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Syncro Off-Road Abilities vs. Competition
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randywebb
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:37 pm    Post subject: Syncro Off-Road Abilities vs. Competition Reply with quote

rather than a poll & argument about definitions, how about comparing the abilities of a Syncro to other vehicles

we've all seen the pics, the videos, etc. but (for example) can a Syncro complete the Rubicon Trail?

What common vehicles can it be compared to in mud, snow, sand? (things like a Toyota 4Runner, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota Land Cruiser, etc.)

I know some of you have extensive experience in various 4wd vehicles, so...
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:59 pm    Post subject: syncro Reply with quote

Blue Bay Bus OK I have my syncro, ok it's no rock crawler, but the last time out my friend had a jeep wrangler 4 cylinder 5 speed big tires but no lockers. well we found a hard trail he got stuck had to pull him out boy was his face red. That said I also have a toyota v6 5 speed king cab lift big tires and detroit lockers, that will go every place the syncro can go and a few where the syncro would never go. But I can't sleep in the truck or cook, they both get the same mileage. Now with all that i'll take the syncro every time, more fun less filling! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Syncro Off-Road Abilities Reply with quote

randywebb wrote:
rather than a poll & argument about definitions...


I know right?


The one big factor here though is hardware, with lockers a syncro will be far more capable on really uneven terrain than a syncro with no lockers.
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randywebb
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes, let's assume it has a rear locker
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SyncroGhia
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is THE question and there really isn't an easy answer.

The reason for no easy answer is that these days, very few people run a completely stock Syncro T3. They're all raised, or have bigger wheels/tyres or have a more powerful engine etc.

In stock trim, the Syncro is fairly capable but you run into difficulties with overhangs and the front bumper gets hit just about everywhere.

Without a difflocks, they're fairly useless offroad.

With a rear locker and Mud Terrain tyres, you can get just about all places that a stock LandRover Defender will but there are places where you'll get stuck with your front bumper and lack of ground clearance where he'll get through and vica-versa. Having the difflock means that we don't need to have all 4 wheels on the ground where as he does just to keep traction.

I would happily compare it with any 4WD van/jeep etc up to about 2004 when Land Rover brought out the D3 with lots of electronics etc and I've seen these things go places I know that I can't with Limey. I'm not saying that Limey is better than other syncros but it's fairly jacked up, has more hp/torque than most and I'm not scared of bending it.

I don't know what the Rubicon Trail is but if it's a lot more serious than this (it's always worse than it looks on the vids!), I'd make sure that you're very well prepared!


Link


I got wedged between the bank and a rock on this pass and rather than break things, I gave up and decided to ask for help just before the beginning of this vid as I had both difflocks in, the right front wheel was up against the bank and the rears had dug a hole. This is the only time I wish I had had a winch on the van.

MG
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rubicon Trail...

http://www.rubicon-trail.com/

RonC
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok I've just watched a vid on you tube about the Rubicon Trail.

That's fairly serious offroading.


Link


Would I attempt to take Limey on that? No.

Would I attempt it with a stock Syncro, you're havin' a laugh!

I wouldn't mind having a go in the Lightweight once it's built though but that'll be on 35" tyres.

MG
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ghia is that your vid??
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

another idea is to compare a Syncro to a late model Subaru Forester - the best of the AWD compact SUVs
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

randywebb wrote:
another idea is to compare a Syncro to a late model Subaru Forester - the best of the AWD compact SUVs


There's no comparison. The Forester has no diff locks and no granny gear - and no better approach angle than a Syncro. A Syncro(locker model) has excellent off road prowess. It may not match a Wrangler Rubicon, but it is more capable off road than a traditional 4wd truck with no diff locks.

D
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's going to depend on all sorts of conditions, but the driver has a lot to do with it too. I know the Discovery is quite off road capable and this Syncro in the video makes it look like silly, could be editing too though...


Link


There are lots of good videos of this section of road with all sorts of vehicles that have a hard time with it, just watch the related stuff
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 6:23 pm    Post subject: syncro Reply with quote

Blue Bay Bus OK we have talked about 4x4 lets talk about trails, Moab rim run my syncro did it well, my toyota did it good. Now lets talk about Moab and the golden spike trail my toyota went across the golden crack the first time, next year I tired to take my syncro on that trail. Well no go I had to be winched over it, and put in a few dents on it. Will I ever try that trail again in the syncro. NO! So I hope this area is familiar with all ,two of the greatest trails in Moab. ps. I don,t know if I would take either one of my vehicles on the rubicon trail. I like to go out and have fun, not go to the body shop. And isn't this what it is all about, lets all have fun, no matter what we drive , and try to bring it home in one peace! Very Happy
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randywebb
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

no, take the driver out - we are discussing vehicles only

so, the Syncro is in between a Sube Forester and a Jeep Wrangler... in all respects?? snow, mud?

what about a Jeep Grand Cherokee?

a 4wd Toyota Pickup?
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

randywebb wrote:
no, take the driver out - we are discussing vehicles only

so, the Syncro is in between a Sube Forester and a Jeep Wrangler... in all respects?? snow, mud?

what about a Jeep Grand Cherokee?

a 4wd Toyota Pickup?


