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What gear when spinning?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by txbartman, Dec 11, 2001.

  1. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

    Jun 1, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Plano, TX
    May sound like a stupid question, but...

    When you are mud bogging or stuck in a hole with a stick, I know you basically grab a gear and hold it. You just give it the gas and try to work your way through or out of it. That's how I used to do it with my Jeep.

    Now, with an auto, things are a bit different. I usually wheel in D. When the tires start to spin, the tranny starts going through the gears. When the tires actually start to grab, my weak 305 has no torque so it starts to downshift. However, it can't do it fast enough before I am back in the hole again. I would assume a mud bog would hurt me the same way... Run high wheel speed by going through the gears but as soon as they start to grab it would kill the wheel speed because of a lack of torque.

    So, when getting out of a hole or running a mud bog in an auto tranny, should I use D or 1 or 2? Or just slap it into 4LO and let it run through the gears and still hold onto the torque sacrificing wheel speed?

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  2. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Nov 28, 2000
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    Western Massachusetts
    "There are no stupid questions......just stupid people!" (Like me [​IMG]) J/K

    Actually that is a good question. Again I think a blanket statement is not good here. A lot depends on the type of mud, depth, vehicle weight, tire size, tire tread, etc. Sometimes wheel speed is needed to keep the tires clean (i.e. throw mud out of the lugs to get a grip on new mud) and sometimes low wheel speed is needed to grab the mud. It a delicated balance between momentum and traction. Usually you want momentum (to keep you going), but once you get stuck you need to find that balance (which is affected by the items, and more, stated above). Also each vehicles characteristics make a difference (suspension, gearing, tranny, etc.), so I don't think there is a "cure all" for all situations, you need to find out what works best for you and your setup. Initially everbody can benefit from momentum (within reason), but once you are stuck it is up to you and your driving style. For me (with an auto), I find it best to try it in D, and let the tranny shift for me. If it seems like wheel speed is overcoming traction I manually shift to 2 and sometimes to 1. It all depends on the situation. I know this really doesn't help "you", but I thought I would share that every rig is not the same, as ever driver is not the same, as every situation is not the same. Again there are some generalities that help (like initial momentum), but no blanket cure-alls.

    And sometimes you are just plain stuck (nothing you do will get you out, other than a tow/tug).

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  3. chevyracing

    chevyracing 1/2 ton status

    Sep 8, 2001
    Likes Received:
    I think a sure fire simple solution to that delima would be put an NV 4500 and a big block in.


    Like to go sloppin' 'round in da mud in a rapid fashion....=)

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  4. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

    May 9, 2000
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    Well here is my "generalized" answer...

    I keep it in 1st gear(my tranny will hold it in as long as I dont upshift) until I notice the rpms getting a little high, then upshift.... Just keep your hand on the shifter while goign through and if the need come pop it up into second!


    <font color=green>"1024x768x256... Sounds like one mean woman."</font color=green>

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  5. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

    Feb 24, 2000
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    When hitting the trail, I always shift into 4 low and start with the transmission manually shifted into "1" (most of the trails around here are fairly tight anyway). One of the reasons I run with it shifted into 1st is that I don't like having a surprise upshift when climbing hills or going over anything rough, which does happen when in Drive. Now for times when a little wheel speed is needed, such as a mudhole or slippery hill, I will upshift into 2nd. When I do this and can get a little bit of a run, I wil take off easy and let the tranny shift into 2nd before hitting the obstacle.......when in 4 low, the trans will do the 1-2 upshift pretty quickly at light throttle, plus I think it causes less stress and wear then flooring it in the mud and having the tranny make the shift at redline, though there has been times when I have had to do this when hung up in the mud.

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