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"Tank" - 2011 OB 3.6R w/ Nav & Moonroof in Graphite Grey
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Discussion Starter #21
List of useful recovery gear found here: Quick Reference Guide when Offroading - OFFROADSUBARUS.com


hey guys - I was reading through all of the great tips here and started compiling a list to keep in my car (as a novice, wannabe, hack off roader) glovebox for future reference. So here's everyone's tips all in one easy to read (and print) list. Apologies if I missed anyone's suggestion.


Dirt (bush)
keep the vehicle as flat as possible without wheel lifting is most important
for mud - a slower approach, but still with some momentum
wheel placement
Picking the right line, especially in an AWD, is the best way to get past a challenging track without damage.
Take your time.

Water
get out and determine how deep
check surface underneath use a stick as a dipstick or walking throught it.
Maintaining momentum is critical, not too fast water goes everywhere but not too slow you get stuck
make sure the water is not flowing too quickly

Sand
Lower tyres to 18 psi to begin - lower if the sand is very soft (but no lower than 10 psi)
No sharp turns - you could roll the car or roll a tyre off the rim
No sharp braking - this will bog you; just let the car roll to a stop
No heavy acceleration from a standstill
Never transverse a dune or hill; always straight up or down.
Better to stop when level or facing downhill; restarting uphill can be difficult
Keep an eye on your temp guage - stop if necessary to cool down
Have a sump guard or take the plastic guard off.
Also take off those little wing things in front of the front wheels
If stuck uphill, drive the vehicle down in reverse; as little braking as possible.
Most important thing about sand driving is keeping the revs up and not losing momentum. The more power on tap to play with in the soft stuff, the less you will get stuck (or shouldn't get stuck if there's clearance).
Make sure your vehicle is in excellent condition as sand can be the hardest strain your vehicle may face
steady on the gas and try not to stop in the real soft stuff

General
do not wrap your thumbs around the steering wheel
Lower tyre pressures produce a smoother ride on any rough surfacethe main idea behind lowering PSI is that you create a longer foot print longer foot print = better floatation = traction = further along the track or beach
Don't go alone when wheeling, and always let someone know where you're going and when you're expecting to be back
Don't go unprepared, even if the trip is supposed to be a short one - $hit happens even in your own driveway
Wheel placement is crucial as is knowing the vehicle's weak points (capabilities too, but it's more important to know what the vehicle can't do
In some conditions e.g. sand, mud, slippery surfaces, it is useful to disable ABS
If stuck and with open rear diff, loading up the diff by applying some handbrake pressure might get you out
"Driving through the brakes" is a useful technique to learn (loads up front & rear diff)

Handy stuff to have….
a shovel (with a telescopic handle are easy to pack)
2 snatch straps (in case one breaks)
1 tool box with as many tool as you can carry without being too heavy
1st aid kits
1 vehcle fire extinguisher
warm clothing
sleeping bag (incase you get stuck over night)
enough food for 24 hours (if out with family take enough food)
plenty of water
camp chairs
uhf hand helds in case 1 in vehicle in inoperable due too failed elctrics of vehicle
a few good quality wind up torches (much better than a battery operated 1)
2 x D Shackels (rated)
an equallizer strap (not that I know what it is or what it's for)
flat block of wood for a jack base in case you need to lift the car on sand/mud.

Recommended PSI's
28 for bush tracks
25-30 for moderate offroading
20-22 bush/mud
15-18 for sand (lower if you're in trouble; but not less than 10 PSI though)

Cheers,
Skender
 

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"Tank" - 2011 OB 3.6R w/ Nav & Moonroof in Graphite Grey
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Discussion Starter #22

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2007 Outback XT Ltd
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Another recovery option- the Bush Winch: Bush Winches

Their cheapest kit with anchors and guides is US$950, plus shipping to the USA. I think the price alone puts this out of reach for most people. OTH, it is intended to replace an electric winch, which may cost you the same $$$$, depending on brand and size.

