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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, I guess there comes a time when you just need to see if all the stuff works on your new ride before the warranty runs out. We had a really good rain yesterday, so I thought I'd take it up the canyon and actually see how VSA and VTM-4 lock work in these slippery muddy conditions.

This was an off-road road. after the rain, parts of it were submerged in water and the rest was mud. This was a bad looking muddy road. This was just not a challenge for the Ridgeline. I'll have to find a road in worse condition obviously. The Ridgeline slid a little in parts, but handled it as easily as driving down a paved road. I stopped in the mud and also stopped in the submerged parts hoping to get some kind of traction problem going, but to no avail. It just drove out easily. I find myself looking for impassable roads just to give the Ridgeline something to do. I did some minor fiording with no trouble.

The next task was to try to challenge the VTM-4 lock. I found a steep muddy hill, turned off the VSA, shifted to first, engaged VTM-4 lock. I slowly approached this steep grade. It would have been insane trying to approach this with any kind of momentom. The Ridgeline walked up this grade with no problem, but there came a point where the driver couldn't really see the road any more because of the steepness of the grade. This is where in this case, the Ridgeline had more ability than the driver had courage. Yep, I backed down the hill. My impression is there was still plenty of torque to make it to the top. I found some other deep rutted muddy hills that the Ridgeline handled quite competently (VTM-4 off, VSA on). The bottom line is: I think this truck will go where any sane person would want to go. I'd like to think of myself as sane anyway...........rather than a chicken. :D
 

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Ridge, get the rear splash guards. Look closely at your picture. All of that stuff behind your rear wheels will eventually damage the paint. I know you washed it off, but every mile of road driving throws stuff up in that spot. It will wear away the paint!

Sounds like you had fun. I jealous
 
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Ridge said:
Well, I guess there comes a time when you just need to see if all the stuff works on your new ride before the warranty runs out. We had a really good rain yesterday, so I thought I'd take it up the canyon and actually see how VSA and VTM-4 lock work in these slippery muddy conditions.

This was an off-road road. after the rain, parts of it were submerged in water and the rest was mud. This was a bad looking muddy road. This was just not a challenge for the Ridgeline. I'll have to find a road in worse condition obviously. The Ridgeline slid a little in parts, but handled it as easily as driving down a paved road. I stopped in the mud and also stopped in the submerged parts hoping to get some kind of traction problem going, but to no avail. It just drove out easily. I find myself looking for impassable roads just to give the Ridgeline something to do. I did some minor fiording with no trouble.

The next task was to try to challenge the VTM-4 lock. I found a steep muddy hill, turned off the VSA, shifted to first, engaged VTM-4 lock. I slowly approached this steep grade. It would have been insane trying to approach this with any kind of momentom. The Ridgeline walked up this grade with no problem, but there came a point where the driver couldn't really see the road any more because of the steepness of the grade. This is where in this case, the Ridgeline had more ability than the driver had courage. Yep, I backed down the hill. My impression is there was still plenty of torque to make it to the top. I found some other deep rutted muddy hills that the Ridgeline handled quite competently (VTM-4 off, VSA on). The bottom line is: I think this truck will go where any sane person would want to go. I'd like to think of myself as sane anyway...........rather than a chicken. :D
NICE!!!! :D
 

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Looks like you had tons of fun! Might do that sometime, too. :cool:
 

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steveberger said:
Ridge, get the rear splash guards. Look closely at your picture. All of that stuff behind your rear wheels will eventually damage the paint. I know you washed it off, but every mile of road driving throws stuff up in that spot. It will wear away the paint!

Sounds like you had fun. I jealous
Steve - I'm assuming you have the rear guards. Do they actually come out enough to retail the splash? It looks like they might contain some but the RL body dives in so that a fair amount of the tire is exposed and throws up every on the bumper.

Ridge - That definately sounded like fun. I would have wanted to get up that hill so I could have turned around to come back down.

All - I found a small cleaning nightmare last night after my off-road experience. It turns out the rear bumper cover is open underneath so all kinds of nasty can get up in there and harden. Maybe the splash guards will help prevent this.
 

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Thanks for the muddin' report. Sounds like you had a good time.

I would also recommend the rear splash guards.
 

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We've only gotten slightly muddy so far. I'd love a photo of the area you took it into. I'm hoping to find out how we do off paved roads fairly soon.

We put the rear splash guards on (extremely easy self install) and I have a question if anyone can offer an explanation: Why are the rear guards concave? The front ones have a relatively smooth surface, but those back ones are just going to pack with mud.
 

