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2023-06-14 19:11:06

How Jeeps Climb 'Verticals' _ Carsplainers _ Insider Cars

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This is pro off road racer , Casey Curry climbing upwards almost at 90 degrees in a Jeep Gladiator Rubicon .

While this vehicle is modified with 42 inch tires and a more flexible suspension , it's in Jeep DNA to be a lightweight climbing machine right off the assembly line .

So what about Jeeps make them ideal for scaling vertical rock walls and climbing massive boulders straight from the factory .

Jeeps already have multiple features that make them ideal for an extreme form of off roading known as rock crawling .

For example , thanks to its short wheel base , super flat , front end , 33 inch tires and 10.8 inches of ground clearance .

The Wrang Rubicon has an approach angle of 44 degrees .

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Approach angle is the maximum angle of a slope your vehicle can climb without your front bumper hitting on the most difficult off road trails .

This can mean the difference between scaling a vertical shoot and demolishing your front end .

The Wrangler also has front and rear solid axles meaning a single beam connects each pair of wheels other off road S U V S like Mercedes Benz G wagon typically have an independent front suspension meaning the wheels move independent of one another .

This makes for a smoother ride , better handling and better fuel economy .

But solid axles are sturdier and have better wheel articulation .

That means both wheels stay planted on an uneven rocky hill .

If one wheel is forced to go up , the other wheel on that axle automatically goes down .

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Add in Jeep's ability to electronically disconnect the part that keeps your car from swaying side to side .

And you've got unlimited flexibility when climbing the toughest obstacles .

It's these factors that provide the traction needed to keep from tumbling backward down a hill .

While approach angle and traction are important , they won't make a difference if power isn't going to your wheels correctly .

That's where the Rubicon's front and rear locking differentials come in a differential is a tool on your axles that allow your wheels to spin at different speeds .

Something necessary when turning .

Since the outer wheels have to travel farther in a traditional open differential , more power is sent to the wheel with less traction to balance the torque of both wheels .

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This is great on smooth even roads but can leave you stuck when one wheel gets suspended and mid air on rocky terrain with a locking differential , the entire axle and both wheels keep spinning at the same speed .

You can't drive as fast , but you don't need all four wheels planted to keep moving forward , getting the perfect amount of torque to your wheels for crawling rock walls gets a little more complicated .

It requires the ideal craw ratio .

Qual ratio is actually an equation .

The gear ratio of your vehicles transmission times the gear ratio at its transfer case times the gear ratio at its differentials or axles .

This reveals the amount of torque at each wheel compared to the engine .

Let's break this down torque moves from the engine to your wheels using gears spinning against one another .

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Gear ratio is the size difference between them .

A gear might spin against another gear four times its size .

That means the smaller gear spins four times to get the larger gear to spin once .

However , it's much easier on the engine to spin that tiny gear four times as this reduction in gear ratio happens , the engine rotates with minimal effort , maybe 100 times to turn each wheel just once that would make for a crawl ratio of 100 to 1 .

The same as Jeep's record setting option for the new Wrangler Uba car .

It's similar to pedaling a 10 speed bicycle uphill .

You select your lower gears while going uphill .

It requires you to pedal more to rotate the wheels but allows you to conserve energy .

However , just like a bike's lowest gears , a high crawl ratio means lowering your top speed .

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You trade power for more torque in order to take obstacles at a slow controlled speed .

Serious rock crawlers typically modify their gearing to get a higher ratio but that's just where the modifications start modding has become a major part of Jeep culture and it ultimately gives you a Jeep capable of climbing an enormous rock wall Wranglers alone are one of the most modified vehicles on the market .

With about 98% having been customized in some way when it comes to rock crawling .

First and foremost , callers need big tires with less air necessary to give you as much contact with the trail as possible .

Once tires are selected , Jeep owners need a lift kit that both fits the additional rubber and gives your vehicle the added clearance and flexibility needed off road from there .

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Serious crawlers will modify their steering system and brakes and add metal skid plates and sliders to guard the vehicle's undercarriage and doors from bumpy trails .

But even with Jeep's most advanced capabilities and the most expensive aftermarket rig you can build , it all comes down to the driver .

Rock crawling is a sport reserved for thrill seekers experienced at pushing their vehicles to the absolute limit .

Most expert crawlers will tell you that the best modification you can make is more time in the driver's seat , but a capable vehicle definitely helps .


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