Do you know if they have a USA distributor?

Their reviews are most impressive: ... http://www.bushwinch.com.au/testimonials.html

A video: ...

A couple more:



I like that you can use it on a number of different vehicles, IF the bolt patterns are the same - otherwise you have to buy additional drums and guides and nuts; it will almost double the price for a second vehicle. I suspect this would be a good choice for fleet use where all the trucks are the same.

But, yikes it is a durned expensive investment....

I emailed asking about availability here, and shipping cost to the USA. I'll post their reply.

John Davies
Spokane WA
 

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'05 Outback 2.5i - 5-Spd Manual (Now with a new Family)
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Another recovery option- the Bush Winch: Bush Winches

Not only is it pretty pricey (already into electric winch territory as John has noted), and a royal pain to set-up (compared to an electric winch), but I have to wonder what happens when the opposite wheel has less traction (Can sustain less torque before it spins) than the 'winch' wheel, wouldn't the winch wheel stop turning at that point, and the vehicle stop moving as the opposite wheel spins helplessly?

On top of that, I seriously doubt it was designed to be used with a vehicle that cannot lock its center differential, because again, with an open (or limited slip) center differential, it seems conceivable that engine power would go to the front wheels and the rear axle would stop turning. Now all of this depends on the load on the 'winch wheel', but if the vehicle is significantly stuck, it can be a sizable load..
 

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Up here in Alaska, all we bring with us is a military stryker strap and a Handyman Jack (I guess its what everyone else calls a Hi-lift jack lol) The biggest thing is to get rid of the pitful plastic bumpers and put steel tube bumpers on it. Makes it so you can put the handyman literally anywhere on the bumpers. weld a lil lock plate on the bottom thats 1 1/4" wide and you have your spot where the jack cant slide on the tube.

Oh and don't wheel alone.. Biggest key point I can make. Theres no need for a jack or a winch if you have another rig with ya
 

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2005 Outback 3.0R VDC/VTD/LSD 5eat , 2.8'' lift
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outback not that soft as most might think i could lift easily mine right there in front.

on sides too as i redone my sides i could lift on sides as well. maybe not in rear . but with some modifications it couod be done as well. with plastic bumpers still in place. maybe cut but in place
 

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2013 OB 3.6R (former)
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outback not that soft as most might think i could lift easily mine right there in front.

on sides too as i redone my sides i could lift on sides as well. maybe not in rear . but with some modifications it couod be done as well. with plastic bumpers still in place. maybe cut but in place
Ha! You've discovered an interesting thread. I never saw this one.

I think you are spot on that Subarus are tough. But a HiLift? I mean, unless it is a Wrangler or a truck...

You can have a few usable jacking points but that's it.

I do have and carry an air jack. It lifts the front very nicely under the skid plates (cannot really use it without). But it is impossible in the rear, especially with dual exhaust, so one would have to use it under the rear door rocker panels, which...eh....

I used to carry it more for the trailer than the car but now I bought a bottle jack than can handle the lifted car and the trailer, so the air jack will stay home on milder trips.

For you, in the Baltic, I imagine mud is the issue. But I cannot really see myself using an air jack in mud (sand, totally) or a HiLIft either.

As for all the various winch options, I have considered every single one very carefully and decided to pass on them all. Even if I do get a trail rig eventually, I will not be putting a winch for a while. But in your case, with mud and forests, you may look into a portable winch setup. I would not put one in the front though. For me, that is one of the thresholds I would not cross with a car. On a Jeep, even if brand new, or an old Cruiser, 4Runner, X-Terra? Totally.
 

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seen pics of people using high lifts to pick up jeeps by the rim with straps and hooks tied into the rim.

however.

I am thinking a high lift is best carried by people with body on frame, and nothing a subaru person should bother to invest in, if the trails are tough enough to need such a thing borrow one from the jeeps/ FJ/ land rover defender people you are obviously with.


