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Author Topic: How is AWD in sand (Race Point Beach)?  (Read 4384 times)
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anderdea
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« on: August 18, 2004, 09:50:16 AM »

I have a 2004 AWD with the larger wheels and tires (I think 17") and trailor towing package.   I want to take it out onto the sand at Race Point in Provincetown, MA. Has anyone driven on the beach with their Aztek and more speciffically at Race Point?  If so, will the AWD handle semi soft sand?

Thanks, Don  
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HotRod01
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2004, 09:57:48 AM »

I don't think you will have a problem.  The AWD should get you through easily.  If you are struggling at all Shocked STOP before you get stuck.  Deflate the tires to about 15 psi.  Then slowly try again.  The lower pressure allows the tires to float on the sand easier.  Once on solid ground pump up the tires immeadiatly!  You said you have the trailer package so that shouldn't be a problem.  The trick is to not spin your tires.

Have fun!  I have not done this with my Azteks, so you know.  I have seen a picture of a 'Tek on sand.  I belive it was a FWD Aztek too.  I want to try it too.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2004, 09:58:31 AM by HotRod01 » Logged
chameleon-Kat
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2004, 10:09:46 AM »

Race point huh?  Hhmm, We were there this past spring. We went out to the lighthouse but were driven there in other vehicles.  As I recall there was at least a couple places where it might be real dicey getting thru as far as ground clearance.  Maybe Rich (AZteXtasy)  would have a better idea.  Ray
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AZteXtasy
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2004, 04:42:38 PM »

Never been there with the Az
I think the dunes woould be a problem, but if you stay close to the water near the beach, it is pretty hard packed
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MY Aztek Purchases
2001 GT 1SC    > MSRP $27,245 > Paid $18,995
2003 1SC Rally > MSRP $27,845 > Paid $19,500
2004 1SC AWD > MSRP $31,760 > Paid $22,000
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anderdea
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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2004, 09:04:58 AM »

Thanks for the comments.  I'm hoping that it will be somewhat firm sand as I have seen a number of 4WD trucks out there and I'm sure there is some type of packed sand raod. Was in a Whale Watch boat about two weeks ago and say the vechicles form a distance so it was hard to tell if there were any SUV/SRV  Wink type vechicles.  
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0aztek3
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2004, 07:19:12 PM »

I've taken my Aztek all the way down South Padre beach (60 miles,4x4 only section). No problems handling deep sand, hard packed etc. even on the factory 16" Firestone Affinitys at 35psi.(I've since upgraded to BFG Radial Long Trail T/As) When I hit really deep soft sand, I began to bog down some but kept the pedal down and the Tek churned through it. Even coming to a stop in soft sand, my Tek was still able to claw forward without digging in. I think the Tek's power deficit really helps here or the AWD is just very well suited to the engine/drivetrain. I lean toward the latter.

 HotRod makes a good point to deflate your tires a little for better bite. Although I would be careful with the 17" tires you have. They have a skinnier and probably stiffer sidewall. Probably better to stay near the water on the hard packed sand to be safe. Have fun!
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trouble
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« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2004, 08:20:13 PM »

We drove the beach in Daytona and they had cones set up on the softer sand where they suggested you not drive. We saw a couple of people bogged down in it that didn't follow those suggestions........
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JAztek
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« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2004, 09:54:44 PM »

We can't drive on the beach around here so I've never taken my Tek out on the beach, but Ive driven out on the jetties with fairly deep sand drifts, and my AWD has performed well compared with other 4WDs. I was worried about my paint job being sand blasted by the fierce wind though. Hey, have fun!
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Maroon '01 1sb+ AWD & Tow package, Leather 6-way power bucket seating,
Remote Pioneer 10 cd changer, 16" alloy wheels, XM-Radio
Judy (&Jerry), Central Oregon Coast
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HotRod01
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« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2004, 10:33:48 AM »

I remember reading a article that tested a bunch of 4x4 together.  The 'vous was the best in the loose stuff!  Sand and light mud that is.  Cheesy  
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anderdea
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« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2004, 07:54:18 AM »

I expect to receive the booklet sometime this week from the Park Ranger that spells out what I must have to take the Tek out on to the sand. I know of a few items: 1.5" rope or a chain, large flat 1.5" thick board for putting the jack on and a full size spare tire.  The later may prohibit us from doing it during this vacation as I am pretty sure the Tek, even with the towing package and 17" wheels, comes with a mini spare tire.  I don't want to spend the bucks right now to get a full size spare and matching alloy wheel. If I get the time I may try to find a steel wheel and tire that can be used just for that purpose but I need to get a little smarter regarding the size wheel and offset (if needed) before I buy.  I will be ready for next year, however.  In April the National Park issues 3000 Off Raod passes that are good until November. They do sell out real fast however as the Race Point area is a pretty good place for stripped bass fishing.

