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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for a some suggestions from the group. I'm looking to buy a Pilot (my first) to leave at my house in Cabo San Lucas. The plan is to leave a car there to use when I'm visiting. The roads are pretty rough - mostly dirt/sand, big ruts/potholes. I'd like to be able to drive out on the beach also. I'm learning a lift kit wont really lift much - just the body and could cause some trouble with the axel. That being said - open to ideas/suggestions on how to modify a pilot for my use.

thanks everyone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lift kits on a Pilot is a frame lift, not a body lift. That is the nature of unibody vehicles (Pilots) over body on frames vehicles(Jeep Wrangle). The upside is you raise the ground clearance with a frame lift. The downside with a frame lift is a degradation in stability. The higher you raise the frame the higher the center of gravity of the vehicle making more likely to roll over. That is where the driver has to be aware and take it easy in certain situations. A frame lift also can cause problems with axels due to the angles they end up at.

A body lift is when the only the vehicle body is lifted while the frame/motor/transmission are not lifted.

Frankly if it were me and the vehicle were not going to be used that much I would look for a good used vehicle maybe a later Gen 1 or Gen 2. A lift kit would give you more ground clearance if that is your worry. A good portable air compressor is a must, since driving on sand the tire pressure needs to be lowered. You will want to pressure up the tires for the rough roads.
Thanks for your thoughts. I’m mostly concerned about driving in the sand - so not sure I’ll go with a lift. Also bcs I’m driving the car down from San Francisco (1500 miles) I don’t really want to change the driving dynamics too much. Any recommendations on what model years to look for? I’m thinking something around 2010-2014 to keep me under $15,000.

any thoughts on good tires for sand?
I think a skid plate would be a good investment if I’m not going to lift it.
Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Since I don't live in ocean country the only sand I drive on is dry sand. Either way, the width of the tire isn't all that important. The important thing is lowering the tire pressure to around 20 pounds. I have been to the little Sahara and found that 20 psi front and 18 psi rear worked well with 20" rims. Sand driving is more about low tire pressure which lengthens/increases the tread contact with the sand.

I am however moving to an 18" rim for other off road purposes with a AT rated tire. I'm not looking at rock crawler tires. Probably going with the WildPeak by Falken at this point. I want more sidewall for off road, rough road.

If you are going to be doing a lot of beach/sand driving you might want to look at installing a vehicle air compressor and make sure to buy a full sized spare. The donut spare is worthless off road or in the sand. It's pretty much useless anyway.

Also driving in/on sand is tougher on the transmission so I would install an ATF auxiliary cooler, if the vehicle you buy does not have one.

A skid plate would probably be a good investment. It may be hard to find though for those years. I have one on my 2020 Passport touring for off road, as well as a Cat theft deterrent.
Thank you! Great idea on the transmission cooler - I’ll definitely do that because it’s hot and humid in that part of Mexico. Any thoughts on which gear pilot or buy or stay away from?
 
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