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[YesAuto Travel Notes] Want to drive your own car out into the wild? Worried that the car will not work, that the car will be trapped, the rescue is afraid of the bottom, and the tire will blow out? This is the most distressing question for many home SUV owners. Now it is the season of spring and blue water and blue sky. Who can stay at home? The little friends around are shouting: “We have to go out to play too”!

Don’t worry, after experiencing the first off-road experience, our explorers also ushered in the vehicle upgrade link. The confusion that everyone faces also exists here. How should family SUVs go out and which upgrades are necessary And it's meaningful, you'll be clear after watching this issue!


Discuss a topic: What upgrades are needed for the “family SUV”?

Today’s SUV models have a higher and higher proportion of four-wheel drive, and the efficiency of the electronic assistance system (electronic limited slip) is also getting better and better. This also allows many SUV models to have a fairly good limited slip ability. This trend can be seen in the frequency of SUV models appearing around many off-road resorts. Family SUV models are actively trying out light off-road activities. After all, everyone wants to see different scenery, and everyone has dreams in the distance.

It is also based on this general trend that family SUVs go out into the wild, and it seems that it has become a strange thing. However, compared with many hardcore SUVs and off-road vehicles, SUV models are after all in the body structure (bearing & non-bearing). ) And the chassis structure (independent suspension & hard axle) and the former two are quite different. How to make SUV models obtain sufficient and suitable passability and escape ability in the wild environment, which is what we want to be in this issue Discussed and talked about in: the way to upgrade.

“No matter your physical fitness is good or bad, you will change to a suitable pair of shoes when climbing.” “Even if so many people wear AJ every day, they may not all play basketball.” These two paragraphs are my two-point summary and understanding of tire upgrades.

If you want to do good things, you must first sharpen your tools, shoes are the same, tires are also the same, for most SUV models, the original intention of our vehicle settings is to allow you to use in the city, even with some bad road performance, but also It can only be regarded as occasional, not to mention that you deliberately drilled into the mountains. For tires, 90% of SUVs are mostly road tires (SUV tires & HT tires). Their strengths are drainage performance, handling and comfort. However, these are all good on the road. Once in the wild environment, before The advantage of is likely to turn into a disadvantage in an instant. At this time, your “underfoot reliability” will become very low.

     Then someone said, since from a broad concept, there are already HT, AT, MT, then how should we choose? In fact, for most SUV owners, I won’t say much about HT tires. For original road tires, if you like self-driving activities, you must consider AT tires, which can take into account certain road performance and allow you to play in the wild. It is safer and more comfortable, and at the same time it obtains better traction on bad roads. Because MT tires are too extreme, they will basically only appear on hardcore SUVs or off-road vehicles. Because they sacrifice road performance too much, they emphasize super rocky and muddy road performance. So it’s definitely not something most consumers should consider. Let’s focus on AT tires. (A separate session will be held in the future to talk about MT tire experience)

Well, we continue to return to the “topic”, considering the actual situation of the explorer (electronic limited slip performance, chassis height, etc.), as well as the convenience of upgrading, (as far as possible in line with the original car data, the original car specifications) we finally decided to adopt The “original car concept” is used to upgrade the tires . The top 18-inch wheels of this car are replaced with 17-inch wheels of low-profile models. The tires are 225 65 R17, which is the same as the low-profile model of the Explorer. The 225 60 R18 with the rims is almost the same in diameter and width (from the data point of view, it is actually a high-profile change to a low-profile), and because the original car is upgraded, it eliminates the cumbersome purchase of modified rim And the high threshold, the tire specifications are fully in line with the original car, for some consumers, it will be more worry-free and more practical.

My suggestion is: not bad money, I hope to go out to have fun, off-road performance is as good as possible, but also meet the appearance effect, you can consider this kind of more powerful AT tires that we choose for explorers. In addition, , The aforementioned Continental, Michelin, and cheaper Yokohama, Hankook, Cooper, Dunlop, etc., also have similar tire products, which can be used as alternatives. In a word, in addition to whether the performance of tires meets your own requirements for traveling and transportation, the appearance is also a point for everyone to consider, and the last is the budget. As long as these three can meet your actual situation, then this one The product is right for you.

“Where the tire can pass, the crotch may not be spared.” Before talking about this part, I want to share with you a cognitive blind spot from the perspective of my personal experience: about the bottom.

Speaking of the shield, I have to talk about the underlay first. I will share with you from three parts: 1. What dangers the underlay will cause; 2. The difference between the underlay and the underlay. 3. , The blind spot in the test drive activity.