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I thought I had read somewhere that in Japan there are "off road courses" that are already set up with various scenarios (mud, hills, rock course, water, etc) that people pay to get in (kinda like Seaworld, Disney, etc) and you can go try out your off-roader on the different courses. Maybe I was just having a flashback from too much acid in the 60's, but I could have sworn that I read about this. Maybe the US has something like it? Anyway, your adventure sounds fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
steveberger said:
Ridge, get the rear splash guards. Look closely at your picture. All of that stuff behind your rear wheels will eventually damage the paint. I know you washed it off, but every mile of road driving throws stuff up in that spot. It will wear away the paint!

Sounds like you had fun. I jealous
Yeah, I'm going to get those rear mud guards soon. Did everybody remember to wax that area before you installed them?
 

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I paid MSRP for the truck in mid-March (couldn't wait) and got the trailer hitch thrown in free. I paid for the rear spash guards and they installed them for free (5 mins. of labor!) when I went back for the hitch work.

They work real well on the side paint, but some stuff does still get thrown up under the bumper.
 

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Try the trails in the Black Hills national forest, your Hahahahonda won't do it. I highly doubt it'll make it 1/2 a mile down one of our 3+ rated trails, LOL.
 

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pbear said:
I thought I had read somewhere that in Japan there are "off road courses" that are already set up with various scenarios (mud, hills, rock course, water, etc) that people pay to get in (kinda like Seaworld, Disney, etc) and you can go try out your off-roader on the different courses. Maybe I was just having a flashback from too much acid in the 60's, but I could have sworn that I read about this. Maybe the US has something like it? Anyway, your adventure sounds fun.
There are lots of off road parks here in the US. Do a search on Google and you'll find pleanty. But I wouldn't recomend taking your Honda Ridgeline to one, it won't make it through. You'll need a real 4X4 like a full size Chevy.
 

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Uh.....formed frame rails are used in unibody construction...


http://www.hondanews.com/CatID2135?mid=2005020140012&mime=asc
Engineers started with Honda's Global Light Truck platform and transformed 93 percent of the components into a mission-specific platform with seven high strength steel cross members that create a fully boxed ladder frame structure with full integration into the unibody frame.





What you have are formed frame rails that are integrated into the unibody. Cross members were added to stiffen the package. That means that you do not have a separate frame. It's integrated. Toyota 4Runners, Landcruisers, Tacomas, and Tundras use chassis off frame construction which is far stronger as you are not relying on the sheet metal, roof and door pillars to hold the truck together. The Ridgeline was not designed for anything more than gravel roads and ski trips into the mountains.

Enjoy it for it's intended use. If you want an offroad truck, you need to look into a Toyota, Nissan, Ford, Chevy or Dodge. Why do you think Toyota Landcruisers are the top selling vehicles in Africa and Australia? They are built for the terrain.

Keep your Ridgeline on the road and it will last for years. Come play with the big boys and you'll find out quickly that your unibody construction was not made for 3rd world country roads, much less real offroad trails.

I'm not here to flame anyone, I'm just recommending that you don't get in over your head and break your expensive truck trying. The design wasn't intended for anything other than malls, ski trips, and National Park trails. It's capable on the gravel and occasional muddy road, but put it on a real world offroad trail and you'll be sorry.


Assorted Landcruiser pics taken in Utah and Tellico.
 

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A 2005 Land Cruiser is a lot closer to a Ridgeline than these ancient, modded up relics shown here. A new Land Cruiser is $55K+ where the Ridgeline starts at $27K. Next time try a thoughtful comparison. Until then, go home to your relic.
 

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I don't believe there are any 4x4s on the market that will operate very well as in these pictures without serious modification.

The stats shows the unibody frame design of the Ridgeline is far more rigid than the old school box on frame construction. Why do you think the bed of "standard pickups" is not connected to the rest of the vehicle - its due to the flex that will occur in the frame with a heavy load which if it was connected would twist and distort the body. Many owners have already loaded to capacity and above in the bed of the Ridgeline with no problems.
 

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shovelhd said:
A 2005 Land Cruiser is a lot closer to a Ridgeline than these ancient, modded up relics shown here. A new Land Cruiser is $55K+ where the Ridgeline starts at $27K. Next time try a thoughtful comparison. Until then, go home to your relic.
My "relic" as you call it will go places and do things your Hahahahonda will never, and for a fraction of the price, and yes it's modified, and still less $$$ into it then your Ridgeline.
 

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Can I ask what your purpose is here, "Real 4X4"?

It's obvious this truck isn't for you. So why don't you just leave it as it is? Seriously, if you don't like it, fine, we know...

Whatever you drive, I am glad you like it. Obviously, people on here don't need or want the kind of truck you have. I believe most if not all of us here are smart enough to understand our own needs and wants.

So, again I ask, what's your purpose here? to prove something? Because you got nothing to prove to me. I don't need or want a "Real 4X4".
 
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