skumar83

Gear ratio for desert driving - High or Low?

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I am currently running a high gear ratio (lower numerical) of 3.07 and have found no major issues while desert driving. However, since I had increased my tire size from 29" to a 31", and since I am looking in the near future at a possible differential replacement, I wanted your suggestions on whether it would be advisable to go for a lower gear ratio (higher numerical) like 3.54, 3.73 or even 4.10.

What I have understood from reading online is that when you mention a 3.07 gear ratio, the drive shaft would rotate 3.07 times for one rotation of the wheel. So that means that while driving on the highway you would get better mileage as the drive shaft is rotating less as compared to a 3.54 gear ratio. In the US, all the forums suggest going for a lower gear ratio (higher numerical) like 3.73 or 4.10 as a minimum, but then their offroading activity is more into rock crawling where you would need the car engine to be in right bandwidth of approx 3000 rpm so that you have maximum torque but with low speed to climb the obstacle.

 

How would the gear ratios matter while doing desert driving where momentum is the main thing. By lowering the gear ratio to 3.54 or 3.73 I presume my speed would on the 1st gear would reduce which would reduce the performance.

 

So bottom line for desert driving is whether a high gear ratio (lower numerical) better than a low gear ratio (higher numerical) ?

Edited by skumar83
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I understood your concern and as per many online forums which suggest Dana 4.1 is the best for offroad, you also need to remember that Jeep has huge aftermarket parts market and they need to sell those parts by showing amazing videos.

If I am in your place, I would test it for few sand off-road drives and see what diff good/bad this 29-31 is resulting and then jump to any conclusion. For the road, you can simply use the phone GPS to gauge the speed difference once and note that in mind so that you don't get fines.

Remember the OEM parts that came with the vehicle may not be the best in performance, but made for best in reliability and long life usage. Switching to an aftermarket part may compromise those points to a great extent, so do it if it's an absolute necessity.

If you can still climb Faya from the front like a walk in a park and from right slipface with little push, then do you really need any more upgrades......?

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@Gaurav I totally agree that as long as the vehicle climbs sand hills like Faya easily then one should not tinker with a working setup. 

 

 Also I do not intend to change the gear ratio as that would mean also changing the rear differential ratio.

 

But since there is this distinct possibility of replacing my front differential I started trying to find a rebuild kit for the 3.07 gear ratio, and found that it's quite difficult to get as it's very unpopular among the US Offroader.

 

But @Gaurav coming back to the question, you had issues in your Nissan Patrol where the 1st gear was very short. Would you happen to know what was the gear ratio on that year model and later year models? Was it a low gear ratio (high number) that was causing the problem?

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You seem to be confusing diff gear ratio with trans gear ratio. Two separate things.

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5 hours ago, desertdude said:

You seem to be confusing diff gear ratio with trans gear ratio. Two separate things.

@desertdude is right, but I will add that messing about with final drive ratios is generally a bad idea, since it always upsets gearbox ratios,and you might end up with a result that is opposite the one you were hoping for. If you want more power, do some engine mods or reprogram the ECU with a performance tune. 

 

  

  

 

 

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@desertdude, yes possibly I am getting confused.

@treks, my intention is not to modify any of the gear ratios. Its just that since I am have to replace my front differential, i was trying to get an identical pinion and gear as a replacement. Due to the difficulty in finding it, I started reading the reason behind it and found that most people move to a lower gear ratio.


Again, my intention is not to spend any additional money and definitely not on something that would worsen the situation. Its just that I wanted some opinion or views on the topic.

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go with original as its a manual you can alway rev up to redlines and squeeze that last bit of juice in each gear....

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as there will be major changes in the cars behaviour and its consumption...basically you will have to learn again how to control that beast...

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