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Hi all. First post. Total beginner here.

Not sure where to post this so, please feel free to move it.

Very impressed with the amount of knowledge and experience so generously shared in this forum.

Bought a 2005 LJ Rubicon 4.0 in Jan in order to wean myself off a life time of being a dirt biker. Getting old and the body just does not want to tolerate the aches and pains of riding anymore.

Anyways, love learning this new sport and can certainly see why people get addicted to it!



Question: other than turning around on a safe section and driving back down, what is the best technique for backing down a hill (after a failed attempt) with an auto trans when one has no other choice but to back it down?


The reason I ask is the other day I tried to completely stop my jeep (just to get my bearings) while backing down a moderate hill (easy to moderate blue) while in reverse and in 4 low.

(Did not need 4 low but am practicing to get as much seat time as possible for the harder stuff in the future)

While having stock discs on all 4 wheels, I still could not make the jeep come to a complete stop while really cranking on the brake pedal. Had to put it into neutral to stop it.

Obviously, the pull of the downhill as well as the low gearing of the T case/4 low while in reverse wanted to keep pulling the jeep down the hill.

I had heard people upgrade the discs for better stopping power but not ready to do that.

It just seemed that with reverse not being that low as far as gearing goes (unlike 1st gear), it would seem to me that the 4 wheel discs should have been enough to completely stop me. Even in 4 low.

I know that in 4 low and 1st gear, I need to push extra hard on the brakes to keep the jeep from crawling forward as i come to a stop on level ground. I figured that it is just one of the those things of having a really low geared T case/4 low and being in 1st gear. And that's why it crawls so well up technical sections and hills.


What concerns me is then later on that day, I went up a fairly steep hill (maybe a mod to hard blue - 5 or 6). So nothing really extreme. But being a newbie, seemed pretty steep to me. Certainly would not have wanted to back down it.

Anyways, I was not able to make it to the top due to poor line choice and driver error/inexperience. Luckily there was a safe place to turn around (something I like to look out for just in case I need it), and so turned around and headed back down. No problems.


It got me thinking. What if I would have had to back down that hill? I know the goal is not to actually stop on the hill and just use the engine to slow me down as I back down.

But what if I wanted to go slower (not really stop) than the speed that reverse/4 low dictated due to a technical section coming up as I went down the hill?

Or even actually stop if I wanted to check out the technical section for line choice?



The previous experience revealed my Jeep's obviously stock brake limitations. And on the street, I thought the Jeep's brakes worked really pretty good compared to my other cars. Still do.

But obviously hills present a much more challenging situation and therefore revealed my brakes limitations while in reverse and 4 low.

Does anyone have any thoughts on how best to approach this obstacle?


My Current Solution? - My thought (not sure though) is to back down in reverse in 4 low and if I need to go even slower, put it into neutral, get my speed under control and then go back to reverse and let the engine slow me down as I continue on down the hill. And use the brakes only as needed (lightly) so as to not lock up the tires (to avoid getting sideways) and to save them.


This is all new to me so any thoughts would be greatly appreciated?


Thanks so much!​
 

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Im no brake expert but it seems yiu gave already answered your question. 4 low in reverse is still lretty damn low. You are going to need a brake upgrade if you cant get ut to stop like you want. Weather that is a dual diaphram booster, bigger rotors, dual piston calipers, more aggressive pad material bigger bore master cylinder, hydrobooster or some combination of the above, yiu are gonna need a brake upgrade to get it to do what you want it to do.
 

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Ok, I am a noobie myself, and I am going to rephrase this to understand it... Tell me if I am off.

On a steep incline, you use 4Low. This uses engine torque instead of the brakes so stay at a slow speed, so that the brakes don't overheat?.?

The problem is that the torque causes the brakes to work too hard to come to a complete stop (making them overheat?).

Did I get it right?
 

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I was recently faced with this on several hills, being the only schmuck in the group without a locker. Our trail guide explained our like this: use 4wl in reverse as you back down, and let the gearing help control your backwards descent. If you need to come to a complete stop, bump it to neutral so you're not trying to overcome the engine torque and gravity combined.
Also, in terms of turning around, if the grade is so steep as to make me uncomfortable going backwards, the last thing I'd want to do is turn sideways to turn around unless there was flatter/more level spot to do so.
 
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