@bradze has been on such expeditions. ...(someone in 10 tough off roaders out on a camping trip must have one to make everyone happy,
...and it need not be the guy with the awesomely capable subaru edit: although he may have one on the roof rack).

____

and its like the oldest mechanical jack. if it is not built strong and it perfect shape you don't want to be near it, ...sucker will snap apart with pieces flying, and possibly land your vehicle on you.

great and just the right shape for bringing a wooden shed back into plumb on sinking concrete blocks though.
 

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Ha! You've discovered an interesting thread. I never saw this one.

I think you are spot on that Subarus are tough. But a HiLift? I mean, unless it is a Wrangler or a truck...

You can have a few usable jacking points but that's it.

I do have and carry an air jack. It lifts the front very nicely under the skid plates (cannot really use it without). But it is impossible in the rear, especially with dual exhaust, so one would have to use it under the rear door rocker panels, which...eh....

I used to carry it more for the trailer than the car but now I bought a bottle jack than can handle the lifted car and the trailer, so the air jack will stay home on milder trips.

For you, in the Baltic, I imagine mud is the issue. But I cannot really see myself using an air jack in mud (sand, totally) or a HiLIft either.

As for all the various winch options, I have considered every single one very carefully and decided to pass on them all. Even if I do get a trail rig eventually, I will not be putting a winch for a while. But in your case, with mud and forests, you may look into a portable winch setup. I would not put one in the front though. For me, that is one of the thresholds I would not cross with a car. On a Jeep, even if brand new, or an old Cruiser, 4Runner, X-Terra? Totally.
well everything comes into clear when you got stuck and using your small crappy bottle jack and then thinking that with hi lift you would lift car in one go , instead you spend 1 hr to lift car multiple times and repeating again and again because your small bottle jack is too small. and some people here with foresters carry hi lifts as well. specially if you go somewhere alone and you have just hi lift some chains and lots straps you probably could get out of almost anything.
just to do simple job as i had now in practice when i was stuck so just to lift car so you could put some trees under wheel. thats pretty simple and it works but how you lift car to do that then. air jacks could work maybe, not sure about air jacks in mud as they will inflate and they will slip all over mud . the nagain air jack here is like 3x cost as hi lift. thats no go for me to just buy jack. not for that price. what if you exhaust burried in water or mud, how you will inflate that air jack ?
speaking from theory is one thing but i think hi lift would still work best on subaru forester and outbacks. if car is not modded at all then why go offroad in first place. and if its modded some then maybe it can take hi lift. i found out that mine can take it fine from front. you could some adapter and lift car from sides too. meaning as longer tube so you dont smash your doors and windows by doing that.
as i said in other place i needed to lift front of car a lot so i could put trees under wheel. and i needed really lift it a lot.

and that was my problem. with that small jack i was doing it a lot and needed a lot of wood boards different sizes that i brought with another car , i put maybe 10-15 wooden board there so without those and with just normal jack you cant do nothing there, so instead if that i couls just do that


and then you can pull with hi lift too. how else you gonna pull out your car if noone around and you need to get back home.
i even bought this on second time i tried to pull out my car

but whats good of it if your car sits on hard surface. first your need to lift car up. that come along didin't worked and i just snapped one 4t strap by trying . it could help on other situations im sure but not in all.
simple as that if you lift car you having hard time to lift car from ground allready . well to change wheel that small jack of mine need 2 wood blocks put under it. otherwise is too small. so you need to buy something else . but things that just lift your car to change wheel wont help if you got stuck somewhere. so you need another tool . or you can just have one hi lift and well do all jobs.
and im not doing hard offroad at all. i just got stuck this one time for my mistake and now im thinking what i could have with me that would help me in that situation.

im just thinking of it still and maybe i will understand that i dont need it but for now it sees like not bad thing to have if you alone out there.

allways nice to have some recovery gear even if you not traveling alone. sometimes other car just cant help you
thats lithuanians recovering forester in lithuania forest.
 

