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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After a recent rain I was on a Forest Service fire road that had recently been used as a fire line in a controlled burn. Then I discovered that the FJ does not take off in 2nd when shifted to 2nd. I mean that it wants to shift from 1 to 2. That makes for a real PITA on a slick clay hill, instant wheel spin. Can you fool the transmission so that you can start in gear higher than first? I know you can hack the rear diff to lock, what about this?
 

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The Laughing Member
2007 FJ Cruiser, 2021 4Runner, 2002 Lexus SC420
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Like most other automatic transmissions, the gear selected on the AT (i.e., 2, 3, D, etc.) will be the highest gear that the FJ will eventually shift up to after starting off in 1st.

Theoretically, you should be getting less (slower) wheel spin starting off in 1st gear on slippery surfaces . . . . if you apply very gradual throttle.

Light application of the brake pedal with your left foot ("poor man's A-TRAC/limited slip") while simultaneously applying throttle will also keep your wheel spin to a minimum on those types of surfaces.


BTW, welcome to the forum!! :)
 

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I had a Honda Passport at one time that had buttons that could be selected that changed to way the transmission responded. One of them was a "winter" button from what I recall caused the transmission to start off in one gear higher to reduce wheel spin. The FJ has no such system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, in the past have always had F150s. On a slick take off you could select 2 and the truck would start in 2nd, lugging the motor, less torque, and could get you rolling w/out the slip that comes from starting in 1 sometimes.
 

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Bryan, why not just shift into 4-lo and use the diff lock? They would be perfect that kind of circumstance.
 

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And here I am hoping to find myself in situations where I have a decent excuse to hit 4LO and push my atrac and diff lock buttons.......Some guys have all the fun.
 

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Slick mud is where ATRAC is at it's finest. If your FJC has it, then use it. If not, then put it in 4WD-low, limit it to first gear, lock the rear differential (if you have it) and go easy on the gas pedal.

Automatic transmission vehicles have a torque converter. This is a device filled with transmission fluid. At the front, the engine is turning a specialized propeller inside the torque converter, pushing the fluid back. At the back, there is an opposing propeller which is being pushed by the fluid and forced to turn. This secondary fan is driving the shaft that goes to the gears and then to the rest of th drivetrain.

At low RPM and high torsional resistance, the torque converter actually LOSES torque at a ratio of about 2:1. For this reason, an AT using the same gear ratio as a manual, in this same situation, will be going twice as slow.

For traction, what you want to do is NOT have the tires break free of the substrate. Being able to control them at slow speed does precisely this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Old habits are hard to break. You get used to driving one way in the woods, workin with what you have for 15 years (1/2 ton 4x4 swb w/5 speed) then I don't know how to use this all this gee-wiz gadgetry that Toyota has come out with. Thanks again for the advice. I' try it today. Last time went in on this job we took a JD gator, pickup couldn't make it. I'll see if the FJ will do it about 8:30 this a.m.
 

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FJ Expeditions R Us
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Good Luck! The FJ is an awesome machine! As LCSteve and Belly Doc there are several ways to increase traction. Left foot braking while lightly applying throttle, using ATRAC, Locked Rear and 4-LO should help a lot. Another helpful practice is to move the steering wheel left and right to help the front tires maintain grip (only in mud and sand, of course :)).

cheers,

dale
 
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