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getting traction in deep sand

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by 84k5, Jan 14, 2002.

  1. 84k5

    84k5 1/2 ton status

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    My k5 has had the most trouble going up hills with really soft and deep sand. It has a 305, 3.73, and 33x12.5" mtrs, so power is not exacty its strong point. The rear has a gov lock. I have $300 to spend, and I am trying to decide what will make the biggest improvement. Advice and any thoughts would be great.

    Option 1: Powertank. Currently I run abut 32 psi beause have no way to air up. I'm skeptical that airing down will make a drastic improvement because my wheels are 10" wide so the tires are pretty flat. I don't have any experience though so I don't really know.

    Option 2: a locker: I'd have to find a 10 bolt with an open diff and then buy a lockright to do this. Everyone says lockers are the best improvement, but I have also heard they are no good in sand. Thoughts???

    Option 3: Soft top. I figure I could put a soft top on it, remove the back seat and tailgate and be a bit lighter. Not sure if this would cause much improvement? Would have to save a little more money too.

    Other ideas? I wanna start making it to the top of some of these hills. Thanks.

    Brian
     
  2. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    No doubt about it: you need to be airing down. Go down to 10-15psi (unless the wheels are 16.5's). Trust me.

    As for the locker, a gov-lock is a locker. A Lock-rite or detroit has the advantage that you don't have to spin a tire before it locks, but your gov-lock should work pretty good in sand.

    <font color=green>Today's Forecast: Partly cloudy with a chance of mud</font color=green>
     
  3. 87GMCJimmy

    87GMCJimmy 1/2 ton status

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    AIR DOWN........ you tire has about 10 times the foot print at 10 psi that it does at 32. In sand airing down will help much more than lockers. If nothing else get one of the el-cheap-o portable pumps that plugs into the lighter. It will take a lot longer but for 20 bucks..... Also, when airing back up goto just 20-25 with the little pump. This will be good enough to for short on road driving until you find a bigger airpump at the local gas station.'

    Sand dunes are a blast...

    later
    Mike
     
  4. jimmyjack

    jimmyjack 1/2 ton status

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    Air down BIG TIME! I went to mexico last and drove on the beach and my blazer struggled, it over heated it kicked and bucked and that was after I had aired them down but it was only about 20 lbs. You really need to be about 10 or so.

    That jeep thing? Yah I understand it....... Like my Blazer? <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/blazerk5>http://community.webshots.com/user/blazerk5</a>
    Jim
     
  5. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    Well if you look at most of the surfaces that a tire rides on, they are all relatively large: gravel is up to 1", asphalt measures in feet, etc. Sand is really made up of particles that are too fine for a tire to get traction on. Therefore, to get traction in deep sand, you really need to dig through it to get to something solid. Never mind that sometimes the sand can be anywhere from a few inches to dozens of feet deep. You have to get through it before you're going to go anywhere. So stand on the gas. It helps to be in 2WD and even ride the brake a little bit. At first it looks like other guys' rigs are getting ahead of you, but just wait until you see the looks on their faces when you finally hit the bottom and launch forward like a dragster on nitrous.

    We want you to post back about this after you've mastered it, so be sure to learn how to type on a Chinese keyboard before you go 'wheeling [​IMG]

    <font color=green>Today's Forecast: Partly cloudy with a chance of mud</font color=green>
     
  6. mudhog

    mudhog THEGAME Staff Member Super Moderator

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    ok #1 AIR DOWN you will notice a big improvement there go down to 10psi if you have 15 or 16in rims if you have 16.5 im not sure how low you can go trust me air down to 10psi
    #2 you have a govlock in the back so get a lockright or ezlocker for the front you will notice a big improvement with this also
    #3 if you take the top off you will lose wait so you wont have to push as hard to keep your truck going up the sand hills

    take a look at the pics in my webshots albums you will see i wheel a lot in the sand[​IMG]

    wheeling videoshttp://community.webshots.com/user/ssmith6333
     
  7. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Airing down doesn't do a whole lot to make the contact patch wider, but it does make it a LOT longer, so you end up with lots more square inches of tire grabbing for traction. [​IMG]

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.angelfire.com/super/ThunderTruck>www.angelfire.com/super/ThunderTruck</a>
    It's a great day to be alive...
     
