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Just a question for the off roading Gen 1 owners out there. I'm considering settings up my ridgeline for a bit of off roading( tire's, truxx lift etc ) but was wondering how does the transmission and rear differential deal with the slow moving and heavy loads of off roading. Is it an issue and if so is it the trans or diff. Would adding a separate fan to the trans cooler help.
 

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Heat is the #1 killer of an auto trans. Anything you can do to keep the temps down will prolong its life. Although I've never had any indication that my transmission (or rear diff) is overheating while off-road, but I'm sure they get hot. I have driven approx. 800 miles worth of fire trails in the High Sierras outside of Lake Tahoe. The road conditions are dusty and rocky (not rock crawling size but can be a good 6-8") and require you to go slow. Lots of washboard surface and can be very steep. The road conditions vary based on that year's winter season. Outside temps can range from the high 80's to low 100's(F). I keep the A/C off but the radiator fan is spinning the entire time. Because of the ambient temp, slow driving and dusty roads, I drain and fill my transmission at every oil service, and I replace the rear diff fluid every other oil service (roughly 15k miles). Probably overkill but for me it's good peace of mind.

Biggest problems I have with the type of off road driving I do is having to ride the brakes while going down hills, and sometimes the AWD gets confused trying to figure out where to send power. With the brakes, they're cheap and simple to replace. But the AWD can be frustrating.

I've been stopped facing up hill on a moderate grade with the wheels on loose gravel. When I try to move, the fronts spin but the rears do nothing. I manually engage VTM-4 and off we go. Few miles later I'm in a similar situation. This time the fronts spin for a fraction of a second, the rears engage automatically and we start moving. The system really baffles me but it's never left me stranded (except for one time in the snow but that's another story). Anyway, looking forward to hearing about your experiences. Add skid plates to your list...best investment I've made for this truck.
 

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Well..i have been wheeling mine for 60k now and have had no problems besides suspension stuff. I have overheated the trans twice. first time was completely stock and i had the vtm4 on the whole time on slow rock crawling. Should have left it in drive. The other time I cant quite remember what i was doing but it was hot out and i was determined to get up something but you just let it sit for a few minutes running and when the light goes off you are good to go. Would be good practice to do a drain and fill on the fluid after but not a must.

Only two downsides I have with the ridge....When opposite tires (front right, rear left) come off the ground..it usually goes nowhere without a heavy foot and some momentum. And when going down a steep incline it does not like to stop..at all... even with the traction off..the abs still kicks in and doesn't allow the tires to lock up usually.


Here is my youtube if you want proof of what i put this thing through

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7S0v50yfvzZagJYZ9R6Neg
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice. Shame the video will not play. What would I search on YouTube to find this video. When the transmission overheated with the vtm-4 on do you think it was the differential that over heated or the trans.
 

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S.T.U.V., love your videos. It inspires me to be more bold with my RL and not be afraid of terrain.

Have you ever gotten stuck and needed someone to pull you out? Think about self winching yourself out at all?

Keep on truckin'!!!

-Stephen
 

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Well..i have been wheeling mine for 60k now and have had no problems besides suspension stuff. I have overheated the trans twice. first time was completely stock and i had the vtm4 on the whole time on slow rock crawling. Should have left it in drive. The other time I cant quite remember what i was doing but it was hot out and i was determined to get up something but you just let it sit for a few minutes running and when the light goes off you are good to go. Would be good practice to do a drain and fill on the fluid after but not a must.

Only two downsides I have with the ridge....When opposite tires (front right, rear left) come off the ground..it usually goes nowhere without a heavy foot and some momentum. And when going down a steep incline it does not like to stop..at all... even with the traction off..the abs still kicks in and doesn't allow the tires to lock up usually.


Here is my youtube if you want proof of what i put this thing through

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7S0v50yfvzZagJYZ9R6Neg
Wow, 11:01 and after are amazing feats.
 
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Thanks for the advice. Shame the video will not play. What would I search on YouTube to find this video. When the transmission overheated with the vtm-4 on do you think it was the differential that over heated or the trans.
Sorry. Never saw the reply. It was the trans that overheated. Never have had a warning light for anything else. The link is to my channel. Here is a link to a specific video and you can enter channel through that

https://youtu.be/GJewQXujQK8
 

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S.T.U.V., love your videos. It inspires me to be more bold with my RL and not be afraid of terrain.

Have you ever gotten stuck and needed someone to pull you out? Think about self winching yourself out at all?

Keep on truckin'!!!

