Ushuaia or Bust! - Page 2 - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
Planned Expeditions This is for upcoming expedition announcement and planning

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post #11 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Ushuaia or Bust!

New blog post is up - this one has an attempted off-roading adventure! Anyone know if I can get skid plates and a proper winch in Mexico somewhere?

Baja 4x4 aventuras and Shipwrecks - Ushuaia or Bust, Drive to South America

Previous posts since I've been on the road:

Christmas Eve posole - Ushuaia or Bust, Drive to South America (I show up in the middle of nowhere at 5pm on Christmas eve and get invited to eat Christmas Eve posole with the family - highlight of the trip so far)

And we're off... - Ushuaia or Bust, Drive to South America (start of the actual trip, some tasty food)

I will just say that Baja is incredibly safe. The worst I've heard about down here is petty crime. There are snowbirds all over the place from the US and Canada. If it's safe for a 70-year-old couple in a $200k RV, it's safe for anyone.
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post #12 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-03-2018, 09:06 AM
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Re: Ushuaia or Bust!

So far so good! Looks like you're in for a great trip!
Guess I'll have to be the 2nd guy to Ushuaia in an FJ, lol

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post #13 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Ushuaia or Bust!

Stupid noob 4x4 question: when I'm in 4WD-low are there conditions where I should be using A-trac, or RR-diff lock, or both, or neither? I usually just turn them both on to get the most traction. So far down here in Baja when I'm in 4WD it's either sand or gnarly roads up to this bad:



I haven't been letting the air out of my tires either but I guess I should be. I have a 12V pump - not sure how long it takes to air back up as I haven't used it yet. I bought a come-along winch at Auto Zone for $20. Hope I never have to use that.

I really wish I had at least gotten some skid plates in the states.

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post #14 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 08:57 PM
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Re: Ushuaia or Bust!

In general, use 4WD Hi for anything over 30 mph. (some of this sounds like you may know) 4WD low for anything that is rougher and under 30 mph. A-trac and diff locker only work in 4-Lo. Leave A-trac on most of the time in 4 Lo, since its electronically activated during wheel spin it can't hurt to leave it on.

Use diff locker on very difficult obstacles and avoid turning on high traction surfaces. Turning on dirt is fine.

Honestly from the picture you should be fine without using the diff locker. Engage it if you get stuck or forsee wheel spin to make an obstacle. Airing down will give you a little bit more grip and make the ride a little smoother if you are driving on very rough roads. Those little compressors take quite awhile to air up a set of tires.

Have fun on your trip! If you have never heard of another FJ driving to Ushuaia that basically makes you the first as far as I'm concerned.
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post #15 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Ushuaia or Bust!

Awesome advice - thank you! I know the hi-lo thing, but I will stop using RR-diff lock unless I get in trouble. And since I'm usually solo I don't plan to ever push it that hard.

Supposedly there was one road out here with washboards and super sharp rocks that would pop any tire if you don't air down. I didn't go on it so I can't confirm.

Yeah if someone else has done it in an FJ, they didn't blog about it. So did it even happen? ohmmmmm

Btw I got that car carrier on top after a few days on the road with way too much stuff in my cab. Someone in another thread told me to check the cross bar hand nuts (whatever you call them) as they come loose every few days. Sure enough they were. So I got some little pressure washers - and they've stayed lock tight so far - even over tons of washboards.
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post #16 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 09:39 PM
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Re: Ushuaia or Bust!

If your able to drop your PSI to 20-22, that will improve your traction and reduce the likelihood of a puncture. You won’t be able to travel as fast on the hardballs but that would be a manageable pressure to get you to the next town where air might be available. Also looks like your carrying a decent amount of weight on the roof so be careful on the off camber stuff. Take your time and walk the difficult sections if needed in order to recon the best route...
A-Trac is a traction aid and like Iconic mentioned, won’t hurt to keep that button engaged to allow it to do some of the thinking for you. It will only engage in LL and is a great tool for off camber climbing when keeping all of your tires on the trail is difficult. Diff lock can be used when trying to climb over a difficult obstacle when a bump might be needed to get you over it.
4HI will probably be the best for the sandy areas.

Stay safe and keep posting!
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post #17 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-05-2018, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Ushuaia or Bust!

Thanks - it's mostly light stuff in the top carrier. But the jerry cans are full and 10 gallons of gas weighs about 63lbs. I should probably use those and fill them again when I think I'll need them - which might not be until Argentina. I've heard they might hassle me about full gas cans at border crossings.
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post #18 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-08-2018, 10:06 AM
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Re: Ushuaia or Bust!

I'm going to differ slightly from advice given about A-Trac.
Basically I don't use it until it's needed. If and when my wheels start spinning, then I hit A-Trac or the rear locker depending on terrain.
Iconic and Joabmc are not giving bad advice, I just use mine differently.
Also, in going down a hill like in your photo, I put it in 4lo and let the engine and transmission do the work so as not to overheat my brakes.
Also, do visual inspections of the rig every morning, especially if you've been on washboard roads. Things like to come loose, as you know.
I also had my fuel on the roof rack on my first expedition into the desert. I kept hearing a LOT of rattling and caught my crossbars just in time, before they came loose.

Do some research about fuel in Bolivia. They have some rule or law in place about selling to tourists.
According to the Overland Expedition video's some stations will sell it to you, but at tourist prices.
It'll be good to start calculating what your mileage is so that you can map out that segment of your trip.
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post #19 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-11-2018, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Ushuaia or Bust!

Thanks will do.

FYI - I bought some little pressure washers for the 8 crossbar nuts - which seem to be doing the trick. After a few days of lots of washboards they were still super tight. After like 5 more days they loosened up just a little. But I can live with that. I really didn't want to mess with lock-tite.

Baja might be the most off-roading I do for a while. I'm on the mainland now.

Here's the latest blog post btw: 2 Bahias, 1 Cove - Ushuaia or Bust, Drive to South America

I have another post on the way soon which has a little more 4x4 fun.
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post #20 of 49 (permalink) Old 01-12-2018, 07:48 PM
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Re: Ushuaia or Bust!

Hi, I did this trip in my FJ in 2009/2010. It was an easy and incredible drive! I didn't add any extra fuel reserves and never really needed them. I am still in Argentina with my FJ. The biggest hassle is shipping from Colon to Cartagena. It's not difficult, it is simply time consuming and expensive. What are you going to do after you reach the bottom?

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