  8. arq

    arq 1/2 ton status

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    air down to about 10-15 lbs and you'll notice the diff. try it before you go out and buy anything. you'll see for yourself.

    ARQ.

    offroad baja!!!
    72 4x4 CST Blazer
    71 4x4 CST Blazer
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/ArqDennis>My Pics</a>
     
  9. GMCFIRST35

    GMCFIRST35 Registered Member

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    ok yeah it is a great i dea to air down but are you just spinnin or are you berring it one of my freinds has a jeep he had bfg muds and when ever he would go he would berry it cause the tires dug to much then he got a set of no name all terains and he hasnt had a problem since he is turnin 35 12.50 with a stock 4 banger so it has alot to do with the tread
     
  10. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    I think they make a lock-right to go in the gov-loc carrier of a 10 bolt.

    Tim
    '84 Chevy K10, lifted, loud, fast, and 3/4 ton axles
     
  11. Panther

    Panther 1/2 ton status

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    I definitely agree with everyone to air down a lot.

    But I have to disagree on some other points.

    Don't dig down into the sand thinking you'll hit something solid. With 33s on your truck, chances are you'll sink you're truck to the axle tubes first.

    You'll get traction by airing down and "floating" on the sand by increasing the tire surface area on the sand.

    A gov-lock is not a locker. It is a hybrid and you're lucky if it's even still working correctly (to give you any characteristics of a locker). Check this out
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.zr2.com/frequently_asked_questions/general_information_and_maintenance/locking_rear_differential/locking_rear_differential.htm>http://www.zr2.com/frequently_asked_questions/general_information_and_maintenance/locking_rear_differential/locking_rear_differential.htm</a>

    Invest in a cigarette lighter air pump. With a nice one, you can air back up in about 10 minutes. You'll still have plenty of money left too.

    Also you don't have to get an entire new 10 bolt to put in a locker. You can just get an open carrier for the axle, swap that in place of the govlock, and then put in the locker.

    <font color=blue>Brilliance is like 4wd, it allows you to get stuck in a more remote location [​IMG]</font color=blue>
     
  12. 77Blazer

    77Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    buy some 33 x 14.5 inch tires.

    350, sm465, NP205, 14ff w/detroit, yucky ten bolt 4" springs,38.5x14.5 swampers
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.planettribes.com/theden/gontw/nsig.jpg>http://www.planettribes.com/theden/gontw/nsig.jpg</a>
     
  13. Pugsley

    Pugsley 1/2 ton status

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    Air down, and invest your 3 bills in making some more power - carb/intake, headers, all that good top-end power stuff. Big sand=big horsepower. Just keep a wide footprint turning - no place for finesse in the sand.

    ......And knowing is half the battle
    <a target="_blank" href=http://pugsley.alloffroad.com>pugsley.alloffroad.com</a>
     
  14. four_by_ken

    four_by_ken 1/2 ton status

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    Biggest thing, air down. AS long as you dont have 16.5 rims. Air down a lot. If they are sandy trails, 15 psi. If you are on sand dunes or a beach, 10 max. With my 35 Boggers I ran abour 3-4 in the rear and 5-6 in the front. But, remember these are Boggers at the dunes. I will probably do about the same with the 44 TSLs.

    With that said, I would get the rear locker. The gov lock... well, I would just say get a new locker. I wouldnt lock the front until you have another locker in the rear.

    I am hoping the person that said to dig down was joking, because that was horrible advice and wont work at all.

    I would invest in some engine mods also. Intake, carb, exhaust, etc.

    Mud terrains work very good in the sand, as long as they are aired down. ATs are better, but only by a very small margine. The MTs are so much better every where else, I would always choose them first.

    Saving weight is always a good idea, but I would do all the other stuff first.

    Hope this helps, even though a lot was repeats.

    Ken H.



