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Poor performance only in sand

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  • Poor performance only in sand

    Hi Guys,
    I have an 05 VX which is great and performs well towing, rocky climbing, normal driving, nasty dirt tracks and on top of sand but as soon as the sand gets to the bottom of the wheel spoke (not bottomed out) the wheels wont turn. None spin but I can see them rock a bit. If I put it in low and gun it the engine labours at lowish revs and the wheels turn slowly, if this happens for too long the AT overheats. I thought after a Gibb River rd trip it was just the trans fluid which was black, but even after a full flush it (changes gear more smoothly) but I have the same issue in sand. Any ideas ? torque converter I'm thinking but I dont know how to prove it one way or another.

    Any help would be much appreciated

    PS: Tyre pressures are low. and with trax it leaps out, if only temporarily.


    Leigh

  • #2
    Not keen on the black transmission fluid, think a trip to a trany specialist is in order, not just a garage who can do a flush.
    I've also towed on the Gibb and the car rarely reached lock up speed, so the oil does get hot. They need an extra oil cooler with fan.
    The other thing is does the car have traction control? The 150 applied brake to any wheel that's slipping and it's dreadful in sand, brakes are constantly on/off. System can be turned off and then she'll roll effortlessly.
    Tyre pressure is a major factor in sand. Low pressure is subjective, but 10psi would be my max using A/T tyres. Most A/T's will stand up due to their stiff side walls.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply ! I "think the black fluid was because of 12K on hot corrugations in D as I didn't know at that time you should not tow 2T in D but I don't know when it was changed last. I also replaced the filter but it was clear and not needed. It does have traction control but you cant turn it off (Fuse maybe?) . and it may be that but when driving, if it ever came on it would make a noise as it brakes/releases and the light would flash. I'm not sure what it would do in sand as the wheels don't even edge forwards unless you are foot flat. The light certainly doesn't come on.Tyre pressure usually Im on 15 and maybe should go 10 but I'm worried about the Trans or my expectations in the V6. I think if I just put my foot flat I should just go down to the diffs and spray the ppl behind with sand as stupid as that would be to do.


      Leigh

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      • #4
        I never had that Issue with my 2005 VX V6 and yes it does have traction control which can't be turned off, unlike the 150] on trips that included the Canning and the Simpson.In sand you should have the centre diff lock locked, high range 1st gear, 15-18 psi hot. Tow in 4th NOT 5th unless it is downhill. Mine also extensivelty towed about 1200kg of off road camper with no transmission issues.In sand a bit of momentum doesn't go astray.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 404pug View Post
          I never had that Issue with my 2005 VX V6 and yes it does have traction control which can't be turned off, unlike the 150] on trips that included the Canning and the Simpson.In sand you should have the centre diff lock locked, high range 1st gear, 15-18 psi hot. Tow in 4th NOT 5th unless it is downhill. Mine also extensivelty towed about 1200kg of off road camper with no transmission issues.In sand a bit of momentum doesn't go astray.
          Can you recall if with center locked and foot down in sand do you get any wheel spin if you want ? from a standing start ? I'm trying to find out if my oh so clever ecus are doing it maybe .

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          • #6
            Although i do not have the 120 , the 90 will spin all 4 wheels on sand from standstill as if your burning rubber . a v6 will easily spin those wheels , i couldnt imagine a 120 not being at least the smae if not better. ....There is something with traction control , or the computer is telling the traction control the wrong info ... I would start there , as for the trans, is there smoke , is there burning smells , is there leaks , is there wynde noises , is none of the above then maybe its not the trany. If you just got to the beach and the trany is cold would it behave the same? if so i would be looking first at the brains rather than the hips of the the feet .

            just my opinion good luck .

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            • #7
              From memory I didn't get wheel spin in sand but then again I wasn't trying to - it just means that you will dig in.The traction control stopped it. Also from memory I think that selecting diff lock turns off the stability control but NOT the traction control. Get the car plugged into a diagnostic tool, scan gauge etc to see if their are any fault codes showing. By the way the intervention of stability and traction control often goes unnoticed because it is so quick. In slow going you are likely to get a few beeps from the traction control but not like you get from the ABS. Try what I suggested in post 4. High range first gear and NOT low range in sand without the trailer, 16 psi HOT..

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              • #8
                Mate your comment , "it doesn't even edge forward unless foot is flat" is a concern. The car should roll much easier than that, think you need a trip to a trany expert.
                Mine's a diesel 90 and I always drive in low range when in soft sand. I use 2nd start and she's got bags of grunt. Once on the hard stuff I shift to high range but any auto will get hot when on the sand, hence the need for a trany cooler.

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the advice ppl

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