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  #1  
Old 03-15-2015, 10:43 AM
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HDC (Hill Descent Control) is great!

I like to take my JGC to Hollister Hills SVRA to practice trail skills, so far about 5 times in the year I've owned my rig. Like f1anatic and others whose WK2 JGCs aren't pavement queens, I take mine on the trail and want to learn some of its limits - without getting too close to the performance boundary (like a rollover).

Here's a map of the SVRA: Map of Upper Ranch

Two weeks ago it was raining and very muddy, and those Goodyear Forteras are pretty lame. I tried to climb up to the Hector Heights Overlook, the highest point in the SVRA Park, but climbing the West Trail I only got as far up as the upper intersection of Dry Trough Trail and couldn't climb any higher: wheel spin, lots of mud, and sliding to the left and closer to the cliff, she just wasn't going to get up there. At least, I didn't want to risk it.

I had to back down in the slippery mud, and that was nerve wracking. Again, without HDC. Controlling my slipping and sliding, trying to stay away from the cliff's edge... I gained a healthy respect for Isaac Newton and the laws of gravity. This was before I'd played around and got familiar with the HDC.

But the other day it was dry and I went to Hollister Hills again. I never aired down (not much sidewall to protect my 20" wheels) and getting to the top was a piece of cake. At the top I broke out my owner's manual and read how to use the HDC, and climbing down was such a piece of cake that I really should have used it in the mud if I had only known! Also in Reverse it works very well. I did a few of the black diamond trails such as Fremonita Road and some unmarked trails not on the map. Fun.

Our WK2 JGCs are so capable off-road.

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  #2  
Old 03-15-2015, 01:26 PM
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Re: HDC (Hill Descent Control) is great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by echo7tango View Post
I like to take my JGC to Hollister Hills SVRA to practice trail skills, so far about 5 times in the year I've owned my rig. Like f1anatic and others whose WK2 JGCs aren't pavement queens, I take mine on the trail and want to learn some of its limits - without getting too close to the performance boundary (like a rollover).

Here's a map of the SVRA: Map of Upper Ranch

Two weeks ago it was raining and very muddy, and those Goodyear Forteras are pretty lame. I tried to climb up to the Hector Heights Overlook, the highest point in the SVRA Park, but climbing the West Trail I only got as far up as the upper intersection of Dry Trough Trail and couldn't climb any higher: wheel spin, lots of mud, and sliding to the left and closer to the cliff, she just wasn't going to get up there. At least, I didn't want to risk it.

I had to back down in the slippery mud, and that was nerve wracking. Again, without HDC. Controlling my slipping and sliding, trying to stay away from the cliff's edge... I gained a healthy respect for Isaac Newton and the laws of gravity. This was before I'd played around and got familiar with the HDC.

But the other day it was dry and I went to Hollister Hills again. I never aired down (not much sidewall to protect my 20" wheels) and getting to the top was a piece of cake. At the top I broke out my owner's manual and read how to use the HDC, and climbing down was such a piece of cake that I really should have used it in the mud if I had only known! Also in Reverse it works very well. I did a few of the black diamond trails such as Fremonita Road and some unmarked trails not on the map. Fun.

Our WK2 JGCs are so capable off-road.
They are very capable for a stock SUV. Im jealous you are close enough to Holister Hills to enjoy it that often.
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Old 03-17-2015, 06:11 AM
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Re: HDC (Hill Descent Control) is great!

Thanks for the reference bro.

If you consider doing this more often and continue to wear out those Forteras, an investment into some self-recovery tools is prudent. I got these (x 2 sets) after I got stuck in snow in my backyard this winter (and I am not even from Boston). Now, there are a few manufacturers of similar products and everyone swears by Maxtrax but one also has to be price conscious and the TREDs come with lifetime warranty (not sure whose lifetime?). I will eventually get myself a winch too but it will be an uncool, external one, that is not permanently mounted. I ain't chopping my front bumper.

TRED 800 | TRED
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Old 03-17-2015, 09:45 AM
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Re: HDC (Hill Descent Control) is great!

Interesting post, thanks.
btw, assuming you bought your Jeep in the Bay Area, where did you buy it and do you recommend the dealer? Where do you take it for service?
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Old 03-17-2015, 11:49 PM
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Re: HDC (Hill Descent Control) is great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by f1anatic View Post
Thanks for the reference bro.

If you consider doing this more often and continue to wear out those Forteras, an investment into some self-recovery tools is prudent. I got these (x 2 sets) after I got stuck in snow in my backyard this winter (and I am not even from Boston). Now, there are a few manufacturers of similar products and everyone swears by Maxtrax but one also has to be price conscious and the TREDs come with lifetime warranty (not sure whose lifetime?). I will eventually get myself a winch too but it will be an uncool, external one, that is not permanently mounted. I ain't chopping my front bumper.

TRED 800 | TRED

TREDs - cool. I'm also considering MupuTrax: MUPUTRAX - Multi-purpose Recovery Tracks, Sand Ladders, Camping and 4x4 Gear, and of course MaxTrax.

As for the winch, I think it makes more sense to not mount it. It is more flexible that way. Besides if you bury the front of your rig into the mud, your winch is buried too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikita View Post
Interesting post, thanks.
btw, assuming you bought your Jeep in the Bay Area, where did you buy it and do you recommend the dealer? Where do you take it for service?
Stevens Creek Jeep, in San Jose. I'm pretty happy with them. About ten days ago I posted this:
Stevens Creek Jeep in San Jose, CA: I'm happy, how about others?
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Old 03-18-2015, 03:32 AM
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Re: HDC (Hill Descent Control) is great!