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allways nice to have some recovery gear even if you not traveling alone.
not sure if you could have done it in your case, but putting the plain old subaru screw jack up on some wood and then jacking up has been done.


I have successfully used the plain subaru screw jack to get a car stuck on 2 wheels. back on 4 wheels. (it was a front wheel drive 88 justy, stuck on a sand embankment next to the road,....the only time I have slipped on pavement covered in ice and off the side of the pavement, ). this was around January 1991 or 92 so the car was almost new.

the car had spun 360 degrees 2x on the ice at 30mph, plus one more 360 spin on the sand embankment and got a 1" pine stick though a sidewall of one of the tires.
(...today I like studded snows).

I jacked the car up to the top of the jack 3 times, and each time shoving it off sideways to the point that 4 wheels were back on the ground.

I had to put some pine sticks under it so as to stop the jack from sinking in the dry sand and pine needles. (nice to have a old lump of pressure treated decking in the back of the car by the tire, but not that day )
(in this case completely safe the top of the jack grabbed the good at the time pinch weld at a typical jack point, and the goal was to actually push the car off the extended jack.....and I am dealing with a ultralight car that one strong person could actually pick the rear up off the ground).

was able to drive it back home a mile and change the tire in my frozen driveway. (the one on it was garbage anyway, no patching that, no damage to the steel rim).
 

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bought 48'' model. cut it little to fit in trunk and made some tube add on for it to reach sides of car. works perfect, very stable , easy to lift. will do some more thing to that tube so it would have more grip would more lock on places.
didin't saw anywhere anyone lifting subaru with that thing so made all myself and it just worked.









lifting front with my cut bumper no problem as well
 

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did new lift places in front just under cut bumper , and did new adapter to hi lift to fit that. now its lifting car safe and easy and not moving to sides on front back , because its in other tube it wont go anywhere even if you would lift it when car is on some angle






it could be used with full bumper too just cut hole in that space for hi lift to enter. still thinking way to make it on sides to be safe . it needs to be same type tube inside tube thing to be safe as those other 4wd cars do with similar adapters.

 

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full solo recovery in some 20 min . most that time was digging sand under wheels after i lift it about half meter up.
without hi lift being alone there i would had lot problems to recover myself. just digging wouldnt be enough.
hi lift again because it was in special made place it was stable even after car went to side some.
its real life changer when you can lift your car up that much .
 

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fully useful now when i made rear lift points now as well. nothing welded there just boltet into original place. so anyone could do it



 

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Cut hole in bumper for it and will try to make recovery d ring reciever. Will order couple 4.7t shackles and try that on .


 

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Sweeeet setup.

Back in my Jeepin' days, I always carried one with me.

Lifesavers, especially when driving solo.

I always carried a 12" x 12" x 3" block of wood to set the jack base on for a little firmer footing.
 

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Now bought shackles 3.25t so i could make recovery adapter for that.





as fot that adapter as my tube bolted on car for hi lift jack is 40x40mm , and shackle has just 27mm gap. i thought what i could use there. i wanted it be one peace not some two peaces welded together as that is never strong. so i just took 25x40 tube so that 25 now fits my chackle, but it same height as my tube on car and i need it to go inside that tube, so i was making it smaller to fit there. but as it went inside now it still was just 25mm wide and my tube was about 34mm inside. so to keep it tight i put some extra metal on sides so it become double thickness on sides and much stronger.

And yes hi lift jack is like no other jack out there. You can drive solo and get unstuck very fast. With shovel , axe and some imagination in help you can recover yourself alone from almost any situation without any harm to car at all.
 

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saw large stone. thought what could go wrong , and can i go on top of it ... tried

and of course car slipped passed it and feel down. nothing damaged or bended , height it was just enough but car wouldnt move from there...
so duno how long i would be there and how else i could recover car from there if not hi lift jack. couple minutes all front in air , put some rocks and planks under wheels and drove off
 
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