeep did very well with 33x12.5x15 tires and 3.07 gearing. I kept it in 4hi the whole time and chugged up Test Hill without a problem. Now my Jeep is a 6cyl, so I can't speak for a 4cyl, but I was very impressed. Now with all of that being said, I dropped it down into 2hi in the deep sand by the donut holes and decided to do some donuts of my own. My guess is that the weight of the tire + the low gear ratio + the deep, heavy sand + the lateral force on the tire is what caused it, but something in the rear axle popped and now there is a jerk when I accelerate or turn. We just got it home today so we didn't tear down the axle, but I will be sure to let everyone know what happened to it. Lesson learned....don't do donuts in deep sand......
08-23-2013 05:37 PM
barn_owl
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodywitha__K View Post

Hey! Welcome to the forum! I'm new to all of this too, I just got my first Jeep in February and I'm taking it to Silver lake this weekend for the first time also! So I will be out there, but like I said, it's my first time in my jeep...so we are in the same boat
Lol, well there's a bit of bad news from this end, the dealership was late getting it in so we have to wait for Monday. *doing my best to keep calm* We'll still be out there but probably won't get to play on the dunes since well be in our Subaru. Next time I'll look you up
08-23-2013 10:36 AM
Kodywitha__K
Quote:
Originally Posted by barn_owl View Post
Hey guys, I'm new to the jeep club, I have a baby coming in October and a 4-door wrangler is about the closest I can bring myself to a minivan. So I pick it up tomorrow and will drive it straight up to test it out at silver lake. This is my first time driving on dunes, so if any of you all will be out there this Saturday and could show me the ropes, that would be great.
Hey! Welcome to the forum! I'm new to all of this too, I just got my first Jeep in February and I'm taking it to Silver lake this weekend for the first time also! So I will be out there, but like I said, it's my first time in my jeep...so we are in the same boat
08-23-2013 02:18 AM
barn_owl Hey guys, I'm new to the jeep club, I have a baby coming in October and a 4-door wrangler is about the closest I can bring myself to a minivan. So I pick it up tomorrow and will drive it straight up to test it out at silver lake. This is my first time driving on dunes, so if any of you all will be out there this Saturday and could show me the ropes, that would be great.
08-22-2013 02:58 PM
Kodywitha__K
Quote:
Originally Posted by 285 HP View Post
The best way to get to know the dunes is head out in the middle of the week, play with your tire pressure, (9-12 front 10-13 back) buy a tire gage that is from 1 psi to 20 psi, do small hills first, if you can turn off all "nannies", take your time, bring a strap, stay away from water holes, look for "one way" signs, let your rig cool down after some hard runs by parking by lake Michigan...I have been going to Silver Lake for 38 years.
Yeah I love the place! I've gone 15 out of the 19 years I've been alive haha. My dad always took us out in his YJ, and it's one of my favorite vacation spots! Thanks for the advice though! Unfortunately we are going over the weekend so I know it will be pretty crowded, but I think I'm going to take it easy. There's really no point in wrecking something that I just bought!
08-22-2013 12:31 PM
285 HP The best way to get to know the dunes is head out in the middle of the week, play with your tire pressure, (9-12 front 10-13 back) buy a tire gage that is from 1 psi to 20 psi, do small hills first, if you can turn off all "nannies", take your time, bring a strap, stay away from water holes, look for "one way" signs, let your rig cool down after some hard runs by parking by lake Michigan...I have been going to Silver Lake for 38 years.
08-19-2013 02:29 PM
Kodywitha__K
Quote:
Originally Posted by phittie1100 View Post
Tire pressure depends on the tire, rim width, etc. Start at 12 and go down from there. My MT MTX needed 6 psi to work right, but I think that is a bit unusual.

My 93YJ 33/3.07 was a 5 speed, I ran 2 or 3rd gear in 4Lo most of the time, but never did get that thing to the top of test hill. Always ran out of oomph in exactly the same spot, no matter what gear/tcase combo I tried. My JK and LJ are both autos, just point and shoot once the air pressure is right.
Mine are 33x12.5x15 goodyear wranglers, sorry I should have specified before...
08-19-2013 01:13 PM
phittie1100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodywitha__K View Post
So what would you guys recommend for 33s and 3:07 gearing? Like tire pressure, 4hi or 4lo, and what not...and yes i know...33s and 3:07 , but it's the first time I'm taking my jeep to the dunes!
Tire pressure depends on the tire, rim width, etc. Start at 12 and go down from there. My MT MTX needed 6 psi to work right, but I think that is a bit unusual.

My 93YJ 33/3.07 was a 5 speed, I ran 2 or 3rd gear in 4Lo most of the time, but never did get that thing to the top of test hill. Always ran out of oomph in exactly the same spot, no matter what gear/tcase combo I tried. My JK and LJ are both autos, just point and shoot once the air pressure is right.
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