Someone will definitely say, underpinning? Every time I go up and down the “Road Ducks”, I feel most alarmed. At other times, I don’t seem to have much opportunity to support the bottom. This is in daily situations. Indeed, the bottoming causes us more psychological worries and damage to the vehicle. It is generally not too big, but once it reaches the wild environment, the bottoming may be really fatal.

1. Front lip, lower swing arm, oil pan, differential, exhaust pipe, rear bumper…

This is the most common part in the wild environment because of the easy damage to the underlay. We often say that if your approach angle through the corner departure angle is not ideal, try not to go off-road, unless through modification means, but for most people In other words, everyone still lacks intuitive cognition.

For SUV models, the front lip is the most easily touched and worn place in the wild environment. SUV models are not off-road vehicles after all. In addition to styling considerations, there are more aerodynamic designs, so often its approach angle data is not It will be too big, so when walking on some ramps and V grooves, if you don't use the bar, you will be the first to die.

The angle directly reflects whether your bottom plate is easy to support or be held. After all, for most SUV models, the characteristic of the load-bearing model is that all the chassis components will be exposed at the bottom, if there is no guard plate. , Once walking on the road with more gravel, it is easy to damage the parts of the chassis, such as the oil pan, differential, and exhaust pipe. Once these parts are damaged or leaked oil, they cannot continue to move forward. Light, even how to move out has become the biggest problem!

It is precisely because of the above conditions that the guard plate is given a new meaning. Its function is no longer as simple as the original car used to organize turbulence and defense against rubble splashing. For SUVs with independent suspensions. In terms of vehicle models, it will become your golden bell in the wild environment!

2. Independent suspension and non-independent hard bridge, underpinning with completely different concepts

     Independent suspension recruits you? In this part, I will continue to talk to you about why it is said that for SUV models with a load-bearing body + independent suspension body, the guard plate is an indispensable configuration for you in the wild environment, even if its function is limited.

First of all, there is a big difference between independent suspension models and hard-core SUVs and off-road vehicles with non-independent hard bridges in the chassis structure, and this difference will be magnified several times in the wild environment. Why do you say that? , Let's look at the picture to share.

From the photos, we can understand that a vehicle with a non-independent suspension + hard bridge has a hard bridge. Even if the vehicle is under the bottom, its transmission, oil pan, differential, etc. are all on the bridge, and there will be no bumps. If it hurts the top, the hard bridge will help block one first. Secondly, the structure of the hard bridge is relatively simple, and the strength is also great. Coupled with the swing mode different from the independent suspension, the bumps at medium and low speeds have almost no effect. The hard bridge is actually being carried, not the gravel belt. The collision that comes.

The independent suspension + body-carrying SUV is completely different, because only the two sides are moving, and the middle part is fixed. In addition, the core components such as the transmission and the oil pan are exposed in this fixed position. Moreover, it faces the ground directly without any pre-protection, so once a collision occurs, it is easy to cause serious problems.

Based on the details shared above, we chose the bottom guard plate of alloy material for this explorer. The protective position is the lower part of the engine, which can protect the oil pan and the front differential to a certain extent. In fact, this This kind of guard plate is not the strongest type, but it is the type of alloy guard plate that is easy to buy . The advantage is that the price is reasonable, the protective effect can meet the light off-road, and there are many models that are suitable for sale, almost mainstream. Corresponding products can be found for SUV models.

Of course, if you have higher needs, it is easy to handle. Common refit shops can customize bottom guards with better materials and higher strength, including front-to-back penetrating guards, which can take into account exhaust pipes, Drive shaft, fuel tank and rear differential. The price will be relatively small and expensive, often above 1,000 yuan. For deep enthusiasts, you can consider it. If you go out to play occasionally, this “popular guard” is basically enough. After all, you have to consider the car itself, right? , Change to a super guard, is it possible that you still want to drive your own SUV to climb the rocks?

3. What is not in the test drive activity: “understanding performance”

Finally, I also want to share a phenomenon with you. When we participate in some test drive activities or reports, we often pay attention to the tests of cross axles, shell craters, side slopes, and pulley blocks. Maybe you haven't noticed these. In fact, there is no item in the project that can intuitively reflect whether the car is easy to support. They are more of a test of the four-wheel drive performance of the vehicle, and cannot directly equal the off-road performance.

Although we always say how many millimeters the ground clearance of this car is, but in various test driving activities, cross-axis steamed buns, side slopes and large uphills, what you experience is often the power reserve and the sensitivity of the electronic assistance system. , More of it is related to the performance of “wheel-to-wheel performance”, but there is little more about the experience of passing through the angle, that is, the part under the crotch, but once you go out and in the real field, you may find that: There may be all kinds of things that will accompany you all the way: “Duang~I X! Why did you support the bottom?”?

