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Discussion Starter #1
I was up in the mountains a few days ago, checking out a deserted forest service road and found some deep snow. The snow was about 18 inches deep, old and crusted over. Since the road only had these patches of deep snow in short 10-15 foot shaded areas, I kept blasting through.

The patch of snow that got me had a thick crust of ice on it and it actually supported the vehicle's weight, almost all the way across. I guess I slowed down too much because all four tires broke through that crusty layer and I suddenly stopped moving. :rolleyes:

I shifted into R and pressed the VTM-4 lock button, but no go! Even full throttle, no car movement and no tires spinning. I shifted into D1 and released and re-applied the VTM-4 lock, but no movement.

I got out to survey and it looked like I was parked in four potholes. Evidently, the ice edges had enough grip on the tires to not let them spin and I didn't have enough low-end torque (or lower gearing) to overcome the holes I was sitting in.

By un-locking the VTM-4 I had enough power to spin the tires, but not enough traction to get out. But every time I locked the VTM it was just too much load for the engine.

I was pointed up hill, so I was able to break the ice behind the tires and dig channels behind the Pilot to back out.

Even though I got stuck, I'm still impressed with the Pilot's ability. Everything has limits and it's nice to know exactly where they are.

Sorry, no pictures this time, forgot the camera at home:bonk:
-Pete
 

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Dang! THAT was a Kodak moment if I ever heard one!
Glad you got outta there without any damage to you or the Pilot! :4:
 

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Haha - I got stuck in a similar situation once in my blazer (which the Pilot replaced). I tried to drive over a snow drift, but the snow was pretty soft and when I crested it, the blazer settled right down onto the frame and all four wheels were hanging there in mid-air! I don't care how good your 4WD system is, it's not going to help you in these circumstances!

In my case, I got very lucky - another blazer happened by about 2 minutes after I got stuck. I had a chain in the back and he was kind enough to pull me out (after a little digging).

Now the embarassing part - you're probably all thinking of a picturesque setting in the woods somewhere, which would make this all very romantic and adventurous. Unfortunately I was in the mall parking lot at the time! :1pat: My wife was waiting at home for me to finish running some errands before we went out skiing. I got home on time, so I could've said nothing, but I fessed up.:32:
 

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01r1 said:

I shifted into R and pressed the VTM-4 lock button, but no go! Even full throttle, no car movement and no tires spinning. I shifted into D1 and released and re-applied the VTM-4 lock, but no movement.-Pete
What were the RPMs at full throttle, wheels locked?

I would have to believe something was spinning?.
 

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Nothing spins!

Pete is correct. After our big snowstorm we had 39 inch drift at the end of our driveway (yes, I measured it). I plowed through it with my pickup and then ran back and forth to make a way out. This was a very heavy very wet snow!!
I then had to try it in the wife's car to prove to her that she could get out. Well the pilot is a lot narrower than my truck and has a lot less clearence (which you don't notice until your high centered).
Well once it was stuck I got kind of excited because I was going to use the VTM and "drive right out". I experienced the same thing as Pete. You could hammer it (which I only tried once in forward and once in reverse), and it just sat there and groaned.
It was like hooking onto a building and trying to pull it. Nothing turned, nothing moved. There just isn't enough low end torque to move it and when using the VTM, the traction is pretty amazing so there isn't enough torque to spin the wheels.
One thing to remember though, this was a VERY rare situation and I would not have tried this in the back woods somewhere (our pilot will never be in the back woods, we'll leave that to the truck). It was in my front yard with my truck sitting there waiting to come to the rescue.
So the VTM really does work well as long as your not high centered.
 

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Re: Nothing spins!

booger said:
So the VTM really does work well as long as your not high centered.
Very interesting.

Typically if you are high centered, you are putting less weight on the wheels (since the vehicle is supported from the frame/floorpan) and it is easier to spin the tires.
 

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Re: Nothing spins!

booger said:
You could hammer it (which I only tried once in forward and once in reverse), and it just sat there and groaned.
It was like hooking onto a building and trying to pull it. Nothing turned, nothing moved. There just isn't enough low end torque to move it and when using the VTM, the traction is pretty amazing so there isn't enough torque to spin the wheels.
I don't get this.

It does not sound like there's not enough torque to pull/push the truck out. It does sound like there's some setting in the drivetrain that when "no wheels have traction, no wheels get power".

Now I have not been in this situation, but given my penchant for exploring, I may been that situation sometime. It just sounds alot like an electric or mechanical switch, rather than a torque issue.

Anyone know the intricacies of the VTM system works and how this situation may have resulted in a no wheels spinning situation?
 

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The VTM only controles the rear wheels.
The rear can not turn unless at least one front wheel is turning.

As for "no wheels have traction, no wheels get power", there is no way to measure traction without applying power.
 

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My experience was in very wet snow as I imagine Pete's was as well. So the traction was actually pretty good.
With my truck, I had to give it quite a bit juice to get it to spin and being a deisel it has loads of torque.
Once I pulled the pilot out and put it back into reverse, locked the VTM and then went a little harder at the drift. With the RPM up and a little run at it, it made it through and the neighbor said it started spinning at the end just before I broke through (I was not hammering it hard as I didn't want to do any damage to a new vehicle).
So if you can get the RPM up a little, you're fine. But if you are at a dead stop and very stuck, the VTM supplies more traction than the car can handle. I would think that light snow/ice with a hill or really slick mud would be the ticket for the VTM.
So be wise and use the VTM BEFORE you need it. If you need and then use it, it might be too late.
This was a once in 5 year situation here in Colorado, and next time I'll know better.
Also be aware that the all the plastic hanging down in the front end act as a big scoop shovel. Not a good design for deep snow.
The neigbhor tore his off on his CRV (well, actually I tore it of while dragging him through the snow backwards, oops ;{)
Well the snow is all gone and all the Hondas on the block are roaming free!!
 

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booger said:

So be wise and use the VTM BEFORE you need it. If you need and then use it, it might be too late.
Thats the nice part about the VTM-4, if you need it it will come on automaticaly.
So like any 4x4, just keep some momentum and you should be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes, booger's right. Nothing was wrong, it's just that the traction was higher than the available torque needed to spin the tires. Just like if you were in D1 or R, VTM locked, and applying full braking force while you're at full throttle - those tires won't turn (or spin), snow or pavement.

Yes, something was spinning, the torque converter. At full throttle, the engine was about 2500 rpm's and creeping up. I didn't leave it floored very long as that creates a lot of heat from the torque converter. Now if the RPMs had hit the VTEC threshold, there may have been enough power to spin the tires. Not that it would have helped me get un-stuck.

If I was high-centered, then it would have been easy to spin, since not much weight would be on the tires. My tires were each in a hole that gripped the tread very well, providing a lot of traction. Once I broke those holes open and dug a little behind each tire, I backed right out, no problem.

I usually leave this kind of playing to my Wrangler, which I just shift into low range when this happens. But sometimes I like to test the limits....

-Pete
 

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01r1 said:
If I was high-centered, then it would have been easy to spin, since not much weight would be on the tires. My tires were each in a hole that gripped the tread very well, providing a lot of traction. Once I broke those holes open and dug a little behind each tire, I backed right out, no problem.
Much clearer now. My interpretation from the initial posts was that this was happening when people were high-centered.

If high-centered, then there must be at least one wheel that would spin (perhaps spin freely).

If all wheels break through a crust and get stuck, then I see where there would be too much resistence on each wheel to break free without a low gear.
 
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