Off Roading in the Mud
Off Roading in Mud
No one likes to get stuck in the mud especially if you are by yourself. Check out these tips for better luck than we had our last time out in the mud.
Never Go Alone
Going by yourself can come back to haunt you. Without someone else to help, it is easy to get stuck. By knowing the limitations of your vehicle and yourself, getting stuck can be more easily avoided.
The Higher the Better.
A suspension that can handle a lot of power without axle wrap is more important that articulation in the mud. Ground clearance is a factor, as you want to keep anything under the vehicle from pushing mud, if at all possible. Often times rubber is added to the undercarriage or inner fenders to keep mud out of the engine bay and reduce drag. Mud flaps and conveyor belts are some of the least expensive, most rugged options. This is trick often employed by those who participate in mud drags, but recreational mud boggers tend to prefer to raise their vehicle above the slop. Big lifts, Rockwell axles, and tractor tires are all commonplace at mud pits.
If your vehicle is not sky high, make sure that at least your air intake is. Ingesting dirty water or mud into your engine will surely cause it an untimely death. Some mud boggers route the air intake into the cab but this creates a lot of additional noise and heat in the interior and isn’t suitable for a daily driver. A snorkel or pre-filter are cheap insurance though when it comes to feeding your engine clean air.
Having a higher axel means that your engine is not subjected to being in the mud to the same degree as other people who’s is lower meaning that there will not be mud that is getting baked onto the side s of the searing engine. Front mounted radiators are easily clogged by deep, thick mud, thus many mudders have to move it to the back of their vehicle. At the very least consider covering the radiator temporarily while traveling through mud, and be certain to keep an eye on the temperature gauge. Mud provides a large amount of resistance and prolonged mudding can wreak havoc on torque convertors and engines. Consider a large auxiliary transmission cooler, high flow water pump, and electric fan if you spend a lot of time in the mud.
Low Air Pressure
Decreasing the amount of pressure in your tires helps to create more surface area for the tire in contact with the ground as well as creating more traction.
Check the Depth of the Mud.
Sometimes you don’t know the depth of the mud til it’s too late then next thing you know, your ride is getting baptized (ADD LINK/video). Ensuring that the water won’t result in a sunk costs could save you a fortune and help you keep your head and checkbook above water.
It is better for your vehicle to drive through first before the trail gets subjected to wear and tear where it is easier to get stuck in ruts that have already been established. But on the other hand, if your buddy gets stuck behind, the responsibility is on you to pull him out.
Stay the Course
Sticking with a certain line helps to maximize momentum and avoids the drag of a vehicle cutting side by side and thus losing speed. Slowing down is the will get you stuck.
Always Know Where Your Wheels Are Pointed
As the coefficient of traction changes, it could cause a turned wheel to grab and throw the vehicle out of the line or into an obstacle.