    '86 K5 in parts
    1-ton 454 44 TSLs
     
  15. TorkDSR

    TorkDSR 1/2 ton status

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    dont know about your radials, but with my 38.5 groundhawg bias ply beasts, airing down does very little. just my advice.
    id lockup the front end, or make sure the gov loc is working right.

    beligerence doesn't justify intelligence.
    <font color=blue>wheelers hate posers.</font color=blue>
    <font color=red>79k15/400/700r4/205/38.5</font color=red>
     
  16. BorregoK5

    BorregoK5 1/2 ton status

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    Air down and keep momentum.

    I've taken countless small stock japanese cars out on the dunes with nothing more than airing down. A flat tire acts a lot like a paddle once you get moving, just "Dont Stop!"

    I started with nothing and I still have most of that left! - <a target="_blank" href=http://24.55.50.76:81/k5/> Pictures</a>
     
  17. nyyef

    nyyef 1/2 ton status

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    for soft sand you will need the following,
    1) air down to at least 15psi. i dont usually go lower, there is no need. buy a cheap lighter air pump. 20 minutes of refilling is nothing compared to a whole day of duning.
    2) put a locker in the rear. a lockrite is fine. you will be amazed. no need for the front.
    3) light weight is good thinking. by removing the top you will notice a huge difference in accelaration, especially in a tight spot or going up the dune.
    4) spend the 300 on a pair of mufflers, headers and an intake. this way you get a bump in power, and good throttle reponse. if you like to blast up the steep inclines of dunes then you need buku HP. for cruising around, whatever you have is what you need.
    5) plan ahead when you are driving, the trick is momentum, momentum, momentum. wheelspin is good at times and bad at others. it all depeneds on the situation. get a good run up for steep inclines. you want to float on top of the sand, like a boat when it gets a plane. you will notice the difference between digging in and planing.
    6) when you feel yourself going down, dont floor it, but dont stop until you have ceased all forward movement. then try and reverse out and take another line.
    7) 4low is amazing in sand. all the gears will have imense amounts of torque for you to use. you cant start off without wheelspin.
    8) getting stuck is half of the fun. and it is the best way to learn what the truck will and wont do.

    the beautiful thing about sand is that it is easy on the driveline. it is soft, rather than straining the line components trying to turn something that wont move, you just get stuck.

    hope that helps.

    "If it is breakable, IT will break. If it is indestructable, I will find a way to make it breakable, and I will break it."--Knife
     
  18. four_by_ken

    four_by_ken 1/2 ton status

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    With stiff sidewall tires, you dont see the differance when they air down, but it does make a differanve. With the rear 39.5 Boggers I had, I could bring them down to 8 psi and hardly notice a bit. But they sure are softer. Just stand on a tire and jump up and down.

    Ken H.


    '86 K5 in parts
    1-ton 454 44 TSLs
     
  19. mike reeh

    mike reeh 1/2 ton status

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    to reiterate:air down :) I dont know what everyone is saying about 16.5" tires but I have 16.5 inchers and I air down to 10-12 for sand play.. never had a problem and I live in so-cal where there is a lot of sandy deserts. ocotillo wells has a big sand hill with a steep side and a regular side... my 77 K25 with 33" all terrains will FLY up either side with about 10-12 psi.. I have never had a bead break but to be prepared, I carry a can of engine starting fluid and a lighter.. if you can get it jacked up, you can seat the bead again easily.. done it many times but its dangerous and you should really practice first. steel rims with even the sliightest bent lip or out of round are really prone to breaking beads at low pressure.. I have alloys on my truck and they are straight and true, and I have new tires. I have caught some rough air many times in that truck at 10psi and never broken a bead. if it happens, its really not a big deal- definately not the end of the world..

    in glamis which is the sand toy capital of the world, and is almost all sand dunes, my truck would go anywhere, i pulled out many a stuck toyo/ford with my relatively stock truck.. horsepower helps, and momentum DEFINATELY helps...

    I also disagree with the "digging down" theory.. when they start to dig, you're probably not going to go anywhere especially if its the start of an incline.. reverse to flatter ground and get moving........

    mike
     
  20. TorkDSR

    TorkDSR 1/2 ton status

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    still have th boggers?[​IMG]

    beligerence doesn't justify intelligence.
    <font color=blue>wheelers hate posers.</font color=blue>
    <font color=red>79k15/400/700r4/205/38.5</font color=red>
     

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