Stevens Creek Jeep, in San Jose. I'm pretty happy with them. About ten days ago I posted this:
Stevens Creek Jeep in San Jose, CA: I'm happy, how about others?[/QUOTE]

Thanks. Some of those Stevens Creek dealers traditionally have, in the past, had a pretty shady reputation, but I'm glad your experience has been positive.
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Old 03-19-2015, 07:49 AM
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Re: HDC (Hill Descent Control) is great!

Great post! One of the things I have learned is if you push the HDC button it gives you instructions on the display on how to engage. I am not the best at reading owners manuals
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Old 03-19-2015, 08:57 AM
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Re: HDC (Hill Descent Control) is great!

I love Hill Descent Control. I have a home high on a hilltop, approached via a 1.5mile private gravel driveway. It is really steep, and most of it only gets morning sun. The cost of snow-clearing and sanding such a long driveway is prohibitive, so I only get it done occasionally—e.g. for an oil delivery. I have found in previous years that winter tires make a huge difference when ascending or descending the hill, but I routinely used snow chains for the descent. When I bought my GC Summit I was really hopeful that the HDC would work well enough for me not to use the chains so often.

Well, so far I have not needed the chains at all! I did confirm early in the season that I would still need winter tires (the stock Forturas were awful once the temperature dropped in December). Once the snow started to fall I found that 4WD low was helpful. When conditions began to turn icy in January I started using HDC, and have been using it ever since. It is amazingly effective: with HDC the Jeep crawls very calmly down an icy slope that I would have no chance of navigating safely on foot.

If you have tried it on a hill and found it a bit too slow to be useful, look for a steeper hill. Mine is so steep that in 1st gear even with good traction it is necessary to use a lot of braking. HDC handles that for you, so all you do is steer. The paddles become selectors for speed — the eight manual gear settings become eight speed selections from 1-8 km/hr. That's too slow to be useful in most locations, but in extreme conditions it is invaluable.
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Old 03-21-2015, 10:58 PM
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Re: HDC (Hill Descent Control) is great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydney View Post
I love Hill Descent Control. I have a home high on a hilltop, approached via a 1.5mile private gravel driveway. It is really steep, and most of it only gets morning sun. The cost of snow-clearing and sanding such a long driveway is prohibitive, so I only get it done occasionally—e.g. for an oil delivery. I have found in previous years that winter tires make a huge difference when ascending or descending the hill, but I routinely used snow chains for the descent. When I bought my GC Summit I was really hopeful that the HDC would work well enough for me not to use the chains so often.

Well, so far I have not needed the chains at all! I did confirm early in the season that I would still need winter tires (the stock Forturas were awful once the temperature dropped in December). Once the snow started to fall I found that 4WD low was helpful. When conditions began to turn icy in January I started using HDC, and have been using it ever since. It is amazingly effective: with HDC the Jeep crawls very calmly down an icy slope that I would have no chance of navigating safely on foot.

If you have tried it on a hill and found it a bit too slow to be useful, look for a steeper hill. Mine is so steep that in 1st gear even with good traction it is necessary to use a lot of braking. HDC handles that for you, so all you do is steer. The paddles become selectors for speed — the eight manual gear settings become eight speed selections from 1-8 km/hr. That's too slow to be useful in most locations, but in extreme conditions it is invaluable.

Exactly. HDC takes all the drama and stress out of descending a steep, slippery hill, whether it's mud or snow. All you do is paddle shift to the speed you want, and steer. On the trail I was marking the trail map while descending a tricky hill - all I had to do was look and steer. Easy-peasy.
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Old 10-07-2015, 09:07 AM
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Re: HDC (Hill Descent Control) is great!

I can confirm that turning it off in your \Settings eliminates quite a bit of turbo lag. Not to say HDC isn't great, but turning it off improves drive-ability when not needed.
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Old 10-07-2015, 06:38 PM
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Re: HDC (Hill Descent Control) is great!

That is awesome...thanks for the info and totally jealous! What was I thinking when buying a 4X4 Jeep that stays on pavement?? I really want to get the SRT out on the sand in between SB and San Fran...sooner or later I will just grow a pair!
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Old 01-04-2016, 11:10 AM
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Re: HDC (Hill Descent Control) is great!

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Originally Posted by 08Hemi View Post
That is awesome...thanks for the info and totally jealous! What was I thinking when buying a 4X4 Jeep that stays on pavement?? I really want to get the SRT out on the sand in between SB and San Fran...sooner or later I will just grow a pair!
Dude,

From where I live, Hollister Hills SVRA is some 75 miles away.

From Santa Barbara where you live, Hungry Valley SVRA is some 110 miles away. You should go!

These parks are good for learning and building your off-road skills. The entry fee is about $5-$10 a day (don't recall exact price but it's dirt cheap; I have an annual pass), and you get a trail map that is similar to ski trail ratings:

Green circle = EASY trail
Blue square = MEDIUM trail
Black diamond = HARD trail

It's not about growing a pair although yes I know what you mean, it's about learning and practicing. The SVRAs with the rated trails are great places to learn. Start easy, and progress as you learn and gain confidence. Our rigs are expensive and I don't want to damage mine. But for a stock Jeep they are pretty capable on the trails, so I want to comfortably and safely know what I can do. Learning at these parks has given me the confidence to explore a little on my own when on a road trip.

Also there may be a local 4x4 club that gives lessons at a nominal cost. I did one and learned a lot.

Also, Pismo Beach is 85 miles from Santa Barbara, so give that a try, too. Completely different skill set, in the sand. Good luck and have fun.
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