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Having a refusal or getting completely stuck is something nobody should feel guilty about, since it's part of the off-roading game. It’s also an essential experience in your learning. Somehow, as long as you can understand what happened so you won’t repeat the same mistake over and over, it’s a must to improve. There are hundreds of reasons why you can get stuck. Some of them don’t directly depend on the driver (it can be related to an engine issue, the terrain, the climate, etc.), while others are just mistakes. Some of them are clear and obvious, others are more unpredictable and difficult to identify… As a big fan of @Rahimdad’s What Went Wrong ? thread, it came to my mind that we could simply adapt his brilliant idea by analyzing, not accidents, but stucks, and try to make together a list of all the possible reasons behind them. Please do share here your guesses, explanations... and videos. I’ll start easy, with one of my best stucks this year, which happened in Area 53 two weeks ago (I borrowed the footage from @Javier M). So... who can tell us why I got stuck here ? Stuck_1.mp4
Let me introduce myself first. My name is Rahimdad and I have been on the off-road scene now for over 10 years. I am registered with EMSF (Emirates Motor Sports Federation) and I have marshaled many events including the Gulf News Fun Drive, Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Dubai Desert Challenge and the Dubai Desert Moto X events. Now that you know me a bit better, lets find out what are modifications, basically modifications are any changes made to your vehicle which change the characteristics of the vehicle from its original built. There are power modifications, which change the power and torque ratio of your stock vehicle, some of these can be done without detection while others are visible and illegal in UAE. The ride height of the vehicle can be modified, and where some people prefer to lower their rides as a sports modification, the off-road community looks at increasing the height of the 4x4 for better clearance. Than there are visual modifications which change the look of your vehicle, this can be achieved through some body kits, spoilers or something as simple as stickers. So with all my experience what would I recommend for off-road modifications. many a times I have seen people who get interested in off-roading and want to experience it first hand. First things first you need a 4x4 which would serve your purpose, so you ask a few experienced drivers and they give you a few models to choose from. Than they start asking for mods for their chosen vehicle and they would go for the mods ending up spending a small fortune. Than they would venture out to the desert with a group who would guide him through the terrain. They would either feel that the small fortune they have spent in making their ride does not perform well as it is getting stuck or its not quite the sport for them. Guess what, this small fortune they have spent is a complete waste, as now they do not want to pursue the sport for one reason or the other and they would never get back the money spent to built the vehicle, which means a total loss. I have never made any power mods and never felt the need to upgrade the power of any of my off-road vehicles due to my style of driving. As I have not made any power mods I am not the best person to comment on this either. For small power gains which would not be noticeable and would not get you in trouble with the law, you can install platinum plugs with high performance wire set. Another small gain from changing the stock filter to an after market one with similar look and feel as your original air filter (cone filters are against the law, although sold in a few shops). Changing the exhaust pipe give you moderate gains, but a nice sound to your car added with a cone filter (straight pipes are also not allowed as cat back system is important). he main gains would come when you change the header and reprogram your vehicle (also not allowed in UAE). This is for information purpose from my understanding and I have never made any power mods and I will not recommend it to anyone. The lesser engine power you have, the more scope you have of learning and the better you can perform with a higher spec vehicle. I feel a lift is important for some of the vehicles, specially the newer ones, but you cannot make any mods on a new car without losing warranty. Trading Enterprise, Jeep are the only one who void only the warranty for the suspension if you make any mods through them and loads their system with the warranty of the company that you are using to change the suspension system. There are many ways to lift a vehicle, mostly through aftermarket suspension kits which come with a warranty of their own. in my case I had lifted my Jeep Commander 5.7 Hemi with Coil Spring Spacers which were the only option, this gave me 2 inch more of clearance and the ability to put in slightly bigger tires. On my Land Rover Discovery i did not lift it at all, since I really liked the feel of the original soft suspensions and I found a way to manage my Discovery without having any major issues. For my pathfinder I have just gone to one of the Sharjah suspension shops and got it done really cheap by just changing the springs to slightly harder and about 2 inches bigger than the original springs. With bigger tires I have managed enough height to give me a peace of mind in any terrain. With my Pathfinder I do feel that there is slight issue with the tire rubbing on full turns, but I try to manage it without further mods. I have never tried to change the looks of my car, and it is also something which is not allowed by the laws in UAE, even stickers are not allowed and at the time of passing they can fail you car for a simple sticker. This is just a short write up to make people aware that you do not need to mod your car before bringing it out to the desert, only make the mods you feel necessary when you are serious about the sport. Don't think that overly modified vehicles will give you knowledge on how to treat a terrain and navigate through it. I will end with one of my friend's example, he had a Pajero 3.8 liter 2008 model and the only modification he ever made was a steel plate on the rear of his vehicle to protect the rear bumper, this was a bolt on application that could be removed at the time of passing. He has manged all terrains with us and is very capable with minimum modification. Everybody, please feel free to comment and add to this thread, or start a new thread on this section if you feel you have something new to add.