With the guard plate, this situation will be improved. At least you don’t have to worry too much about the chassis parts being damaged, but it doesn’t mean you can do it arbitrarily. The meaning of the guard plate is just like the character in a video game. The blessed armor can help you withstand the impact, but it doesn't mean you can't die. With the arrival of the bottom, I believe you will definitely modify the driving style, speed, driving rhythm and way of choosing the road will be more cautious, this is the most ideal state.

what? If you don’t rescue others, what about others rescue you? In this part, the key points we want to share are: the original car's towing ability and the necessity of upgrading. Let's start with the word “drag”.

No matter what kind of car you are, the basic original car will be equipped with a tow hook, which can be screwed on the front or rear bumper to realize the towing operation. The problem is that this kind of original car is decoupled. In addition to the normal towing operation, it can bear the field Is it “pull” under the need for relief? the answer is negative!

Tips: What is the decoupling strength of the original car?

“Not much intensity”! Our original car trailer hooks are generally screwed to the anti-collision beam or buffer steel beam. For most SUVs that carry the body, the anti-collision beam is mostly fixed to the carrying body by screws on the holes on both sides. The load-bearing body is actually more like a whole bun. This is completely different from the non-load-bearing body model. Even if it uses a variety of high-rigidity materials, its inherent structural characteristics make it more rigid than non-carriage in pulling and torsion. The load-bearing body is weak (after all, there is a specialization in the art industry), and the “steel beams” fixed through the holes are certainly no problem for anti-collision buffering, but if you want to talk about dragging, it is not its responsibility. A few screws I really can't stand how strong the drag force is. There are countless cases on the Internet about the use of the original car to pull the original car when the SUV model is out of trouble, which causes the car body to be pulled apart and the bumper to be torn down.

What is the purpose of the original car decoupling? The meaning of the original car's decoupling is to allow you to use it in a non-cross-country rescue and unpowered towing environment. How is unpowered towing? For example, if you have a flat tire on the side of the road or break down on the road, you need a rescue car to pull you. Get on the scooter, or directly pull you away. At this time, your vehicle has lost power (it can be understood as a state of being out of the car or unable to drive on its own). This common trailer application is the scope of the original vehicle's decoupling. There will be neither vigorous pulling nor “competition” of the vehicle. (Don’t worry, let’s elaborate below)

However, in the wild, the situation of unpowered towing will be greatly reduced, and more of the need for towing rescue caused by the trapped car, which is completely different from our common road rescue, and the adhesion becomes more uncontrollable, such as vehicles. Stuck on a rock or lying in the mud, this kind of resistance can be very large. It can not be rescued by unhooking and screwing on the original car with a little oil. If there is no winch, it can only be dragged by power. , And this kind of towing force and our trailer on the road are no longer a concept at all. Want to realize off-road rescue with a few screws fixed on the load-bearing body? I advise you to think twice!

To be honest, I think the drag part is as important as the tire upgrade. Why? Because even if you don’t go cross-country or the wild environment, there are inevitably many scenes of drag and rescue. Whether you drag others or others drag you, you can't avoid this part.

Based on this point, we upgraded the customized rear reinforced trailer bar for the explorer. The shape is similar to that of the original car's rear anti-collision beam, but the material is thicker, and we have made more considerations in the way of fixing, except for the original one. There are eight holes on both sides, we also made full use of the longitudinal beam of the explorer to make an extended part inserted into the longitudinal beam, and use the hole position of the longitudinal beam to add additional fixing points, realizing up to ten There are fixed points with more than one hole, so that it can cope with the towing needs in most cases, and we have arranged a general square mouth in the center of the tow bar, which can not only be used to connect the trailer hook, the trailer ball, the small trailer and the bicycle frame After many expansions, the central square mouth position can also make it more even when dragging.

Finally, I would like to emphasize to everyone! Towing rescue, whether you are uncarrying or carrying the body, you must drag reasonably, do not use violent towing to rescue (except in extreme cases), and in the rescue process, the judgment of the vehicle trapping and adhesion conditions is also It is very important that, if possible, try to use a gentle way to pull the vehicle out of trouble, or use a winch to pull, it is a safe choice. Safety is no small matter! Refuse to drag without brain violence!

I have to say that the installation of the top box is mainly Zheng Xu's suggestion. At first I refused, but after installing it for a while and going out for several times to explore the way, I realized: This thing is really easy to use!

When going out, space utilization is a topic that cannot be avoided. Food and drink, camping and picnics, a single pile is enough to fill your trunk. This is not a rescue tool. Even if the trunk is big enough, I believe you. I don't want to “stuff it so embarrassed” every time.