In terms of pure traction a Syncro with a rear locker and a healthy viscous coupling ranks higher than a 4x4 with no lockers. Put in the front locker and a solid shaft with decoupler and there is nothing better - in terms of pure traction. As you can see from the other posts, front overhang, limited articulation, and limited tire size clearance are the main drawbacks to a Syncro. It counters that with excellent ground clearance, particularly under the axles, a short wheelbase for good break over clearance, and a relatively low center of gravity.

In the snow, where the rough terrain factor is taken out, a Syncro with locker is one of the most capable vehicles I can think of. In fact, I would say this is where a Syncro is truly in its element. Once again, a drive system that allows for inter-axle locking, high ground clearance, even weight distribution, relatively narrow tires, and good gearing. These all make for a formidable snow vehicle.

D
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

D Clymer wrote:

In the snow, where the rough terrain factor is taken out, a Syncro with locker is one of the most capable vehicles I can think of.


On slick roads, IMO, lockers are a bit of a hindrance as they have a tendency to induce under-steer.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jackbombay wrote:
D Clymer wrote:

In the snow, where the rough terrain factor is taken out, a Syncro with locker is one of the most capable vehicles I can think of.


On slick roads, IMO, lockers are a bit of a hindrance as they have a tendency to induce under-steer.


True. In fact with a front locker the vehicle becomes difficult to steer, period. But for going up a steep snowy hill or pushing through heavy, deep snow, the lockers will make all the difference.

David
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of these days I'm sure I'll add a Syncro to my line up. I'm not a hater.
I'd love to have one for the mud season in N. NM and to drive in the snow.

I've had many 4x4s in the past which is what I was into before VWs.
For the sake of fareness to the Syncro I wouldn't compare any of my old 4x4s to any Syncro.
They are two different types of vehicles in my book.
While a built to the hilt Syncro is certainly a badass rig, I would never expect the same out of it, that I got out of my 72 Bronco or 73 CJ-5 or 76 Scout or my favorite, 87 Toyota 4x4, to name a few.

I wouldn't compare the Syncro to a car(Suby, any of 'em) or a Jeep SUV of any type either. The Jeep SUVs are shit and always have been, comparing one to a Yugo would be a travesty to the Yugo.

The Syncro is in it's own class.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll be a dissenter on the Syncro's capabilities against a stock unlocked SUV. The achilles heel is a serious lack of suspension travel. For 5 years I was part of a group that regularly evaluated offroad vehicles for Toyota. We used Anza-Borrego and the Miller Jeep Trail for those in the area. Vehicles with lots of travel did better the worse the obstacles and worse the trail condition. Driving my 2wd syncro, feeling the suspension and watching the extreme syncro vids i get the clear impression these things are way stiff and noncompliant and the locker will counter it somewhat, but that is a very serious shortcoming for serious offroad work.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IdahoDoug wrote:
I'll be a dissenter on the Syncro's capabilities against a stock unlocked SUV. The achilles heel is a serious lack of suspension travel. For 5 years I was part of a group that regularly evaluated offroad vehicles for Toyota. We used Anza-Borrego and the Miller Jeep Trail for those in the area. Vehicles with lots of travel did better the worse the obstacles and worse the trail condition. Driving my 2wd syncro, feeling the suspension and watching the extreme syncro vids i get the clear impression these things are way stiff and noncompliant and the locker will counter it somewhat, but that is a very serious shortcoming for serious offroad work.


I don't disagree that articulation is important for true off road ability, but I have seen many situations where traditional 4wd trucks with no lockers have ended up with one wheel on each axle spinning and have become stuck in a place where a Syncro with the rear diff locked (and a good viscous coupling) would have been okay. Even with good articulation, it's easy for wheels on opposite corners of the vehicle to become unloaded on rough terrain. My experience with Syncros is that the traction is very good with the rear differential locked. It may teeter around on less than four wheels when the terrain gets rough, but it doesn't get stuck either.

I know you know your 4wds and I respect that. I'll be interested to see what your impressions of your Syncro are once your VC is working.

David


Last edited by D Clymer on Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:23 pm    Post subject: Re: syncro Reply with quote

I drove my syncro across the Golden crack without being winched or use of a tow rope 10 years ago. It did take several tries though. I also did Pritchet Canyon but did require a tow strap in several spots. Now that I have a solid shaft instead of a VC I would do it again in a heartbeat.

joseph928 wrote:
Blue Bay Bus OK we have talked about 4x4 lets talk about trails, Moab rim run my syncro did it well, my toyota did it good. Now lets talk about Moab and the golden spike trail my toyota went across the golden crack the first time, next year I tired to take my syncro on that trail. Well no go I had to be winched over it, and put in a few dents on it. Will I ever try that trail again in the syncro. NO! So I hope this area is familiar with all ,two of the greatest trails in Moab. ps. I don,t know if I would take either one of my vehicles on the rubicon trail. I like to go out and have fun, not go to the body shop. And isn't this what it is all about, lets all have fun, no matter what we drive , and try to bring it home in one peace! Very Happy
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