Don
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0aztek3
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« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2004, 02:18:35 PM »

Any GM 16" steel wheel from an Aztek, Rendezvous, 00+ Impala, 00+ Monte Carlo, 97+ Grand Prix, 97+ Intrigue, 98+ LeSabre, 98+Bonneville is an exact fit. A local salvage yard should have plenty of these for cheap. They are 5 x 115mm bolt pattern. You'll need a 215/70/16 tire to match stock diameter.

15" GM wheels will NOT fit over the AWD 12" front brakes though. Found that out when I was looking at 15" wheels to allow for meatier tires.
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arthurb
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« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2004, 07:56:57 PM »

Quote
I don't think you will have a problem.  The AWD should get you through easily.  If you are struggling at all Shocked STOP before you get stuck.  Deflate the tires to about 15 psi.  Then slowly try again.  The lower pressure allows the tires to float on the sand easier.  Once on solid ground pump up the tires immeadiatly!  You said you have the trailer package so that shouldn't be a problem.  The trick is to not spin your tires.
As someone who lives just a couple of miles from Daytona Beach, where almost any car can drive safely on the beach, my advice is different.

As long as you have forward momentum DON'T STOP.  The main reason most people people get stuck in the sand is because they STOP. Of course watch your revs and don't damage the engine, but as long as there is any forward movement keep going..  Getting the vehicle going again once stopped takes a lot of effort.  

Another major reason people get stuck is because they try and turn too sharply. Make a wide turn.  Turning the wheel hard can cause the wheels to dig into the sand rather than pull you across.

Getting a car unstuck in soft sand is no fun, especially when you know that you got stuck because you did something stupid.  Luckily I have never been stuck, but with my previous car (a Suzuki Sidekick 4wd) I've been in a lot of sand and pulled a lot of people out...

 
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anderdea
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« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2004, 09:43:33 AM »

Well after all this, the only way I will be able to make it happen is to change my Tires and possibly wheels.  At this stage with only 17,000 miles on the tires I don't want to make the move.  Maybe when I replace the tires.  The "required wheel and tire" combination is a rim dia of 15" or larger, tire size of 235/65RXX or 225/70RXX.   The info sheet leans more to the 70 series width.  The tires that come from the factory are 225/60R17, to narrow, and the Tek would be throughly inspected before I could go onto the sand.  National Park is pretty strict in their requirements, including watching a video before they will issue a permit.  Just for info sake, additional Items required are a tire guage able to register 5 p.s.i or lower, large heavy duty shovel, all 5 wheels and tires matching the above requirements, a 14', 1.5"wide tow strap and a 10" X 12" X 1.5" piece of wood for the jack to sit on if needed.

Don
« Last Edit: August 24, 2004, 09:45:04 AM by anderdea » Logged
JAztek
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« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2004, 09:48:31 AM »

Just be aware of beach conditions. Driveability probably depends on the characteristics of the individual beach.
    Years ago when people could legally drive on the Oregon's beaches, we drove for miles on the beach daily to scrounge driftwood to buck for firewood for our own use and to sell- with a big ol' 2x2 pickup no less and got stuck only once.
     In this case, the pu sank fast. The sand appeared a solid base but water was running just under the surface making quicksand. AWD or 4WD would not have helped.  There is an area on the beach just N. of Yachats OR where many vehicles have literally disappeared, including a tow truck.  :blink: As long as the vehicle keeps moving there isn't a problem.  
     
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Maroon '01 1sb+ AWD & Tow package, Leather 6-way power bucket seating,
Remote Pioneer 10 cd changer, 16" alloy wheels, XM-Radio
Judy (&Jerry), Central Oregon Coast
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