At this time, the roof box/roof frame comes in handy. This is also an outdoor equipment that has been frequently seen on the street in recent years. It can not only obtain considerable storage space expansion, but also make the car attractive. The small promotion and embellishment are a very good choice for those who yearn for a long distance and advocating individuality.

Roof box & roof frame, how do I choose? Let me break it down one by one!

    Let's talk about the shape first: the roof frame is more wild, which is relatively suitable for models with a harder style. The tougher the line, the more matching, and the roof box has a stronger sense of city and style, which is more suitable for those models with streamlined design, such as Low-profile SUV, station wagon. Of course, style varies from person to person, depending on everyone's aesthetic requirements.

Let's talk about the convenience of use: the roof frame is the most expandable, and it is convenient to fix various equipment on it, such as escape boards, monkey climbing poles, shovel, spotlights, tow ropes, and oil drums. The disadvantage is that the waterproofness is poor, and additional equipment is needed. Rain-proof cloth, it is inconvenient to store some things (sleeping bags, clothing and other non-waterproof things), and additional net pockets or straps are needed for fixing, which is not particularly convenient to take. And for some heavy cross-country people, the “burden” of the top frame is lower than that of the top box.

The roof box is relatively stupid, just like your suitcase. It is very convenient to take, open, take out, open, and throw in. It is good for sheltering from the wind and rain. It is suitable for storing all kinds of things, no matter what you throw in. Nothing has changed in appearance. The disadvantage is that it has no expandability and is not suitable for storing heavy equipment, and no matter whether you load it or not, you have to run against such a large box on the top of your head. Unlike the top frame, there is an “empty state”. Therefore, relatively speaking, it is not suitable for some heavy cross-country crossing with it, and the “burden” is obvious.

    Wind noise/fuel consumption/price issues: The wind noise of the roof box is the most obvious. After all, the volume is larger, and the higher the box, the better the storage capacity, but the wind noise and fuel consumption are also more affected. The advantage is that the price is higher than that of the flat box. A lot cheaper. The flat box has a better look, and because of its low height, it basically does not affect the lower basement. The disadvantage is that the storage capacity is worse than the thick one, but in fact, it is sufficient in most cases, mainly because the price is much more expensive than the thick one. The influence of the roof box on fuel consumption generally increases by 1-2 fuels. Depending on the driving environment, it will fluctuate.

The roof frame is much more worry-free. Relatively speaking, it has a low sense of presence when it is empty. And because it has no height, it does not affect the lowering of the basement when it is not loaded. The effect on fuel consumption is very small and generally disturbs. The wind noise of the flow board is also very small, and some top frames with exquisite design can not even hear any wind noise. The roof frame has little effect on fuel consumption when it is empty. When it is fully loaded, wind noise and fuel consumption will increase. It depends on the actual situation. In terms of price, it is much cheaper than the roof box. You can have it at about 1,000 yuan. The roof box basically starts at 1,000 yuan.

After talking about the roof box and roof frame, how did we choose? Because the explorer’s own styling characteristics are relatively short and wide, and the lines are relatively smooth. In addition to the repeated recommendation (hu) and recommendation (you) of the “clay tank owner Zheng Xu”, we finally chose the roof box product as Our space expansion plan.

Since it is an SUV model, even if we will drive it for some outdoor crossing or off-road, it is more often used in the city, so practicality must be considered, so we chose a flat roof box, one is not affecting the ground Secondly, the storage space also fully meets our needs. The third point is that the wind noise is relatively good, and the fuel consumption has little effect. (The increase is about 1 oil)

Take a conventional camping picnic as an example: this top box can help me accommodate a set of tables and chairs, a canopy, a tent, a self-inflating mattress, a hammock, two adult sleeping bags, and a small amount of space. Basically, most of the things related to camping are thrown in. I can't see anything when I close the lid. Waterproof and rainproof are completely ok. The space in the trunk is prepared to store air pumps, air jacks and other rescue equipment and some lighting tools, which can be more convenient to take.


“Teach students in accordance with their aptitude”: Let your car go further/safer

Everyone has the right to yearn for a distant place, and it is also possible to realize it. It is precisely based on this premise that we have produced this issue. In fact, for most SUV owners, it is not difficult to go further. After all, it’s not the same thing to go further and to be harder. We are just going to see the scenery, not challenging the limit. Appropriate small upgrades based on the actual situation of your car will definitely improve your survivability in the wild, thus allowing you to realize your long-distance vision.

The car has been upgraded, and the rest is soft power. In the follow-up content, I will continue to talk to you about what situations we will face after we leave the road, and we should have the necessary qualities in the next issue. see!


The filming location of this episode is provided by Car Review