-Stephen


I have been embarassingly stuck once. I will try to find the picture. I was on my way from san diego to Yuma,AZ to visit some family. Had my mom and G/F with me and I decided to take a little detour off into the sand dunes off highway 8/ Believe it is called buttercup on the south side. The ridge was completely stock on some michelins and I was scaring the crap out of my mom with foot to the floor going all over the dunes...came down the backside of a dune and it was a little steep headed into the face of sharp dune...well I gained speed and tried to "boomerang" the ridge down and back up....did not work...I sank to the frame rails. Mom was pissed!!! I tried digging out but she walked down to ranger station and got the volunteer to come up and tow me out with his silverado. And of course the few campers came and had a laugh.

I have been pulled over a obstacle once that I just couldnt get over but other then those two times I am always the one doing the pulling. I even had to pull a 3500 extra cab dually dodge 4x4 out of my dads driveway this weekend. It's kind of a steep gravel and the truck had no weight for any traction in the rear. Me and my dad had a laugh. I should have recorded it.
 

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I can say without a doubt, You and Your Ridge are definitely off-road overachievers.
 
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Well..i have been wheeling mine for 60k now and have had no problems besides suspension stuff. I have overheated the trans twice. first time was completely stock and i had the vtm4 on the whole time on slow rock crawling. Should have left it in drive. The other time I cant quite remember what i was doing but it was hot out and i was determined to get up something but you just let it sit for a few minutes running and when the light goes off you are good to go. Would be good practice to do a drain and fill on the fluid after but not a must.

Only two downsides I have with the ridge....When opposite tires (front right, rear left) come off the ground..it usually goes nowhere without a heavy foot and some momentum. And when going down a steep incline it does not like to stop..at all... even with the traction off..the abs still kicks in and doesn't allow the tires to lock up usually.


Here is my youtube if you want proof of what i put this thing through

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7S0v50yfvzZagJYZ9R6Neg
I actually watched your videos before i found this thread, I just bought an 08 and have been toying with the awd system trying to understand how it thinks and cannot make heads or tails. sometimes it wants to give you full awd and other time same obstacle it just send power to the fronts. Wonder if there is a way to tune the system up.
Anyways keep up the good work and im going to sub your channel for any new videos
 

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I actually watched your videos before i found this thread, I just bought an 08 and have been toying with the awd system trying to understand how it thinks and cannot make heads or tails. sometimes it wants to give you full awd and other time same obstacle it just send power to the fronts. Wonder if there is a way to tune the system up.
Anyways keep up the good work and im going to sub your channel for any new videos
It is a pretty confusing system to understand. And no, unfortunately there is no "flashing" of the system to change its behavior. And Thank! Hopefully I will be able to go on a adventure soon, I have been itching. If you look at my 24hr of lemons thread you will see why I am very short on time lately.
 

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It is a pretty confusing system to understand. And no, unfortunately there is no "flashing" of the system to change its behavior. And Thank! Hopefully I will be able to go on a adventure soon, I have been itching. If you look at my 24hr of lemons thread you will see why I am very short on time lately.
Saw that, i do autoX but its nowhere near as labor intensive as Lemons.

After seeing your videos and the other on youtube I think i'm going to fabricate quick disconnect sway bar links for my truck after i get it lifted. Seems the lack of flex is the reason it cant keep all 4 wheels planted
 

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I think the best thing to do is pull the 40Amp VSA fuse when off-roading. This with let you air down tires and spin them. Disabling abs, vsa, and tpms is crucial when going down steep descents off-camber. The ridgelines transmission has overheated more times than I can remember when going snow wheeling in deep snow. I am still running the original transmission and haven't put anything except the stock honda fluid in it. I think the key is to let it cool down when you smell the burning oil and change it asap after the wheeling trip. As far as disconnecting the swaybar I have done it lots of times and really you don't get any more articulation. The Ridge has 4 3/4" up and down and you can use all of that with the swaybar connected. The tires will come off the ground. Disconnecting the swaybar achieves a better ride over undulated surfaces and pounding rocks at high speeds. But the traction does not get much better as you might think. I have put thousands of offroad miles in snow, mud, rocks, and sand. I now have retired the rear sub-frame and added a real frame and transfer case to my rtx. It's a bit like a monster truck but I haven't had this much fun in a Jeep or Toyota. Check out my Hummerline fourm.
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=328465
http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/26-greetings-introductions/185257-hummerline.html
 

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Just a question for the off roading Gen 1 owners out there. I'm considering settings up my ridgeline for a bit of off roading( tire's, truxx lift etc ) but was wondering how does the transmission and rear differential deal with the slow moving and heavy loads of off roading. Is it an issue and if so is it the trans or diff. Would adding a separate fan to the trans cooler help.
I'm not sure if this may help but would routing the trans line away from the radiator help? The trans lines go into the bottom of the radiator to acquire operating temp more quickly. These fittings are a known weak spot in salty winter environments. I read that many of Frontier owners do this mod as the trans/radiator connection is a weak spot. Since the trans lines are always going into the lower radiator the lowest temp will always match the engine coolant temp. Since the Ridgeline has a separate trans cooler I wonder if it's possible to route this line outside the radiator.
 

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I'm not sure if this may help but would routing the trans line away from the radiator help? The trans lines go into the bottom of the radiator to acquire operating temp more quickly. These fittings are a known weak spot in salty winter environments. I read that many of Frontier owners do this mod as the trans/radiator connection is a weak spot. Since the trans lines are always going into the lower radiator the lowest temp will always match the engine coolant temp. Since the Ridgeline has a separate trans cooler I wonder if it's possible to route this line outside the radiator.
In my experience, the rear diff doesn't have any problems other than the clutches not able to handle enough torque and slipping instead of the tires. The transmission overheats because of the gearing and not having a transfer case. A bigger trans cooler would be helpful to keep the fluid from burning due to high torque converter temps when running wide open throttle at near standstill speeds. I haven't been able to completely destroy my transmission yet but recently I installed a real transfer case and eliminated the front CV's. So far the output box off the rear of the transmission has handled the full torque of the engine contrary to what mechanics have told me. http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=328473http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=328489
 

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I have been embarassingly stuck once. I will try to find the picture. I was on my way from san diego to Yuma,AZ to visit some family. Had my mom and G/F with me and I decided to take a little detour off into the sand dunes off highway 8/ Believe it is called buttercup on the south side. The ridge was completely stock on some michelins and I was scaring the crap out of my mom with foot to the floor going all over the dunes...came down the backside of a dune and it was a little steep headed into the face of sharp dune...well I gained speed and tried to "boomerang" the ridge down and back up....did not work...I sank to the frame rails. Mom was pissed!!! I tried digging out but she walked down to ranger station and got the volunteer to come up and tow me out with his silverado. And of course the few campers came and had a laugh.

I have been pulled over a obstacle once that I just couldnt get over but other then those two times I am always the one doing the pulling. I even had to pull a 3500 extra cab dually dodge 4x4 out of my dads driveway this weekend. It's kind of a steep gravel and the truck had no weight for any traction in the rear. Me and my dad had a laugh. I should have recorded it.
You took on the dunes at Buttercup? Brass balls buddy. Brass balls.

The sand there is so soft its hard to walk in, up or around - let alone drive a pick up thru. Have some desert rat buddies who live their life around seasonal events. Thanksgiving in the dunes is a big annual tradition. Sand rails tripling tire speed ratings on the flats into the Mexican desert is a favorite of mine. The guest experience in the desert is like being a grandparent. When you've had your fill of fun, you hand the baby back and relax in a chair. No muss, no fuss. LOL.

I'm amazed your RL got your over the hills into the bowls. Stuck or not, that's an amazing feat.
 

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You took on the dunes at Buttercup? Brass balls buddy. Brass balls.

The sand there is so soft its hard to walk in, up or around - let alone drive a pick up thru. Have some desert rat buddies who live their life around seasonal events. Thanksgiving in the dunes is a big annual tradition. Sand rails tripling tire speed ratings on the flats into the Mexican desert is a favorite of mine. The guest experience in the desert is like being a grandparent. When you've had your fill of fun, you hand the baby back and relax in a chair. No muss, no fuss. LOL.

I'm amazed your RL got your over the hills into the bowls. Stuck or not, that's an amazing feat.
HAHA yea. The dunes were pretty glass"y". But we had about 30 minutes of foot to the floor sand flinging mom screaming fun until I took a wrong turn into the soft spot. I have a photo somewhere I will have to find it.

But this is our ride for the desert. Mostly sees the hard packed but once a year we usually go to the dunes.
 

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I have heard of Frontier owners routing their trans lines away from the radiator. Since the Ridge has a seperate trans cooler would this help? The purpose of the trans line entering the radiator is to get the temp up sooner for MPG. I would assume the lowest temp the trans fluid will always be the temp of the coolant within the radiator. Would routing the trans line from entering and exiting the trans be a possible help??
 
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